Blue Screen Of Duds

Where the alter ego of codelust plays

Three (good) Indian blogs that you probably don’t read

with 15 comments

Time to post something different for a change than the regular longwinding ones.

Shashikant’s tiny world: He posts across a wide variety of topics covering technology, the economy and other aspects of current affairs. He has something that is desperately lacking in most of the Indian blogosphere: a perspective that is not a wannabe version of the popular western ones. If only he would change the circa 2001 blogger template to something more contemporary, but I can hardly complain since I read the full feed in an RSS reader. And, no, I am not linking to him because he’s linked to me.

Gopal Vijayaraghavan: Gopal works for Yahoo! and is one the leads for the PHP APC cache. That does not mean he posts only about profiling PHP code and race conditions in it. He also writes about movies (from a very non-critic and normal viewer point of view) and a lot of other non-tech related things. The only minus point is that he does not allow comments on his blog.

Cleartrip blog/Hrush: I know this is a corporate blog, probably disqualifying it from being considered as a normal blog. But most of the content on the blog is penned by Hrush Bhatt, Founder & Director, Product and Strategy for the company. Other than the fact the blog is one of the best and the most open blogs among Indian corporates, he also gets additional brownie points from me for quoting two bloggers in the web data sphere that I follow closely: Danny Ayers and Joe Gregorio. Minus point: Not updated frequently enough.

While on the topic of blogging, I was wondering recently if the only major difference that blogging has brought to the platform is that being biased is no longer uncool? These days, I tend to switch off from any discussion that aims to figure out the biases of mainstream media. The fact of the matter is that everything and every human being is biased and we are conditioned by our biases.

The only difference is that it used to be cool to claim that you were unbiased as a media entity. When you report from the field, you are supposed to stick to the facts and not colour it with your biases. I think this is quite badly misplaced. While, as a blogger, it is cool for you to be biased. In fact, you are encouraged to come clean on your biases than cover it with a veil faux neutrality. Other than that, if you take out the scale and economics of the matter, there is hardly any differentiation: Both sides have bad reporting, band language and myopia to the obvious.

Interesting and hypothetical over-the-top question of the day: Can you imagine a newspaper filled with op-ed writers?

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Written by shyam

August 29, 2007 at 9:26 am

Posted in Blogs, India, social media

15 Responses

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  1. Thanks much for the kind words!

    Will update the template soon.

    Shashikant

    August 29, 2007 at 3:07 pm

  2. Thanks for the compliment. Rather unfair that we’re “disqualified from being considered a normal blog” ;)

    Hrush

    August 30, 2007 at 5:04 am

  3. Hrush and Danny Ayers are good.. Have delicioused them.. :)

    Hrush: The moment a blog author says ‘we’ rather that ‘I’, doesnt it become non-normal? :)

    Arun

    August 30, 2007 at 5:33 pm

  4. I was supposed to say Hrush and Joe Gregorio are good… :)

    Arun

    August 30, 2007 at 5:34 pm

  5. Not sure I agree that a blog is, by definition, “individual” expression alone. Why should it be that way and who defined “normal” for blogs anyway?

    Hrush

    August 30, 2007 at 6:13 pm

  6. Shashi, actually get on to wordpress. I need to check it out, but it does look like wp blogs get updated much earlier/better into the Google index too.

    Hrush, any Indian corporate entity that does not pretend to know everything or admit that they’ve not done something totally right is ‘abnormal,’ from what I’ve read about you, I am assuming that that you were there during the Indiatimes ticket auctions times. Have heard some really interesting stories about that one.

    Arun: I stopped using delicious long long ago. Just track the popular feed now and i think I should write a script that will filter out “top” from the titles in it. But otherwise my bookmarking is handled entirely by Google Reader, shared ones go into the shared list and the private ones go into the starred list. Just got back after a day trip bangalore, amazing weather you guys have there. It is just not fair, I must tell you.

    shyam

    August 30, 2007 at 8:31 pm

  7. Shyam–I wasn’t around when Indiatimes launched ticket auctions. For the record, I never worked “with” Indiatimes, I worked with Plexus, a tech company, and lead the team that launched Indiatimes back in 1998.

    I was, however, part of the action when Thomas Cook and Bidorbuy.com launched air ticket auctions, which happened well before Indiatimes auctions happened.

    Hrush

    August 31, 2007 at 12:32 am

  8. haha… Hrush’s eagerness to distance from BCCL is very much understandable. Only natural that people don’t want to be heard or seen remotely associated with ToI group, even by mistake :)

    Shyam, I have grown into an internet illiterate over the years. As the net progressed, I have remained where I am as I was too lazy to play catch-up. I need to work on it or someday people will look at me like untouchable :)

    As for weather, yes :) I never really knew the value of Bangalore weather until I relized in recent years how terrible rest of India can be..!

    Arun

    August 31, 2007 at 3:22 am

  9. Hrush, yes, I did realize that you did not work with them, but woozy head != coherent language. Why I asked was because during the initial launch there was a goof up of such proportions that it is still a bit a legend with the people in the know there.

    Arun, I do carry my ex-Indiatimes card without any issues. It has not been the best of experiences, but it has been an experience that has made me a much more patient and sensible person, not the least in terms of seeing first hand now not to run a lot of things.

    If you use Delicious, you are far from being internet illiterate. I just prefer having my head chopped off at the cutting edge :-)

    shyam

    August 31, 2007 at 5:54 am

  10. WP gets indexed faster?!

    I mean, Google owns most of the blog ecosystem. You use Bloggger for hosting blogs, publish feeds via Feedburner (though, I have stayed away from it), and read them in Google Reader. I can’t see a better integration.

    I wonder if Google Reader uses ping servers for blogs on Blogger. The Blogger servers in one rack must be informing Reader servers sitting on next. Can’t get any faster than that.

    Inertia is one reason I am not moving away. Secondly, I believe, Google will take Blogger to next level. I already see some of the niceties.

    Shashi

    August 31, 2007 at 7:34 am

  11. Correction: wp.com, I meant. I am all butterfingers and butterthinking today. Problem for Google with blogspot is that content on Blogspot blogs is 90% noise and 10% signal, while Wp.com has pretty much the reverse, with excellent semantically marked up content. maybe it makes more sense for them to thus index wp.com more frequently than blogger. And the sheer size of blogspot itself maybe another issue. I think this blog gets indexed much quicker compared to the blogspot one I used to have. Then again, I have no access to the server logs to see how often I am getting hit, so right now only have the fuzzy feeling in my stomach to back it up with.

    I’m not too clued into the crawl philosophy of Google Reader, but a while ago, for the normal crawling, they’d switched to a single front end crawling proxy, that used to delegate the crawled data to different products. Ping servers are massively icky for discovering updated content, they are amazing though for discovering new blogs.

    Blogger, i doubt it. Have not seen anything in that direction for a while. The last major upgrade they had rolled out features that others have had for decades. Not like they won’t upgrade it, but it is definitely not in their category of products that is given a lot of gentle and consistent care. Moreover, a lot of the original members are no longer part of the product team. Think the last one, Jason Shellen, left Google recently, though I don’t think he’s worked on blogger for a while now. Still the point is moot.

    shyam

    August 31, 2007 at 7:54 am

  12. Yup, there were quite a few disasters during the Indiatimes launch. We had an inside joke at the office:

    Question: When is Indiatimes launching?
    Answer: Every Monday

    Hrush

    September 2, 2007 at 8:07 am

  13. Haha.. I know that tale only too well, from Indiatimes and other places too for that matter. But I was talking specifically about the ticket auctions, there was an awesome goof up during that one

    shyam

    September 2, 2007 at 11:35 am

  14. Sorry, don’t know about that one. Like I said, I wasn’t around for that launch. I only remember being extremely ticked off that Indiatimes claimed to have been the first airline auctions in India when Thomas Cook and Bidorbuy had done auctions well before them.

    For a site to claim this or that is one thing, but for the “news” organisation that owns the site to then publish that *fraudulent* claim as “news” in print… That’s what got to me.

    Hrush

    September 2, 2007 at 6:44 pm

  15. Hrush, honestly even I was under the impression that they were the first to launch auctions. The company has amazing clout in terms of their brands and that is the primary reason why even most of their half-baked products still do reasonably well, they ride it amazingly well.

    Internal cross promotions are the bane of the industry, but I don’t see it going away unless someone comes up with some regulations for it. Which I am not very sure if it is a boon or a bane.

    shyam

    September 3, 2007 at 7:29 am


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