Tag Archives: bloggers

Blogworks "India Bloggers Directory" – Edition 1

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Blogworks is publishing 1st edition of the India Bloggers Directory. India’s first blogger directory.
A pocket guide to an ever growing list of Indian blogs, the book aims to help users and marketers navigate the live web by informing them about sites of interest, categorized by subject. The book will also have a select listing of Twitter users from India.
While a lot of this information is already available in public domain, this form will help us reach out to many more people. Please fill it and circulate amongst your blogger friends.
The accompanying image is NOT the cover design, we decided to just have a little fun while we wait for the design to come in – enjoy 🙂
UPDATE, 16 April, 2009 @ 8.46 am: The accompanying image IS THE COVER DESIGN for the directory. Designed by the very creative Naina Redhu of Aside design studio.
This is what she said about the cover “…the concentric circles represent bloggers – like a widening circle – network – multi-hued…”
Loving it!
Cheers

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2009 Trend # 1 – Bloggers Make Money, Via Mainstream Media

I have, for over a week now, been trying to complete my India Social Media Trends 2009 piece and not having succeeded in doing so, decided to write them one by one, rather than all at one go. They are NOT in specific order or priority based on impact so request that you read them so. Here’s the first one that I got prompted to write after reading this piece Difficult Days: low ad revenue, pagination by Ashish Bagga, CEO, Living Media India Ltd, in LiveMint’s 2009 Trend Predictions series.
Bloggers make money via mainstream media and micro-publishing.
Making money in print media is tricky business even in normal times. Advertising & Circulation contribute 65:35 average revenue respectively as cover prices are subsidized significantly in most cases. Advertising revenues have to keep pace with circulation growth, as you are losing money for each extra copy that you sell. A slowdown in advertising could make dynamics change quickly. The Mint article talks about the following as an outcome of this:

  1. Higher cover price, leading to lower circulation.
  2. Lower pagination – expect ad driven supplements to come less frequently; city supplements may get thinner; even regular pages may reduce.

The piece also predicts:

  1. Rightsizing of human resource will be another key trend. Both the number of employees as well as the cost of employment will be under review.

Effort would be to cut salaries and infrastructure cost. In this scenario, I would expect:

  1. More dependence on content generated by wire agencies.
  2. For some bloggers, this may clearly mean that over are the days of “loser generated content” – as my dear friend Narayan Madhavan of Hindustan Times refers to blogger/ user generated content, as s/he has hitherto not been paid; has mostly felt grateful to mainstream media if it has chosen to feature her content; in many cases the content has been plagiarized anyway – often, not just without permission, but also without due credit.
    In comes, paid – syndicated content, enhanced recognition & visibility for the blog writer/s. Experiments in this direction (the reasons may be different) have already begun with Kamla Bhatt’s excellent tie-up with LiveMint and ContentSutra drawing content from VCCircle.
    Expect more and more content from blogs to be sought by mainstream media as, even after payments to blog writers/ blogs the costs will typically be much cheaper than staffers. I have always said about blog credibility : credibility has nothing to do with the tool, but with the name behind the words/ voice. This one is a win-win for both parties involved and a trend likely to go North in 2009.

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Making Money via a Blog

Professional blogging and/ or how to make money through blogs are questions that I am asked often. However, most people tend to simply associate making money via blogs to advertising. From where I look at it though, significant or even reasonable amounts of money from writing a blog are for a privileged few who dedicate a considerable amount of time & energy to writing their blogs and cover strong niche/s.
Not all bloggers (or those who write blogs along) are equal…but money can come in many different ways. Also let’s not forget that for ‘many’ earning money may just be a byproduct, or not even a consideration – showcasing thought leadership, seeding & engaging a community, or plain expression might be the simple motives.
Here are a few that come to mind:

  1. Advertising – like I said earlier, this is for a privileged few who have the numbers & the authority to get ad revenues. Though in some categories numbers don’t really play a role – example: a top scientist blogging to reach only a select peer group – different matter altogether that s/he may not take ads but a top scientific research company may want to post a job hoping to reach this blog’s elite readership.
    The hugely popular Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal, professional blogger, a term that, to me signifies someone for whom writing the blog is his/ her primary career engagement. DI is a good example of a blog making good money through advertising, amongst others – writing assignments, content syndication, speaking assignments, workshops, insights & focus groups etc.
  2. Consulting – For people like Dina Mehta, Gautam Ghosh, me and others who either have consulting practices or do freelance consultancy and also write blogs for knowledge sharing and as a showcase for thought leadership, the blog becomes the primary outreach tool and consulting assignments and workshops would often happen because a prospect read the blog, liked what s/he read, and the writer/ team got a project.
  3. Research & Insights – Increasingly writers who are able to showcase authority and thought leadership in their domain are being sought out by organizations and companies for research and insights. I have been a part of a few such projects and while money is a small part of why one may do it – learnings drawn from views of other participants being the key reason for many – instances like this are clearly on the rise. The Insight Community is an example of site that facilitates such research.
  4. Media Contributions – Many blog writers are now being sought by mainstream media as columnists or being invited to contribute regularly. Amit Varma, is a prominent example amongst others; Meenakshi, of The Compulsive Confessor has published her first book.
  5. Micro Publishing – A little different from being a professional blogger, micro-publishing entrepreneurs like Medianama, VC Circle, WAT Blog are seeding publishing empires – maybe small now but will hopefully be big someday – with multiple revenue streams – advertising, commissioned research, events and more.

Just some ways to make money via a blog. Which others come to your mind? Don’t tell me about ‘Pay Per Post’ – that’s not a way that I endorse 🙂
Keep writing.

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Go Black – a call for all Indian Media

I want to keep this really simple, direct and actionable.
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Here is a call for all Indian media – Newspapers, TV Channels, Magazines, Blogs – everyone.
What stops us from putting a Black Band on mastheads of our respective newspapers, magazines, channels, blogs…until we see some conclusive plan from the government on how it plans to ensure security for all of India’s citizens?
Let’s do this together and tell the powers that be that the people of this nation are not going to take crap anymore.
Let’s spread the word within the fraternity to make the government answer.
UPDATE : Yes, also your page background on Twitter too.
UPDATE: Here’s the banner with Black – unfortunately, the idea didn’t find any takers.
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Weekly Indian Business Blogs Digest – Edition 4

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I have been a bit pre-occupied, with lots happening in my life over the last fortnight, and hence very short intros/ comments on this week’s stories.
I will try and get back to my posts soon:

  1. Yesterday was the day – The Times of India launches its Chennai edition.Sans Serif blog discusses the upcoming battle of giants in Chennai – The Hindu versus The Times of India. These media wars are always fun for the readers; for the participants however, it’s rush of adrenaline and ruthless games. Is The Hindu cut for what it takes? Indian Express is getting ready for it too.

    Also, the question whether “conservative Chennai” is going to accept Times, is redundant. If Times has chosen to go there, it ain’t that conservative, anymore, is my assessment. Times does its research well. For those of you to who it matters, I started my media career with TOI- that was nearly 14 years ago – but read HT and Mint as my daily staples now :).

    Read the piece here.
  2. Raising money is relatively easy for Indian entrepreneurs today, but getting the ‘right investor’ and advisory board on board can be the difference between success and failure – it may not, however, be the easiest.
    Read these posts: Hand-picking your board by Vijay Anand; Entrepreneurs : Do a quality check on VCs before you hire them by Ashish.
  3. I fell in love with the Sumo Grande the moment I saw it at the Auto Expo, earlier this year. The problem however is… when you try to be something to everyone, you sometimes end up pleasing no one. The post sums up the story beautifully so I won’t even attempt going there just now, but I can’t resist the comment on the “girl in sport car trying maneuvers to cross paths with good looking guy driving the Sumo Grande ad”. Sigh, the storyline is stale, the child popping up at the end sure makes the family guy point but the ‘disgust’ in the woman’s eye couldn’t have been the desired emotion. Or, am I the only one who interpreted it as ‘disgust’. There are, am sure better ways to sell it to the family guy. Want me to tell you how??? These days, I don’t give advice unless we’ve been paid by the brand in question to do so 😉
    Having said all this, I would still buy Sumo Grande.

    Read this brilliant piece here.
  4. I like how Jinal Shah’s mind works. Here, she beautifully classifies online information into neat categories : organised and chaotic and wonders if there is a way to make gainful use of all this formation that is available to us.
    Read the piece here.

Please do comment on the respective blogs and of course share your thoughts here.
Other blogs where you can find this series posted are: Gautam Ghosh – Management Consultant; Gaurav – Gauravonomics; Palin – IndiaPRBlog; Kiruba – Kiruba.com;Ranjan – Ranjan 2.01

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