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Delhi Bloggers Meet - Is blogging a new emerging digital media? - Solzaire's Journal
Adventures of a Paladin
Delhi Bloggers Meet - Is blogging a new emerging digital media?
I went yesterday to the XIth Delhi Bloggers Meet. It was a nice affair; one that made me change some opinions I held, and re-inforced my beliefs on other fronts. My main intention in going along was to meet some of the Delhi Bloggers. It was my first Delhi meet and I am new to the city, though I grew up here for 11 years once upon a time long long ago.

The centerpoint of attraction, much against his wishes, turned out to be Bill Thompson alongwith Julian Siddle and Gareth Mitchell from BBC's Digital Planet. The Delhi bloggers in attendance included techies, women, professional bloggers, cyber-journalists, Blank Noise Project folks, and many personal random bloggers like yours truly - totalling about 30. The main point of discussion and debate, following all the introductions, was the concept of blogging emerging as a new form of digital media. My summary of the discussion follows peppered with my own comments.

Is blogging a form of journalism? The main attribute of a professional journalist is responsibility, fact-finding, and researching her story. A journalist hence has editorial frameworks to protect the publishers and the journalist from (un)intentional harm. A blogger on the other hand has no such restrictions and is free to post personal views, opinions, product-reviews and so on. A crucial point in the story comes along when money comes into the picture. A journalist is paid to do the job. A blogger earns money by sponsorship, ad revenue or some such. It is essential for full-time bloggers to be very clear about where the money is coming from - in case of product reviews for example they shouldn't be biased by who is paying them if at all.

It all boild down to the age-old social context of trust and building trust networks. Jounalists build up trust and reputation only over time. They either have a very respectable publisher name behind them or are really committed serious journalists over decades. Bloggers, given how technology works, build up trust solely by in-links and out-links. What a journalist writes is pretty much taken as black and white (or at least should be or used to be). But the freedom of blogging in very different situations and contexts (tsunamis, hurricanes, eve-teasing, bangalore cop woes. corruption) is something a journalist probably cannot afford. So yes - blogging seems to be a new digital media but it is not yet clear how things will settle down.

One of the final points of discussion was Bill asking junta how and if there were plans of forming a body out of Delhi Bloggers to help bring about change. Such an association will have its benefits but people were largely better of with their own personal blogging as a hobby. That kind of stuff will need many more dedicated bloggers. A few interviews with some assembled interesting bloggers followed. There were snacks and hanging out at the eatery later. I left at this time but people went on for some beers at some pub later. Now if only all this discussion had taken place at the pub rather than at the India Habitat Center (nice place by the way) ;-)

In my view I always find this identity-crisis-of-bloggers strange. There is an underlying feeling that there is something about blogging - we just don't know what. Sure individual blogs with a purpose make a lot of sense - as I said, the Mumbai flood blogs, Tsunami blogs, Blank Noise Project, Bangalore cop woes (1 - mannu, 2 - new!) etc. Another rant is about all this talk of the evolution of blogging. Well, everything is always evolving - there is nothing special about blogging or Web 2.0 per se. There is some hype and there is some reality and the boundary is sometimes blurred.

I seem to have no use for popular bloggers for instance - and this is a completely personal preference. I am not even aware of the existence of most of them. Boing boing, Peter something, something-something-techies, and a few others are apparently a rage and I have been given weird looks when I asked 'who what?' - not taking anything away from their popularity. In my opinion such likes get a little swept away by site analysis statistics and the number of readers they have etc. Sure it takes all kinds to make the world - this is not my kind. I am much more interested in the personal happenings in the lives of friends, family, acquaintances, topics I relate to. Reading what someone ate/cooked/drank/did, someone's story, tip about something, recipes, photo and link sharing, (some of) those silly memes, is why I choose the Livejournal community feeling anyday over someone else blogging at some other site. All kinds, all kings.

update: minor edits

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Read 6 comments or Leave a comment
fiery_fiona From: fiery_fiona Date: May 7th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC) (Link)

bloggers meet

@ IHC???????

solzaire From: solzaire Date: May 7th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: bloggers meet

yep. see first link.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 7th, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

Note from Bill

[who doesn't have a LiveJournal tag]
Just wanted to say that I had an excellent time at the boggers meeting and learned a lot about the scene here - and I think it's reasonable to say that it is a scene, even with the many different ideas and approaches. I'll write something on www.thebillblog.com shortly - in the middle of work on this week's Digital Planet at the moment!
solzaire From: solzaire Date: May 8th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Note from Bill

I agree that it is quite a spectrum of (confused?) thoughts. I enjoyed the DBM - a first for me. Nice meeting you :-)
eh_donia From: eh_donia Date: May 7th, 2006 08:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reading what someone ate/cooked/drank/did, someone's story, tip about something, recipes, photo and link sharing, (some of) those silly memes, is why I choose the Livejournal community feeling anyday over someone else blogging at some other site.

Me too! :D
I have accounts at blogspot and xanga.. but I can never seem to use them anymore after falling in love with lj.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 21st, 2008 03:14 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.
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