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April 25, 2007
A blogger shortage in India?
Writing in Foreign Policy, Preeti Aroon looks into the surprisingly small number of bloggers in India. Aroon cites (unspecified) research showing that there are only 1.2 million bloggers in the country, compared to some 30 million in China, and adds: “One northern India-based blog-hosting company, Ibibo, has even resorted to offering cash prizes to entice people to blog regularly.” She goes on to quote Ibibo executive Rahul Razdan saying that the problem is that Indians are too bashful, and finishes up by adding that another problem is that too many Indians are illiterate and so can’t blog.
I’m not sure I buy this explanation. Certainly there’s no shortage of opinionated Indians online who are not shy about sharing their thoughts with the rest of us. Just have a look at the comments sections for some of the posts I’ve made comparing India and China, for instance. So what gives? One problem is that many Indians are very new to the Net. When it comes to Internet access, India is a few years behind China. Internet usage in India is only now starting to take off: the country has 42 million Internet users, while China has three times that number. It’s not realistic to expect that millions of Indians will start blogging just minutes after they get their first broadband connection. Give them some time.
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The problem is Indians can't decide on which language to blog in. Decision paralysis affects every aspect of Indian life.
India hardly qualifies as a united country. Comparing India with China is like comparing the EU with the United States.
Posted by: Jonathan at April 25, 2007 03:52 PM
Though the number of internet users are 1:3 ,but the number of bloggers is at no comparison this serioulsy questions the bloggers quest or the prevailing work culture
Posted by: RR at April 26, 2007 10:16 AM
I use typepad and sometimes blogger, MT or wordpress depending on whether i'm posting on my blog or somewhere else.
when in india, here are the problem's I've faced - dial up connections, uncertainty of connection staying connected while posting, frustration of low speeds etc as the applications and softwares are all set up to take advantage of higher bandwidth available elsewhere.
while broadband is available in india, i'd compare the number of internet connections in India [not internet cafes] and the number of blogs
while you can go to a cafe to update your existing blog, I doubt that it would provide the luxury of surfing, thinking, writing and linking that blogging needs in order to sustain itself.
if otoh there were blogging applications that allowed you to compose posts offline and then upload, that may help with many more bloggers getting online that there are currently.
Posted by: niti bhan at April 26, 2007 03:41 PM
I dont trust the research, wherever it came from. If it just looks India based blog provider's data, it could be way off mark. And dont forget the millions of expat Indians blogging.
Posted by: Balaji Viswanathan at April 26, 2007 11:15 PM
When there is discussion what is the use of blog, i dont see any reason for this blogging except that some one in US started and want to make it populer.
Posted by: Raghu at April 27, 2007 11:00 AM
Here is a discussion on that article
Posted by: Ravi Khondke at May 3, 2007 10:26 PM
Giving India more time to play catch-up is not the answer. It is ironic that Bruce is forgetting the lesson that MNCs learnt the hard way - to think global, but act local. Blogging or hanging around alone in Starbucks with a latte and iPod and blogging on your Mac is a lifestyle typical of high affluence first world economies which value the individual over the society. In India, it is the other way round, and even though the youth do end up shopping in malls or chatting in Barista cafes, the social nature of it is much different from that in the individualistic I-need-my-space culture of the US.
India also has an acute shortage of hideously obese people. If you compare the ratio of bloggers to obese people in India to that in the United States, there may not be much of a difference. It is a well known way to compare ratios rather than absolute numbers when comparing markets.
Posted by: Maloy at May 7, 2007 05:22 PM