Sometimes a cursory glance of the editorial pages can lead to surprising finds, like this for example a few days ago in the Times Of India. Nothing that most bloggers don't know, but this was the lead edit and the timing of it got me a bit surprised, a cursory glance of the blogging scene in India leads me to believe that some of the older bloggers have reduced the amount they blogged or stopped altogether, even a glance at Technorati data can lead one to make the impression that people are actually blogging less than before. What I find surprising about this is that India is going through a second internet boom, everybody pouring millions of dollars into new internet ventures, even though most of them seem to be social networking sites or video-hosting sites, and in some cases into gaming sites - but given the profile of games at sites like Games2Win I really wonder what sort of market people are going for - merge the demand for gaming and repressed sexuality in one unipurpose game.
I met Ajit Balakrishnan of Rediff lately and he did not agree that all these sites were money being poured down the drain - even though I cannot imagine the business model for social networking sites, especially since according to what is flooding my inbox - Facebook and hi5 are the latest cool sites, in fact the growth of the former has been rather spectacular and Google's Orkut service pretty pretty much degenerated into an online sleaze service. But Balakrishnan did make one valid point, India definately needs a lot more online content coming on stream over the next few years if the 'broadband revolution' that we have been promised for years is going to happen. I mean look at the numbers, while in absolute terms they're pretty decent, in percentage terms computer penetration isn't working that well.
Why? One reason, is despite the hype, low-cost computing has been quite a non-starter in the home market, because the machines are fairly poorly specified. At the end of the day, I guess we all want a computer which can do something decent. And while I might carry a N-series phone with more processing power and memory than my first Pentium machine back when I was still in school, I still want my computer to kick-ass. Don't know why, but I just do! Low-cost computers and even thin-client machines have been pretty hyped-up in India, but I don't if these machines will work too well in the home environment for two critical reasons - bandwidth -both wireline and wireless, the latter being in a state of extreme flux. And while the telcos don't give you figures, India has over 40 million handsets capable of data connectivity and prices are fairly affordable, but the number of data users out there are fairly limited.
And this is where I come back to Balakrishnan's point about the lack of content online - there is almost no really compelling online content on any Indian site. And while blogging is very often horribly inaccurate and like in this case extremely opinionated, blogging, not just in English needs to increase. Not just for the case of stimulating people to come online. But maybe also to help revive the lost art of Journalism, where newspapers institute awards to award it to their own reporters - true, no-one I know ever applied, but shouldn't awards in journalism be independent of news organisations. Heck, who knows, at this rate Rajat Sharma will institute an award for best Rakhi Sawant coverage and promptly award it to his channel (though Aaj Tak will come a close second!).
Anyway, I know there are tons of people who read this blog, the reason I added the 'Recent Blog Comments' widget was to stimulate comments, and it seems to have done the trick, but guys and gals, lets see you write a blog! Just be yourselves, don't worry about what clowns say, you can always delete comments! I do!
And just a note, if you came here from the IndiaBlogs directory, this is anything but a Political blog, I have virtually no comments on the Pratibha Patil controversy, other than to say I have a strange feeling that the woman will backfire on the Congress.