Unsung Blogger of the Week #4

This week’s featured blogger is Saket Vaidya – A 23 year old from New Delhi, India. He has been maintaining his blog, Vulturo, for over a year now.  Coincidentally, he started  his blog in June 2004, the same month and year, our blog was started. Saket is one of my favorite bloggers from India. I have been following his blog for a few months now.  His postings are bold, insightful and gives you a sense for what is happening.  You can see from the interesting  answers he has given to my standard questions, the zeal he brings. Here is a blogger to watch. The text of the interview I conducted with him over email follows: 1. What motivates you to keep blogging? I started blogging more than a year ago, for reasons that I have forgotten. However, as soon as I started blogging, I was hooked to it. Writing can be a thrilling experience, and ordinary people can discover the pleasure of writing something which the world could read, through blogging. It is the passion for writing which primarily keeps me motivated to carry on. Apart from that, writing about something and discovering that some people actually value what you write, think about it, and take the time to comment is a huge motivating factor for any blogger, either a veteran or a newbie. I couldn’t agree more with Patrix’s post which deals with the subject, inter alia.

2. How do you identify the ideas that you post? Is there any secrets you can share?
The only ‘secret’ which I could share, the only trick is to keep your mind open. Once you are deep into blogging, subjects just automatically *come-at-you*. I think a lot many bloggers share this view. We are all hunters, in a way, as Dina puts it. 3. What methods do you employ to overcome the “Blogger’s Block”?

When I don’t have anything sizable to write, I write something small when I feel like it. Almost every topical blog has several ‘filler’ posts, which just keep the conversation flowing. It is very important to understand that people blog by choice, and not by compulsion. But at times, filler posts help keep your blog live though a lot many people share differing views on the subject 4. What are your Top 5 Unsung Blogs ? (please include only those that are not in any Top 100/500 lists)

I don’t know what yardstick is being used to measure sung / unsung, and which Top 100/500 lists you are talking about, but anyways here goes list of blogs, I believe people ought to read:

5. What are your current book recommendations ? (1 or 2 is sufficient)

India Unbound : The Social and Economic Revolution from Independence to the Global Information Age (Vintage) (Gurcharan Das) Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Malcom Gladwell
[Sibu has already raved about this book on our blog. -Ed.]

6. Given that you have organized several blogger get-togethers in India, what is your view of the state of blogging in India?

I would like to clarify that I’ve attended several blogger get-togethers in India, but have organized only one till date in Delhi, and plan to continue doing so every month. The Mumbai Bloggers’ meets that I’ve been a part of were a truly amazing experience what with the presence of so many excellent Indian bloggers at the same place, at the same time and I seek to recreate a similiar experience in Delhi. If the first meet was anything to go by, the results were definitely encouraging.
As Seth Godin puts it in his newly released e-book on Blogging (titled “Who’s There), there are 3 types of blogs:

CAT BLOGS are blogs for and by and about the person blogging. A cat blog is about your cat and your dating travails and your boss and whatever you feel like sharing in your public diary. The vast majority of people with a cat blog don’t need or want strangers to read it. BOSS BLOGS are blogs used to communicate to a defined circle of people. A boss blog is a fantastic communications tool. I used one when I produced the fourthgrade musical. It made it easy for me to keep the parents who cared about our project up to date… and it gave them an easy-to-follow archive of what had already happened.

The third kind of blog is the kind most people imagine when they talk about blogs. These are blogs like instapundit and Scoblelizer and Joi Ito’s. Some of these blogs are for individuals (call them citizen journalists or op-ed pages) and others are for organizations trying to share their ideas and agendas. These are the blogs that are changing the face of marketing, journalism and the spread of ideas. I want to call these VIRAL BLOGS. They’re VIRAL BLOGS because the goal of the blog is to spread ideas. The blogger is investing time and energy in order to get her ideas out there. Why? Lots of reasons—to get consulting work, to change the outcome of an election, to find new customers for a business or to make it easier for existing customers to feel good about staying.

When blogging caught on in India, the scales were tipped in the favor of viral blogs. As more and more people got into blogging, a huge volume of CAT blogs came up. Though there is a lot of poor quality blogging in display, the fact that blogging has spread so much, in itself, is very heartening. Several blogs which started as CAT Blogs are turning into Viral blogs, and several new blogs of either variety are continually coming up. However, the proportion of BOSS blogs is miniscule, and corporate blogging is almost unheard of. Blogging in India is beginning to come of age, but we still have a long way to go.