By Sharvi Mewada:
My friend was a victim of child sexual abuse. Not even her family members were aware of that. We all came to know about that from one source- her blog!
A “blog” is an online journal, a public diary, or just a platform for one to speak up. Although my friend’s blog came as a shock, it wasn’t unusual. Many have taken to blogging to open up about a side of themselves that no one knew about. And now, India has taken to blogging. It’s proving to be an upcoming trend in the social media.
Social media is coming down as the “fifth” estate. It has taken media to new revolutions; social networking and blogging have taken priority. It gives you a platform to interact, to showcase your talent, put forth your views etc. according to IndibÂ “I blog therefore I am” Indian blogosphere started around 2002-03. Since then, it keeps on growing steadily with almost 39% Indians, according to surveys, who are aware of and read blogs. However, only 14% are active bloggers. Today, blogging has been expanded to many languages like Marathi, Telegu etc.
Not only the common man, but the who’s who of Indian society also maintain blogs. Celebrities like Amir Khan, Karan Johar, LK Advani and Shah Rukh khan update their blogs regularly to keep in touch with their fans, and also allow them insights of their lives. The mainstream media is also taking a note of blogging in many ways. Blogs form an important source for analyzing, gaining news, framing public opinion or informing the masses. Dailies like DNA and Pune Tabloid, recommend famous blogs for their readers to read. Many are skeptic that blogging will take over journalism; however, since in India it’s a novel habit, one can’t be too sure.
Another issue is the increasing controversies surrounding blogs. Most of the content on the blogs is uncensored. Hence, a lot of conflicts and issues arise when there is a blog which directly attacks a certain someone or something. One such example was the blog on IIPM by IBM employer Gaurav Sabnis, which highlighted the negative side of IIPM. IIPM threatened to boycott the usage of IBM laptops. In the end, Sabnis was forced to quit his job. This was the first blogging controversy in India.
Despite all this, Blogging has been increasingly becoming significant. Although marginally, the number of active bloggers is increasing. It’s an upcoming trend, which has become a platform for writers to showcase their skills to the world, for celebs to connect, to frame public opinion, for the media to inform or for people like my friend: To open up.