Thursday, November 16, 2006

Favourite bloggers..

When I met Shivam in Delhi recently, he asked me a question, "Who are your favourite bloggers?" He caught me offguard as I have never really categorised bloggers. The only blogger I could name for sure as a favourite was Annie.

Writing is an art and it is learnt through continuous practice. Nobody just becomes a great writer in a moment. They all toil hard at it and in the end, some of them go on to become great writers. All the great authors of the world wrote their first great novel many years after they started writing. Most bloggers are amateurs and it would be wrong of me to hold them to the standards of the James Joyces of the world. Heck, who am I say when I am myself nowhere close to their standards or to the standards set by some of the better bloggers... Nonetheless one of my main criterion for reading a blog is how well the person puts forth his/her ideas. I might still read someone's great ideas presented in bad (not filthy) language but I would wish that s/he improved on the language bit.

Blogging is slightly different from conventional writing for several reasons. It is more informal and could be quite personal. People can respond to one writes in the comments and there could very well be a flame war across blogs and comments as it happened recently with Shivam's post on Kherlanji. Also, blogging does not benefit the blogger monetarily but it could lead to a writing job as some bloggers have discovered. So, we cannot hold blogs to the conventional standards of the literature or journalism. Likewise, I would disagree with people who claim bloggers becoming as an alternative for the mainstream media mainly because of the differences I have mentioned above which are also its strengths. Which is why I do not think the print media fears the bloggers, much less respect them.

Writing well is one thing and popular writing is totally a different thing. Which is the reason why ToI gets away with lousy content. So, just because a blogger is popular does not mean he is a good writer. And most of the popular bloggers of Indian blogosphere are quite frankly bloated buffoons who do not have any idea that they are nothing but arrogant idiots. Some of them even write well but I refrain from reading their blogs because I just do not want to go "wtf" every single day. Some might say that I live in a coccoon of my own world but quite frankly, I have been there, done that and have realised that there is no point in arguing with them as they never really can see the difference. I am usually patient but have no patience with certain types of people who I know cannot be reached. My opinion goes something like this - "why bother?"

There are a lot of bloggers I read. The "Blogs I Read" section on the right side of this blog is a short list of all the bloggers I regularly read (which I need to update). But it is not a definitive list as there are a lot more on my feed reader. To say whose stuff I like best is not a question I can answer. It is even harder for me to play favourites. I like different bloggers for different reasons.

I like Annie's blog mainly because I think she is a wonderful writer, one who is very careful in what and how she writes. Abi's blog is always with a lot of links about so many stuff but mainly science and politics. Swarup's blog is full of links to articles on economics, something I am also trying to learn. Alpha and Waiterrant provide the comic relief (I am not a humourless person, you know). I read Alas and Feministe for their feminist content (though I feel that they are too regional which makes me wonder why there is no collaborative feminist Indian blog... anyone interested?). I read Shivam's blog for the news stories, links, opinions, flame wars, etc, etc. And a whole lot of other blogs for a variety of reasons.

No favourites for me. I like what I read and all those blogs that I read are my favourites. Don't ask me again!

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Vi said...

Very well said! =)

Anirudh said...

I find it hard to choose a favourite too. But yes, I also love Annie's blog. Two others you might want to try out if you haven't are Chandrahas ( and Jai (

Abi said...

Hey, thanks for the mention!

Shivam said...

now how do i start a flamewar on a post like this?

Madhat said...

@vi: thanks.

@anirudh: Will look them up. I read Jai sporadically but havnt read chandrahas (though the name sounds familiar somehow).

@abi: don't mention it :D

@shivam: I am sure you will find a way...


Now I have a cap which I always coveted given to me by my friend Rao, a classmate from 54-56. It has the logo "Do'nt follow me, I am lost too". Having spent almost 50 years in mathematics, I find that I lack the common sense touch to understand matters that affect people and am trying to learn. I think that we have to try to make some sense of this world and blogs seem to be some sort of joint efforts at understanding. But the danger is to get in to the habit of saying some thing or other every day.

Madhat said...


Great caption for a cap!

No one person is always right, which is why I try to read several people's opinions and choose not to have favourites because if I do, I would be reduced to nodding to the opinions of a few which I hopefully would never do.

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