Quick summary: The IndiBloggies awards, started by Pune’s Debashish Chakrabarty, are, in spite of flaws, India’s top awards for blogging (and now for twittering). From thousands of submissions 6 Pune blogs have been nominated by a panel of prominent bloggers – which means that these blogs are worth checking out. And, to determine the winners, voting is in progress, so check out the nominees and vote for the ones you liked – the last day for voting is Thursday, 10th December. (Disclaimer: PuneTech is one of the nominees in the ‘Best MicroBlogs’ category & and I’m also connected to wogma.com one of the other nominees.)
The blog world (or the blogosphere), by its very nature, is gloriously disorganized. Thousands, if not millions, of new blogs are born everyday, and probably an equal number fall into disuse. Most blogs are drab and dreary “Dear Diary” types, which are of no interest to anybody other than the author and a few close friends. But even if a very tiny fraction of a percent are good, insightful, informative, interesting blogs, that’s still a very large number of good blogs worth reading. There is everything from deep science, insights into technology, snippets of literary brilliance, and in-depth analysis of current events. It’s better than newspapers – trust me.
While some people enjoy the process of discovering great new blogs, many others would prefer that someone else did the searching for the needle through the haystack. That’s where blogging awards come in. And the most venerable one in India right now is IndiBloggies, started in 2003 by Pune blogger Debashish Chakrabarty. In recent times, they’ve been having trouble – there were no awards in 2007, and the 2008 awards are delayed until the end of 2009. There are other problems – it is a travesty that @sandygautam‘s The Mouse Trap did not get nominated, and instead a blog that is just a bot reposting a feed got nominated. And other glitches. But, almost by nature, all awards have such problems. In my mind the question isn’t whether they managed to find the best or not (although that would be great), but whether they managed to give visibility to good blogs, especially ones that did not have much visibility before. In this department, I think the IndiBloggies still score.
Pune Blogs nominated
“Creative Writing by Vikram Karve” find a nomination in the “Best Humanities IndiBlog” (section #4). Vikram blogs about a wide variety of topics, including a number of short stories. If you’re interested in literary writing, you should check it out. Even otherwise, you might want to check out, since he writes about cooking and technology and various other things.
“Without Giving the Movie Away” (aka wogma.com) the Hindi Movie Reviews website by meetu (aka meetumeetu) is nominated in the Best Entertainment IndiBlog (section #8).
In the “Best Science and Technology” category (section #11) there are two Pune nominees. Dhananjay Nene‘s /var/log/mind about programming and architecture is one of our favorite blogs and has been extensively covered and republished in Pune tech in the past. If you don’t know about it, you’ve not been paying attention. Brajeshwar, who writes about technology, and programming and linux, was until recently a Bombay blogger, but has recently moved to Pune, so now qualifies as a Pune nominee. They reason we’ve never covered anything by him in PuneTech is because he wasn’t in Pune. But check out his blog, its one of the more popular blogs in the tech world in India.
Trak.in is nominated in the “Best Business IndiBlog” (section #13). Please note that it is listed as “India Business Blog.” Trak.in by Arun Prabhudesai is probably Pune’s most read blog with a huge readership of hundreds of thousands from all around the world.
And finally in the “Best New Indi MicroBlog” (i.e. best twitter account) PuneTech is nominated.
(Note: since I am personally connected to both “PuneTech” and “Without Giving the Movie Away” I have refrained from giving my opinions on them.)
Of course, there are a number of non-Pune blogs there which are worth following. You should check them all out. Honorary Punekar Preeti Shenoy (who now lives in UK) is also nominated for Just a Mother of Two. The Ribbon Farm, by @vgr, is a must read if you’re into technology or business.
The final winners are going to be decided by a democratic poll over the internet. The url for voting is here: http://multivote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/21900
Check out the blogs, and vote. Most bloggers (at least most of those in the nominees list) are writing because they’re passionate about the subject. They get little or no tangible rewards other than appreciation of readers. And recognition in the form of nominations and awards helps keep them motivated. And, of course, the visibility results in increased readership, which is a good thing for both the readers as well as the bloggers. They don’t have any marketing budgets and don’t have ads on TV, but often their content is better than the rediffs of the world. Give visibility to deserving blogs – Vote.