Wednesday’s have become interesting as I had discussed in my last post when the Creativa India guys were our guests. This time we thought of shifting from Facebook Marketing to Blogging, an area which I am passionate about. Every now and then I find there is a debate going on that social networks are undermining Blogging. So to get a better picture, I approached Robin, the Co-Founder of Drizzlin that had recently published the Indian Blogosphere 2011 Report. Megha Chawdhry(MC) and Heli Shah(HS) who had worked on the report joined us in the Facebook Wall Chat.
The first question that caught my attention was from Vijayendra Haryal (VH) where he asked the guests, How did they see the Vlog(Video Blog) scenario in India. HS replied elaborately sharing her thoughts and the difficulties associated to it:
HS: Hi Vijayendra, That’s an interesting question. I personally think video content has an interesting zing to it. There are quite a few bloggers abroad who create some amazing video content. for example - Matt Koval. You must check out some of his work. But there are a few reason why it has not picked up the way we would like it to -
1. Internet speed - Its quite an issue to run a video blog when you know you are going to have a tough time to upload your content everyday and your audience too might take time to download to see it.
2. Technicalities - We did ask this question to quite a few bloggers and they mentioned the fact that they feel there is too much to learn when you talk about video content. Shoot, edit, upload - seems like a task. They’d rather write down their thoughts and share than spend time in learning. But honestly, quite a few of them were fairly enthusiastic about experimenting with it *so lets hope*
3. Genre - Sometime, it becomes important for the blogger to support his content with visuals (example - automobile or gadget/tech blogger) these guys need to able to give their audience a basic experience of the product even if it only online.
Personally I feel, eventually it’ll become easier to post videos than sit an type…esp with the growth in usage of smart phones etc. visual content will only pick up.
Personally I think infrastructure is a big problem for Vlog and we hope that the situation changes in the near future.
Himanshu who had chipped in while he was travelling on the train wanted to know the ‘must-haves’ for a successful social media blog. A question which is quite relevant in today’s time was answered by both the guests.
MC: Himanshu, good content and platform integration. It eventually amounts to good word of mouth.
HS: To add to that, I’d say a fair amount of interaction. Audience appreciates you acknowledging them and interacting with them. To elaborate on Megha’s point - Good content stands for a lot of things. One of which is originality of content. You want to offer your audience something that they would find elsewhere - that’ll keep them coming for more.
Content will be the most important thing but if it is a clumsy blog with no sharing and engagement then I am sure that the blog won’t survive for too long.
Vijayendra who had some interesting questions lined up wanted to know the key attributes for a blog to go viral. Heli replied it as it was one of her favorite concept.
HS: Again, a concept I love. I think you are a master of something when you get people to talk about it - when something you do appeals so much to a person that he is happy to share it. Viral is that. Viral is something that happens to a content piece. Im not sure if I am able to grasp you idea of a BLOG going viral. The content in it sure can. Eventually if that happens often - Im guessing people should start sharing the blog link often as hence it could become a viral. Point being the idea of anything going is simple.
Few attributes to usual viral pieces -
1. Its fun
2. Its entertaining
3. Its unique
4. It needs to have an impact on the viewer.
She also added, The catch here is - You need to understand your audience and what appeals to them. Being funny also has many variants to it - is it dry humor, sarcastic, slap-stick…different things work with different audiences but something’s just appeal to anyone and everyone. To give you an example you must view 9GAG. Its a site that I think consistently produces amazing content that has immense viral potential.
True you can’t make your Blog go viral it will be your content. This will only happen when you take it seriously and connected to your readers. One of the examples I could think of is the Fake IPL Player blog. When it started it had all things, juicy content, gossips that people wanted to know, regular updates with a common and funny tone, etc. However with time it has fizzed because it failed to innovate beside other points.
Finally the last interesting question that caught my eyes was also from Vijayendra. Vijayendra was keen to know three learning’s that Indian bloggers can derive from the developed markets. Heli replied it citing Good Design, technicality, more visuals and consistency are the attributes that Indian bloggers can improve on.
HS: 1. Good Design
2. Technically sound blogs (correct tags etc.)
3. More visuals, I think there are more things to this list but you need to admit there are some great writers/bloggers 🙂
4. Consistency in writing and I also feel, not being scared of using more and more visuals. Integrate all you have. Do maximum with all FORMS of content not just text.
Yes Heli provided four learning’s and that should be enough to see how enthusiastically our guests participated in the chat. We are fortunate to have such guests and an interesting audience that is standing with us.
We thank all and hopefully we get another exciting guest on our next chat.