Friday, August 04, 2006

Popular Bloggers

Note: I have been writing this blog for a week. Much before the Kiruba bashing started. I have somehow been unable to finish it. In the interim many other bloggers have come up with the concept of blog reviews on their own. Although I will follow up their cue and indulge in blog reviews, this post is a result of some other trigger. I don't care if you think otherwise.

Boring Precursor to the review: When I came into the blogging world, most of the blogs I followed were MBA applicants blogs. This is a category of blogs where, applicants discuss their GMAT, essay writing interview and admission trend experience. Blogs provided a great source of information apart from providing a personal first-person perspective on the application process. At a time when I thought there were no Indian blogs, I came across two bloggers and I started sporadically following them. I constantly saw these 2 names while bloghopping, they were Kiruba and Lazy Geek (Guru). These 2 bloggers were kind of early starters to the blogging concept and had a huge readership base. The blogging world has changed considerably since they started. Blogs are being written by diverse set of people from ones who actually work on movie to journalists to younger, hip'er people. I have some thoughts on whether these behemoths have handled this change. A blog, as I see it in the desi blogosphere, is a source of entertainment. It is voyuerism. If it is informative its a bonus. In the future this definition may change but as it stands now, this is my view. It is also a cliche that these 2 bloggers have the right to write whatever they want. Its their blog. But like a movie review, this review of their blog is also for entertainment. In general I like essayists. People who write like R.K.N or Ramesh Mahadevan. In general I look for quality of English prose more than content and some original thinking. I like a well-written post about nothing than a poorly written super-analysis. And that is the perspective I use, when I choose blogs to read. Also these 2 reviews is complete conjecture and I extensively second guess the bloggers. I stereo type, unfairly criticize, show partiality and in general behave like an assole.

Kiruba:

Well! I never read much of him anyway. I came across a mention of Kiruba in Instapundit in the context of a blogger quitting due to fatigue. It later turned out Kiruba was doing an April fool's joke. I was disgusted with that stunt and lost whatever little respect, I had for him. I agree mostly, with the criticism leveled against him. He mainly tries for the fast-food entertainment, throwing out quick small posts, which are, as it is now cliche, forwarded emails or nothing-news about his blog-related speeches. I don't think intra-company blogs are useful in the IT services sector. I have been there done that. But that's a different topic. Yes! even I can't fathom who would listen to these blog speeches by him. It defeats the whole point of the blog. If you need to invite someone to talk about something, I don't understand why he has a blog going. I guess he mainly survives as a result of a upper-management forcing engineers or middle managers to go and listen to this speech because they think 'blog' is a fad. I would not be surprised if he cashes in on the loophole caused by lack of 'real' knowledge, typically exhibited by the upper management in IT services sector and becomes an Indian Blog Guru. But that is not the point. He has the right to survive and he is doing it.

My main problem with him was lack of originality. He has never had an original opinion to offer. At least I haven't read one of that kind. But the more recent goof up by him shows a much deeper malaise than absent-minded ness. Yes! Everybody makes mistakes - that's okay. At the risk of making a sweeping generalization based on reading him for the last 2 years, the mistakes showed that beyond being un-original he is also impersonal. In that there is no passion for him to write blogs. He is like a newspaper editor, who does this - not for pleasure - but as a process, as a routine, as work, as a chore - possibly just to promote himself in the corporate world and keep a machine running. It shows a level of detachment where he publishes a story to account for a day's post than actually sitting and thinking about it. I do not like such blogs, like the way I do not like TOI. If the western media and domestic people form opinion about Indian blogs based on his blog, it is bad. It is like Western audience forming opinions about Indian movies based on 'Devadas' and 'Paheli'.

I do not think he is doing a mistake, a crime or is deluding people. It is India's inalienable right of being host to the world's largest stupid population that results in glorifying certain people as "India's #1 blogger". I have never understood people's motivation in calling someone a "king" etc. Especially Kiruba. It happens in movies and politics. It is so demeaning and insulting. But we do it as a country. You can't blame Kiruba for being born in a stupid country. It is what it is and he is what he is. If we have unfair expectation on him based on our own lack of knowledge about him - it is our problem not his. It is the same stupidity that results in many readers assuming that Kiruba criticism's have some sort of vendetta against him. I do not know what I will be attributed with - jealousy perhaps. It is the problem of some of the audience not being mature enough to treat a disagreement as just that instead of a deeper personal connotation. But unfortunately being part of a public domain, subjects you to unfair criticism and reviews, as much as it gets you "king" kind of accolades. This is, in a way, what this post is. It is the 'if you can write about anything, I can write about you' argument.

LazyGeek:

Out of these 2 bloggers Lazy is my favorite by a big margin. What is his space? I think he mainly writes about movies, and literature. He does not write a lot outside his space and I frankly like his stuff in the moviespace only. He is a big fan of Sujata and literally dotes Sujata. He articulates an average movie goers thoughts very well. I assume people who visit him are looking for general time-pass, movie tidbits etc. I also think he has been blogging since 2001/2002 period. While his readership has risen along with the growth in popularity of blogs, he seems to have off-late run out of gas. For the last 1 year at least, he has certainly been showing signs of fatigue and writers block. He has publicly been debating about the use of blogging and his thoughts on continuing his blog. After a small break he came back. I personally found his posts post-break completely jaded and lacked his usual enthusiasm. The downward spiral in which the Lazy Geek space ship was plummeting seemed to have strayed into the maanga's puke zone. Not that maanga is a QA or that sigma indicator but it does give some sort of a controversy analysis data point. I have read every post of Lazy in the last 2 years. He offers a lot of original opinions. But he has become 'politically correct' which blunts the personal'ness or gutsy'ness of a blog. I find that a bit of a dampener. I think he has to forget his readership volume and piss off a few people and be an assole in general. That will get some adrenalin running.

Lazy is on a another extended sabbatical now. Probably recharging his batteries? Who knows. I assume too much. That's my specialty. But I think - fatigue, as a result of a gzillion blog posts has what made lazy spiral to standards, he is unfamiliar with. He has a reasonably logical thought process. I miss reading him in the morning and I hope he returns after taking the well-earned break.

41 comments:

Jinguchakka said...

Dude! Sorry to make a comment not linked with this post.
But pumpkin sambhar, rasam got to me. Please let me know your address and I'd walk in this weekend for a meal. I'm craving for that. lol.
:-))
Did I say anything about an invite? Oh! Why fret over such small things? :-))

Venkat said...

1- I think you are feeling very insecure.
2- I think you need to use spell check more often- your spellings are A-W-F-U-L
3- Your grammar is pretty bad too
4- Makes me wonder how you got through GMAT (tongue in cheek)..:)
5- I read your blog because it is like a Jerry Springer show, see what kind of ridiculous stereo-typing you are going to come up with

Hawkeye said...

venkat - i felt a great sense of pleasure deleting your immature comment in my prev post. that it spite'd u so much is almost orgasmic.

Zero said...

LazyGeek's had new posts coming on a daily basis and it used to be the definite first read for me everday.
But, most of the commenters at LG's go overboard. The bane of any popular blog.

Venkat said...

Err this is the first time that I am posting a comment on your blog.

So did you just "fake" an orgasm?

Venkat is not a very "uncommon" name you see...

Hawkeye said...

yes! I agree zero. reading a blog is like appreciating a movie based on the rules that it sets for itself.

unfortunately lazy geek has been subject to many unfair critisisms in his comments section.

Hawkeye said...

ok i will stereo type you as a kiruba lick-ass and ignore you then.

Venkat again... said...

Dude- I dont care for Kiruba (I have read his blog a couple of times) or any of the bloggers. I agree his blog is boring but that doesnt mean you can make it a personal vendetta to paint him in the wrong. Your assertion that he is promoting his blog for his personal reasons in the corporate world are unsubstantiated and uncalled for.

While- my claims that you have way too many spelling mistakes and poor grammar can be seen very clearly. So... make sure you are perfect before criticizing others.

Hawkeye said...

this was too hilarious to resist.


I said in my blog post: It is the same stupidity that results in many readers assuming that Kiruba criticism's have some sort of vendetta against him.

You say in your comment: . I agree his blog is boring but that doesnt mean you can make it a personal vendetta to paint him in the wrong.

thanks for making yourself obvious.. :-)

Anonymous said...

/* So... make sure you are perfect before criticizing others. */

i though this was funny too... like hawkeye commented on kiruba's spelling and all.

anantha said...

Hawkeye: It is the problem of some of the audience not being mature enough to treat a disagreement as just that instead of a deeper personal connotation.

That, right there, pretty sums everythng up. So, You really don't have to answer anybody anymore. Just sit back and watch the fun ;)

But I think such posts are exercises in futility.

Maram valandhachu. Idhukku mela, marathula kaaikara pazham kasakaradhu nu, mara-tha vettaradhukku badhila, kasathalum paravailla nu pazhatha saapadara korangu irruku paaru, adhukkaga mara-tha vida vendiyadhu dhaan.

Sowmya said...

" I have never understood people's motivation in calling someone a "king" etc."
- if you find out why people behave like this please let me know. And where does the "koottaLi mentality" come from, especially online among bloggers?

Sachita(india) said...

Hi Bharath,
Well, I have never read kiruba's blog.

But don't fully understand your anger either.

Has he been voted #1 blogger, or where is the tag coming from...
Is that why you are angry???( doesn't sound like you).

Does he make speeches about blogging???

Why all these criticisms about each other's blog. If you like a blog, read it else skip it right?

Please to enlighten!

Nilu said...

engal thanga thalaivan Kiruba va pathi thappa pesittan........edra antha kerosene can a.......theee kuli thaan

self confessed said...

May be you should see this

Anonymous said...

Hi Hawkeye,
I disagree with your hypothesis. We shouldn't characterize a country stupid, aren't we stereotyping one billion people ? If you think your country is stupid doesn't it make you self hating person ? Just kidding. I know you weren't serious when you wrote that.
Now the main reason, I run a Indian Blog directory called http://www.sunsuna.com. Check it out. One of my programs crashes when I transverse your website. I suspect it is because of an HTML error. Could you please fix it, if you don't mind.

The following line has an extra space(LINE number 1278)
<! -- Begin Self- Links

Remove the space after the exclamation point.

Thanks for your help.
Harish

Chenthil said...

Bharath, agree with your analysis. One question that was repeatedly asked of me was, why write a post without any provocation? It set me thinking, should I write only when some one provocates me? Can't I take suo moto cognizance :-).

Lazy in a sabbatical is better than Lazy becoming Kiruba, that is my view.

Venkat said...

hmm, Hawkeye!

I'm the one who's been commenting, the Venkat who's commented earlier on this blog looks to be a different one...

I'm not sure about the immaturity of the comment & which one!!.., anyways!?

I couldn't agree more on your current entry though.., I think you have articulated much more than proabably even Chenthil on Kiruba's approach.

particularly liked your observations on lazy geek too.

I agree with people not being mature to take criticism on face value.
I think this stems from the fact there are only a few real mccoy's among a population of mediocrity.
& justifications in the form of counter accusation will obviously be adopted.

good stuff!

Anu said...

In that there is no passion for him to write blogs.

I agree.

I said...

apdi podu.

Hawkeye said...

jinguchakka

:-) anytime

Hawkeye said...

anantha,

i didn't want to answer. but there is a 'venkat' character floating around commenting trash. i thought this 'venkat' was him. maybe maybe not.

Hawkeye said...

sowmya,

yes! i really thought the unnecessary praise of people was a cinema/politics affair - possibly because of lack of education.

Bloggers and blog readers - i would automatically assume them to be educated - why do they do this pugazh/vanja-pugazh?

Hawkeye said...

sachita,

i am not angry. i really am not. Infact I dont think i abused kiruba or anyone. we review movies and books we dont like. we do the same to blogs. I certianly did not advocate people to stop reading kiruba's blog. i still read his blog

Hawkeye said...

nilu,

reminds of the 1000 udhai dialog katchikaarangala kulika vekkarthe kashtama irukku..ivanga enga thee kulikka poraanga

self-confessed,

not relevant to this post but I'll certainly follow the blog you have indicated.

Hawkeye said...

harish,

i made the html modification you suggested. let me know if it now works.

Hawkeye said...

chenthil,

why write a post without any provocation?

i got many emails asking the same question. some people also called me up and asked.

i just looked at the whole thing as reviewing a movie. I dont think if I called 'boys' a bad movie some of shankar's close aides will come and pick a fight with me. its part of the game.

Yes you can take suo moto cognizance. Its like kramer replying to the question "Why did you do it"

because it is there

Hawkeye said...

venkat@LVRaghavan,

no! I think you got confused here. I can distinguish you from the other venkat(s) through IP addresses. So I know it was not you.

there is a vankat around who leaves comments with the hope of irritating me.

thanks for the comment.

Hawkeye said...

anu,

thanks.

I,

thanks.

tilotamma said...

Hawk - There was a time when I used to read Lazy first thing in the morning too.

Vidya said...

irukaradhilleyyeh the 'only' person who is thoroughly enjoying all this is 'Nilu'. Wonder why Kiruba never posted any replies in his blog on his diatribes. Right now, may be he's thinking 'ungalukkellam poraamai' (like Nilu).

Anonymous said...

i couldn't help but notice that all this reviewing and name-calling is happening only in the 'tamil' side of the blogosphere.

hehehe...reminds me of tamil nandu...:))

varun

anantha said...

varun: I cannot help but ask you if it did ever occur to you that you could know less of the "blogosphere" than you think you do?

Please stop generalizing!

Babs said...

Anantha, wud Varun be right if he said Indian blogosphere in general, not that I read other country blogs nor do I complain...just analysing..its like the "exporting Indian frogs in open lid container" story. Again this is not uncommon else where either.

Hawkeye said...

tilo,

same here. I like his blog.

vidya,

I think kiruba reacted very well to the whole thing. Frankly I was impressed by his reaction to chenthil's post. Very graceful.

Hawkeye said...

varun & Babs,

this is very common. Infact tamil blogosphere is very docile compared to western blogs. I remember, before I started my blog, there used to be some sort of fight every week in those MBA applicant blogs. People predated like crazy.

Now, I see it happens in most blogs I hop to. I went to a MSFT discussion blog and there was huge fighting going on. We are humans after all.

I wouldn't call this crabs in a box. In fact crabs-in-a-box scenario is often confused with many other scenarios. anyway that requires a separate blog post.

anantha,

right on!

Anonymous said...

@anantha: LOL! :)

aama ithu peria scientific forum, sample la eduthu accurate aa comment panrathuku!

it was a general comment, no doubt, based on a fairly simple observation.

this post itself is so sweeping in nature, so i thought i will also indulge in some :)

varun

chantabbai said...

And you know what. These blogs are blocked in Sulekha office. I sent a link to a friend of mine when he is in office because he personally knows kiruba and he is not able to open the link.
hahaha.. not sure if the block was after you wrote or was already there.

Suresh said...

each comment gets an individual reply? good idea to make it appear like "hey 50 people read and commented" when only 25 or less did.

Anonymous said...

dude u lack maturity
venkat

krish said...

I would like to see another current review of popular Blogs similar to this one