Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another over-the-top blogging story

ET reports: "When Indians blog, they go the whole hog. Consider the 35% of India's overall population expressing themselves over weblogs. Or the fact that more women in India (51%) create and use blogs to give vent to their pent-up feelings."

Apparently we Indians blog 'the most' in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region - 5 times a week. "All this when 60% of India's bloggers are still labelled 'green' or nascent bloggers whose overall blogging experience is under a year."

These stats are courtesy mPulse, a survey conducted by Mindshare Insights Group in the Asia Pacific region among 1500 users in the 15-35 age group.

While I am happy that blogging is getting so much attention - and even being researched - many of the conclusions reached in this study just don't ring true. 35% of India's net user base is 10 MILLION people. Do we really have 10 million bloggers - or even 'readers' of blogs? I don't think so!

If we did, I could probably make a good living out of just writing a blog! Because Adsense earnings are directly proportional to the kind of traffic that comes into your site.

My estimate of number of blogs by Indians is 100,000-150,000. If you take 'readers' of blogs, you could take that up to half a million or so.

If one includes folks who land up at blogs because blogs show up quite strongly on google search, that number would go up substantially. But these are still, hardly folks who are 'expressing themselves through blogs'. Or even 'followers of blogs'. They're just tourists in the blogworld.

Perhaps I am being conservative, or ignorant. But even the organisers of the Indibloggies are saying there could be 3.5 million 'active bloggers' (they've quoted a Windows Livespace survey).

The same survey says 39% of internet users are 'aware' of blogs. (Which should be true, given the amount of media coverage blogs get!) Of course, awareness and usage are two different things altogether...

A couple of technical issues with the Mpulse survey:
- If the survey was conducted only among 15-35 age group that automatically excludes the 28% who fall outside that bracket.

So when we say 35% of India's OVERALL internet base is into blogs and blogging what we're actually saying is close to 50% of India's 15-35 year olds are bloggers. I don't believe that's true.

Maybe, in certain professions like media - or folks working in IT. Yes, in the JAM office practically everyone on the editorial has a blog/ has attempted to write one at some point. But the same does not hold true in marketing, or even in our web team.

The sample taken, I feel, may not have been representative of the general population. But more an 'early adopter' group.

- If 51% of women are using blogs to vent their 'pent up feelings'... where the hell are they? In the two years I have spent blogging I'd say men clearly outnumber women. Both among those who write blogs and those who comment on them.

And certainly not enough to merit a headline which goes 'Angry young women blogging it out."

Incidentally, the article carries a byline. I'm not sure why journalists must generally swallow survey results. Shouldn't they ocassionally play the skeptic?


  1. The key learning out of your post is that we shd take these reports with a pinch of salt.

    I also remember a TOI story that slams Bloggers as half wits, failed writers and generally doing a cut,copy paste job. I was amused because much of the mudslinging also sticks on them too!

    Is there some research on the blogs which are aimed at informing and sharing experience on a business topic rather than a social/emotional topic?

  2. Also, what exactly does 'Indian' refer to?

    Only Indians in India? NRI's? PIO's?

    Counting all of those, you could definitely have a few million

  3. Hi Rashimi,

    I am a frequent reader of your blog and of your favourites blog.
    I’m Italian, currently living in Shanghai and studying India. I know is a mess !

    The reason why I live in China and not in India is simple. My husband moved here for his job, I joined him while I’m working on my research on Indian consumerism.

    Since many scholars and commentators have stressed a correlation between the increase in dowry demands (and its murderous manifestation) and a more consumer oriented society in India, especially among middle urban classes, I’m trying to take a critical look at it, focusing on new generations working in the IT industry.

    Since I read many posts on consumerism , I would be very curious to learn your point of view on this dowry/consumerism link, and maybe start a discussion over it.

    Many Thanks
    Nicoletta Ferro

  4. Frankly, bloggers generally do not have any idea about the real numbers. In a small poll I did at Indibloggies some time ago, no one was certain about how many blogs are actually there. Many have been skeptical about the figures, since the surveys from MSN and JuxConsult for example have been pretty dissimilar.

    Indibloggies would be doing a survey of its own soon; "Blogensus" may hopefully shed some light. I urge you and your readers to help me frame pointed questions and suggest ways to analyse the data. Suggestions could be sent at indibloggies at gmail dot com.

  5. i guess they included all techie blogs by indians which r plentiful
    by people living in US of A ...

  6. "Adsense earnings are directly proportional to the kind of traffic that comes into your site."

    Guy Kawasaki is an exception.

  7. I only wish such figures were true. My consulting business for social media would be really rocking then !

  8. Couldn't agree more with you. 35% of Indian population blog (write/read)!!??..This is ridculously high!

  9. Another important stats is the marketshare of blogspot, most of the Indian blogs are with

    Here is another stats - which says around 73% people have blogs with blogspot. In 2 to 3 days we will be getting some more data.

  10. Couldn't agree more on this one. In fact, I would say even youre estimates could be optimistic...
    The problem here is that be it juxtconsult, or any other research firm for that matter, the whole game is to be picked up by media majors. So the figures have to stand out. Can you imagine a study that said only 200K Indians have blogs, and of them, barely 40K write once a week making it big ANYWHERE? Thus, the tendency to err on the side of excess with virtually every figure they can.

    Even IAMAI has virtually gone silent on the increase in total internet population for the past six months or more, simply because there was a change in guard there, and the new dispensation realised that earlier figures of 40 odd million were a 'little' over the top. Hence the wait, to allow reality to catch up with the hype.

  11. I dont care about the number or bloggers or who writes them. I want interesting, funny blogs. End of story!

  12. HI,
    I M.AjaySanthosh, like to ask all blog reader to go through my blog and guess the knowledge of Nature Trail.
    The newly developed blog in India for about Moutainneer.

  13. great post..
    and u must be earning a lot with this blog..PR tells everything.

  14. There is a huge group of Indian women blogging these days.. I have been since '03.. womens' blogs usually tend to be of the personal nature and thus dont end up getting much of an audience..( I suspect not many women WANT an audience..)
    You are doing a great job by the way ;) Keep up the good work.. and now on I will comment on your blog.. just to make the desi woman presence felt. :)

  15. Maybe.. I am saying only maybe the magazine or the source where you go the 35% figure missed out the point in front of it.. maybe they intended to write .35% which is a 100 times less..

    Ah.. me and my obsessive need to reconcile everything

    Vivek Sonny Abraham
    City Lights

  16. Adsense earnings are not directly proportional to the kind of traffic that comes into your site.

    They're directly proportional to the number of people who clicked on the advertisements on your site.

  17. HI
    rashmi. I am new to the blogosphere and liked your insightful topic about indian blogger comunities. i ll be delighted to be guided by your popular blog and j.a.m i am quite interested in starting my freelance odyssy from there.
    my url is- pls allow me to enter the community.

  18. HI
    rashmi. I am new to the blogosphere and liked your insightful topic about indian blogger comunities. i ll be delighted to be guided by your popular blog and j.a.m i am quite interested in starting my freelance odyssy from there.
    my url is- pls allow me to enter the community.

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