The Social Network has immensely affected the lives of everyone. Be it a company marketing its product, streaming videos and music online or even shopping without travel hassles, the world of internet has certainly made our lives easier. With this advent, city college students too have tapped their own space through blogging.
Blogging has always been the most in-thing among city students. While some call it a platform which gives the freedom to formulate their opinion, many others use it as a medium to showcase their talent. Devika Manjrekar, a literature student at St. Xavier’s College considers blogging an outlet to share her ideas with the world. A food blogger with the blogging name of Devika Bing, she has even cooked for Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris from Masterchef Australia. “Once you're established as a food blogger you get invited for tastings and interact with more experienced bloggers. So basically, you get to do what you love by just pursuing it. If it had not been for blogging I wouldn't have had a reference to give to people other than a student.” she said. Her blog titled ‘The Food and Fashion Blog’ has received 12,000 hits so far.
Priya Adivarekar’s blogging experience began on a slightly different note. “My blog started off as a web diary, where I posted random notes on everything — dance, films, fashion and books. After a couple of months, I started receiving positive comments from students of other colleges. Many other mails followed and that's when some of my friends suggested that I take the blog to the next level.” she said.
Blogging has now become like a part-time job and devotes equal time to her studies and blogging. “It is a good way to connect with people the world over, interact and discuss ideas with them.” Priya, a student of Xavier Institute of Communication, is very often invited for several fashion blogs meets held by renowned fashion brands of the city.
Shreya Shetty’s blogging experience is very recent and began only when her college-mate suggested her to come up with a photo-blog. “That’s how I got onto making my Photo-Blog: Precisely Picturesque. Once I began I updated my blog, posted photographs and experiences which I couldn’t have done it without having the viewership and followers I have.” said Shreya.
Managing academics, college activities and letting people know about the blog did become a difficult task for Shreya. “Channels such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter helps in publicising blogs.” Content and quality always takes the centre stage, when it comes to the popularity of blogs. Therefore, Shreya, a student of Mass Communication of Sophia College introduced the concept of photo-walks on her blog. “Photo-walks are basically visiting places that have been visited or not visited before and taking photographs while exploring the place. It is showing a place according to how I see it.” she explained.
Suvajeet Duttagupta’s and his blogging experience has been that of a love-hate relationship. A student of Ph.D at IIT Bombay, Suvajeet had changed several blogging platforms before he came up with his blogging space, Lucid Illusions. “I always thought that blogs has become obsolete but thanks to several bloggers on Twitter. I could connect with others so easily and then there were blogging celebrities as well.” he said.
Surekha Rao, a student of SIES college, is interning as a fashion and lifestyle content writer for Burrp! “Through this platform, I've been able to connect with other bloggers via Facebook and Twitter and consequently learn their styles and content of writing. I'd been quite clueless when I opted for Bachelors of Mass Media as a career. Had it not been for blogging, I wouldn't have found my way to my one true love- writing!”
More and more students are into blogging now. It is their way of reaching out to communicate and influence their peers through their writing. While some are into expressing their thoughts on possibly everything under the sun, others are concerned about the serious issues around us - a blog has become a digital journal that makes a connection with youngsters. One can easily access many interesting blogs every day, if you know where to look. Let's take a look at some of Chennai's college-going bloggers.
A student of MOP Vaishnav College, Nanditha Hariharan blog, Kaleidoscope of Life!, which she started about 10 months ago, centres on feminist and social issues. "Some of my views have sparked off extreme reactions among readers, but that has never deterred me. I get a peek into others' views and the added knowledge spurs me to write more," she says.
Abhishek Shaw, a student of Asian College of Journalism, started blogging for academic purpose. His blog takes a serious stand on labour issues in Chennai. “Through The Journalism School Blog, I try to highlight labour problems that are usually not covered in the mainstream media. The posts are mostly news reports that I write, but now I have started doing analysis articles and opinion pieces."
Demystifying Ungodliness is Vignesh Radhakrishnan's blog. Started as an opinion blog on topics such as religion, philosophy and God, Vignesh, also a student of ACJ, now blogs regularly about politics and current issues. What got him started was the research he did for his novel. He elaborated his views and points that were excluded from the book in the blog. "It is essentially a journalistic blog now," he says.
One can make new friends in the blogging community as well. Radhika Chhabria says that often such communities meet up to discuss their blogs and have brainstorming sessions. “Though I haven't been to any of these meetings, I've made some good friends in the community. From personal entries, college happenings to social issues — I try to write a bit about everything in my blog.”
Blogging isn't a fad. Not according to these youngsters. Abhishek explains that 10 years from now, these blogs will still be available on the web and there will be many more. "That's the beauty of the Internet. It's timeless!"
There you go. Blogging is hep, happening and here to stay.