This is a weekly column aimed at the city’s youth — what they do and don’t, how they spend their time, the trends they ride in on and those they let go of.
These are people who like to let the world know their views and they do it in different ways. Bloggers of the city, in addition to getting their work published, are also experimenting with newer, crisper ways of expression.
Technical analyst by profession and writer by passion, Ganga Bharani Vasudevan, who is just 23, had her book ‘Just You, me and a secret’ published recently. “I started writing when I was in class 11. What did not get published in newspapers, I started writing in my blog. I have written 50 short stories so far and five blog books. Each time, when an unknown person likes my work, I feel nice that I am able to reach out to people,” she said.
There are many like Ms. Vasudevan, getting their work published. Blogger-turned-publisher V.J. Eshwar of Tales 4 says the publishing house has published four books so far.
“We keep looking for new bloggers, whoever has a new idea and something to tell the world – we are all yours,” he says.
City-based author Judy Balan who blogs on ‘Women and a Quarter,’ says with blogging, there is the element of instant gratification. “You think of something, you write it, hit the publish button and you get comments right away. A book, on the other hand, takes months of work. The publishing process can be exhausting. But when it does happen, the high is unlike anything else.”
Others like Sulaiman Sait (22), who blogs on ‘my dream mausoleum,’ says it is a dream to see his name in print. A blogger for the past three years, he is already working on a suspense thriller and is on the lookout for a publisher.
Chennai could very well be described as the city where the blogging revolution really took off. The number of blogs that sprung up in the late 1990s and 2000s was so huge that Anna University introduced blogging as part of its curriculum in 2000, and subsequently hosted the world’s blogging conference for the first time in India.
And so, it is no surprise that the city’s blogging culture has evolved while retaining a flavour unique to the city. From audio-blogs, regional prose blogs and analytical blogs, bloggers now have moved to pictures, cartoons, dollops of humour and of course, the ever-present internet memes.
Nothing perhaps illustrates the appeal of such simple yet catchy blogs as the success of the popular Tambrahm Rage pioneered by popular blogger and columnist Krish Ashok, in 2011. In addition to going instantly viral and inspiring a series of community-based comic strips, Tambrahm Rage also tapped the power of crowd-sourcing to take contributions beyond an individual or a group. A recent favourite is the Daily dinosaur tumblr started by blogger Lavanya Mohan. “They are created with a lot of love, care and an iPad mini. I use the Paper app for drawing” says Ms. Mohan in her blog, about her dinosaurs.
Short and snappy content is what works now, says Kiruba Shankar, a city-based blogger. “With Facebook and Twitter, interaction with readers increased ten-fold. As bloggers, we also realised that people hate reading long text, especially on their mobile phones.”
(Reporting by Deepa H. Ramakrishnan and Vasudha Venugopal)