Sandeep Dikshit

Technology content is the most widely accessed, followed closely by news and education

  • India's blogosphere heavily dominated by men
  • Aesthetics plays huge role in attracting audience

    NEW DELHI: Is India's blogosphere bucking the worldwide trend and emerging as a nascent "fourth estate" by itself?

    According to an online survey of more than 1,000 MSN portal visitors in India, blogging is dominated by men, and blogs founded by business leaders make for the most enjoyable read, followed by those by politicians. This contrasts with the trend elsewhere, where blogging is evenly matched between the sexes and blogs by business leaders and politicians are far less popular than those by others.

    Personal development

    A desire for self-improvement and personal development is found to be a key driver of India's blogosphere with a large majority of online users reading blogs to stay informed about world events. They enjoy reading about technology the most, followed closely by news and education. Elsewhere, technology content ranks low.

    These findings suggest that blogging in India could become the "new fourth estate" with close to half the respondents believing that blogging content is as trustworthy as those of regular media outlets such as newspapers, radio and TV.

    While growing in popularity in India, the blogging community is still nascent with only one-seventh of Net-users actively blogging. And more than half of all Net users were unaware altogether of blogs. India's blogosphere is heavily dominated by men three quarters of its bloggers are male. It is also fuelled by young adults.

    Bloggers looking to improve their sites should take note that aesthetics plays a huge role in attracting and retaining audiences.

    A good blog should be updated regularly and be well-written, with eye-catching pictures.

    Amongst the most annoying aspects of blogging pointed out by Net users in India were poor writing, self-centred content and lack of information about when it has been updated.