TAMIL NADU

Here, the possibilities are `mind-blogging'

CHENNAI, SEPT. 20. Blogging — or posting web logs on the Internet — is more than just a hobby for some. It is also becoming a means to make money.

A group of Chennai-based bloggers, who have been actively posting web logs on a variety of topics over the past few years, say these are exciting times for the blogger. They have been able to incorporate Internet search engine Google's web advertisement tool, AdSense, on an earn-per-click basis on their blogs. There is also the scope for earning from online bookstores by reviewing books and providing links for potential customers.

``My blogs have helped me get my last two jobs. The beauty of blogs is that you can sculpt your own brand image.''

One of the city's veteran bloggers, Mr. Shankar was among the organisers of the blogger's convention in Anna University two years ago, when blogging itself was at a nascent stage. A lot has happened since then. ``A good number of Indian bloggers in the blogosphere are from Tamil Nadu,'' he says.

Bloggers in the United States are an acknowledged influence group and even get press invites to political conventions. Indian bloggers too feel that the political parties here will not be able to ignore them for long.

Mr. Nair said one of his blogs earlier this year on the Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin issue had more than 19,000 responses.

For a few others like R.L. Narayan, who works in an interactive marketing agency, blogging is still a pure hobby that he will enjoy with or without the money or responses.

``I am just hooked to it. My day is not complete without blogging.'' He blogs on https://rlnarain.blogspot.com.

Blogging can also be a stress-buster. ``It is my 15 minutes of sanity during office breaks,'' Mr. Nair adds.

The best thing about blogging is, of course, that it is free. However, there are also a few who spend up to Rs. 3,500 a year on domain name and server space. Beginners could just log on to free blogsites, which have several help documents.

The proliferation of broadband brings good tidings for the future, bloggers say. There will be voice blogs, video blogs ... the possibilities are mind-boggling. Or should we say "mind-blogging".

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