Bloggers in desi cyberspace growing fast, offered awards
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Bloggers in desi cyberspace growing fast, offered awards

Sunday, 28 January 2007, 06:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: Blogs are a buzzword in cyberspace currently but no one seems sure exactly on how many India actually has. While listings put the figure at a few hundred blogs, an upcoming contest for bloggers claims the number of "active" bloggers to be as high as 3.5 million.

The Indibloggies, India's first blog awards, unveiled its annual nomination process for the 2006 event on Jan 26. Awards are being decided on for the fourth year, organised mostly virtually by Pune-based blogger Debashish Chakrabarty.

A blog is a kind of online diary or easy-to-update rough website, where brief posts and photographs are displayed. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. Some function as more personal online diaries. The word "blog" comes from "Web log". Blog search engine Technorati was recently tracking nearly 60 million blogs worldwide.

Organisers claimed there was a tremendous growth in Indian blogosphere and quoted a recent Windows Live Spaces survey which says the number of active bloggers in India was "put at 3.5 million - what seems to be a high figure - with 39 percent of the 25 million Indian Internet users being aware of blogs".

Nominations have opened in 16 categories for Indian blogs from all around the world from Jan 26 until Feb 5. Prizes worth over 85,000 will be offered, organisers said.

In 2003, the IndiBlog of the Year award, the top honor at the event, went to Jivha (http://www.jivha.com, now defunct), and in 2004 to engineer-turned-economist Atanu Dey of Deeshaa (http://www.deeshaa.org).

"The Indibloggies are a sincere effort to showcase the best Indian blogs. Just going through the nominations can be a process of discovery. It fulfils a greater function that just being an annual awards programme," commented Amit Verma whose blog India Uncut (http://indiauncut.blogspot.com) won the "IndiBlog of the Year" award at the 2005 event.

"Indibloggies is not only about showcasing the best of the Indian Blogosphere, it's also about bringing the unsung blogs to the fore," said Debashish. "Indibloggies has been successful in recognising the outstanding bloggers year after year, for example Sonia Faleiro, who's blog (http://soniafaleiro.blogspot.com) was adjudged the Best Topical Blog last year went on to win the CNN Young Journalist award in 2006."

Details on the nomination process are up at Indibloggies website at http://www.indibloggies.org. Later, a jury of prominent bloggers would rate nominated blogs. Finally, a public poll would be held from Feb 13. Winners are expected to be announced by Feb 22.

Indibloggies has 16 award categories, with new categories on Food, Travel, Podcast, Humour and Entertainment making a debut this year.

Categories include IndiBlog of the year, best in humanities, and the bests in fields of entertainment, sports, directory, topical themes, humour, new IndiBlog, photo blog, community and best Indic blog (written in Indic scripts), among others.

Organiser Debashish said he saw a bright future in the growth of Indian language blogging, thanks to new and easier-to-use tools which make reading and writing in Indian languages easier in cyberspace.

Coinciding with the nomination phase Indibloggies will also hold a small blog survey which is expected to shed some light on the oddities of the Indiblogdom. See www.indibloggies.org.
Source: IANS
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