New Delhi: At a time when economic activity is slowing down, the blogging world is buzzing with action. It would seem that with more time at their disposal and the cost of creating and writing a blog minimal, people are turning to this new medium to express themselves. But Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, the most widely used open platform for blogging, says more bloggers don’t mean more revenues. ”In advertising we are seeing an endemic weakness. Even when traffic might be up 30 percent, ad revenues are flat. That sort of mirrors what’s going on in the market”, says Matt.
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According to Matt, blogging began to grow when the dot-com bubble burst in the year 2000. Momentous happenings like the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the global financial meltdown in 2008, and closer home, the Mumbai attacks - have led to more people getting on the broad-band to share their reactions. But these spikes in interest are event-related and are not sustained says Nirav Sanghavi, Founder & CEO, blogadda.com. ”There are lots of new blogs in the whole community. After the Mumbai terror attacks there was a surge because people had opinion. But 30-40 percent die-off because an event inspired them to do something,” he says.
The number of bloggers in India is growing gradually and the activity is not limited to the English speaking population. Of late, people have been blogging in Hindi and other regional languages. But what is limiting the pace of growth is poor internet penetration. ”It’ll be a little while before it takes center stage. A lot of it depends on the Indian government’s policy and there is none… We need to have it in place now for it to have an impact in 5-10 years down the line,” says Om Malik, Founder, GigaOm Media Inc.
Mullenwerg, Malik and many users and designers of social media came together for the first ever WordPress Camp in India, which was held in Delhi recently.