1 Aug 2009

The Cream and Scum of Blogging

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 1, the first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers, where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following my other blog, Blog-a-Ton.

This also happens to be my Golden Jubilee post for the year 2009. So, I surely have double reasons to celebrate.

We’ve not been there, but we debate;
Our half-baked knowledge we create;
And then dish it out with best verbiage;
Expecting others to hail us as a sage!

It might seem that I am in a self-indicting mood, roping in all the bloggers in the process. However, that is not the case. I thought of starting this post with a candid admission and a blunt accusation at the same time.

Blogging has given a new found freedom to many across the globe as we find it easier to put across our views to others. However, in the process, I find many who just dish out their half-baked viewpoints to their readers. I might have indulged in the same earlier, though now I try to resist any such temptations. However, there is no guarantee that I won't repeat it in the future.

Recently, a very popular Indian blogger reviewed a novel by a non-resident Iranian female author. However, while doing so, she could not refrain from giving her personal opinions about the Iranian society which were largely formed from the readings of this very novel. She even perched out on giving her one-sided opinions about the present Iranian socio-political turmoil.

I can not blame her. This post was just an exception. Moreover, when for each post, she is getting more than 100 responses and that too mostly positive, she is bound to take strong stands, though at times without authentic information. Moreover, I have no problem with bloggers airing their views because that's what blogging is all about.

The point I am making here is that, how honest you are while penning your blog and what is your real motive behind it. If the blog is just an online personal diary, then you are free to dish out any whims and fancies of yours. However, if a blogger is aiming to cater to a readership on some relevant issues, then being honest is very important. Here the blog takes the form of a third dimension to news media, the other established ones being print and broadcast.

Just like a newspaper reader and a news program viewer will like to get unbiased opinions from these mediums, a blog reader like me will want substantiated opinions, even if they are biased. However, its not all that scummy as I might have inadvertently, made it seem to be. Even within this scum, I can extract the cream. Lets see how.

Blogs are a great medium for generating debates. Even, if some blogger comes out with half baked opinions, there are the readers who are sitting there to correct him/her. For this to happen, one must have readers at the first place. For this to happen, his/her blog should be interesting enough. For this to happen, the blogger should be honest enough. However, honesty doesn't guarantee freedom from biases. On the contrary, it brings out your biases in a candid manner. So, the readers are always there to correct you and to fill the gaps.

Here lies the beauty of blogosphere. Blogging is not just a one way process of airing your views but also about accepting and inculcating others' views through their comments and their blog-posts. In this sense, on a personal level, blogging has been quite rewarding to me by helping me to meet other passionate Indian bloggers from whom I have learnt a lot. However, there are a lot more, I'll like to meet in the future. Blog-a-Ton was initiated with this very mission in mind.

Now that I have moved from the general to personal level, I'll like to elaborate on other creamy facts about blogging pertaining to me. After having graduated, I have been mostly at home preparing for my civil services examinations. There's a lot, I have learnt in these couple of years through texts, television and internet as well. This time which I've spent with myself has also helped me in substantiating my viewpoints and perceptions. This blog was started as a medium to voice my ideas and ideology as the name itself reflects.

The journey till now seems satisfying as my viewpoints have been appreciated by many of the readers. Wherever, there has been a difference of opinion, they have aired them candidly. Either, I have corrected myself or corrected them or we have agreed to disagree. But in this whole process, I find myself as a net-gainer.

Recently, I have also diversified, writing short stories, poems and memoirs in addition to social and political issues. Sometimes, these posts are not totally related to the subject of this blog but then who loves monotony. Even while writing about relevant issues, I have tried to diversify my writing style, like the hypothetical dialogue between two friends in case of the post on gay rights, a fictitious story to share a curious case of corruption or a poem to reflect upon the materialistic values of the society.

All this has helped me a lot as I find, both my quality and quantity of writing has improved manifolds. Bulk of my posts have been published in last couple of months and this blog has helped me to do what I have always loved to.

However, the picture is not all that creamy. Blogging has been eating into my study time as I find this new hobby quite addictive. I am trying my best to strike a balance and can just hope, I'll succeed in this endeavour too.

Now, that I started this post with some indicting lines, it will only be fair if I end with some vindicating ones. That's what Empathic Libertarianism is all about.

We know the half truth, we search for more;
In an honest endeavour, try to fill every pore;
Only then do we go on and publish our tale;
Expecting others to correct us when we fail!

P.S. Of the numerous posts, I've read of the popular blogger I mentioned in this post, there have been only two instances that I have not agreed to her viewpoint. I commented about this on her blog and she was gracious enough to respond and appreciate my viewpoints. The reason, I gave her example was to put across the point that when revered bloggers like her can make a mistake (as per my perception) once in a while, one should not be surprised to read many others who use blogging as a medium to air their obscure views in the worst possible language.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton are Arjuna, Saimanohar, Dhiman, Avdi, Daisy Blue, Sid 'Ravan' Kabe, Shankar, Shilpa Garg, Bharathi, Ranee, Ranee again, Pawan and Ajinkya.
Click on their respective names to read their posts on The Cream and Scum of Blogging.
To be part of the next edition of this online marathon, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Image Courtesy
http://edutech.csun.edu (edited)


Dhiman said...

Hmmm...Blog hampering your studies !!! still better than anything else affecting your studies I think.... I hope this blog will help you in your civil services exams as well...
I too feel that one should be unbiased while writing about general issues....but its human nature to have personal opinion on everything unless they are some saints or Mahapurush I guess...
a very nice post...as usual...

Vipul Grover said...

its not about personal views buddy, its about how u formd those views.. thats what um pointing to.. ppl shud learn 2 contradict their own views nd refine thm accordingly, nd they'll find the outcome will be acceptable 2 more nd more readers. still if they lack sumwhere, readrs will b happy 2 crrct thm:)

Ava said...

Practice makes perfect after all ! Writing a bit and reading a bit everyday improves you like nothing else.

Unknown said...

yeah...of course..scum is same....But i would say this addiction is sometimes good too...Like you said my post are mostly biased and luckily you guys are there to comment and correct it... thanks a lot....

thanks for this nice initiation too...waiting for next blog-a-ton....

Vipul Grover said...

@avdiji.. rightly said:)

@shankar.. thnx buddy.. nd yeah we r alwez thr to crrct u nd u r alwez thr 2 crrct us.. cheers:)

Bharathi said...

I think I just finished posting it on time :-). Happy.

Regarding your post, you are indeed right. The readers teach us a lot, but at the same time we should remember that readers too comitt mistake sometimes.

Shilpa Garg said...

You brought out an interesting scum...half baked view-points!!
And yes, its surely addictive! I can vouch for it!!

Vipul Grover said...

@bharathi.. u r right.. as i mntiond in this post..
Wherever, there has been a difference of opinion, readers have aired them candidly. Either, I have corrected myself or corrected them or we have agreed to disagree.

@shilpa.. vry addictive:(

Roshmi Sinha said...

A good read, indeed!

Yes, its addictive! But, thats what I like about it...!

pawan said...

Good one mate!
I have completed writing too, and it looks like both of us have written the half baked point!

Any ways worth a read!

Vipul Grover said...

@roshmi.. yup u r rite.. nd hey u shud join us in nxt blog-a-ton:)

@pawan.. i blive i hd already cmntd on ur post b4 u cud cmmnt here.. man i've been on d net all d time waiting 4 new entries.. gr8 going:)

Siddhesh Kabe said...

This simply is nice and simple but truth...
and yes...to blog or not blog is definitely a big question...[;)]

BK Chowla, said...

Addictive,yes but before I realised it was too late.
Good post,vipul.My personal opinion one can review anyone's writings,but there is no room for personal opinions in book reviews

Vipul Grover said...

@sid.. thnx sid.. welcum 2 my blog..
yes, thts d question indeed:)

@chowlaji.. thnx..
i hop not too late 4 me or um in 4 trouble.. lets c:)

Saimanohar said...

Is youthcurry the blog u referred to in the post? I totally agree with the fact that takin some time for yourselves helps in rediscovering our soul.. Great post

Vipul Grover said...

hi saimanohar, welcum here.. nope, thts not the blog, i'll like to keep it undr wraps! its on my blogroll, so u may do sum research ;)

Gomathy S said...

Leaving behind the topic I would like to appreciate the length of your post ! I would never be able to write such a lengthy one ! Great job :-)

Vipul Grover said...

length... i'v mostly receivd negative reviews for my lengthy posts.. this one is, i blive one of the frst positive one:)
or am i too naive to miss a pun!!!
jokes apart, welcum 2 my blog.. keep rtrning frequently nd u'll automatically learn how 2 write sch long posts:)

Dr. Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

Point well taken, Vipul--there's always the danger of over-dosing on a good thing!

Thanks for this experience to both you and ARJuna!


Vipul Grover said...

thnx raneeji 4 dropping by nd also 4 participating in the event:)

Sayontan said...

The thing about blogging and about any other social networking site, including Wikipedia is that as long as none knows you personally you can pose to be whoever you are. So, if somebody doesn't agree with you, things can get quite ugly. This, more often than not is the "scum" of blogging.

A lot of people believe they have unbiased opinions, and will bias themselves to any length to prove it. The basic tenet of blogging, I think, is to realize that you have a bias, just like everyone else, and you will have to live with this fact. Once you do that, the pleasure increases manifold.

I wrote about this general area a few months back on my blog.

BTW, I have some really really long posts, like travelogues, series reviews and the like. So going through long posts is not an issue in my case!

Vipul Grover said...

hi sayontan, thnx 4 dropping by..
u r quite rite about bias. here i hav defined bias as not being free frm ur prsnl views bt being free frm half-baked views, i.e. forming ur views by thorough research. obviously no one can be thorough enuf, so thr cum in d readers.
i'll drop by ur blog, 2 read ur post u've mntiond:)
nd yeah u did raise a valid scummy fact thr about anonymity issues.

Unknown said...

There was a point that I used to be obsessed with blogs and distracted from work... But it gave me some kind of satisfaction to indulge in it... Surely wasn't bad while that lasted... It's probably because of blogging that my language has improved and opened my thoughts beyond boundaries.. :)

Cheers for the effort... and indulge it without second thoughts.. ;)

Vipul Grover said...

well nandhini, evry indulgence gives us sum kind of satisafaction, thts why v indulge in it at d first place.. bt its true, blogging is d only indulgence which has more cream thn the scum! so as u say, i mst cntinue without a scnd thought :)

Unknown said...

what happened blog-a-ton result ?

Mr.R said...

just hopped from Bharti's blog to yours after seeing your indepth comments in his blog...

Half baked knowledge is indeed dangerous but then blogging gives on an oppurtunity to put forward his/hers half baked knowledge and in process get himself corrected or exposed to various other counter views or alternate views that gives him a chance to upgrade himself/herself..

P.S > Nice blog ! The look n feel and content gives a pleasant feeling once landed in your space :)

Vipul Grover said...

Hey thnx Mr.R for appreciating my blog nd its cntnt..
u r spot on as far as blogging cream n scum goes..
keep retrning to reflect upon my posts:)