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Monday, December 11

Blogs R Us

Few days back, I had shared some facts and POV on blogging. Yes, its a niche sport:-)Many planners in India are into it...We(Iqbal, Kajal, Saurabh, I...) just started thotblurb, the thots and musings by planners on hopefully everything under the sun!

However, blogging within the larger Indian advertising fraternity is still seen with amusement(that's what the research-by-one suggests),'passing-fad-hai glances', indifference, etc.

A friend of mine who is reasonably senior in account management refuses to see the reason why anybody would blog. And somebody who is nobody to that anybody would read!!

Another creative guy I know refuses to acknowledge blogging/my blog/ any blog...Yet another long-time ad veteran is reluctant to blog. And the sharing of private thoughts in a public domain doesn't seem to be the reason for his hesitance!!

What's the big deal about blogging? There are 100mn of them...

It's just a medium to express yourself, sans the filter of mass media censorship...It's a digital store-house for thoughts-never-penned-by-you, ideas-from-the-attic-of-the-mind, dreams-hidden-in-the-heart...

In my case also provides the space to share few-old-ads-as-brand-prints-languishing-in-powerpoint/hard-disc:-)

In contrast, a young friend of mine shared her thots on blogging...What a whiff of young thots...Here it is.

I knew of a professor of English Literature who used to wash dishes to vent frustration. She had told us that she imagined each plate, bowl, spoon to be a face of one of the myriad mischief-makers of the class. And when she explained the poem, Two Tramps in Mud Time by Robert Frost, to us, I realized that my habit of releasing pent up emotions on the last pages of my notebook wasn't exactly without reason. The poem begins with a man chopping wood to destress, I knew then that the pen was my axe!

Over time this pen has turned into the keyboard of a Compaq Presario M2000 and my notebook into, well, still a notebook but a digital one. Everytime i have a particularly gratitude-worthy day or a moronically frustrating one I get myself some coffee and chocolate and let the juices flow.

Everytime I learn from an especially stirring experience it's converted into a new page in my digital novel on life. The experience need not be a great loss like death or a happiness like a new life into the world. I don't have them, not too often at least. What I mean by 'stirring' is slight turbulence in my equation with those around me. Sometimes the most subtle of things can teach you an invaluable truth which you failed to see while floating on clouds of happiness, your sight distorted by the mist that had settled on your judgement.

Blogging is free therapy...and with demands for psychiatric help skyrocketing, blogging is a relief to the economically challenged. Personally just writing down my troubles is such a weight off my head, it's like having spoken to Oprah about it. And the comments you get from anonymous well-wishers is another bonus.

The "Blogopolitan" is a place where there's room for every intellectual, every moron, every terrorist and every zen aathma. 'Your opinions are your's and no one can change that' is the principle that the blogging world flourishes on.

Devdas drank himself to death to beat frustration, Hitler destroyed half the earth and Marilyn Monroe popped pills. I blog. Sweet addiction, isn't it.

Well, I wish my suit friend and the creative guy read this! Other stray thoughts/ rant/ hope...

1. I think marketing must soon realise all those years of lip-service that they paid to 'Consumer is King' has found a voice...Now we can't fool everyone all the time...

2. Authentic is in. Hype is out.
Conversations are in. headlines are out.
Content is in. Pretty pictures, expensive films devoid of ideas are out.

Brands with attitude/ rough-edges/grey shades/unique voices are in.
Brands with just USP/ only smooth edges/ standardised voices are out...

3. Advertising can wait at the periphery a lil longer or join in...

4. Looks like it's the beginning of the end of only templated advertising/ communication. CGC will hit India hard...

5. It's the beginning of the era of CEO/ brand manager as blogger.

6. It's the beginning of the democratisation of creativity...

As I approach the magic figure of 100 posts, I can tell, I have deeply gained from blogging...It has been a creative outlet for me...I have learnt a lot from everybody else...

It's been a humbling experience...I have become Nikon-friendly, I chat a lot, I enjoy my work more and have discovered new voices, friends...

Brands are like people. I think if they start a conversation, they can build more authentic, bigger brands, one conversation at a time...

It's very tough I would assume. There are no operating manuals at the moment. But I believe it can be done. It needs brave and honest attempts and loads of creativity!

BTW, Rithika has made the board for the Valence levels of creativity. Will upload it shortly...cheers


harshal said...

The very idea of having conversations in the ether is both exciting, and rewarding. Exciting because the medium is relatively new and still has the wild west feel about it. Who knows what formats are available "out there". There were video blogs, for instance.

Rewarding. because it really pays to be collaborative. With consolidation taking place within industry - for instance, retail biggies trying to buy into complementary industries, such as cinema - similarly, brands can benefit from such collaborative approaches. The Red Initiative is one fairly good contemprary example.

Great going on the joint blog!

Manish said...

the task ahead is to get more people to read your blog...else it remains an incestuous academic water-hole...
any ideas?

harshalg said...

RSS for one, which i see you're doing through atom.

The other thing is to get down to tagging stuff (yes, yes, the boring rational bit of putting stuff into thought buckets). The better/more you tag, the better chances of recurring themes turning up in a search, lets say.
There are a few blog exchanges as well - much like the blogroll on John's. Have a look at technorati

All said & done, it really comes down to content :)

What plans for lunch?

Manish said...

tks...lunch with shilpi:-)

harshal said...

Not a problem.

See if you chaps would like to go down to Hard Rock this evening?

I'm quite interested in seeing what today's band is like - "Strange Brew"

Pooja Nair said...

Blogs have been around for over 3 years now....what took us so long? (i still don't have one of my own)

I think its a block people tend to have towards new things - particularly those of technological nature :)

The younger generation grew up learning to constantly adapt to newer technologies and hence find it easier.

But for everyone else, i'd think its just that block whatever reasons they give. Most loosen up over time.

Theres no doubt about the power of blogs! (maybe that could be the topic for your next article)

For increased participation : maybe you could spread the word among adclub members. There are a lot of young dynamic thinkers who attend these workshops. (I attended Alok Nanda's workshop on experiential branding last Friday.)

Manish said...

maybe you are right about loosening up! it does take time...i avoid gaming for instance...think its too late, too difficult, too violent whatever:-)

how was the alok nanda workshop? i wanted to attend it...will you write a post on it ...will put up on India AdRant:-)