Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is there such a thing as Desi-punditable?

This is a rant.

I commented on a DP link just now as follows

Nothing against the original poster but really- what was so desi-punditable about this post? nothing exceedingly funny, or nothing about the writing..i don’t know- is it just me or are DP-linkers just going all about the place linking left right and center in a bid to increase links? I like the idea of bringing more blogs to the attention rather than linking to regulars, but still. and i guess it’s all subjective after all…what rocks my boat need not rock yours. Phew, forgive my rant, but i actually preferred the days DP had very few links but quality ones. Don’t blame me for having higher expectations from DP, it did cater to them at one point.

My rant is not directed at that specific link, or the linker. Overall, I have stopped enjoying reading DP links, I think as a filter-blog, they are don't seem to have much of a filter going on. Then again, everyone has different likes and penchants and i don't see why the linkers should satisfy mine. May be my irritation reflects a change in the group of people who link for DP and hence a different genre of links, different ideas, i don't know. But DP was the only filter blog I ever followed, and it gets frustrating when you see several links in a day, not a single one being remotely interesting or funny. Or else most of them being predictable and cliched. I guess i should just stop reading them, like i'd tell someone who came to my blog and said they found my writings boring and cliched. I wouldn't argue.

What would i consider desi-punditable?

1) Quality writing: this is not entirely subjective. Good quality writing, well organized thoughts, etc.

2) Real humour: not cliched stuff. Not silly juvenile sense of humour. (there, i need not be in agreement with anyone)

3) Some amount of originality. not banal stuff thats linked to all the time

4) Controversial links are good to whip up the debate

Yeah, i am not entitled to any of this when i read DP, a filter blog run by people who have full time jobs and lives to lead. Anyone know of any better filter blogs?

Aside from this rant, I must say that I noticed many more new blogs have been linked on DP in the recent past than earlier. So for that, they must be commended.


sepulchritude said...

Umm...Is the rant still going on in phase space or did you forget to insert closing quotes? :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

shut up sepulchritude. i'm ranting.


fyi, thats the way blogger quotes things. :)

greensatya said...

Good that you brought this thing up. I have seen you eulogising DP and giving it lot of credit. I have in the blogging world long before DP was created, and was always surprised by the adulation you heap on them. For a long time I thought DP is all about that could go wrong in the blogging world. Sycophancy, self-patting, blowing your own trumpet, many such adjectives could be given to DP.

Even if it is a rant, I am glad that you are finally seeing the real fact of DP.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

i don't agree with that view at all. In fact, more than just the filter blog, i like DP for the community feel it has created around the desi- blogosphere. i don't know about sycophancy- they are often criticized for linking popular bloggers, but i think its not easy job to read several new blogs every day and find something quality to link. on the other hand, they might want to endorse a view of a popular blogger at the cost of being labeled with favouritism. i really don't have a problem with that.

of late, that community feel is almost diluted with the number posts that are linked. I think it would be perfectly alright to say on a given day "there were no good posts today" and let it rest. the increase in linked posts and lesser number of really worthy ones is what gets my goat.

but, at the end of the day, "Worthy" is subjective, as much as the very nature of blogging is. so i guess a more thought-out version of my rant would read- DP no longer satisfies my tastes.

I also think its got to do with a slew of new contributors, whose choices don't align with my personal choices, whereas earlier, there was a better match. thats probably it.

i also think i should go work on my proposal now. :p

Sakshi said...

Oh, no! Dont go! I want to rant as well. I stopped visiting DP. I agree lately it has turned boring. Heck, I am the first to admit that most of stuff linked there was lame, but I know better writers in desi blogosphere.
I think it has more to do with who is linking. I liked it before. Not so much as now. I just lost interest. Pity. Because some of the bloggers I enjoy, I came to know because of DP. I call the old contributers to come back. Puhleaaaze.

aequo animo (advocatus diaboli) said...

You care to rant about a meta-blog thats gone nuts!! hmmmm,
I sugest: 2 Mojito's , Greek food and 2 LIIT's. Followed by lotsa sugar and lotsa water before you sleep.

Sakshi said...

Err. that was supposed to read -
"Heck, I am the first to admit that most of stuff of mine that was linked there was lame, but I know better writers in desi blogosphere."

Wot to do.. fever does this to brain. So does coffee. So does.. ah.. ok, I admit, I never proof read :)

Patrix said...

Trust me, finding new quality blogs is more difficult that I thought when I first started DesiPundit. The desi blogosphere didn't grow the way I expected it or I just am getting too old for this.

Getting all contributors to link regular is quite a task too considering they are doing this on a voluntary basis. Probably a Gawker model would work better but dunno how feasible that is in a desi context. Or perhaps we don't want to go that way.

We try to build a community too but unfortunately none of the features we offered work and honestly, I'm not technically capable of creating new ones. Tech help is free only to an extent. Our tip-off line is not as responsive as it used to be.

Anyway, sorry to disappoint but we hope you come back soon. Or get the ones you agree with to link more often :)

Twilight Fairy said...

May I borrow some of ur space "Girl from Ipanema" :P..

Fancy meeting my old friend Satya here .. both of us have spent a lot of time discussing the same thing about DP about 2-3 years back :).. My take on it - it's better to not link than to link mediocre stuff.. but then everything is mostly subjective.

Anonymous said...

Sakshi, I am very glad you know better writers in the desi blogosphere. Could you send us hat tips of these bloggers' posts? Or the urls of these blogs? We would love to link up to their good posts.

The way I see it, if DP is a community, then building that community (and keeping that community spirit alive) is not the responsibility of only DP contributors. What about the rest of the community members? Yes, that means all of you.

As TGFI said, we DP contributors do have day jobs. We do want to link up to more blogs and expand the community. We don't want to dilute the quality. We do agonize over finding good, linkable blogs. But we can't find all of them on our own.

We really appreciate your feedback. But we also need your help. All we ask for is hat tips. Is that too much to ask?

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

proof-reading clearly aint your thing, girl. :-). i agree with you , DP did help discover a lot of good bloggers/posts I would've otherwise never found out about.

a a (a d),
or may be i'm just shirking work? :p
jokes apart, i think I do care about it enough to rant.

your arguments are quite justified. I cannot contest any of them. may be the linkers should reconsider their links before linking up? i don't know...

twilight fairy,
you can borrow all the space you want! :) yes, i also met your old friend satya here after a long time. :-)

and yes, i think that is very well put: better not to link than to link mediocre posts.

i realise this seems like a bunch of armchair critics sitting and throwing dirt on DP.. I am trying to keep out a misguided sense of entitlement (if you ignore the rant-mode in the post), i appreciate the work you people put in, i just think the quality has taken a beating of late. consider it my personal view.

if i knew where to find all the good links i wouldn't come to DP would I ? ;)

that said, like TF said above, no links are better than bad links.

Sakshi said...

@Lekhni - I used to enjoy DP before and sent links then (via email as a tip off to contributers). Lately almost anything and everything is linked, making one wonder if it is just linkage fest, rather than selective best of the desi sphere. I find a lot of us who have followed DP from the beginning, feel the way I do.

As TGFI pointed out, once DP contributors linked to posts that really appealed to all. Now that those contributors have stopped, DP well, for the most part sucks.

Its a pity. I used to really like reading DP. Now, I dont. I agree with Pat that the Desi blogosphere has not really grown. We dont have lot of niche bloggers - mostly personal blogs. And not a lot of great ones at that.

And while I think that its great that the contributors link in their free time, I just wish they linked to few good posts ( even if they are by oft linked bloggers than random shit).

Patrix said...

TGFI, I understand and I would be pissed off too if a blog I like posts links that I don't like or agree with. Anyway, appreciate your feedback.

Sakshi, in fact we (or rather I) link to far less hat tips than we used to. The quality of tips we get has steadily declined. And other types are self-nominations which are from bloggers which send in almost all posts they write.

And I'm guessing you like quality links even if they oft-linked rather than new? I may be mistaken but I thought ppl would rather go to those blogs and read them directly instead of through us. Or maybe I am overestimating people's blog reading habits and they rather read stuff from one source.

Anonymous said...


I am, in fact, very glad you chose to say what you did. To me, it shows you care about DP and you want DP to do better. You could have easily voted with your feet and we would never know what it was that we were doing wrong. So as I said earlier, I really appreciate the feedback.

I also know that this is not directed personally at Ideasmith or any of us. Heck, you guys know Idea much better than I do anyway.. so I am taking it for what it is - constructive criticism of DP.

Anonymous said...

As TGFI said, we DP contributors do have day jobs. We do want to link up to more blogs and expand the community. We don't want to dilute the quality. We do agonize over finding good, linkable blogs. But we can't find all of them on our own.

Agonize? You fucking insane woman?

Just link and take a chill pill!

Sakshi said...

@Pat - While I do subscribe to most of the "DP fav" bloggers, sometimes it is hard to keep up with blog reading, especially when you have actual work to catch up on ;)
So, I rather like going to DP and catching up on the best to offer. So, yes I look at DP as one stop shop to catch up on my reading.

Patrix said...

@Sakshi, Ah! That'll make me feel less guilty about linking to my favorite bloggers more often instead of having to discover new blogs for the sake of it. I wonder if other readers feel the same way you do. Time for a poll?

Sakshi said...

@Pat - Oh, yes! Put up a poll :)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

yes, i think a poll is a good idea. i also don't mind seeing oft-linked bloggers linked if the post is good. and also, i don't have anything against posts i don't agree with, but its the sub-standard posts that bother me. glad this rant has had a positive outcome. will look fw to the poll.

IdeaSmithh said...

I'd like to thank you for your comment and for this post. No, really I mean it!

I provided the link to the offending post and so I do feel somewhat responsible for the issue you've taken up.

The fact is that we try not to just keep praising the good bloggers but also find some fresh talent. Like Lekhni and Pat have said, this isn't an easy chore...digging through an awful lot of stuff to get to the really valuable posts. It's also not easy figuring out what people like. We each link to posts we like but we definitely want to keep in mind what the DP readers want to see. So feedback of this nature is quite valuable.

I do hope that you'll continue visiting DP and also sending in a hat-tip or two when you find something good.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

really, the post was not "offending"! am glad that feedback is appreciated. i will definitely drop in a tip if i come across a good post. cheers.

shub said...

I dunno if a poll is going up on DP or not, but I echo Sakshi's thoughts. I don't have all DP-faves on my reader so I don't mind DP linking to quality posts from same blogs frequently, as long as they merit a link. Quality over quantity, any day. I appreciate TGFI putting up a whole post on something that's been at the back of my mind lately - earlier I used to click on most, if not all links on DP, not so much these days.
Glad to see the criticism being taken in the right spirit. Kudos to you guys, I know it is a hard job, especially when you're all hard-pressed for time, but I'm sure everyone will understand if there aren't any links on DP for a couple of days - either owing to lack of time on part of the contributors, or lack of good enough posts to link to.

TGFI, thanks for the space to voice my opinion:)

Blue said...

I guess I've always viewed DP kind of like a mini-feed aggregator; easy enough to scroll by what doesn't interest me, quick enough to click on what does.

The trouble with quality is that it's often subjective. Everything that gets posted on DP is of interest to someone, right?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I read a lot of food and mom blogs. And it's not just about food and moms, people talk about much more - I'm not sure if there's an aggregator for mom blogs but there is one for food blogs - - Please check this out!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

the space is open to all. :)

you are right about that, every link must've been interesting to someone to have linked it. i think of DP not just as a blog aggregator but as a real filter, and expect a little bit of quality control. but again, it is subjective, no doubt..

thanks for that link. will check it out.

seema said... is an excellent filter blog. It prefers to link to lesser known blogs. You might like it.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

i'd totally forgotten about blogbharti. thanks for reminding me! :)

wanderstruck said...

Thanks for writing this post. You said out loud what I've been thinking for a while now. DP is no longer as good as it used to be - in fact, one reason I started reading blogbharti is because it links to lesser known blogs also, not just the same old same old.

Tachyoson said...

there are the high points of everywhere ... i suspect the main problem is that , with increase in quantity, quality may decrease.

Amitabh said...

I totally agree with your 'rant'. The quality on offer at DP has seriously slipped. I wonder if it was triggered by the change in the tagline from "The Best of India's Blogosphere" to the 'any and everything' one now.

By changing the previous tagline they appear to have given a blanket permission to contributors to 'Go Get Them All' even if many of the posts are absolute insult to quality?

So we now have juvenile humour, tacky at best, pathetic at worst. And those food recipes, when did food writing revolve only around recipes. Chuck the satire folks, get us something real on India, something memorable, something readable.

I understand the political satire and stuff, but then most of it is armchair writing taken from newspapers and the rest, an when it gets to be juvenile, it gets irritating.

I understand that contributor folks out there at DP are short on time and do their best, but for heaven's sake don't link to the worst of the lot for the sake of 'discovering new bloggers'. Make the new bloggers earn links on quality and some originality.

I used to visit DP for close to 2-3 years, now I wonder where is the DP Quality of the old.

As for established bloggers, I would rather prefer Jai Arjun for the effort he makes at showcasing Indian writing etc. than the likes of Great Bong whose posts have a sameness and more than a touch of triviality. Enough of his kind, get us more of Jai Arjun, Youth Curry, Travel kind and less of the Great Bong, Falstaff kind among the tried and tested.

If there are no quality posts to link to on a given day, then don't link any. This way atleast the quality links will remain on view and roll off the page.

Vidya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

it seems like i'm not the only one then..yeah, i will add blogbharti to my feed.

yes, indeed. i am a fan of quality over quantity any day

yeah..i feel the same, that if there are no link-worthy posts on a given day, thats alright.

its impressive that the folks at DP actually paid attention to this "rant" and are considering it. At the end of the day, the truth is that I am not really entitled to anything. so its nice to see that feedback is being appreciated.

dodo said...

Desipundit has become the Times of India of blogosphere.

I hate all those "OHHH so mouthwatering" foodie-links or all the same links to the falstaff.

Most of the DP members dont contribute even. Sometime, they link a post 3 months later.

And of course they have this overrepresentation of NRI Blog links!!

Anonymous said...

desipundit is for the bourgeoisie elite.

Working class heroes hang out at