RK, the Host: Congratulations on your 300th post. What can you say about this accomplishment?
RK, the Guest: Let me clarify. I did not write all the 300 posts. Distinguished guests like Sukumar and Vidhyu contributed to my blog. At one point, my wife used to be a co-author too, but I guess she gave up.
H: What is the most rewarding moment of maintaining a blog like this?
G: Comments. When you make an honest writing attempt and when people comment to it, you feel like a million bucks. It can be praise or disagreement or just constructive discussion. When you don’t see comments, you don’t know if people read it and/or liked it. That is disheartening.
H: Is there a way of increasing the chances of a visitor commenting?
G: Unfortunately, No. But you can keep visitor loyalty by replying back to the comment. This is a valuable suggestion I got from Sukumar. Prior to July 2009, you will notice I hardly ever responded to people’s comments. That was a big learning.
H: The least rewarding moment?
G: Not all posts take the same amount of effort. But overall, maintaining a well-managed blog takes hard work, perseverance and sense of giving to your visitor community. I get most disappointed when people ask me how I got the time to do this. I have an exerting job and maintaining a blog means I create the time to do this. In some cases, I have come home from work at 2am and spent the next hour wrapping up my unfinished post.
H: Who are your readers?
G: I would be in no position to answer this question if not for comments and a big helping from Analytics. I guess most of my readers will fall within 10 years of my age (plus or minus) — friends, family, coworkers and organic growth through social media. I don’t believe social media made a huge impact, though there is a good % of Facebook in my incoming links.
Geographically, most of my readers are in United States or India. UK and Canada will be a distant second. All other countries (92 of them) have lifetime hits of less than 100 (each). But Analytics was installed in 2008 only, whereas the blog was instituted in 2004.
H: Do you make money? Do you intend to?
G: I do not make money. I experimented with Adwords and things like that, but they are aesthetically disturbing than rewarding. In fact, I spend about $10 a year in keeping kuppurao.com mine, but then whether or not I blog, this domain will be mine forever.
This is not to say I don’t want to make money at all. I am ready and willing to take up free-lance pay-per-article type of opportunities in product reviews and/or amateur journalism. But there are way better people than myself out there; I doubt I will make it to the cream.
H: What is your blog’s high-point and low-point?
G: They both are the same — my blog is a pot-pourri. I write about everything from Terrorism to Carnatic music, Steve Jobs to G Venkataswamy, Electronics to Amateur Philosophy, India to America (and all countries en route). It works well because the basic motivation for me is a vent-out. But this cannot scale. Beyond a point, I need to specialize, commercialize or sensationalize. None of which I am particularly interested in.
H: Why blog?
G: Blogging is common man’s journalist avatar. It takes hard-work, perseverance and commitment. Micro-blogging and social networking are necessary, but cannot match blogging when it comes to providing genuine content. People need more content and less buzz.
H: Closing note?
G: When you read a blog and like it or have an opinion, SAY IT. This is applicable to any blog you read, not just mine. Fellow bloggers can use some feedback. And to the bloggers: please respond, re-comment or just say thanks when somebody comments on your posts.
Concept credit: Jay Leno and his interview (of himself) in Spirit, Southwest’s in-flight magazine.