Monday, December 26, 2005

How Do You Read a Blog?

Most bloggers and blog-readers that I know of, view blogs like newspapers. Just as you gather together all your newspapers in the morning and go through the various columns by your favorite columnists, so too most blog-readers open their feed readers (or aggregators) once a day, and read the latest posts by their favorite bloggers.

I adopt a radically different approach. I like to call it the "novel" method - both for its novelty and more importantly, because it resembles the way you read a book! I shall elaborate.

Here's how I might read a book. I go to the bookstore, and search for an interesting book by reading the rear cover, or maybe reading a few pages, and glancing through the book. If I find the book interesting, I purchase it. Alternatively, I may have borrowed the book from a friend or issued it from a library. Regardless of the manner in which I acquired the book, I then proceed to read the book, chapter-by-chapter, starting at the beginning and working my way to the end. The book, depending on its size and content (which affects the speed I read it with) make take me a couple of days to a fortnight to complete, after which I scrounge around for a new one.

I tackle blogs in a similar fashion. I find a blog I like. This mostly involves reading a few of the recent posts. I then go to the beginning of the blog - the very first (earliest) post. And then I start reading backward (which, if you're following me, is actually forward), working my way up through the archives up to the present time. After I'm through with the blog, I'll search for a new one. If I really liked the blog, I might return to it every few weeks to catch up.

Why can't one look at a good blog, compiled over a year or two, in the same way as one looks at a good book? Okay, you may not find too many blogs that contain murder mysteries, but if you're looking for some nice non-fiction, spiced up with a dash of fiction in between, I'd recommend the 'blogosphere' over a trip to your local bookstore any day! Just treat the monthly archives as chapters!

Some blogs - like the one I'm currently reading (Amit Varma's India Uncut) - deal mainly with news and current affairs. One might think that such a blog would hardly be worth reading 12 months after it was written. But this is completely untrue, because even when he does quote a particular news story, it is always accompanied by some interesting opinions of his own.

Other blogs - like Vikrum Sequeira's Vislumbres - deal with topics that aren't related only to the present. His blog narrates his experiences and adventures traveling around India, something that can easily be picturized as being a novel instead. Such blogs can be read even 10 years from now, and their relevance won't have diminished at all.

So when people ask me what I'm currently reading, I'm just grin and say India Uncut!


anish said...

Best of luck with India Uncut.In my experience the dude blogs faster than you read..

MaK-D said...

mera blog padh na ....hehehe

Reno said...

there is a better way , subscribe to blogs using google reader.