Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 25, 2007
Writing in Foreign Policy, Preeti Aroon looks into the surprisingly small number of bloggers in India. Aroon cites (unspecified) research showing that there are only 1.2 million bloggers in the country, compared to some 30 million in China, and adds: “One northern India-based blog-hosting company, Ibibo, has even resorted to offering cash prizes to entice people to blog regularly.” She goes on to quote Ibibo executive Rahul Razdan saying that the problem is that Indians are too bashful, and finishes up by adding that another problem is that too many Indians are illiterate and so can’t blog.
I’m not sure I buy this explanation. Certainly there’s no shortage of opinionated Indians online who are not shy about sharing their thoughts with the rest of us. Just have a look at the comments sections for some of the posts I’ve made comparing India and China, for instance. So what gives? One problem is that many Indians are very new to the Net. When it comes to Internet access, India is a few years behind China. Internet usage in India is only now starting to take off: the country has 42 million Internet users, while China has three times that number. It’s not realistic to expect that millions of Indians will start blogging just minutes after they get their first broadband connection. Give them some time.