Review

BlogAdda Vs IndiBlogger – Read this today!

Posted on March 24, 2008. Filed under: Comparison, Review | Tags: , |

A new friend of mine commented that she liked this post and overall my comparison type posts appear better than the rest. To make her happy, here is my next one. This time, lets compare two of the popular Indian Blogs Directory – BlogAdda and IndiBlogger. (My recent review about IndiBlogger here).
BlogAdda-Vs-IndiBlogger

To make the review fair, I want to tip the readers that BlogAdda seems to have an upper hand as far as CSS, SEO and Usability is concerned, since they are a product from a Web development company called Nettalk.

Also one of my reader was upset that I don’t do enough research before writing a post. To make him happy here are the links that I referred for this post.

Tagline:

The first thing that impressed me is the tagline of BlogAdda – “who are you reading today?“. Definitely seems to convey what they are trying to do.  In fact, I was wondering why this tag line appears as an image in their homepage instead of text? Unfortunately, was not able to find a tagline for IndiBlogger.

Homepage:

Next comes the homepage. BlogAdda stands way above IndiBlogger, thanks to their web development experience. Infact, they have received few positive comments when they got listed in cssvault. This is something IndiBlogger has to improve (Included in the word upgrade in this post!). IndiBlogger also seems to have lots of Badges and other graphics in their homepage, which they could try and move to some other page.

Usability:

Having 2 search boxes is not appearing very convincing. Indiblogger has 2 of them right in the homepage. BlogAdda doesn’t have “Search by Tags” feature. But what is the big deal, you have “Google” right. Again, “Search by Tag” and “Google custom Search” in IndiBlogger both have different UI and functionality on the “Search result page”, which makes things even worse.

I spent a little time here and searched “Photography” in both these sites. Results were decent since both of them use “Google”. Now, IndiBlogger unfortunately, displays the direct url of the blog in the search result. Which means I need to manually take a look at each of the page to figure out if I like it or not.

But BlogAdda on the other hand, takes me to a page like this one. You can rate, view recent posts directly and also comment. They also have digg/reddit buttons to make a particular post popular. If they had provided, “Add this blog to your Google Reader/My Yahoo” button, I would have rated this feature very high, because this is certainly how a Blog Recommendation site should be designed and BlogAdda seems to have the basics absolutely right. Hats off!

Blog/Twitter:

Remember this post of mine?  Consider twitter as an addition to that list. BlogAdda has prominently put up their Blog and twitter id. I guess IndiBlogger also has one, but me not able to find them quite easily. Someone could post this as a comment.

Offline Meetups:

IndiBlogger is very well known for this. They organize a number of meetups. Yet to hear one from BlogAdda. For a successful Blog directory, meetups like this are very crucial and IndiBlogger knows their Business here!

Registeration Process:

I wanted to mention this here, because I am upset with BlogAdda enforcing bloggers to put up their badge on the site for 2 days (till a human looks at the blog before approving).  You can ask them as a courtesy however. Best is to have automated scripts to check for the image and upon approval send a friendly email, so that we could remove the badge if needed. (Technorati may be a good example)

Having said these, this is what each of these sites should try to do.

More Blogs = More fun

How to make more Bloggers get registered apart from spamming? Simple, provide something useful. It could be some statistics like Blog popularity based on rating, profile views etc, or snippets from related blogs and so on. Second option is to allow users to submit blogs which they think appear to be Indian. Instead of having people to review such blogs, you can ask the community itself to confirm if the blog is really indian (A typical Web 2.0 functionality). Third option is to have firefox plugin to directly submit links. (Like Instablogs widget). Fourth option is to scrap and figure them out. (BlogAdda can scrap IndiBlogger and vice versa :))

To sum up, if you are a blogger and looking for more traffic, then go ahead and register in both these sites. (Like me :)). If you want to discover new Indian Blogs, then give both these sites a try and let us know what you feel through the comments section.

-Prabhu

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Our Viewpoint about instablogs

Posted on March 16, 2008. Filed under: Indian Startups, Review | Tags: |

I met Ankit of Instablogs at Proto 2008. I didn’t know how to introduce myself.

So I introduced myself as “Hi, I am Prabhu, I have a small blog called desistartups“. Immediately, his eyes brightened and he started talking, “Hey I have read your blog. I like your latest post blah blah blah”. Thank god, atleast one more person who likes my posts, apart from me, was the thought I had. I also happened to sit for their presentation. Like everyone, the very first question I got was what is Instablogs? Is it a blogging platform? Should I move desistartups straight to their platform and start receiving money, etc. Their website appeared very interesting though. (Whisper: Lindsay Lohan’s photo was appearing at that time in their home page!). Ankit mentioned during that talk that they have Bloggers all over the world and are very popular in many countries except India. That appeared very weird though.

Ok forgetting the past, I started playing around with his site (based on his request He just wanted me to try the new features. I thought this to be a review request. Anyways, I have reviewed sites without explicit requests, in the past. This one belongs to that category.). The very first thing that impressed me is that even though the name suggests something like instant blogs, the homepage is not dumb like our wordpress homepage.

(more…)

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IndiBlogger – Lets suggest something for you!

Posted on March 5, 2008. Filed under: Free tips, Review | Tags: , |

When I started this blog, with my first post, I hardly had any visitors. I was thinking of ways to promote this blog (Apart from spamming :)). A google search for Indian Startups Blog at that time mentioned IndiBlogger.in. For readers, new to this site, IndiBlogger is a directory listing of all Indian Blogs. They were mentioned in the press for a few times. They also have search only version (For some Google money?) here. This post is based on their personal request.

As usual I am writing the post in points.

Please upgrade!

Frankly speaking, your site appears like a traditional telephone directory or a classifieds listing where people have to search to find anything. While this might be good for starters like me to get their blogs listed and gain some traffic, what is in it for bloggers who are already established like Arun and Aasish?

My two cents for making your site more useful than it is.

Forget Search

Forget it. Nobody wants to search any more. How about suggest? Lets take my profile page for instance. I have mentioned the tags for my blog. How about suggesting blogs with the same tag in the simplest case? You can also email me when a new blog is getting listed with the simillar tag. And thus make me repeat visits and hence more traffic! I could say Orkut suggesting communities to be a good example for this. Not to mention, we are not expecting something very algorithmic like Orkut’s.

Better Search

How about showing last 3 posts title along with search result? How about some Web 2.0 + AJAX stuff on that?

Automatically populate “My network” tab.

When I login to your site, I can see three tabs under “My network”

  • My blog’s readers – If I am using wordpress, parse my comments feed url, extract my readers blog address and populate here. Well I understand that this would require significant investment, but I started with “Please upgrade” right. It also means invest!
  • Blogs I read – Ask for my Google Reader password and store all the blogs I read! Check out Blogbard and see how they are doing this.

Better RSS feed

How about RSS feeds of blogs from my directory? See if you can utilize pipes for this.

Readers, can you think of any other points? Please add it to the comments section.

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