What is blugging? Blugging is the emerging art of Blog Plugging. Yes, all copyright to the word vests with me. But what is blugging all about? Let's take what these management chaps call a case study.
<Cut to Educational Video Style Picture>
Walking down the street, I bump into someone quite intent on keeping his eyes firmly fixed on the pavement stones. Having interrupted this worthy occupation, I step back with apologies. So does he... But what is this? It's my old friend Sudhir Vinod, dressed in an ill-fitting white suit.
It took me a minute to inveigle the sob story. In his own words: "Well you know, everyone was talking about this new technological and social phenomenon called blogging. I've never been one to shy away from the popular trends (and he hadn't, his little moss-on-chin-masquerading-as-goatee was ample testimony), so I had to jump on to this blogging bandwagon ASAP." In response to a question, he shot back "Of course, I have an internet connection. What do you think I am? I almost went to the US, you know." What that had to do with his dialup was not so evident. "So I went to this site and started up my very own blog. It took me three days of hard labour while I set up my templates, but some fiend-in-friend's-disguise told me to use this comment box idea, which seemed to be in perpetual strike. But I persevered, and at the cost of not studying for my GRE, I got my own comment box. I have to pay 200 rupees every month to a guy for that, but atleast it works. Then I put up my first post". So what was the problem? "I didn't notice this at first, but after three days, I didn't see a single comment left by anyone. It just broke my heart. I even learnt HTML programming at that institute for 2 weeks for my blogging."
<Fade out Educational Video Style Picture>
<Start Friendly, Informative Voiceover>
As you saw, our friend did everything right except the final stage. He didn't practise the fine art of "blugging" or Plugging for your own Blog (The motto is: If you won't, who will?). What he should've done is plug, advertise, spread the word. Take every opportunity, every meeting, every passing hello, every 2 line email to solicit viewership. Let us see some of the popular strategies that will help YOU (And I'm pointing at the middle of the screen as I say this) become a popular blogger.
- Make sure they get the message:
When you start your conversation with anyone (I mean A-N-Y-O-N-E! Don't be shy to approach total strangers!), find a way to steer the conversation to blogging. Like:
"Do you keep any pets?" "I used to have a dog as a kid. That reminds me, have you read my blog?".
"I hate those boys, ya. They always keep passing comments on my hair, ya." "Is that so? Don't you wish you could pass a comment? I think you should visit my blog."
See? Nothing obtrusive about that. Subtle hints will do for the usual targets.
- Be a barnacle, Keep going after them:
You've just run into someone you gave your blog url a month ago. You haven't seen his comment on the blog. Don't be shy and let him get away with that! (People love to be asked to visit sites. Perhaps many bloggers asked him to visit, and he just forgot to visit yours.) Remind him. Note his reaction. Some of the smart-alecs may say they've read your blog. You have two ways to nail the bugger (Note: no typo here, I don't mean "blogger"): Give him the test and ask him to name atleast one subject of a post from your blog over the last week. Or tell him the blogger's rule: Only the presence of comments proves he's been reading your post.
Having done this, you can always give him a reminder call, preferably at night, when he'd have a lot of free surfing time. Will also keep him out of trouble (I'm giving you a dig in the side, as I wink and chuckle knowingly).
- Use it to bookmark your speaking:
Simple rule of thumb: mention your blog every 10 sentences you utter. You need practice here as you should get creative here to avoid boring yourself. Work into your conversation. Like:
"You know the funniest thing happened to me today. The Shift key in my keyboard got stuck and I just couldn't type McDonald while posting on my blog, by the way, did you know I have a blog? No? Well, it's at...". That simple.
- Try Quid Pro Quo
The best way to ensure a regular commenting flow is to get into a self-locking, mutually circular blogging and commenting mechanism. Simply start commenting on a new blogger's blog. If he/she responds, you've just made significant progress towards ensuring comments. It's like courtship followed by a long relationship. For the blog-pal potentially brings newer viewers. But you too have to keep your end of the deal up (Darwin's rules apply, bloggers enter into strategic deals with those whose link columns are seen to be bulging. Size does matter).
But remember: if you both get intimate (speaking blogwise) enough to link to each other's blog, you must do it in a "is-haath-lé-us-haath-dé" single handshake, to avoid wild recriminations. The laws concerning cyber-contracts are still hazy.
- Content ain't king:
Once you have a dedicated viewership that you have managed to get comments from, and you've got them using your blog as part of their daily reading, no one cares what you put on the blog. So you can devote your energies into exploring newer markets, such as the virgin Zambian and Assyrian cyberspaces. You do need to keep the comments on your quid-pro-quo-ed friends, where the odd "Oh dude! Way to go" or "Cannot believe that!" type vague notes should suffice on the days you couldn't be bothered to read another's tripe, especially moments after you did some tripe-typing of your own.
<End sociable, instructive Voiceover>
<Cut Back to Educational Video Style Picture>
I ran into Sudhir Vinod, who despite his little almost-chic goatee, was looking quite happy. It has worked! "So how's everything?" "Quite fine, quite well." "Get a lot of people in daily?" "Oh yeah! The mums love it!" That's a niche audience that I didn't think would be blog-friendly. But you always learn something new everyday in this business. "And how are the comments?" "I'm inundated! I keep aside my Saturday just to read all of them.". Wow! "Especially the last episode. That had the letters pouring in". Hang on. "You mean the last post , right?". "What post? Oh, you mean that whole blogging infatuation?. I've gotten over it man. Where are you? That's so passé. Move on man. I have my own television software company which makes these serials like "Gomti Ganga ki Gatha" and you must've seen my..."
<Frantic Dissolve from Educational Video Style Picture amidst calls for "Cut it, dammit">
All Jaané Bhi Do Yaaron references are intended to be an unnecessary plug for the movie. If you haven't seen it yet, perhaps your isolation by alien beings worked a shade too well.