No seriously – it could even be, ‘where Jake Gyllenhal, T.Rajendar, Jagapati Babu and Uday Chopra co-exist’!
Should they? Can they?
The point is this – with social media tools, we’re supposedly, truly global. We discuss things far beyond our country’s scope, almost every day. But have you ever thought about your target audiences?
If the responses on your blog and on your twitter page is predominantly from fellow Indians (or NRIs), I suppose that makes it a local blog/ twitter page. But, if you have a blog that aims to be global, how do you write about things that require understanding of place-centric knowledge or nuances?
If you do not care and write merely what you think makes sense, in general, aren’t you restricting readership to your country only…and selectively, to people outside your country? Which, to me, is again like a cyber-country coming together, just online. Where is the boundariless conversation happening?
Take for example, my other blog – Milliblog (no URL plug – that’s not the point). I do music reviews in 100 words. They are reviews for Indian film soundtracks, across multiple Indian languages. That….is a strong context that may restrict it’s readership only to people with interest and knowledge in Indian film music. But, even within that, a North Indian (to put it broadly, while cringing) may not care much about a music review of a Tamil soundtrack. That has changed to some extent since I get emails and comments from Hindi-speaking people about how the blog helped them find and enjoy a Telugu song. That is the kind of boundary-crossing I’m talking about.
As for this blog….or any other Indian blog discussing social media in India, the participation from non-Indians seem to be restricted to those posts that are much more generic and do not require extra knowledge of local nuances/ sensitivities. There may be exceptions here, of course, but just take a look at your blog’s comments – did a post discussing local nuances get comments from non-Indians? Or, was it a generic post that did the trick?
I also find that Indians (or people from developing countries, perhaps) going out of their way to learn/ know about the contexts of their American or European counterparts in order to participate in a conversation with them. Nothing wrong with that at all – but the reverse rarely seems to happen.
Tweets…for instance! If you tweet primarily about what you see around you, in India, it is bound to be completely meaningless to an American follower of yours. Heck, he/ she may not even see them, thanks to time differences!
A few possible solutions:
- just stop worrying about American readers. If you write good stuff consistently, people will make the effort to understand what you write, no matter where they are located. That is more of a philosophical solution, I agree.
- be cognizant of your tweets’/ blogs’ readership and add a layer that transcends boundaries, despite talking about something really ‘local’. This could help both your local readers, as well as the overseas reader, who’s takeaway will no doubt be different.
- an organic method – build and nurture relationships with the kind of people who you think may understand and gain value from your blogs/ tweets and then introduce them to your posts. This is largely what I refer to above as ‘us’ being more interested in ‘them’, however.
- blatant self-promotion – call out tweets with @ names and point them to a post by talking about their relevance. I do understand it looks really desperate, but it may help the river flow in the other direction.
- have 2 separate blogs – one for Indians and rest of the world, combined. And, another, for rest of the world alone, where the content is sanitized for broad, global topics only. That sounds like a lot of work, I know.
Does this bother you? How do you work this out? Do you, at all?
Photo courtesy: thewomensmuseum via Flickr