Friday, August 04, 2006

Kiruba is India's top blogger - Urban Legend

Urban Legend - Urban legends are not necessarily untrue, but they are often false, distorted, exaggerated, or sensationalized.

One of the biggest urban legends in Indian Blogosphere is that Kiruba is India's top blogger. I have nothing against him personally, have met him a couple of times, even had a drink at his home - but I have to say this; He is NOT India's top blogger.

I started blogging in late 2003. At that time, the leading bloggers in Indian blog scene were Jivha (he has left no trace in google), Mahesh Shantaram (he used to blog at techrose.org, but now it seems to be down) and Yazad Jal. Kiruba was more known for his regular inane posts. What Kiruba did and which others did not (probably because they did not want to) was self promotion. I will give that to Kiruba, he was too good at self promotion. If you notice, most of the "Hi Kiruba, that was awesome / great / fun" comments in his blog are from non bloggers. Any one who is a blogger knows well that there are far more representative bloggers out there.

If you are looking at a generic blogger, Amit Varma is supreme. If it is strategy and current affairs Nitin Pai covers it excellently. Movie reviews - you have Samanth Subramanian or Baradwaj Rangan or Sukanya Verma. Lit blogging - there is a veritable list starting from Kitabkhana to Middle Stage to Jai Arjun Singh. Satire - Great Bong to Praveen Unplugged (more chennai focussed). Indian culture specific blogs - Kamat's potpourri. City specific - various metblogs.Kiruba's blog doesn't qualify as a tech blog too.

Heck, Kiruba is not even the most hated Indian blogger - that would be Nilu, The Maanga. Nor has he contributed in galvanising bloggers together - which has been the hallmark of Peter Griffin.

So, what is Kiruba? An inane, indifferent, email forwards posting blogger, who hardly fact checks before posting. But the urban legend is propagated that he is India's top blogger. Newspapers publish it whenever they get his sound bytes. And it gets established that he is India's top blogger. Even if you follow Blogstreet's rating, with all its loop holes, it shows him at no. 3 down from no.1 he was a couple of months ago.

He does run marathons, he does organise blog meets, agreed. And he did organise a donation drive after the Tsunami. But that doesn't make him a great blogger. In fact the worst abuse you can throw on a blogger is "May your blog be as interesting as Kiruba's". The underlying self promotion in all his activities is a constant irritant.

There is no point to this myth debunking really. But I had to say this and I have said it.

58 comments:

Hawkeye said...

i wanted to post on kiruba. but you 'munthified' but i'll do it anyway.

good post!

anantha said...

Chenthil: I think the "anymore" qualifier should be included atleast once on this post.

Though I completely and wholeheartedly agree with the view about his inane posts, I think that very early in the days, he seems to have introduced a lot of ppl to blogging as a concept. So I will have to give him that.

Other that that, his posts have gone steadily downhill. I understand that this comment can be clubbed under the "assumption of intellect" argument (or at least the way I see it), I am sure no one with some power of reasoning would have fallen for the whole "tennis player" thing or for that "record breaker"!

And I don't know why he failed to take responsibility for the whole spamming deal. I won't believe that he wasn't on the know right from the start. It is after all strategy and if he was heading the team, I dont know! But Bloglines still has that post, last I saw.

ashok said...

well said :)

hema.k said...

Chenthil, i am an occasional visitor to you blog. i think this post is in bad taste and you are hitting below the belt. I would have said the same thing even if you had written about any blogger. I'm no supporter of kiruba or you. this is my opinion.

witnwisdumb said...

I'm no fan of Kiruba... I've probably visited his blog only a handful of times. But this post...

"An inane, indifferent, email forwards posting blogger, who hardly fact checks before posting."

That makes this post, what, extremely intelligent?

Seriously, your other posts seem much better. I wonder what the need for this was - there was, after all, nothing at stake.

C.G. said...

Hi Chenthil,

I am a newbie out here, of all the people you mentioned so far I keep track only of Amit Varma.
Thanks for the heads up on whom to avoid. Good job.

Cheers,
C.G.

Anonymous said...

If you notice, most of the "Hi Kiruba, that was awesome / great / fun" comments in his blog are from non bloggers

I am extremely surprised that very few people noticed this. I have always had a sneaking suspicion that Kiruba commented on his own posts...

Kingsley said...

Hema and Witnwisdom,
Sometimes, it's important to point out that the emperor has no clothes. While some may enjoy pretending that the emperor is clad in regalia, some of us take great joy in pointing out that his swizzle stick seems joined to his pelvis.

Chenthil,
I think Kiruba has a lot of traffic and a lot of people linking to him and commenting on his posts. That doesn't make him a great blogger in my book, but it does make him very relevant. Besides, what will we Ahabs do without a good Moby Swizzle Stick?

Boston Bala said...

I agree with your take on Kiruba. But what really matters is 'inane, indifferent, email forwards posting blogger', who does not project an attitude or '"assumption of intellect" OTOH, I have been a sporadic reader of his blog; so can't comment.

Everybody gets burnt out and my expectations on a blogger/person keeps going up (almost, never goes down.)

Mahesh Shantaram said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mahesh Shantaram said...

Thanks for remembering me, Dabbler.

I. Will. Be. Back. And I will not dissappoint.

Ashish said...

Interesting post - I have been blogging for more than a year now and there were more than a few bloggers who I didn't know that you linked in your post.

Anyways - I also believe that you could have avoided taking names - unless of course it was meant to be controversial :-)

Anonymous said...

Even \\\'Amit Verma\\\' is like that. He merely cuts and pastes the links from Newspapers and magazines. What\\\'s so great about it ?

Most of the time he curses those main stream media, whose links he uses and calls them as post.

Anonymous said...

is there even a point to all this "top blogger" topic. Who or what is the significance of being a "top blogger"?
Is blogging now all down to where you lay in the hierarchy?? Is that such an important thing to merit such a long "inane" post about some other blogger . He aint asking you to read his blog is he?

Nilu said...

they hate me?

Anonymous said...

You mean India Uncut's Amit Varma does not indulge in self-promotion? You mean he hasn't sucked up to Instapundit and all?

Yeah, Kiruba's inane, but let's look at the hits. He may be getting more hits than you. If people are reading him they surely find his blog useful. Right?

Or is it just sour grapes?

And no, I'm not Kiruba

Anonymous said...

I had never been to Kiruba's blogs before.
I just checked it out, and its just e-mail FWDs, that too old and false.
Is he really "top" blogger?

Jignasa said...

You said it all - Kiruba is nothing more than a glorified email forwarded blogger.

Look at his latest post - on car parking. I must have received that photo at least 2-3 years back as email forward.

Only reason I visit Kiruba's site is his blogroll. Yes, am too lazy to keep track of blogs I like and his blogroll has good collection of good blogs.

Patrix said...

I don't recall Kiruba calling himself India's top blogger. So this accusation doesn't stick. The blogosphere literally works on a free-market mechanism (well, at least most of the time) so more the hits, the more popular the blogger is. Mind you, this may not mean that the blogger is also better. But frankly who cares?

Kiruba sure had the first mover advantage and has spread the word of blogs. He chooses to self-promote on his blog and possibly considers his blog as a effective personal marketing tool. The fact that he is successful in doing that says a lot. Possibly his "inane email-forward" posts are exactly what readers want. So in that sense, he is entitled to his choice of posts. Those who do not like that are free to blog-surf elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Kiruba like a normal blogger used to post events about his life in the his blog like a dairy. Eventhough that was not a great content, it was honest. but offlate i has become stale and he started posting some inane forwards and pictures. he is using his blog for self promotion and for networking. nothing wrong in that. i feel this post doesnt serve any purpose.

As the anatha said kiruba didnt own up the responsibility for the blog spamming. Although he posted an apology in his blog he mysteriously delted the post. the blog post is still available in google reader.

engappa antha Nilu, patrix tholla thangala. free market athu ithunu petha arambhichitan. puke on patrix.

Nilu said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


eppa Patrix, athan oru masurum theriyathu illa...ethukku summa etho penathanume nnu penathara? kettoma itha? what's with the judgement?


So this accusation doesn't stick

what?!!?? what is bloody accusation? read this post again - 457 times at that...then take a dictionary, look up 'accusation'. If you find a correlation factor that is anything higher 10^(-34), let me know....

and stop using the term 'free market' when you don't understand shit...you name is Patrix the moron, not Milton Friedman.

ada-paavi!!!! said...

patrix chk his interview with ram viswanathan, kiruba does infact mention that he is indias top blogger, and it is using this statement that he gets guy kawasaki etc to agree to do podcasts

and ur comment suffers from information assymmetry

Anonymous said...

so,you try to promote yourself by mudslinging kiruba ?
pity u ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes!

It's about time somebody pointed out that he writes crap almost all the time.

What bothers me isn't that he writes crap, but that he's got an army of adoring fans who hang on his every word and encourage him. Is that something to do with the Chennai heat messing with their brains?

Anonymous said...

Patrix also check the April Fools post where he has declared himself to be top blogger, I am sure there are other occasions. And the hilarious part is that there is a page on wikipedia dedicated to Kiruba. LOL

I might create one for Nilu, with photos and all.

Pillaiappan said...

I have very low respect for someone who bitches about another person. This is as shameful as one colleague badmouthing another one.
So you think his writing is bad? Well, did you take a look at your writing. Yes, a honest look at yours. I find most of your writing uninteresting and bad as well. I'm an infrequent blogger but that doesn't make me any worse at judging stuff. If I were you, I would look at more positive things rather than attacking an individual. Please try and avoid this lest you come across as a cheap person.

Chenthil said...

There are too many comments here to respond individually.

My reason for writing this up - to say that the emperor has no clothes (thanks Kingsley).

Hitting below the belt / bad taste - I don't think so. When you blog in a public domain and encourage publications and newspapers to call you India's tope blogger, then you should expect a closer look at your claims.

Sour grapes - well, I have no answer to this accusation.

My blog is no better than his - I never claimed so.

Chenthil said...

Mahesh Shantaram, do get back to regular blogging.

zigzackly said...

I really don't want to get into someone else's scrap, but I have to ask a question or two, if I may?

How is it Kiruba's fault if the media chooses to label him India's top blogger? If you differ with them—and we all know that our MSM is far from infallible—and think you can prove your claim, why not contact these reporters and state your case?

If you notice, most of the "Hi Kiruba, that was awesome / great / fun" comments in his blog are from non bloggers.

I'm not sure how this follows from self-promotion (which I think everyone who posts their thoughts in public is, in some degree, "guilty" of) and leads on to how representative a particular blogger is. Surely an audience outside the very incestuous blogosphere is a good thing? I'd be very depressed if I thought that the 3 people who read my blog turned out to be other bloggers.

Kiruba's done a fair bit of promotion of awareness of blogs in general, and that's something we all benefit from. That his evangelising blogs to people who didn't know a blogroll from a chicken frankie has got him readers who aren't bloggers seems only natural to me.

I will confess to coveting the man's readership, but I don't grudge it to him. He put in whatever it took to get him those eyeballs, and if they keep coming back, then perhaps it's because he's struck a chord somewhere, is giving his audience what they want? If he ceases to please, they'll vote with their feet and go elsewhere.

Thank you for the link, by the way. Many have come by to throw peanuts into my cage. :)

Smi said...

Hey Chenthil,

This is my first time in your comment box. Read your blog a few times through a very good friend's recommendation!

Well, the RED-CARPET-BECKONS-ME atttidue that a few so called A-listed bloggers flaunt is something that is not worth bitching about!!! For a sudden second, do you realise that what-you-wrote-because-you-wanted-to
turns to some wow-celebrities-like-me-get-scums deal to these A-listed bloggers!!!!

I have nothing personal against Kiruba, just like you....
But I am nonetheless glad that I see like minded people here who think likewise about the quality of his blog!!!

Now is it not a fair politics that the world sees!! An A-lister gets the hits just because 3-4 of his followers will call him KING or a superman. Curiosity, before it could kill the new bloggers take them to the A-lister and they read the comments and see the hits and think "Shucks man, how does this guy pull it off????? Such substandard posts yet the hits are like skyhigh!" The pure astonishment brings them each day to such A-lister's place for the 'prolly-I-can-learn-by-observing-how to-get-hits-as-my -posts-are-much-better' attitude!!

In other cases, the likeminded people like these A-listers will go there for what pleases a fool than finding his own identity somewhere around?! Well if none of these works, there are a few who cant stand out in a crowd in any way. So stick to the A-lister blogger and bingo you get to be known as a friend of the KING!(they wld not have found anyother better thing to kiss than such a-lister's ass!)

Or there are even worser nuts who can think running,cycling & activities like-will-u-join-me-for-a-running-session as such becomes * My Gawd, this is a an acheivement no one can dare dream of except for the elite group that trods alongwith the A-lister*...

And that odd forwards and meets....well cheap gizmos that exactly please a cheapo on the prowl!!! Overall, Such A bloggers have it in their BLOGENES to leave a legacy in their trail to attract a very similar hereditary fan following!!(Like the A-lister;Like his fan!) Like father;like son????

Btw, I see most of the KING supporters here are anons! QED!!! ;-)

Smiles etc.,

Smi

Prashanth said...

i dont agree with you. for the average joe- India's #1 blogger would have to be the guy's whose blog has the most hits. Which would be Kiruba?

Otherwise, how do we compare different blogs? I would say my blog is the best, so would you blah blah.. just because a person puts up forwards, videos doesnt make his blog any less a blog than yours.

but then this is your opinion and I will respect it :-)

Anonymous said...

oy. Nilu is the best blogger in india. anyone who differs with this can meet me inside a boxing ring.

Anand said...

Chenthil: Desupundit readers are up in arms. There are whispers that Kaps is gonna be dismissed! Shit! India disagrees with you. You have to take this post off. My sincere recommendations!

But Chenthil, you are an evil person, slinging mud and all; without even the common courtesy to offer a towel afterwards!

NB: I have to add here that I have noithing personal against either Kiruba, Chenthil, Madonna, Michael Jackson, George Bush or specifically Elvis Presley. Please do not call me an Elvis hater. He reads my blog and I don't want him to remove me from his blogroll.

Anonymous said...

I rarely read blogs but I was forced to enter in by a pal...from the quality of debate I feel I haven't missed anything..

btw, best blogger is one who makes the maximum from AdSense..

On that count, then I should be the one...

Deepa said...

Chen, did kiruba invite you for a drinik after reading this post?
A non-controversial you should be applauded for voicing an opinion and for being "politically incorrect".

Sagaro said...

Why do we even have a post debating about top bloggers? It defeats the whole purpose of blogging...

Why are you pissed off with what people think about Kiruba? I think its pretty lame/prejudiced/jealous...

Anonymous said...

Sagaro,

Can you please enlighten us on the purpose of blogging? Please please.

Anonymous said...

Sagaro maama,
Indha website eppadi open panradhu? Err. Indha Blog eppadi panradhu?

Sagaro said...

There, 17 of your comments are from anons and non bloggers. And you are pointing out Kiruba for self promotion.

@Anons machan:
I have no intentions to. If you dont know how to blog, so be it. Go around bitching about a person and derive pleasure/traffic of it.

Anonymous said...

Tho paruda james bond sagaro puthusa kandupudichi irukkar. Anonymousa comment potta avunga ellam non bloggers aam. en bloggers ellam anonymousa commente poda matangala. athu sari ithukkum self promotionukkum enna sambandham ?

Read the Anonymous 10:21 PM comments in the context of this post
http://themaanga.blogspot.com/2006/08/romba-random.html

ps: I am not that anonymous

Anonymous said...

All you fuckards didnt have anything to do than to puke on kiruba.go shake tat stick if you got one and suck it

Anonymous said...

Interesting read:
http://www.india2020.com/i2020/2006/08/indias-no-1-blogger-controversy-do-we.html

Sagaro said...

@Anon:
"athu sari ithukkum self promotionukkum enna sambandham"

Thats for you to find out and me to know :)

Anonymous said...

Sagaro,
By posting as anonymous, we get more traffic? Really? Thanks :)

I said...

Right on, chenthil.

Sriram said...

Two words - fuck humanity. Kiruba tholla thaangala ba. I totally agree with you CHenthil. As for anons commenting here.. such fun. In reality, Kiruba blog-a padikkaradhukku, i;ll read Nilu's blog. And why is there such uproar about mudslinging? Enna venumaam ellarukkum?

Kiruba waste-nu sonna, indha patrix ennavaam? Kabodhi, pethu pethu-nu petharaan.. enda pethare-nu kaetta, wikipedia-va proof-a kaatran. avana modhalla off pannunga ba.

Sriram said...

Chenthil,
And what does Amit Varma do? the same exact thing. link to a thousand posts at the same time or post forwards. how is that exceptional when compared to kiruba?

Anonymous said...

Sagaro,
>>There, 17 of your comments are from anons and non bloggers. And you are pointing out Kiruba for self promotion.

By stating the above comment u associated comments by anons and non bloggers with self promotion. can u enligthen the lesser mortals what is the logic behind the statement ?

Anonymous said...

blogger (n) - refers to a class of species with an extreme sense of self importance.

-varun

This guy too qualifies for a puke.. said...

http://chennaicentral.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

sriram :nee enna periya poola aduthavana pathi solrathukku.
Even nilu is an imbecile to the core,and you join hands with him..fuckin morons.

anonymous said...

Chenthil: You have to write about the dominance of the tamil brahmins in the blogworld.All those self trumpetting assholes can even be placed a level above kiruba.
See the pride in their profile.TAM-BRAM. fuck tambrams.fuck those casteists.

Exile from the Real World said...

Jealous ?

Kiruba didn't self proclaim to be the
King of virtual Gossip. He's got traction..You just spin...

Move on with Life....

Krishnan said...

Its like asking..how Rajinkanth can be considered No.1 in Tamil film industry and not Kamal.. All that matters is generating traffic(i am sure every bloggers aim is that).Kribs is successful in that. Why question his means?. Lets accept the fact and move on.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm looks like someone is jealous.....and
this is a cheap way to generate traffic chenthil..GROW UP

Karthik S said...

I have no idea why you have to post this. Did Kiruba steal your chocolate ?

Anonymous said...

Chenthil, accept your are a cheap, jealous bastard.

Chenthil said...

Ok, now that the comments section has got into name calling, there is no point in letting this discussion go further.

My final word - I stand by what I said. Please send all your abuses to the email id listed on this blog.