In a recent research study conducted by Microsoft (MSN and Windows Live) it was found that India's blogosphere is unique in the region with blogging driven by men with an interest in business, politics and entertainment. (What else is there?? porn is entertainment, right??).
Your Average Indian Blogger: A summary of this research would indicate that your average Indian blogger is a young male with a passion for self improvement and entertainment, who spends 5 hours a week reading others and updating his own blog, which gets about 11 hits a week...
Footnote to above: Blogs as part of a media plan for advertisers in India? Not a killer idea right now, but could be worth the investment because space will come cheap at the moment [to advertise on this blog which gets many times more hits than the national average, click here :) ]
Preferred Content: According to the study, the most read/preferred content is technology, followed by news and education, indicating our society is clearly in a progressive, growing mode. Not surprisingly, blogs written by business leaders were found to be the most interesting as they provided great learning.
Footnote to above: So will we suddenly see a rush of wannabe-blogger-CEOs quickly reaching for their wordpress and blogger accounts? (Oops! Or as Microsoft would hope, rush to open a Windows Live Spaces account!). Well, only time will tell, and dude - you need much more than 5 hours a week to get a decent blog going!
Alternate Media: The interesting point to note is that 45% of respondents in India trust the content of blogs, and see it as an alternative to conventional media like print and television. (I also read somewhere else that a EuroRSCG/Columbia study found that 53% of journalists use blogs to find ideas, and 43% use blogs to do research and ratify facts!).
Footnote to the above: A scan of the leading Indian printed business papers will show you that the Business Standard gave this report a tiny 2 columns by 10 cm space, and The Economic Times gave it slightly better 4 columns by 15 cm space... On the other hand, neither the BS Blog, nor the ET Blog have made any reference to this very relevant research!
Microsoft and this research: This study undertaken by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft, and was conducted across seven markets in Asia and covered 25,000 people.
Footnote to the above: If you thought Microsoft ignores public opinion, think again. This study probably cost them a load of money, and is not likely to directly increase the use of their Windows Live Spaces (which one MS spokesperson attempts to push almost as a powerful tool for aspiring bloggers and advertisers). But hey, they're Microsoft, and this could be just the tip of something much bigger planned!