Bollywood Blogging ain’t what it used to be. But is the scene totally dead or are we seeing a new era of blogging? This strand puts this proposition to three top bloggers – Get Filmy, Beth Loves Bolly and BollyBrit to get a unique perspective on the matter.
Get Filmy aka Shakila is one of my favourite bloggers ever as well as a good friend. We instantly connected over Twitter through a love of cinema and even to this day, Shakila is one of the few people whose taste in film I respect and trust.
The idea for this post came to me after Shakila decided to take a hiatus from blogging and social media. Therefore, I am thrilled following her return to Twitter, that she agreed to take part in this post.
Is the blogging scene for Hindi cinema even relevant these days?
I honestly don’t know. Attention spans are so short these days. Does anyone even read anymore? Does anyone even write? Added to that there is just so much Bollywood content being thrown at us 24/7 I think all of us may be suffering a bit of fatigue from it all. There’s too much information, too many opinions – many times not even genuine ones. It can be exhausting. But I still believe good content stands out. There are still blogs I would seek out and read given that they were still being written.
How have trolls/super-fans/camps affected blogging?
I think they’ve brought down the level of discussion one can have around a film or a star. Even the most innocuous critical review will bring out vicious trolls who miss any finer nuances in your post about say, the plot, and can’t look beyond- did you praise my star or diss my star? I hate it as much when a favorable review is endlessly RT’d by the fan camps as when the opposite happens. What we want are platforms for interesting discussions that allow you to think more deeply about film, art, creativity, etc.
Does the film industry recognise/utilise the presence of blogging effectively?
I think they’re definitely using social media effectively – maybe a little too effectively. It’s annoying when everything becomes a marketing strategy. Specifically, blogging may not be the most marketable medium – again, because attention spans are so short. A tweet, a picture or a spoof video probably does more for a film. But beyond that, as Zoya Akhtar said in a recent interview, the entire conversation, analysis, writing around films needs to be much more elevated around Hindi cinema. There’s a lot of content, but 90% of it is dumbed down, PR fodder or heavily biased. We need better media writers as much as we need better scriptwriters.
Which blogs do you read regularly and why? Recommendations? (LOL)
When I was blogging regularly I always made it a point to read my online friends’ blogs, like yours for instance or BethLovesBolly or Salandthebadpun. Outside of my friends, I always make it a point to read Baradwaj Rangan’s blog (though he is obviously a professional journalist so I’m not sure that counts). I look forward to his blog almost as much as I do to watching a particular film. He is a case in point that though everyone has an opinion these days, not everyone has an INTERESTING one – but he stands out. Another well-curated blog I enjoy is BollyBrit. And MoiFightClub is like the bible for me as far as the indie scene.
What do you miss about blogging for Hindi cinema?
Thinking beyond 140 characters, pictures, memes, gifs or even Youtube reviews. I enjoy in-depth analysis and good writing and you can’t get that on any other platform. And the interaction you get with readers as they respond to your writing and weigh in with their own opinions, encouraging a deeper discussion…
I mean, there’s having an opinion, which is what Twitter is for. And then there’s being madly passionate about something which to me, is what blogging is for. It’s for the obsessives, not just the bystanders.
What do you think the future of blogging holds?
It’ll keep evolving I guess. I think the goal is to not be repetitive, which is challenging because as I said there is so much content already. Bloggers probably have to work harder to distinguish themselves from the crowd. I don’t think we should quit though, we should we should find ways to be more creative.
Don’t miss Part Two tomorrow featuring a Q&A and Career Clinic with @GetFilmy!
You can follow Shakila at @GetFilmy on Twitter.