Opinion: What’s Blog Got To Do With It? With @BethLovesBolly – Part One

Following @GetFilmy in my What’s Blog Got To Do With It series is another one of my favourite bloggers Beth Watkins.

As well as her own awesome blog, Beth has also written for the Wall Street Journal and has even guested on my blog before when we discussed the Cannes frenzy surrounding Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

 Here is Beth’s Opinion piece on blogging today – don’t forget to check back for her 2015 Q+A and Career Clinic later this week!

What do you miss about blogging for Hindi cinema?

​Not much, actually; if I missed it more, I’d probably do it more! The social interaction that was so key in the early days (via comments) is covered (and much expanded!) by Twitter for me.​ And often I find I’m able to express what I want to about a film via a series of tweets too. I don’t write in order to be read, but surely reading tweets is more convenient than reading blog posts (and one hopes just as satisfying). That said, when I have a lot to say about a film, I blog about it.

Is the blogging scene for Hindi cinema even relevant any more?

​Yes, but not nearly as much so. There will always be people who want to read something long-ish and/or more narrative. I just tend to think of my blog more as a magazine these days – I put out content but most of the interaction is elsewhere.

How have trolls/super fans/camps affected blogging?

​Not at all in my experience. A few trolls have said devastating things to me over the years but mostly I escape their notice. Fan camps just make me laugh, and they’re pretty easy to ignore on Twitter because of the handy-dandy blocking function.

Does the film industry recognise/utilise the presence of blogging effectively?

​I’m not sure they ever did, though some people were certainly paying attention – and more the critics and journalists and some of the PR firms, which is no surprise. Also, maybe I was just too small scale or too irrelevant a voice (not Indian, not in India at all) to matter to filmmakers, so my experience with this may not be comparable to that of people in India or seen as speaking with an Indian voice.

Which blogs do you read regularly and why? Any recommendations?

​Everything I read is known by anyone reading this post, I’m sure! I do really miss Post-Punk Cinema Club, who quit writing quite a while ago.

What do you think the future of blogging holds?

​Probably not much, though I do strongly believe that it’s a great platform (medium?) in which to express yourself and to just practice writing. The democracy of access to blogging for both writers and readers is so important. Anyone can write on a blog and anyone can read it (if they can actually find the posts – it’s important to keep in mind as a writer that just because you’ve written something and are proud of it does not mean anyone will find it or care if they do happen to find it).

What I value most about blogging in addition to just being a general outlet for my thoughts and a pretty simple way to write and read and build community off of those things is that I’m in complete control of it. I’ve written for various publications and as great as it feels to be part of a larger project and its community, or to have your name on a Wall Street Journal byline, I don’t tend to find that as satisfying creatively most of the time because, very reasonably, I had to write for their audience about topics that suited the publication etc  etc. Usually I want to just write 2000 words on whatever crazy movie I’ve happened to watch, which is not what lots of places want. Of course, some do, and then that’s a great fit (for me) to write for someone else.

You can follow Beth on Twitter – @BethLovesBolly

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