I found a mail in my mailbox a couple of days ago. It started thus:

We are shutting down DesiPundit effective midnight (CST) June 15th, Tuesday. It has been a fun five years and we have enjoyed every moment. We wish to thank all Community Members for sharing your content with our readers and I hope we managed to win you some readers.

Over at DesiPundit, people have moved on to other things and time & resources haven't been as plentiful for those who have remained. The Indian blogosphere and presence on other social media networks has expanded greatly and in our experience, it is no longer possible for human-powered aggregators to keep up; at least on a part-time volunteer basis.
It is sad that they decided to shut down . Particularly for me as I had just become a contributor a few months back. For years, Desipundit had been something I could only read as an outsider. Occasionally when a post of mine would be featured here it was a great honor - a validation of my blogging efforts. I remember the first time when I saw that my site meter had crossed the 300 mark for the first time and most of the traffic was from Desipundit. It was for this post and I
wrote to my son:
Hey, I can now die in peace. My post made it to Desipundit!
Over the years a few other posts had the honor but it took 6 years of blogging before I was invited to become a regular contributor. And then the sudden end.

Or perhaps not all that sudden - Over the past year, blogging seem to have lost its sheen somewhat. Many of us don't seem to feel the urgent need to blog about the minutiae of our lives. Some of the bloggers on my reader haven't blogged a word in months. And there is also the diminished interest from readers who don't not seem to have the time to read long posts and react. Twitter, the microblog, which allows you to express yourself pithily in blocks of 140 characters has taken over the space and time as a more convenient options for sharing opinions and ideas on the go. Rapid fireworks, less responsibility of sustaining a longer conversation. More in sync with he pace of our times unlike blog which demands a more in-depth elaboration of ideas.
Why use 400 words where 140 would serve the purpose? And it is more glamorous too - you share the space with the who's who of journalism and bollywood. You are no longer dependent on tabloids to know what the stars are up to - they tell you themselves through their tweets.
There is Shahrukhkhan telling you:
am shooting a dish tv advt right now. wrapped in india..just the fotoshoot rest of the shooting in london & sum in india
scary plane ride...200 km/hr headwind knocked us all over. thought was going to die so covered my face & hid under thin blanket. felt safer

And when you can overhear Bachchan senior in a tete-a-tete with Karan Johar (or should we call it tweet-a-tweet?) it feels like you are part of that crowd!

By contrast blogging is a medium where unknowns bond across barriers and share thoughts and ideas and many times scenes from their lives. Like friends who meet for a cup of chai and sit down to chat. They do not need to react immediately. they could think about what you said and come back later to give their opinion unlike twitter where morning tweets are forgotten by the end of the day. If your reflexes aren't sharp enough the moment is gone and you have lost the opportunity to be part of the conversation.

Many of my old blogger friends have moved on to twitter and so I have signed up just to follow them. I personally do not have the flair to say anything in 140 characters. I need so many just to clear my throat. And then another 140 to warm up to the topic. I cannot say smart things at short notice. I have realized that tweeting requires skills that I do not possess while blogging has no such demands except the ability to string together sentences grammatically.

When you want to review a book or a film or rant about a social or political issue or share the cute things that your child says or does or just share interesting moments from your lives - blogging would still be the more convenient and appropriate medium. The reduced activity in blogosphere is a damper but I hope my favorite bloggers will not totally abandon it and will come back to post at least once in a while.
Meantime Desipundit, You will be missed.
23 Responses
  1. Parul Says:

    I hear you about Twitter. I have tried and in fact keep trying to get used to it but am yet to figure it out. I think some people who genuinely enjoy writing and therefore would rather do more of it than less, are no good at tweeting. Or maybe people like me just have trouble shutting up before reaching a certain point.
    There are some others though like Kiran and the smugbug who are equally good at both.
    Can I just say that I am glad you are not planning to stop?
    RIP, DP.

  2. Unknown Says:

    Usha I was getting worried at your long silence and am so glad you have posted . I switched off my twitter account - it was getting so boring and much as I like reading about other people's lives I can stand only so much minutae , so off it went .
    As for blogging , you are right . I find myself drying up when it comes to expressing and am happy to just post pictures .Sad , but there you are (:

  3. Hi Usha Ji I enjoy reading your posts thoroughly and love the way you write. Please do keep your blog abuzz with activity every now and then if not everyday. I am also glad that you have posted. Thank you.

  4. CW Says:

    Hi Usha, So good to see you back! I read your older post on Julie T. wow! Message in a bottle alright!

  5. rajk Says:

    Hi Usha,
    I read about Desipundit shutting down too. I may sound like a dinosaur but I just don't 'get' twitter. Why on earth would I want to 'follow' what someone is doing in his day-to-day life?
    But as far as not blogging in days/weeks/months is concerned, I stand guilty as charged. I haven't posted anything in over a month. Hopefully, this will be a wakeup call from you.
    DP or no DP, we'd love to keep reading you!!

  6. Co-incidence! I just mentioned on my blog how some of my fellow bloggers have stopped blogging altogether for various reasons and how I miss them and their blogs..

    I think I would prefer blogging anyday to Twitter. Goes to say why I deleted my Twitter profile too. I felt I was a tad too "followed" by people!

    Sad to know that Desipundit is closing shop :-(

  7. S.V. Says:

    Hi Usha,

    Yes, it is sad that Desi pundit is going off. Hadnt heard from you in a long while as well, was worried if you were okay or not. As for blogging, Im guessing its a phase but it will soon be back, dont worry. People said that Reading as a habit had died a natural death but the crowds at bookstores suggest otherwise. Some things are here to stay and am sure one of them is blogging...Cheers!

  8. bala rao Says:

    I will "follow" ur blog nevertheless! :)

  9. Gayatri Says:

    I'm glad that you decided to continue blogging. Its a pleasure for people like me who are not much into twitter and also like to read long posts. Please keep writing


  10. WhatsInAName Says:

    I agree, Usha. I joined twitter only because it was in news and I was curious... Esp after tharoor and modi cases.
    But frankly I am already bored. Like you I am not a person of few words. But the diff between you and me is, I like to read more than write. I am not exactly good in expressing my thoughts. Hence, my dying blog!
    But this is a good wake up call. Will have to something pronto to revive it

  11. maami Says:

    I try twitter. Doesn't work for me.

  12. Pepe444 Says:


  13. Poornima Says:

    Here's one more 'I agree', 'Twitter's not for me' comment. Laughed out loud at 'I need 140 characters to clear my throat'. Thats your trademark humour and one of the reasons your blog is on my reader. I religiously read all the blogs I follow, but yes my writing is not that regular. Did something happen in blogosphere that caused mass writer's block, i wonder! Anyhow, hope you will keep them posts coming once in a while!

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I feel although some bloggers leave for twitter, some more start blogging. I joined twitter only to stay in touch with blogging friends, blogging is what I love to do.

    Around recession time a lot of new bloggers had joined, but once they got busy at their workplaces, most of them stopped blogging...

    Many readers disappear and many new readers keep coming, I think it also depends on what we blog about the most, at the time.

    Sad about DesiPundit shutting down...

  15. Jane Turley Says:

    I agree with absolutely everything you say Usha! I have seen some very good writers move over to Twitter - I suppose there's an instant buzz from it - but they have been a big loss to the blogosphere and, as you say, nothing substansial will remain to validate their skills as a writer:(

    Yes, the blogosphere has been very, very quiet this year; I tried posting some nude photos to liven it up but that didn't work either:)

    (Okay, okay I'm just kidding!)

    I think we should do some memes to get the brain cells ticking over! Hmm, I shall have a think:)

  16. dipali Says:

    Been missing you. Twitter and tweeting have not yet got me ensnared.
    Please post more often!

  17. Deeps Says:

    Just dropped in to say that I still read your blog, don't really comment so much anywhere. Like you, I cannot "limit" my words to 140, so am still blogging, though it has slowed down quite a bit these days :-D.

  18. Unknown Says:

    90 days free to try and study!
    120us to start an enterprise! Grow up automation system
    You could be making $2,000 to $5,000 of extra income every month!

  19. Reema Says:

    I don't know why there is this misconception that one should have smart things to say on twitter. Its not like that...its more like u thought of something for example while watching a news or a movie or even after reading someone else's tweet and u just express it in 140 characters. I feel twitter is based more on the person's will to network and interact. :)
    I am active both at twitter and blogosphere. If I am irregular at blogging thats cuz of laziness and lack of time. but blog is my first love :)

  20. Hi Usha Mami, I absolutely agree with you on the point that Twitter can never replace blogs. As you say, when there is a need to express oneself properly, 140 characters hardly suffice. But an interesting thing is that, Twitter still seems to attract people due to the relatively small amount of time it takes to spend posting their thoughts and experience. And since I need to attract people to my blog, I use Twitter to publicize my blogs! Good strategy, I suppose, but I am yet to see it succeed....

  21. astatine Says:

    I too was not much of a twitter fan..and then one day I just decided to follow a few people and lurk around... I still dont have (m)any followers..but I have a lot of fun.. It is nice to be a passive tweeter..just reading others tweets... But certainly not about SRK's bathroom visits and Srbachhan's profound advice or Shahid kapoor's spelling lessons.... but blogging is the most catharitic and theraputic experience I have had so far..

  22. always love reading your blog.
    i have been rather neglectful. you are right though, one can and does express a lot more while blogging.
    to read good blogs is always a pleasure, tweets and face book, represent some of the most apalling language wanders, if tweeters attended spelling classes.
    always happy to read your posts.

  23. Rangan Badri Says:

    Hi Usha,
    Would you like to be paid for your blogging skills?