29 December 2012

Annual Report

I am cynical and most years end on a crappy note for me. The year always feels like it went too fast and nothing much was done. But evaluation is required nonetheless. One has to see how the year was and maybe chalk out a plan for the future. And so it must be with blogs.


2012 was the year of experiments. A new interface, a different name and newer ways of publicity kept the blog alive and buzzing. However, the year recorded the least number of posts since its conception and that too without any majestic surge in the quality of writing. While there is no correlation/causation to say that the experiments caused the decline, readers have been rumoured to suggest otherwise. Another theory doing the rounds is that the author has become a corporate monkey and has lesser and lesser time for his other half of the brain. What is instead surprising is that the readership saw an increase. From 2 regular readers and 1 forced reader, the blog now has 3 regular readers, 1 forced reader and 1 accidental reader. The newer ways of publicity (facebook, twitter, word of mouth etc.) have also brought in casual readers and some of them have managed to leave a mark. All in all, 2012 just managed to pass the benchmark. The increased readership seems to have motivated the author to write more, and those are our expectations for 2013 - an increased readership leading to increased writing. 

Causes for Decline 

The most prominent aspect of 2012 has been the sheer dearth of blog posts by the author. 10 in Thesaurus and 3 in Jibber Jabber is an abysmal number, best suited to fashionable bloggers. This makes us curiouser and curiouser as to what caused the declined. While it is tempting to believe that the occupation of the blogger diverted his attention, the blog actually has seen regular posts since the employment (July to December constitutes 60% of total posts in Thesaurus and 67% for Jibber Jabber). Therefore, the lack seems to be in the first quarter of the year. See the following chart to understand better (both blogs included) :

A close source to the author described the first quarter as extremely busy and confusing for the author. Faced with life-changing decisions and an impossible schedule, the author really had no time to breathe. In a particular week the author was seen juggling college interviews, organising debate competitions and debate training in a different city. June which marked the end of final year exams saw the maximum posts, thanks to the availability of time and joblessness. Therefore, the key reason seems to be the lack of time or rather a free mind to think out blog posts.

Regardless of that, there were somethings the author missed and must not be forgiven for. In Jibber Jabber, the readers were waiting for posts on FDI, Palestine, Delhi Gangrape, Gujrat Elections etc. but were left completely disappointed. Instead, they got a summary of tweets in a particular post in October. Thesaurus was filled with sermons and guides to living a beautiful life. There was a complete lack of fiction and storytelling. The last piece of poetry we read was in August 2011.  If the readership is to be maintained, there has to be a resurrection of poetry and fiction. That is our key takeaway for 2013.

The New Stuff

While the new interface seems extremely appealing at first glance, especially the hidden message in the backdrop, it hasn't delivered the magic that was expected. In a world of mobile internet and email alerts, the author expected that the readers would take out time to change the views of the blog from the dynamic view option. Someone should tell him that he isn't the only one facing a lack of time. The mobile website was fixed only in the latter half of the year, before which the dynamic view would take decades to load. On the other hand, Jibber Jabber being an issue based blog has the right theme to it. Plain and to the point.

We like the new name and our pleased with the change, but are still inquisitive about its origins. Till then, we would recommend a dictionary/thesaurus widget to go with the new name.

Undoubtedly, the sliver lining of the year was the rise in readers. We got in touch with a recent reader and they surprisingly remembered a particular post from 2011 and were able to relate it to the real life events of the author. That alone shows the effect the writing has on people (or the author's complete lack of inspiration). Another recent reader is rumoured to discuss every post with the author after it has been published. This report would be incomplete without mentioning the two loyal readers of this blog, who have stuck around because of the sheer brilliance of the writing (or their love for the author). We must congratulate the author of that.

The Other Stuff

Our analytics team tells us that yet again, the most popular post (in terms of page hits) was A Tide In The Affairs Of Men. The connection between the post and OTH has quenched the thirst of many Googlers and OTH fans.

In terms of qualitative liking, "Information value" was the best post of 2012 because of its innovative nature. Followed closely by it is "Godspeed" - we understood 'nothing' but it seems like intelligent stuff.

The song dedications in 2012 are beautiful and we are very impressed with the kind of music the author has been listening to. Each track has its own flow and flavour. If there is one thing that the author should never let go, no matter how many changes the blog goes through, is the song dedications.

In all this, one should not forget the half hearted attempt of the author to reply to comments. When this went to press, there was still a comment in a December post that had not been replied to. This has to change in 2013.

Speaking of comments, the highlight of 2012 was a comment war on a post on Jibber Jabber. Reports suggest that just right now there was a reply by Anonymous on that post. Though its sad that the war was not about the content, we are happy that it's getting some attention.

What next?

Just write, Rohan. Don't be scared. Be patient with the annoying people. Anything you write has a flip side to it. And you will always reach dead-ends. And you will mostly be disappointed. But just keep writing. Sad stuff. Sermon Stuff. Fiction Stuff. Anything. Just write. Because that is a huge part of you. Not the whole of you. But a lot of you. There are so many parts of us - the part we think we are, the part we show to other people, the part we want to be and many others. But this maybe the real you. Just write.

We were able to get a comment from the author when we told him we were running this report. He doesn't know the contents yet, but this is what he had to say :

"Thank you so much for doing this. It feels great that you are helping the blog out. Be kind in what you write.  I just have one thing to say. It's something I heard through a TV show. There was once a man who was building a beautiful home for his wife and kids. A home in which they were always happy and would never have to leave. But it wasn't actually a home, it was a cage. I hope neither the blog nor me, are in a cage that we have built for each other."

We totally agree with that comment. Whatever it means, we understand.

And that's it from our side. We hope that you find this report very useful. Do share your comments and feedback.

To Rohan Chawla, Chotashakespeare, Thesaurus, Corporate Monkey, Chawla, Roaaan and other names that you have for the author.

Song : 
23 by Jimmy Eat World
A Satisfied Mind by Jeff Buckley
Come Talk to Me by Bon Iver


For the Love of Blog said...

Overview - First off, annual report on the blog and only snippets on your life? deviation from tradition! good or bad - dont know, definitely incomplete!!!
It was the Year Of The Apocalypse That Everyone Knew Wasnt Going To Happen! Surely.. SURELY you have something to tell your readers about.. Jibber Jabber wasnt the only one that registered a disappointment w.r.t content - and this was non fiction too.

Cause of Decline in blog posts? Id entertain one other theory on the matter. The Author is known to possess the emotional capacity of a "Robot" (quoting from an interview of my own with the Man. He admittedly faced alot of trouble and uncertainty in the first half of the year. Could have simply found the emotional stability to write with his usual flair, honesty and potency only in the second half - when a majority of his fears/insecurities were put to rest with his position secured at the Corporate Zoo where he is currently employed. What Im suggesting is not just an availability of time or brain space.. just a general availability of heart. or the lack of in this case as a possible cause. He doesnt do half hearted matters, of that we are sure.

Since you did delve a little into the matters of "favorites" - I'd suggest you maybe host a poll at the end of the year for most favorite post and least favorite post?
Or atleast in your annual report, write a sentence about the weirdest post of the year. If i know our Author, even HE doesnt understand what he writes ALL the time. A while ago he was looking at old Facebook comments and didnt understand what or why he wrote what he did (or as i suspect is likely.. the way he did)
I add this bit into my feedback only because i did not like Warm and Fuzzy at all. I really liked the use of the Debategraph thingy (uber cool)

Happy New Year Blog! :)

Rohan Chawla said...

Thank you for your feedback. Your comment is important to us and we will get back to you shortly. Thank you once again for sharing your views. Be assured that we will take these into account to provide better and improved services in the future. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any other queries/doubts. Have a great day and a wonderful 2013!

Thanks and Regards,