Even though TOI group has vociferously protested the latest IRS data (2013) on national readership survey there is no denying that readership of anything is decreasing globally. Initially, with the advent of internet people moved to internet sites and hence blogs became popular. However, with passage of time as our reading habits is decreasing that is going to adversely affect the blog readership as well.
In a Blogadda bloggers meet in Mumbai earlier this year (2014) writer Kiran Manarai and Ravi Subramanian has also discussed this issue. In a session for budding writers in India that most of the writers (95%) in India do not make a living by only writing books as readership has decreased. They have also agreed that Vlog of Video blogs are becoming popular.
Later in the conference in a session on video blogging a blogger from JayHind TV showed how readership of any material (offline and online) is decreasing and the viewership of YouTube videos increasing. He also mentioned about sudden drop in readership in past couple of years and sudden gain in viewership of online videos.
We need to take important cues from this statistics –
- Between 2008-2012 circulation declined by 2.2% globally
- In 2013, print circulation declined by 6.6% in northern America, 5.3% in western Europe, 8.2% in eastern Europe and 1.4% in ME and north Africa.
- However, global circulation increased marginally in Asia, Australia and New Zealand
However, the IRS survey on Indian Print media depicting sharp fall in readership is no surprise even though TOI group protested against the results with their data.
We understand that this information on readership is not only important for newspapers and print media but it is important for bloggers too.
The decrease in readership is one way attributed to our reading habits. Be it offline or online content. With average stress level and daily work pressure increasing people are losing interest in reading. No wonder why Acrobat Reader came up with an option of reading a document because they probably realized that people will eventually like this feature more.
Now let’s look at this statistics of increase in YouTube viewership from their own website
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
- Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year
- YouTube is available on Hundreds of Millions of Millions of devices
The above three points tell us clearly that quality video content is the way forward for any blogger, media house.
However, creating Vlog is not easy. Creating quality video content is even more difficult for an individual because it requires both good content and good presentation. Hence blogger may consider grouping with others in order to create quality video content.
For any movement or social group it becomes even more important to create only quality content for their channel.
I will take the example of men’s movement in India to illustrate this.
When this movement talks about all issues related to men then they need to have a strong YouTube channel catering only for men. This channel needs to take up any issue / event related to men.
For Example, the Vlogs posted here may be on men’s health, education, jobs, career, relationship, fatherhood, travel, fashion and et al. The list can be long. For example, in the health section these vlogs can consider different health issues, remedies available, interview with doctors, professionals etc. In education section, it may contain interviews with different eminent personalities, educationists etc. In travel, it may consider exploring one location and bring in all that a man can do there extreme sports, adventure, bars or it may also have interviews with some men doing excellent social work there.
The ideas can be a lot and the execution is difficult for any one person to continue. Hence it is important for the activists to collaborate at national and even at international level.
For collaboration, this movement may consider having teams of content editors, video editors and moderators for the channel. Everyone may be given the power of creating content and then the team produce the final video for the channel. Achieving this at individual level for any blogger is not possible because the subjects are so varied and the expertise needed to tap is so vast and so wide spread. It cuts across geographies and languages.
When collaboration becomes the only way out for this, activists may not have a choice here. Benefits will be many. For example, every week there may be so many different events (both at national and local levels) happening that is of concern to men. With people from all over the country talking about them will make the group address all issues that they want. At current level, with individual bloggers failing to do so in a timely manner keeps many issues un-addressed.
For example, in a video on weekly updates with news items from that week, this group can discuss each issue in a five minute video and give their viewpoint. This will ensure all issues are addressed by the forum.
Video blogging is a great challenge for individual bloggers unless one is equipped with the right tools and know-how. Hence, in near future we may see the need of bloggers’ collaboration coming up. It will be a huge change in blogging world and anyone who cannot adapt to this change may face an early extinction.