ANOOP JOHNSON is a co-founder of, India’s largest blogging network. He is an electrical engineering student from Mepco Schlenk Engineering college in Sivakasi and he worked as a software testing engineer for 6 years before he got tired of the daily grind of a corporate life and settled down to create IndiBlogger. He handles the marketing and directs IndiBlogger events across the world.He has participated as the host in every one of them.
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How were you able to come up with the the concept of IndiBlogger? what inspired you?

We were Bloggers before we started IndiBlogger and this helped us understand the core values of being a blogger. Blogging represented a form of communication that was transparent and honest, something we felt that our country dearly needed at the time. There was no proper forum for bloggers to have a sense of belonging and common purpose, so we decided to unite them via IndiBlogger. We set about creating categories under which content was written. This enabled us to form various communities on IndiBlogger based on their writing.

How difficult was it to get people for the cause?

It wasn’t too difficult to spread the word when we first started in 2008. The credit goes to the influence that a lot of bloggers carried. One article from a blogger was enough to drive around 60 bloggers from Bangalore to our first event. Our platform started to grow very quickly after that because no one had ever conducted an event specifically for bloggers before this. This was the moment where we felt that an entire industry around blogging could be created.

Would you like to share an experience of the initial years of the project?

The actions and writing of a lot of the bloggers were a big inspiration to us. In one instance in 2010, we were hosting a Blogger Meet with Internet explorer being our sponsor. A young blogger made it a point to sit in the front row wearing a bright orange Firefox Tee shirt. It was all in good humour but it was a bold statement of defiance. It was a stand off between a free thinker of the open source world against the biggest technology giant of the time.
We felt that this was the community that our country needed to represent a brave new world where ideas were challenged, minorities were represented and justice was done.

What would you like to say about blogging with respect to India?

Blogging in India has evolved into two major types. One type of blogging is informational while the other is opinionated. The Bloggers who blog about information such as a car launch or a product review help consumers get an insight into new and upcoming solutions. Not everyone makes the front page or the news, so this type of blogging is highly sought after by brands, PR and media agencies to help their products stand out in a crowded market place.
On the other hand, bloggers use blogging as a way to hone their writing skills, talk about issues that effect our country from politics to gender parity and give feedback on every aspect of life in India. These are the kind of bloggers who land serious book deals from renowned publishers and a lot of them have gone on to become incredible writers.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

We always tell bloggers to write what they believe in and not be too quick to judge. Words published on a blog can have a lasting effect and with the great power of blogging comes great responsibility. Write responsibly and keep blogging.

Please tell us about the collaboration with Valley of words.

The IndiBlogger and Valley of words collaboration will be for a period of 5 months starting from June 19th and ending at the 3 day event in Dehradun on November 19th. We are excited because this will be the first time where bloggers are taken seriously in a literature festival. There will be bit of everything including some outstanding bloggers being awarded for serious works of literature. We feel that Valley of words has a forward thinking management team open to new ideas and innovation. Anything can happen, so stay tuned!

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