I don’t know if this has been out for a while – but NDTV has gotten into user based content generation through NDTV Blogs and Spaces (in Beta). NDTV has been taking the portal route for sometime now. They have dedicated spaces for travel, cooking and health. But NDTV blogs is a whole different game. I was a little shocked by the registration process. They want your name, address, pincode, country, phone number and date of birth. Feels more like an identity theft template really. I don’t understand, why wouldn’t they respect the privacy of bloggers who sign up on their system. I obviously didn’t part with any true information. Further, you don’t have a choice about what shows up on your profile.
There are pre-determined categories. The user interface is limited. No choices for customization. Options to upload audio/ video etc. But it’s a content management system that is entirely determined by the service provider’s whims. For instance this is mine.
Second shock – every post that you make will be approved by the NDTV Blogs and Spaces team before it is published! Well, it’s their blogging service and they have a right to do as they please. However, I do find myself wondering why anyone would sign up for it. I wouldn’t say it’s very intuitive. But it would help popularize blogs I suppose, and users always end up going to better platforms after tinkering about a bit and feeling comfortable with the medium. So far, given the large number of blogging services and platforms, NDTV’s blogging interface is shoddy. A little more research on why people blog and how blogs are used would have given them a clearer idea about the features that make blogging fun, addictive and even useful. The whole idea that the service provider approves your post (it’s been fifteen minutes and nobody’s approved my post yet) is just strange. They might be doing in for reasons of propriety or to avoid legal issues though.
Perhaps NDTV sees this blogging service as a tool to encourage citizen journalism. I would say it’s horribly inadequate for any citizen journalism initiative. No way to collaborate, no options to add authors to blogs etc. No options to license one’s blog, pictures, video or any uploads under Creative Commons which allows for derivative works and collaboration. Reading through the Terms and Conditions of the service, I am also mildly worried about the fact that not only does NDTV gather information, but is open to revealing it if required under law. Errm.. Why would a third party require private information to fix or debug problems with the site?
Therefore, NDTV will not disclose to any third party Member’s name or contact information. NDTV will also not monitor, edit, or disclose the contents of a Member’s information unless required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (1) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on NDTV; (2) protect and defend the rights or property of NDTV; or (3) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of members or the public; (4) fix or debug problems with the Site software/service.
I am not sure it’s very conversation savvy either given you cannot leave trackbacks. However, what NDTV does have is magnificent reach. Just to have the large number of people who get on their website to see the world blog is a beginning. Whatever else … Keep It Blogged.