Monday, 1 August 2005

Redefining the blog, live commentary and the column

Good morning, folks... New season, and it starts with Rahul Dravid opting to bat first, which in sub continental day/night conditions is invariably the safer choice. No morning dew to worry about, given the afternoon start... and with pitches typically slowing down as the day/night goes on, chasing becomes more difficult in the second session.
Off to make coffee for myself... see you guys on here when the game begins...
Quite an ordinary blog post, you might say. Another Indian with an opinion on cricket (: that's almost all of us :) babbling into his blog. But this post has, as of this writing, 1315 comments.

The blogger in question? Prem Panicker, former dead-tree jouorno, now Managing Editor of Rediff in the USA. Old Rediff hands will remember "Panix" and his ball-by-ball commentary in Rediff's chat rooms. This blog (well before blogs existed, of course) once had a minor run-in with Panix when we, bored, decided to start a little action in one of those chats rooms by dissing Tendulkar. Panix, instead of using moderator rights to boot us, pinched out the fire by quickly, quietly, stating a few Tendulkar stats and asking what we based our opinion on. Chastened - we'd never make a good troll - we stayed quiet the rest of that match.

But we digress. To find out why the post elicited so many comments, hit the HaloScan comments button. Panix, you'll be happy to note, has brought typed live commentary back. And with it, has stretched the concept of blogs as a dialogue between writers and readers into a whole new dimension. He answers questions, chats with them, and continues to talk about the game in progress. The post on the next game, India against the West Indies, has 880 comments.

In a previous post, he talks about blogs as opposed to columns:
I'm beginning to like blogs, more than the full-length columns I used to do earlier. Thing is, blogs give you tremendous flexibility -- there are times when an issue needs comment, but the comment itself needs to span only 100-200 words, tops. Trouble with column writing though is the form itself dictates a certain length -- and that means you end up stretching a good 200 word comment into an involved 1000 word column.
This form here gives me the best of both worlds -- I can throw up a link, when the story is worth reading but doesn't necessarily call for comment; I can link and comment in a couple of lines if that is all it takes; or I can if I want to examine an issue in greater depth. Perfect. :-)


Anonymous said...

Amazing chap. I am one of those that hangs onto his every word! I place expensive bets with buddies depending on what he says!

Joyce said...

Hey Peter,
it's been ages since i popped in, and i've been reading the cricket man's blog instead of something by you. Get off your bum and write something! It's always interesting. Although i really shouldn't put pressure on you cos i read about someone who had a nervous breakdown amd quit blogging cos people were DEMANDING that she write everyday and she started making stuff up to keep the blog going! It took over her life and all that! I sure hope you're more stable than that! haha!
I wonder if i should have sent this as an email istead of posting it as a comment! it's so long!

zigzackly said...

If I was a betting man, I'd do the same.

What have we here? A regular commenter, as I live an breathe! Please send me your address. I want to include you in my will.

Argh. The pressure. I'm afraid my life is so mundane that I'd pretty much *have* to make things up if I did a Dear Diary blog.

And stable. Heh. My best friends don't think I'm stable. I blog, innit?