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Express Features – newindpress

A pioneer in Malayalam blogging

S Chandrashekharan Nair, 59, has not had any formal education after class X. An ex-serviceman and an avid cultivator, Nair has never considered himself bright enough for academic or scholarly pursuits.

However, there is one place where this simple rubber farmer from Peyad in the district is known and respected more than any agriculture PhD holder. A place where Nair’s valuable experiences in farming are shared and regarded as gospel. And this is where Nair spends most of his time when he is not in his farm – at his blogs.

Nair, a pioneer in Malayalam blogging from Kerala, started blogging in the year 2000. He has a blog in almost all major blog publishing systems, including blogger.com and Word Press. And Nair had the most compelling tale to narrate at the Malayalam bloggers meet organised by the Kerala Blog Academy here on Sunday.

“If I can be a successful blogger, anyone of you can be too. I was a “mandashiromani” in computers when I began blogging in 2000. Those days, there were no easy tools to guide you in Malayalam blogging and I took hours to learn even how to install the Malayalam font in the computer,” said Nair, who ventured into blogging to bring out and address issues confronting rubber cultivators in Kerala.

Nair or “Kerala Farmer” (as he is known in blogosphere) then went on to narrate how he was introduced to blogging by his nephew, who works in Technopark now, and how the addictive hobby has got him hooked to the cyberworld for over eight years.

Over 100 active and wannabe bloggers participated in the first-ever Malayalam bloggers meet organised in the city. Apart from talks and experience-sharing by current bloggers, the meeting also discussed the steps and tools that can aid a newcomer in the world of Malayalam blogging.

“Many people think that blogging in Malayalam is difficult because you have to first learn Malayalam typing for that. But, actually, knowledge of Malayalam typing is not at all an issue, thanks to the myriad transliteration software available now,” said Chandrakumar, one of the founding members of the Kerala Blog Academy.

The Kerala Blog Academy, formed around a month ago, currently has around 300 active members spread across the State. The Academy’s primary aim is to popularise Malayalam blogging and provide free training and guidance to those interested in it. The Academy has already organised similar bloggers meets at Thrissur, Kannur and Kozhikode.

“The possibilities offered by blogging are really immense. Other than giving space to your creative talents, blogs are also a powerful medium for citizen journalism. They can also turn into interesting discussion forums through comments and counter-comments,” said Adarsh V K, an ardent blogger and member of the Academy.

Application and importance of using free software in blogging, music blogging, podcasting and online cartooning were some of the other topics discussed at Sunday’s programme, which also turned out to be a meeting place for many bloggers who had so far only “met” each other in the virtual world. The next Malayalam Bloggers Meet of the Kerala Blog Academy will be held at Palakkad.

Courtesy: Newindpress 02-06-08

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