Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I like the way media has become democratic: Sanjeev Bikhchandani

I like the way media has become democratic: Sanjeev Bikhchandani
Sudipta Sengupta
10 July 2007, Tuesday

Sanjeev Bikhchandani, the CEO of InfoEdge recently took to blogging. In a chitchat session with Sudipta Sengupta, Bikhchandani reveals how this blog will be a platform to express his views, and not an internet marketing or PR platform for his company.
A blog from a CEO is perhaps not a new thing. But a blog from a CEO that does not revolve round the company’s Internet marketing strategies is perhaps a very rare thing. Sanjeev Bikhchandani, co-founder and CEO, InfoEdge (India), better known for its web site, has recently started blogging because he loves writing. In the first two months of blogging, readers have seen him talking about the Prime Minister’s comment on salary cuts for CEOs, reservation in St.Stephen’s college, Timesjobs’ attacking advertising against and life after’s IPO. In a lively conversation with Sudipta, he promises to keep up this diversity in his blog.
Sudipta: Congrats! Your blog was long due and it has completed two months.
Sanjeev: I am hardly a prolific blogger. Only five posts in two months. But, yes, I am glad I got down to it after thinking about it for so long. It feels good to get started.

An all out ‘internet savvy’ person, what took you so long to come to the blogosphere?
Sanjeev: Actually I am not very Internet savvy. I regard myself as being more customer, people and business savvy. My knowledge of the Internet has always been merely adequate. Unless something is very important or urgent, I am frequently lazy about doing it. So it was with blogging.

So what finally made you a blogger – a personal flow of creativity or a PR exercise for
Sanjeev: Mostly the former. I like to write, I do have views and like to express them. However the Timesjobs campaign was topical at the time when I started. Hence the second post was about that.

What can we expect now? Another successful website around the concept of ‘blogging’?
Sanjeev: We are not planning a website around blogging. We will however look at other stuff which fits in well with our current portfolio of sites. We will announce what they are at the appropriate juncture.

Bloggers usually search hard for subjects to write on. What do you intend to pick up?
Sanjeev: My blog probably will not be focused on one theme. I will write what I believe I know about. So far I have written about Naukri and Timesjobs, corporate salaries, reservations at St. Stephen’s and life after the IPO. All are different. My next post is likely to be about the characteristics of good entrepreneurial opportunities. I need time to work on it, which I have not been able to find. It may take a few days.

What is your overall idea about the concept of citizen journalism? Do you think the writings of common people can change the world?
Sanjeev: Yes. Media has become a lot more democratic. The public has information from many sources due to the Internet. Blogging has given a voice to everyone who wants to speak out. The absolute power that media houses wielded due to the earlier oligopolistic control on news has diminished substantially. I like the new environment.

Your second post on your blog starts with, “I wrote a couple of hundred words about nothing and nine people commented and encouraged me to continue blogging”. This post has 24 comments. Seems like you are one celebrity blogger in the making. How does it feel?

Sanjeev: My subsequent posts have had much fewer comments. I suspect it is because the first post was mentioned by Gautam Ghosh in his blog. Because I write infrequently, the blog is not very popular.


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