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Other identities – II April 13, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in blogging.

As I mentioned in this post, I maintain 2 other blogs in addition to Epistles and I described the origin and purpose of one of the two – thelittlerocker. In this post, I fill in with a few notes on thebroadcaster.


The broadcaster has entirely an different origin and an equally different purpose. That is where I post interesting articles/links that come across during my several hours of reading newspapers, magazines, blogs and random websites online every day ( 1-3 hrs at times ).


For over an year now, I had been sending the same material ( that now appears on the blog ) to a friend of mine Rajaram through email. This was partly casual as we generally do often as we forward mails, but more importantly it was to help Rajaram’s business school application process. These articles cover a range of topics – economics, history, politics, India, US domestic issues, cricket ( very rarely ) and popular science, sociology, media, evolution and psychology – and I thought it was a good ‘stock to invest in’ for his group discussions and interviews etc. This was May 2005.

Over time though it appeared that there as no reason to restrict the recipient of these set of articles and I was open to the idea of adding other friends of mine – who can afford to find time to read at least some of them. Over the next 8 months, this list had grown to 16 people – some of who were friends of my friends I had never met. Articles went out almost everyday – at a significantly higher rate on weekends – but overall at an average of 45 per month.

On one hand, it was a good feeling to be doing this – to be in some small way serving a larger community as I enjoy reading on the way – it could have not been more productive and meaningful ( in that larger sense ) than that. On the other though, as the size of the list grew, the hesitation in sending out articles also grew. This was because it was hard to find articles that I would imagine would interest such a diverse group of friends – and I had no intention of spamming people anyways! For. eg. there were often articles on US politics or domestic/economic issues which would have been rather out of place for an audience in India.

And this is where the blog came in. I post here all articles that I am absolutely sure can go out by email to my friends. In addition to those, I also post other material that I read that may not interest a majority in a large sample – so those in the mailing list or others may find something interesting to read here that didn’t otherwise come in their mail. Occasionally, I do build a context by posting comments or relating them to other articles I have seen elsewhere or posted before. But mostly I don’t go out of the way to make them readable by cross-referencing or linking extensively.

And as with several other things I am particular about, thebroadcaster serves as an archive as well – valuable one at that – timeless one at that! When I look into my mail archive from last year, I notice how the nature and topics of articles I have sent have reflected two trends – of the current news and of my own interests. A few years hence when I sit down to do a statistical text categorization and topic tracking, I might find interesting trends here !!

thebroadcaster therefore has no well-defined and/or extensive readership – and given its nature, is unlikely to ever have one !



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