Exploring new horizons in Kannada blogosphere
On Sunday, 16th March the very first Kannada bloggers’ meet took place at Indian Institute of World Culture, Basavanagudi. The event was organized by Pranati team. The motto of the event was to bring all Kannada bloggers under one roof to discuss about various issues faced and the future course of action.
Four prominent personalities associated with Kannada in Computer/Internet addressed the gathering.
Dr. U.B. Pavajana. Former scientist at Bhaba Atomic Research Center, now editor of world’s first online Kannada magazine Vishwa Kannada. He shared his experiences about his work for the usage of Kannada in computer field. He shared many anecdotes right from Eureka moment when he successfully e-mailed the word namaskara in Kannada script. In later part of the talk he stressed the need for more developments w.r.t to Kannada in the field of information technology. The tools used by major newspaper houses are still not Kannada Unicode complaint. There is a need for development of Kannada in the field of DBMS, natural language processing and in open source software such as gimp, scriber etc. Also there should be a standard vocabulary for translating technical terms from English to Kannada. Finally he concluded the talk by saying that we should all work in cooperative manner leaving behind our ego.
Hariprasad Nadig. Creator of online community sampada.net, has worked a lot for supporting Kannada in open source platform. He is the man behind starting Wikipedia in Kannada. Addressing the audience he mentioned that there is a need for development in Kannada in the following areas – social networking sites like orkut, standard spell checker, online advertisement(Adwords) in Kannada. Even though there are more than 300 Kannada blogs but there is hardly a blog dedicated to scientific and technological articles.
Abdul Rasheed. Creator of kendasampige.com talked about his experience in creating the site. Later he talked about the contents in Kannada blogs. Many Kannada bloggers limit themselves to literary thoughts and stay in comfort zone. Since there are more than 2.5 lakh BSNL broadband subscribers in Karnataka, atleast 50 percent of them will be interested in reading Kannada blogs, so let’s not restrict ourselves literary articles.
The final talk of the day was by S. K. Shyamshankar, editor of thatskannada.com. He shared his experiences of being a journalist in the Kannada internet magzine for 8 years. He also iterated that there are not many readers of Kannada articles because there are no authentic articles based on everyday life which connects to the common man. The future growth of internet in India will be in vernacular languages. Kannada bloggers should break the jinx and come out of kanasugara tag.
In between there was a interactive Q&A session. One of major point put across by noted Kannada writer Ki. Ram Nagaraj. He mentioned that many people speak Kannada but not all of them read and write because of complexity created by too many characters. Why can’t we have simple Kannada with no mahaprana?
To conclude, the event was a good initiative by members of Pranati. In my opinion these kinds of events have to be conducted on a regular basis so that the efforts are channelized and internet reaches to people in all strata of society. One of the positive developments atleast what I would like to see is coming up of more authentic and ‘down to earth’ Kannada posts in blogosphere.