Tuesday 16 July 2013

Interview with Prashanth Ashok (Singapore)

Today I had the Pleasure of Interviewing Prashanth , A Regular and Prolific Blogger , who is really very popular.Lets know a bit of him.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? your blog , and your aspirations and your hobbies !!

I am Prashanth, currently an NRI based out of Singapore, doing my Masters. I blog under the name AP's (S)crap - pretty much just about anything that crosses my mind. There is no fixed theme that I write about. It ranges from reviews to poetry to short stories to humour .. well, you get the idea right?

I am a fairly good singer and I love talking. Philosophy and politics are two of my favourite issues. I love travelling and soon hope to start exploring East Asia (already did Bangkok and Pattaya a few months back, and planning on Melaka in the coming weeks)

2. How you first got involved in with blogging , are you an imaginative person?

I would say I am an imaginative person, yes. But its quite hard to pen down what I imagine, partly because it could be highly controversial. Some things are best left to the mind, I guess.

As for blogging, I stumbled upon it by chance. Although my blog is almost 4 years old, the number of posts are fairly less. This was mainly because, when I started working with Infosys, I was very active on the InfyBlogs (internal blogs within the company) and have almost a 150+ posts to my credit. I didn't find the need to bring it out and post on Blogspot. It was only after I quit Infosys last year, that I resumed writing on the (s)crap

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
To me, the biggest challenge perhaps, is to get a feel of how the reader would interpret it. Back in InfyBlogs, I wrote a post about Modi and it became a huge controversy, with one person actually going on to call me a Hindu fanatic (not in the exact words, but the meaning implied was that). In that sense, I proof read it a lot, from different perspectives, to at-least guess how the meaning could be interpreted.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?

We have this group called Chennai Bloggers Club, a congregation of bloggers from Chennai. I have met a lot of interesting people from that group, through my blog. Some of them have become really close and opinions are stated firmly, yet, politely. I wouldn't want to single out one person, but the entire group has been highly supportive

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
I guess people would call it casual (or way too casual, at times). That's just my writing style. Since most of my posts are not serious, it might come across as casual. But when it does come down to getting serious, it can get real serious. Like this particular post - http://prashanthashok1.blogspot.sg/2012/12/so-long-sister.html

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I think a lot. A real big lot indeed. And sometimes, a particular chain of thoughts finds its way either into my blog or my Facebook status

7 .Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
In the next six months, I hope to purchase my own domain and setup a blog under my name. As for five years, I am thinking of having a chain of hosts, probably categorized theme wise. But I still would continue to keep my blog casual, with an occasional seriousness thrown in

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
Nothing in particular. Facebook serves as a good medium just to let people know what I write. And sometimes, it has increased the readership

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
Well, for now, I have taken up this A-Z series, where I hope to cover the A-Z places of Singapore which I think are worth mentioning. Apart from that, everyday experiences serve the best source of content. Sometimes, I write it as I saw it; sometimes I weave a story out of it, or something hilarious. Reading other blogs helps come up with ideas too.

10. Whats your strategy with your blog in general?
Keep the writing simple, as non-flowery as possible. Don’t really make a fuss over comments - that's my simple strategy

11. Any specific tips you have for newbee bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
Write, because of your passion; not to get famous. There are other ways to do that. Before you write, create a blog theme and test it thoroughly. Misplaced icons is perhaps the biggest turn off. If you are using Blogspot, turn off captcha image verification and turn on comment moderation.

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
Content is the most important thing. Without that, the other are not there.

13. Whats the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
An honest piece of writing, something he/she has the guts to stand by.

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I haven't used my blog for earning money, so I really cannot answer this. I don't even know how that's done.

15. What motivates you most in life?
Daily experiences.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Be part of various writers' forums and groups.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
That one last paragraph where you try to end it with a suitable note and you are lost for words.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

The post after the Delhi shame incident - that's my favorite & least favorite post. Favorite because I wrote it with my heart and least favorite because I had to write about it.

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
Oh, lets not get there, shall we?

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog.
Well, I wanted my blog to be my scrapbook, but sometimes I felt it was a scrapebook, without the S. Ergo, the name.

21. your connection with Indiblogger and the experience ?
I am just a member of the Indiblogger site. That is the only connection I have. I haven't attended any of the meets, since I have been abroad.

22.Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
Women's rights.

23.Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?
+1 to Google + and Sharing on facebook

24.Five adjectives that describe you.
practical, sensitive, massive, lazy, generous

25.What book would you say has made the biggest impact  good or bad on you?
Kane and Abel, to be honest.

26.Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments ??
Sometimes, yes.

27.Do you plan to write a book , as every bloggers dream it is ?
Oh sure, I am no exception there

28.Are you a judgmental person , Do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral ?
I am almost never judgemental and take the rational side (which is mostly neutral)

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers , are you much into social networking , tell us everything about it ?
Oh yes, I am very much into social networking. Partly because I live abroad and it is the easiest way to stay in touch.

30.What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid ?
Politics is one genre that attracts me the most, which I also tend to avoid.

31.Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism ?
Contests, if healthy, should definitely be encouraged. It helps diversifying the blogging platform.

Plagiarism is a strict no-no.

32.Words for me and my blog .?
I have read your blog since the time of Infosys. Your ideas are fresh and sometimes radical. I feel you should give it your full shot.

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