Blogs, a part
of the rising tide of user generated content on the web, have been used by new media companies as a connecting tool for some time now. And now, traditional media are exploring blogs, too. Penguin Books India has joined hands with Sulekha.com, to run a blogging contest called Blogprint.
Sulekha bloggers who write their posts between August 10, 2007, and January 1, 2008, are eligible to enter the contest. Every week, the two best blogs will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000 each. Some 52 blogs will be shortlisted by the end of the contest based on their originality, quality of penmanship and expressiveness. Of these, 25 will be shortlisted again by a jury of literary experts and published by Penguin as a book, which is slated for release on July 1, 2008.
Sulekha claims that it has 20,000 active bloggers and adds 2,000 new blog members a month.
Penguin and Sulekha got together for a similar initiative in 2002, when they launched the book 'Black, White and Brown: The Best of Sulekha.com', which was a compilation of the best online articles that appeared on Sulekha.com.
In the UK, Penguin has launched a wikinovel project called 'A Million Penguins', wherein any number of writers write and edit their stories, which will then be edited and published as a book.
According to Thomas Abraham, CEO and president, Penguin Group India, "Penguin India is planning to launch some marketing initiatives in the next two-three months using web tools like podcasts." Incidentally, Thomas has resigned from his position at Penguin India and been appointed managing director of UK publisher Hachette's new Indian business, Hachette Book Publishing India.