MMI Online, the digital arm of the Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran, has launched a Hindi language blog publishing platform called Jagranjunction.com.
The website, similar to other Hindi enabled blogging platforms such as Blogger.com (BlogSpot) and Rediff Blogs, will empower Internet users to set up their own blogs for free and publish articles in Hindi without any moderation. Each blogger on Jagranjunction.com will get a dedicated blog address. For instance, a member named XYZ may get XYZ.Jagranjunction.com as the URL of his blog.
Currently, the interactive options on Jagranjunction.com are restricted to commenting, rating and sharing the blog posts written by Jagranjunction.com members on social media websites such as Facebook.com, Twitter.com, Digg.com and Delicious.com. The site will not allow users to share videos as of now, but they will be offered to post photos in their blog posts. "More interactive options will be added in the next phase," claims Gupta.
Surprisingly, Jagranjunction.com will not be a part of the Yahoo!-Jagran deal, under which Jagran.com provides news content to Yahoo! and hosts Dainik Jagran's news website (Jagran.com) as a vertical on Yahoo.co.in. The two companies share the revenue earned, mainly through advertisements, on Jagran.com. In this case the Jagran.com site on Yahoo! will carry a link called 'Blog', which redirects users to Jagranjunction.com.
The business model of the website has not been worked out yet. Gupta says that the website is still in its beta version and the company is still in the process of chalking out a concrete monetisation plan for the site. There are no advertisement options available on the site, but she indicates that ads may become a key source of revenue in future.
For the record, the regional language content market is still small in India. According to JuxtConsult's India Online study (2009), India has about 1.2 crore active Internet users, who read and check regional language content. There are about 35 lakh active Internet users who have their own blogs.