It was nice of BlogAdda to interview me. Here are the gory details.
(The original interview link)
Q: When and why did you start blogging?
A: I started blogging seriously in Dec 2009. The intent was to get my opinions out of my family’s ears and into the world.
Q: What is the significance of the handle ‘Daddy San’?
A: I used to work extensively with Japanese clients a couple of years back. I also became a dad at about the same time. A colleague addressed me as “daddy-san” in a meeting and the name stuck.
Q: Your blog describes you as ‘a nice person’ while your Twitter bio lists you as ‘Caius Preposterous’. So what lies beyond these handles? Tell us a bit about the real person behind the blogger and the tweeter.
A: “A nice person” is a euphemism for someone unremarkable. Such self-deprecation is proof that I’m great.
In real life I’m a curious person, fascinated by the world around me. And yet I’m figuring out basics everyday – like not forgetting to buy bread and eggs. I consider myself very intuitive and am quick to realize whenever Mommy San is upset with me for forgetting bread and eggs.
At work, I’m lucky to dabble in two of my favorite subjects: marketing and numbers.
Q: In addition to a paternal-sounding name, you also often blog about parenting and children. In a community of mommy-bloggers, are you the first daddy-blogger?
A: Although I’m certainly not the first to write about daddy-ism, that’s also not the central theme of my blog. It is what it says on the label – a chronicle of everything I’ve learned. How to be a father is one of those lessons. Perhaps, the most important.
Q: Tell us about the younger Sans. Would you mind your children reading your blogs and tweets?
A: I have a toddler and it is a pleasure to watch him grow. I’m not worried about him reading my blog. He should know his father learned and was human – not only an authority figure whose aim was to yell at him to eat his vegetables. Hopefully reading my blog will help him understand the role he’s played in helping me grow.
If I want to undo all that respect and those warm, happy feelings I’ll get him to read my twitter page.
Q: You obviously enjoy Asterix comics (your Twitter handle as well as several tweets refer to the series). Which is your favorite story? Who is your favorite character? And which of the characters, if they blogged or tweeted, would you follow?
A: “Asterix and the Legionary” is my favorite book because it has elements of love, jealousy, interacting with people from different cultures (which I identify with in my current work role) and laugh-out-loud funnies.
All the characters are so superbly etched it’s difficult to pick a favorite. That said, if Julius Caesar had a twitter feed, I’d definitely follow him for the quotes, his views on foreign policy and his relentless humiliation of Brutus.
Q: A serious question for a change. We had picked your post on life and numbers in our weekly picks. Taking that forward, here is a question. If given an option, would you want to live a life without the numbers game? If yes, what would Daddy be doing?
A: If I had an option not to play the numbers game, I’d probably be tweeting all day. Oh wait….
But seriously, I think I’d travel. Mommy San got me hooked to traveling. Discovering local customs, food and lifestyles has been eye-opening and has ensured a regular dose of humility too. The more you travel the more you realize your beliefs are so myopic.
Q: We see a lot of flowcharts in our college days, but a twitter criticism flowchart – that is the first. We see a lot of banter happening on twitter every day. If Daddy San were to control twitter for a day, what would be the five steps he would take and why?
A: Twitter is a nice, open party and I wouldn’t mess with it. But if I had to mess with it, here are five things Twitter really needs to keep itself fun and meaningful:
- Plagiarism Guilt-Tripper: A tool that detects when you’ve copied and pasted a tweet without the original handle. Then it threatens to post what you did on Wikileaks and also tells your mom.
- No-SMS Finger-Wagger: It prevents you from tweeting SMS jokes. There’s superb originality on Twitter and I believe jokes should flow from Twitter to SMS and not the other way round. Ever tried running your car on its exhaust gases?
- Passive-aggressive Notifier. E.g. If you tweet “Haha! This fellow is so conceited and full of himself!” An alert should pop-up which forces you to write the name of the person you’re talking about. I’ve been guilty of this and I think such an alert will definitely prevent me from yelling into the ether like a madman.
- The Invective Consistency Checker: I’ve tweeted this before. People who censor invectives in their own tweets should not be allowed to RT tweets from others that contain invectives. That’s just repressed behavior.
- Raapchik Response Ready-Reckoner – How do you react to certain tweets? The Twitter Criticism Flowchart only tackled one of the scenarios: criticism. There are other situations like empathizing, flirting, witty comebacks etc that require a reference guide. Example entry: “When falling short on jokes and back is to the wall, it is permissible to open SMS inbox for inspiration. Be sure to press the ‘Desperate’ button first so that the No-SMS Finger-Wagger doesn’t drown your ass in Code Red violations.”
Q: Do you ever get stuck when writing an entry? What do you do then?
A: Let it be. Sometimes a draft will languish for weeks before I get back to it. There are times when you’re in the mood and can write without interruption. Don’t waste those moments (unless the mood happens to strike you while driving or in the middle of an intimate moment – in which case, there’s a bigger problem).
The litmus test for me is the number of cringes per minute when I read an old post. If that figure is too high, I know I should’ve taken a little more time to think over what I wrote and how I wrote it.
Q: Do you promote your blog? What promotional techniques work best for you and why?
A: If by “promote” you mean write something and shove it down everyone’s throats at regular intervals then I usually “promote” my blog on Twitter. It’s fast.
Commenting on blogs is another way. Like Twitter, the quality of your comment will drive folks to your blog.
Q: How important is it for a blogger to interact with their readers? Do you respond to all the comments that you receive?
A: I think it’s important to interact. Praise is great and criticism can grate, but both need a response and I try.
Q: What do you find to be the most gratifying aspect of blogging?
A: The catharsis. Once it’s written, good or bad, it’s out of my system and makes me feel lighter. Not having anything on my mind also leaves me free to tweet, which explains what you’re reading there.
Q: What is your pet peeve on the blogosphere?
A: Trolling. Only lalloos do it for the lulz.
Q: How, in general, would you rate the quality of Indian blogs? Share your favourite five blogs and top five Twitter follows.
A: Indian blogs are fantastic. There’s an excellent mix of thought-provoking content, evocative writing and humor. The five blogs I recommend are
- Overrated Outcast – He’s scathing and incisive. Reading his thoughts on media, politics and celebrities is like being ringside at the Coliseum. Also follow him on Twitter.
- Bhalomanush – A keen observer. His writing is dignified and he always makes me kick myself for not expressing as eloquently as him on the same subject.
- Krish Ashok – Online subculture vulture, meme pundit and a very, very funny and sharp writer.
- Purnima Rao – This lady writes from the heart and that’s enough for me.
- Cgawker – Cgawker’s blog and tweets are so edgy you may fall off into a sar-chasm. (Haha. Ok sorry I’ll stop.)
Mommy San used to blog and wrote beautifully. Hope she gets back to it soon.
By the way, Mommy San used to blog and wrote beautifully. Hope she gets back to it soon.
Five Twitter accounts I recommend
- @spymaami – I love the way she banters in eloquent sentences.
- @gabbbarsingh – Provocateur and humorous.
- @Unnamedentity – Super-witty, very knowledgeable and my kind of jokes.
- @rameshsrivats – Always a safe bet to follow if you think you’re really funny. He’ll make you reconsider.
- @gkhamba – Sharp and risqué commentary like no other. It’s an ordeal not retweeting him.
Q: What is your advice to someone who wants to start a blog?
A: If you’re a happy person who sees everything in bright colors and pink hearts, stay away from blogs. Start a cult instead.
Everyone else, feel free to sign up anytime.
And finally, some fun facts about Daddy San
Movie: Ocean’s 11 – What banter!
TV Show: Family Guy. All ironies of life have been covered in this show.
Book: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. All ironies of life have been covered in this book.
Time of Day: Morning
Your Zodiac Sign: Taurus (that explains the bull)