“Find your passion, keep working and always have your readers in mind.”

CyberSimman
Mr. Narasimhan. R 

Mr Narasimhan, popularly known as “Cyber Simman” has been blogging continuously for ten years and writing about internet and related things for more than 20 years. He is a journalist in regional language. He also enjoys writing columns on technology. His writings have been complied into three books. In his recent book “Digital Panam” he explains the various kinds of digital transactions that are very much useful in our Digital India.

Now focusing on as an Independent Journalist and a technology blogger in Tamil, Mr Narasimhan tells us about his move to independent journalism and the scope of blogging in the future.

In your bio, it’s mentioned that you were a mathematics student during graduation. Can you describe what led you switch to a completely unrelated field like journalism? What influenced you to this path?
You don’t really choose a career based on your graduation. When I was in plus two, I was very much interested in pursuing chemistry for my graduation. But as I was a really average student, I choose mathematics because that’s the only group available at that time. Later on, I had an urge to do well and what appealed me is to express myself by reading and writing. This led me to something that is not exactly journalism but as an aspirational writer who then later becomes a journalist. Even though mathematics is not directly connected to journalism, if you look at the Internet and precisely the new media that I am concentrating at, it is in a way related to mathematics. After all, Mathematics is also called the queen of sciences.

A close look on your articles and blogs suggests that most of your write-ups are in Tamil. Could you explain why do you stick on to regional language even though you are very much familiar with English which being a global language could certainly increase your readers and exposure?

Being a journalist in regional language, it is always my endeavour to bring best practices and skills from English press to Tamil while trying to do justice to the local media I am proudly part of.” Says Mr Narasimhan.
He also adds that, “there exist a gap within the society; a gap between the people who read and understand English with the people who are not used to English. There are not many who could write for the latter. My point is to know the best practices across the world and bring it into my language.

Just now, you have mentioned that your point is to know the best practices across the world and bring it into Tamil. By this, do you mean a complete reproduction of something from English to Tamil? What is your contribution to it?
Translation is something I consider as an art, a skill and a necessary bridge for knowledge. My writings though based mainly on translations are not mere reproductions. Instead, I believe them to be original article based on research by the way of searching and reading.

What are the kinds of stories that you enjoy writing about, ideas that get your words racing?
I have written on all subjects. I enjoyed reporting and writing news, features, and more. At present, I prefer to write on technology or science. My passion in technology led me to blogging and now I proudly call myself as an independent journalist and a Tech blogger.

“In this digital age, the competition faced by technology niche bloggers are also increasing as everyone comes up with technology blogs.” What is your opinion on this as a technology blogger?
I think the competition and scope is not what that determines us. When it comes to technology blogs in Tamil, it is very much neglected. Also, when I write, I write for my hearts calling. I am not bothered about the market or the money. If my write-ups make a difference to just one or two people, there lies my success.

There are no ad units placed in your blog for monetization. So, if you are not bothered about the market or the money, how do you make a living out of it?
I write for magazines, newspapers and do translation. In the beginning, I worked in Maalai Sudar, which gave me space and allowed me to grow. I also worked for India Today Tamil. My passion in blog and my work are interlinked. Most of the articles in my blog are written somewhere else and it’s already paid. Blogging gives me more visibility as a person who writes more on technology and gives me more work. Even though the blog doesn’t pay me directly, it pays me indirectly. A blog is actually a digital asset and it marks digital presence no matter whether you get paid or not.

Why do you choose to resign and work as an Independent journalist despite being a part of leading newspapers like India Today?
I choose to resign only after 25 years of service. The main reason is that this job is so demanding and there is no personal space available. The life of a journalist is a mechanical one. So at one point of time, I found this hectic lifestyle difficult and made my mind to concentrate more on my passion. I am no longer bothered about hard news or trendy news. I want to write on what I felt important and being independent is the best way to do it. Also, one of the very inherent features of journalism itself is that you can be independent. If you have expertise and contacts, you can make wonders.

What is the growth in journalism that you have witnessed from your 25 years of experience in related fields?
There has been a tremendous growth in journalism. Post-independence, commercialization came into the picture. Both National media and Regional media were evolving in accordance to the requirement of business-oriented media. On the contrary, the liberalization took place in media has led to the rise of independent journalism. Especially in the digital era right now, independent journalism is touching heights.

What according to you are the main challenges and duties of a journalist?
The primary challenge faced by a journalist is how they distinguish between themselves and the common man who is also a journalist. Earlier, a journalist has some sort of privilege like access to news but with the emergence of new media, Journalists are no more privileged and they no longer enjoy the privilege of access. Now everybody is a journalist at least in theoretical terms. There is a sort of identity crisis in the field. Also, there is the rise of fake news. The main duty of journalist is to verify and validate the news and more than reporting, curating and aggregation becomes important. When entire space is flooded with information, it’s the duty of journalist to validate and guide public to look at news in correct perspective.

When it comes to blogging, many bloggers face issues in coming up with ‘ideas’ to write about. Can you explain something in this regard?
Write about things that you are very passionate. If you are not sure, write about what you wanted to know. As blogging is a gradual process, document your own struggles so that it becomes lessons for others. Blogging is not only writing but also sharing. Also, look for things where sufficient information is lacking and places where more clarity is required. Know who your readers are and be always one-step ahead. Rather that writing on broad topics, narrow it down. For example, instead of technology, focus on emerging technology, its benefits and specialize on it.

What do you think are the upcoming blogging trends people need to watch out for?
The trends are hard to predict as it keeps changing. We have Artificial Intelligence and many more smart devices coming up. Even though all these may enhance the possibilities for the future, there are also problems regarding privacy and data. It’s our duty to guide and explain people the correct ways on how to use technology effectively. Even though there are no trends for these, people should be aware of the basics.

What advice would you offer someone to be a successful blogger?
Find your passion, keep working and always have your readers in mind.