About Us - The real story behind The Times Blog
Let's keep this story very short and very simple. My name is Shomprakash Sinha Roy and I serve as the CEO and Founding Editor of TheTimesBlog.com. We are not affiliated to BCCL/The Times of India group in any way. The word 'Times' is an international non-proprietary keyword.
I bought this domain name in 2017 on GoDaddy.com for a temporarily undisclosed amount and setup the website by paying for managed CDN services on Ghost to create a transparent, sustainable, and profitable digital media outlet. In terms of design, we were inspired by The New York Times Blog, and in terms of tech, we chose Ghost because it is 1900% faster than WordPress, way more secure, and easy to use. Besides, John and Sarah from the Ghost team have provided exemplary support at each step to help a small team from India set up a world-class media brand.
Who uses Ghost, other than The Times Blog?
The Apple Newsroom, Microsoft, DuckDuckGo, Tinder, Napster, and NASA (yes, the US space agency) are some of the few brands in the world who believe in spending money on the right infrastructure (read:ghost) to keep their blogs alive. You can read more about this here.
How much does it cost to keep the servers running?
In the interest of complete transparency - this is how much it costs month-on-month. I have never asked people to donate money to the cause, and I never will. I believe that the product will yield profits for everyone involved in the project.
I have personally invested a lot of my time and money into keeping The Times Blog afloat, to ensure that we end up creating a platform that pays everyone to write & read, because that has and will continue to remain my transformative goal for the PR ecosystem in India. I keep paying for these servers and the domain name, because I believe that India will evolve into a better place for digital conversations with the right amount of individual effort.
How we're disrupting digital media & publicity in India
Admittedly, we've tweaked our revenue model continuously over the last two years to arrive at a solution that works for content creators, brand marketers, content strategists, journalists, aspiring writers, and everyone else who is a part of the digital media ecosystem.
We're thankful to Mr Aritro Sinha Roy (ex-Cornell, ex-IIT Bombay) for the tedious months he put in during our initial days, serving as our CEO and helping us form the right connections and synergies, leading to large scale revenue from clients such as MICA Ahmedabad, Macmillan India, and the CureFit group. Since the time we parted ways, it was time to rethink how The Times Blog was going to make money, and we decided to adopt a model that works for everyone.
Right now, anyone can write on The Times Blog.
We do not want to set limits on a beautiful product by holding off on ideas that potentially scare me as a founder. Hence, I took the decision of opening up direct publication for anyone who wishes to write on The Times Blog. This will run as an open source exercise till August 31, 2019 - and I'm talking nothing held back, no editorial intervention, complete autonomy to anyone who wants to publish anything on this domain and platform.
I'm doing this because...
Journalism is broken. The question of 'what is a reliable media outlet' puts us at an ethical dilemma. We tried charging brands for featured stories on The Times Blog and it worked for a while, but I have come to the conclusion that the end-goal of a truly democratic order can only be achieved when we take the scariest decisions within our own businesses. I therefore invite ALL writers, AND brand marketers to sign up as authors on The Times Blog and publish directly.
How to do this
Step 1 : Understand what it takes to write and publish on The Times Blog. As explained above, we run on the best blogging platform in the world. It's not WordPress. It's called Ghost, and it currently powers blogs for Apple, Microsoft, NASA and Tinder, to name a few behemoths. The Ghost editor is literally the easiest blogging interface in the world, and if you need help/assistance on how to write posts for Ghost, please take a look at this helpful guide.
Step 2: Follow us on Facebook
Step 3: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "3 month Author Trial - Yourname" and you will receive an invitation to start writing on The Times Blog. 100% free, 100% instant, 100% editorial intervention-free publishing access.
Step 4: Start writing.
What happens after the first three months?
We will identify writers/contributors whose work syncs best with the needs of our publication, and 5 such contributors will be allowed to keep writing and publishing their content for FREE. These spots are limited to encourage people to submit the best of their work in the first three months.
Other than the top 5 contributors, all other brands/publicists will be given an option to pay a monthly subscription fee to continue this service of publishing directly to The Times Blog. Three months will give you enough ideas about the direct/tied in benefits that you receive from our coverage, so that you can take an informed decision. The monthly subscription fee will be less than Rs 30,000 for people who continue.
Once you are inducted as an Author on our platform, you will have complete creative freedom to choose your words, images, backlinks, etc. We want to give this autonomy to brands to understand how much this is valued as a service in later months.