Industry Spotlight is the name of a series of weekly interviews dedicated to sharing the inspirational stories of key individuals within the entertainment industries.
After a relaxing Easter weekend, it’s back to business. Hands up those of you who ate your weight in chocolate eggs? … ME ME ME! It’s fine, I found that chocolate does actually have some nutritional value.
On to more pressing matters and it’s time for another ‘remarkable individual’ to step into the spotlight.
As part of my role at Chelsea Football Club, I look after the blog platform. Last year when I transferred from Freelance United to Chelsea FC for my record fee, I looked to blogging as one of my first projects to get stuck into. I advised that we should move to WordPress and look to re-structure Chelsea FC blogging. As part of the strategy, I wanted to look to bring in external fan bloggers to blog on a regular basis as a part of the official blog. I am happy to say, both formulas have worked out well and now there is a variety of talented international authors on the blog.
Whilst we made contact with a large quantity of fan bloggers, there was one chap that stood out from the crowd particularly. Not only does this lad have a beautiful looking website, he also writes like a professional.
One thing that differentiates bloggers and journalists is their writing caliber. By no means do I think I have an outstanding ability with words, but I do love when somebody writes effortlessly with fluid story telling aligned with facts and stats.
It must be noted that I am not a Chelsea FC fan (Newcastle United if you are wondering and don’t ask), however, bluechampions.com is one Chelsea FC fan blog that I do love to read.
I am all about transforming passion into a marketable product, and if you are looking to set up a blog or a site; read this guys story and take a leaf out of his book, because VJ aka Blue Champion definitely sets the standard…
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Vijayakrishna (VJ for the flat tongued). I’d like to call myself a writer. I’ve been a blogger for about 5 years now. I own and run this Chelsea FC blog – BlueChampions. Having singlehandedly set up, designed, maintained and grown the blog, it is now an inseparable part of my life. And yes, in order to fund my lifestyle, I work for a bank. Spending 12 hours on office/driving normally doesn’t leave anyone with lot of time for blogging. But then, ever since I started blogging, I’ve been borrowing some hours from my sleep on a daily basis.
How did you get into this industry and why did you chose this path?
I don’t know if I’ve gotten into the ‘industry’ as such. I started blogging because I love writing, I love analysing and debating. With the rise of internet and blogging, I thought that was a natural progression. People that were artists before internet could have become graphic designers now. It’s a bit like that. Plus, I strongly believe that if you have a talent and if you’re passionate enough, the ‘industry’ will find you.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement to date?
To have brought my Chelsea blog to where it is now. In this here-now-gone-tomorrow world of blogging, I’m quite pleased that the blog is nearing 1000 posts and has seen more than 35,000 comments. The blog has not only survived but also has grown stronger through the personal and professional ‘rain and shine’ of the last 5 years. The achievement got itself a crown when Luca contacted me to ask if I would be a blogger on the official Chelsea FC blog. Dreeeeaaaamy!
Aside: Another small scale achievement is also that I’ve managed to keep the blog ad-free all these years despite all the traffic it gets. I’m very particular on design and user experience. I’m ready to forego the revenue potential of the blog if that means the blog could look nicer for the readers. The only thing I run is a promotion for the official Chelsea FC megastore.
Was this how you had planned things to go or are you capitalising on opportunities and simply rolling with it?
I’d say it’s a mix of both. I’m generally someone who’s keen on the direction than the distance or the destination. As long as I feel that I’m in the right direction, I’ll let life take its own course and I enjoy seeing things unfold.
We’re in a new era where anyone can create opportunities for themselves. Do you agree?
Looks like it. I don’t think we quite know what all we can do with the internet and communication technology. Don’t think we know the full potential of this new era. If you have the passion, you can definitely create the opportunities for yourself.
Is who you are in reality, the same persona you represent online?
I think the answer is yes. I am what I am – offline or online. I know people tend to get more aggressive or more courageous or more courteous and nice. But I certainly don’t need the veil of internet to be the person I want to be.
What one thing can you not live without?
Family. If you give me everything I’d had ever longed for and take away my family, I won’t be happy. The things that I long for – anyways I’m living without them.
If you wasn’t in this field, what would you be doing?
Many believe that I have what it takes to be a good trainer or teacher or coach. I too like working with people to improve or develop them. That might have been my alternative career.
Name three people who have inspired you in your life.
- (1) Myself: The way I have evolved as a person is a great inspiration for myself. My best teachers have been my best and worst moments and my choices and my mistakes.
- (2) Osho: The controversial mystic. His books and speeches have had a great impact on my thoughts on life and world. He was one of the most controversial figures but what I value is what the man said than the man himself. Wish he’s still alive.
- (3) Jose Mourinho: Great personality. He’s the boss and he knows it well. He’s bloody good and he knows that too. He’s a great inspiration for me because he’s a great demonstration of what talent + passion can do.
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
Krishna – the superhero from the Indian mythology (wiki him now!). As with any superhero, he fights for the good against the evil. Krishna was said to have lived the perfect life – he had a very mischievous and adventurous childhood, he spent his adolescence as the darling of the opposite sex, he was a great ruler of his nation, he was a master of tactics and strategies and he was a great philosopher too – keep in mind that he was fighting the ‘evil’ all through these phases of life. A very colourful personality who lived his life to the fullest. I’d be him.
The world is coming to an end and you have to take one celebrity into the safe bunker to live with forever. Who do you take?
I’d pick Katrina Kaif, only because I heard she’s a good cook.
Do you have any regrets about anything?
That I’ve still not made the ‘plunge’. I want to be able to say ‘this is what I do for my living and I just love it to bits’. I’d love to reach this harmony between ‘what I enjoy’ and ‘what I do’. Until I achieve this, I might continue with that bit of regret.
What cool projects are you currently working on?
Ooh! This makes me look for some ‘cool projects’ to work on. Actually, I’ve got a few things – (a) to take BlueChampions to ‘another level’ (don’t know what that is). (b) to connect more and better with the football bloggers – to leverage on the football blogging community (c) to write the ‘autobiography’ of my blog (d) to create an iphone/android app for BlueChampions.
What does the future have in store for you?
Carlo Ancelotti on the phone with me:
“VJ! I read your blog on why we should play Josh McEachran. Can we speak for a while on that and also on why you want David Luiz to play in defensive midfield rather than centre back?”.
Fast Forward by about 5 years. I could be in the media industry proper. I could be a column writer. I could be an armchair analyst. I could be a copy editor. I could be a publisher. Definitely more than a blogger. Surely not a banker.
Finally, if you could give one piece of advice to young creative minds, what would it be?
Here’s my ‘one’ piece of advice: “Recognise that you’re unique. Keep doing what you enjoy. Be original.”