BlogCamp Chennai 2006: Update

BlogCamp, Media & Entertainment, Zeitgeist

The sole reason it has taken this long for me to post this update is that the BlogCamp in Chennai ate my weekend, and it took me the whole of the following week to recoup.

A lot has been said and written about people’s expectations and the varying levels to which they were met or not met.

Since I did not go to the BlogCamp with any expectations most of what I encountered or experienced had a certain impact on me. And I would want to remember only the positives. (There are enough negatives in rest of the world to satiate the part of me that feeds on them!)

The first and foremost was the free WiFi broadband connectivity courtesy Sify. A second for me in life — the first being Chennai airport, which had free WiFi by BSNL under a promotional scheme last year. [This was commented upon by Shailaja Neelkantan and this seems to have rubbed GreatBong the wrong way!]

Then was Amit Agarwal‘s eagerly awaited talk where India’s most celebrated professional blogger offered some insights into what everyone in the audience wished should be theirs, but somehow isn’t — a serious enough earning from their blogs!

I had a long and interesting chat with Nikhil Kuilkarni who is one bright 21 year-old. Reminded me of my teaching days. Talking of my teaching days — it was a pleasant surprise when Nidhi came up and told me she had attended some of my media management workshops in IP College (Delhi)!

A well-deserved word of appreciation for Kiruba and the team of volunteers from Chennai.
The hype-spike was chief sponsor Yahoo bringing Sunil Gavaskar to the event, and that’s where I found a lot of the unconference attitude coming unstuck. I was bemused by some of the questions put to Sunil Gavaskar:

  • What do you think is the future of podcasting?
  • What do you think is the future of blogging as a medium?
  • Would you like to do cricket coaching through blogging?
  • Would you like to do live ball-by-ball text commentary a la Prem Panicker?
  • Why are you only doing audio podcasts and not video-casts?
  • Which other sportsmen do you think are doing podcasts like you?

All of this to a person who said the following quite clearly…

  • Frankly, I don’t belong here
  • I belong to the transistor generation
  • I am a two-finger typist
  • I once went on typing for quite some time without looking up into the screen only to discover that nothing had actually been typed
  • I began looking at blogs only in the last some days

Perhaps the only sensible questions asked were:

  1. Is there a possibility of another autobiographical book coming from you after Sunny Days?
  2. While in a 2-commentator setup, you feed off the other guy (which Gavaskar himself had enlightened the audience about), would you like to try commenting while feeding off an audience?

There was also an interesting presentation by photographer Sharad Haksar who shared some of his work and how the blogging community mobilized support and helped him out when Coca Cola had filed a case against him.

And not to forget the company and hospitality of my friend and ex-colleague Jamshed Rajan who was quite popular with the Chennai community and seems to have worked well on his positioning as a humour writer through his blog — ouchmytoe.

And my take from the BlogCamp?

That’s in the next post. Please be back.

3 thoughts on “BlogCamp Chennai 2006: Update

  1. Hi Rahul,

    It was a fantastic experience meeting you. Thanks for all the kind words of support and encouragement. Did you mention I was ‘bright’?! Now that gives me hope :D



  2. Hi Nikhil,
    Good to hear from you… As for calling you ‘bright’ — I also mentioned somewhere that I was writing about only the positive aspects of what I saw ;-) so…


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