Blog Camp 2008 in the making !

Blog Camp 2008 is at the horizon and we are planning an usual 2 day event but with added scope of content and audience from regional language bloggers in tamil, hindi also to converge in this event. Mainstream media today has a great recognition for citizen journalism and blogging. For such bloggers we aim to create a networking opportunity to mingle with the techies to know better ways to commercialise their blogs and manage analytics and related areas.  On personal space mobile blogging has arrived in India with availability of cheaper bandwidth and mobile gadgets that facilitate blogging easily. These are some of the added features and scope of content that will be discussed apart from the regular blogging and blog related content during blog Camp 2008. So Gear up folks Blog Camp 2008 will be here and the venue will be Tidel Park and the dates will be confirmed very soon.

There might be a surprise 3 rd day in Blog camp which might be a new formula that we plan to test in Indian ethos. The contents of that day will sure be a blockbuster and a first of its kind in India and provided that we are able to pull it off well then this by itself will evolve as a separate event. We will get into the specifics of this as soon as we finalise on dates and budgets for BlogCamp 2008. Currently The knowledge foundation lends the support of past volunteers of Blog Camp 2006 to pitch in and also welcomes spirited young people to volunteer and make this event a greater success than Blog Camp 2006. Mail us at blogcamp@googlegroups.com for participation. Good day !

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Forthcoming Blog Camp Admin meeting – N-logue !

This morning i was scheduled for a meeting with Dr. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, professor IIT Chennai on a project related to TeNeT (Telecom and Networks Group) thanx to our common friend Dr. Osama Manzar. As scheduled i arrived at the pristine IIT campus to meet Dr. Ashok. The meeting was attended by Mr. Falguni , Ms Saloni and Ms Aarthi . What ensued for the next 2 hrs was an interesting outline of a project on how we bloggers can make a big difference in the digital divide of india and measures we could take and contribute to empower rural india to bring to the global platform.

This project will be discussed in more detail in the forthcoming Blogcamp admin meeting and we need to evolve with our creative inputs so i suggest all to be there and not miss it.

Whenever there is a crisis or emergency we bloggers have been doing so much of good work in our field to facilitate better communication. Here is a requirement of a similar sort where we get our bit in the nation building process. We are not neta’s (politicians) but nations are built by people like us who would like to make a difference. So be there if you are interested to chip in your ideas and for other after the meeting the plans will be posted in my blog to know more about it. Have a nice day !

Just serving my time at Earth !

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Web 2.0 in Fashion = Fashion Blogs

Last weekend at the Blog camp 2006 conference i chanced upon meeting Mr. Lakshman a top executive of a leading Fashion House in India and we immediately hit it off talking about fashion. What followed was an interesting dialogue between me, sunil and Mr.Lakshman which i fortunately recorded as a podcast and will be made available here as soon as i have compile and edited it into usable form. For the benefit of all those who would like to read about here is an excerpt from the discussion…

“Fashion trends today is a top down approach globally whereby most of the trends are driven to the masses by only handful of people like Designer, design houses, celebrities & artist, manufacturing houses so on. This traditional topdown approach can be redefined by blogging about fashion.

Today youth come about defining trends in the fashion world and with the web evolving so fast this kind of inputs as blogs can drive the industry to redifine trends with a bottoms up approach “

That is what FashionIQ Blogs aims to pursue with a visionary zeal. Pls hear this interesting transcript / walk the talk in entiriety here. Is this what we can define as Web 2.0 in Fashion.

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Lessons learnt at Blog Camp 2006, Chennai

Last evening the Blog Camp Admin group had convened at Anokhi to wrap up the various outstanding issues of the event and do a post mortem of the same. We also wanted to recapitulate the lessons learnt from the event. Some key points that were discussed encompassed freezing on the following features:

1. Blog camp.in will become a common site hereafter and this chennai event will be a part of www.blogcamp.in/chennai .
2. Any takers who would like to spread the word or host another blog camp in their city of choice could always contact us and the blog camp admin is all willing to help and volunteer all the pitfalls and measures to be taken.
3. The current blog admin group would like to carry forward their team spirit and hold focussed workshops targetting niche areas and bringing in experts to address those niches starting this weekend at sunil’s place
4. All the more a compelling reason to fast track The knowledge Foundation
5. In a month we might hit upon the next big thing and start working on it…
6. As for now more on celebration and new networking will be the agenda for the day.

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Tremendous success of Blog Camp 2006 at Chennai !

Since the beginning of the blog camp my blogging had taken a big hit as i was more involved in coordinating things and also moderating sessions for the two days. And i havent slept the entire two days as we had to take care of small incident at Beach house party me and raghavan being the only sober guys had to take care of things and by the time me wrapped things up it was 4.30 in the morning and i alongwith Sunil was scheduled for and interview with Osama Manzar about exploring common grounds to take up empowerment of the rural poor in india at Tidel park followed by another detailed interaction with Lakshmanan of Arvind Mills direct marketing on the launch of Fashion Blogging in relation to the global launch of Fashion Blogs of Fashion IQ .com . Subsequent to that i alongwith Andy had to moderate a session with Sujatha of Podbazaar.com. Totally hectic day and so many things happening.

We do have some totally lighter moments from the Blogcamp courtesy some pics taken unaware about serious and seasoned bloggers like Nandhu, shyam and ganesh, other bloggers but then never let your guards down in front of bloggers. They will totally bomb you! Excellent reference will be to the tagline of Blog Camp ” How do you feel Now ? ” what say you blogcamp admin group.

Surprise of the Sponsors !

The two days of blog camp 2006 was a great boon for the related sponsors Yahoo, Nokia, Ford, Intel, Merinews, enewss and other sponsors. Yahoo received a lot of foot fall for all their services and Nokia was conducting a workshop on hot to do moblogging using the N Series of mobile phones from Nokia, Ford had conducted an ipod contest for best live blogger and podcaster. The footfall in the camp exceeded to 350 people.

Live from Tidel those 2 days!

One week before the event i was hunting for a solution to address the rising needs of the Virtual attendees of Blog Camp. One of the advantages of coming from an IT background and from good networked company was that i was able to narrow down on the solutions that are available in hand to enable live videocasting/streaming and also to keep in mind the bandwidth effeciency. I got in touch with Clickstream and the response was so swift from them that i had Abhijit from calcutta representing Clipstream calling me offering to help me officially . Abhijit was so enterprising that on the first day of the Blog Camp before 11 we were hitting maximum viewership in his software and we were getting the feedback on the quality of the feed was excellent Then again we started asking him to increase the licence. We subsequently raised the level to 200 viewers and by the second day we were hitting max levels. Clipstream software is built with a feature that whenever the load of the viewers is more than maximum it alerts you and by second day during the discussions of Sharad Haskar and Sunil Gavaskar the viewership was at maximum levels. We had additional feeds from Skype as skype casts and there was the most useful IRC too. We had some great planning ad hoc by the techie goups of the BlogCamp Admin . Callers and viewers as far away as Orange county, thailand, Australia, and UK not to forget many places from india.

Post Blog Camp 2006!

For all of those who would like to view the different facets of the twod days and a more detailed account of individual sessions i would suggest that you can click on the following link and get to know the extensiveness with which the blog camp at chennai was blogged about. Pls click on the following link as the coverage on it is great.! Hats off to enewss.

http://www.enewss.com/index.php?search=blogcamp

The photos of the event are available at

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=blog+camp

http://technorati.com/tag/BlogCamp

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Blog Camp is rolling !

Hi guys first cut views of the Blog camp are here. Its 8 am and the Admin crowd is already there and we are busy setting our systems up. All excited to rock! Will keep posting as and when things happen

Pls check flickr with tags " Blog camp live chennai "

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreampics/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joesat/

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Blogging to Alleviate poor masses of rural India

This morning as every morning of this week was cluttered with stream of callers / fellow bloggers and patiently answering all queries about various issues related to the forthcoming event Blog Camp 2006. Interestingly i got a call and the called told me he is Osama and suddenly all my antenna’s were up but the subsequent conversation that ensued followed immediately by his mail was one of interesting events of the day. Here is a transcipt of the mail of Mr. Osama Manzar and his very enlightening views

" I am extremely glad to come to know this entire new phenomenon of Bloggers camping and discussing the larger issues og Blogging. There is no doubt that Blogging is a typical Bottom Up phenomenon, where you get to know information directly from the source and the source get a chance to disseminate the information which is not subjected to various layers of so-called cleaning processes.

Anyway, as discussed, I am extremely keen to be a part of the BlogCamp scheduled on 9th and 10th of September in Chennai. I was going through your website and realised that there is no topic discussing the the real India which is hidden in its hinterland, across the country side, and among the 70 percent of Indians who speak local languages and whose knowledge lies in their oral conversation. If Blogging can include the Rural India, or rather if we initiate a dialogue of how Rural Blogging can be done, in no-time, we will see the cyberspace enriched with "GlocaL" content (Local Content for Global Reach). India is among the poorest country in the world if you look at how much india-related content present on the virtual world. And, ironically, Internet is the only true Universal Medium for unlimited access and dissemination of content and information. How do India in this case of being the poorest on cyberspace, can take advantage of the global economy? For the economica prosperity to trickle down to the bottom of the pyramid, India needs to reach out to the Internet through all possible means and tools about its immense local content and assets. And this is possible with only bottom up approach, meaning blogging can paint the cyberspace with the colours of India hidden into its 650,000 villages and among more than 3/4th of a billion population of our country. "

Mr. Osama Manzar runs an organisation called Digital Empowerment Foundation, that works in the areas of empowering masses through ICT and related tools. We have perhaps the largest database of case studies, where ICT tools are being used for rural empowerment in its various senses. They also run the award called The Manthan Award for Best e-Content & Creativity in India.

He holds the following posts Chairman: The Manthan Award, Founder & Director – Digital Empowerment Foundation, Jury Member: Dataquest eGov Champions Award 2006, Board of Director: World Summit Award, Austria, Vice Chairperson: Global Alliance for Bridging Digital Divide, Author: e-Content: Voices from the Ground – The Sequel 2.0 [2006]

Sir, I look forward to the great opportunity of hearing you in person on your favorite topic, your passion and responsibility to the rural masses in India. Welcome to Blog Camp 2006 

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All roads lead to Blog Camp 2006 at Chennai

Last night on an online discussion just me and kiruba were discussing on the future plans for Blog Camp and we fell into the rut of how things were easy for us because we had the venue as chennai and slowly the comfort feel started creeping in to the extent that we decided lets leave it to the crowd and see if anyone else comes with better suggestions and bigger team from other cities to pursue this initiative in 2007.

For today we found the following as very advantageous because the venue is chennai…

1. The Blog camp admin team is more than 60 + bloggers strong and 80% of that committed crowd is based at chennai. Getting that kind of synergy to help organize an event of this magnitude was easy.

2. Most of the sponsor companies have vested interest on the Target population (yuppie IT crowd) and chennai happens to be one of the happening IT capital in india.

3. We had some gracious support from the press like New indian express, CNN-IBN, Deccan Chronicle, Enewss and we had some good connections and access to them from our own circles. Without the makings of the press we wouldnt have got this visibility.

4. Accessibility : Since the event falls in sync with Connect 2006 we expect a lot of footfalls in the event and at the same time its totally a event done by a group of individuals who have taken to blogging as passion but getting the same kind of space as to a governement sponsored event is also a major plus.

There are a multitude of other reasons why chennai is the happening place in the world of technology.

But for now things are toning down and we look forward to the great event itself.

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Future of Online marketing

Online marketing has evolved around so many areas like site hits, page visits, page ranking, and sticky eyes. Today with the advent of internet pervasiveness and the expansion of bandwidth at varous levels newer forms of marketing using compelling media like audio recordings that are converted into podcast and home grown videos are converted into optimised videos on youtube or google videos. Thus taking content to the world is now easy and doesnt need you to move mountains but the next challenge will be in attracting the target audience to the context relevant content. Thats a big challenge where a lot of marketers are adopting traditional methods to gather the relevant momentum. Today PR is easy but reach the right audience to translate all this PR into effective sales and bottom lines is where a lot of us are working on. For the moment pls listen to this intertesting podcast from Robert Scoble which revolves around how corporates are using blooging to do marketing online effectively. 

http://www.podtech.net/audio/marketing_voices/090406_Marketing_Voices_Robert_Scoble_PodTech.mp3

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Blog camp efforts and we are set to roll..

Finally the dust is settling down after all the pressure to conclude all our efforts to close sponsors for Blog Camp 2006. We have Yahoo, Nokia, Apple, Sify , Fashion IQ , Fuente system, Fresh and honest and a few more to add. As of this evening we froze on all the efforts as taking things beyond tomorro will be too late for other work.
Now that i have a breather i would like to share some good news that this confeence has brought to me. I was able to tag with one of my college mate Navin and that has opened access to a string of friends who i lost touch once i was at malaysia for the previous 3 yrs. I would like to quote that earlier in a similar blogadmin meet i came across one more classmate kennedi who is an astrologer and who blogs . As the event is nearing its D day the core team is practically breathing Blog camp and the activtiy is so viral.
Now we are left with building strategies, games, contest covered by Ganesh , T Shirt design by Jacobadel and also to ensure the hospitality desk taken care by Sunil , Varun and Vicky. Then food and catering is covered by Ganesh . Then there is Kiruba, Nandhu and me working getting some interviews with interested bloggers who would like to be a part of the Blog Camp yet cannot make it to chennai in person. Such people have volunteered to  share their thoughts with us online. Last we have Dina and Neha from Global Voices Online working on getting the content for the conference to the latest trends and ensuring that its all fresh and great. Hats off to all these guys! And we have miles to go….

Podcast marathon to start after the Freedom Run!

I hope the above words were too incomprehensible .. The knowledge foundation is starting a podcast marathon with bloggers from the blogosphere who are earnestly interested to support the cause of Blogcamp.in. The podcasting team will comprise of Kiruba, Nandhu, Aswin, Vignesh, Sagaro, Jai Shankar, Jacob and myself. We will be undertaking roleplay as moderators , interview host, techie heads, editor, composer, story board and podcast head. The team is slick and all baring. Lets see what kind of stuff we come out with. Kudos to the Podcast team!

Sleepless at Chennai !

For the last couple of days all bloggers who are a part of the blog camp are spending late nights on meetings, teleconferences and working on rough drafts design, uploads , downloads, discussions over skype, Chat, mailing and a lot of yapping on the fone. There is a feverish trend that has set in everyday i see at least 50 mails coming in from this group. Mails start at 7 in the morning and go on until 2.30 in the night. Some guys are really working on bizarre timings that i rethink if is it just me or all like minded professionals are the same. Great Sparks of ideas keep flying and believe me you wouldnt want to get in the way.At times like this so many of us realise that we do have a better half bcos they are very patient and tolerant to all our late nite disturbances. I would even appreciate the bachelors who have been spending quality time working towards this common cause rather than be out partying or to movies. Is it the Rang De basanti effect.
Whatever it is, it is really gathering a lot of momentum and the snowballing effect will continue. We will all take back the pride of hosting an India based event successfully. Work hard ! Party Hard!
Kudos to The Knowledge Foundation Team.

Dont Miss!

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http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=202635447&size=lhttp://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IE920060731002629&Page=9&Title=Chennai&Topic=0 & All roads are leading to Blogcamp.in !

Blog Camp Update meeting!

This morning there was an update meeting with regards to the upcoming India’s First Blog camp.Here are some pointers of what has happened

We found out definite leads on setting the venue as IIT Chennai. Now its Kribs to roll!

We have leads to pursue to get Krish Srikanth and Rajdeep Sardesai to the event. Thanx Aish! 

The website design and content to be developed by hitesh and content developed by Syed (me) and Kiruba and to be up with all complete as on wednesday!

We had Deccan Chronicle covering this meeting for their paper due on wednesday! Thanks Nandu and Jason!

A solid plan was put in place with a strategy for covering sponsorship. Before we hit on this plan we need some parameters in place like the site with closure on venue a full fledged sponsor invitation and all that ….

Ok now all i think of is to to hit for the finals FIFA 2006. My bet is on France and all pumped up for action to start in 1 more hr. Good Night Folks!

Feedback that we recieve from Fellow Bloggers for India’s first Blog Camp

Hi Friends,

We have been recieving tremendous response for invitations for India’s first blog camp to be conducted on 9th. and 10 Sept. 2006. As a part of organizing the mega event i have been corresponding with a lot of bloggers from different walks of life to come for the event or blog/podcast about us… some of the responses are outlined below…In case you know someone who will add value to share their experience in blogging pls mail me and we will take it up from there…Have a Nice day!

Sorry Friends ! This post has been removed after user requests…..