Demo Camp and All night moviethon !

 

India’s First Webcamp another joint initiative with The Knowledge Foundation was held last saturday at the Rails Factory office.  The first session was on Openstreet maps by GK from Anna University. Mapping and Location based services is one of my most favorable topics since we have been involved in developing applications on that domain for quite sometime back. The greatest misgiving for developers in this domain is that none of the maps of India in this domain are update or accurate in terms of availability for public use. There is a similar initiative going on currently called the Free mapWorkshop conducted in parallel at leading metros in India with the GPS units used by the team are given away at very subsidized cost. For more details on this project pls check out this site http://wiki.freemap.in/moin.cgi/FreeMapIndia2008 . TKF was liasing with Jace ( KiranJonnalagadda (jace AT pobox DOT com)) of Barcamp Bangalore to get the team to visit chennai as well. But then we had asked them too late to include in the schedule so we couldnt make it . But as GK said "  you dont need a couple of white hats to tell you what is needed ! Go ahead and organise a workshop we are ready to help you "

Groovy and GRAILS was presented by Prabhu. More on the topic is available on the slides

Next there was a presentation on the topic Flex ing your web applications by vaidhy. It was a very interesting session on the capabilities of Flex for the web environment follwed by Feed back session from the event attendees to understand what the audience is looking for in future sessions of Webcamp also gave us good idea on the directions that we need to pursue to ensure that content will be a great value differentiator on further editions. Most of the audience was expecting demos and not just presentations. Webcamp should also provide a balaced mix of the business environment available 

Tim talked on Jasperforge a opensource BI tool with api’s for third party development ending the final presentation by gk again on Django and its widespread use in opensource environment. The event came to an end by 7:30 pm leaving us with little time to catch up some dinner and move to our next item in the agenda an All night Moviethon. We had actually planned a RTFF but owing to venue constraints we couldnt hold the same so the idea got reduced to an indoor event that will be a moviethon. Saturday night a couple of us got together for a all night Moviethon at one of our friends place. More about the exploits will be found at gapp, nandhu , mahen and TUD‘s blogs. Movies screened were Natural Born Killers – Oliver stone & Tarantino, Superbad and 3:10 to yuma *ring Russel Crowe. After the all nighter i returned back home by 7 in the morning exhausted to rest through the entire sunday morning before settliing down to watch Reliance power announce 3:5 bonus shares to its shareholders and then  India lose an excellent match to Australia.

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India – Pakistan ( Clash of the Titans ) Final T20 world Cup today !

Cricket is a relegion in the subcontinent and this quicker form of the game T20 has taken the devotees by storm on a teacup. What more can we ask for than a fitting finale between the two countries, India and Pakistan. To reach this final was a himalayan task for both the teams . They started as underdogs and with every game there seems to be new energy infused into the team. The greatest find for india in this world cup would be the form of Yuvaraj Singh, the captaincy of dhoni and the streaks of talent from Uthappa and joginder singh

One visual treat that will always be in our memory will the thrashing of 6 Sixes by yuvaraj against England

My favourite to win will be obviously India after the form that they have been displaying lately. hope it all clicks tonight. Best of luck to our team and Chak de India !

PS: Finally India has Chak diya ! Great moment for team spirit and the nations morale ! Excellent Excuse to celebrate !

< youtube video = http://www.youtube.com/v/TdZw5N-yoNc >

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If HOPE is time, then how long we need to hold our investments ?

I heard a gentleman throwing lot of ideas on the subject of "Hope" in life. I was then seriously looking at the dimension of HOPE with regard to investments.

In life, there are areas where we have total control & areas where we have no or little control.

Someone buys a real estate property in a remote location. Mobilising funds to buy and doing the needful to own the property is under his/her control. But generating return out of the investment made is certainly beyond his/ her control. The individual just is on a HOPE….. that it will appreciate in value over time.

I buy a stock, upon thorough analysis. Funds, adequate information, at what price to buy all these things are in my control. But I cling to the rope of HOPE…… when it comes to the return aspect. Hoping that xyz company will deliver solid returns.

I buy a mutual fund. I can choose the brand, texture of the fund and things like that. But I keep HOPE….. on the fund manager to make me happy.

I board an investment vehicle, hoping that it will beat inflation and still give me a decent value for money. HOPE again !

If that is the case, is HOPE time ?Looks like ! But HOPE till when ?

On Investments HOPE is something tricky. Some people invest and keep waiting hoping for better and better returns. This is disgusting. Isn’t it ? Have a clear goal, invest for reaching that goal & be clear on the rate of return. Once we get the desired appreciation do not HOPE for greater returns. Instead protect the appreciation and reach your goal.

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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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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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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….

Bloggers Dream on production

Guess what this morning we were convening a meeting to set India's First Blog Camp. This will be the first of its kind. Plans are underway to get some of the top bloggers in for the camp. This is a much bigger platform and involves even Non IT people. Planning to invite guys like Robert Scoble from Scobelizer and some top bloggers from Technorati, Blogsource, myspace and from all over India. We are planning this somewhere around 9, 10 septemberish. Going to be pretty hectic and we are a team of 14 professionals in the organizing end. We are on the initial phase with so much of work to do like scouting for venue, setting infrastructure planning, planning guest list, media promotions, listing topics for presentation, scouting for sponsors and organizing cum planning the entire event.

I will be incharge of organising to contacts to all lead bloggers to cover the event pre and post and I invite all bloggers at chennai and nearby to … if possible drop in and contribute by sharing knowledge. I will also be co authoring the website design work and content management. Anybody would like to contribute to it can just volunteer in we will be glad to share. We forsee this to be a mega event and also we expect a typical unconference approach to it. We are all very excited about it. We live in interesting times….So all you geeks and blogger get out of your bean bags and couches and come to this event share your skills, eccentricities, chill out and hang loose for the two days. We look forward to seeing everyone of you to be there. Venue and Dates are subject to changes as it all depends on so many factors

And later tonight Fuente is giving a lead presentation in The Vascular Society of India on an IT Advisory role at Hotel Green Park to a group of 50 Surgeons in Chennai. (For geeks and non medical people: Vascular surgeons are those that do the bypass surgeries, stent, angioplasty so on. Surgery is an art). Basically we will be covering on Web presence and IT initiatives to be taken to promote VSI and Medical tourism in India. This happens to be a current trend in the market. Already a lot of people from East (like malaysia, singapore, vietnam, hong kong, indonesia, brunei) fly to india for better treatment, doctors, better care and now even countries in the west (US, France, Canada) are following suit. Today India is a key destination in the Medical tourism map. And with a nexus with our already established IT industry, this flourishing medical tourism can now look forward to some good growth and great scope for doctors in India.