Bloggers meets have always intrigued me? What is it that binds 100-150 (at a time) and makes them assemble together under one roof? What do you talk? What do you discuss? and how can one subscribe to the idea that bloggers across are the same?
It is to answer these questions that I, despite the saturday, chose to attend the Mumbai Bloggers Meet organized by mumbaibloggers.net.
The event was like a movie, slowling unfolding, to reveal the story.
It started with the credits, with a lady called Netra Parikh receiving a majority of the applauds…Thank you for organizing this and that and that and this…it felt (and maybe I dont know) as if her very being inspired bloggers to laugh, to cry and ya, to write.
Next came the round of introductions, which for the majority of us, was the chance to get someone to readourblogs.Surprisingly, almost all of them, had a Twitter ‘handle’ (as they defined it) as well, making me wonder if this was a true representation of the ‘Mumbai Blogging Fraternity”
It was time for the sessions and, this is where, I finally felt was a thread that united bloggers across genres.Ashoka is a non profit that describes itself as a Citizen Service Organization and seeks to create and nurture Social Entrepreneurs to drive change across nations. More can be read about them here
Every such organization seeks to drive awareness and the internet, of course, becomes the preferred medium. The internet, itself, however has evolved and it is a web of conversations that drives the internet today. It, is, therefore to create awareness and drive conversations that the Ashoka was looking for “Blogger Guardians”, who would become the voice of the Social entrepreneurs and drive conversations around them across the web…A good thought indeed.
The rest of the meet seemed to revolve around shameless self promotion, a lot of technical staff and a few laughs here and there ( Thakkar from hurrhurr.com).
The few interesting people I either observed or met included
a) An aunty who’s been blogging in malayalam and is quite excited about it.
b)A couple of Hindi Bloggers who are trying to make a social impact through their blogs, one of them being badhas.blogspot.com
c) A surd blogger who visualizes better and puts across meanings through drawings rather than words (wish I could remember his blog id)
Well, time for a final take on the entire event.
- Being a social media analyst myself, I felt that every such meeting, is becoming a time out for the same group of people again and again.This is not a representation of the true population of bloggers in Mumbai.
- A lot of talk is revolving around Twitter, which may not exactly be what bloggers are looking for in such a meet
- A lot of talk is revolving around technology and nuances of technology, which everyone may not understand.
- A lot of talk goes around SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which I fell, anyway defeats the purpose of your writing for the true love of writing. Also, a lot of us are not even aware of what SEO is and a bloggers platform may first be used to educate people around the same and then delve into serious discussions around it
- Too commericial. Sponsors, new businesses, promotion takes the pulse away from such sessions. While, for some monetization is the goal, for many it isnt. There needs to be a balance struck to ensure how much monetization one can talk in such a forum.
- Agendas for such meets needs to be laid out clearly before the meeting itself.
There is probably, a need to verticalize the genres of blogging and then call for such sessions. Value Addition can happen only then. Till then, it only becomes a platform to chit chat and gossip, something I do through the week anyway.