Tuesday, September 12, 2006

BlogCamp 2006

How do I feel now? Great!. If you were at the BlogCamp, you'd know what I'm talking about.

BlogCamp un-happened. The success of this meet was no mean feat considering the novel nature of this event. The fact that it was an unconference and attracted around 200 participants from all over India speaks volumes about the passion bloggers share towards blogging. Before I forget to mention and later commit sucide, only to be sent back to earth by Yamraj that I didn't blog enough in my lifetime, hats off to Kiruba. This man made just about everything possible and with such ease. You are the man. Peter, Dina, Neha, Jace, Syed handled just about everything with wiki-ease. Now, I do not know what wiki-ease is. Do not ask me. And I am not stoned, Nehaji!

[Nehaji talking to students from ASJ and I listening to it, while passing off as recording the conversation]

To me,quality conversations and discussions were the biggest gains out of the unconference. Opportunities to learn, contribute and experience were plenty be it the technical sessions by the Bothack junta or the open sessions on Blogs and freedom of expresson,Are comments important?. The best conversations of course happened over coffee or over lunch. Meeting and sharing ideas, experiences with people- geeks, journalists, consultants, journalists, analysts was a great experience.

Personally, I was there to understand and explore the reasons behind people's passion for blogging. And it was definitely heart-warming to meet in person people who take their blogging seriously. Amit Agarwal, for example. Commanding a readership running into millions and retaining it is not an easy job. But then blogging is his job. Amit writes about the interesting people he met at the BlogCamp here. Thanks for the mention and it was a fantastic experience spending time with you, Amit. BeachCamp by the night was great fun!

Talking of the BeachCamp, which was wonderful, for the fact that we had the entire beach for us, the bloggers. So many things happened with bloggers in high spirits that I'm now thinking of making a movie on bloggers to be titled 'Bloggers' Beach' on the lines of Joggers' park. Sad, Perizaad Zorabian doesn't blog. But Bipasha Basu does blog here.And did I mention the free food and the booze at the BeachCamp?!;)

On a more serious note, the high-spirited discussion with
Rahul about media, technology, business, retail and just about everything will definitely hold me in good stead for a long time to come. Thanks Rahul for all the encouragement. There was a nice little discussion brewing between Rahul, Amit and Om[ from Page Traffic] of which I enjoyed every bit. Awesome time with Karan, Vikram and Nidhi from
WebChutney. More on Nidhi(to be referred to a Chutney henceforth) in the following posts. She accompanied me to Pondicherry and spent two days here. Vikram, the chaos in your head right now is definitely leading to something big! Work on it.

Wonderful was the time spent at the BeachCamp with what I'd like to call the Tam geek gang. No offence meant, but somehow I find the name funny and interesting. These guys were the backbone of the BlogCamp and they deserve every bit of the credit and appreciation. Ganesh, Ganesh[ Rupya], Aswin, Arpit, Bhargav, Satish and the rest of the junta's energy and zeal was infectious. The long drawn discussion with Arpit, lasting till 3:00 a.m. gave some shape to a few ideas brewing in my mind. These hopefully should see the light of the day soon. We saw the light of day really early at 6:30 in the morning. Sleep, I did though yesterday. Straight for 17 hours. Thanks to the energy I invested at the BlogCamp and in the next two days following that, taking Chutney around Pondicherry.

[Sunil Gavaskar at the BlogCamp.]

On day 2, it was a wonderful experience meeting with Shailaja Neelakanthan of GigaOm, with GigaOm being one of my favourite sources for news on technology and start-ups. At the stalls set up at the venue, it was interesting exchanging ideas with people from merinews and Zoho. Great to see activities happening in India in the media scene. But there's still a long way to go in community formation and delivering to their needs, and in return getting the community to work for you. Rajesh from Zoho, writes about my organization PlanetRead on his blog here. It was good meeting interesting people doing some really cool work like you, Rajesh.

Osama Manzar of the Digital Empowerment Foundation and the Manthan Award was at the unconference with his son Abner. Our venture
BookBox won a special mention at last year's Manthan awards and Osama was happy to see me and know about BookBox's progress.

Also met Garima from Watblog, Preetam Rai from Global Voices Online and Jammy over coffee, lunch and IRC, not respectively. Prayas and Ashwan from pinstorm were there too.

But as Subhash Rai of India Online Journalism mentions in his post here, the best conversation happened in the smokers' corner with Dr. Subho Ray of IAMAI, Mr. Sukumar of eZeeBags.com, Samrat Choudhary from Hindustan Times and Rajesh from The Week. Though I listened for most of the time , it was truly an enlightening and enriching experience. The wote of thanks
by Babloojee was interesting.

Chutney and I teamed up for the quiz and missed qualifying for the finals by a couple of answers. A decent quiz that was, with a couple of T-shirts flying our way for the audience questions. Felt great coming back to quizzing after a long time.I then headed to my relatives' place and Chutney to her relatives'. Finding that place wasn't all that difficult for me, but identifying me was definitely difficult for them. Yes it was. They were seeing me after 12 years!

The next day, Chutney and I headed to Pondicherry carrying wonderful memories of the BlogCamp, with some questions answered and a lot more popping out in our heads. Coming posts to talk about the time we had in Pondicherry!

Photos conveniently flick(r)ed from Jace, Neha and dream.chaser. Thanks. Some more BlogCamp photos on Flickr here

Tag :


Arjun Sharma said...

Biyaaaatch!!! You're making me cry for not being there, with this post and those photos! Stupid mock exams!(It didn't go all that well too!)

Must have been a fantastic experience. And it had a quiz too! Damn, damn, damn, damn!!

neha vish said...

Heh! Sure you're not stoned?

alex.bén said...

nice to rrr... eee... aaa... ddd... that post.

Nikhil said...


You should have been there. And did I mention that the quiz had a prize of Rs. 10000 for the team finishing first?

Next time. Don't Mock it, make it.

No, I am not
I get high on blogging, not on dope!

[I do not know what that meant. Do not ask me. And I am not stoned]

You should've been there too. And why did you have to rrr...eee...aaa...ddd the post and not read it?

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Wow! So much seems to be happening at the Indian blogosphere!

Sunil said...

Hi Nikhil, very nice to see your blog. Hope to meet you soon at Chennai or Pondichery...

Nikhil said...

Indeed. Lots happening on the Indian
Infact the BlogCamp was webcast live and people participated through IRC as well. Should have informed you.

There's already a talk of BlogCamp 2007 even before the euphoria of the current event has died down. It indeed was great fun.


Was it 25 or 26. The number of times we said 'Bye'!

Glad to have you here. Would love to meet up soon.

bluesaze said...

hey dude wassup ... My email Id is bluesaze [at] gmail.com .... been meaning to look up your blog ... got stuck with lot of other stuf :(

Jayanth Madhav Barki said...

Nikhil? Stoned? Always.

Whatsay Fundoo Dude

Nikhil said...


Make sure you have some free time soon. We need to continue that discussion, regardless of the fact that the previous discussion was really long!

Great to have met you. Should see you soon.


Stoned? Not exactly. Sandy maybe. With the beach right in front of my office and residence

What are you trying to prove with that new pic of yours? That you are not say, gay?!

We all are broad-minded, mature people. We can understand.

[That's for calling me a fundoo dude]

Sagaro said...

Hey maan! Been here before but was way too busy to comment...

We guys had amazing fun.. u, bluesaze, shyam...lol maan!

We guys should meet up sometime... Lemme know when u and jacob are meeting up... dont worry buy me a drink and I swear I wont bother much with your discussions... :p

Nikhil said...


Yeah, we should definitely meet up soon.

Buy you a drink and you won't disturb us?! We all know how much you not disturbed us when we drank :P

Kidding. We indeed had an awesome time.

Jeevan Baretto said...

Hey Nikya..
Next time something like that happens tell me da.. Would love to be there.. Hows work?? I am fine here..

Jayanth Madhav Barki said...


Deepak{dk} said...

Seems like U guys had a blast over there. I wish I knew abt. this earlier.

Thnks 4 updating neway. Have a good time.

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