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Blogging goes Offline @ Chennai March 29, 2010

Posted by Gomathi Reddy in Uncategorized.
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We met on the 20th of March, post lunch at GRT Convention Hall, Chennai. We had lots to discuss. But we waited. We walked in amidst heads turning to catch a glimpse of us (or so we presumed). We smiled a little nervously, at each other, and then at the others trying to catch our eye. But we were made to feel welcome. We sat down for a chat, didn’t have anything beyond a hello, and fell in love with the large screen that was catching up on twittering activity, from everyone out there. I shifted a little uncomfortably, as someone who looked a bit like Swami Nithyananda in pants, walked in and smiled at a few, waved at a few more and settled in his chair. What am I doing here? Why am I here with this total stranger next to me, who was looking equally uneasy at the prospect of having to strike a conversation with me? I turned left and there was this friendly girl with a friendlier smile and after a hi, told me she has been at it for quite some time now.

Oh? So, how was the experience? “Fine…it’s an ongoing thing you know and you must put your effort – takes quite some time to get into the groove, but you must put your effort, stand out as unique, and must be regular – infact , I do it everyday” Everyday? That‘s quite a feat! Well, I don’t do anything else other than this, these days – this was another lady who joined the conversation, as the person on my right squirmed in his seat, seeing that he was alone among us.

Now, before you start wondering, what I was up to, let me make it clear. I was at the IndiBloggers annual meet held on the 20th of March at Chennai. It was quite a revelation to me to see so many bloggers from Chennai making their way to the meet, despite their busy schedules. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many people, view blogging as an expression and extension of themselves. These are the types, who actually like to talk a lot about their own interpretations of life – they wish they had an audience, but in a time-shrinking world, the others seem to have better work to do, than to listen to our interpretations of our life. Because we can’t throw the creative-hook that may interest our next door character, we hope that we can start writing for the world to sit up and listen to us, er at least a handful few in this vast world– So we start blogging. Yes, it does open up new vistas of time and space, but we also know that there are as many blogs today, as there are the below-the-poverty line numbers of the UN. Like all social beings, we believe we have to gang up and create our own communities. Bloggers at Chennai did just that. On the 20th, we managed to see the rest of the gang – face-to-face. And after the initial, microphone hiccups, what a session it was!

As the 30-seconds-to-fame round up, gave the enthusiastic few to find their own voices, among the 200 and odd(quite literally) to introduce themselves, it broke the ice for me. I suddenly became comfortable that there are a lot of odd people like me, out here, who believe in holding up the only voice that they hear in their heads – that of their own – and who are quite cool about it. I thought it was okay to be a little wired and weird and I had lots of company. There were students and lecturers, professionals and amateurs, insightful writers and distasteful writers, business people and employable people, freelancers and just-not-sure writers – at least one in every category, but quite a gang.

Some part of the session was also about understanding how to integrate traditional media (the press) with blogs – the discussion went haywire, as either the speakers did not stick to the line or those who interacted made it like a one-on-one tête-à-tête. And it did drag, because I believe that the essence of blogging is to stay away from traditional press, as most of the press (at least in Tamil Nadu, India) is backed by one political party or the other. The ones which are not openly associated with the parties, are dependent either on the party’s, or on the government budgets for “public awareness campaigns” and “public relations” advertisements – which are pretty huge by the way. With most of the papers publishing at subsidized costs to the end-reader, survival is about being dependent on these PR campaigns – Can they ever think of not towing a party’s line? Journalistic ethics are a thing of the past, as your pay check comes from the very source, that you are supposed to question and rebuke, in case of a wrong doing. Why would somebody from traditional media want to align with bloggers who supposedly are unbiased and who will not think twice to publish their views?

Many wanted to know how to make money out of blogging. Well, I saw a huge business opportunity here – Why not become reputation managers for politicians and public servants. Make sure every forum and blog roll is infested with their Jai Ho’s and well, that is one way of becoming an extension of traditional media. But will you get paid for it is another issue altogether. So you are back to square one. I just managed to grin and laugh at the clichéd “content is king” and didn’t want to sound like a professional cynic by sharing my views on it.

The IndiBlogger team in black tees, was a young, enthusiastic, sincere bunch and I liked their drive to believe in their dream of providing a platform for us. They managed to rope in a sponsor like UniverCell and that was a good beginning. They deserved many kudos for their work.

As I am writing this post, in my black tee that I got as a freebie from the meet, I feel like I am part of their faith – the faith to chase my dream of providing opportunities to thousands of talented women.

I will find my platform, soon.

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Comments»

1. Renie - March 30, 2010

Beautifully written, and a great description of the meet! We’re glad you had a good time. 🙂

Gomathi Reddy - March 31, 2010

Hi Renie,

Thank you for stopping by and posting your comments. Yes, I enjoyed being there. 🙂

2. umbrella - March 31, 2010

Nice review. I’m happy to see another who echoes my view on traditional media! It was nice meeting u at the meet.keep going. tc

Gomathi Reddy - March 31, 2010

Hey…good to see you drop by here. I saw your pics with the Indiblogger tee on. Pity I didn’t check out a nearby restaurant. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and yes, it was a pleasure getting to meet you – and I now know why your blogs scream so much life! Take care. 🙂


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