Delhi Bloggers blaze a trend 6


This article of mine got published in HT. I am posting it here as well.. That piece also carried Rajesh Lalwani’s post on microblogging.

Internet and blogging have both come a long way. In the days of yore, we used to have Web pages on Angelfire or Geocities. There was a trend of putting freely available javascript code on the “homepages” to add the bells and whistles. An occasional addition to the “guest count” was a luxury. Interaction with the “guests” was out of the question.
Cut to now. The homepage has been replaced by the blog. Unlike traditional writing, blogging is not just meant for reading or consuming, it also initiates interaction and creates conversation. Bloggers build upon the thoughts and ideas of other bloggers and they all engage in the conversation. The blog has gone from being just an ‘online diary’ to a tool of professional and personal growth. If you are a blogger, anything, including but not limited to, book deals, job offers, celeb status, help in remote corners of the planet, TV interviews, regular income and career changes can come your way. But blogging is not only about reclusive online expression or anonymity. With online interaction comes the need to meaningfully interact offline as well, which in turn enriches online interaction. Blog communities and meetings address that need – and do much more. Not only are such communities, a great way to network socially and professionally, they also introduce bloggers to like-minded people who share the same tastes and a diverse variety of interesting opinions. A bloggers meeting fits the bill for social networking and may also align itself to activities in line with a group’s interests. Meeting offline is now the most natural thing to do once you have interacted online. That could get you a venture partner, a job offer, new contacts – or love!

Delhi’s bloggers happen to have a strong community. The group called the Delhi Bloggers Bloc ( also happens to be possibly the oldest such community in India. It provides bloggers a common platform to interact online as well as offline apart from giving them a chance to share and promote their blogs. Frequent activities like photography/heritage walks, fun gatherings in pubs/cafes and serious meetings with agendas and outreach exercises, make sure that there is something in it for everyone. In fact so inspired was Sanjukta Basu, a veteran member of DBB, that she initiated another community on the same lines when she shifted to Bangalore. The Delhi bloggers community (DBB) was formed after some bloggers met at their first ever Delhi Blogger’s Meet on 13th January, 2004. The members recently celebrated the group’s 4th anniversary as well with a successful meeting. The group aspires to seek new and worthwhile ways to interact, learn, share, discuss and evolve both online and offline. The best part of this group is having so many people from diverse backgrounds, who one may not come across in the “normal” social circles one has. The group consists of an eclectic mix of people ranging from 14 to about 50 years of age with IT professionals, architects, chartered accountants, lawyers, doctors, journalists, social activists, housewives, army officers, media professionals, students, photographers, professional bloggers and others as members.

To be a member of the group, you can be a blogger who is or has been in Delhi or you can be a blog reader or someone who is keen on blogging and needs assistance in starting one. There is no age limit for joining. However if you are still studying, make sure your parents do not have a problem in your indulging in online activities. The group has had 23 officially chronicled meetings, a couple of unofficial meets, lots of history walks, sharing of photography tips, book reading sessions—and even kite flying days! The group, while being in the process of educatinonal exercises on blogging, has undertaken initiatives with voluntary groups and schools to help them harness the power of blogging. With so many forms of online interactions available, the group has its presence on social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut as well.

To encourage professional networking amongst the DBB members, the group has a presence in business networking sites like LinkedIn. It also has a presence on, the photo sharing site where they can share pictures from their blogger meetings as well as individual pictures.

There is a strong presence of photographers and photo bloggers in the group. With the advent of new media, the group has already had Delhi’s first Twitter meetup, for those who do mini-diaries on the go through It exists on Twitter as delhitweetup. The nerve centre of its interaction is however, a mailing list on Yahoogroups ( All that is not easy for those who have other things to do. Many active members have taken time off their workaday lives to make a community and sub-culture out of blogging.

(The author is a software professional, photographer and founder of Delhi Bloggers Bloc.)


DBM XXII – the first ever Delhi tweetup 16


Time for the next meet – DBM XXII – which is also the first ever Delhi tweetup.

Before we go ahead – let see what this confusing jargon is :) (for those who are unaware of it).
A tweetup is a “twitter meetup”. Twitter is a tool used for microblogging. Microblogging is blogging micro updates.

That was twitter in short. One can update these microblogging updates through IM, sms or web. There are also several desktop clients to do the same. Through twitter one can choose to “follow” people and get to read their twitter updates. Similarly ppl who “follow” you would get to read your updates. Twitter is quick and easy, very good for bloggers who dont have much time to update their blogs 😛 :).

Some of us are on twitter already. Some ppl like Hillary and Obama are also there :D. It doesnt matter whether it is really them or their proxies but they are very regular there. Those who aren’t yet on twitter, but would like to be, can quickly join in. Once that is done, you can follow “delhitweetup” – the id created for delhi twitter meets. This id is currently following some of you already. So the twitter updates of Delhi twitter users would also be in one place.

Now for the real thing:

When : 16th March’08 (sunday)
What time : sometime in the evening – 4-ish.
What : get acquainted with each other. Demystify twitter for those who dont know it yet.
Where : you decide .. This would depend on the number of ppl willing to attend the same.
Please give your ayes and nayes here (or you could tweet them keeping @delhitweetup in your confirmation tweet).

Those who wish to follow me on twitter, my id is twilightfairy.

Happy tweeting!


DBM XXI (4th Anniversary celebrations) 20


On 13th Jan 2004, a group of bloggers in Delhi decided to get together and meet offline for the first time. The excitement, apprehension, curiosity of meeting total strangers – all culminated in a rather successful meet and the formation of a community which has lasted all this while.

It’s the 4th birthday of our beloved community. It’s great to have lasted this long in the online world, certainly no mean feat this one! 20 official meets, a couple of unofficial meets, history walks, photography gyaan, book reading, kite flying, link-ups, print/tele coverage (BBCRadio/ Delhi Times/HT City/TodayPlus), flame wars, exercises in blogging outreach and endeavours with NGO’s ……….we’ve come a long way together.

The group has had as its members, people from all walks of life..techies, journos, students, activists, photographers, lawyers, doctors, guys who make their living off blogs!!..and we’ve walked a few steps together. A few in our group have moved on, relocated to other cities, but are still a part in spirit, and try and stay in touch. As the old saying goes “Once a DelhiBlogger, always a DelhiBlogger!!”

We are celebrating our 4 years in this online world and keeping a simple meet this time with no frills and fancies – only fun unlimited, which includes shooting a video of delhi bloggers. If you wish to join in on the fun, please append your name at the meet registration link or write to twilightfairy at gmail dot com (mobile # nine eight one one five one one seven one nine). Please keep your calendars blocked for 13th Jan 2008, 4:30-11pm, Blues, Outer circle, CP, New delhi :). You can drop in any time at your convenience.


The mystery 2


The mystery of where I am, unfolds dramatically. I am very much here. This has been the longest ever gap in my posts … and an unplanned one at that. Lots has been happening even in blogging terms, but the action has been on flickr since quite some time now. I am a self confessed flickr addict. Here is a glimpse from 20 of my pictures that made it to flickr explore at some time. Flickr explore is a way devised by good old flickr ppl to showcase 500 of the best pictures in a day. The algorithm to do that is a bit skewed up though, but it’s fun anyway.

Hit a score!
The individual links of the pictures are here as well. 1. Rubies are red, 2. Reflections, 3. Mooning over the sun, 4. Where’s the party, tonight?, 5. Hold on, 6. Bala Quila, 7. The Ceiling, 8. Don’t let the sun go down on me,

9. The first step, 10. Venus approaching the moon at twilight, 11. Safdarjung tomb, 12. Clouding over, 13. Sway with the sunset, 14. Tootsie!, 15. Flames, 16. The Delhi bloggers meet – XI,

17. Heavens throwing light, 18. Symmetry in the petals, 19. More lighting, 20. And then God said, let there be light.

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys.

Apart from this there have been umpteen blog meets with Delhi bloggers happening. Lots of collaboration being done for lots of things. Sigh, so much to do, such little time. Thanks to all those who have been regularly visiting and reading through the archives. Yes, there’s a whole lot out there to keep you busy for quite some time :P. And here’s another first – anyone who wants to write directly can write to me at twilightfairy at gmail dot com. I am quite curious to know who has been reading this bloggie regularly from HSBC, Singapore 😛 :)


Global voices summit


Following the BBC meet, a lot of us bloggers had wondered and brainstormed about organising a large scale workshop where bloggers could discuss myriad topics. We were very sure that we didnt want to set any expectations by calling it a “blogcamp” or a “barcamp” or an “unconference meet” but still wanted a large scale formal “event”. We were also more or less sure of the topics that we didn’t want to hash out anymore like MSM vs blogosphere, how to earn money thru blogs etc. We had brainstormed over a couple of topics and come up with new insights. Interestingly some of the topics of discussion that we shortlisted mapped exactly – as we learnt later – onto the topics that Global voices had selected for its discussions. Moreover it was all that we wanted to organise and more. It was a large scale event spanning the entire world, not even just a city or a country. It also talked about reaching out to more and more people and enabling people to communicate through blogging which was exactly what we wanted to address. So it was with much merriment that I wanted to be a part of Global voices online summit 2006 when I learnt that not only was it happening in Delhi but also that it was addressing two of the things we had discussed – Blogging outreach and multilingual blogging.

The other thing that drew me to the GV summit 2006 was the fact that it was a chance to get to meet many bloggers, not virtually but in realtime. This includes other Indian bloggers as well. Though this meet couldn’t have been called a “global bloggers meet”, for all practical purposes it was that. I also wanted to be a part of something constructive to do with blogging, something that could constitute a “movement”, something that wanted to make a positive change, something where people were actually keen on thinking out of the box and “evolving”.

16th of Dec saw me wrapping up a couple of chores first before finally reaching the venue – India Habitat Centre. One just needed to enter the room to realise that it was blogging at its best. Most people were carrying laptops and were furiously typing away, either writing accounts or uploading pictures. Though I was carrying my laptop, I soon realised that it was practically futile since the wireless connection wasn’t too strong for some reason. The conference discussed the blogging outreach that had been referred to and a presentation was given by some people who had tried implementing outreach somehow. The discussion then proceeded to tools/technology for remaining anonymous on the net. There was a discussion on multilingual blogging and a means to translate things in a common language to things in an uncommon language and vice versa. There were some good ideas in all cases. After the conference everyone got a lovely Global Voices tee. There was some random brain storming on some topics which made interesting food for thought. In the end we all got a group snap taken. Some pics.

Apart from the wonderful lunch, a dinner by the pool side had also been organised for those interested. I got to meet a lot of other Indian bloggers like Neha, Aparna, Peter, Sakshi, Jace, Preetam (though he considers himself chinese), Dina, Parmesh (the “fresh lime soda” guy), Shyam and of course the usual delhi bloggers gang. After the conference I had the pleasure of witnessing a practice session going on for some performance which was being done to highlight the fast dying art of playing the snake charmer been in India (minus the snakes). The beautiful sound with a number of instruments, was very much like hearing bagpipes with a poignant and soulful tinge to them. All in all a day very well spent indeed. It was a pleasure to meet all you guys and a zillion thanks to the wonderful organisers!