June 24, 2009

2008 roundup – part une

Filed under: birthday,blogmeets,nostalgia,personal,twitter,work — Twilight Fairy @ 2:13 am

I am back with a long awaited attempt at getting back to the “Drid Nishchaya” of being regular at the blog (though I am sufficiently active on the photoblog, the microblog and to some extent the Delhi Bloggers‘ Blog). Here’s a roundup of the salient features of the 2008 chapter of my life, most of which was intended to appear on this blog but did not turn up for various reasons.

The year 2008 started on quite a bad note. Right after the 12am gong struck 1st Jan 2008, and I was holidaying at Sonapani, I discovered a “virtual” can of worms in my online social circle and had to perform the virtual equivalent of chemotherapy on a virtual entity I had started. All that done, it was surely a relief. I was very glad and also pleasantly surprised to see the support this ‘act’ garnered for me. It was one of the times where one could clearly differentiate between friends and foes, commitment and shallow words, sincerity and selfish, plain greed. On the whole though it was unpleasant, it was also a great learning. Human nature has many a fascinating avenue to explore and observe. And realise.

On 13th Jan 2008, the Delhi Bloggers group celebrated its 4th anniversary in Blues, CP. We all had great fun. It was a simple fun affair. For a change we had no agenda, sponsors or planning. Just a night with online friends who have been together since 4 years and liked to be together.  The common thread tying them – Delhi & blogging.

In late february last year, 23rd Feb to be precise, we bade farewell to our dearest doggie, as he left for the doggie heaven above, after giving us a glorious 17 years & 2 months of his affectionate company. I had planned to write about it on the blog to express the pain and I even put some other posts on hold because of that. But I never could. The loss of a pet may not be understood by those who have never owned one. But believe me, it’s like the loss of any family member or rather that of a child. 17 is teenage in human years and abt a 120 in doggie years. My sister and I have spent the bigger part of our lives in his company than without it, so it’s a loss that is unforgettable for life alright. The pain of the separation apart, it was a most unfortunate time we had, while looking for a decent burial spot (crematoriums have been stopped by the govt). It would have been better if we had thought out the horrendous details earlier, even though painful. I continue to miss him every single moment that I breathe. God bless him for the unconditional love he gave us.

In early March, I organised Delhi’s first tweetup (Twitter meet) along with @mojosanjay. It was great fun and we had a huge attendance even though organised in a jiffy. There were out station members as well and I even shot a video of most members. Got to still work on that to share it :P . It was a meet in a cafe, we explained twitter to those who didnt know it and also explained some mashups to those who did.

In late March, I “aged” another year. The least said the better :) .

In April, we helped organise Blogathon India and had a partner meet in Delhi for that. This meet was sponsored by Alootechie. It was a nice cosy affair at “The Attic” in CP – a place to fall in love with. The participation in blogathon was good and had a great potential if done regularly. The sponsorship was based on verbal commitment. It was just 4K to cover the rent & snacks charges. However, getting a reimbursement of that money probably cost me at least 1/4th the amount in just persuing them for it and took 5 months of continuous pressure. A harassing experience, but I made sure I at least got my money back. I am told (via other bloggers) that this isn’t a one off thing, it’s a consistent one with this organisation.

In April again, Dinesh Khanna (who I co-administer “Delhi Photographers” with) drew my attention to the fact that my picture was there all over in Canon’s brochures in every camera box! Well, it still is. And unfortunately there’s not much I can do about it. It had been clicked by photographer friend Sanjay when he & I were trying out our brand new Canon 400D’s and the various features of our new “toys”. This pic as it turned out, suited a particular contest of Canon very well. We discussed the pros/cons of participation & Sanjay decided to send it in hoping to win the first prize – a cool camera lense (which we were quite sure of winning given the quality of the picture demonstrating every aspect of a camera). Later he got a notification that his pic would be used for some Canon related stuff. No news about the competition. Till date. In return he got nothing but a silly camera manual. The modified picture that is there in every Canon Camera’s box now, is so botched up that it literally looks mutilated. The worst treatment to subject someone’s creation to. The contest fine print allows them to publish the picture, however the whole episode reeks of unethical practices on Canon’s part. If the picture was that good that it can go out as part of a brochure of every single Canon EOS series camera now (and has been so since past 1 year plus), then it definitely deserved first prize. What better certification was required than the very fact that Canon decided to save on agency costs & used a picture clicked by a Canon user! However we never heard anything from Canon till date. Bad Canon.

Soon in May, I got an article published in Hindustan Times. It was on blogging and the community of Delhi Bloggers that exists – their meets, the events, the fervour. Felt great :) . I have had many interviews (print/visual/audio) taken earlier, but in terms of writing something (not creative work that incidentally got published too) specifically for publishing in a leading publication, this was a first.

In late May, I left my organisation of 8.5 years to join another for the kind of role I wanted. It was a moment I expected to be “impacting” me in a very large way. Surprisingly it didn’t. Not quite. A smooth transition emotionally I guess is due to the disillusionment of many years. It was a long journey with many nuggets worth sharing here. I got a short break of 3 weeks in between both jobs. I tried to get a longer one but the IT industry is just not kind to people who want to take a sabbatical.

Just after I left my prev orgn, 104.8 Meow FM interviewed me in their studio. I had a great time with Ginnie Mahajan who was the host of the show – Tu Tu Meow Meow. It was supposed to be a live chat show where callers call and asked me questions about blogging and then there were random songs that played as well. During the songs part I got to know Ginnie and during the chat part, the callers got to know me. There were some rather hilarious moments where I just could NOT control my laughter while we were live and Ginnie had a lot of fun at my expense in a LIVE show! My family, extended family, some friends & ex-colleagues were all tuned in. Couple of bloggers who knew me called in and some others called me after the show because they had happened to hear me on air! All in all it was a great experience. I had been interviewed by BBC radio in Apr 2006, but a live show in a studio is a different ball game altogether. I had asked a friend to record the show on my mp3 player so I have some sort of a recording but it has a lot of noise in various places. Unfortunately when Meow FM sent me a much needed recording of my show it turned out to be someone elses. Probably someone, somewhere else is laughing off at the chat show that we all are supposed to laugh at! I am yet to edit the recording I have and share it for your hilarious listening pleasure.

On June 7th, I happened to organise India’s first social media camp. Note – there may have been many blogcamps earlier, but there were no camps at all which catered to social media or the various commercial uses of it or social media marketing. I realised this when I tried planning for this particular camp. I could not find any precedent for any sort of guideline. Eventually I shortlisted some areas where social media is used in todays Web2.0 world and tried to invite speakers from that very domain to talk about how they used social media. In the end we had speakers from the Print media, Travel industry, Corporate blogging arena, Social media marketing, a leading newschannel, developers who create social networks, a humour blogger talking abt his social media experience, a blogger presenting a debatable topic – “protecting” social media, a session on our evergreen twitter, social media in the mobile network and a lawyer talking on the much needed legal aspect of social media and of course monetisation. It was a very interesting affair. Our prime sponsor was Indiatimes and we were also assisted by IBM, WordPress and Tyroo. The event was very well appreciated. We got great feedback and accolades. It could not have been possible without Sanjay and Garima. The perfect team to work with. Thanks Guys!

On 16th June, I joined my new organisation, with a new role – the kind that I wanted for long but could not get in the ex-orgn. Later, within 6 months I would get an award at excellence in work and I would wonder why I did not leave my ex-organisation earlier.

I’ll follow up the next 6 months (part deux) in a separate post. Since it’s already been 6 months into 2009 too, perhaps those 6 months (part trois) in another post as well :\.


May 21, 2009

Exclusive! Delhi Bloggers Bloc Presents DBM#30: Meetup with Shashi Tharoor

Filed under: DBM's,DesiPundit,personal,social,twitter — Twilight Fairy @ 10:46 am

Ahoy Bloggerati and Twitterati! Here’s an opportunity you can’t afford to miss.

Meet Shashi Tharoor, one of the most charismatic leaders we have in the new parliament in an exclusive informal Meetup with Delhi Bloggers Bloc.

As you know, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, has been recently elected as the Congress Member of Parliament, from Thiruvanathapuram, and much like us bloggers & social media enthusiasts, is himself an activist and excellent writer (award-winning author of eleven books).  He has put in a lifetime of work in the United Nations and was India’s candidate to succeed United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006, and finished a close second out of seven contenders. Dr. Tharoor was also  named a “Global Leader of Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. You can read more about him at his official website http://shashitharoor.in/

One of his recent tweets (@shashitharoor on Twitter) will give you an idea of how he has also adapted well to the 140 character space of Twitter:

“First day in Parliament. From the sublime (the historic Central Hall for the Cong legislators meeting) to the bureacratic (8 forms to fill)!”
AGENDA
Introduction to the meet
A few words by Dr. Tharoor on his impressions of Twitter and Social Media.
Q&A with Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Congress Member of Parliament, Thiruvanathapuram.
And if time permits, informal discussion on use of social media and twitter by policy makers.
Date: Thursday, 21st April, 2008
Time: 6:00 pm to 7 pm.
Venue: The Attic, 36, Regal Building (first floor), Connaught Place, New Delhi – 110001.
Tel : 2374 6050, 5150 3436
Map: http://bit.ly/DBM30
Directions:
Please note that this meet is contributory with 100/- as the contribution per person, which goes to contribute to venue charges and snacks. We have limited seats (60) at the venue, so participation will be on a first come first served basis ONLY. Please be on time. No gatecrashing. Timings are subject to slight variation on short notice subject to availability of Dr. Shashi Tharoor.

For any information contact:
Twilight Fairy at +919811511719
Sanjay Shrivastava at +919873707071
Follow @delhitweetup on Twitter for updates.
While you are at it, join our Facebook group or mailing list

The entrance to The Attic is on Parliament Street (Sansad Marg), on the left side, after Park Hotel. It is just above the erstwhile pub DV8 (now Sports Bar).

By Metro – get off at Rajiv Chowk ( Connaught Place ) station on Line 2 Central Secretariat to Vishwa Vidyalaya ( Delhi University )

Parking - In Palika Parking, Near Jantar Mantar or Hanuman mandir.


March 17, 2009

Gurgaon-Jaipur Women’s car rally on 21st!

Filed under: DesiPundit,gurgaon,sports,travel — Twilight Fairy @ 12:51 am

Someone put a pamphlet about a Women’s car rally under the wiper of my car. I was quite amused since I did not see it on any of the other cars parked near by! :) It sounds like quite a fun opportunity. Since this event has practically no web presence, I thought I would promote it on my own blog. So here goes!

“Any vehicle which has 4 wheels, an engine, a steering wheel and a lady behind it, can participate in the rally”

This event is being organised by an NGO called Uthaan in partnership with Ibis, Power Grid, Indian Oil, Radio Mirchi, Desert trails, Avenues travel services etc. The flag off is from Ibis Hotel, Gurgaon.

III GURGAON-JAIPUR WOMEN CAR RALLY
DATE of Event : 21st March 2009

Uthaan is conducting the IIIrd Women’s Car rally which is an annual National Event hosted in Gurgaon 3rd year in succession. They hold this event each year with a Social Theme to create awareness in Social segments through participation & involvement . They have got support of Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Indian Oil , Rajasthan Tourism, India Today group, NDTV, Radio Mirchi, Dainik Jagran, Times Of India & Hindustan Times & Limca Book of Records.

Why not join a NATIONAL RECORD CREATING EVENT !!

They have earlier created a record by Holding the women Car rally. It is listed in the LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS as

LONGEST INTERSTATE WOMEN CAR RALLY OF INDIA.
( Page 476 Limca Book Of Records 2007 )

This year this event is being organized in a much bigger way from Gurgaon to Jaipur ( To create another NATIONAL RECORD ). Another FIRST in this Rally is that they’re encouraging participants to bring their Pets too.

In case you are interested you can register as an individual for 4000/- (all inclusive) [and for 6K as a corporate] for this rally. It is a fun rally, not meant to be a race. The Boarding, lodging & food for all participants will be arranged by the Organizers. The List of Number of Prizes will be given at the time of Registration. It will be a Time, Speed & Distance rally with point deduction on OVER SPEEDING. The maximum speed allowed is 75Kmph. Violation of Traffic Rules will be penalized by point deduction. A separate navigation chart with full rules will be given to participants after registration. Different events during the rally will be held & informed about beforehand to all participants. There will be a prize distribution event on 21st evening at Desert trails, Jaipur. Participants will be given lodging & breakfast at either Desert Trails or Hotel Amer View. You can get your family also along with you. They can pay directly to the hotels. You can register a navigator along with you. The navigator can be a man or a woman. However in case of a tie, the preference would be given to an all women team.

The proceeds from this event will go to an Animal rescue centre on NH-8. All interested people may contact the following:

Sanjay Kaushik
President
Uthaan
102, Sector 46
GURGAON
9811175332


March 16, 2009

Twitter Updates for 2009-03-16

Filed under: twitter — Twilight Fairy @ 11:30 am


February 15, 2009

Beware of Airtel’s lifetime free IPTV scheme for existing subscribers – all hogwash

Filed under: Customer grievances,delhi,DesiPundit,gurgaon,personal — Twilight Fairy @ 3:01 pm
Airtel has been tomtoming their supposedly lifetime free IPTV scheme to existing subscribers of broadband, showing no extra cost except for installation charges of 3999/-. Even after asking several times from their executives selling this scheme to people, they insisted that there’s no monthly rental, this is indeed lifetime free at no extra cost, except that of installation. I also doubly confirmed that my existing connection of 999/- would not have any disruption or hampering in service & no extra cost and was confirmed the same. However since nothing of this sort is on airtel’s site as of now, I was still sceptical.
Finally after much interrogation, I agreed to fill up the application provided they show me this scheme on paper and not expect me to fall for it over what they claimed on phone. I speak from experience. right from the time I wasnt even an Airtel customer but they damaged my property to install someone elses connection TO my own broadband connection. As expected, considering how botched up Airtel’s services are, their representative who was given some other address instead of mine to go to & some other timing as well, arrived 5hrs late at my place without any scheme in written. This after having given them my address at least 4 times. When the rep finally procured their brochure & showed it to me, I realised that my existing speed of 384 Kbps will be downgraded to 256Kpbs if I were to avail of this scheme. I talked to their customer care again. I was told there is not much difference between 384Kbps and 256 Kbps speeds anyway. When I asked them why they are charging me more in that case, for the higher speed, he had no answer. He also told me that to retain my existing speed of 384 Kbps, I would have to buy a top up plan of 400/- every month. So here it is – their hidden monthly rental! All this after having confirmed on phone that my existing broadband services will not suffer or be hampered!
The customer care guy started by saying that I must be paying this to my cable guy. That’s not even logical. I pay much lesser to the cable guy and might as well retain my existing broadband speed, without shelling out 4K for some installation! Nice way of taking services back from the customer and then charging them again calling it lifetime free!
Beware of schemes that insult the intelligence of the customer. Jaago Grahak Jaago. Do not fall for Airtel’s hogwash


2008 in one post

Filed under: personal — Twilight Fairy @ 2:43 pm

My blog has seen very less of action in the past one year (unlike my life). This could also be attributed to my prolific existence on flickr & twitter. However in the beginning of this year I did write down one post to make up for all that. It contained snippets of 2008 which happened, were blogworthy & never got mentioned on the blog. Sadly I am still mid way in that and that will just have to wait. Regular programming shall hopefully continue.

September 23, 2008

DBM#25- a meet for delhi bloggers and microbloggers – a roundup

Filed under: blogmeets,DBM's,delhi,social — Twilight Fairy @ 4:03 pm

 

On 20th, Delhi witnessed its second twitter meet. Unlike the previous twitter meet, which was held in a cafe, this meet was sponsored by Incube Business centre. The meet started at 5pm. I got there by about 5:20pm thanks to the traffic. There were already some twitter enthusiasts who had introduced themselves to each other. Kumar Rahul was fully prepared with a laptop, ready to just start. We had another round of introductions during which we noted down the twitter id’s or mail id’s (of those who were not on twitter). During the intro round, Gautam Ghosh walked in and I quickly put the onus of kickstarting a session, onto him. Gautam talked about what twitter really meant for him. Conversations are what matter – at the end of the day, whichever platform you are on.

This was followed by a talk on kwippy.com by co-founder – Mayank dhingra, who also got caught in the traffic and arrived midway Gautam’s session.

By the time this session ended, we had already overshot a lot of time and quickly rushed to the refreshment part of our agenda.

Some tasty grub later, we came back in, to discuss the TOI case of plagiarism that I had faced. I was also carrying the copy of What’s hot with the corrigendum in it. Everyone seemed amused by the whole sequence of events. This was followed by a talk on “Bill of rights” by Kumar Rahul. This is a collection of points he plans to take up with @scobleizer.

We followed this with another round of some rather tasty sandwiches, samosas, tea & coffee. Just before we all were leaving, someone suggested we click a group picture, so we did with about 1/4th of the participants. All pictures would be uploaded soon and a post shall be here to keep you all updated. Tune into the rss feed of this blog :) .

There were about 40 participants, even though the confirmations were more than double. A lot of names may not have been noted down, so if your name is missing, please do drop in a comment. A list of attendees, in no particular order. Those not on twitter have had their mail id’s mentioned.

Twilight Fairy : @twilightfairy

Sanjay: @mojosanjay

Gautam: @gautamghosh

Kumar Rahul: @kumar_rahul

Vishal Singhal: @vishalsinghal

Ashutosh: @xyzashu

Divya: @dichakravarty (all the way from bangalore)

Sameer: @sameergupta

Mayank Gupta: @mayankgupta

Krisnair: @krisnair

Nikhil: freakynikh at gmail dot com

Amrita: kumar dot amrita at gmail dot com

Rajbir: @rajjo19

Nitin: @ndhawan

Niraj: imniraj at gmail dot com

Vidhi: @vidhithakur

Vimoh: @vimoh

Dipankar: @dipankarsarkar

Maitrayee: maitrayee.rcy at gmail dot com

Ketu Desai: swetaketu79 at gmail dot com

Aionava: myspeedpost at gmail dot com

Abhijit: @jeetblog

Abhishek: @abhishek

Arun: @simplyarun

Pankaj: @pjain

Rohit: rohit.sharma3 at wipro dot com

Gurudatt : @prolificd

Mayank Dhingra: @mayankdhingra

Arjun : @arjunghosh

Gayatri : @grath

Sanjay Jha

Manik

Monica : @jasuja

Check some of the tweets from that day. Here are the posts on this event written by Gautam, Mayank. If anyone else has written anything about the event, please leave a comment here and it will be added in the roundup.


September 19, 2008

Send twitter DM to non-followers

Filed under: tech — Twilight Fairy @ 12:59 am

A lot of times I have seen twitter users wondering how to send DM’s (direct messages) to ppl who are not following them. Since I have had the pleasure of explaining it so many times on twitter, I thought I would just write it once and for all and share the link from now on. So here goes.

To send a DM to anyone who’s not following you, just “derive” their URL to create a DM message.
The URL would be http://twitter.com/direct_messages/create/<username> where you need to replace the <username> with the twitter id. for eg. to send a DM to me, you would use the following link

Hope this makes your twitter communication quick and easy!

UPDATE:

Since twitter has updated its interface since last night, this hack now shows an error message. However it STILL works. Please ignore the error message.

UPDATE 2:

Following this post, twitter.com has suddenly realised some sort of a “loophole”, treated this thing as a “bug” and fixed it as well. Now this hack would not work in any circumstances. You simply can not DM anyone who’s not following you. As a policy or design decision I dont quite agree with it. People can send orkut messages, facebook messages, flickr messages to anyone at all. Why can twitter messages not be enabled? It’s very much required as a feature going by the number of hits this post received in the short time that this hack was working.


September 1, 2008

TOI believes – Flickr is for flicking

Filed under: Customer grievances,personal,photography — Twilight Fairy @ 3:00 am
TOI thinks flickr is for flickingThis is shocking but unfortunately true. Our leading dailies make a business out of the photographs clicked by many of us. And they have the audacity to use them without permission , credit or compensation as well, even if they are against the copyright license. One of my pictures got “flicked” from my Flickr stream and got published in a weekly supplement of TOI’s called, “What’s Hot”, dated 18th July’08. I happened to take a look at this supplement quite by chance because it was lying around and I had nothing better to do.

 I immediately called up the editor of this supplement – a lady called Poonam singh – who said she will look into the issue. I wrote about 3 mails in all, asking for (a very meagre) compensation for the damages done as well as credit. For one, I never got a response in written – but of course that would mean acknowledging the theft. When I called up, I was told that it is common practice to “use” free images from the net! Flabbergasted at the audacity of this all, I clearly asked whether TOI staff was blind or illiterate to not be able to make out the clearly written statement on my flickr stream and my copyright license, both of which stated that my images can NOT be used without my explicit permission – ALL rights reserved. This is plagiarism in its full glory. Not only this, on asking for compensation, Ms. Poonam singh clearly told me that as a next step I could even go to lawyers and that this case will then be forwarded to the legal department of TOI. Huh? Was this a threat? Or a challenge? They actually go ahead, use an image with “all rights reserved” clearly mentioned on my page, have the audacity to state that this happens all the time – the “graphics designer may not know” and that I could go take the legal route?

Well, I clearly understand that it was not the editor herself stealing my image, but some downtrodden employee. But then undoubtedly, Ms. Poonam Singh, who represents the Times of India, is not performing her job of being an editor, if her employees are violating copyrights! Who is responsible for educating employees about copyright violation and the legal ramifications of it? How come the Indian publishing industry takes this so lightly, whereas the Indian IT industry (of which I am a part) takes IPR’s, patents and copyright violations so seriously that they throw out employees who download pirated mp3′s on their machines? I have undergone trainings on ethics a zillion times in my career. We have had several instances of audits, policies stuffed down our throats and what not. Why? Because the Indian IT industry takes this matter seriously. On the other hand, nauseatingly so, the Indian publishing industry takes this as its birthright!

The Indian Copyright Act, 1957; Section 63 – states that copyright infringement, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees.
The law is on our side, the proof is in our hands and YET victims like us, do not do anything about this. After I shared my story on flickr, I shockingly realised that this practice is so rampant! I now know of many more cases like me, all of us bleeding because our creation has been stolen and used for a commercial purpose and we could do nothing but helplessly watch.

When I asked TOI for compensation, I was told that they will pay what they pay to their own photographers, which is a grand sum of 250 INR. I am tired of using this word repeatedly, but yet again, I was shocked and told the editor to keep this princely sum with herself. I was then offered 1500 INR as a “last offer” since this picture had been taken and used without my permission (such euphemism for THEFT). Just who the hell is TOI to decide compensation for MY piece of work? I do not exactly shout this from the top of trees, but like hell they need to realise a couple of things. That photography is not just a passion with me, it’s also a road to an alternate career for me. That I take it seriously, I spend money in equipment, in attaining knowledge, I spend time, effort and my resources to make a “creation”, which later I SELL. That I am at this juncture of being somewhat known in the Delhi Photography circuit (not just amateur but professional as well). That I co-administer a rather active group of Delhi based photographers, which consists of the likes of Dinesh Khanna and Pablo Bartholomew. That I also sell my prints to well known connoisseurs in the same field. Just how the hell can the Time of India value my piece of work? That’s like stealing my Mercedes and paying me for a Maruti, mind you, only because they happened to get caught red handed? Yes, I am expensive, but did TOI care? They just stole my picture without asking me how costly I am.

I have no idea, how many such images are being used on a daily basis – they could be anyones, but I do know that this nefarious practice is increasing day by day. I also plan to start a “morcha” against this kind of theft. I know of a lot of cases already and if you know of any, please get in touch. All readers of this post, I would request you to please share it widely, so that we can attack this disease as a people and not as an individual. The next stolen picture could be yours. I will certainly take legal action against Time of India. Even if it proves futile, I would not like to be in a state where I am doomed to wonder for the rest of my life – what if.

UPDATE - this issue has been resolved, thanks to all of you for your support. I have received the desired compensation, corrigendum as well as a written apology. I’ll be updating about the details in a separate post.


August 23, 2008

Social Media & Blog camp! – a description

Filed under: blogmeets,DBM's,gurgaon,social,tech — Twilight Fairy @ 12:31 pm

I have been organising Delhi Blogger Meets and events around Delhi Bloggers, since many years now. Recently we did something quite differently. On 7th June’08, we managed to present a Social Media & blog camp for Delhi Bloggers Bloc – an online community of Delhi Bloggers. Blogging has come a long way and is one of the most powerful tools that are a part of “Social Media”. This post has been long pending since I was in the process of changing jobs during that time, and was also waiting for some of the speakers to provide me with their presentations. I still haven’t received all, but well, better late than never!

The DBB – social media and blog camp was held at Indiatimes, Gurgaon office on 7th June’08. The event venue, meal and snacks were sponsored by Indiatimes. We also had IBM & WordPress as promoters for this event. Tyroo ads was the online partner as well. There was another corporate – a leading telecom giant – who was going to be one of the sponsors but backed out at the last moment. All part of the game I guess! The event tags and pens were sponsored by Puneet of Superblogsecrets.com. Getting sponsorship was a learning experience in designing pitches and preparing concept notes. The giveaways were uber cool and perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises of the day. Indiatimes provided t-shirts and stationery. IBM provided sippers. WordPress provided some rather cute badges (which got lapped up very very quickly & I kept getting requests for them much later as well) and stickers. Indiatimes also had a lucky draw and provided all speakers as well as the lucky winners – a USB watch! How cool is that? A watch which also doubles up as a USB device.

We had released only 100 passes for this event and later had to extend them because of the high demand! I had to refuse some ppl who wanted to attend since we were already overflowing capacity. I had also been getting a lot of calls from people who wanted to speak at this event on a lot of interesting topics. However, we had to limit that too, much as we didnt like it! We had planned several talks by eminent personalities on relevant topics. The topics touched on web2.0 aspects in a lot of spheres.

The camp kicked off with N Madhavan’s talk on taxonomy of blogs – a way for newbies to identify where they are in this blogosphere. Madhavan is a senior journalist with HT with an active interest in New Media.

This was followed by a web 2.0 – travel industry perspective. Digital Marketing for the Travel Industry in the Web 2.0. Scenario was presented by Nirat Bhatnagar, co-founder of chahiye.info.

Rajesh Lalwani of blogworks.in presented two back to back sessions. Both were very well received. The first was Where are you going in your social media car? This session presented a perspective on social media – we talk so much about it but are we getting there yet? This was followed by an excellent case study Impact of social media on purchase – derived from personal expriences on purchase.

The next session was by Shyam Somanadh, Principal Architect, Network18 (Web18) who presented Participatory Media: The view from inside. He talked about some of the things that the Web18 team had done wrt social media on their own website. This was the time I learnt that “participatory” media is yet another term for social media.

This was followed by a quick talk on Twitter by Sanjukta Basu where she discussed twitter and also used it for a live demo.

We had to omit a rather interesting session on Social media – Socio cultural implications and trends – by Manav Deep Mianwal, Head Brand & Media, Airtel enterprise services since he couldnt be there due to personal reasons. We were running short of time, so this provided some getting back on track.

We quickly jumped to the session on Social media in the corporate context – presented by Natraj Akella, Brand strategy & marketing, IBM.
After this we had worked up quite an appetite and moved on to a great sumptuous lunch. The whole place was jampacked and people could be seen enjoying and of course networking.
After lunch we started with Bringing “Social” to software presented by Manish Dhingra, founder Tekriti software. This session talked about how to incoporate that social context in software.

This was followed by a “light” session – Exploiting the Internet – Riding somebody else’s Success by Jamshed V Rajan, Director products, Ibibo web pvt limited. Jammy is known for his humour blog – ouchmytoe.com and also showed us a rather interesting video on Social Media.

Then came a very debated session Protecting “New” in New Media by Prashant Singh. It presented various insights into our psyche about social media. Nikhil of Medianama.com, actually willingly gave up his session so that discussion around this topic could go on. He later presented his own take on the same topic.

A much needed session on Law & Technology was well presented by Gurpreet Singh, Internet Attorney. He discussed copyrights and trademarks.

This was followed by an interactive session on What makes mobile social networks successful? This was presented by Ekta Rohra Jafri.

The last session of the day was one that a lot of people had been waiting for. The monetary aspect of blogging (how could we not include that? :) ).
Blogging Superstars : How to monetize a blog effectively? was conducted by Mohit Maheshewari, Co-founder Tonic Tag Media Pvt Ltd.

This event was quite well received by both the audience as well as those who wanted to present something. It is amazing to see how social media creeps into everything – be it the corporate world, purchase, travel, traditional media etc. There were a lot of other interesting topics that I wanted to have during our session. However due to limited time we could not. I would have also personally liked to do an elaborate session on photography and how it is benefitting due to social media. Due to lack of time with me as well as a well known photographer I had approached, we could not conduct this one. Next time surely!

The participants were a very intresting mix with people from internet companies, startups, national TV channels, IT personnel, civil society, lawyers, brand managers, social workers, mainstream newspapers etc. The news about this event had reached a lot of people. A surprise entrant was Pavan Duggal, the well known lawyer who also attended this event, having heard of it from a friend.

The day ended with a closing thanks by me, followed by lucky draw and surveys/feedbacks.
It was a fruitful day full of compliments for the enormous effort behind it. All this would not have been possible without Garima and Sanjay – my co-organisers for the event. Garima worked from the Indiatimes end. Sanjay and I, designed pitches, made powerplay presentations, posters, tags, schedules, invites, concept notes etc.

Here’s a mini glimpse of how Amit Ranjan of slideshare.net, saw it and enjoyed it :) .  Here’s what Sanjukta, an oldie in our DBB group, had to say :) . “social media and blog camp by Delhi Bloggers Bloc ws a total hit..v v engaging, interesting sessions. m proud to b an oldie in this grp “, says Sanjukta on twitter! Thanks Sanjukta :) . Here’s what Shyam Somnadh says about the day. Here’s what Kreeti tweeted about the day – here and here.

Here are some of the pictures we clicked that day. It was a day very well spent after which we proceeded to sleep off the sleepless nights spent behind the organising of this mega event.