The IndiBlogger Weekly Diary Edition 7

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of the IndiBlogger weekly diary! As the IndiBlogger Event season is upon us, we will be doing a cover story on our events, its origins, its jaw dropping statistics and some of our favorite moments! We will also reveal the winners of last weeks question and that’s going to take up all the space on our blog this week! :-)

Organized over 100 IndiBlogger Blogger Meets, met over 10,000 bloggers, spent butt loads of money, collectively consumed 3200 cups of coffee,  ravished 2000 liters of “fancy” beverages and then there’s Karthik. Well, why do we do it? Read on..
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The first Meet of its Kind!

The Bangalore IndiBlogger Meet

Saturday February 16, 2008 – 4:00 PM onwards

This was the event that started it all. The success of this event would define IndiBlogger’s offline activities for the years to come!

Here is the first post that we have ever received for an Indiblogger event. It may not seem like much but it certainly got the word out there.

In 2008, events for blogging were virtually non existent. we used to meet bloggers at “Bar camps” the real one and the literal bar :-). There was a “Blog Camp” series as well which I didn’t find anyone taking responsibility for and there was nothing to specifically recognize bloggers as a group or a community on a nationwide scale. The first event helped me understand, what blogging meant to people. It was an electric affair and we trashed the MS Bangalore office as well :-).  The community team at MS let us to do whatever we wanted (and in their office!). No one knew what to expect and neither did we. A lot of the bloggers told us that they had never felt so involved in any other event, not quite like this anyway.

At some point during our first few events we had a “Movement” called “The Jig”, that Renie conjured up one day. I have no words to describe it but everyone seemed to enjoy it :-)

After a few more meets we landed up in Bangalore again and this time we wanted to break the confines of a corporate environment and so on the eve of the first Iron maiden concert in Bangalore, we decided to go out and rent the pub “Stones” for a night and bring the roof down.

The comments on our meet page sums up the event. Stones     allowed us get behind the counter, play our favorite music, take requests and basically own the bar for the night. They must have loved it too until someone spilled beer on the counter :-) That didn’t stop anything though, we continued to run wild.

And interestingly enough, Vineet Rajan was at this event as a blogger! And as usual, asking everyone to do stuff for him. We should have killed him when we had the chance.

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Some pictures from the event:

After 15 odd meets we reached a point where things had to change and the press was also showing a lot of interest when 150 bloggers decided to show up for this event in Hyderabad. One major aspect of our events was not to judge a blogger by “influence” and “quality of writing” or any other bull shit. We allowed bloggers who had just been blogging for a month to others who were blogging for many years. This accomplished a lot for us as more and more people started getting inspired to write. As long as they were registered members, we found that the people who had just started blogging were equally enthusiastic in promoting the IndiBlogger community and getting others to blog with them as well. A lot of them turned out to be great writers as well!


IndiStat: 10,867 bloggers have attended IndiBlogger Meets to date!

 

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The Independence Day Blogger meet in Mumbai!

Sunday August 15, 2010 – 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM

This meet was a turning point in many ways for IndiBlogger. It was one of our first events with “obscene” budgets. We attracted some of the top bloggers in Mumbai at that time. Even Gul Panag decided to walk in, see what the fuss was about and moderate a forum session as well. A lot of the bloggers who attended this event are taking blogging seriously at the moment. Magali Vaz who came with her mom at the time, is one such blogger. Looking at her regular tweets and posts, I can see her loving what she is doing at the moment.

Press: http://anubha-bhat.blogspot.in/2010/08/indiblogger-bloggers-meet.html
Some Event posts:
https://manavdhiman.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/indiblogger-mumbai-meet-indimum/
http://saurabh-shah.com/en/2010/08/24/indibloggers-five-star-meet-in-mumbai-2/
http://www.finelychopped.net/2010/08/we-dont-need-no-chutney-sandwiches.html

I don’t think we’ve ever been able to recreate the unique magic of this meet. I tried to preserve it with a bizarro video. It was good fun going around and asking everyone what was wrong with the event as opposed to asking them if they enjoyed it!  When I see it now, it reminds me why I should stop drinking, for the duration of the IndiBlogger meets at least :-D.

The  uncensored, backstage pass, all inclusive Vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G9JwMfHGmo


 

IndiStat: The number of meets and the average participants in each city.

 

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The IndiMeet with Spice:

 

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Sunday June 10, 2012 – 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM

This event was also ground breaking for us, as for the first time we allowed a celeb take on a complete segment. It was great to see Rajiv Makhni in his elements! I don’t think he has been able to match the excitement that he had on any of the other IndiMeets that he did later. It was also the day that the mantra (For lack of a better word), “Hurr Hurr” was first done. It was done to introduce Rajiv as a one time thing, but the deafening sound of over 300 bloggers chanting “Hurr Hurr Hurr..” as Rajiv walked in at The park in Delhi, meant that it wouldn’t be soon forgotten. It was an arena in there!

This was also the day when Prateek Shah decided to run amok among the crowd of bloggers with arms flailing and yelling at the top of his lungs. He runs a happiness workshop and I think we pushed him over the edge of happiness :-) Here is his post!

The “Hurr Hurr” made an appearance at the Vodafone IndiBlogger meet in Mumbai where Lewis Hamilton granted IndiBlogger an interview with IndiBloggers, and within the first 20 seconds of this video, you can hear Lewis Hamilton say and I quote, “This is the best welcome that I have ever had”. Groovy! :-)


 

IndiStat: The Big Ones!

 

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The commercial awareness for digital marketing is limited in many other cities and towns. If you have any ideas on how to get a meet organised in your city/town, do let us know! We have an option for you to create your own meets be it in your house or a coffee shop. At the moment these meets are not for commercial purposes, however if you guys want to meet up and try some book reading or invite people for some activities like treks and photo walks or just plain ol’ chit chat (My favorite!), you can create your own event here.

There are many more memorable moments including the IndiBand playing its first gig in Mumbai and the networking events like Kotak Jifi where we connected 3 cities via big screens. That was a fun experiment as well.

There are always some regulars at IndiBlogger meets, and they really know how to utilize them. They also give us a lot of feedback and keep us real honest. Usually around 30% of the bloggers who attend our events are veterans. This means that with the rest of the 70%, there are plenty of networking opportunities at every IndiBlogger event.


 

IndiStat: The ones that come no matter what!

* All Stats in this post are as of December 2014, courtesy our stats engineer Sainath Krishnan.

 

Blogger ID Name City Meets Attended
36497 janaki nagaraj Mumbai 15
42993 Blogwati Gee Mumbai 14
20435 vasudha rao mumbai 12
41202 Aditi Pathak Mumbai 12
7218 Rinzu New Delhi 11
9473 Jaideep Khanduja New Delhi 11
19126 Ekta Khetan Mumbai 11
26772 Vinay “Leo” R Bangalore 11
37245 Sumit Gupta Mumbai 11
50794 keerthika singaravel mumbai 11
51165 Shwetabh Mathur Faridabad 13
18831 Hitesh Rawat Noida, Bengaluru, delhi 10
22171 Raghava Bangalore 10
31246 Fatima Mumbai 10
35117 ankit jain Mumbai,indore 10
37732 Manjulika Pramod New Delhi, Faridabad 10
41813 Tushar kulkarni Mumbai 10
41922 Nikhil Shedbale Mumbai 10
46611 Aziz Ampanwala Pune/Mumbai 10
48122 yash shah Mumbai 10
49348 Nandini Deka Bombay 10
51726 Akash Bagaria Mumbai 10
51842 Pawan New Delhi 10
52935 Aditya Nath Jha New Delhi 10

 


So, in a nut shell, we do events because we love it. there is no other reason for it. We profit much more from our online campaigns, and because of the setup costs and time involved in executing an event, we couldn’t have done so much if we didn’t absolutely love it! Events are the only offering that demands the time of the entire team. At the end of the day, its all worth it.

 

The winners of last weeks questions!

Before I announce the winners, I would like to point out that the sending of the IndiBlogger merchandize will be delayed by another week. This is because our logistics and creative editor (Swati) of our weekly diary decided to go galavanting on a bike for a couple of weeks. She is on her fourth breakdown. Two more to go.

 

Jigish Shah

Parwatisingari

Abhishek Agrawal

Rachna

Dr. Paritosh Trivedi


This weeks question and the IndiMugs are back!

Comment on your favorite blog post of all time with the link and why you think it’s dear to you! That’s all you gotta do for a chance to win The IndiBlogger “Blog Now, Live Forever” IndiMugs. Yes they are back!

 

The IndiBlogger Event season has started and that means, lets make noise, like, for real! See you soon.

The IndiBlogger Weekly Diary Edition 6

Welcome to another episode of our weekly diary! This week we take a look at a movie that perked a bit of interest on IndiVine, We visit the first IndiBlogger campaigns of the year, Our winners for the all new IndiBlogger fridge magnets are revealed and more!

First things first! Happy Makar Sankranti/Pongal and this festival probably marks the last of the mandatory leaves that we will get for a while :-). I couldn’t find too many posts on the subject. So this may be a festival that people are actually celebrating instead of sitting at home and talking about it. I could be wrong but below are a few.

http://aartirathodartandmore.blogspot.in/2015/01/makar-sankranti-pongal-lohri-bhogi-and.html – A write up with the seasons greetings!

http://www.assamjournal.com/2012/01/makar-sankranti-festival-in-assam.html – A post from a few years ago on the festival in assam.

http://sangaminvestments.blogspot.in/2015/01/financial-lessons-from-makar-sankranti.html – A interesting analogy of finance with an age old tradition. I want what this bloggers been having while this post was written :-D

 

Dirty Charades:

The IndiBlogger team also decided to meet up during this time and take a break. It was fun meeting everyone after a long while and as we live and work from different locations across India, we always get crazy during these meetings. For example, we decided to play dumb charades but someone wanted to introduce a twist, where you could change or add one word to the existing movie/show and act it out. I expected mild changes with words like “bread”, “Happy” etc, but people just decided to be obscene. Some of the stuff that were thrown in were, “How I met your Mother Fu**er”,  “Men Who Stare At Goats Testicles”, at this point Nanny (AKA Nandita Thomas)  who heads our finance, was finding things rather embarrassing and to her undying horror she realized that Renie was acting out “Ace Ventura: Pet Molester” , that’s when she started yelling and I quote, “Please don’t do anything to that dog , please don’t!!” :-D. So its back to work again for us, with pay cuts.

Below is a Gif of Nihal doing a movie. A few of you who can give us an interesting movie that Nihal could be depicting, will be sent an IndiBlogger merchandize. Remember, you can add or change one word and you don’t have to guess the actual one as even I don’t remember what he was doing, so you can get creative :-)

Niheee-Gif-cropped-2

 

Into The Sunset:

Vineet and Swati are taking undertaking a 2500 Km bike ride starting with this weekend. We wish them only 5 or 6 breakdowns through their journey and I am pretty sure they cant pack enough underwear on their bike to cover all the ten days, so we expect that they will change every two days if we are lucky.

 

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PK goes Bang Bang Boom!

The movie PK seems to have created a bit of a wave inside IndiBlogger. I could find many posts on the subject upon browsing through IndiVine. On our Weekly edition #3, we asked a question on the solution to world peace and most of the answers seemed to say that religion played a major role in standing in the way of this progress. This movie seemed to try and make a case towards misdirections that people employ to use religion to their benefit. Some liked it and others had other ideas.

For better or for worse, here are some links of blogposts talking about the movie!


www.lifestalker.com/2014/12/5-reason-why-you-should-watch-pk.html

http://www.rohanbhardwaj.com/2015/01/relationship-with-god-case-study-of-pk.html

http://satyendrakikavita.blogspot.in/2014/12/pk-of-amir-khan-hurts-hindu-sentiments.html

http://filmreading.blogspot.in/2015/01/pk-in-search-of-god.html

http://itjusthappenandthen.blogspot.de/2014/12/my-view-on-pk.html

www.lifestalker.com/2014/12/5-reason-why-you-should-watch-pk.html

http://unsuni.blogspot.in/2014/12/pk-review-heres-why-i-wont-see-it-again.html

https://vbothransh.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/pk-its-for-better-world/

http://somebodysaidit.com/bollywood/does-pk-really-hurt-hindu-sentiments/

http://reflectionsvvk.blogspot.in/2015/01/pk-movie-one-of-best.html

https://amritafoundation.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/pk-is-ok/

http://beeafteryou.com/pk-hai-kya.html

thewritejourney.in/why-you-wouldnt-catch-me-arguing-over-pk/


 

A prediction comes true!

So my prediction of the first happy hour being an E-commerce site came true!  Quikr came and in 4 minutes, left with around a 100 posts. That is so awesome. I had just gone to microwave some coffee and by the time I got back the posts were in the queue! Also dabur is back extending their campaign with a 100 more vouchers. So, that’s sweet. Ganga Bharani recently tweeted that she made around 10,500 through Happy Hour Vouchers. I have sent her my bank details in case she feels generous. How much have you made?

 

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I am also making another prediction this week.  I see an event on Horizon. I am getting pretty good at this you know.

Garnier has also launched their second campaign with IndiBlogger talking about pimples and its solution for it. Three Nexus 6 phones up for grabs! among other things. I actually started getting pimples when an idiot messed up a face scrub at a spa. It burnt my face and its never been the same again since! hmph!

A Blogger, A YouTube Channel and An Advertisement!

I was pleasantly surprised this week when I saw an Ad of Scherezade Shroff on a random YouTube video that I was watching. No, I wasn’t watching fashion or make up tips :-), I believe I was catching up on some music lists for 2014. When the Ad came on,  I kept staring at it and realized that it was Sherry! She has been quite active on IndiBlogger winning a drive with Lewis Hamilton at the vodafone IndiBlogger Speedfest event and she also gave a talk at our IndiBlogger – Big Rock conference last year! Nicely done girl! Super impressed! You will also notice that i didn’t “Skip Ad” :-D.

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The winners of last weeks magnets are here!

It was interesting to read the comments on how people were effecting lives by blogging. I also had people like Renie who gave me the low down on blogging when created my first blog on Blogger and then on WordPress. I don’t think I could have started blogging without that initial know how and help. I may not have even thought about it!

So there you go, The winners!

Madhu,

Anita,

Shivam,

Sagarika Naik,

Maniparna Sengupta,

Haimanti Dutta Ray

Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 1.51.36 AM Screen Shot 2015-01-17 at 1.56.51 AM Shivam Sagarika Maniparna Haimani

This Week On IndiSpire:

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Any topic that provokes a morbid fantasy thought is probably one of my favorite topics to trip on :-D. I love the occult! I remember my grandfather’s collection of Occult books from his days of being a book merchant. I would read them over and over again, look at the details in the pictures and ponder over what could be. I also had  decent know how on certain theories of Numerology, star signs etc. I am excited to read up on the entries on the topic during the course of this week. You can submit your entries here!

The Question Of the Week:

With FaceBook taking the initiative of bringing free internet to the masses, they have successfully launched their dream in Columbia for now. We expect more to follow. The  Internet condition in India right now is not that great according to us. All the popular ISP’s seem to offer decent download speeds but dont seem to care about uploads. We feel that this hampers a lot of creative endeavors that people undertake online.

So the questions are: Are you happy with the present offerings of the popular ISP’s in India? Do you think curbing uploads is hampering our creative progress and How do you think a country such as India can benefit from FREE Internet! Tell us and you could get your self “Blog Now, Live Forever” Fridge magnets!

Thats it for another edition of the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary! We thank you for staying with us and giving us your support. Until next time, may you find what you are blogging for. Good night!

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IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 5

Our first entry for the new year is up and we are so excited! At least I am, with my fourth cup of coffee in the last hour :-)

The year gone by has been a great phase for blogging in India! The launch of our three new products – IndiHappyHours, Indispire and IndiOne – changed the dynamics of everything on IndiBlogger! Over 5000 new bloggers signed up on IndiBlogger in the last 12 months and did you know that IndiVine received over 1 lakh posts for the 2nd year running in 2014? Now that’s quite a number!

In the first post for this year, we rummage through some interesting forum topics, we introduce our new “Blog Now, Live Forever” IndiBlogger merchandise and an Indispire topic that gate-crashes a mean stereotype that has plagued women since forever!


To start off, the weekly diary just got itself an exclusive access to the new, post card sized IndiBlogger Blog Now, Live Forever fridge magnet! It’s not necessarily just for the fridges though ;) So this being the first week of the new year and all that jazz, we are giving these out to more than a few bloggers from amongst those who comment on this post and not just the question-of-the-week winners.

IndiBlogger Magnet

Blog Now Live Forever IndiBlogger Magnet

 

Know Any Good Girls?

IndiSpire

When I saw this topic on IndiSpire, I felt a bit left out. There are good guys too, you know!  Although when I saw Amrita’s post on the ‘DO NOTs’ for being a good girl, I was happy that those points applied only to women ;-D . To make matters worse, I read the ‘DOs’ all the way from A to H. I understand that with present stereotypes, life is hard for women; especially when someone tells you to stop gossiping!

I just saw an episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter and it portrayed the struggle of a 60’s woman; trying to make it big in the so-called man’s world, where no one takes her seriously but she can kick some ass though!

Karthik says that a good girl is the one who always obeys him. If you disagree with him you could win yourself something from us! You can see more opinions on ‘Good Girls’ right here on IndiSpire and if the date is not up yet, you can contribute as well!

angel-demon

The Personality of Blogging!

Talking about personal life experiences on a blog is the primary reason why blogging came into existence in the first place. A lot of people used their blog to write, rant and share experiences that they felt they needed to talk about. They never expected anything in return for their writing and thus they became the the pioneers of an amazing form of expression. What makes personal blogging close to our heart is that it is timeless. Gadgets and technology, among other things, come and go; but life’s experiences are always invaluable to most of us!

We looked through IndiBlogger to find some bloggers who still continued the tradition of writing articles that reflected their emotions and their way of life!

Saru Singhal:

Saru has always been writing stories and poems on things that affect her life. Here is one of her popular poems on IndiBlogger. We were looking forward to meeting her in New York when we hosted a blogger meet at Vikas Khanna’s flagship restaurant, Junoon, but sadly we missed her there! There’s always next time though! :-)

http://www.sarusinghal.com/2013/04/shaken-stirred.html


Debajyoti Ghosh:

Debajyoti blogs about experiences of adulthood and going by some of the comments on his posts, we see that many draw inspiration from his work. Below is one of his many inspiring posts:

http://factsandnonsense.com/flying-through-the-purple-sun/


Jahid Akhtar:

A writer very open about his feelings and emotions with a very lucid style of writing! Did you know that he has his debut novel on the way? It’s called  Story of Tublu - An amazing journey called life. The tagline suggests why he is on this list! :-). Have a look at one of his posts below:

http://jahidakhtar.blogspot.com/2013/08/gentleman-do-you-know-hindi.html


My Say:

For want of a real name, we shall just call this gentleman My Say. He takes everyday things and makes them humorous and palatable to people who read his blog. The post that we have selected is ‘Man With Long Hair’. At one point I had long hair and man was it a pain to maintain! And not to forget, I would always get weird looks wherever I went! I dont know how Nihal from indiBlogger, who swears by his long hair, pulls it off. Or maybe he doesn’t! :-) But there you go, the woes of a man with Rapunzel hair:

http://mysay.in/2013/06/27/man-with-long-hair/


Sreedev Soman:

Another gentleman true to the art of putting up life experiences in the form of short stories, poetries and sonnets! Below is one of his wonderful posts:

http://kookydom.blogspot.in/2013/07/on-rainy-evening.html#.VK9tXqYYtR0


Nabanita:

In her ‘About Me’ section, she says, and I quote, “I write when I am happy; when I am sad or when an issue touches my heart. I find inspiration to write in every aspect of life.” This is the sort of thing most people look for in an article! Here is an example of one of her posts:

http://nabanita-blacknwhite.blogspot.in/2013/07/knots-of-chain.html


Arumugam Easwar:

Another blogger who digs deep into his personal experiences to bring out some fantastic posts on life! Below is a blog post on one of his more sombre experiences. A great read!

http://www.miraarvind.blogspot.in/2013_07_09_archive.html


Farida Rizwan:

I have met Farida countless times at IndiBlogger meets in Bangalore. She is a true warrior and her story on being a cancer survivor is a testament to the amazing, strong woman that she is. Her honest writing and her way of dealing with her problems are an inspiration to many who seek to understand ‘normal life’ after being stricken by cancer. She has been at it tirelessly and I can see over 35 posts on the subject.

http://www.chaptersfrommylife.com/p/the-cancer-touch.html


Sangeeta:

Her blog, Life Is A Vacation, is a treat to read! Her travel tales mixed in with her emotions and comparisons to her other experiences are delightful. Thats exactly how I want my life to be.. a vacation! :-)

https://lifeisavacation.wordpress.com/


Vinitha:

A blog that revolves around her life and her daughter. She writes on varied experiences of her life and more importantly, she talks about family! :-)

http://www.ourowncorner.com/poohsden/category/family-room/


There are MANY MANY more. I always feel I don’t have enough space on a blog to write just one post on such subjects like these. I limit the number of words per post to around 1200.

The Question of The Week Winners: 

Is the blogger’s language more important or the experience shared on the blog was the hot debate. A lot of people had similar answers which correlated writing styles, language, the actual experience and emotions involved. However, I still do feel that there are a lot of people out there who swear by good language. For many, a quality of post is directly proportional to the quality of language. If I had asked my mom this question , she would say, “If you don’t know how to write, don’t!”

We had a great time going through the responses and here are the winners of the IndiMug (If you want the fridge magnet instead, send us a tweet;)

winners

Winner2

On the Forum This week!

HappyHour

The next Happy Hour prediction! My inside information dragged out of our sales guys educated guess is that the next campaign is not a tech campaign but an e-commerce one ;-)

For the Love of Gadgets!

On the forum, Arvind Passey asked people their wish list for gadgets. I believe most people have stopped experimenting too much and have chosen a few brands that they want and prefer. You can head over to the forum and comment on it to share your views!

Gadgets

I am still with Apple on this one though. I want the Apple 5K monitor. I am also looking forward to the iWatch. I have had a digital smart watch from the Italian company i’mWatch ever since its launch (it’s nothing great but I had a good time fiddling with it.)

The Question of the Week:

Our question of the week is in line with our cover story. Do you feel blogging about your life personally effected lives and/or have you been influenced by someone’s personal experiences (cite examples of blog posts or bloggers if you can)?. Do tell us how that worked out for you and you could you could find a brand new Blog Now, Live Forever magnet at a fridge near you!

We wish you a happy new year and until next time or forever, keep writing your personal experiences on your blog. We believe they help many!

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 4

Greetings of the season and welcome to the last edition of IndiBlogger Weekly Diary for 2014! This week we look at the spirit of Christmas through the posts from our fellow bloggers, how the last week’s question on world peace opens a can of whoop ass, the mystery of the Hitler video and the Top 12 IndiBlogger posts for the year 2014 (one for every month)!

We were browsing for posts related to Xmas on IndiBlogger and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few on the subject from different perspectives. There were posts on Christmas fashion, travel, history, its tradition, et all. There were also some photo-posts on Christmas trees along with delicious sweets and savories of the season. Here’s a list of a few posts that you can check out!

Krishn & Christ- An interesting theory of sorts!

Merry Christmas – Some pics of a manger and a church decorated with Xmas lights.

What will Santa gift me this Christmas? – A bit about the relationship between gifts and Santa claus

A picture is worth a thousand words – (23) – It’s Christmas time!  – Some pics on decorations on an Xmas tree

Christmas – Childhood memories - A personal experience on memories of Xmas past!

Santa Wrapped My Year In A Travel Kit  – An interesting post on Xmas and travel

Holiday Cheer – A fashion statement!

When Santa disappeared from earth! - A story that give a bit of the ol’ reality check!

What joys will your Christmas bring? - An Xmas tree made entirely books? wot? :-)

Christmas Nail Art – You can make your nails feel the Xmas too!

Christmas tree alternatives - Some great decorative ideas

Christmas Special: Make snow fall on your blog! – An interesting way to make your blog feel the Xmas spirit as well!

A Letter to Santa – A neat piece of creative writing!

Christmas Recipes – Xmas Food!

DIY – Christmas Crib - A crib is something very few people have the time to make, but if you want to heres how you can get one done!

The Christmas Angel – Another creative piece on Xmas

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year – Bow barracks during Xmas

Dear Santa, thank you so much! – A personal experience on last years Xmas

There are many many many more .. and I am afraid this blog post is not big enough to cover them all but go ahead to browse and feel the excitement of an age-old tradition with a modern spin to it.

 

What’s up on Christmas?

Last week we asked what everybody really wanted to do this Christmas and here are the winners of a brand new IndiMug for that!

IndiBlogger Weekly Image 1

 

The Big Question Last Week!

Ok, so we asked everyone what they thought of world peace! For a few, the response was, “WTF is world peace?!?”, some offered solutions such as inner peace, personal responsibility, breaking stereotypes and barriers; a majority seemed to think using religious principles was not an effective method for governance of a country. I agree to all of that!

Here’s what I think: I believe the capitalistic world that we live in is playing a major part in the slow progress that we are making towards peace. There are many people who don’t have the basic necessities in life. Money seems to be the only commodity that drives things on earth at the moment. You may have the worst personality known to man, but if you have cash, living on earth is rather easy. What if you don’t have any means and were born to a family that could not provide for you and you had to do it all on your own? You probably are susceptible to people using you for their own needs. I feel terrorism is no different, it preys on the vulnerability of a human soul, that dreams of a happy life and that one meal a day needed to survive. Religion sometimes preys on this very same need. “Come to my church/temple/mosque and I will give you rice and maybe a gun or a vest bomb if you are worthy”.

Most of the people who should be reading the thoughts that we write about on the internet don’t seem to have internet! I kinda like the Mark Zuckerberg principle of free internet for all. Freedom of being informed maybe our only hope of bridging the great divide that seems to be consuming everything in its path at the moment.

(Editor’s note: 

33992757 )

 

 

….moving on to this week’s winners of the IndiMug!

 

 

IndiBlogger Weekly Image 2

 

The mystery of the person in the purdah at the IndiBlogger Meet in Hyderabad!

OK! So a few people made guesses. Poonam made a couple. All wrong! :-). Heres the story: so the night before the IndiMeet, we got a bit sugar happy and decided that someone should be in a purdah at the event pretending to be Hitler in disguise. Before we knew it, Vineet Rajan was on his bullet, roaming the streets of Hyderabad, trying to find a purdah. The funny thing was, at the event, while he was running away when ‘spotted’, he rammed into a wall, cartoon style, because he couldn’t see through the veil! :-).

Err.. so no IndiMug on this for anyone :-(

Top posts on IndiBlogger for every month in 2014!

To compile this list, we took into consideration the popularity of the posts and the impression it made on readers.

Note: The time the post is submitted into IndiBlogger is taken into consideration and not the actual date of the post.

January 2014:

Biswas and her internal tussle with understanding where her blogging stands makes it to our top post in January. I have thought of unplugging and have done it before!

February 2014:

Saru Singhal and her intellectual post on the relationship between intelligence and knowledge takes the top spot in February.

March 2014:

Arti Shah and her ‘The Story of A Girl’ post for the British Airways contest on IndiBlogger makes it to the best post of March this year!

April 2014:

Joshi Daniel and his picture taken in the UAE is the first of two of his photo-posts that make it to this years list and it is indeed our top pick for April!

May 2014:

Bhavya Kaushik and his dark rendition of lovers is our best post for May 2014!

June 2014:

Anita and her dissection of virginity mixed in with Indian pop culture references is our top post for June this year.

July 2014:

Damayanti’s blog post recapping an experience at a writers conference is our pick for the top post in July!

August 2014:

Chaitali’s analysis on the core ideology behind writing and blogging is our best post for August this year!

September 2014:

Joshi Daniel’s powerful imagery and his ability to communicate intense feelings through a picture and a short description is an art form in itself. This one of a samosa seller seems to tell the story of a vendor anxious to sell his snack while its still hot!

October 2014:

Jahid Akhtar and his ‘See All, Tell All’ trip to Gangtok makes it to the best post of October.

November 2014:

Debajyoti Ghosh’s hysterical evaluation of the present commercialization of the Indian blogging scene makes it the best post of November.

December 2014:

Shweta Dave and her post on young love seduces its way to the top post this December

So those were what we think are the best posts for this year. I feel I wrote some good posts too but they didn’t bother to pick any! grrr…

 

The Question of the Week and the last question for the year 2014!

A lot of times I hear people say that the language is the most important thing when writing a post. There are others who say the experience or information that the post talks about matters more than the quality of the language. Let’s say a 10 year old writes a blog post on his experience in the school. We cant really expect Wren & Martin type English when they decide to pour out their feelings on their blog!

So, the question is, what matters more to you – the language or the experience? …and why? Talk to us! And you can win “Blog Now, Live Forever” IndiMugs. These mugs cannot be bought or won at any contest. You can only get them right here on our comments section! So shoot! :-)

The End is the Beginning is the End:

The title of the song from Smashing Pumpkins seems apt as life flows from one year into the other. I hope, for the most part, this year has been kind to you and your blog!

#FunFact: In the year 2014, the number of posts submitted to IndiBlogger is 1,12,109 so far! It has been an honor serving you.

We leave you with a video from the IndiVault taken at the Milaap IndiBlogger Meet last Christmas where the bloggers who attended sang The Twelve Days of Christmas. We hope you enjoy it. Until next year, keep the comments coming!

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 3

Hello everyone! Welcome to another edition of the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary! This week we talk about IndiBlogger going dark, our view on “Is Blogging Dead?”, a kid on the IndiBlock making a big splash and a tribute to an IndiBlogger team member on his birthday.

Homepage

 

Considering that the human race just stooped to a new low this week, we decided to black out the banners on the home page and focus on the issue at hand. There were tweets from bloggers referencing posts on our twitter as well.

You can read all the blog-posts about #PeshawarAttack on IndiBlogger here.

Personally, I’d like to go at least one week without something messed up happening. Well, third week running and things around the world have gotten progressively worse!

From The IndiVault:

As for our hatred towards tyrants, I dug into the IndiBlogger vault and found an old video that we edited to be a parody of Hitler wanting to get into an IndiBlogger meet, twice! :-)  Watch the first video carefully and if you NAME THE PERSON in the ‘purdah’ at the end of the film, you can win yourself a mug!

 

 

 

 

 

Rising Like A Spire!

I was really happy to see what transpired on IndiSpire this week! No it wasn’t the topic, though it gave way to many interesting blog-posts. Shahen, who posted this topic, is under 14 yrs old if I am not wrong and I believe some of us may have met him at the BigRock IndiBlogger Meet in Mumbai. Well, he beat all you oldies and Ranjit’s “Weave a story on, rubbish” ploy! :-)

 

Shahen

IndiSpire

 

It simply reminded me of the power of being a blogger! Well done Shehan! :-)

You can support him  by writing for the topic. Relive your favorite movies and submit it to IndiSpire!

For me, my go to movie is Pulp Fiction! I just love the random dynamics of that movie, the engaging dialogues like ‘With sugar on top” , “Honey Bunny”, “Say that again M*** F***R!, I dare you, I double dare you!”… heh good fun! :-)

Here are some blog posts from this week’s IndiSpire:

Relive Moments Bollywood Ishtyle.

It’s All About That Friday..!!

First Day First Show

1000 Weeks Of Falling In Love

My 10 Anytime Watch list

Death Is Only The Beginning!

To answer last week’s ‘question of the week’, we wanted to understand the state of the blogosphere from some bloggers on IndiBlogger! Here are some excerpts of their conversation with us sometime back.

Tara Sharma, who has her very own show (http://tarasharmashow.com/) in its third season had this to say: “To be honest, in my case, my blog is very much alive and the start point of my show, which is based on my blog diary!.

Heck! I guess you can do anything with a blog these days! :-)

We asked Purba Ray and she had this to say – “Like any other relationship, your blog demands your attention and love. You either chicken out or give it your all. It takes a talented, motivated individual to maintain a successful blog”.

It’s like raising a chicken!

We asked Anshul Tiwari who writes at YouthKiAwaaz.com“Social networking and blogs play two very different roles. While social networks allow us to express ourselves to our friends and followers, a blog gives you the joy of being self-published and yet connect with friends and followers. For a writer, photographer or a filmmaker, a blog is the home base and social networks are the outposts where you promote the base and your identity.

I agree to this, profusely! :-)

Anuradha Goyal, who blogs at anuradhagoyal.com and has authored the book, The Mouse Charmers, points out a more philosophical truth, “Blogging is content and it will remain there for time to come. Over a period of time, blogs will become the chronicles of our times.

For everyone who has chronicled major events of their life in blog posts, this is time for goose bumps!

Having said all this, I feel what drives most bloggers to be loyal to blogging is the fact that it is the ultimate symbol of freedom of speech. As a blogger, you are the master, you are not bound by the terms and conditions of another website/service – you make your own rules! It is undoubtedly the greatest freedom you can have on the internet.

I do understand why some may think blogging is dead or on the verge of it. Blogging can sometimes be a thankless art. One looks for a lot of information on the internet these days and most don’t stop to thank the author. The fact is that blogging is alive and makes up a huge portion of the user generated content on the internet. Well you can also make a good living out of it!

Here are the winners of this weeks mugs!

Thank you for all your comments. There are many comments that should be getting mugs but alas, not enough mugs!

Vidya Sury: “As bloggers, we have the privilege of making our voices heard to a huge audience. We have the power to support a cause and bring significant changes in peoples’ lives. (INDICHANGE?) And while we’re at it, we have so much fun, making friends, connecting with people and heck, even making money! Blogging is the best of all worlds!”

Arti: “The reason why people say this is because most blogs start lacking any vision or purpose thereby attracting miserable readership forcing them to close down something that they once apparently loved. Question is: can we then conclude blogging is dead? Of course not! It just means blogging is not easy. The efforts, hard work, quality and dedication pumped in by the blogger is what makes a blog truly alive and kicking.”

Aseem Rastogi: “News outlets quote bloggers on various topics. Bloggers are called for movie launches, book launches, food tasting sessions, social causes, mobile launches, car launches and I can go on and on till the cows come home.

It just shows that the kind of importance bloggers are gaining with their thoughts and the written word. And this is where, they have the opportunity to shape the thinking of their audience and the world in general.”

Hrishi: “I think now, more than ever, bloggers are forming communities. Bloggers gravitate towards those whose thoughts and words they can relate to, across boundaries of geography and age. THe thoughts of one can influence so many others like a chain reaction or ripple effect, and it is this connection that is being used to share and spread awareness for the greater good.”

Holidays!

Holidays are here again! What is everyone up to for Xmas and New Years Eve this time around? I know most of us would probably have something lame planned, like going to church ;-) That aside, tell us what you really want to do this festive season – like a movie night, a club party, time with an annoying bunch of friends or alone time with some porn and biscuits or like Karthik who wants to dress up in drag; post your comments and you could win ‘Blog Now Live Forever mugs!

Karthik

But wait.. That’s not the question of the week!

The Wedding Singer!

Alright, so another one of the boys fell victim to a birthday. This time it was Nihal. I dug into the IndiVault and found a video taken a while ago on Nihal doing a face melting solo performance at a mutual friend’s wedding. Happy birthday Nihal! you are a very decent person apart from your pathetic online RTS gaming skills.

I enjoyed the live performance very much. The singing came second only to the sexy tone on my Fender acoustic guitar!

Question of the Week:

The ‘Question of the Week’ is where you can win IndiBlogger merchandise for your most intellectual thoughts!

This may sound like something you would hear in a Miss World Pageant, but in light of the events around us, the question is, “As a blogger, what is your solution for world peace?”. You can respond in the comments or if you prefer, through a blog post and post the link in the comments!

Thanks to everyone for reading! Until next week, at least, let’s try not to kill anyone.

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 2

Welcome to another edition of our weekly diary! Well, this week everything was going hunky-dory on IndiBlogger and then this happened on IndiTalk.

IndiTalk

Like some chats have a ‘Buzz’ or a ‘Nudge’ that give the recipient’s computer a jolt, who knew ‘earthworms’ could serve the purpose just as well! If you haven’t sent one over to another blogger yet, you are doing it totally wrong! Head over to IndiTalk and do the deed while you talk about everything under the sun with other bloggers!

IndiSpire

 

Now that’s an apt topic on IndiSpire this week in light of the year ending. The topic was posted by Julekha Khatun. It was fun reading all the new year dump lists and by the end of it  I borrowed a few ‘things-to-dump’ from some of the blog posts and made a 5-pointer list of my own:

  • 2014 DUMPlings –  Stop procrastinating (I have already made progress on this one and hence this edition of the weekly diary has come well in time!)
  • Just Dump Them – Short temper (I don’t know if I can though .. I enjoy it too much..)
  • 10 Things I Will Dump This Year – Being Hyper (This I won’t even try .. my whole livelihood depends on me speaking before I think)
  • Dumping Decisions – The Closing-My-Home-to-Visitors Dump (I know that the IndiBlogger team really likes to do this, but don’t do it often enough. So I will give this one a shot ..everyone reading this blog is invited to my house :-) )
  • My To-Dump List – Blog design layout (This one is a big challenge for me but I guess it’s nice to change the appearance once in a while.. a fresh perspective, if you will!)

For more posts on this subject, head over to IndiSpire!

Alright! So there is an opportunity to visit Melbourne again on IndiBlogger. I saw an ad on yatra.com about their Melbourne package which cost about Rs 1,00,000 per person. That is a pretty significant investment so it might be a very worthy trip for someone.

Karthik on a plane

Oh well!

The last time folks from IndiBlogger went to Melbourne, it was Mohana and Arti who made the cut and going by their blog posts, they seemed to have had a pretty good time.

That reminds me to tell you that Arti’s blog recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary!  Big congratulations to her! Those of us who have completed 5 years or more of blogging, do give us a shout out in the comments. I guess for any endeavour, completing the first 5 years is a major landmark. At this point you are either very sure that you want to continue doing it or you would think of hanging up your boots already. The 10th year is a bigger test because so many things change in that much time. You may have the same passion for things that you did 10 years ago, but hey, you find that you are not 20 or 30 anymore! That can be a challenge at times but for those who continue to blog with perpetual passion, we salute you!

Moving on to a big discussion point of this week! I sometimes feel that we are getting too careless as a country and that the value of human lives is simply not our priority.

Here are some bloggers taking up the sword for what, at times, feels like an inevitable odd.

Delhi Retains Its Special Honour As The Rape Capital

Who is to be Blamed for Rapes in India?

Courage: Every Girl’s Hidden Power

Another Rape In The Capital City

Top 5 Cities in India with Highest Rape Crime Rate

Rape in Delhi By A Taxi Driver

Did We Learn Any Lesson From Badaun?

How Closing Down Uber Doesn’t Stop Rapes

Uber Needs to Own Up To Its Mistakes

Yet Again We Failed Nirbhaya

Uber Case – Rape Is Not A Mistake

Do add your point of view on the comments section of these blog posts. This will also encourage more people to really make something happen.

Talking about other things that bloggers did in the past week, something on Twitter recently got me into a state of an insatiable hunger and anguish.

@foodietweeter

Before this I didn’t know Biryani had layers. And this wasn’t one or two layers, it was 6 friggin of them. I tried mixing two different types of biryanis to get a semblance of peace but nothing seemed to come close to the idea that I had formed in my head of a six layered biryani. And so I write on… feeling more unsatisfied than ever.

Also, thanks everyone for saying so many nice things on the forum and Twitter about the IndiBlogger Weekly Diary. We are always keen to know your reaction to everything we do! Tweets, comments, blog posts, 6-layered biryani – you can show us your love anyway you want!

 

Now for the special edition mug winners and this week’s question!

Ok so last week we asked the readers to comment on this question.

“From your experience, do you think writing aggressive blog posts help in resolving and creating awareness on the situation or do the perpetrators usually profit from the bad publicity?”

One of my biggest learnings (not implemented yet) has been to state facts without the emotional wreck part. The challenge for me is to control myself from calling the perpetrator a F$##%^ and a D$^^#$ S%^$&^ publicly :-). Some comments say that blog posts that tell the factual story behind the experience are crucial to others not falling for the same fate.

Also Jaideep decided that he would go ahead and write a blog post on the topic (The clever young man that he is!). A novel idea. It becomes harder for me to reference each comment but in his case I can just add the link to his post on the subject.

All righty then, it’s time to announce the recipients of the ‘special edition’ IndiBlogger mugs!

 

  1. Vishal V Kale“focus on provable facts; or clearly write the words ‘opinion based on personal experience, justify with examples wherever possible

 

  1. Parichita Singh“So, I do believe that we should write our (honest) opinions, whether in favor or not, it really doesn’t matter.

 

  1. Jaideep Khanduja“There is a downside to this also. There are certain instances when such insulting posts are intentional with some wrong motives. But such posts do not get much attention and go to their natural early death

 

  1. Saket – “But take for example a few blog-posts containing negative reviews of a holiday-sharing company or an on-line retailer. It sure will drive away potential customers away.

 

  1. Shruti Fatehpuria – She was the first to comment as well. – “As long as we can put the facts straight and stay calm, we will be doing justice to the readers.

Congratulations :) Each of you has won a 2015 special edition IndiBlogger mug

 

 

 

The question for this week:

People ask us time and time again if ‘blogging is dead’. (I have no idea what rock they live under to think of something like this). So, the question is, “Is blogging alive and kicking today? What purpose do you think we, as bloggers, serve for ourselves and/or for the greater good?” Put your discussion down on the comments and we would love to hear your thoughts! And of course, more mugs up for grabs next week as well.

Thank you for reading through our weekly diary. We had a lot of fun going through your blog posts. If there is a blog post that you want us to see, submit it to IndiVine and tweet it! Until next time, it’s over to you!

IndiBlogger Weekly Diary | Edition 1

Hey everyone,

Welcome to the first edition of our weekly diary on IndiBlogger!

In today’s edition we are going to take a look on the week gone by and its key events, blog posts, bloggers and more! As always, your feedback is most welcome.

In IndiSpire this week, it was Ranjit and his  ‘Love. Weave a story’ topic that got the most approvals by other IndiBlogger members and had 50+ blog posts the last time we checked. So this only clarifies something every veteran in IndiBlogger knows – that even though love fails us all during most times, topics on LOVE never fail! :-).

This was a welcome change though; with Chetan Bhagat and his enigma taking over IndiSpire for two weeks running! Having seen him play host to an IndiBlogger meet in Mumbai with Kotak Jifi and their social banking initiative, I think he is just misunderstood, but that’s just me :-)

When we conceptualized IndiSpire, we were looking at topics that are current and newsworthy for the week. It has taken its own shape and form. If it’s for the better or for worse, that’s for you to decide! (That could itself be a topic worthy of IndiSpire, eh?) If you want your favorite topics to be blogged about, you know what to do!

Browsing through some of the posts on IndiBlogger this week, I find poetry, satire and photographs ruling the the roost and yes, some posts on love as well. Our obsession as a race towards the subject of love is quite intriguing. By the way, our latest hot topic on the subject is about pre- marital sex. We took it a couple of notches above Ranjit’s topic and you know what, it might actually be interesting since I (and am sure many others) have no idea of the general perception on the subject. Although Karthik from IndiBlogger will tell you that pre-marital sex does not exist in India.

Blog posts from bloggers on their travels always seem to generate interest and some of them made it to the  home page like Mumbai’s Elephanta Caves  by Rajesh Prabhu and Maya From Switzerland Paints Bandra Building by Firoze Shakir.

Alok Vats has been doing his best in the past week helping people find the perfect blogging platform among other things. I realize how difficult it is to start and run your own (self hosted) blog. Does it have to be as technical as it sounds? Being one of the lay-est of laymen, I concede that I do suffer from not understanding all the tech BS around. No offense to Alok though, he has done his best to explain :-)

Bhopal – A Prayer For Rain was in theaters this week and a few IndiBloggers got a free screening with the crew of the movie! Some blog posts on it submitted to IndiBlogger are here  and here

On a more somber note, the death of Phil Hughes while playing a game of cricket was a bit of a googly for everyone. I looked through IndiBlogger knowing that DS may have written something on the subject and yup there it was. My mind also travels back to Raman Lamba who didn’t make it after he got hit on the head fielding at short leg sometime in 1998. I guess any profession including, a desk job, can kill you in some weird twisted way. Here are some more posts that pay tribute to Phillip Joel Hughes:

 

How is everyone enjoying Indi-Happy hours? I guess we just executed around 7 or 8 Indi-Happy Hour campaigns in the last month and have given out around 15 lakh worth of vouchers. We just realized that we need to make IndiBlogger just like how we do our IndiBlogger meets, gifts by the minute!

We also did a lot of good by spreading the word on cleaning up the streets, with 3 different ‘Clean India’ campaigns. We are going to clean India up so good, you can eat off the road!  Err.. maybe not yet, but we do see some pressure being applied. My fingers are crossed X.

Question of the week:

After every edition we are going to put up a debate which you can answer in the comments and we will pick a few contributors who will win a special edition IndiBlogger mug! The winners will be announced in the next week’s blog post. So keep ‘em coming!

A lot of times we see blog posts that come up and absolutely expose certain brands/companies for what they are; including malpractices and ethics. So here’s the question “From your experience, do you think writing aggressive blog posts help in resolving and creating awareness on the situation or do the perpetrators usually profit from the bad publicity?”

Over to you!

The Book of IndiBloggers

The road so far…

Ever since we made blogs into plays with the help of the very energetic Stray Factory, we have been trying ever so hard to get into waters alien to IndiBlogger.in. The publishing world! Since then, it has taken us over two years and many endless hours to get a partnership for an exclusive short story collection written by bloggers on IndiBlogger.in. We approached many publishers with the idea, but it didn’t seem to impress them. We longed for something exclusive because we wanted the whole book to echo the stories and experiences of IndiBloggers and not just one or two to be added as a footnote. Enter Harper Collins and Yashodhara Lal! The whole thing seemed to seamlessly take shape with Karthika, the chief editor at Harper Collins giving us a crash course on “Publishing for the clueless”. However, we like to believe that the whole thing happened because Harper Collins has a lot of women in their team and IndiBlogger has a lot of men! This book was meant to happen!

Challenge accepted…

We had many challenges to overcome and the road so far was not exactly smooth like some of you very rightly pointed out. With every team in different places across India and working together for the first time, it was hard to translate novel ideas quickly. For example, The IndiBlogger development team was in Chennai, while the marketing team was working out of Bangalore and Mumbai. Yashodhara Lal and Harper Collins were in the Delhi NCR region but by no means close by.  When we designed the initial site, it was like a big game of Chinese whispers. By the time the requirements ping ponged back and forth and across to the creative team in Chennai for some development, the reaction would be, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

Breaking all the rules…

A lot of questions regarding the rules and regulations have come up and we have had to change them a few times but here’s the thing, our primary aim is to get the best possible ideas and stories so that we can make a great book. The number of votes for example, is an indicator of the influence of the Blogger in his social circles and to establish the Blogger’s reputation in some ways. Having said that, if the story does not take shape or is poorly written, the editors will be reluctant to put the story in the book because it’s their call and their editorial name at stake.  So when it comes to the book itself, votes will amount to nothing. We would urge you to do your best to write, and take this as an opportunity to learn how and build your influence, because if not today there’s always a tomorrow. We realize that many people across the world know of the GetPublished initiative and we don’t have a name for the book yet. This is BIG!

It’s about family…

IndiBlogger is a big family and we can call it that because thousands of bloggers have met with each other in our IndiBlogger events across India.  Some of you might know that your family and friends can interact with the GetPublished program as well through their FaceBook, Twitter and many other platforms. We hope that they are proud of your efforts so far.

One of our directives is to create a book that will come alive after it is published. This in effect means that the readers of the book can easily interact with the bloggers again with most social mediums through the IndiBlogger network. We are sure that many with similar experiences would relate to the stories and will definitely want to have their say as well, keeping everyone engaged.

The road ahead…

One of the biggest issues for authors today is not the publishing itself, but the marketing and raising awareness. Bestsellers weren’t born because someone published a book.  It’s getting the word out that really matters after that. We believe that the bloggers on IndiBlogger will have no such problems.  As long as there is a good story, IndiBlogger.in’s experience of executing over 100 successful IndiBlogging campaigns coupled with your insightful understanding of social media will send this rocket into space. I must say that there are some very gutsy stories in some of the entries that we have gone through so far. I for one am expecting the book to be “Saucy with a hint of Ice”!

A glimpse of the future…

The activities around the book are going to get more pronounced as the year matures. To start things off, GetPublished is going to feature in the Bangalore IndiBlogger meet on January 20th, 2013 as part of HP’s interactive campaign to promote everything original including writing, products and supplies. There are many more activities planned through the year and we hope that you will jump in and give us some company through this long and IndiAwesome journey.

So the next time you look through a glass window of an airport bookshop, don’t be surprised if there is a book with your name on it.

Happy writing!

Anoop Johnson

Indian by Birth, Blogger by Choice

IndiBlogger.in has been Bangalored!

The weekend of the Bangalore blogger meet has arrived and we’re very excited to play hosts again!

Last time we had 100 bloggers in a jam packed Kyra and this time we’ll have over 250 bloggers in an equally Jam packed Fortune hotel.

Bangalored!

The HP Imaging & Printing Division has an exciting contest in store for #indiblr – all you have to do is take pictures which represent the spirit of Bangalore on your way to the meet. Email the pictures to indiblr@indiblogger.in and they’ll be printed and stuck on a board by the time you reach.  Three winning entries will win a cool HP Printer at the blogger meet! :-)

If you haven’t registered as yet, here’s where you need to go:

http://www.indiblogger.in/bloggermeet.php?id=98

Please do reach the venue at least 15 minutes prior to its start. We’ll be there 2 days in advance and we’ll be getting quite bored! :-)

We can also steal a drink or two from Fortune’s pub “Nevada” after the meet. Yes, we will need to steal. :-)

Venue

Fortune Park JP Celestial,
No.5/43, Race Course Road,
Bangalore

Mumbai

I have named this post “Mumbai” and not “The Mumbai IndiBlogger Meet” for a very good reason. This post explains it.

I believe what we experienced in that magnificent hall in the Hotel Sea Princess was not just bloggers and blogging. When we first looked around the full room, we could see every colour in the visible spectrum! There were kurtas, sarees, head gear, and rings which were absolutely dazzling. There were people from Pune, Ahmedabad, Mizoram and even a travel blogger who was actually traveling!

I got the best seat in the house but I nervously took stage. I scanned the crowd quickly – Naveen Bachwani sitting through his second Mumbai blogger Meet helped me calm my nerves, as did Hemal Shah and myself jumping around like excited chickens. Every emotion we experienced or you thought you may have seen were real and present. I remember mentioning “It’s great to be here” about 500 times. I stopped when someone pointed it out and will that slim shady please stand up? :-)

The Cabbie Story (Aug 13, 2010: 11:00 PM)

After arriving in Mumbai, I took a prepaid cab to Goregaon west to meet with IndiBlogger Meet organizer Vineet Rajan (Whom, I dare say is definitely taking a dump as we speak). The cab driver promptly noticed that my hair was frizzy (High humidity??) and that I was sleep walking. He took me straight to a tea shop, got me some tea (he paid, I forgot), dropped me off home, asked for less than the MRP. Things can’t possibly go wrong with a start like that!

The Plan

Here’s what we had to do, start from Goregaon West, go to the venue, go out for lunch, pick up T-shirts (Big Rock facility) , pick up Posters (Goregaon West), head back to the venue, put them all up, head back home and after that we died and woke up the next day.

The Night Before (Aug 14, 2010):

The traffic endured during the earlier part of the day seemed to have no bearing on our spirits at all, apart from being a tad tired. Vineet Rajan gave us a huge surprise by buying all of us beer! And not cough syrup like the last time. We still drank the cough syrup for old time’s sakes… Ok you got me… We finished all the cough syrup with Oliver Renie Twist, asking if he can have some more. The 5 line Email explaining the debate to Gul Panag started work at 11:00 PM and got completed by 6:00 AM. We were not very sure if we should be proud of ourselves.

The Late Dawn:

After a couple of hours of power naps it was GO time! Frantic activity ensued at home. There were beds all over, undies both old and new flying in the air, Vineet clanging on a tin to wake the dead, Iron Maiden’s new album (The Final Frontier) in the background and it was just what we needed.

The Drive (Independence Day: 10:30 AM):

Dead calm and contemplative thinking … Slight sounds of breathing… oooh is that a Monginis???

 

The Venue:

Karthik got down to business, getting to know the sponsors. I remember him speaking only to the women. I jotted “loose moral Karthik” in my little green book. Everything suddenly looked in its place – which was unnerving because if history had taught us anything, we always goof up somewhere! The wi-fi gave us a scare as it always did, but Sea Princess came to the fore and nailed the issue. Our registrations were up, the hoardings in place, the live screen setup, Karthik still talking to women, Edin starting his usher duties, Rashmi on fire, my palm getting sweaty again, it was all happening!

The Stage (Independence Day: 14:30 PM):

“This… is… Mumba..i!!!” I finished the Meet intro and headed onto my favourite part, introducing the IndiBlogger.in team. Karthik took the stage after that and gave the sponsors a well articulated if-I-screw-this-up-all-hell-breaks-loose intro. I think he had the most nerve wracking job, thanks to some who would point out obvious mistakes and we love making the mistakes seem obvious! :-)

Next up was the Hotel Sea Princess; I think it’s safe to say that they owned the stage, literally. With Sea Princess goodies hidden under several chairs, the bloggers had a ball. Our entire team was in agreement that the Sea Princess management and crew was the most professional and courteous outfit we’ve experienced at any venue so far.

HP Imaging and printing division was next and they did not have the luxury of the preparation time that the other partners had. It was a last minute dash and they just wanted to be there. Armed with only a presentation, Ajay bravely took the stage. Commendable! I almost wet myself when I addressed the blogging community for the first time and Renie gave me a million instructions that I didn’t remember because I was scared stiff. Look out for some exciting online stuff from HP print, these guys are serious!

Big Rock had slightly orangy class written all over them! They were a pleasant surprise. A lot of bloggers have sung their praises. I second that and raise that!

Big Rock and IndiBlogger

Gul PanagGul Panag was next, and since we do not allow non-IndiBloggers in, she had to register. Anwin did his best to help her out and I said “Gul, why don’t you sit”, “I can stand!” she retorted. She also mentioned that she bites. :-) The debate session was like every other debate… It ended with a debate and then everyone started debating whether the debate was debatable. But Gul was poised and very professional; I will have you know that she didn’t pick up a single phone call when she was there! **Respect**. That renders us manner-less yokels.

Jet Airways did us an immense favour by getting the entire team over to the blogger meet. The handling of a meet of such magnitude would be otherwise impossible! On the way back home, I had a fever, a cough and a sore throat. Another good samaritan Jet stewardess gave me a calpol (probably her personal tab) and a nice warm bedsheet. She asked me “Why did you drink that ice cold Pepsi, if you were unwell?” Well… I just couldn’t help it. :-)

The Exclusive Soch Lo screening came on during the second half and I missed it! I don’t think I would have understood much anyway. The cabbie had this to say about my Hindi “Arey Bhaiya, Aapka Hindi bahuth Kamzhore hai!” I think it’s great that start ups and new initiatives want to interact with bloggers. And all of them put the same effort, time and money into it. Talk about getting serious with blogging!

The Bloggers (Timeless):

Every blogger was brilliant. What you see online is a result of that brilliance. Many events have come, faded and disappeared without a trace. Mumbai bloggers, you made this meet  TIMELESS.

The IndiBlogger.in Team (Independence Day, 2007 – Till death do us part)

(This part’s written by Renie)

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In no particular order:

Naveen Roy Naveen Roy (aka “shit happens!”)
The man who was there at the beginning, and the man we hope will be there at the end. Commitments of an extraordinary nature have kept him from IndiBlogger for a while now; but we’ll never forget that he’s the one who taught us what blogging was all about in the first place! Only recently realized that Saturdays are just as bad as Mondays.
Anwin Joselyn Anwin Joselyn (aka “The Fish Molester”)
The man who once said – “blogging is the next big thing in India” and started the whole conversation which led to IndiBlogger.in being what it is today. He’s the guy behind the scenes, the one who puts ideas in people’s heads before sitting back to watch what unfolds. He only recently realized that the handlebars on his Royal Enfield were the most atrocious things Bangalore has ever seen.
Diana (aka the Gate-Keeper)
Our super strict moderator. Everything on IndiBlogger, right from the forum to IndiRank to IndiVine, hinges on what she does; she religiously moderates over a hundred blogs everyday to see if it complies with all our guidelines.  She still hasn’t realized how much power she has in her hands. Let’s hope she never does. :-)
Nafisa Patel
Our event manager who has nothing to say on twitter ’cause she’s too good for the rest of the world. She’s the one who makes the very, very detailed lists on Google docs before every blogger meet, ensuring everybody gets their jobs done on time. She even calls bloggers to make sure they land up on time! Without her, #indimum would have been a lost cause. She only just realized that fish tend to die without food, even if you talk to them everyday.
Anoop Johnson (aka “Where’s my drink?”)
I’ve known him for far too long to say anything that can be publicly said – expect that he has a nose like a bloodhound and the memory of an elephant. He knows what’s going wrong, long before it becomes apparent to everyone else; and he can recall embarrassing stories about your childhood you blocked out a long time ago. He only recently realized that you never, ever walk out into the middle of a party leaving your pants behind.
Karthik DR Karthik DR
You never know what’s going on behind those glasses. He can juggle multiple clients, women and a million other woes in one hand while drinking rum with the other. Reliable as a rock and accepts no praise. Still hasn’t realized that those Nunchucks he carries around everywhere will never be used except in his fantasies.
Balaganesh Balaganesh (BG)
Always out to prove himself – BG’s the one who will quietly do his thing and lo-and-behold, a few trips later, the job is done; He’s handled the media coverage of IndiBlogger since our very first blogger meet, and the results speak for themselves. Still hasn’t realized that there are some things you just should not roll on an airplane!
Vineet Rajan Vineet (aka “Pappu Pager” and “Sir-Craps-A-Lot”)
Vineet was the blogger who made our Pune Blogger Meet possible. The video he made, dedicated to the blogger in all of us, speaks for the passion he has for blogging and IndiBlogger. He now represents IndiBlogger in Mumbai.  His offer letter was a bottle of whiskey at Bangalore – and thanks to him, we’ve been able to pull off  this great meet at Mumbai. He still hasn’t figured out how to get the point across in 50,000 words or less.
Rashmi DP Rashmi Devaprasath (aka “Goms”)
The queen of logistics. If it was not for her (and her OCD) , we would have been running around like headless chickens all through the blogger meet. We really didn’t have much to do except for manual labor, which she graciously allowed us to do. She calls bloggers and tells them what shoes to wear to a blogger meet, and she’s still wondering how many threads there are on the carpet at Sea Princess.
Edin Edin Joselyn (aka “Eddie”)
The man who once said “Blogging is boring” – and he’s been paying for it ever since. This newbie blogger is patient, persistent and provides our development team with good Single Malt like a good little soldier. Watch out for him ’cause he’s an upcoming star in the IndiBlogger ranks. Only just realized that Gul probably remembers him as “Coffee Boy”! :-)
Shilpa Rathnam Shilpa Rathnam
The one who is very, very picky about whom she follows on twitter, Shilpa is that little extra ingredient that’s needed at every event. Sharp as a tack, yet insane as a cuckoo clock, she keeps things ticking away with the sound of her voice. She only just realized that there is at least one person in this world who doesn’t want to be hugged by a Shilpa.
Nandita Thomas Nandita Thomas (aka Nanny)
The good sport; the go-to person when you need something done, no matter how crazy it is. She would watch the proceedings behind those half-closed eyes and yet know what’s going on better than most of us. #indimum was her first blogger meet, and we hope it’s not her last. Only just realized that airplanes tend to take off even if you’re not on it.
Simi Simi Balaganesh
The one you cannot photograph without a smile on her face; this may have been her first blogger meet but you wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t told you so. She can say something that makes you feel good about yourself; 5 minutes later you’ll realize that she was kicking your sorry behind. She only just realized that we all do something other than drinking!
Renie Ravin A personal note
I shut down my first venture in 2004 when I realized that I could do very little by myself.  Three years later, I realized that everything I was looking for has been prancing around in front of me for more than 20 years. It’s a rare occurrence when you can make a “startup” work – it’s a 1000 times more valuable when you can achieve it with people you’ve known since you learnt how to ride a bicycle.

Renie Ravin

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A chill goes down my spine as it dawns on me that I would never have had the opportunity to write on the IndiBlogger.in official blog for three years had it not been for bloggers across India. You kept us alive during the recession and we are just thankful to be around…

To More Blogger Meets!

Anoop Johnson

IndiBlogger Team

Photo Credits – Thanks to Firoze Shakir for letting us use his pictures, and to Gul for capturing this one of the team.

More thanks to all the bloggers who blogged about the meet – you can see all the reviews on the Mumbai Blogger Meet page.