Back to Kolkata – this time, it’s for the children!

That’s right, IndiBlogger.in comes back to Kolkata after 2 long years, courtesy Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest NGO run school meal program.  Come the 20th of February, bloggers from all over India are going to land up for what promises to be a fun-filled IndiBlogger Meet!

We’ve always told people that our meet at Kolkata was one of the best we’ve ever witnessed, thanks to the warmth and camaraderie of Kolkata’s bloggers. We can’t wait to experience it again!

Since our first batch of blogger meets, we’ve come a long way, and yet, the song remains the same. Pardon us while we take a quick trip down memory lane.

We almost lost BG to a Kolkata tram:

Kolkata Trams

This is Anoop, trying to remember the speech he didn’t prepare:

Kolkata Bloggers

Kolkata bloggers, who clearly did not forget their lines:

Kolkata Bloggers

Our journey back home:

Leaving Kolkata

Kolkata, we can’t wait to see you again! :-) If you haven’t registered for this meet as yet, register now!

Bloggers Usher in Social Change with #AkshayaPatra

Welcome BloggersIt was the same pleasant weather in Bangalore; something we’ve always enjoyed everytime we stepped foot in the city. The entire team had grouped a day before the event in the Bangalore office to go through the meet agenda. But like every blogger meet we usually end up forgetting the agenda; so leaves us thinking why we have these brainstorming sessions. And we don’t even need an excuse to drink actually!

The meet was a culmination of more than a month of hardwork by all the stake holders prior to the meet. The video showcased at the meet was shot by Anoop; which was not just well received but received a lot of mentions on twitter as well.

IndiBus made a roaring debut with more than 60 bloggers using it to reach the venue and back. Many bloggers liked the fact that they could meet and talk blogs much before the meet and get to know each other better. The super fast ultra mega deluxe blogger meet luxury express  was however late by an hour for the blogger meet thanks to super-fast traffic in Bangalore on the Sunday afternoon.

Akshaya Patra after hosting a very successful contest on IndiBlogger where each blog post fed 50 children made a grand entry into the hearts of the blogosphere with a MASSIVE blogger meet aimed to improving awareness about the noble efforts of the NGO and the lakhs of children who are given nourishing food every day. The success of this endeavour cannot be emphasised enough; because when they started back in June 2000 they were feeling close to 1500 children. Now they are feeling more than 1.2 million children daily making them the world’s largest NGO to implement the mid-day meal programme.

The meet had more than 270 registrations with bloggers from all over the country coming down to Bangalore to meet and network. The meet had bloggers from all walks of life – from homemakers, software engineers, government officials, entrepreneurs to even school students.

Based on suggestions from Lakshmi Rajan, we changed the format of the blogger introductions which went off very smoothly thanks to the system built especially for Blogger Meets. 60 random bloggers were chosen and had 30 seconds to introduce themselves. The screen also showed their blog link for others to see and refer. The bloggers who took more than 30 seconds to introduce themselves were ceremoniously sent to jail. All bloggers who introduced themselves got a photobook specially printed for bloggers by the bloggers. The photographs were taken by Naveen and Sanjeeb.

Next up was the lunch served which was also the same food that children eat everyday. There was bise bela bath and sweet pongal served with some namkeen. Bloggers got to experience for themselves the quality and nutrition value of the food served.

The time tested activity of Live and Let comment then commenced. A few first timers also asked what the chart papers were for and we were only too happy to respond, “You shall soon find out!” Soon the bloggers were seen sketching some funny stuff on everyone’s back. Some were risqué too! Rashmi from IndiBlogger was even proposed to by two bloggers. Why they would want to marry the crazy sketch pen lady of course is a discussion that warrants an #IndiTweetMeet ASAP!

This was followed with a discussion by Akshaya Patra who shared their journey as an organization that is doing social good. A lot of bloggers also shared suggestions for incorporation into their activities. The good thing about the session was that it was yet again proven that the blogging community is always there to support noble causes and would welcome any initiative with open arms. Bloggers also emphasised that they would like to have a long term association with them.

The final session included group discussions moderated by bloggers themselves. Issues ranging from online harassment to technology were discussed by them; and some even taking notes on their iPads and tablets.

This was followed with a team introduction; as usual the person introducing others forgot to introduce himself. This time the victim was Renie, but he really needs no introduction. He is the guy with the porcupine hair; we all know that now don’t we?

After another successful blogger meet in Bangalore, the team headed to The Higher Taste, an exclusive restaurant in the ISKCON premises where vegetarian gourmet food is served. Some patrons of the restaurant later complained about the empty buffet counters.

We thank Bangalore bloggers for being as hospitable as ever and Akshaya Patra for the wonderful work they are doing making every blogger in India proud to be associated with them.

The blogging community is indeed committed to bringing social change in India!

IndiBlogger Delhi-NCR #BlanketOfRelief Meet

Nai Dilli happened after more than two years and it was one of the most awaited events in the blogging community here especially since this is also the last blogger meet of the decade! It was cold as hell and the week running up the meet was one hell of a party!

This IndiBlogger meet was an initiative amongst many others where IndiBlogger gives back. Every year due to the cold wave many homeless die due for lack of adequate clothing. Blanket Of Relief, a unique initiative IndiBlogger partnered with for the cause raised more than INR 2 lac in a short span with help coming from all circles. BASSFoundation also held a concert at Zook; a popular pub in Saket as a charity fund raiser. Thanks to their diligence and efforts, the homeless will have a warmer winter this year. Such initiatives reiterate our commitment to give back to the society. We wish the team behind Blanket Of Relief all the best; and hope they carry this forward for many more years.

Religare Arts Gallery was a very cordial venue which was able to seat more than 100 people in the hall very comfortably. Had it not been for their support, like Anoop Johnson exclaimed during the blogger meet; we would probably have had to do this in the basement of Palika Bazaar. The Religare Arts Initiative was established on the founding vision of creating a 360 degree platform for arts, to provide contemporary art a larger integrated voice and make art a more transparent, relevant and effective force in the society. Mr. Mukesh Panika, Director of Religare Art also shared with everyone their commitment to the blogging community in India.

Mydala.com one of India’s leading group buying websites was also one of our partners for the event. Every blogger got a 500 rupee voucher as well which can be freely redeemed on the website. A quiz by myDala set the mood right with questions like “Why did he throw the watch out of the window!” It was highly interactive and the blogger who gave right or most interesting answers were given hampers from Cinnabon; the Gift Hamper partner. GuitarMonk one of the social partners is one of the leading music brands in India comprising a label, publishing and gifting as well.

The introductions set the mood right; with everyone getting their chance to introduce themselves to the community. There were working professionals, mothers, students and bloggers from all walks of life like any other blogger meet. One of the firsts for IndiBlogger – #IndiDelhi was trending on twitter for close to 6 hours during the blogger meet; thanks to all bloggers who were part of this to spread the joy of blogging to the entire country!

The Live and Let Comment; one of IndiBlogger’s trademark activities had bloggers become 16 again, like Purba Ray later excitedly mentioned when the session was on. We threw in a dash of creativity this time with bloggers having to draw each other’s caricatures on the sheet. Anand, an artist from the gallery also drew many caricatures for bloggers.

The meet also saw the launch of an exclusive contest for Delhi Bloggers – The Bad Fashion Days contest. Brandmile, our fashion partner at the meet also announced a contest where one who brings the maximum friends on the brand mile network would win an iPad! Brandmile is a members only exclusive private shopping club in India.

One of the highlights of the meet was a very interactive session that was moderated by Prateek Shah; a blogger where the discussion ranged from the sharing culture in Delhi, to how Delhi Bloggers can make a difference to the community at large. The best contributors got to donate three blankets on behalf of Blanket of Relief. Like every IndiBlogger meet, it concluded with a lot of camaraderie, hugs, numbers exchanged and cheers all around. The IndiBlogger team, Addy and the Blanket of Relief team later head to Zook for the concert by BASSFoundation to do what they do best. Drink beer. :)

Cheers to the hospitality extended by Delhi Bloggers, Dilli ki Sardi, the butter chicken, the happy hours and blogging!

Photograph credits: Indian Home Maker

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

Destination Mumbai IndiBlogger Meet!

Alright! The Mumbai IndiBlogger Meet is now on maximum capacity. We cannot wait to be there and chat with all of you again. The chance of meeting bloggers in your neighborhood is a treasured opportunity as these events are rare and are quite expensive to organize. We all hope that you can make some friends, talk about your blogging and do what you do best, Blog! Blog! Blog!

If you have not visited the meeting page recently, please do as there have been some updates to the agenda and the Meet itself. Hotel Sea Princess is going to be in-charge of the hospitality for the IndiBlogger meet and they did mention that there could be a surprise or two :). Jet Airways has done a fair share in getting this blogger meet organized and thanks to them, this meet should start on time with fewer missing IndiBlogger’s. BigRock is our technology partner and did we hear them say that everyone gets their own .in domain?? The Hewlett Packard Imaging and Printing group will be in the house and they will launch their new IndiVine Channel for Technology blog posts. The Soch Lo contest on IndiVine has brought a lot of very personal experiences to light and they will be here in Mumbai as well.

Overall, there should be something that everyone can take home during this blogger meet, however, our organizational skills  have been compared to a ballet dancing cat on steroids. So, anything can happen :).

To Freedom!

Anoop Johnson & The IndiBlogger Team

IndiBlogger.in – The Independence Day Blogger Meet

Its official! IndiBlogger.in will be hitting Mumbai on Independence Day 2010. The 15th of August will also mark 3 years of our existence on the World Wide Web. There are other reasons to celebrate too as Sea Princess will be one of our largest and most charming venues. With over 100 registrations on the first day, we are sure that this will be a spanking IndiBlogger Meet!

We are open to your suggestions for this IndiBlogger Meet. For those of you bloggers who want more than your minute of fame, you can write to us here. We look forward to meeting all of you again.

Be there at 2:00 PM sharp and if Mumbai is flooded, bring your canoes and pick us up from Andheri :)

See you all there!

Details & Registration here

Anoop Johnson

Kingfisher IndiBlogger Meet at Kyra Bangalore – A roundup!

The fates of about a hundred bloggers were sealed the minute we put the details of the meeting up on the blog. Most didn’t know what to expect, which made it easier because we didn’t have a clue ourselves. To fit a blogger meet in 3 hours was going to take some doing. So we decided to do what we always do – remain clueless. We were banking on the organizational skills of the bloggers, and our friends didn’t disappoint! It was a controlled war zone out there. That’s what happens when you put together about 25 different professions and go one overboard by inviting a doctor. Everyone knew that they had help at hand if they got hurt!

We had Kyra, a nice venue. It was just right for the event. We had Kingfisher, they did not just bring the beer but they brought themselves as well! This was not just a head line meet with a sponsor tag for Kingfisher, they came there with enthusiasm and got the bloggers going. Refreshing! And finally the crowd of bloggers – the moment we saw the room being quickly filled, we knew we were halfway home! A very special thank you to many bloggers for whom this IndiBlogger meet was not their first one.

We got some feedback about the hall at the Kyra theatre being too warm. We think the local electricity department could be the culprit as several power cuts were scheduled all over Bangalore. The “beer is free” menu made a few bloggers ask us about juice, tea and coffee, and we just realised that we had forgotten what it was like to be teetotalers. I guess we were eight or nine at the time. But henceforth, we will remember to cater to all kinds of food/drink diversities. You might be able to get kosher! :-)

We had a good time introducing ourselves, and when our founder Renie Ravin (with alcohol levels dangerously low) introduced his blog that his own mother threw out, we had to laugh! Ha Ha!

The Live and Let Comment IndiChart activity was a lot of fun. Anwin had the first comment with “Fish Molester” on his IndiChart.  A while from there we saw his brother, Edin, walking around with “Fish Molester’s Brother” on his back. That set the tone, and we got to know as many bloggers as we could. Many of the bloggers were writing some hilarious comments like “Lovely fat Ass”, “I came for the snacks” and an accusation “You Just broke a glass!”. I remember talking to a blogger crazy about Manchester United and I shared that passion with gusto, only to write “Man U sucks” on his chart.

One of the topics during the final session was a discussion on finding out the all important question “Why the %#@* do we blog??” . All the bloggers let it rip – passion was a key motivator, money was another and so was sharing personal opinion. We think the answer can’t really be found, the very question, “why we blog?” can only have an opinion as the answer.  The best things in life are when you can make a living doing what you love, while at the same time we can’t expect to be rewarded just because we love to blog. For everything else, we hope there’s master card.

There was some talk about the IndiBlogger community writing our presently non-existent About Us page for us. That’s probably a good idea because we’re not quite sure who we are!

We had most of the members of the IndiBlogger core team in this IndiBlogger meet after a long time. Sitting this one out was stalwart Vineet Rajan (Aka Papu Pager) who agreed to do all our work while we partied.

We thank every one of you for your support. I think we understand each other just like one big family. Many of you ask how you can help at IndiBlogger and we’ll tell you from the bottom of our hearts – you already have!

P.S: If you guys found something funny on your charts, we’d love to hear it!

Pics from the meet:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=indiblr&w=all

Event page, attendees, reviews and comments:
http://www.indiblogger.in/bloggermeet.php?id=68

Fuhrer’s envy, IndiBlogger’s pride (Title inspired by Mr.R)

- Anoop Johnson & The IndiBlogger Team

Hitler wants to attend the Kingfisher IndiBlogger Meet @ Kyra, Bangalore

More info on this event here!

The Pagoda IndiBlogger Meet

A very eventful Sunday it was for Birla, the owner of Pot Luck restaurant in BTM layout.

His tweet read “Teaching kite flying and chopsticks to 100 kids, hosting bloggers meet and catering for a bday party. ZZZ..What a weekend!

At the bloggers meet is where we all came in.  25 bloggers came together for a time out and we were pleasantly surprised to find the terrace garden venue extremely refreshing. Dhempe wanted to make it into a film studio of sorts.

It was an interesting blogger meet. It did not have the strength of the Bangalore blogger meet before this as we promoted it only through twitter. But I would say that this is the most comfortable I have been with a bunch of Blogger URL’s in a long time!  A lot of jargon was exchanged in the time allotted for discussions and needless to say, it all flew over my head. In times like this, we like to say that we left our technical brains at Chennai, safely with Renie. Everyone gave us some very good feedback. Mohan from Yahoo gave us his view of the voting process in IndiVine being misused. We will be brainstorming this on priority after we brush up on our php skills, re-learn our code and fill up our drinks cabinet. :-)

This blogger meet was ever so memorable for the IndiBlogger team. Even though we were from different professions, our unique hobby made us realize that we shared similar problems. I mean, we hated “The Man”, we abused a few companies/films, we screwed over a few technologies, we shared stories of the many failed companies/blogs we once started :-) and the camaraderie was just brilliant!

The pagoda blogger meet?? Here’s the good stuff; our man Birla definitely put something in the pagodas to get everyone hooked. I ate three plates of assorted pagodas and 2 cups of coffee. How much did everyone else have? It was a very worthy snack for all of us also considering the fact that Birla was flying kites in the morning, literally! :-)

Well, until we meet again, you’ve been awesome; we’ve been IndiBlogger, Goodnight! See the official meet page here.

- Anoop Johnson

BLACK the event and IndiBlogger – Awareness of Eye Donation

We heard about this event a while back and we thought it was a good idea. So we got in touch with the organizers of BLACK (the event) and decided to pledge our eyes at the event. And then we thought, why not a blogger meet? Great.

Visit the meeting page for the Nandi hills blogger meet details.

Details of the actual event below:

BLACK (the event) is an initiation to bring in the “AWARENESS OF EYE DONATION” among the masses.

Motive behind the event:

To help the blind have their eye sight and make people understand the need to donate the eyes

How to bring in the awareness?

Through a daring act of riding a bike blind-folded on Nandi hills for a stretch of 8 kms. (Please don’t try this yourself, or you may be giving away your eyes sooner than planned!)

What is Blind Fold Ride?

Blind fold ride is an art of riding the bike without having any visibility. A cloth will be tied to the riders eye while riding and only after meticulous practice and planning is such an act possible.

What is the IndiBlogger agenda?

To show our support and spread awareness of eye donation by blogging, tweeting, inviting your friends and family, being a  part of the event and to pledge our eyes.

About the rider:

Deepak Shenoy, an actor by profession is a down to earth person whose dreams have no limits. The crave to carve his own niche drove Deepak to learn the art of blindfold riding through sheer guts and hard work. He’s performed this act many times, with inspections by TV channel associates to verify that no hearing aids or other devices were used.

All this, of course, can only take place with safety presence, civil protection agencies and a doctor.  Whilst performing this stunt Deepak wants to send a message to our people how difficult it could get for people who cannot see at all and how they would be living in a world of darkness. In a hope that this will promote eye donation and people will come forward to join hands with us in this noble deed.

Visit the meeting page for confirmation of participation.