First, a standing ovation for all the bloggers present at the IndiBlogger meet in Kolkata. You guys sure do deserve a pat on your back. With registrations for the Kolkata meet on the slower side at first, we couldn’t help but think that Kolkata bloggers were not too enthusiastic about a bloggers meet in their back yard. We could not have been more wrong, with over 60 bloggers attending and four hours of nonstop laughter. This was the only meet where I laughed till it hurt! It even prompted Renie – the founder of IndiBlogger.in to ask, “Dude??? What are you tripping on??” Well, I was tripping on the show that the Kolkata bloggers put on for us.
Our hotel was a good one hour from the airport and the trip was quite eventful as the pilot of the ambassador car skillfully flew over pedestrians, the side walk, trams and other cars captained by equally skilled pilots. A coat of paint was all that separated two cars, nevertheless I felt in better hands than that dope in Delhi who had questionable chemicals in his system. The hotel room we stayed in reminded me of a movie I might have seen in a theatre of ill repute. But none of these put any damper on our spirits as the people in Kolkata had an uncanny knack of making us feel very much at home!
For the first time the IndiBlogger team had trouble finding enough scapegoats to join us for the skit, and it had to be cancelled. Missing one of our core members Anwin Joselyn did not help our cause. The conference hall was full by 4:15 and we had to order more chairs. We started with our usual round of IndiBlogger Introductions, Sandhya’s talk on behalf of Microsoft India and moved onto “One Minute of Fame”. Yes the program was called “One Minute of Fame” and not “Twelve Minutes of Fame” like it eventually turned out. All the Kolkata bloggers held on to the mike for dear life and gave us one entertaining story after another! There were bloggers from different walks of life including a doctor, students (school and college), pro-bloggers, web 2.0 geeks, poets and writers. It was refreshing to see so much variety under one roof.
Later, the bloggers were forced to do the customary “IndiBlogger jig” during the “How Well Do You Know Your Readers?” session, which was followed by a presentation on Windows Live Writer by Sandhya. After a few tongue-in-cheek questions from the bloggers, such as asking what operating systems it supports , we started the discussion on IndiBlogger’s proposed Code of Ethics for Indian Bloggers. It was awesome to see the level of participation and quality of discussion generated – so much so that we ran out of time when everyone felt that we had just started! Thanks for all your suggestions guys – we’ll have that discussion forum up and running soon so we can continue where we left off.
Next up, we had the mingling session over dinner, and we had several bloggers offering to help us out with IndiBlogger – in terms of finding venues, programming, designing, marketing and promotion via social networks.
A special note of thanks from the IndiBlogger team to Archit – who not only went way out of his way to help us organize the meet, but also came up with a great idea that’s going to go a long way in helping Indian bloggers.
- Reviews from the bloggers can be found here, here and here.
- Pics of the event can be found here and here.
- Offical page of the Kolkata blogger meet here.
- List of attendees and their blog url’s here.
Thank you, Kolkata – we can’t wait to come back!