BlogCampBangaluru was my first 'blogging un-conferences' organized by IBNMS and it got me hooked beyond doubt.
It had a sluggish start (Saturday morning 9:30 is quite an ask for Bangalore, the city which celebrates weekdays like Christmas) with people trickling in slowly as we began. Pramodh from Injoos started off with his presentation on how bloggers can find a business model around what they 'love' to do. Followed by a gentleman who has been a veteran journalist with Hindu and has recently given up his job and switched to blogging and online publishing as his bread and butter! Mr. Anand Parthasarthy is an old man with an energy that puts quite a lot of people, (like me) who love to call themselves 'young', to shame and his years of experience in the traditional journalism has backed his decision to switch to blogging as a money making device.
Seagate, the principal sponsors behind the event, came in next. It's an organizers plight to have the sponsor talk delivered by a monotonous 'corporate' guy without passion for his product! Even the funny anecdotes by Ajay failed to keep the spirit of the meet up :( I'm yet to see Steve Jobs live so can't generalize the statement but most 'corporate' announcements or releases have failed to impress me, that's why I look forward to reading about the product when my favourite blogger does a post on it!
There was a talk by Ajay Jain, the person behind this particular blog meet, on how the relationship between PR and the blogging community is finding new meanings and what needs to be done to strengthen the bond. Amit Gupta talked about 'Blogging beyond english', I was surprised to know that there was such a big community which blogged in other Indian languages (you can check the Blog Camp wiki for the presentation).
Dr. Ashish Gupta (if I write all that he 'is', I wont find place to write anything else, so I'll just say that he's been a Venture Capitalist of late) expressed his ideas on the difficulty (and near impossibility in the current scenario) for a blogger to find an investor to fund her. We have our own ideas though and IBM's arrogance was Xerox's, Apple's (and so many others like them) chance to make money in a market which the 'big guys' didn't even realize existed!
There were 2 speakers who personally impressed me a lot. A 67 (I guess, based on the fact that he retired in 2004) years old gentleman, Mr. Prabir Ghose who started blogging very late in his life and is now an authority on the web and a charming young gentleman, Mr. Keerthi Kiran who is one of the few people who has tried to contribute to the society by empowering others (like him) to take an affirmative action.
If you are under the age of 25 and want to make a difference to the country you live in and are proud of, do visit Grass Routes and find out more about it.
PS: Its a shame that the head count kept going down as the day progressed. Lets blame it on those who left early, they were at the wrong place to start with :). It was a great platform to get in touch with people who think like you (or 'un-like' you but 'think' at least), Seagate sponsored lunch was one of the best 'cold pizzas' I've had ever 'cuz of the company I had it with!