Posts in Category: Blogging

About blogging in general

BCB 5 over BCB 4 – What can be better

I’ve been on the Barcamp mailing list and I’ve been following the “post barcamp” discussion. While Barcamp itself was successful, this being the biggest Barcamp ever, in the world; there was discontentment and a longing for improvement in the next iteration of the event (which by the way has been tentatively scheduled for November of this year)

Issues I identified which could have been better or should be next time (This is my opinion and open for discussion)

Main points

  • Too many tracks, too little time. The sheer number of collectives was overwhelming.
  • Too many newbies, not enough interaction
  • Giving tees on day 2 was a good idea
  • Entry fees goes against barcamp philosophy (already agreed upon)

How/what we should change:

Change in facilities

  • Have fewer projectors. Allocate them only who really need it
  • Let anyone initiate a discussion. But to make a formal announcement, the initiator needs at least 5 participants(including or excluding the initiator. That’s a no point). Otherwise they can still have the discussion but no formal announcement (via sms)
  • In addition to collective charts, have a couple of impromptu talk/discussion charts. Slight conflict with the previous point. Need to resolve that. If we have these, have them in more replications so that participants don’t have to go from one end to the other to check the posters
  • Preferably, try to get the rooms/auditorium closer to each other as compared to bcb4

Possible alleviations

  • Don’t prefer to have formal talks by one speaker. Encourage discussions
  • But do keep a few slots for formal talks; ‘presentation’ if you want to call it. Call for presentation ppt in advance to filter/approve and pass the presentations and then assign the formal presentation slots. Some might argue that it is against the spirit of barcamp. My opinion is that it’s a barcamp. We can add a limited number of those to mix up types of interaction. There are no formal rules. Let’s define for our convenience
  • Noticed that a couple of collectives were trying to be too organized so time management was an issue
  • A lot of of talks were talks. And not discussions as it should have been. Demos, prod launches are exceptions
  • Educate collective leaders on how to lead more effectively. Encourage more BOFs(birds of a feather)
  • Stress on participants that those who are a part of one collective can attend other talks and they don’t necessarily have to sit through all talks to attend just one talk

Lastly, my pics from BCB4 have been uploaded to a Flickr Set.

Barcamp Bangalore 4 – Day 2

It’s a bit late but I’ll still give my take on day 2.

Frankly, I was disappointed by Day 2. The sessions started off late as it did on Saturday but that was okay I guess. During the introduction, a lot of speakers came forward to announce what they would be talking about and frankly, I thought that it exceeded the possible time constraints as well as the space constraints. But well if it could happen, good for everyone.

The bloggers collective as expected (by me) had a large number of talks. I was skeptical about accommodating so many talks partly because the collective tended to not fragment into those interested in particular topics and not others (As in, if 2 speakers wanted to talk about different topics at the same time, they could not so that the audience does not get split). I was supposed to give a talk on micro-blogging as well.

However, once the talks started, things started getting messy because the talks would overflow and not all the talks had been alloted a time slot (including mine)  I did listen to a couple of nice talks like moblogging, securing your images from being downloaded. I tried to attend a talk on Semantic web and moving towards an Internet with all data related semantically. But unfortunately I reached late so missed a significant bit of the talk.

The highlight of the day for me was a very nice discussion on bloggers getting a chance to have their posts published in the print medium to reach a wider audience. And another nice discussion with Arun Ram during lunch(it ranged from phone comparisons to egos of popular bloggers, Techcrunch, Robert Scobel etc)

Anyway, overall I felt that day 2 was fairly underwhelming for me.

Ps. The campus at IIM is gorgeous :)

Barcamp Bangalore 4 – Day 1

I attended my first BarCamp today held in Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
It was scheduled to start at 9 AM but I overslept and reached there only by 10. But as IST (Indian Stretchable time) goes, I wasn’t late and the registrations and the introduction session was still going on. So I did not miss much :D

I wanted to be a part mainly of the Bloggers collective and the Photo(graphers) Collective, hoping to learn, mostly in the latter and more to give a talk in the former. The bloggers collective started of fairly decently but was delayed as people trickled in fairly slowly and almost everyone had a problem getting the WiFi to work on their laptops.

But once that was done, the first talk on Podcasting took place. I was not interested much in that so I went around helping people configure their laptops to connect to the WLan.

The next talk by Kishore Krishna (aka Kpowerinfinity) was on Widgets but due to some conflicts, it was delayed. So my talk on Blogging Platforms and setting up your own blog was advanced and his postponed to after mine.

My talk started on a fairly positive note with lot of discussion and interaction but once I got on to the setting up a self hosted blog using wordpress, people lost track. The topic got far too technical for most of them so I decided to stop and instead move that to a demo after the talk for those who were interested by making it more basic and easy to follow(the demo did not happen eventually)

After my talk, I moved out from the bloggers collective to check out the other collective. I entered the Internet collective where a talk on MS Silverlight was just about to start. Not much interest there so I moved on to the Startups collective. That was in the fag end with the speak just starting to take questions so I left there too and went back to the bloggers collective. Kishore’s talk was just about over when I reached there and soon we all went for lunch.

Immediately after lunch, the bloggers collective seemed to have disappeared with only a few visible from the earlier 40-50. So I held a discussion on micro-blogging (Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku) with a few of the interested attendees. After that, I discussed the various blogging platforms and what would be a good choice for a non-techie beginner blogger and set up an Livejournal account for her.

That was the end of all blogging topics as the photography collective was having it’s first (and only meet for the day) where a lot of discussion went on and Amoghavarsha and Jace and few others. Learnt lots of basic tips and got a lot of information.

There was a band jam happening later in the evening but having tired myself out earlier, I decided to skip that. Day two of the un-conference is tomorrow. Watch for a report about it tomorrow.

Oh and I got a chance to meet Aaman and Deepti Lamba, the chief editors of Desicritics. That was really great. We discussed the upcoming changes to DC, the current happenings and how it is really growing as a community. That was really great.

Barcamp Bangalore 4 – Live Blogging

Blogging live from Barcamp in the bloggers. I gave a talk on Blogging platforms which I’m not sure how successful it was because I think I went fairly technical while the crowd was mainly non-tech.

The next talk is by Kpowerinfinity on widgets (technorati, flickr, desktop widgets etc)

I’ll be flitting around to various talks to blog about other talks.

Bangalore Bloggers Meet

The Bangalore Bloggers Meet happened. And it ROCKED. More than 40 bloggers from Bangalore, Mumbai and two from Germany (who are in Bangalore) as well as a couple of non-bloggers (journalists, short-film makers) gathered in Brew HaHa and had a blast.

For the first half an hour or so, everyone introduced themselves. And the sheer variety was impressive in itself. Once the intros were done, we ordered coffees from a good selection of delicious menu and got on with discussions on various topics.

The first point on the agenda was to decide the agenda for the Barcamp later this month. A lot of topics for discussion were decided upon during which your’s truly volunteered to give a talk on various blog platforms, and how to start up on blogging.

Then someone (with deep apologies because I forget the name RK) gave a talk on micro-financing blogging(something which was not of my interest) while demoed Pownce to a few people. Then people discussed starting a campaign for social awareness. Lastly, just before we broke up, I floated an idea to start a site for Bangalore Bloggers where bloggers from Bangalore would contribute articles, as well as aggregated contents from all contributors would be available for reading (a la livejournal friends page)

The meeting went about an hour or so more than scheduled but I am sure no one was complaining. After the break up, some of us went down to purple haze for beer where Sanjukta ended up getting high and Snigdha wanting to dance but for the lack of a dance floor :D

Oh and it was Sridhar’s birthday so he got “pseudo” birthday bumps ;)

Pics from the meet:

DSC02307 DSC02311 DSC02310 DSC02308 DSC02311

More pics from the meet at Blogaloreans

Others bloggers who covered the meet”

Prashanth, Neha, Adheeth, Jerry, Kpowerinfinity (Sorry I don’t remember your name :( ), Sridhar, Bikram

Edit: Updated Adheeth’s name

Edit: Corrected RK’s talk topic and update with his name. My apologies RK

Live from Bangalore Bloggers meet

I’m blogging live from the Bangalore Bloggers Meet in Brewhaha. There are more than 40 people here.. Lots of different bloggers from a range of places from India and a couple of them from Germany.

Bangalore Bloggers Meet And Bangalore BarCamp 4

Bangalore Bloggers Meet is happening for the first time this month. It’s on the 21st of July at BrewHaHa near Jyothi Nivas College, Koramangala. I’ll be there. All those who read this, please do come. And comment here so that I know who to expect :)

Register for the meet at the Meet Wiki.

Bangalore Bloggers Meet Event Details

Date : 21st July,2007
Venue: BrewHaHa
Near Jyoti Nivas College, Koramangala

Also happening later this month is the Bangalore BarCamp at IIM Bangalore. It’s on the 28th and 29th of July.
There are a lot of collectives and a lot of bloggers should be participating. I’ll hopefully be there too. Register and find more information at the BarCamp Wiki. BarCamp has a lot of Geek oriented Collectives but a few are non-geeky ones too (which is what I’m going to be attending mostly.. Though the Internet Collective and BangAJAX collective is tempting as well..) These will be my first ever bloggers meet and I hope this will be a good experience.

GPL is too restrictive

I want to base a theme on Sandbox but unfortunately it is based on GPL which I think is too restrictive. I would rather have it in LGPL/MIT/AFL (Even MPL) instead which are more open and non-restrictive.

Sigh.. I’ll have to look for another theme though I doubt any will match the awesome Sandbox. I wish Scott would provide dual licensing.