Mumbai Indiblogger Meet: 15Aug @Sea Princess #indimum

Indiblogger hosted a blogger’s meet yesterday at Hotel Sea Princess, Juhu. It was touted as the biggest such event and I think that’s a fair claim. The event actually began a half hour late, at 2:30p.m., by which time the hall was almost completely packed.

Registrations were done online by logging into the Indiblogger site. A display screen at the front of the room picked it up and kept a running tally on who had just walked in, a live feed of tweets tagged #indimum and those that mentioned the event. This feature was a really plus for a blogger meet since it allowed people to connect across the room and ‘interrupt’ or get into discussions just the way they would be able to online. It really kept the conversation, quite literally, running and the mood upbeat.

The first familiar faces I spotted were Arcopol, Chhavi, Mahafreed, Sahil, Payal, Teatattler and Netra. This event had all the hallmarks of a ‘typical’ bloggers meet with old friends catching up, people meeting offline for the first time, new connections being made and URLs/Twitter IDs being exchanged. The past meets have all been more like parties with people making random introductions and conversations. For an event of this magnitude, the Indiblogger team started with a loose agenda, which really worked.

The event kicked off with a ‘few words’ from the organizers and the sponsors. The HP session may actually have been quite interesting but the presentation was really boring and scheduled as it was, right at the beginning, I’m not sure they received much attention. BigRock’s presentation was much better, light and peppered with internet jokes and just enough information to keep listening parties interested in coming back for more.

The next item on the agenda was introductions (of the audience) which took the better part of two hours considering how many people were there. This may have run into boredom but the team worked it well by announcing a contest for the most interesting introduction. So introductions would happen, there would be gasps of recognition (and waving) from various places in the audience and live-tweeting. I spotted Kalyan across the room and a short while later, another person introduced himself by the same name and very similar profile. Normally I’d have had to keep quiet and wait till the end of a long session to connect up, by which time I may have forgotten or even lost interest. But I instantly tweeted him, which came up on screen and he replied. We got into a conversation about another member in the audience who suddenly saw his name pop up on the timeline and joined in too. Fun ?

I had a lovely surprise when I entered the room to find my Punekar friend Poonam, whose visit I had not known of. Later, during the introductions, I was deeply thrilled to hear a sweet-faced lady across the room introduce herself as the writer of Toerag. It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down in my seat and yelling, “Here, here!! Remember me?!” Sangeeta and I have been readers of each other’s blogs for years now, right from back in the day when one visited every single link on the blogroll every day to check if there were new posts. In this day and age of instant updates, feed-readers and link-sharing, those seem like hallmarks of a bygone era. There’s a distinct pleasure in connecting with someone who remembers you from the days of yore.

One of the last introductions was a lady who claimed to have failed her 10th board, run away to Italy, fallen in love with one of the masters, left him to backpack and having run out of interesting things to do, began blogging. She ended by saying, “And I’m a storyteller.” She was the unanimous winner of the most interesting introduction. ?

The chai break that followed was really livened up by a cute little game organized by the team. Every member in the audience was given a chart to hang on their back, equipped with pens and asked to go around ‘leaving comments’ on other people’s charts. A simple enough idea but tremendously useful in bridging the gap between wanting to talk to someone and making the actual connection. I spoke and was spoken to by so many people, that I’d really have lost track if I didn’t have their twitter handles or URLs on my chart.

My Indiblogger meet chart!

The post-break session began with an impromptu quiz (hosted by a truly beautiful lady from BigRock) and prizes being handed out. This lead into a discussion moderated by celebrity participant, Gul Panag. I really have to give it to the lady for being way more than a pretty face. Managing a group of 200-odd people, all with opinions jostling to be heard and ensuring that people stuck to the point, stayed interested and didn’t get into fights – that’s no mean feat and the lady accomplished it with aplomb. We discussed self-censorship, comparisons with traditional media, authenticity of content, new trends, social activism online and citizen journalism. The discussion was carefully kept short enough so it didn’t peter into wasteful arguments.

The last thing on the menu was a select preview of the movie Soch Lo. I’m rather afraid I didn’t understand a thing and it didn’t enthuse me enough to want to watch the full movie whenever it is available. ‘Nuff said.

This is an account of the events as they happened but it doesn’t capture the essence of the fun and energy that marked the full day. So I’m posting some of my tweets, as they were live updates of things that happened (and because Twitter archiving still sucks).

• Indiblogger meet under way. Intros on. #indimum

• Bangalore accents are to Indian women what French accents are to Westerners. Ooh, yummy! #indimum

• Gadzooks! My crush-ey tweet just popped up on screen at Indiblogger meet. Eep.

• Pleasant rush of memories happening. Why did the blogger meets stop? #indimum

• HP talk at #indimum. Fairly interesting talk but blah ppt. Form does matter. Content is invisible if audience loses interest.

• BigRock does 140char intro. Agenda says ‘vision mission blah blah’. 🙂 Am listening already. #indimum

• Celebrity spotting at #indimum! @Netra just walked in!

• found an envelope under seat saying Collect prize from prettiest girl at reception. Heh, nice. #indimum

• Intros of audience happening at #indimum. Next to me, @arcopolc taking notes.

• Amrish blogs abt mumbai since it is his life. Life, leverage and limits. Cute. #indimum

• Honest admissions at #indimum Ppl blog to up Google rank, earn on ads, bcos friends do it, bcos its the new geek thing to do. 🙂

@finelychopped Hey, that sounds like you! #indimum

• Keema from Mizoram ‘as in Chicken Keema’ Lol, I like! #indimum

• Really good to see ppl blogging abt whatever comes to mind, stories, pictures etc. Tired of hearing of SEO, Tech etc. #indimum

• Heh, an Arsenal fan intro’d self as that and ended with ‘BOO you!’ to two ManU fans. #indimum

• IT IS TOO COLD HERE! #indimum

• Yay! @Sahilk plays knight in plastic armour & loans me his windcheater. #indimum

• Heard an intro from toerag.blogspot. Iv read her for yrs! Wish id caught her twitter id. #indimum

• SunshineMom is now Freaked-out Mom. #indimum

• Hardik Shah at #indimum wonders why everyone staring at him. 🙂 @hardik, eh?

• Passing charts with strings and sketchpens. Everyone loves new stationery. Intros getting missed unfortunately. #indimum

• Next item on #indimum agenda: SWITCH OFF THE AC!

• Hot baldie alert at #Indimum. Men should not be allowed hair above the eyebrows.

• #indimum Screen refreshed after 15min. Bcos @gulpanag walked in? Her name still hasnt come up.

• Okay now we get to play with the new stationary. #indimum

• Hot girl in great haircut conducting pop quiz at #indimum

• This quiz in damn tough, ya #mahafreedstyle. #indimum

• All the guys rush to front of room. #indimum

• Ageism at #indimum. Am sulking in the left side. Grmph.

@gulpanag speaking abt why UGC scores over mass media. #indimum

• RT @rati7 And d guy just wont shut up..

• Do bloggers self-moderate? I think the democracy of blogging does that already. #indimum

@shrikant Stop hitting on the pretty lady, Neanderthal! 🙂

• Are we back on censorship?! #indimum

• If ur content is wrong/offensive/misleading, ull lose readership. Why are we still discussing censorship? #indimum

@shrikant scowling at me for calling him Neanderthal hitting on @gulpanag #indimum

• ‘Good ppl are not visible & visible ones not credible’. Does that mean bloggers are incredible? #indimum

@mahafreed says we are her eyes, her twitter timeline, bloggers. FTW! #INDIMUM

• The Banglore boys leaving! 🙁 #indimum

• Now @gulpanag gets background score! #indimum

• @_alps and I giggling

• Soch liya, kuch nahin samjha. #indimum

• Much fun was had at #indimum. Old-style blogger hookups (face to DP/handle) in newer settings (live tweeting, posh hotel, freebies, contest)

• @abhinav_hee_haw Ah. Just the live timeline was a party in itself. #indimum

• #indimum made me fall off compulsive-tweeter bandwagon after going clean for weeks! Someone asked if I was the talkative one on the hashtag!

@sahilk is funner in real life than on email. #justsaying

• received a delightful surprise when @_alps turned up at #indimum today. And another on meeting longtime blogger-pal @sangeeta_kini 1st time.

My congratulations and thanks to the Indiblogger team for pulling off a complex and really fantastic event. My only suggestion would be to consider proving WiFi access next time to ensure even more live coverage during the event. I’m looking forward to more from you guys!

Other coverage of the event (will be updated-drop in a link if you find something not featured here):

Mizohican: Chp.314 Indiblogger Meet Mumbai

Magali: The Wonderful Indiblogger Mumbai Meet (#indimum)

Firoze Shakir: Flickr

Anubha Bhat: The Indiblogger Bloggers’ Meet, Facebook Photos

Manav Dhiman: Indiblogger Mumbai Meet #indimum

Naveen Bachwani: Indiblogger Meet 2010

Jaydip: Once upon a time Blogger Met in Mumbai

Kalyan: We don’t need no chutney sandwiches

Juhi: Mumbai’s Indiblogger Meet from my camera

Renieravin: Flickr

Phoenix: Indibloggers Meetup

Shrikant: Deflowered by the sea-princess

Harman: The Indiblogger Meet

Viyoma: Indiblogger Meet: 15th Aug 2010

Ojas Mehta: An eventful Independence Day!

Neha Silam: Anything for a tee

Milee: A Place, Some Bloggers and Fun

28 thoughts on “Mumbai Indiblogger Meet: 15Aug @Sea Princess #indimum

  1. Woaah ….. reading this post is so much fun, i can imagine what would have happened there. I really want to be a part of next indiblogger meet, i hope it comes soon.

    And i still feel like killing myself for not attending this. 🙁

  2. ‘The Neanderthal man’ was a good one. I still remember what a knee-jerk reaction it was to respond to Shrikant on seeing his tweet on big screen. Come to think of it, I had much fun while you three -you, Sahil and Shrikant – who were sitting quite close and yet playing Twitter-Twitter on big screen with vengeance. 🙂

    And yes, Big Rock presentation was good, I actually remember few of the cartoons they used. Considering the dud memory I have, this is an achievement.

  3. Hey, Ideasmithy. Nice account of the event.

    I left a bit early but it was good connecting on the big screen up there. Live Tweets were good fun and some of mine were friendly enough to put up too. I guess our row was the row of naughty back benchers. The guys who would never get the tees 🙂

    The first tea break, which happened just before I left, was good fun as one got to meet a lot of interesting folks. That to me is the highpoint of these occasions

  4. Hey that was a wonderful wrapup, with live tweets thing I got so excited even before i reached the event.
    Ok one thing i missed out,… u from pune?? o_O how come we did not meet!!!

  5. Ah… good that you captured most of the minutes except the billion hearts stuff 😉 nice blog you have… i think this is my first time here and look forward to be frequent!

  6. That was a good account. I had enjoyed reading your account of BlogCamp Mumbai held this year in Feb too. Didn’t get a chance to have a word with you this time.

  7. i also didn’t understand what the film was about. i am still on the soch lo mod whether it was a trailor or a film? and if it was just a trailor then why the fuss about that warning constantly appearing in white.anyways barring those 10 minutes the whole meet was a grand success and the enthusiasm of the core team of indibloggers was shining like stars throughout the event!

  8. A suggestion. Remove the script that disables right-clicking on your blog. I can give you as many reasons as you’d like why it is a bad ‘idea’ and the block is very easy to work around.

  9. Thanx for the linklove, Ideasmithy 🙂 And it was interesting reading your continuous #indimum tweet updates on the big screen during the event.

    The chicken kheema jokes etc may be funny to you, but the other day, I met my friend’s gf at a restaurant. When he introduced me to her, she nearly puked. Because she was eating what she ordered right at that very moment – kheema balls! 😀 Not so funny for her 😀 lolzzz.

  10. Great post Smithy! Would like to know your real name! You have really done a good job covering almost all the tits & bits of event. In depth coverage I would say. Agree with you on the movie “Soch lo” but that Guy Sartaj has put a lot of effort into it (As he was telling latter on). Looked simple Guy, didn’t know how to market his movie. Anyway! nice post & carry on the good work!

  11. Hey smithy! I was shivering too even before the meet started .. but like everything else no one in IndiBlogger listens to me! 🙂

    And you should come down to the Bangalore blogger meet and you can talk to a lot of Bangalore accents 🙂 Awesome post!

  12. Great roundup of the meet, Ideasmithy! You made our week!

    @Mohan – Is there a single blog out there you haven’t commented on? 🙂

    @Rohini – I agree on the right-click thing… scripts tend to mess with usability, and if someone really wants to steal content, they’ll always find a way. :-/

  13. Nice review there! Like every meet the Anoop makes the butt of the joke. So the whole blogosphere decides to call me Pappu from hereon. Crap.

    Glad you liked it, and were part of it!

  14. Blog hopping all indimum posts and seems like you guys had a one big blogie time. After all every bloggers do have their own day 😛 waiting for indiblr meet now 😉

  15. I love how you wrote an entire account, I was too lazy to do that! 🙂
    It sure was a nice day, albeit kinda tiring!
    Thanks for linking to my post, gonna blogroll you & come here more often!

  16. Hey.. enjoyed reading your post.. especially your tweets on #Indimum. I’m checking out your other posts too.. and me likey!! 🙂 Esp. Travellers Tales… being a traveller myself.. 🙂


  17. Hey there,

    Sorry for the late comment! Lovely, detailed write-up! Reading your post was like living the event all over again! Brilliant!

    Thanks for the mention, the memories & the madness.

    Cheers! 🙂

    1. @Abhinav, Ketan: Yes, it was a fun meet. Plan on making it to the next one.

      @Poonam: ROFL!!

      @Kalyan: I was a backbencher too…the kind that would keep talking during the important presentations. But I got the tee because I stayed till the end! 😉

      @Sid: No, I’m in Mumbai. But I have plenty of friends in Pune and I visit them sometimes.

      @Mohan: No hearts at this event, unfortunately. Gul Panag took them all away!

      @vijay: Umm, okay.

      @Rohini, renie: There’s the wonderful world of Twitterverse! I have my reasons for that feature. My posts have been copied and palmed off before and there have been some unbelievable consequences. I know its possible to bypass the feature but that needs a little extra effort and know-how. I’m just banking on making it a little more difficult for copycats.

      @Kima: Egad, that’s horrible!!

      @Sangeeta: Hugs to my long-time blog buddy!

      @Harmanjit: IdeaSmith is the name I go by, online. And yes, it was good to make a connection.

      @Anoop: Will keep that in mind. It’s been awhile since I visited the Garden City. While on this, have you read this post on Bangalore?

      @saurabh shah: I agree. But perhaps the movie was good and we were just too tired at the end of the day to appreciate it.

      @vinnie, Manav: Yes, fun it was!

      @Ankita: It didn’t work. It was the first thing I checked out when I came to the event. My comp connected but none of the pages were loading.

      @Disha: Ah, the wonderful world of stories!

      @Sailin, Lakshmi Rajan, payal: Yup!

      @Magali, Srinivas: Welcome to the Idea-smithy! I look forward to seeing your comments around here!

      @Shrikant: You were my funnest new-friend from this event!! 😀 (Yes, I know that’s terribly cheesy).

      @Mahafreed: It was, child, it was.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: