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Sunday, February 21, 2010

My First Blog Camp Experience in Mumbai

Let me be very frank and say that I have never before attended any Blog Camp of any sort. In fact the thought to do, so never even entered my mind. I came to know about this particular Blog Camp event that was held in Mumbai, Vile Parle yesterday from my husband. I agreed to attend the function as it was a weekend and second because I thought it would be a good experience, a place to meet other fellow bloggers like ourselves and share our thoughts and tips with all and maybe even learn something.

The event was held at the Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering (MPSTME) college, Vile Parle, on the 20th February from morning to evening. We managed to reach the venue in the afternoon, just before the lunch session. However, we were just in time to attend two sessions, which was interesting. Lunch was free, and plenty to go around...which happened to be Pav Bhaji and was very delicious and apparently sponsored by Microsoft.

I had expected there to be a huge crowd and response from the Bloggers in Mumbai, but was surprised to find that they all managed to fit into one classroom. Anyway, they were a mix from all age groups, which was a good thing to see. Amongst the youngest of the Bloggers, there was a 9th standard student, Monik who spoke about his blog and blogging experiences. I was also amazed by the fact that he had managed to get his blog in the front page of Digg. 

The youngest was my own son, Raj, who is 11 years old. He turned out to be the highlight of the evening when he told them all about the two blogs that he had; A Free Indian Cooking Recipes Blog, and a Game Blog. Everybody asked him a few questions and he managed to answer them satisfactorily..Of course, I was getting nervous on his behalf...But he has come away from the experience, a very proud Blogger. Thanks to Blog Camp!! I am sure that he is encouraged enough to continue his blogging and may be adding some more new blogs..Watch out!!

 There were a few other speakers who shared about their own blogging experiences and it was also enlightening to know how some people used the blogging platform and social media to help further other causes. One woman told a story of another woman who had suffered from Breast cancer and how she took to a driving campaign all over India just to spread awareness about the disease and ways to detect breast cancer. She is now looking for help to do more in this regard, and some Bloggers offered to help in the different ways that they could. That included making a website, talking to sponsor companies, tweeting, writing blog posts etc...

During the break, we got to interact with a few youngsters who were either still doing their graduation or had just finished college. We had some great exchanges of ideas, views and tips about Blogging and we also managed to introduce them to our newly released book about Blogging.."A Beginner's Guide to Blogging & Making Money Online". 

We had hoped that we would be able to speak about our experiences and let them know a few things about making money from their blogging, but they did not allow us to speak, saying that they did not want "technical" talk...Anyway, not a cause for worry, because we managed to get the exposure that we were hoping for anyway!! 

It was a good experience, and will definitely look forward to the next one..

Other fellow Bloggers have also written about the Blog Camp in great detail:

Satish: @BlogCamp Mumbai  

Anu: BlogCamp Mumbai – Experience 

Moksh: BlogCamp Mumbai – January 2010 

Kalyan Karmakar: "This one time at Band camp"... BlogCamp Mumbai, Mumbai College Eats"

IdeaSmithy : Food & Fiction, Housewives & Health, Causes & Gripes, All At BlogCamp Mumbai 2010

Jaya: Blogcamp Mumbai-Mukesh Patel School of Tech.Mgmt & Eng

Only Gizmos: Mumbai Blogcamp! Bloggers Day Out

See Photos of the event at these links:


Anuradha Shankar said...

Hey, Priya... great to know u... saw u at the camp, though didnt speak, since i was in a bit of a hurry..... but congrats to ur son, as well as to u, for encouraging him to write his own blog!

kanwarpriya said...

Thanks a lot Anu, Glad to know u too. Read your blog too and thanks for the write up.

Yes, blogs are a great way for kids to start expressing themselves and it also helps them to learn computers, which helps them in academics too..!!

IdeaSmith said...

Hi Priya, thank you for attending and for writing about BlogCamp 2010. As one of the unorganizers I just wanted to clarify something. The past few BlogCamps have had an excess of sessions about SEO, making money from blogs and techtalk like html programming. The feedback we have received time and again from these events is that most people want to hear about other things, about people's individual experiences with blogging. A number of people even stopped attending Blogcamps because they thought it was too much like Barcamp (a forum for technology speak) or Startup Saturday (new ventures as the name suggests).

Keeping this in mind, we had to restrict anything that could go in those directions and encourage other topics. I think this event did get a good mix of speakers and audience. Your son was definitely a welcome sight.

Once again, thank you for participating. I hope to see you again at more blog events.

kanwarpriya said...

Hi, IdeaSmith

Thanks for your comment and clarification, though I must say it's perfectly alright. We weren't offended or anything. It was the first time that we have attended such a Blog Camp and so really had no idea what to expect.

But, we enjoyed the sessions and learned a few things, interacted with a few fellow bloggers and it all was a positive experience, in the end specially for my son who has come away feeling good...We are sorry that we couldn't stay till the end as we had a long way to go back...

Will definitely try to make it again in the next session...

Thanks a lot for all the effort..It was all well managed..or should I say, "Unmanaged"!!

angel said...

This is a great post. I just had one of the ‘Doh!’ moments and ran back to correct my own site before publishing my comment. You see my own comment form did not match what I’m about to advice. I get less comment than you, so never noticed any problem. I’ve changed it now anyway so here goes.

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