Monday, August 06, 2007

BCB4 Day 2

May be my enthusiasm got killed on the first day, I was late to the BCB4 venue the second day. I was anyway ready with my presentation in case if I could find the bloggers scene better. It was around 11am when I reached and I saw all the bloggers collective slots taken. But when I looked in detail I noticed that there was this 4:30 pm slot available as the session which was booked there got moved to another room. So I quickly wrote my name there. Then I scanned through all the other sessions but didn’t find anything interesting. So I once again decided to hang around with the bloggers and get to know the crowd.

When I went inside the room a talk on ‘how to protect your images on the net’ session was on. The speaker was showing all the possible ways on how to make it difficult for a shady person to flick your pictures from the net but he was constantly reminding us that pics on the net are never safe. Mr AJ was once again there to take the questions and answering and trying to constantly confront the speaker’s every tip to save images from theft. Arun Ramarathnam of Sathyam had a point here saying he wouldn’t mind people using his pictures as it will just make him more popular, or atleast he will know that he was doing a good job which even I thought is right. The talk also went to the levels of if anyone would sue Microsoft if they flick your images and some of the guys were up for it.

Arun then showcased his mobile blog and explained how he does it which was very informative. He explained the advantages of mobile picture blogging vs the normal pictures getting uploaded on flickr. The candidness and the spontaneity did the trick in his case.

We went for lunch after that and met up Prayank of Adobe for a brief talk. I showed my card with his favorite Gapingvoid cartoon on it and he wanted to know where I got it printed etc. I asked him about AIR on iphone and he said he knows nothing about it. Some guys from the UI collective came to me and asked me if I will be there for their sessions but as I had my blogging session in mind, I had to politely decline their invite. We also collected the BCB4 T shirts sans the sponsor’s logo. The sponsors were kind enough to agree to not to put their logo on them but personally I like my BCB T shirt with a multi national’s logo on it. It looks better then.

After lunch it was Thejesh’s session about search engine optimization of blogs and I found it interesting. Most of the stuff he talked were things I knew so I could be an active part of the discussions and connect to the speaker as well as the audience. I noticed that the crowd was more focused and serious bloggers and the discussions and getting more healthy. The best part was that Mr AJ was nowhere in sight.

Arun Ram once again cam back to talk about this photo blog but I think it was just an extension to his previous talk on his mobile blog. Nothing new. The came Sean talking about his Babajob and Babalife. I didnt understand a word what he said as I couldnt follow his accent and I was thoroughly bored.

At that point I noticed one more attempt by the lead of the collective to push in her favorite sessions which were not listed on the board outside. She wrote those sessions on the whiteboard and asked the crowd if they were be interested in attending them. She even asked me to club with Thejesh and finish off my talk. This was again irritating for me coz this was once again against the things I’ve used to seeing at the barcamps. I went to the whiteboard and I wrote “How to make your blog Pamela Anderson hot at 4:30 by Umesh”. I think that worked, I could evoke curiosity from the audience. I saw people reading it and discussing. One guy asked me

Are you going to talk about Pamela Anderson?

I replied

Not only her, but also Paris Hilton and Rakhi Sawant.

He was super thrilled. Next time when the collective lead asked the audience about their favorite talk, many of them pitched in for me.

At 5.30 PM, ie one hour after my scheduled time, I got my session started. I was sure that by that time people would have been tired and so I kept my talk really simple with almost no tech jargons but more humane and of course more spice and humour. I also didnt disappoint those guys who were expecting a talk about Pamela Anderson... I talked a bit about them too. I talked about the tricks they can resort to make people come back to their blogs; how to provoke them and make them comment etc. I gave real life examples, and also called out to do some shameless self promotion to bring in people to read. By the end of my talk the audience was relaxed and was cracking out with me and they also understood that the whole point of my talk was to promote my own blog. It was actually a good moment for me as I considered that moment as a giant leap from the twitter talk I gave at BCB3. Thanks to all of them who waited for my talk and took part in the fun talk we had.

I attended one more talk on how blogging affects other industries. The speaker was on how tech magazines and news papers were feeling the heat from the bloggers who were doing a better job than them.

Nicky and I were exhausted by the end of it and we went for a coffee and some picture shooting. We then headed towards the auditorium and the closing meet was on, along with Shourya and Jayanth on their guitars. Even though most of the people claimed that BCB4 and the collectives idea were a success there were also people who had my points to talk about. After the crazy good bye session, the unband collective started showing off their magic by Shivku also joining them with the “Summer of 69”. We all left the place promising each other to meet again in November for BCB5.

Pictures courtesy Nicky, MyCameraAndEye, Venky, Jace, Arul Jegadish and Peeveeads
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