September 21, 2014 will always be etched in our memory (Bloggers congregation) which was well-spent at the hip and happening venue Blue Frog, Lower Parel, Mumbai. Excited, we all thronged the venue at sharp 9 A.M. (Though we are never on time to work on Saturdays). We did not want to miss even a minute of interaction with accomplished bloggers in fields as wide and varied as politics, fashion, issues, comedy, storytelling…what not.
The event which had brought together all of us was organised by IndiBlogger Commune represented by Vineet, Nihal, Anoop, Renie…everybody! What a pleasure it was to be greeted by this welcoming lot. That’s why we do not like to miss any of the IndiBlogger events. The event #WordUp and #BigRock was very graciously hosted by Blue Frog. Let me tell you, this awesome venue was quite a treat where we bloggers flocked and hopped like frog. Right from morning breakfast, beverages, lunch to evening tea…everything was wholesomely delicious. Not only this, my daughter Tanyaa (Blog: http://www.couturepixie.wordpress. om) caught up with her friends – Pallavi, Sam, Mitchelle, Vinita like long lost friends. All of us have forged a great bond; it was not long ago that we had met each other at an IndiBlogger event – Dove. Day started with Nihal, Anoop and his friend belting out soulful numbers with Philippine girl on the orchestra. It was an amazing experience…Nihal is a phenomenal performer, real Rock Star!
Then lot of contests followed – lot of cash, Flip-Kart vouchers were doled out…my bad luck I did not win any! Emcee of the session Anoop was at his hilarious self. He masters the craft. After initial few minutes of interaction, we all settled down in that interestingly crafted venue – Blue Frog. I am still wondering why it is called Blue Frog – Neela Medak. Oh yes, one event needs a mention here – animated conversation with eminent fashion and lifestyle blogger – Sherry Shroff, I am sure Tanyaa must have achieved nirvana by this interaction with her favourite model & blogger.
I loved my interaction with very young and highly accomplished blogger – Anshul Tewari of YouthKiAwaaz.com. His Libya experience should make India proud. This youngster taught us – Think like a blogger, Act like an entrepreneur! A very invaluable learning indeed. In Anshul’s words, “Principles of Journalism are applicable to blogging. You have to report the issues, you have to edit your posts, there should be issues which should not be questioned on stratosphere. We worked on the quality of conversation that young people are having, so we started teaching journalism to people, then started monetising blog which catered to local audience.” He added, “I asked my parents to give me a year and this is when Youth Ki Awaaz happened where great content is involved”. Then came along well cherished association with IndiBlogger which set the ball rolling. He concluded, “It was quite a struggle, we had to fight out parental pressure, peer pressure to make a mark with this unconventional choice. Thankfully parents were very understanding”.
YouthKiAwaaz.com, is an online platform for young people to express themselves on issues of critical importance. As per popular media, he started YouthKiAwaaz.com for news and views of the youth that found no place in the mainline media, and to break the stereotype of the Indian youth being apathetic.
The session was started by Vinit Goenka, the National Co-Convener for the Bhartiya Janata Party’s Information Technology Cell who shared, “Social Media is a platform of civil liberty. Social media arm of BJP works hard to connect with people of India through various channels. All of us know 2014 elections belonged to Social Media. Society is divided into two sets of people, people who are active on social media, and like to express and other set who do not like to interact. So we pay attention to them also”.
Very pretty Sherry Shroff as she fondly called, Scherezade Shroff already has over a million views on her YouTube channel and a huge subscriber base from all over the world. Scherezade uploads fashion & beauty videos, makeup & hair tutorials, DIY’s and lots of other fun videos on her YouTube channel. She also has a fashion blog called http://www.fashionalized.com. She shared, “Blogging is a passion for me, I just started with writing but there was no way I could commercialize it. I was a model and blogging was what I loved doing on and off. Then I started with networking, and now I blog every day, blog is your voice, that is the reason is you are a blogger and you want to be heard. Your focus is more important as a blogger. Your views should be your views”.
Lakshmi Rebecca, own online talk show, ‘Chai with Lakshmi’ which has had over 30,00,000 views. The show features people positively shaping India for the future. It was a pleasure listening to her who shared that how challenging it is to make video blogs and how did she overcome these challenges.
“TheQtiyapaGuy” has become synonymous with New Age Entertainment and is hailed by Media as the driver of revolution in Content Creation. The Viral Fever’ Brand has been hailed as India’s most Progressive Content Company by some of the best & biggest minds in M&E Industry. With approximately 690,000 subscribers, 48 million views and less than 100 uploaded videos; these numbers are something every YouTube user would crave for and media moguls will pay universe to get, but it was never easy to reach these figures. Arunabh’s story is nothing less than inspiration and passion personified. He shared, “Life has been full of challenges, road blocks, law-suits, threatening calls, what not…but we knew that people were loving it. Creating such content, picking up stuff from the lives and moves of leading politicians of the country was no mean task. So much was at stake. Life was difficult initially. He added, “We had great time during election but this Government is providing very little fodder”.
Snigdha Manchanda, the founder of TeaTrunk and Story Ninja, as a Tea Sommelier has been rigorously trained under a Japanese Tea Master in Sri Lanka. She started Tea Trunk as a medium to provide people with good-quality tea. Through Story Ninja she reaches out to content creators, marketers, teachers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs or just about anyone who enjoys a story well told. She was very child – like with very melodious voice. Her expression was natural and she has accomplished so much at such a young age.
Amit Agarwal is a personal technology columnist and founder of Digital Inspiration, a popular how-to blog since 2004. He is the chief curator of the IndianBloggers.org directory. Amit has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIT Roorkee and, other than blogging, he also enjoys writing web apps and scripts that enhance productivity. Amit gave us wonderful blogging tips and we are able to incorporate even half of these, we will really go places as bloggers. Would love to connect with him!
Stand-Up comedian Bhavish Ailani had us in splits with his comedy.
In the end lot of prizes were WON ( I WON NONE)…just kidding! ( Disclaimer: No malice towards winners, all in good spirits).
This all-day, invite-only, super-charged, event on blogging, and nothing but blogging – Word up! Concluded with some great music and dancing – HairDown!
– Bienu Verma Vaghela for IndiBlogger