I have always cribbed about the fact that in the cities where I have resided in, there have generally been no blogger meets at least during those periods. From Pune to Hyderabad, I always longed to attend one. Yes, some are nothing but brand promotions with tea, coffee and good food thrown in for good measure. But the fact that you get a chance to meet some amazing bloggers across the spectrum is quite exciting.
Just a day prior to the Hyderabad Bloggers Meet, Manjulika dropped a note to me on Twitter with the FB page link about the details of the meet. I managed to register just in time and the rest is history. Interestingly this was the 4th such meet. And I thought no blogger meets happen in Hyderabad :O.
The meet was organized at Saptaparni which seemed like a small quaint little place for musical concerts and other events in a Banjara Hills lane far away from the maddening crowd and traffic. There were a couple of interesting sessions scheduled throughout the day to keep all of us busy.
The first one began with Venkat talking about different strategies to consider while blogging. Where does clarity come in our scheme of things? What can we do better to increase the number of views on our blogs? What are the various storytelling and masking techniques? How to consider narratives? Both his slides and the way he went about giving his presentation was exemplary.
Next, Subhorup Dasgupta from Eight Winds spoke about the importance of building good backlinks as well as using social media for promoting our blogs. Many of us are not convinced whether paying for marketing on Facebook yields results. Subho is one who has used it effectively and encouraged us to try and see the results for ourselves.
April from the US Consulate gave an interesting presentation on the ways the US government is engaging with bloggers from various communities and countries.
Finally, it was the time for lunch. The guys from Feazt, (a fantastic concept bringing together those who love to cook and those who love to have some amazing food as good as a home cooked meal) had set up the lunch. The standout dish was Onion Halwa. Believe me, it was one of the best desserts I have ever had :).
After lunch we had some more interesting sessions from Subhabrata Dasgupta on social blogging and Saurabh Chatterjee on photography and the various tools and techniques which can help us become a good photo blogger. Subhabrata took all of us through his interesting journey on the way he began blogging for social causes after the 16 December Nirbhaya case and Sadda Haq’s initiative in acting as a sounding board for those who are in need.
As we neared the end, Subho spoke about his love for tea and the way his initiative Blend of Tea is helping people discover the magic of having some amazing tea by selling as many as 14 different varieties of tea.
Many of the bloggers acted as the Secret Santa and had got a gift each. They were randomly distributed among all of us. I had got a Parker Pen maybe for the first time since way back in school. Sigh.. Those were the days!
Finally, the food was still not over. We got to enjoy some amazing Kachoris again prepared by the guys at Feazt.
It was a day of self-discovery in terms of blogging, building some interesting conversations with amazing people and having some lovely food :D.
Kudos to the all the organizers and speakers for an amazingly organized event – Subho, Venkat, Nivedita, Saurabh, Subabrata and team.
Here’s to many more blogging meets in the future!
Linking to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – January) – My post no 7 for this month.