It was quite an interesting DBM this time with a LOT of brainstorming and eventually a conclusion (which is the most essential part). The few basics we discussed : (a) What kind of event we are looking at – a huge affair with lots of sponsors and propaganda OR simple like our meets are. We all agreed to make it big this time. But that requires a lot of homework obviously. (b) What do we call it – a seminar / blog camp / a workshop / a meet etc.? Most of us don’t want to call it blog camp and its not just about the nomenclature, we don’t want to repeat the chennai thing….we’ve got to do something different and new. something that hasn’t already been dealt with. It’s also to do with not setting expectations simply by avoiding using a name which has some associated with it. (c) What kind of audience/participation are we expecting? We can either try to reach out to people who are net literate, but not into blogging. This can be done by discussing some basic things like : what’s a blog..its uses, handyness and effectiveness; OR we can keep it amongst the circle of those who are already blogging but focus more on issues they still would want to know about. We understand that the two groups are mutually exclusive and we can’t expect an event to be attended by both kinds..(unless specifically organised so). So we have to promote the event accordingly. We haven’t really reached to a conclusion on how to do this. (d) What are we going to do in the event? After a lot of brainstorming we have more or less short listed two kinds of activities.. some sort of case studies where a presenter researches, substantiates with examples and presents a conclusion AND a group discussion where we have 2-3 panelists presenting their own POV. The audience could be allowed to ask questions/comment and eventually the conclusion is left to the audience. Now the content: We asked ourselves, what topics would draw *us* to a seminar kind of event. We came up with the following options. Following are topics for research, anybody can volunteer to take part in conducting these researches. 1. Personality of the blogger v. the blogger [suggested by Lijo, Prashant, Sanjukta] a more flashy name for this is Identity Management through Blog or the Psychology of the blog. A case study on this cannot be done unless a guineapig has volunteered for it. 2. Education, Abroad studies and blogging – A students perspective. [Mayank] 3. Shall we censor | Darker side of blogging [Sanjukta] She wants to know how reliable is the information on the blog, given the fact that blog owner can control and tamper everything..date of publishing the post, comments on it etc. Should we then really have absolutely free flow of all kinds of contents. Shall we allow inflammatory blogs in the name of freedom of speech. 4. Blogging trends accross nations – interaction / comparison with Indian Blogsphere. [Twilight Fairy] Suitable country for case study – Pakistan. We are similar yet different. We have a common cultural background and the same issues. At times even natural calamities strike us together. At times a hand of friendship has been extended across the border. We can research more on this though there is doubt as to how much certain blogs reflect the country and its people. But we can at least compare the general blogosphere as we perceive it. Following are topics for a group discussion. 1. Raveena Tandon – why are you not blogging? [Harneet, Yogesh, Nikhil]. I think these guys are just being plain mischievous. But we could definitely discuss something about celebrity bloggers. 2. Blogs, a threat to certain Industries [Prashant] – How a job of travel consultant is being replaced by travel blogs, and something about a different model of banking. Prashant can explain this more. 3. Horizontal Blog [Prashant] where one person is blogging about everything under the sun. It’s “perpendicular” to a topical blog. 4. Frequency of Posting – does it effect the quality of blogging [Prashant]. Special focus on the ppl who post 5 times a day. 5. Blogging Syndicates (groups in this context) and their impact on freedom of expression [Nikhil] : a celeb/popular blogger expresses a PoV on something and everybody else in his group tends to agree and only agree..even if they think otherwise. Let us ask ourselves are we really exercising our Freedom of Expression. 6. Sun V. Microsoft – The technical art of Blogsphere [Yogesh] He would have to explain this. 7. Business Blogging [Lijo] : An oft repeated subject. However one can speak on any breakthrough changes in it. 8. Blogging in Regional languages – Support and technology [Lijo, Amit gupta ] Lijo knows farmers in Kerala who blog in regional language. It might be interesting to find out about all the available technical and other support for regional blogging. 9. Ways of improving aggregation of blogs to better reflect quality of content. [Nikhil] He would have to explain this. 10. Usability issues with mobile blogging [Nikhil] as its gonna come up big time in the next couple of years this is the right time to start talking bout it. Besides these topics there’s general expectation from the event, common between Sanjukta, Harneet, Twilight Fairy, Mayank, Lijo (pls add ur name if someone’s left out), to reach out to those sections who are part of the same frame and yet unaware of blogs. – Media that reports on blogs – Govt. agencies, they have access to internet, power to regulate but don’t understand blogs. – Students, teachers, doctors – Creative minds at home..the home makers, retired persons etc. got access to net but not utilising – social activists, a lot of them have faintly heard about it and wanna know more about it. – Basically Anybody and everybody…as Amit Gupta said anybody can blog. The road ahead : So we really had a fruitful discussion on 7th. Now the next step. As of now we have somewhat decided to blog exhaustively about the topics we have suggested. Let’s first have a reality check on how easy it is to conduct these studies. We decided that we would come up with a group blog or a wiki for this discussion.
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