Blogalorean’s 2nd Meet – Minutes

Addendum 14-Sep-07: This following post got featured by Bangalore Mirror under Blog Talk in two parts on 11th and 12th September 2007

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After minutes of so many of the Delhi Blogger’s Meet, Barcamp Bangalore organisor’s Meet, here are the minutes of my latest venture, Blogalorean’s 2nd Meet, held at Brew Ha ha, Near Jyoti Nivas College, Kormangala, Bangalore on 8th September 11 am.   

Attended by: Himanshu, Ram, Sandil, Jerry, Adheeth, Snigdha, Vinu, Prashanth, Bikram, Anand, Sukumar, Prabhuraj ( ibreathecinema.helloyouths.com), Pratik (http://muziboo.com/), Hari, AJ, Dhivyanshi and Saurabh. I hope am not missing anyone. Oh and Me :-) [only 2 URLs mentioned since they were the first timers, Rest of the URLs can be found on the wiki page]

I was 33 min late. Not 45 min as Hari has been defaming.

Some of the guys played a board game. I didn’t see anybody winning or losing, must be a fun game.

The waiter who took orders in our previous meet almost fainted the minute he heard we were about to hold another meet there. Jerry was the one who gave the bad news to him and in fact, he did not take the orders this time.

We were about 20 of us none of us knew the agenda. No, I did. I would have cooked something up anyway. I am good at that.

First we discussed the burning issue. The issue which made one member almost leave the group. The issue being “What should be the focus of blogalorean mailing list, what is and what not to be considered as spamming / cheap publicity etc. Understandably not an easy topic to decide. AJ started to speak first and suggested we have multiple mailing lists for the same group with different theme (which in effect means multiple google groups).  This idea was soon rejected by majority.

We took a quick raise-hand poll and reached the decision. Why, Vinu would be able to explain better. I think one fall out is, how would new members know which one to join or not to join.The question next is, “why can’t I, as a member, share some thing I am involved in.” Hari said, “I would be upset if I see x posting about an adobe product, because he works for that company but I would be ok with ‘y’ posting about his own start up.”  So that would mean you can share an event activity if you are personally involved in it.

At this point I tried taking a poll on how many of us 20 were actually offended by Sridhar’s mail regarding Delhi Police. Turned out only 2 / 20. Rest didn’t mind it at all. That said, we still were of the opinion that we must have some rules, a list of dos and don’ts. Since it was 20 of us voting now, but the group has 80 people and would only grow with time.

One finding, that kept coming back again and again was, posting links to your blog is not that bad a thing after all. Vinu, Me, Hari, Pratik, were some of the members who were vocal about thus accepting.

Pratik said unless the SNR has reached a threshold after which you know this particular member is into spamming we shouldn’t’ have a problem. What the…is SNR now? I was thinking, when Vinu said, “dude that’s way too techie a term“. It’s Signal to Noise Ratio. Phew

Himanshu too was of the opinion that no matter what you do, you can’t ever get rid of these situations where some one would post something, another would take offense to it and the rest would say “we didn’t the fire, it was always burning since the world was turning.”(I added those lines to make this report interesting)

The point is even if you make rules, how many who join actually read them, if at all they do read, how many follow them. So the best way is to have a self moderation. Both, one who is posting and one who is receiving.

The discussion seemed to be endless and we all were getting bored of the same topic.   Good thing is unlike most meeting, this time we did actually reached a conclusion and the action points would be such.

  1. Mailing list would have just 3 categories of contents – Activities related to Blogaloreans, Exchange of information on events or activities in which any of the blogalorean is personally involved, exchange of ideas.Now the last one is tricky, exchange of ideas. How and where do we draw the line how much and what ideas can be posted. One rule is No Blank link to be posted. Copy paste the content of your post on the mail itself and not just direct people to your blog. However, the discussions are to be kept restricted to the blog post and not to be done on the mailing list.

  2. Select Moderators who would be responsible for keeping an eye on what is being posted on the list. Messages won’t be moderated but as soon as an irrelevant message would be posted the moderators would send an alert that such post is irrelevant and should not be repeated. 

  3. The group is currently an open group which means anybody can join and leave anytime without the moderator getting any notification. Suggestion is to close the group and allow membership to bloggers only. As in you’d have to submit your blog URL while applying for membership.

I know this report is getting a bit too long but please bear with me.

Next discussion was about the workshop Blogalorean would be holding in National Law School. We had Dhivyanshi with us. We asked her couple of things as to, what is the level of knowledge the students already have, if they are already blogging what topics are they blogging on and what else would they like to know about.

NLS have various students societies and they want to have a community blog sort of thing where they can archive all their activities, exchange ideas etc. so we decided we’d enable them to achieve this.

The workshop would be a day long workshop.

During the first half we would be giving the students an orientation on what all a community blog should or could consist of. This list shall contain topics like, News letters, ethics of blogging, Pod cast, Event calendar, How to set up polls, How to track who are visiting the blog, moderate the comments etc.We’ll show them blogs like Desipundit, Mutiny etc. as examples and then let them decided on their style and content.

In the second half of the workshop we’d conduct the specific sessions. I need to work more on it and I got Sandil to help me.

In terms of logistics we don’t need much, just a laptop internet connection, projector. We were of the opinion that we cannot be holding a tech based session lets say on pod casting with 50 people. A session would need personal interaction so the group of participants cannot be more than 25 – 30 (which is also is a big group). But we still to figure out a way how to select who attends and who doesn’t. i think we’d have to use a questionaire for this. Hmm I need to work on this.

Besides the two major discussions we of course had a lot of laugh, Prayank kept asking off topic questions every now and then. Like how many of you blogged more than twice in the last month. The mutiny team (Sandil and Jerry) kept giggling a lot, and in the end Sandil fled away with the chips Jerry got as bribe for postponing the meet from 1st to 8th. But then how can you mess with the moderator. I ensured Jerry goes and get it back :D

Ram wanted to invite people from JNC to the meet, probably he was suffering due to lack of visual tonic.

Interesting suggestions came of creating a sub group for lazy bloggers, you get demoted to that group from Blogalorean for being lazy, when you get active again you are promoted back. (don’t take it seriously).

Not sure where was Prayank going with his sudden questions, but he said something which were like just my words. I have said the same thing time again on my blog and on mailing list for Delhi Bloggers group. What had happened is, Vinu was frowning upon these shelfari.com invites and then he suggested we should all start a protest against them. That’s when prayank said, “I would want to see the Blogalorean group as such an influential and powerful group one day that we can actually make a difference in our field.” Amen.

This was only the second step, been just a month that we have formed. Right now we are setting goals, making the path, after this all we would have to do is stay focused, keep walking with few basic words in our minds, words like innovation, enthusiasm, passion, originality and change.

Much more to come.Thanks for your patience.

Also see Saurabh’s minutes

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