This event took place exactly 4 years ago, in May’2006 when I had completed one year of blog. By sheer work of fate BBC World had reached out to me to talk about the use of internet amongst Indian youth. Back then there was no social media, blogging was the only cool thing. I organized a Delhi Bloggers Meet for BBC. Below is the account of how I felt after the event was over. I am just republishing it today with some typo fixes.
I take pride in having arranged the 9th Delhi Blogger’s Meet with Bill Thompson, Gareth Mitchell and Julian Siddle all the way from BBC UK. The event was a gala event, one of the most significant in Delhi Blogger’s community. I think for the first time the Indian blogging community got such a projection at the world level. Post my interview with BBC they have linked the Delhi Bribe Rates Blog on the main BBC page. Since then the blog has been getting a tremendous traffic inflow from US and UK. I can’t ever fully thank Ankur enough for associating me with this Birbe Delhi Blog. “I owe it to you”, I told him. He said, “But had you not arranged and attended the meet it wouldn’t have got the hype it now has.
The BBC Radio show Digital Planet went on air today with Me, Twilight Fairy, the professional Blogger Amit Agarwal, Snigdha aka Encounter Specialist, Mayabhushan and Monica spoke to Gareth the presenter of the show. The event was attended by around 30 Bloggers in and around Delhi.
The entire edition of Tuesday’s Digital Planet show can be downloaded as a MP3 File of 11MB size from here
The highlight of both the event and the show was this culture of Bloggers meeting up in real life. A culture very unique amongst internet users in the Indian Metro and also amongst bloggers accross the globe. As Gareth said the blogger’s were trapped in their respective homes and then one fine day they decided to meet and actually quite like it.
Next highlight is Bill’s understanding of the Indian Blogging community. Inspite of being the blogging expert of UK he wansn’t here as an expert, rather he was here to have some cultural exchange with young and vibrant people in Indian blogging community and this is what he said after he met us, “It’s too easy to have a western technocratic view of the world, and having to defend my views in front of this articulate, argumentative and skilled group of practitioners was great exercise.”
One observation that emerged out of the discussions was that the Indian bloggers, unlike their US or UK counterparts don’t, as of now use blogs as medium for net activism. We have much more variety of bloggers writing about hundreds of things from being personal to public. One of the reasons behind this could be (a) that we have other effective media to exercise our freedom of expression, (b) We are otherwise also talking about politics and rights issues so blogging need not be the only medium to inititate movement.
Amit Agarwal was undoubtedly another interesting attraction of the meet. He is a an IITian who quit his job to take up full time blogging. Makes some couple of thousands of dollars per month, “more than what he could have earned in an MNC”, he says, just by bloggin.
The show digital planet also featured, the election commission of India whihc has been since long using electronic voting machines.