What makes a blogger stand out in a crowd? Because opinions are stronger than words. And when a big marriage hall is filled with bloggers then it is bound to be a great day. An afternoon that was dedicated to a few known and many new faces. The Pune Blogger meetup which was more of an un-conference, largely supported by like minded people, was an initiative driven by Animesh K Mishra. Animesh, along with the support of Indiblogger and a few volunteers made the second blogger meetup happen after four years in Pune. I was very fortunate to be a part of this meetup as it’s always enlightening to listen and talk to new and veteran bloggers. I’m listing below the various topics that were touched upon, which are also my takeaways from this meetup.
1. Blogger meetup: Great place to be: It was definitely a great place to be though some may complain that the crowd was less. But I would say there were close to 30 like minded people, who had invested their Saturday as they believed in a similar thing. The day started with an extensive round of introductions by not just sharing about what you blog but also your blogging journey. After listening to most of them, it would be right to say that Blogging is truly a journey. It was not just tech or literature, I found bloggers from different fields writing passionately with a certain objective. If someone blogs about health, the other blogs about history and so on. It was inspiring indeed and also highlighted the fact that a lot of hardwork is needed to fuel your passion.
2. When work is passion nothing matters:I have always believed this and I think most will agree. A topic of discussion that was initiated by Animesh after lunch. The general response was that when your work becomes your love and way of expression then you really don’t need to do anything. I shared my bit about being happy in my work and I really don’t need to find other ways to relax or entertain myself. I am happy working or blogging. Saying that some had great hobbies to share too.
3. Content should be well researched: A thought that I have embedded in my soul was also a topic that was spoken at length by few passionate bloggers. Research and analysis is a must for a professional blog and it will also drive people to read your content.
4. Take a stand: I think this is the big difference between a journalist and a blogger. It really doesn’t matter if you like or hate Anna Hazare but what matters is that you as a blogger take a stand and provide the reasons why you do so. A thought that was agreed upon by most of the bloggers and all felt that a stand is a must. You just can’t play safe on a blog.
5. Writing on a niche always helps: I have always believed this even though in the early days it throws a lot of challenges. Niche not only helps to brand your blog but also fetch a selective mass who is interested in that particular piece of information. Another very important takeaway for all of us and people who are excited about blogging. Start blogging but slowly build on a niche and once you are clear with it, believe me you won’t hit a road block!
6. Plagiarism, the age old problem: One of the very old and relevant problem till day is content being copied. There are basic ways to stop such activity but then it is really not possible to block it. Vikram Karve highlighted this point citing real life examples where his whole content was being copied at a certain place. Vineet Rajan from Indiblogger, expressed his views on how Indiblogger is trying to help in this issue. However, I think this is the truth by which bloggers have to survive.
7. Social Media creating problems: My boss is on Twitter and he is following me, was a comment from another blogger who felt that social media is creating problems. In fact, the employer of Animesh thinks that he spends too much of time on social media. The only way that was discussed and suggested that if you are ranting about your employer, then be careful as you can’t do so on social media. I think social media is a boon for bloggers but we need to double check what are we posting online.
8. Social Media regulation: A topic that I was sure would surface during the post lunch discussions and it did. The unanimous call was that it shouldn’t be but then someone pointed out freedom of speech does not give you the liberty to accuse someone. Animesh who was quite against the whole thought said that who decides what should be regulated and what not. At least not the bureaucrats and ruling government officials who are clueless and have no understanding about social media.
9. Blogger responsibility: Only writing articles won’t do much good, bloggers need to do more for the society. Animesh asked bloggers to join him on a weekly basis for visiting old age homes or orphanages. The point he made was quite valid that apart from money these people need love and we can take an hour or so and give these people some love and respect. If you are interested in such activities, then do drop a line to Animesh on this id- captainawesomesauce[at]zoho[dot]com . Along with this, few other bloggers shared the way they are supporting some causes and doing their bit. This was really inspiring to me.
10. Road ahead: Final topic for the day but was as positive as the other discussions were. Animesh, as promised has created a Facebook group for Pune Bloggers. So if you want to join then raise a request here. Pictures would be shared soon and all discussions would happen via the Facebook group.
After four hours of discussions, people were still in good numbers and quite enthusiastic to talk more. Of course some credit goes to the awesome food.
So if you are a Blogger from Pune then get in touch with Animesh for the Pune blogger meetups. A great day with amazing minds and awesome food really raised the bar of the event.
Hoping this will grow further with more bloggers joining in.
P.S. Do check out Diwakar’s blog post about the event too.