Sunday, July 15, 2012

PUNE BLOGGER MEET – Lessons Learnt


PUNE BLOGGER MEET – Lessons Learnt
BLOGGING TIPS – How to Blog
By
VIKRAM KARVE

How many Facebook friends do you have?

100? 200? Maybe even more.

Tell me, how many of these Facebook Friends have you actually met physically, in flesh and blood?

10? 20?

And of the remaining, how many do you think have honestly and truthfully disclosed their true identities and real photographs on Facebook? How many of your Facebook friends have given their full personal and contact details in a transparent manner?

In real life, you will meticulously scrutinize persons before making them your friends. But do you do so on the social networking sites in cyberspace? Tell me, how can you even think of befriending persons who do not want to disclose their real life identities to you? How can you be certain that they are not impersonators projecting a fake persona to trick you and everyone else?

It is the same with Blogging.

For reasons best known to them, many Bloggers hide behind masks of anonymity. They blog under fictitious identities using fancy nom de plumes or “handles”.  Their blogs have chic and swanky titles which bear no correlation to the content of their blogs. Some use names of great literary persons and works from history as pseudonyms (handles) and others use catchy monikers which bear no resemblance whatsoever to their actual personalities.

There are many Bloggers in Pune. Though we bloggers read each others blogs very few have actually met and interacted in the real world. In May 2012, a few Techie Bloggers (under the leadership of a certain “Captain Awesome”) took the initiative of organising a Pune Bloggers Meet on the 5th of May. The organisers gave wide publicity on Indiblogger and other social networking platforms and did a splendid job of choosing a good venue and a delicious menu.

The aim of the bloggers meet was “to give a face to a blog”. A large number of bloggers registered, but surprisingly most did not turn up despite confirming (The attendance was just one-third of what was expected). The reason was quite obvious – these bloggers were reluctant to give a “face” to their blogs and wanted to blog in anonymity. They did not want to come out of their closets and wanted to continue hiding behind the masks of their “handles”.

That is why one of the points discussed was:

What was the need to blog “anonymously?” Why hide behind a handle ?

Most of those present wondered why some bloggers are shy of giving their full details on their blogs? Are they ashamed of what they are writing on their blogs or is their some other reason?

Some reasons were put forth justifying “anonymous” blogging, but they were far from convincing.

The first meet was indeed a successful meet for the bloggers who participated and exchanged views. There was food for thought and sumptuous food for the stomach too. I suggested starting a Facebook page for Pune Bloggers and also a website. The Facebook Page PUNE BLOG-IN is a great hit but sadly the Pune Blogger Website has yet to take off.

Most importantly, this meet gave birth to a Pune Bloggers Community which continues to grow from strength to strength, and after a few meets in Barista Coffee Shops and other places, it was decided to have a second Pune Bloggers Meet on the 7th of July. The fate of the second meet was the same as the first – Dismal Attendance but Excellent Discussions and Delicious Food.

The post lunch discussions about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by Arun Prabhudesai of trak.in and Blogging as Full-Time Profession by Prasant Naidu of Lighthouse Insights  were indeed very illuminating and we look forward to more such talks on Blogging Tips by veteran Pune Bloggers.

However, of the 87 Bloggers who registered only 21 turned up and the organizers and “core bloggers committee” had to bear the brunt. (Unlike metros like Mumbai and New Delhi, no one is willing to “sponsor” such Blogger Meets in a laid back city like Pune).

However, such small setbacks do not deter us and we will bash-on-regardless and have more Pune Blogger Meets. However, in future, participation in such meets will be by invitation in order to avoid fiascos like hundreds registering and very few attending. Also, this will strengthen the bonding in the dedicated Pune Blogger Community.

One good thing that has happened is that a Pune Blog-In Team has been formed which is participating in the Indian Bloggers League (IBL). And we are going great guns.

Let’s hope three things happen:
1. Pune Blog-In Team wins the IBL
2. Pune Blogger Website gets going soon. This will enable Pune Bloggers to register and interact. We can have a Pune Bloggers Directory on this website.
3. Pune Bloggers Meets Continue and the Community becomes more vibrant.

LESSONS LEARNT FROM DISCUSSIONS

During the discussions it emerged that if you really wanted to benefit from blogging there were five things you must follow:

1. Blog under your real identity. It is best to avoid using fancy “handles” and nom de plumes or try to blog “anonymously”
2. The Title of your Blog must reflect the Content of the Blog.
3. Blog Regularly – the more frequent the better
4. Avoid lengthy Blog Posts – typically, it is best to keep your blog posts under 500 words due to the limited span of attention of a reader when reading on screen vis-à-vis reading on paper
5. Ensure Good Quality of Content – yes, content is the supreme factor that will attract readers to your Blog

Dear Fellow Blogger: Do you agree? Please comment and give us your views and feedback.

VIKRAM KARVE 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm

Email: vikramkarve@sify.com   

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
  


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