BlogCamp 2006, Chennai

I am currently in Chennai, at BlogCamp – India’s first ever conference on blogging.

After almost *not* making it (Air Deccan sms’s me at 10pm, saying that my flight at 8am today would only leave after 11am), I landed up just a few minutes late, to see a huge crowd of people in a big hall, talking about blogging and bloggers.

I love this. The last time I saw such a well arrange and interactive event, it was at BarCamp Chennai. Hardly surprising, then, that BlogCamp has been organised by the same people that organised BarCamp Chennai – led by Kiruba Shankar. If I had 10% of this guy’s drive, I had freed the world of death and taxes a long time ago! :)

Unfortunately, I am not here for both the days, which means that I am going to miss a whole lot of fun stuff (including a party at a Beach House!). Depending on something likely to happen at 3pm on Monday, I may find myself seriously displaced a few hours later, so I need to prepare for that this evening and on Sunday.

Anyway, I had the honour of kicking off the first session here, and I talked about my various phases of blogging (I don’t blog – I write a diary), Phase 1 (blogging in th e90s – anyone who has ever read my articles in the early 1990s will recognise that I was basically using PC Quest as a very early form of blog), the “burn out” in the later part of the 90s, my getting re-triggered after reading Wil Wheaton‘s early blog efforts in late 2001, my conscious decision not to enable comments in my diary (I love the 1:1 personal interaction via email, and I get several hundred responses each month), the good thing about modern blogging (there are so many people doing it) and the bad thing about modern blogging (there are so many people doing it :) , and a dozen other things.

I decided not to use my prepared slides (this was not the kind of forum that needed the support of slides on the screen, not that I *ever* need support of slides when I talk! :) , and spoke from the heart. Hell, you could say I “VerBlogged” :)

I am going to try and update this entry over the day, let’s hope that happens.

Update: Live chat going on here.

Update:Post lunch update. Had serveral sessions in the morning, the most active one was by Jace – not that he got to say as much as he should have, but because everyone else had comments and grabbed the mic! :)

Lunch was decent – well arranged, no crowding, food was good. Typical south Indian grub – the best sort. Good conversations all around. An embarrassing number of people coming to me telling me that they used to read my articles in PCQ and liked them. Thanks guys – you know how to make a writer feel good. :)

Afternoon session has started on community blogging, but I won’t see the end of it – have to leave back to Bangalore, so have to leave from here by 3pm. Damn, I wish I could have spent both days here. :(

Discussion on now on how the tsunami tragedy triggered off the Indian blogging world, and I tend to agree. Sad that it took a tragedy to do this.