#SoakNoMore came to Bangalore with an IndiBlogger meet that promised to be the event of the year. And for the very first time, families were invited as well. And what a meet it was! We got soaked in fun, masti, goodies, games, food, information came home fully loaded with t-shirts, bean bags, dvd players, 6 months of Surf excel powder! What more could we have asked…beer shouted the attendees of the meet!
What is Indiblogger ?
Indiblogger provides a platform to Indians by birth and blogger by choice to read fellow bloggers and for them to read your blog, express their opinions. Indiblogger Addy captured the reason how and why bloggers join indiblogger
Once upon a time, there was once a lost child, in the vast ocean of blogosphere. He wrote his blog and waited for the readers, no one came. No comments, no followers, no appreciation. He tried to spread the word via social networking, no one gave a damn. He tried spamming, nothing but frowns. He even tried the streets with the url of his blog on a cardboard placard, not even mercy did he gain! Then, one fine day, while browsing through a blog, he came upon a widget, an “IndiRank” widget. He was curious, and he discovered IndiBlogger. And then, the followers, the comments, the readers, the pagerank all increased to pleasing proportions!
Indiblogger is like LinkedIn for bloggers with an exclusive dashboard and activity feeds that let them track other bloggers’ posts, vote for posts and participate in the contests. It was no surprise to me when I read in Economictimes , that the IndiBlogger team fields more than 70 requests daily from wannabe Indibloggers. Thanks to the Indiblogger team many blogs, including mine, have got their blog-posts read and got the confidence to continue blogging. The first thing I do after publishing my post is to submit it to Indiblogger.
Indiblogger takes the interaction between the bloggers to ‘face-to-face’ level by organizing the Indibloggers meet. Indiblogger has conducted 58 meets as of Sep 2012, started with 1st meet in Bangalore on February 16, 2008. The meets have organized at Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune,Chennai, Hyderbad, Kolkata etc and also had foreign chapters like Dubai and Singapore too! Thanks to brillant organization of indiblogger team every meet is different and a roaring success. With butterflies in stomach, spring in the step and smile on the face, I went to attend my third indiblogger meet on August 4th 2012 in Bangalore and came back with great memories and fully loaded with gifts.
Indiblogger meet at Bangalore
An indiblogger meet – an opportunity to meet old indibloggers, meet some new ones, spread awareness about your own blog, have great snacks and get a indiblogger T-shirt. My excitement for the meet was same as my son’s excitement for every birthday he goes to – the routine is known play games, cut the cake, eat food and get return gift but each party is different and my son looks forward to every one of them. I knew what to expect – the meet and agenda is announced well ahead of time, it’s free of charge, you register for the meet and land up at the venue, id proof is your indiblogger login which shows up on the screen announcing your presence so you know “The Fool,walked in 30 minutes before, Leo,walked in 40 minutes ago”. After registration you are caught in the whirlwind of activities awesomely organized by the indiblogger team, memories of which stays with you much after the meet and #SoakNoMore meet was no different.
Anoop, MC of the meet, got the bloggers charged up the asking the bloggers as their name flashed on screen to give their introductions along with one thing which their family doesn’t know about in 45 sec (else you go to jail especially made in the hall). The introduction started with “Hello my name is .. I blog at …” and then the script changed. Some were confessing how they have neglected the blog, some explaining their blogs in detail, some inspiring ,some begging to visit their blog. And man what secrets tumbled out – bloggers confessing to not telling their family about their blogging or attending the bloggers meet (were supposed to be in college/office/function) or being a batman or a genius waiting to be discovered It was great listening to every blogger.
Anoop interspersed the introductions with questions like “which platform to bloggers use more – wordpress or blogspot, how many are self-hosted, which widget is the most commonly seen on a blog, which category of blog is most famous , which language (English, hindi, tamil) do bloggers use”. Some answers were known, some were revelation . We were like kids screaming at the top of our voices giving answers (some right, some crazy) and correct answers were showered with gifts – bean bags, six month of Surf excel, a gift hamper. I missed the chance of introducing myself as I was late but got the gift hamper The gift hamper was a nice basket loaded with goodies from Uniliver : Dove soap, shampoo, conditioner, Pears Shower Gel, AXE Deodrant Bodyspray, Vaseline: Total Moisture: Cocoa Radiant.. It was a basket beautifully wrapped and was amazing as the gift hamper given by Karan Johar in his coffee chat show. Fun had just begun and introductions were followed by what Agenda said No Soaks About. Groups of 20-25 bloggers and their families were formed on basis of where you were sitting and each group was given a NoSize(free size) t-shirt of a Orange/Blue/Red/Green color with a alphabet “S” “O” “A” “K” “N” “M””R” “E”(alphabets from soak no more) etc printed in the front which we wore over our clothes.
Two teams were pitted to play games like put ball in any of the three buckets, lagori. Every person put in their best effort to get the ball in the bucket /lagori, you could see how hard everyone was concentrating, but only few were lucky If you miss and opponent team manages to get ball in the basket you need to give your t-shirt too them. All seemed to be 5 year olds and we had lot of “oohs” “aahs” as people took turns and were pretty discipled too. Someone said if you miss you then you need to take off your t-shirt and there was major confusion . So we were asked to wear our T-shirts and make 4 or 5 letter words using those alphabets. Letter “A” “E” were in great demand and everyone was screaming for the letter. Orange team, my team, made five words and were adjudged the winner. And to everyone surprise we were handed DVD players. All of us were truly truly surprised and could only say “Oh My God”.
It was time to catch the breath, recharge with great high tea of sandwiches, pastries etc tea coffee. Arrangements were were professional we had two counters so no lon…g queuses and food at the venue Capital Hotel was delicious. I would recommend people to enjoy the fruit punch at Capital which was available throughout the meet. Kids used this time to enter what Iooked like space shuttle(or was it the washing machine?) and one could see how much fun they were having. People gathered in groups exchanging indiblogger id’s, catching up.
What’s next was on my mind, Agenda had said “Back to School” and I was wondering what it could be. It turned out to be a presentation by Mr.Girish, the Surf Excel representative on the their new product Surf Excel matic which makes soaking a thing of past and gives us time to pursue other things like blogging. With a smile he walked us through how washing machines have been one of the greatest inventions and how it has evolved etc. To keep the presentation interesting and keep us involved he asked questions . During the session people started asking for prizes and Girish very sportingly agreed to saok correct answers with prizes. The question that stumped everyone was “What are vibrating molecules?” There were some crazy, some hilarious answers, bloggers seriously trying to use their chemical background. It brought memories of my school days (with no one sleeping the class)!
When the presentation got over we had the photo-session. I was waiting for the sheet to get indibloggers ids but sadly they said the meet was over though we could still use the ball room. Indibloggers team please please don’t scrap it – it is fun going to people getting their id’s giving yours and it serves useful when you want to remember whose blog to visit.
We all drifted out of the hall after collecting our purple colored t-shirts(yup not black) and a surprise gift of surf excel matic powder. Sibichen was kind to offer the Fool, Tina and myself lift in his car as Rain God also decided to bless and soak us. As I was walking I saw Leo who was struggling with his 6 months of surf excel powder. I asked him jokingly “Finding it difficult to carry. Can I take it? ” and he said “Yes” and handed me the gift hamper. Thanks Leo. I felt like Cinderalla leaving the ball, had awesome time at the meet, wanted it to go on and on and instead of losing my slippers came back fully loaded with gifts and hampers, meeting old friends Sibichen,The Fool, Leo,Tina,meeting Farida, Suresh,Nabanita Dhar, Pooja Pradeep, Bindu, Ruchika and so many more but can’t remember their names. And the wait has begun for the next meet.