|With the US Consul General Ms. Helen LaFave. Picture - Ipshita Nandi Banerjee|
The last couple of days have been a very pleasant experience for the blogger in me. The Kolkata Bloggers Meet, hosted on Sunday, saw a riveting discussion by 37 bloggers, ranging from absolutely young and new bloggers, to veterans in the field. The very next day saw three members of Kolkata Bloggers (Anirban Saha, Sourav Ghosh and yours truly) being invited by the US Consul General for a discussion over tea at her residence. Also present were people from the fields of print media, radio and digital marketing.
The Kolkata Bloggers Meet was held on the 10th of May. Despite minimum promotion, the turnout was pretty good. More importantly, we were able to provide a platform for quality interaction. As in other meets we have conducted, we had the privilege of blending bloggers from various genres and ideating together. A healthy mix of photo bloggers, travel bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, activism bloggers, personal bloggers, historical bloggers, technical bloggers and even medical bloggers were present at the meet.
The discussion started off by answering questions and noting suggestions that had been pooled in beforehand. Overcoming the “blogger’s block”, making a blogpost more engaging, effective use of social media platforms for blog promotion, Search Engine Optimization, forming a closer-knit community of city-based bloggers and other topics were taken up and debated extensively. We had a healthy percentage of new faces in the meet, and these bloggers asked questions and noted points and tips given by more established bloggers and social media experts. They got to know about basic SEO, utilization of social media and ways to improve content, among others.
|Discussing "bloggers block" at the Kolkata Bloggers Meet. Picture - Aikantik Bag|
We also discussed current and upcoming projects by Kolkata Bloggers. Among them, Tales to Tell deserves a mention. “Tales to Tell” is a collaboration BeeBooks Publishers, wherein participants can mail us 500 word stories and the top twenty stories get published in a book (Read more about Tales to Tell here).
The Meet was very successful, and everybody left with positive reviews. A big thank you to everyone who participated in making this endeavor fruitful. We also had representatives from communication firms in the city who noted the points discussed during the three-hour meetup. Our appreciation also goes out to Au Bon Pain, Park Street for accommodating a sizeable crowd, and allowing us the entire upper floor.
Monday saw us taking a ride to the US Consulate for a discussion on social media and blogging trends in the city. It was a good experience, having a chat with representatives from print media, television channels, radio FM, and digital marketing. The Consul General, Ms. Helen LaFave is a wonderful woman, and had quite a few interesting queries for all of us. We went on to discuss the difference in usage of social media for professional and personal purposes, how Kolkata compares to other metropolitan cities in terms of influence in blogging, the ethics of an online presence, power of social media and ways to reach out to more people online.
It was fascinating to know about the small but essential facets of how the print media or the radio and television channels work. We also got to know how these news and entertainment agencies are adopting the use of social media to reach out to their viewers or readers in modern times. A large portion of their online viewership is aimed at the youth, quite understandably. Being the youngest person in the group, and as someone who practically lives online, I could totally get what they were trying to achieve. There was a lot to learn from this informal session.
We want to thank Ms. LaFave for inviting us to this wonderful session. Also, a big thank you to the members of the consulate I interacted for their charm and hospitality. Thank you Mr. Greg Padro, Ms. Erica Diya Basu, Ms. Ipshita Nandi Banerjee and Mr. Rupam Sen for providing us the opportunity to have this discussion. We look forward to working with you in the future as well.
|37 bloggers attended the Meet on Sunday at Au Bon Pain, Park Street.|