Rome was not built in a day, similarly the BlogAdda.com Bloggers Meet at Oxford Bookstore Kolkata on 13th February, 2016 was also not planned in a day. It was actually conceived weeks back when I received a call from Sammya Brata about Harish visiting Kolkata on the way to attend another programme at Tata Nagar.
It was both formal as well as an informal meet wherein Blog Adda team would for the first time meet a group of selected 30 bloggers from Kolkata. This was also a wonderful opportunity for bloggers like me to finally see some of the team members of Blog Adda and to know about their activity in a detailed way.
Since Harish and his team would be using Kolkata as a transit point thus the window of opportunity was very limited, we had to have this on 13th and what better than Oxford Bookstore Kolkataas the perfect venue for this meet!. Being centrally located this place is more like a landmark in the city and easy for anyone to commute. But to get this place I need to book it first, a quick call confirmed the availability and the booking was done. To my surprise even the Oxford Bookstore team were quite enthusiastic about it as it has been a policy for them to encourage blogging.
Next it was the turn to inform the bloggers about the meet and then we realised we had a problem in hand, 13th of February coincided with Saraswati Puja and in Kolkata this was a real big occasion and often people would have a family lunch. Since there was no other option in switching the date the event had to be on this date. Surprisingly almost all the bloggers who I had contacted agreed to come even though it was Saraswati Puja. Rest of the bloggers were informed by Sammya and he had similar experience.
13th of February was a Saturday and since I have office for half a day it was more like a tense situation since morning as I was worried about the attendance. My office gets over at 1 PM and the venue being right next to my office I planned to leave right after my office as the programme was scheduled to start at 2 PM. To my surprise I get the first call at 1.15 PM from Amartya Talukdar a blogger from the city that he has already arrived at the venue. Within the next couple of minutes I keep getting calls from other bloggers who were on their way. This was a much relieved moment for me as I knew that almost all will surely turn up.
Just when I was doing a sound check I see someone approaching from behind, I assumed that he was Souzendru who is another photographer and blogger from the city. I was about to give a slight nudge when I realised it was not him. This person now introduces himself as Harish from Blog Adda. I have been in constant touch with Harish along with Sammya to coordinate for today’s bloggers meet. I could finally place a face against the name, he looked quite upbeat and he introduced me to Tridib who also was from the Blog Adda team. By now most of the bloggers had arrived and we were just waiting for the rest few to join us.
The main event started by Harish introducing himself and Tridib to the bloggers and then showing a short video presentation about Blog Adda and about its activities. Most of the attendees had heard of Blog Adda but there were some who were new and they really loved the concept. Harish also talked about the various blogging campaigns that are regularly taken up by Blog Adda and how the bloggers can be a part of it.
The audience also were quite energetic and came up with various questions which were answered by Harish and Tridib. This was followed by a brief introduction by the bloggers, what they write about and anything else in general. I did know most of the bloggers but there were some who I was meeting for the first time and it was really nice knowing them.
This was followed by a generic Adda session which we Bengalis are actually quite used to. It was more of a generic chit chat about blogging and its different aspects. There was also a good discussion about monetizing of blogs which was very informative especially to me.
We also were lucky to have with us Mr Kavi Arasu who is really very well known in blogging circuit and he happened to be with us on his way back Mumbai. Since his flight was in the evening so he had tagged along with Harish for today’s bloggers meet. He being a veteran blogger shared some of his insight about blogging and the phrase that struck me most was when he said “Writing a blog is easy, building the blog is the difficult part”.
There were also some intense debate about optimum word count for a blog, surprisingly there was no mutual consensus regarding this as some said it’s between 500 – 800 while some said they prefer something more than 1200.
This was a two hour event and all the participants enjoyed it thoroughly, most wished that it would have continued but as the saying goes “All good things must come to an end” so did our first interaction with BloAdda.com team. Hoping that they come back to this city more often with more activities.