“Despite tall claims, the city’s blogosphere is still inhabited by few, as the recently held Delhi Blog Meet revealed…”
It was one of the DBM-II’s meets that a reporter from TOI attended and wrote about in today’s city supplement. Though the article doesn’t mention a name, he has been identified as James by Tarun Pall, the host. The fallacies in the article are fairly obvious and ridiculous:
“If anything was in dispute, the 3rd Annual Delhi bloggers meet just proved how big (or small) is the Indian Blogosphere. Just four bloggers attended it, counting the hosts.”
The reporter apparently did no homework: DBM-I had been covered by both TOI (here) and HT (here) in the past. The then editor of Indiatimes, another Indiatimes employee and a TOI reporter had even attended one of the get-togethers at CCD in CP. And this wasn’t “the 3rd Annual Delhi bloggers meet”. Tarun Pall was also misquoted as claiming that those who attended are “the elite bloggers of India.” You may read his response here. His post is cuss-ridden and gets a PG rating.
Note: Codelust talks about it here.
Blog meets or Bloggers’ meets, rather, the “Official” Bloggers’ meets in Delhi are organised by two different groups.
This one (referred to as DBM-I) was first to it, and according to the blog they maintain, the first meet was held on the 13th of January, 2004. They also run a mailing list on Yahoo!, which (in my opinion) is mostly inane. There have been instances of infighting and some mails have been so puerile that I prefer to stay at least an arms-length away, though I do log in every now and then to poke fun. (You have no idea of how much a fan-mail a timely *Yawn* can generate!)
I have met some really interesting people at the DBM’s. My first was on 19th of June 2004. 21 people attended and we had a lot of fun, largely due to alcohol and a provocative Q&A session. Since then, things there have been in gradual decline and like me, some of my friends have now decided to read, but not post.
Another group (DBM-II) was started a few months ago by Vulturo of Desipundit and Shivam Vij of Zest. The group seems (relatively) interesting and was intriguingly tagged Mumbai-style. My grouse against them is that the scheduling of the bloggers’ meets is ad-hoc (one was overnight), and somehow the information never gets around. I always learn about their get-togethers after they take place. Put up a subscription mailer guys, unless you’re selective.
The ownership of the name “Delhi Bloggers Meet” was a bone (Woof!) of contention between the DBM-II and some members of DBM-I, but after a few unpleasant exchanges, they both decided to be indifferent to each other. I couldn’t care less, either. A bloggers meet had been excuse to meet or make new friends, or just talk about books, writing, blogging, the economy, advertising, the media…things that I used to blog about, and things that friends in college didn’t seem up to discussing.
I think bloggers, bloggers groups and blogs in general have started taking blogging too seriously. I’ve seen agendas being set for bloggers meets, and then being completely ignored; why have agendas in the first place? Some people (self included) have begun to think twice before posting opinions that might go against popular (blogger) opinion. Herd mentality will kill the self-monitoring nature of blogging.
It’s because bloggers have become activists and are now in the spotlight, that they’re in a position to stake a claim to fame. Some collablogs will find themselves in a position where they can take advantage of situations, and of battles between Bloggers and MSM or companies. When it becomes a business, you lose sight of the original cause.
Addendum (11th Nov): Legal notices can also be just “formal threats” and the party sending the notice can robbed of an escape route if the issue becomes big and their bluff is called. While they deserve it, this also means that those who were issued the notice are doomed to doing the rounds of courts since cases in India can be stretched indefinitely. Sometimes, neither party is to blame for popularising the issue. Not that I’m sure that this has happened, though.
In case you didn’t realise it, “Blog Trackers” can be selective too. This issue has reached bandwagon proportions, and unless there’s a development that your regular blog trackers are ignoring, or I find that I disagree with a new direction that the herd seems to be taking (or is being taken in) – there shall be no further updates. Most opinions being tracked, however, seem monochromatic and hence redundant.
1. If you’re mentioned and you have a problem with it, let me know. It is not my intention to malign.
2. There’s more to this post than just DBM-I vs DBM-II. Read between the lines. Read the last few paragraphs. Further comments on DBM-I vs DBM-II may please be mailed to those whom you want to respond to. Or you have your blogs. I don’t like moderation, but I’m not going to shy away from it.
1. The DT journalist (allegedly, Ranjan Yumnam) has posted his opinion and the article here. Whether he is the reporter in question is as yet unconfirmed. I could just as easily start an anonymous blog and defend the story.
The following people have since posted about the incident:Saket, Shivam, River, Mandar. Also up on Desi Pundit. No use. Everybody’s doin it.
3. Interesting: A Ranjan Yumnam had also contacted DBM-I, but received no response from them. Harneet, who didn’t respond, tells all in “stink operation”. The journalist can’t claim to be ignorant of the existence of the other group. Not that he does, though.