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   Bikram Agarwal
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BarCamp 4 : Day 1 | Wednesday, August 01, 2007

It's been more than 2 days since BarCamp 4 wrapped up. But still the excitement in me hasn't died down. Given a chance, I'd have blogged live from the venue IIMB every hour. But as I didn't have a laptop and can't blog from office [ am under scanner for that, :( ], missed writing about it terribly. And I guess I can't take it any longer. So, at midnight of 1st Aug, am jotting down my take on it.

I wouldn't have known about this BarCamp if I hadn't came across this post of Dhivya. This post led me to the Bloggers' Meet @ BrewHaHa on 21st july and from there - to this mega event of BCB4. I always read about Bloggers' Meets @ Mumbai, Pune and other metros of India but never heard of any such thing being held in B'lore. I always wanted to have something like that here. So the idea of BCB4 was really 'dream come true' for me. Added excitement was the opportunity of sharing my little input on 'photo security' there. So, I was waiting for 28th July with bated breath.

[ Continued in Full Post ]
When 28th finally came, it was the 1st saturday ever when I woke up before 9 AM. Didn't quite know about the location of IIM except for that it's on Banerghatta Road. After reaching Koramangala Signal by bus, I didn't want to take a chance with it any further. So, boarded an auto instead and reached IIM comfortably. But once @ the registration counter, I was kinda lost. I was totally alone there. Every other person I saw there was with someone. Only exception being me, who was just wandering here and there. I could see Hari, Sreedhar, Ashwin, Himansu and Arun there. But they were already busy in their own schedule. Sanjukta --- where is she....??? She's kinda our team lead. :) I suddenly felt like a little boy lost in a fair, searching frantically for his parents or elder siblings. Well, being introvert has its own deficiency U know.

Anyways, after the registration, I was inside the Auditorium which was already packed. "I'm in auditorium of IIM"- this very feeling was overwhelming - complemented by the existance of hundreds of fellow bloggers under the same roof. Once the intro was over and all were out of the audi, I was again at a loss. Where do I go? The whole concept of BarCamp was a bit unclear to me. There wasn't any centralized discussion or something. The whole event consisted of 'Collectives' - different sets of related topics and participants can attend any talk that interests them. It wasn't just any other conference, but an Unconference - a space where every participant is a speaker. But can I attend anything I like, or was I supposed to be with our 'Bloggers Collective', as I still didn't know the schedule of the session I was supposed to take.

Anyways, I joined our 'Bloggers Collective' which started with the topic of 'Podcasting' by Sreedhar, followed by 'Blogging Platforms' by AJ. He covered all major platforms but eventualy was vying for Wordpress. What he forgot to consider is that when a newbee enters the bloging world, he's generally reluctant to spend any money on it. In such a case, a self-hosted Wordpress blog is never an option for him. Anyways, his session was followed by an interesting session on 'Widgets' by Krishna. His presentation is available in PDF form here.

Much time of this morning session got spoilt due to the prevailing chaos caused by people trickling in slowly. It was kinda difficult to trace what's going on in which room due to the last minute schedule and room changes. Then almost everyone had a problem getting the WiFi connection to work on their laptops. AJ walked around the room helping them setup their connection. Once the systems were up, several people started blogging live. How I wished I had a laptop too.

There I met Jerry, one of the Mutineers. A couple of days prior to that I had received an invitation to join Mutiny tech team but I just wanted to join Mutiny as a blogger. So, I discussed this with him. He said he absolutely loved my blog's UI which ofcourse delighted me. And later he introduced me to Sandil, another mutineer, which again felt great as I had never been introduced to anyone by anyone apart from my dad doing so on social ocassions and Munish [my team manager] introducing me to my team mates the day I joined Ness. But the embarrasing thing was I didn't interact with Sandy well as I was engulfed by a totally different thought at that time. I might've appeared to him as a total idiot.

By the time lunch was over, it had started raining. But as most of the campus was covered, or atleast the area which we needed to use, the rain didn't dampen our spirits. Within 3 PM, all were back in action. By this time, I had come to know that Sanjukta is from WB and my session is on 29th. So, I just headed for the Audi, where jayanth and someone [sorry I forgot his name] was taking a 'guitar' class. He explained the nitty-gritty of Guitar playing with utmost care to everybody. The way he was discussing it, it made me think that even I can play it like magic. After that was done, I was kinda tired. So, headed for home. Overall rating for the day - disappointed. My non-interaction with others contributing a great deal in it.

Read about the 2nd day of BarCamp in my next post.

The flash slideshow above is just a glimpse of the huge no. of pics clicked during the BCB4. Check all the snaps @ my PhotoBlog Leonardo.

And ya, the pic on the left is the news-bite BCB4 got in Bangalore Mirror. Mid Day has also featured it but I don't have a clip of it.

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