Monday, September 11, 2006

BlogCamp Chennai - The Highlights

I'm back after the two-day blog unconference at Chennai! For those of you who don't know what an unconference is, here's a snippet from Wikipedia -

"An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. To date, the term is primarily in use in the geek community."

The good thing about an unconference is that it's informal, so people don't hesitate to come forward to speak and share their views. However, discussions tend to digress from the topic being discussed now and then - that's sometimes fun, sometimes irritating. Anyway overall it was defintely worth attending because I learnt lots of stuff I didn't know before.

One of the highlights of the event (for me) was the session with photographer Sharad Haksar - a photographer since the age of 3, uses a 22 megapixel camera (he's thinking of getting himself a 39 megapixel one!) to capture his shots. I asked him what program he uses to edit his photographs and he told me Photoshop. Am I the only person who uses Paint Shop Pro to edit images? His shots are amazing, so you should check them out at his site.

Day 1 had interesting sessions on Wordpress and Ajax. I never knew Wordpress had so many features that Blogger doesn't! Never knew Ajax had so many cool applications for a blog either. Karthik spoke about how he implemented many of the features that blogging tools provide in his site. He also spoke about the CAPTCHA system he used for the comments. Useful for those interested in knowing what happens behind the scenes.

Sunil Gavaskar was present on day 2 (hence the media). He spoke about podcasting (and cricket, of course) but I wonder if anybody was listening to what he was saying. Most people were busy with their cams, either taking photos or recording videos of him.

After lunch there was a video conference on Skype with Robert Scoble, Vice President of Media Development, PodTech.Network Inc. (was formerly with Microsoft). Don't know why, but I was too sleepy to listen to what he was saying. I was looking at some high res wallpapers on Karthik's laptop instead.

Was watching CNN IBN today and they covered BlogCamp - I make a brief appearance right at the beginning of the clip holding a cam (how ironic!). Will upload the video sometime soon. Or just put up a link in case somebody has uploaded it somewhere already.

Update 1 (after reading Jace's comment): Some images used here were found on Flickr. They're the property of their respective owners. Their sole purpose here was to make this post look good.

Update 2: The video is here.