West. The college offers a journalism and mass media course. Among the
panelists were: Roshan Abbas (TV presenter and actor), Venkatanath
(journalist and blogger), Mahesh Murthy (businessman and venture
capitalist), Ashwin Mushran (Voice over artist and actor), Utsav
(Satan Bhagat [spoofer of Chetan Bhagat] and stand-up comic), Bikas
(film director and writer) and, of course, yours truly. I was there as
a social media expert (*wink*) and writer, poet and blogger. Aniketh
moderated the session.
Here are some of my observations, I warn thou, fuzzy they mightest be
(sorry guys, I wasn't taking notes!):
Mahesh Mentioned that the audience and followers of the above
panelists combined worked out to more than the circulation of the
mainline dailies (compared individually), the television channels, and
of course any other media. Bravo! Social media denizens rejoice! We
can change the world, make a difference if we want to. Mahesh also
said there are 130 million internet users and there were no
gatekeepers. You censor yourself and choose the gates you want to walk
- even drive - through.
To a question from Aniketh whether one can blog only to make money I
mentioned that I had started blogging in 2003 for the love of writing,
not for the money. Now whatever comes as a trickle from various
referrals and links I have tied up with. By no means can I give up the
day job. So there.
Everyone had their own experiences to recount. Utsav said in his
characteristic style that the only intellectual property in India is
plagiarism. Bikas mentioned that he uses his website to promote movies
by lesser known directors. Venkatanath mentioned how he asks his
students to write everyday, at least a few hundred words (which I do
best as a blogger, i.e., post half-baked ideas most times).
Roshan mentioned how Gul Panag had used the social media to good
effect. Attagirl, Gul. All in all a very good session.