Getting offline, speaking about your blog is not only an awesome idea to promote it, but makes you feel genuinely happy from inside.
How to get offline? Well, shutting the computer down is not the only thing you should do. Shut the computer down and go out. Go out and meet the friends you have made on Facebook. Attend Bloggers’ Meets organised in your city. Attend, or even organise, a photowalk of your own. All these activities establish interpersonal relationships.
Being online is simply not enough. We’ve got to agree on one point – with the diverse political opinions and the weirdest hashtags overflowing in all social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook and even personal blogs have lost the personal touch. To gain more visitors we start crunching words into articles however irrelevant it might be. Let’s use the social media platforms to showcase our works and let the networking bit be both online and offline.
In this world, when everyone else is getting online, I refuse to be just another online entity. I refuse to be just another number in someone’s friend list. I refuse to be just another blogger. I refuse to be just another amateur photographer.
Sharing my experience: I never tried restricting myself to the online world. Any way to make a new friend is always great. Whenever I have had a good conversation with someone online, we often end up meeting. I’ve made most of the friends this way even when I did not have a blog. When they started to know me, they started following my works and giving me valuable advice. They were the ones who gave me good tips about photography, blogging, marketing and solving personal problems. The friendship just grew stronger.
Be it the regular meetups organised by Shilpa Srivastava, the Kolkata Bloggers’ Meet, the Twestival in Kolkata or simply the TiE summits and the various entrepreneurship summits, my offline presence helped me learn more.
Over the years, online has been the way to showcase my work and attract people but offline has been the only way to strengthen friendships. It is not just because of wearing my blog or strengthening friendships that I enjoy being offline.
Glad you asked.
A lot of the organisers who invited me recently have been only following my blog. I just had to go offline to build a stronger friendship. In January 2014, I conducted the basic photography and social media workshop in The Frank Anthony Public School. March end, I conducted the same workshop in Loreto College. April and May, we had two major Bloggers meets, one with a Bengali film and another with Derek O’Brien (West Bengal MP). This June, so far, I was invited to speak in Maya Art Space on “Social Media in Photography” where I shared my photographs primarily and spoke about the influence of social media in learning, collaborating and personal branding.
Being the Kolkata Blogger: To be introduced as a “Blogger” to an audience in Kolkata and to get the word of “Social Media”, “ethics of social media” buzzing among the audience are perhaps my biggest takeaways. Here I need to mention, while in 2009 Kiruba Shankar openly spoke to the masses about being a blogger, people in Kolkata who knew about blogging were extremely numbered. Even today, the masses find blogging unconventional and not required. To speak about that, to showcase my photographs and to gather praise – give me immense pleasure. Then comes sharing my ideas with the rest of the audience.
The last few interactions in The Frank Anthony Public School and in Loreto College rejuvenated the way I interact with younger crowd. I showcased my photographs as a slideshow to an extremely experienced audience in Maya Art Space. The rest of the audience there were musicians, artists, theatre performers. But even then, the kind of response I got there and afterwards is highly encouraging. I am looking forward to more such events.
Get offline, have some more fun !
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