On August 5th 2007 tamilbloggers.org conducted a blogcamp in Chennai, India. More than 300 people attended the blogcamp Almost double the number expected.
Tamil Blogs have been in vogue for around four and a half years. In the beginning almost all initiatives to propagate blogging in Tamil took place on the Net. Later, efforts were taken up slowly all over the world from Singapore to Toronto to Sydney. As interest grew, bloggers from India started growing by leaps and bounds. And the year 2007 saw tremendous growth in the number of blogs and in efforts to popularize Tamil Blogs.
Earlier in May 2007, a small blog conference took place in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. That acted as a catalyst for the blog camp that took place in Chennai on August 5, 2007.
Around 30 bloggers worked round the clock for the past couple of months and around 1000 mails were exchanged in their mailing group. Everybody pulled strings to make thing happen. And things did happen at a fine pace! The University of Madras offered space for the blog camp. internet providers SIFY enabled free internet access. Donations were procured from business organizations and other bloggers. This blogcamp took place on two different levels. one was devoted for existing bloggers where discussions took place in an unconference style.
The true measure of success of such camps are the attendees. This blogcamp is a true winner too, in that regard. Many of them started a gmail account followed by a blog. For some of them, it was the first time seeing Tamil on the Net. An older couple aged around 70 years attracted everybody`s attention. Mr. Nallaperumal, a retired teacher expressed his desire to blog about his experiences in education. A few physically challenged persons attended the conference and some of the visually impaired folks requested ways and means to blog. They were told about audio podcasts. Phone numbers were exchanged and they were promised further assistance. Theirs were not the only phone numbers that changed hands. Almost everybody who attended the conference was given personal assistance. And the organizers are expecting at least 50-100 new bloggers.
More than anything, this blogcamp has acted like a catalyst and Tamil bloggers from around the world are all in deep discussions with fellow bloggers in their cities. Almost all the out-of-town bloggers who attended the conference seem eager to conduct similar blogcamps in their city. Tamilblogdom is eagerly looking for the next announcement.
Free CDs with necessary software to write in Tamil were given out with a few memorabilia. Interestingly, no admission fees was charged, with lunch and refreshments on the house!
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