I’ll put in the descriptions and my view of the event soon. Until then, here are the pictures.
‘The Knowledge Foundation’ is the group of folks responsible for bringing out events like BarCampChennai, BlogCamp, WikiCamp, MoMoChennai, PodWorks and now SearchCamp. Over the last year, we have made a significant change to the tech events scene in Chennai.
Today, the key members of the foundation will meet to retrospect on the successes and failures of last year and discuss plans for the forthcoming year. It’s a closed door, full day meeting that is bound to be pretty intense with a lot of ideas and debates flying around.
OK, the D-day is here. After four months of planning and organizing, the event unfolds tomorrow at IIT Madras. It’s grown bigger since its first edition in Jan and organizing it hasn’t been easy.
I’m continued to be impressed with the amazing spirit of my team mates at The Knowledge Foundation. There are no monetary benefits (no one makes a single rupee) as its a non-profit organization. In spite of it, folks have put in their heart into this event knowing that they are making a difference to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.
For those who don’t know about Proto.in, this podcast would be a great listen.
Tomorrow’s event will see participation from 23 22 startup companies carefully chosen from a list of 120 nominations. Each startup will get exactly 6 minutes of stage time to demonstrate their product to a select group of venture capitalists, angel investors, technology influencers and media professionals.
The event has attracted 22 venture capitalist firms, including Canaan Partners, Reliance Technology, Greylock Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Clearstone Ventures and others representing over $1.5 billion in fund size for India investments.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), and TeNeT of IIT Madras are supporting the event.
In this episode, I have a conversation with Vijay Anand about Proto’s objectives and its future plans.
Yesterday’s MetroPlus, The Hindu’s supplement, carried an impressive half page writeup about Unconferences. The article talks about the new emergence of unconferences and its growth in popularity amongst the techies. You can read the online version here or click on the newspaper screenshot to enlarge it.
(Image from Sriram Iyer)
The article also mentions about the Unconference book, which has been seeing a slow but a steady progress.
The article carries a lot more credibility because, its author, Sudhir Syal has attended unconferences and is also helping organize a couple of them.
There’s also been some interesting learning based on feedback from Lisa Heft, a contributor to the unconference book project from the US. Open Space Technology, the original form of what we now known as unconferences, has been in existence since 1985. Wow, that’s for two decades. And most of us think its a recent phenomenon. Or at least I thought so, until we started the book project.
And its just not the technology industry that’s using the unconference format. Lisa adds, “It is something that has been around for a long time across the world and in a huge diversity of industries, cultures, and countries”.
Who would’ve thought!
Also, it looks like The Hindu would not credit the photographer whose photo has been used in the article. In spite of Sudhir, the author, taking the effort to get permission to use the photograph. It may have been an oversight, though.
But a huge thanks to The Hindu for giving unconferences main stream coverage. It can do wonders with getting better participation and better support from corporates.
Do You Know a Nice Beach House on ECR for a Party?
We are looking for a nice private beach house on ECR in Chennai, big enough to house 75 folks. This is for the PodWorks party that will take place on the night of June 9th, the first day of the podcasting event.
For those who don’t know yet, PodWorks is India’s biggest podcast event attracting the best minds on new media.
ECR (East Coast Road) has some fantastic beach houses but they are like hidden jewels, difficult to find. The best ones are never publicised and are only given out on personal references.
The Beach House must contain swimming pool, a few rooms and preferably a big lawn. Most folks will also be crashing out for the night. The party will have alcohol, music but it will be a nice decent one. Nothing wild. We will take prior Police permissions (which is required by law) and keep things in order.
Do you know of a nice place? Can you check with a friend, your friend’s friend for a lead? Even a small lead will be useful information. Any help is appreciated. Please call me at 98415 97744 or email me at Kiruba[@]Kiruba.com.
Thanks in advance.
Learning is a lot more fun when you enjoy what you are doing. Yesterday was a classic case in point. I wanted to have a conversation about the unconference book, especially what its all about and its progress and capture it on video and audio. It was an excellent lesson on video podcasting.
The Unconference book is seeing a slow but steady progress. Actually, a lot slower. But hey, none of us are pro authors or publishers. It’s hard enough coming to a decision with 5 folks in a single room. Now, imagine about 80 people from 10 different countries involved in the project. You get the picture. But its an awesome experiment and we are hell bent on finishing this project successfully. After all, it will indeed be the first ever book about unconferences and that’s a good thing to be a part of.
Now, back to talking about the fun recording.
I called up Sudhir Syal who has now taken on the baton of leading the book project from The Knowledge Foundation’s side. Sudhir is a nice conversationalist and a nice guy to be discussing the book project with. I also called up Kausik Ram, a super enthu fella who has a keen interest in video podcasting, especially on the technical side of things.
So, late last night, we hauled ourselves to Sudhir’s sprawling bungalow in one of Chennai’s poshest locales. After energizing ourselves with a refreshing lemonade, we got about setting the equipments in place. Nothing fancy. A Sony handycam erected on a tripod. For audio, I had my Edirol voice recorder on. We spent a few minutes finalizing the lighting, camera angles and chair positions.
That’s Sudhir on the left and me on the right. We are seen brainstorming about the unconference book. Sudhir is a pretty energetic chap who has shown interest in driving the book project. It was nice to find someone who is keenly interested in the project. There are many enthusiastic folks in the team but you need someone to hold the torch and lead the way. Sudhir with a strong journalistic background (Economic Times & The Hindu) and bountiful enthusiasm was a real good fit. It’s not easy but it sure as hell will be a great learning experience.
That’s Sudhir working on the notes and laying out the flow of conversation before we started recording it.
A view of points written by Sudhir. The handwriting was worse than a doctor’s and hence I had to ask Sudhir to write it neatly in caps for my reference.
We decided that instead of an interview, we will have a casual conversation about the book and each of us will ask relevant questions to drive the show along. The conversation went off very well. What was meant to be a 10 minute conversation extended to about 22 minutes , without us realizing how fast the time went by. We were quite engrossed. The conversation was quite high spirited. We were all quite happy with the way it turned out.
Kausik was an excellent sport. He played the patient cameraman capturing the conversation. We had just one camera but he made sure to get enough variety. He did good within the limitations.
The looks on the faces says it all. That’s Sudhir and Kausik rewinding the interview and checking out the video. It has come out decently well. The video still needs to get processed and edited. It’s going to take a few days time before the video and audio is going to be available. Will make sure to link it up from here when its ready.