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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bloggers Meet at Guwahati

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Sunday the 11th of June, 2006 will go into the history of blogging in North East India as a milestone. A Blogger’s Meet was organised at the restaurant Traffik at Silpukhuri, Guwahati that brought together few blog enthusiasts. The meet, the first ever of its kind in the region, was the brainchild of Babul Gogoi and Dr. Jugal Kalita. Though 15 bloggers had confirmed their participation only 7 could made it to the meet. Enjoying my annual break at home, I was one of the attendees.

It is worth mentioning that Dr. Kalita and Babul had been pioneers in dissemination of news and information from Assam to all Assamese living abroad through effective use of the net. Dr. Jugal Kalita is a professor of computer science at the University of Colrado, USA. He is the soul behind the popular sites like www.assam.org, www.guwahati.com, etc. Sri Babul Gogoi had been assisting Dr. Kalita for more than a decade now. Way back in 1995 or so, the duo started a system of e-mailing news paper headlines from Assam to many Assamese living abroad. Internet was only in teething stage during those days and it was not a very powerful tool. Many of us might not have even heard of internet then. My first brush with the net was in 1998 only. Therefore, for many Assamese, the mail from Dr. Kalita was the only source of information on Assam.
The due had recently started a site for bloggers from Assam named www.bihu.in. It is slowly and steadily growing in popularity. One more domain has been registered as www.superhit.in which is proposed to be a repository of regional Indian songs (non hindi only). They are looking for songs with rights. Please contact them if you want to contribute.

Dr. Kalita told me that though the sites generate some advertising revenue, the expenses for maintaining the sites are mostly borne by him. Given the utility of the sites, seeking donations from regular users should be explored to maintain the sites. I had stumbled upon these sites sometimes back and even had a link to www.guwahati.com on my blog. It was indeed a memorable experience to meet people like Dr. Kalita and Babul. Dr. Kalita was on vacation to his hometown and so together with Babul they organized this blogger’s meet. Their effort to bring together bloggers from around Guwahati for the first time was a laudable effort. It was decided to organize a bigger get together of bloggers next year. I will look forward to it.

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