Saturday, April 19, 2008

MMSC Manipal 08 - An Experience account

Quick Jump: The journey | Betrayed by my Laptop | Talk on podcasting | My talk on Corporate Blogging | MIT Men's Hostel|

Answer this question: When you were in college, probably you might have hated your hostel and now as a professional are used to travel around the world staying at star hotels at your company's expense. Now tell me, given an opportunity, wouldn't you love to go back to college hostel and spend few days in college campus?

I am currently spending time at Manipal, an educational hub in coastal Karnataka, attending Manipal Media Students' Convention-MMSC 08.
Manipal Institure of Communication, MIC
This is a 2 day event conducted by students of Manipal Institute of Communication, involves unconferences, workshop on podcasting, expert talks and more. I am here as a sponsored delegate and gave a talk on corporate blogging.

The journey-
The west coast express was extremely punctual and arrived at Mangalore at 5.15 AM, but it took nearly 3 hours to reach Manipal from there-I boarded a direct bus to Manipal waiting outside the railway station-despite having bus full of passengers, they (bus crew) waited for 25 minutes near railway station, 20 minutes at Mangalore service bus stand and finally left Mangalore little after 6 AM. Next time I would walk across the town hall and catch a bus which has just left the stand.

Volunteers of the event were extremely professional- They did follow up periodically after I confirmed participation and I was received at Trinity Circle (or is it Tiger Circle?), Manipal and escorted to MIC hostel, IXth block. The room was pretty good. Going back to hostel and living in a campus for few days is like college days revisited. It may not match a hotel in terms of luxury, but the environment of so many students around, is a good experience- I am sure you can imagine those days and I don't have to explain. The energetic students of MIC, headed by Ragamalika (incidently its her birthday today) were quite punctual and professional in handling their responsibilities and event management. This was my first visit to an institute as a delegate (the inter college events I had attended during college day-I was treated as a student, so that was fine) and I was given a respect and significance for which I am not used to. I am not used to being called 'Sir', 'Sir' and other formalities. However the care and warmth these students poured on the delegates was great. I will cherish it for a long long time.

We headed to chaitya hall in Hotel Valley View in MIT's college bus, which reminded me of the yellow maxicab we had in JNVC, with Udayanna as its pilot.

Betrayed by my laptop
Once we settled in the venue, I realized that my laptop's wi-fi is not working. Last time I had connected my lappy to internet via wi-fi was in August at Hyderabad-now when I wanted it, it was just not there...Probably a hardware problem have to get this fixed. Without net connectivity, it is almost useless to carry it-doesn't serve much of the purpose. I wanted to live blog the event (as a preparation to next month's WebInnnovation.In which I will be attending and live blogging) but this idea was spoiled by my laptop and I got a feeling of betrayal.

Good thing is, I could shut-down my laptop and focus on the session, while many others were busy checking mails and chatting while someone was speaking on stage.

But then, it is also good to stay off-line for few days once a while, by force, if not by choice. Let me accept it- world is NOT going to turn upside down, if I don't check and respond to my mails for few days. I did check my mails once through someone else's laptop but obviously I can't borrow it for hours to live blog or for other purposes.

A session on podcasting by Aditya Mhatre of was useful and gave us a good idea of what podcasting is and how to go about it. For the uninitiated, podcasting is recording audio (interviews, discussions, talks) around a topic and allowing your readers across the globe to download and read it from the convenience of their phone/ipod/computer etc. The idea is good, but I am of the opinion that while anyone can start blogging, podcasting is not for common man, at least not yet-the time and effort that goes in may not be worth it, unless you manage to get really exciting stuff to air on. We also did a workshop n podcasting-recording our audio conversation and uploading it. During this, we got a chance to check out the TV studio and audio room of MIC.

Was expecting to see Kiruba Shankar conducting a workshop on podcasting but he had to pull out of this as he had to attend Club Mahindra's Cerebrate.In in Goa.
speaker list
Annie Zaidi spoke about blogging and journalism-as I am interested in both, her talk was very interesting to hear.

The interior of Chaitya Hall in Hotel Valley View where the event was conducted was poorly lit and my entry level digicam was quite ineffective in taking good pics (unless it was a close shot). So I haven't taken much photos. Some photos uploaded by other are available here 

Shrinidhi speaks on corporate blogging
My turn came at around 3.30 in the afternoon to speak. The synopsis which I had submitted and accepted by MMSC was on corporate blogging hence I kept the same topic for the talk. Luckily, the remote control of my laptop did work properly and didn't put me in another embarrassment. I had conducted a session on blogging internal to my company but this was my first public talk after I started working. A bit of excitement, a sense of guilty feeling that I could have prepared better, but the presentation went on smooth-without any disturbances-technical or otherwise. I talked about the need and advantages of corporate blog, both internal and external, what it takes for a corporate blog to be successful, how one can measure ROI on corporate blog and so on. I got an honest feedback later that the topic of corporate blogging was more suitable at a business event than a gathering of media students. I should have thought of that-but since my synopsis was on same topic which was accepted, I didn't think of a second topic. Also I should have focused on making it more interactive-few points to take home for me. (Please note that I was just one of the 40 odd speakers during the event, though I was lucky to get a timing in second half of first day.)

I could meet many interesting people during the event- Siva of Internet Society, Chennai Chapter, Kenny Jacob of, Nithya Dayal of and many more.

The MIT men's hostel:
9th block MIT men's hostel
I woke up early morning and went for a walk-It is a vast campus indeed. There is a big running track (looks like a 800 mt one, not sure) While university has thousands of students, I hardly saw anyone using that for a morning jog. Probably these professionals will spend few thousands a month later on GYM when they start earning, something they can save if they do some exercise right from student days.

Also noted that shops near hostel are selling goods for few rupees above MRP. Probably everyone is comfortable with that (else they need to walk a KM to reach Manipal Town)

Field in MIT hostel
The new block under construction is preparing manipal for future demands.
MIT hostel new block
I sought permission to go to terrace and click some photos but it was denied, saying I need permission from supervisor who will come at 9 AM. But as a curious journalist I chose to explore things on my own, went to see if there's any work around. Know what? Its true that rules are meant to be broken. I found the terrace doors open, with someone hanging their cloths there...(not sure if that person had permission).

Beautiful valley view of Manipal, from top of MIT Men's Hostel.

View from top of MIT Men's Hostel, ManipalPlanning to publish one more post covering events of Day 2 and other things I might have missed. Go to top

Update: Read Part II for some more updates


arbitblogs said...

I had come to the bloggers meet and I clearly recollect your presentation. I have to say the feedback that you got must have been very useful to you. You did have some very good points to make about corporate blogging...

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Akshay

Hestia said...

that was a nice account.. well detailed!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Ami

निलेश त्रिवेदी (Nilesh Trivedi) said...

Carry around a Live Ubuntu CD to avoid such issues with wi-fi, external drives, and so on. It has saved my life on many occassions

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Nilesh,

THanks for the tip, but I am still on Windows. haven't thought of migrating to Linux as of now.