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Building an army around my blog

Posted by priyanka nag on 5:11 AM in , , ,
I am a blogger...someone who likes to share her views and expressions with others by simply putting them in words. But whats a blogger without his (or her) followers and readers? (Well, here I am not talking about those bloggers who maintain private blogs). Followers, readers, criticisms, appreciations...thats what a blogger's world consists of. 

Posting a blog only gives partial satisfaction. When my posts receive comments (positive or negative), thats where the other half of the satisfaction comes from. 

After posting a blog, I have often received emails or facebook messages from readers, wanting to discuss more on the topic. Its probably then that I realized, how important it is, at times, to have a communication platform right on the blog, where the readers and critics could immediately start a conversation about something they like or dislike about the post.

Adding the Scrollback widget to my blogpost was not out of any obligation or commitment towards my job. It was a very selfish decision from my end to be able to communicate better with my readers.


Photo credit : Rahul Kondi

It was after adding the Scrollback widget that my army around my blog got stronger. People started reaching out to me on my Scrollback room, asking me more about why I wrote something, why I felt a certain way (referring to some writing) and sometimes also talking about how they shared similar feelings. All those readers of mine, who would like to talk to me, but wouldn't want to find me on facebook or write a long email, now found a much better way to reach out to me, instantly. I could also reply to them, almost instantly. 

Ofcourse not everyone likes what I write. I even had messages from the 'anonymous' readers, saying how I am doing it all wrong and how I need to think better. Well, even those messages have been helpful....helping see the other side of the coin. I am not a great writer, but I appreciate the criticisms received, which often help me improve.

P.S - If you go through my Scrollback room's chat log, you won't find much content there. Most of the time, when I have a very intense discussion with someone on any topic, I prefer to remove the logs after the conversations so that others don't need to suffer from the impact of those conversations.


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My last two cents to the Mozilla India Community

Posted by priyanka nag on 9:55 AM
This should not be coming as a big surprise to anyone who has seen my last post on Facebook regarding my decision to leave all community activities in Mozilla India. Well, this is a followup on that.

Abiding by my previous decision, here I am, taking a voluntary retirement from all community activities related with the Mozilla India community. I had taken up some responsibility for this year's MozFest and didn't wanna spoil that job for sure.

MozFest has always been awesome...its awesome even now, except the cold war I am unfortunately having to face with my own community people here. I had to set up a Hive India booth at the Maker Party here at MozFest, and I was determined to do it to the best of my capabilities. I had been almost begging my own community members, who are here at the MozFest, to help me plan and execute the session. But, not to my surprise, I received absolutely no help and only ignorance from my entire team here.

Ofcourse I am not forgetting the only rockstar who rescued me and my session today, Umesh Agarwal. I also shouldn't forget to thank Sayak for remotely putting in all the possible help and support to keep me from breaking down into tears, with all the struggles here.

Well, fortunately for all of us, the session didn't go that bad. Umesh and I did manage to grab some attention and engage with the kids during the Maker Party at MozFest'14.


She was making a Halloween card for her mother at our booth

Yes....we helped her decorate her hat

Well...this was probably the best make at our booth

Creativity at its max

Different people...different idea...but we all had a lot of fun

True creative artists at the Hive India booth at Maker Party

Thats Ioana with her vampire teeth


A big thanks to the entire Hive team for giving me the opportunity to represent Hive India here at MozFest this year.

Now that the last responsibility is completed, I would like to peacefully walk out of the community.

p.s - I am definitely not trying to start any revolution here. Nor am I complaining against anyone. Also, I am not leaving Mozilla. I will continue my contribution as a volunteer in all other possible ways. I am just gonna keep myself safely away from all community activities in India.

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Debutsav'14 at God's own country

Kerala...God's own country. I had always wanted to visit it, but never had a chance of being there. One evening, I suddenly received a very unexpected call, inviting me to be a part of Debutsab'14 at Amrita college, Kerala.

The poster of Debutsav'14
Though it was Kerala, I wasn't entirely enthusiastic for this event. I not been keeping too well for the last few days and doctor had strictly asked me to work less and rest more! Attending one more event at this time would definitely mean another hectic trip. But someone, the idea of introducing Scrollback to another community of open source lovers, talking about this awesome project to a new group of people was an idea which I couldn't entirely ignore. After some discussion with the rest of the Scrollback team, I decided to take this event up.

13 hours to reach Ernakulam, 3 hours from there to reach Kayankulam and another 30 mins ride to finally reach Amritapuri...it wasn't a very easy or comfortable journey. But once I reached Amritapuri, I realized that this long trip was totally worth it. Kerala, rightly called God's own country. The campus was beautiful. Backwaters, boats, sea, loads of coconut trees, a very clean beach and a very peaceful environment, the campus had it all.


Amritapuri...an example of true beauty

When I had left for this event, I was really wondering about my next few days. I knew I was not going to be welcomed by too many known faces here! But, once I was there, I realized how like minds often don't need much time to get along. I was meeting almost everyone for the first time, but it didn't feel like so after the initial 5 minutes of the conversations. Sometimes, strangers don't feel strange at all...and that is exactly what happened to me here.

On the first day of the event, I took the stage for some 15 minutes to give a quick demo of Scrollback, so that every participant of the event could use Scrollback as the communication platform during as well as after the event, to keep the network alive. On the second day, I did occupy the podium for a little longer, talking about why Scrollback was built, inspite of having so many other communication media.

Me, talking about the next generation IRC
The three days actually passed way faster than expected. I had to leave a little early, before the event could be closed, but the time I did spend with everyone at Amritapuri is totally unforgettable.


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Maker Party Bhubaneshwar

Posted by priyanka nag on 9:09 AM in , , , ,
Last weekend I had a blast in Bhubaneshwar. Over two days, I was there at two different colleges for two Maker parties.

Saturday (23rd August 2014), we were at the Center of IT & Management Education (CIME) where we were asked to address a crowd of 100 participants whom we were supposed to teach webmaking. Trust me, very rarely do we get such crowd in events where we get the opportunity to be less of a teacher and more of a learner. We taught them Webmaking, true, but in return we learnt a lot from them.

Maker Party at Center of IT & Management Education (CIME)

On Sunday, things were even more fabulous at Institute of Technical Education & Research(ITER), Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University college, where we were welcomed by around 400 participants, all filled with energy, enthusiasm and the willingness to learn.

Maker Party at Institute of Technical Education & Research(ITER)

Our agenda for both days were simple....to have loads and loads of fun! We kept the tracks interactive and very open ended. On both days, we did cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to Mozilla
  • Mozilla Products and projects
  • Ways of contributing to Mozilla
  • Intro to Webmaker tools
  • Hands-on session on Thimble, Popcorn and X-ray goggles and Appmaker
Both days, we concluded our sessions by giving away some small tokens of appreciation like e T-shirts, badges, stickers etc, to the people who had been extra awesome among the group. We concluded the awesomeness of the two days by cutting a very delicious cake and fighting over it till its last pieces.
Cake.....
Bading goodbye after two days was tough, but after witnessing the enthusiasm of everyone we met during these two events, I am very sure we are going to return soon to Bhubaneshwar for even more awesomeness.
A few people who are two be thanked for making these events sucessful and very memorable are:
  1. Sayak Sarkar, the co-organizer for this event.
  2. Sumantro, Umesh and Sukanta from travelling all the way from Kolkata and helping us out with the sessions.
  3. Rish and Prasanna for organizing these events.
  4. Most importantly, the entire team of volunteers from both colleges without whom we wouldn't havebeen able to even move a desk.
 p.s - Not to forget, we did manage to grab media's attention as well. The event was covered by a local newspaper.
The article in the newspaper next morning


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Maker Party gets grander in Pune this time

While going through my twitter time-line this evening, I noticed Michelle Thorne's tweet stating that India leads with most Maker Party action this season.
Well, who doubts that! In India, we have a maker parties being organized almost every second day. My facebook wall and twitter timelime is like overloaded with posts, photos and updates from all the Maker Parties happening around me.

Maker Party, Pune


Well, if you are still not aware of this one, we are having the grand daddy of this maker parties in Pune on the 6th of September 2014. The executive director of Mozilla Foundation, Mark Surman, is going to be personally present for this event. Just like all maker parties, this event is an attempt to map and empower a community of educators and creative people who share a passion to innovate, evolve and change the learning landscape.

A few quick updates about this event:
  •  Event date - 6th and 7th September
  •  Event venue - SICSR, Model Colony, Pune
  • Rough agenda for the event is going to be:
    • 6th September 2014 (Day 1) 
      • 10am - 11am : Mozilla introduction
      • 11am - 12 : About Hive initiative
      •  12 - 1pm: Rohit Lalwani - Entrepreneurship talk
      •  1-2pm : Lunch break
      •  2pm - 3pm: Webmaker begins with Appmaker
      •  3pm - 4pm: Webmaker continues with Thimble
      •  4pm - 4.45pm: Webmaker continues with Popcorn
      •  4.45pm - 5.30pm : Webmaker continues with x-ray goggles
      • 5.30pm - 6pm: Prize distribution (against best makes of the day etc). Science fair also ends
      • 6pm - 7pm : Birds of feature
      • 7pm : Dinner (venue - TBD)
Science fair will be from 12 noon to 6pm.
  
    •  7th September 2014 (Day 2) 
      • 1st Half: Community Meetup and Discussions on the future roadmap for Hive India,
        Long term partnership prospect meeting with partners.
      •  2nd Half: Community training sessions on Hive and Train the trainer events.
 
For this event, we are having a variety of different training sessions, workshops and science displays - starting from 3D printing to wood-works, Origami to quad-copter flying and even film making.

If you have still not registered for this event, heres your chance:



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My apology against the happenings of last weekend

Posted by priyanka nag on 10:20 PM
It always feels good to be appreciated and bad to be criticized. Most of the time I am able to deal well with the appreciation but get very defensive about the criticism.

I like to be addressed as a newbie in the Open Source world...cause there are still many things I need to learn (for sure)...many things I need to understand.
I make mistakes, I know I do....but all I expect is, my mistakes should not be associated with the organizations I represent!

Last week, during one of my talks at the FSMK Summer camp in Bangalore, one of my statement probably came out wrong.The way I wanted to present it was probably not the way the audience had perceived it. It kind of went out of hand later on Twitter.

I am making this blog post to apologize for the mistakes of last week with full faith that the matter will be resolved and closed right here and no grievances of the incident will be held further.

For the all the curious minds, this post is in reference to this tweet thread:
https://twitter.com/koolhead17/status/493017466449059840

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Mozilla and WeTech Women's Maker Party, Delhi

Posted by priyanka nag on 7:51 AM in , , , ,
Well, I love the name Larissa came up with for today's event. It is kind of a little long but defines the event best - "Mozilla and WeTech Woman’s Maker Party".

We had landed in Delhi on the 22nd of July 2014 and as Larissa defines it, Delhi was indeed a 'steam sauna'. We did spend most of that day going around and visiting a few famous places like the Red Fort, the India Gate, Parliament house etc. In the evening, we did meet the local Mozillians in Delhi. Well, it was an informal meeting of all Mozillians, talking all 'sh!t mozillians say' ;)

23rd morning began with all excitement. It was a small crowd, but a really awesome crowd in that conference room. Right from the introduction session, we could feel the high intellectual capabilities these young ladies were filled with. After a small game of spectrogram, we immediately moved to introduce Mozilla as an organization as well as all the Mozilla projects. To my surprise, most of the participants already knew about Open Source and had a fair idea about Mozilla. To my greater surprise, all of our participants had used Firefox at some point of time (even if it was not their default/regular browser). It was thus easy to introduce the different Mozilla projects and contribution pathways to them.

Serious hacking in progress...
The confidence these dynamic ladies did showcase was beyond appreciation.
One thing each person in the room agreed to was - "being a woman in technology is indeed tough". But these girls were ready to face the tough world and fight it out for themselves!

Post lunch, we got to some webmaking. So much hacking, so much remixing...it was tough to believe that many of these people were "not from a technical background".
Some of the awesome makes can be found listed on this spreadsheet.

Well, it goes beyond saying that these superstarts definitely deserved some awards for their awesomeness and thus, we did give them some webmaker badges.

Very few events have given me the happiness of being able to convert almost all participants into Mozillians and this was one of those rare ones.

The awesome woman Webmakers of Delhi :)



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