I received some notification on Facebook that StickyPins has organised an event in Openhouse on Nov 24. On that day, one of my good friends Pawan Rai had also planned to hold a seminar on ecommerce, so I was in a dilemma, which event to go. But unfortunately, Pawan Rai’s event got canceled due to some reason, so I chose to go to this event.
Topic:- The Modern Blogger – Passion or Fashion?
Venue:- Openhouse Study
Entry Fees:- Rs. 200
Passion Team:- Sammya Brata, Farhana Afreen, and Aakash Ghosh
Fashion Team:- Khizir Jaffri, Rishi Raj Ghosh, and Shomik Dasgupta
Moderating Panel:- Indrajit Lahiri, Saurabh Rana, Poorna Banerjee, and Rukhsana Kapadia
Moderator:- Shayan Sachin Basu
DEBATING BEGINS – NOT IN ARNAB GOSWAMI’S STYLE
Moderator Shayan Sachin Basu introduced the entire panelist member to the audience and began by asking the question “THE MODERN BLOGGER – PASSION OR FASHION” to the Passion team.
Sammya Brata from the passion team responded to this question. He is the founder of Calcutta Instagrammers. He has previously worked at PWC and KPMG.
He said that there are 4 Million Bloggers in India, and this figure may touch 7 Million by 2020. He added that there are 20 million Bloggers in the USA.
He said that while he was working in Arunachal Pradesh, he had enough free time and during that period he developed an interest in blogging. He said that during initial days, he used to write 7 Blog post a week.
He shared some stats with the audience like 25% of users visit Blog page. He said that 77% of internet user read Blogs.
He also said that influencers are there since ages. It is not a new concept. Our teacher was our first role-model and influencer.
Our Society has still not given dignified place to Blogger; it is still a long path.
He said that he avoids a lot of picture in his Blog, and prefer the old way of textual representation.
He encouraged young aspiring Blogger to cultivate strong writing skills, as the content is King.
Moderator Shayan Basu asked the Fashion Team to respond, whether the content is king.
Shomik Dasgupta said that content is not king anymore, now context is king.
He said that the most challenging thing for Blogger is traffic. He said that the first 100 word of your Blog is the most important things.
He advised using social media as a weapon. He said to explore another platform, and understand what users want and then deliver it.
One must be honest though content. Blogging is a science.
He said to understand your Blogs reader’s persona and then write authentically.
Farhana Afreen from the Passion team added that content needs to be intriguing. If you are not passionate, you can’t build such content. She said that visual content is equally important.
RISHI RAJ GHOSH
Rishi Raj Ghosh from Fashion team said that when you start, it is impossible to know everything. Whatever little, you know, first get started, and you will learn through the journey.
He said that Social media is the millennial trend, everyone is using it. He said that you should always target the right audience.
He advised young wannabe Blogger never to call yourself a Blogger or Influencer, let others call you Blogger.
He concluded by saying that Blogger should be true to himself, only then they can garner trust and respect.
Aakash Ghosh from the Passion team said that he was a freelance content writer. One day his client said that he is going to sell his blog. On that day, he came to know that there can be such methods also to make blogging.
Money was the only driving factor when he joined in this industry. But now he feels that one should take blogging to provide value to the society.
Blogging has become a compelling medium, nowadays. People are using it to voice their opinion and let the world know about it. #METOOcampaign started from blogging, and then the mainstream media picked it up.
He said that new bloggers are writing about untouched topics like homosexuality, child-crime, and pedophile.
He concluded that by saying that when Brands pay you to write, you become biased, and there is no denying to this fact.
Khizir Jaffri responded from Fashion Team, by saying that Blogger and Influencer both are very different.
He said that currency of Blogger is the trust of Subscriber.
Blogging is a powerful medium of opinion, a platform to speak. He said that the internet has just started in India, and it throws open a whole lot of new opportunity to be tapped.
He told that there is a lot of opportunity in travel blogging, people willing to travel to another city will search online to collect information. One must tap this opportunity and provide this information to searchers’ need.
He concluded by saying that blogging reduces publication cost. It has become a new profession and a trend. Wannabe bloggers must be willing to learn new things continually.
With this, the debating session has ended, and it was the turn of Moderating Panel to give their opinion.
Nowadays blogging has reduced publication cost. It has become a new profession and a trend. Wannabe bloggers must be willing to learn new things continually.
Poorna Banerjee first gave her opinion from Moderating team. She is the owner of presentedbyp Blog. She has recently achieved 10000 followers on Zomato.
She said that she started her blogging career in the year 2005. She began to fill the content gap available at that time. She said that everyone is biased by birth, some may like yellow color, and others will hate it.
She said that the moment Brands pays you, you become biased towards it. The challenge is, to be honest in opinion and yet being not rude to Brands. It is sometimes a tightrope walk for the influencer.
It is the Brands which pay you money, and it is your subscriber who wants your honest opinion. An Influencer is nothing without a subscriber or follower. So, one must be loyal to them.
She has been often referred to as “Mother of Blogging” by a fellow member.
The moment Brands pays you, you become biased towards it. The challenge is, to be honest in opinion and yet being not rude to Brands. It is sometimes a tightrope walk for the influencer.
Rukhsana Kapadia was one of the senior Blogger among the Moderating panel member. She is a food blogger. She drives joy from food and sharing that experience.
She said that Food is a mirror of Society. In an open society, there can’t be a restriction on the choice of food.
She works with full disclosure and honesty when she works with Brand.
She said that Blog is an expression of opinions and she welcomes both criticism and appreciation. It was her passion for writing, which drove her into blogging.
She said that whenever restaurants welcome her to write about food, she would write about her experience and not endorse it.
Food is a mirror of Society. In an open society, there can’t be a restriction on the choice of food. One must be free to consume what they like.
Saurabh Rana said that if you are good at something, never do it for free. Because Quality work comes at a price.
If you do not have a passion for it, then you can’t do it for a more extended period. Anything you do without the zeal will lead you to boredom and eventually, you will either get frustrated or just drag things for the sake of it. Passion is very important.
He said that a blogger is also an Influencer.
If you do not have a passion for it, then you can’t do it for a more extended period.
Indrajit Lahiri was the last member of Moderating panel to speak. He said that blogging is documenting yourself.
He said that certain things he does only for money. But when he buys anything, he has every right to criticise or praise it.
He added that blog has immortal life.
He said that whenever he writes about two competing Brands, he writes two separate Blog, without demeaning each other.
With this, all good things come to an end. It was an excellent experience watching Blogger and Influencer debating with each other.
Everyone civilly put their views, there was no chaos and shouting, unlike what we see on our prime time TV channel.
All the participants and the moderator deserves applause for maintaining decorum.
It was insightful and excellent events to connect with the fellow Blogging community.
Over to my readers, if you like this Blog, and if you want to pay me for my efforts. All you have to do is write comments and share it on social media.