Shimla organised its first Bar Camp on Sunday that saw active participation from budding entrepreneurs, government officials, media professionals, IT professionals and adventure sport organisers.
Providing a platform where seeding of ideas could turn into potential start up enterprises, the informal style of the Barcamp was like a breath of fresh air from the formal way in government functions are conducted at the hill resort.
BK Aggrawal, secretary Information Technology with government of Himachal who was the chief guest for the camp made a detailed presentation about various opportunities coming up as the drive for e-governance and IT driven solutions for providing various kinds of service are rolled out.
Anit Maheshwari, CEO Instablogs led an interactive session about the future of media. Senior journalist Prakash Lohumi spoke about the convergence of all mediaâ€™s but lamented about the falling standards in print and electronic media.
Doubts about credibility of citizen media and social media were cast even as it was acknowledged that it was posing serious challenges to traditional media channel.
Sukhmani Kaur, an ardent new media specialist talked about the interactive advantages provided by online media outlets which not only draw sharp reactions but also build content value as different news inputs build up the thread.
Akhil Puri made a presentation about how new media had rescued a start up mountain biking event and turned it into a grand success in just four years.
From 33 participants in 2005, we had 140 participants in 2008 and would confine to 120 participants in 2009 for the annual MTB Mountain Biking event we conduct later in the year, he said.
Building a community of mountain bikers from across the globe was only possible because of the reach online media has, he added.
Varun Singh, an IT consultant made a presentation about out of box solutions for NGOâ€™s and social organisations.
The day long camp was opened with Pooja Kashyap, a marketing professional with Instablogs making a presentation about advantages of social media networks.
The Barcamp, a new concept for Shimla, was well received by a very young audience that was sprinkled with a few gray haired gentlemen.
Amandeep, a Shimla resident working out of Bangalore said, “when I learn’t about this Barcamp, I simply wanted to be present and just about made it in time.”