Last weekend (1st to 3rd October 2010) I attended BlogFest Asia 2010.
It was my first time attending a bloggers event. I had a chance to go to one in KL in April but back then I was skeptical that a group of bloggers should be attending an offline events.
Only now I know that these types of events are quite common.
A few attendees have given their thoughts and comments about the events. Here is my version.
Due to busy schedule during the weekend ( I played paintball in the morning and accompanied friends to shop in the evening), I attended only some of the programmes prepared for the bloggers.
Day 1 (1st October 2010)
The first event I attended was the welcoming dinner. What I had in mind was NOT to get to know as many people as possible and exchange cards with as many people as possible (eventhough that is what people usually do during networking events).
I wanted to get to know people whoI feel good connecting with.
And these were the bloggers that I managed to talk to on the first night.
Kathy Houng - she is a US citizen who has been spending one month in Penang. Her blog name is an anagram because she likes anagram. And it turns out that she loves palindromes too.
Hans from Taiwan – Hans is a Project Manager of an NGO in Taiwan working to empower NGOs with affordable IT solutions. At a first glance he looks like some geek from China but it turned out that this chap is very friendly and has been to quite a lot of places.
From him I got to know that this types of events are quite common nowadays and BlogFest Asia 2010 is the third bloggers event he has attended.
Rosli – Rosli is a Penangite personal development blogger who happens to be a friend of a friend. Penang is a small place after all.
All in all, the food served was great. We had free flow of orange juice and beer through the night.
A few things worth mentioning is that the food was great but I was a bit disappointed with the bloggers who turned up.
On that night most of the local bloggers happen to be food bloggers, commercial bloggers who have around 20 to 100 niche blogs and some don’t even have any personal blogs, and lifestyle bloggers.
I was expecting to meet up with bloggers who can exchange tips on building an audience, designing a proper blog layout and writing tips.
But I don’t find many who are into those things that night. Most of them were busy running around with DSLR camera taking photos.
Day 2 (2nd October 2010)
I managed to attend only 1 breakout session which was on Content Delivery Network by Exabytes, a Malaysian hosting company.
It was a sales pitch disguised as a breakout session (Exabytes is one of the organisers after all and they gave away T-shirts with fanbulous design), but the presentation form Arren Tan, the engineer from Exabytes was excellent. And I enjoyed it.
Day 3 (3rd October 2010)
In the morning I did not really feel like going to BlogFest Asia 2010.
I asked myself what is the reason I did not feel like going. I need to work on my networking skills !!
So I dragged my feet to Wawasan Open University that morning.
By the time I reached there a talk on Social Media and politics was going on.
Jeremiah Foo, a founder of mybloggercon.com gave his thought and I’d say he is a great and entertaining public speaker.
It was followed by a forum comprising of a Malaysian Member of Parliament, and a ruling party politician.
During lunch time, I got acquainted with a couple of husband and wife. The husband, Nawfal Nur is a photographer and we shared our thoughts on photography.
One take away point I got from him is that the most important gadget in photography is not the camera or the lenses, or the flashes. It is the person behind the camera. The photographer himself.
He also shared with me that to get a very sharp picture, the most important thing is the tripod. No matter how skilfull a photographer is, the hands still shake everytime a photo is captured. So, a tripod helps to stabilise a camera.
Nawfal showed me his camera and it is nothing compared to all the DSLR camera being carried around by other photographers. He uses a simple and “outdated” camera.
But you should go and visit his blog to check out his artwork. They are amazing.
A simple camera, amazing photos, and a simple photography philosopy.
That is what I call it a minimalist photographer
After lunch, I attended a talk by Bobby Soriano, a gentleman from Philippines on privacy issues on the internet. I enjoyed the talk and Bobby was very entertaining as well.
Come to think of it, I should have chosen to attend his talk on the second day.
Overall, my experience on the third day helps to negate the previous two days feeling about the event.
I’m pretty sure the organisers did their best in ensuring everything was run smoothly.
If I were to recommend whether to attend the event in the future or not, I will give it a resounding yes.