The 27th Bloggers’ Gathering has been moved to the 12th, by popular demand. Now make sure that you do attend!
We still need a volunteer to talk about the blogs discovered since the last meeting. We need to decide on what the theme of the discussion should be, and it would be good if we can start thinking of what the next meeting should be about too while we’re at it.
Do you guys want to talk techniques? How to embed a picture or a video to your blog etc? That is, do you want the theme to be technical, a “how to” or “serious” stuff like ethics and bloggers’ society?
The 27th bloggers gathering is coming up next week. It will be held at 7pm at Al-Bareh Cafe. Everyone is welcome. Please give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the venue as the roads will be busy (judging by the last time) and you need to start making tracks at least at 6.30 to arrive at 7.
Welcome & introductions – Mahmood (5 minutes)
Highlight of Bahraini blogs discovered over the last month – any volunteers? (5 minutes)
Themed presentation and discussion – we need to decide on the topic, please enter your suggestions in a comment (15 minutes)
end of formal side of the evening
Chat, mingle, drink, eat and be happy for the rest of the night! (or at least for another 1 hour and 35 minutes!)
So we arrived, and Sadeq brought his little dinky projector; except that the bloody thing did not like my Mac! That pissed me off. I spent quite some time sexing up my presentations with really nice animated transitions and the like, only to succumb in the end to export them into PowerPoint which screwed up the animations and formatting a bit as I had to use Sadeq’s PC (Ugh!) to do my presentations.
It was a good turnout in the end. We had 11 bloggers in there and a good amount of interest in the presentations. The “featured presentation” was to a visiting friend from Ireland – Mohammed Al-Kabour – who talked to us about his experiences in activism and lobbying and showed how we might adapt and adopt some of the tried and tested methods in our own endeavours.
Both Mohammed Al-Maskati and Sadeq Al-Shehabi did excellently in their presentations; the first with a report on the bloggers’ advocacy, the first such thing of many – I hope – that we will get ourselves involved in, where he summarised the first day of the BYSHR’s workshop; while Sadeq shared with us some research he did in blogging platforms and hosting plans.
My presentations were about the state of the Bahraini blogosphere and sharing with the group a technical tip on how to optimise WordPress as well as how to turn on the MySQL query cache based on Jeremy Zawodny’s article in Linux Magazine.
We ended the session by my floating the idea to form a Bloggers’ Society and register it with the Ministry of Social Affairs, an idea originally suggested by a Butterfly and which received an almost universal support from those present. Please do let us know if you support/oppose this idea. We would love to hear from you your thoughts on how we can go forward. The basic premise is that we would like to have an infrastructure that legally can support a blogger should s/he fall in trouble because of court cases brought against them and indeed to provide a legal entity that can organise various activities normally not possible outside of that realm.
If you would like to download Mohammed Maskati’s and my presentations, you could do so from here. I’ll get the other two presentations from Shehabi soon and will put those up here as well for you to download and update this post with a link to them when they are ready.
Sadeq also brought his video camera with him and shot some of the proceedings. He will give me the tape which I will edit and upload when ready.
I asked for some feedback about this new format from those present, and they almost universally said that we packed in far too many presentations! Which, in hindsight, is true. We had five presentations! So next time I promise that I will ask for just one single presentation to be made, maybe two as a maximum and keep both to not take more than 15 minutes of the time, then we can enjoy just chillin’ and chattin’ and eatin’! I would like to thank everyone present this time for their patience. We’re learnin’ and listenin’ too.
Due to other commitments, both Mohammed Al-Maskati and I won’t be able to attend the forthcoming bloggers’ gathering which is supposed to be held on March 1st, therefore, could we ask you to delay it to the next Thursday for this once please?
If that is acceptable to you, the 26th Bloggers’ Gathering will be (please take note of new timing and location!):
I think we should add some structure to the gathering so that everyone would benefit and know ahead of time what is going to be discussed. Therefore, there will be a presentation starting promptly at 7pm to highlight (but not restricted to):
The State of the Bahraini blogosphere
New blogs in 2007
New blogging technologies
Comparison of hosting plans used by bloggers
Highlights of issues covered by bloggers so far (shall we call this the “monthly roundup”?)
Any other issue any of you would like to contribute to the presentation.
We need a projector so that we can project the presentation. Sadiq, can you arrange this please?
The presentation should not last more than 30 minutes, the remaining 90 minutes could be dedicated to a general chat as we have done in the past or moderated as we see fit.
The press are welcome to attend and highly encouraged to report the gathering!