Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Appytising #NokiaAppTasting IndiBlogger meet.

Bloggers are a different breed altogether. I have said it before and shall say it again. The ability to communicate, interact and speak your mind come what may, comes naturally to them (like publicly announcing at an event that you're only there for the dinner even though you may be just 12 years old is a perfect example). The IndiBlogger meet was a tribute to them, their way of life and their species.

On the 19th of August 250 odd bloggers from various parts of Bombay (some even came from nearby places like Surat and Poona…wowJ) made their way to the Taj Lands End at Bandra Bandstand for an evening of fun and apptasting. Sponsored by Nokia and hosted by the techno foodies Rajiv Makhni and Vikas Khanna resp. in the perfect ambient setting, the night bore witness to the fact that yes, while your stomach may be rumbling for food your mind can still dig apps. What’s more if used well to your advantage you can savor on (or stay away from) some of the dishes at the best places, all thanks to our friends on the web who not only undertook the risk but also were generous enough to share their reviews.

The night took shape with bloggers having to make a tough choice between being a foodie or a techie and proving it too. Probably a few years back that would have been simple given that technology hadn't touched our lives, but in today's times it was and is. While some managed to convince the hosts with their wit and humor and win prizes, others inspite of their best efforts couldn't (good antics, but sorry no Oscar).

What struck me most about the meet was the diversity of blogs and bloggers. On one side where you had a young Muslim guy who was yet to break his fast on the other you had a person who blogged on the stock markets; then while you had a lady who wrote poems and had sons of the age of Rajiv and Vikas on the other you had a 1 and half year old adult blogger - probably the youngest blogger in India and even the world. I must say that blogging has become serious business and blogs a great medium of communication, gone are those days when it was a mere scribble pad.

The focus of the evening then shifted to exploring a whole new world or better said a universe of apps. Not a long time back I always thought that making and receiving calls n sms' was all that was there to a phone but, there came in apps and it threw my thinking out the window. Apps open up a wide range of possibilities for your phone and you. And with so many tasks now possible on your phone to do I wouldn't be wrong in saying that the laptop is nearing extinction.

Some of the apps that were showcased at the meet were the Nokia City Lens – which gives you info of the places around by just panning your camera (and not breaking through walls), the Charlie Chaplin app - that lets you record silent Charlie Chaplin type movies (imagine making a movie on the Lost Bombay, not bad for a start). If you felt that was too much to get down your throat you could try the Food and Wine pairing app that would tell you which wine would go with which food or vice versa (smart I must say, imagine the impression you can create on a girl on a date or amongst friends). In case you have got lost with all this the Food Spotting app – that gives you real-time reviews of a dish you’re about to order, can be your savior.

The evening took a high when a quiz was announced. Questions on food and tech tore the minds apart of not only the contestants but also the audience who tried their best at taking home at least a small prize. (I too tried my best at the few questions the answers to which I knew of but unfortunately everyone else also knew them. Hence no prizeL) the contestants were also kept on pins and needles while the audience in suspense over the upcoming never-before held and heard of final round. The final round came on and everyone felt they were on a show of MasterChef. It was apptasting (this time appetizer tasting. I’m a techno-foodie after allJ) or better said soup tasting at its best. The contestants blind folded had to list the ingredients in 1 minute. The winners were announced and the prize too – A Nokia Lumia phone. I have never felt so close to a top class prize (the prizes I have won have all been consolation prizes) as the winners were seated at my table. I would like to believe that I brought the Banno Ki Saheli’s (the winning team name) luck.

After the meet I had the good fortune of interacting with Rajiv Makhni and Poonam Kaul, Director, Communications, Nokia. The insights shared by Rajiv made me realize why he is referred to India’s original tech guru. Poonam on the other hand was typical of the company she represents – perfect at connecting with people. She patiently listened to my feedback and suggestions on what Nokia should do to win over the market. The promise that Windows Phone 8 has is surely not going to make this (me) go anywhere. You may call me a mad man; I would just like being called a Nokia loyalist. Go Nokia Go. Blow this world.J

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