Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Calcutta Instagrammers: An Insider's Account

Well, it’s funny how perspectives change over a period of time; so do the preferences. We often struggle to convince ourselves.
Of course, it’s important for us to cope up with the evolving social ecosystem…but that should come with the caveat that you shouldn’t deviate from your ‘originality’; I have seen people getting into the never ending loop of ‘metamorphosis” and eventually emerging out as a perplexed, perturbed soul. I think one of the major reasons for this change in behavioral pattern is the ingrained inimical trait; we hardly retrospect…digging out others’ faults eats up most of our time.
Anyway, this post is not supposed to be a rhapsody or a promotional post; it should rather be a crisp cogitation in line with what has been an eventful last couple of months. Lots and lots of updates, upgrades and refurbishments within a very short period of time; that takes a toll on you. However, the only positive aspect is that you eventually managed to respond to the changes, established something “concrete” and realized that perhaps it’s time for you to take “it” to a new level.
Well, talking about moving in steps and not in leaps, I think some of us have to realize that time is not on our side. With so many marauders around, an idea when it gets floated into the ‘cosmos’, gets ruthlessly replicated almost instantaneously. However, creativity….rather ingenuity, I believe has no expiry date. It’s a replenishing cycle…a visionary starts thinking right from where he left and goes beyond those inbred limits, he sets newer goals for himself and sets the tone for his consorts to take over. Relatable?
That's what we are talking about.
The largest Instagram Community of Calcutta, Calcutta Instagrammers
Let’s take a look at some of my key take-aways from a very eventful last couple of months. Lets try &  convince ourselves on these :-
1. Creating a closely knit community is a challenging task, on a personal ground, you tend to stretch yourself, and at times rather emphatically. You are constantly worried about the fluctuating numbers because you know that stats matter at the End of the Day.
2. People are often under the impression that once you are through with your creation, half of the job is done. I would beg to differ in this case, your real “job” starts right after you kick-start your treasured initiative. You simply can’t let your standards drop. Sustainability is the key.
3. Yes, you develop a new set of admirers and almost an equivalent number of haters…striking a balance between the two often becomes a challenge. It’s a ruthless tug-of-war, and the side that “holds on to its ground”, tastes glory. You guessed it right, this is nothing less than a battle.
4. You need to get the right guys in the right places. You might have started an initiative with a specific set of people in mind, but with time you might need to change the formation of your core team. Skills sets do matter and it’s important to put your emotions aside in this respect.
5. For a closely knit community, it’s important for the core team to ensure that each and every member is treated with equal importance. This is exactly what we mean by “hospitable harmony”; your audience is your Jehovah… there would be diversity in your assemblage, you need to handle them judiciously.
6. You should advertise yourself audaciously and leverage your strongest medium “of influence” in this very aspect. People often detest the idea of “shameless self-promotion”…yes there should be “restraint” but at the end of the day, what matters is the “footprints”- either in an offline or an online mode. If people are “talking about you”, you are heading in the right direction.
7. Once you start off with the endorsements on the digital platform, you are bound to attract “interest”, and this could be inform of collaboration offers and counter-offers. This is indeed a tricky scenario and you would need to ensure that you are not working for “Free”. Consortium, in effect, means sharing of credentials between the two entities and you should not be exploited in any way. But when it comes to credential building, at times you might need to do Pro bono work.
8. You should be open to ideas coming in from different layers of your target audience. These ideas might sound bizarre at the onset, but could turn out to be extremely relevant in the near future. Crowdsourcing has come a long way since its inception and should be a great ingrained asset for an evolving community.
9. Organic engagement is extremely critical for a newly developed community and there is absolutely no substitute to this. Once the gap (if it at all exists) between the mentors and the members is bridged, then we can talk of harmony, integrity and trust-building. The idea is to create a reciprocal environment.
10. Since investment is the key to any successful venture, at times, you might need to pay out of your own pocket. This is a policy every entrepreneur needs to follow, I reckon…and I’m not talking about lump sum investment. I firmly believe that you are creating a “bank of possibilities” in the process…the interest rates would work in your favor- a gamble that works wonders. Amen.
At an offline event organized by Calcutta Instagrammers and Streets of Calcutta- "Milestone Colloquy"
Straight from the Archives: An account of the Instameets organized by CI so far......
Some key information about Calcutta Instagrammers

# Set up just about 3 months back, Calcutta Instagrammers has turned out to be the first and biggest Instagram community of Calcutta. It's a platform where you can connect to like-minded people, of course, Instagram being the bridge. You can share your thoughts, ideas, tips, feedback and of course images in this group, no restriction what-so-ever.
# Calcutta Instagrammers is an integral part of the very popular photography community "Streets of Calcutta" led by eminent photographer Soumya Shankar Ghosal and popular food-blogger Indrajit Lahiri.
Calcutta Instagrammers has been instrumental in conducting Insta-meets for Calcutta including the official Worldwide Instagram meets 11.0 and 12.0 (#WWIM11 and #WWIM12) and World-wide Indiapictures meet (#IP_Meet). CI has also been involved in promoting social awareness programmes like Fanushi (Sky Lantern festival to promote Green Diwali). Take a look at "On The Rox"'s steller coverage on Fanushi 3.0 out here.
# Sensitization has also been a key aspect that CI has been focusing upon; in this direction a interactive workshop "Milestone Colloquy" was organized on 14th November 2015 at the Oxford Bookstores, Calcutta that received phenomenal response.
# Calcutta Instagrammers is a free platform and anyone and everyone can register. With mere exceptions, almost all the events conducted by us are free of cost.
# Calcutta Instagrammers can be found on FacebookTwitter and of course Instagram. We have a regular feature mechanism to highlight the best photos from across the city, clicked by talented photographers. We also have a dedicated set of admins for all the above mentioned platforms and all the posts are closely moderated.
# With a fantastic buzz and mind-blowing organic footprints on all the platforms, Calcutta Instagrammers is now open for brand-campaigns. So do get in touch if you are interested.
The official hashtag for instagram upload is #ig_calcutta that has already recorded a whooping 6,500+ uploads on Instagram till date.
# We have also been featured in Telegraph on account of our successful initiatives. You can read the article here. Cheers...!!!

The Official Calcutta Instagrammers Logo
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