Suggest ways for Pune Techies to collaborate online and win a Google Wave invitation

Update: the competition is over – Sandeep Gautam has won the Google Wave invitation for this suggestion.

The offline tech scene in Pune is thriving, as one look at the PuneTech events listing and the PuneTech calendar will show.

And there are a whole bunch of online places for techies in Pune to hang out:

Most of these are basically mailing lists, and forums. I wonder whether there are other ways in which techies in Pune can find other like-minded people, and collaborate in more ways. Would chat be interesting, like uses? Or IRC? Should we be focusing on Orkut or Facebook or both? Is there something intersting that can be done with YouTube?  Can we use some new technology in new ways to bring people closer together? Maybe Google Wave?

Give your suggestions in the comments section below. The best suggestion gets a Google Wave invitation. You can get the invitation for yourself, or you can use it to invite someone else. If you’re not interested in the invitation, please say so in your comment.

Give a specific suggestion for online collaboration/communication amongst Pune’s techies. Don’t just give the mechanism of collaboration – also give the purpose. For example, saying, “use an online chat room” is useless. Much more useful is something like “use an online chat-root where students from engineering colleges can ask questions about career to people from industry.” Also, a suggestion that is easy to implement is much more valuable than a suggestion that is going to require a lot of setup and/or effort. And, you get lots of plus points if you’re also willing to drive the effort. (And if you like somebody else’s suggestion, and would be willing to help/join that effort, please leave a comment indicating that.)

(Thanks to Amit Somani for graciously agreeing to donate one of his Google Wave invitations for this purpose.)

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18 thoughts on “Suggest ways for Pune Techies to collaborate online and win a Google Wave invitation

  1. Now we want wiki pages. Where we have more and more info about Pune Tech communities, individuals and companies. I know many student ask me about which companies works in Linux or Linux Kernel? Also many companies are asking me which company works in Mobile Tech or Social Networking ? So if we have wiki or any knowledge base where we can share and contribute and collaborate then that will be great help. Any company can look for associate or partner company from such platform. So we have lots of tags/categories/rank/feedback on single page of any company/individual.

  2. Hi Navin,

    I think the mailing lists, as they stand today do a good enough job for interaction. They are moderated, established and working. Creating more “similar” channels (like facebook/linkedin groups) may help in drawing more people to the mailing lists (which are the mainstream channels of interaction for various tech communities in Pune).

    However, I don’t see them adding significantly more *value* in terms of improving the conversation helping more people better.

    I see two possible gaps:

    1. Knowledge harvesting from the existing channels of interaction. The threads in the mailing lists are lost in time very soon and with them is lost the knowledge embedded in those threads. Not every thread is important but some are.

    What can be harvested from these threads is:
    a) Useful information: like web hosting companies in India, payment gateways in India etc
    b) Ideation around some topic: Should job postings be allowed on punestartups, ideas for raising funds in India etc.

    PuneTech wiki lives in isolation and oblivion. The ning group lives more like a portal. We need something that’s better integrated with what people are already using i.e. mailing lists.

    We can either hack MediaWiki so that all email threads from the mailing list are archived at a single place and then from there, a moderator can attach the contents of relevant ones to a “relevant” MediaWiki page.

    Another possibility (at the risk of self-promotion) is to hack to do the same and dynamically build “relevant” Trails around “interesting” email threads. It can be further hacked to load the contents of existing PuneTech wiki. And well, it can be even further hacked to integrate with other groups on which action is happening.

    There may be more possibilities along these lines.

    2. There is very little ideation happening on the punestartups mailing list as of now. There could be more questions like “SEO techniques that worked for you”. Such topics need not always require a POCC session. They could also be discussed on the mailing list.

    This should be easy to change. I think after some time, people just get used to a specific pattern and they follow that pattern in their interaction. But it is not very hard to break. Initially, we can “plant” some such discussions. Once people see the usefulness of the same, more such discussions will follow automatically.

    That’s what I can think of based on what I have observed in last one year or so.

  3. I suggest making use of Google wave to create a place where common minds will collaborate, share and contribute their thoughts..

    Twitter and Facebook lite can also work well.

  4. Few suggestions here:

    Have a chat bot – possibly on gtalk and let people add the chat bot. This bot can then auto-magically forward all queries to everyone who is subscribed to it.

    IRC is already mentioned and that is the best way to communicate IMO. Have a single generic query channel and the other tech channels if required.

    Have our own IM server using jabber, people can freely talk with each other.

    Will keep adding to this as an when I storm my brain 🙂

  5. Twitter, have a twitter account, on which people can interact. Quick, effective and fast. Does not involve reading or writing big emails. One liners only, can be read & replied over the mobile, using less bandwidth.

    Conventional mailing list also as an add-on, for some things, discussions cannot be had in one liners.

    So, Twitter + Conventional mailing list.

  6. We have a tool for online collaboration which can be used for having sessions between industry professionals and the students.

    This tool can also be leveraged to do PuneTech sessions so that people can attend it online from their office or home.

    Have a look at and let me know how we can help with this. Any suggestions are also welcome.

  7. Here are my suggestions.

    1. Pune Tech has to move from being on the web to being on the mobile. You need to make, Check how the site looks on multiple phones. Next, groups have to be on Google SMS.

    2. And you have to move from IT, engineering colleges and companies to nanotech, mo tech, clean tech, biotech etc.

    3. There are so many startup meetings happening in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and even Cochin. We can rope in
    a. industries like KBL, Bharat Forge, Praj
    b. networks like NEN, TIE, Headstart, Barcamp
    c. Magazines like Dare, Entrepreneur
    d. Investors like MITCON, Sicom Ventures

    I volunteer to support this cause.

  8. I would suggest one Generic IRC channel, and a Web based IRC chat client on PuneTech site.

    IRC is best way to communicate for techies in Group.

    A web based IRC client on PuneTech site will make it easy for anyone to communicate from anywhere.


  9. I would suggest a full campaign through social networks, as it is easier to get to the users with communication directed to them.
    The methods of “we-post-you-find-us” campaigns are still efficient, but with the improvements in the social networks, users are getting more comfortable with the idea of recommended solutions and ideas as they find them more trustworthy. Respectively a tweet about news will get to more people and most importantly will bring more people on the site (Warning: important notice here:) and most importantly people that will be interested(targetted) in the site, than a ppc campaign.

    So a structured idea with direct suggestions:
    you have a good online presence and this is half of the work.
    If you haven’t done yet, start a facebook page. Get listed in as many groups you can, that are related and share opinion on topics. Also get new friends to share opinion with them.

    Get deeply into twitter. I’m not talking only about having account and posting some info from time to time. Do 2 things mainly: Listen to what people are talking about you and what they want from you. Ask for suggestions, make games, quizzes, polls, whatever may grab the user attention. The other thing to do on twitter is not directly on twitter actually. According to your geographical location try to get into more twitter directories. Also get into directories by area of expertise and similar.

    Start blogging about the people at Pune Tech. The people who stand behind the site, the people who make all this possible. People are willing to learn about who is providing them all that, you gain a lot of trust this way and more importantly, they are getting to know you. It is not only about the person who visits the site, reads something and leaves, it is about the person who visits the site learns new things and is then interested who provides this. This way you get personal and the next day the user will say to a friend “Check out the new articles the guys at Pune Tech have posted, they look really trustworthy…”.

    Email lists and RSS, that you have developed are also a good thing, but you can use them to drive traffic from one another. For example…fire an email campaign for your new updates on facebook, or for something else you have done soon.

    Give the users opportunities, provide facebook coordinates, provide twitter, provide RSS, as you have done. Tell the users you are ok with all ways of communication. Tell them you are open for connections everywhere they feel comfortable, this way anyone can benefit.

    Ahhh almost forgot, you should not forget youtube or any other video site. Have a channel there, post video clips, or video presentations…everything you consider important.

    I hope I have given you enough ideas to keep you busy for a while and to help you in finding new ways for Pune Techies to collabrate online with your help.

    Have a great day and a lot of luck!

    Ventsislav Tomev

  10. I like the idea of having a general IRC channel for Pune’s techies to just hang out and talk to each other, or ask questions. Anybody willing to volunteer to set it up? @Vipul? PuneTech can provide any server space required…

  11. 1. Have a Friendfeed room for pune techies which aggregates blog posts from pune techies. As FF is sort of phasing out (after FB acquisition), an alternative is to set a twitter accout (say @techpune, now that @punetech is already gone) and have blog posts from pune techies be fed automatically to that account. the advantage, a newbie wanting to join the tech conversation in pune, needs to subscribe to one twitter account and will get a lowdown on all the tech happening in the city and sort of get connected to all the techies automagically. Requires minimal effort (periodic adding of new pune techie feeds to the room/twitter account) and I can take initiative here.

    2. I know blogs are passe and twitter/life streaming is in; but still to have a close knit tech community start a biweekly/monthly pune tech blog carnival, where blogs/podcats can be aggregated and the best amongst these highlighted and hosted at one place. again requires minimal effort and I can do it.

    looking forward to the Google wave invite:-)(as someone said the difference b/w google wave invite and noble prize is that anyone can get the latter)

  12. @Sandeep, thanks for two specific/simple and easy to implement ideas. And, above all, thanks for volunteering to actually get them rolling. You’ve won the Google Wave invitation.

  13. Thanks. To get this rolling, I’m expecting some inputs from you Navin…the tech bloggers/twitterers in pune and their twitter/FF/blog ids. Is ‘The Pune Techies’ an apt name for the FF group or can we keep it simply as ‘Pune Tech” (if Punetech allows its branding to be used!:-).
    Also any suggestions anyone on the name for the tech blog carnival specific to pune?

    1. @Sandeep, PuneTech brand can (and should!) definitely be used for the FF group, as long as it is going to be a non-commercial thing.

      As for the name for the Pune Blog Carnival, why don’t we ask on twitter? You tweet, and I’ll re-tweet it.

  14. Guys,

    How about those late adopters who will take still a few more months (or years) to be on twitter. Will they miss on all the action henceforth?

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