Last year, Caferati ran the official blog for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
It was an experimental collaboration between Caferati, the Literature and Writing section of the Festival and a few selected Bombay bloggers.
It was, as far as we know, the first time that bloggers were paid to cover an event in this country. Not much, we hasten to add, but definitely enough to cover non-luxury transport to the venue and dinner, with a bit left over. These fees were paid partly by the Kala Ghoda Association, and partly from money that came in through a sponsorship by an advertiser.
Chances are we'll be doing it again this year, and if we do, we will, naturally, need some bloggers.
What kind of team?
If it is a sponsored deal, the number of people we can afford to pay will depend on the amount of sponsorship we get. There will also be few important conditions, as part of our responsibility to the Kala Ghoda Association and the sponsors.
If we do not get sponsors in time, we are considering doing the blog anyway, but with no payment to the bloggers. There will be some conditions here as well, but limited only by our responsibility to the Kala Ghoda Assocation.
It still could be worth your time:
• each blogger brings in her/his own regular readers, so all the collablog's members benefit from being able to strut their stuff in front of new readers;
• the Kala Ghoda Association site will, if they get their act together in time carry headlines from the blog, and at the very least link to the blog as the official festival blog, so more traffic;
• and the Festival gets a fair amount of media attention, so, hey, even more exposure for your blogging skills.
Either way, we're still looking for damn good writers, reporters who can bring a scene alive with their descriptions, who can analyse, critique, insult with style and class. Of course you'll also need to be pretty enthusiastic about the arts and arts festivals, and, preferably, kind of fond of this city and the Kala Ghoda area.
We're also looking for a few photobloggers, podcasters and vloggers. Same conditions apply, with one extra caveat: we can't offer hosting for your files, so you can embed your stuff in your posts, but you'd need to store the originals on your own server or on some hosting service that permits file leeching, like Flickr or YouTube or Our Media.
In all cases, you'd need to be familiar with Wordpress, which is what we'll use to power the blog. And you'll need to be able to turn out your posts quickly. There's no point blogging your impressions after the Festival is over.
Clear? Right. Now, here's the deal.
If you'd like to get on board, please do the following.
Write to editors at caferati dot com. Use this subject line: Wanted: bloggers (maybe). Mails that ignore this will be repaid in kind.
In the body of your mail tell us:
1. Would you be willing to blog for free? Or only if we're paying? We will not think any less of you if it's the second. Just be clear about what you want.
2. State your preferred method: reporting, photography, audio, video, or any combination thereof.
3. Let us know how many days you think you'll be able to attend and cover. An approximation will do. (The Festival runs from Saturday, the 3rd to Sunday, the 11th February. Most events tend to be in the evenings, going on till 11 p.m. or so. The weekends usually have more stuff happening in the day. Heritage walks, workshops and children's events are usually in the day.)
4. Let us know which event streams you'd like to focus on. (This is what KGAF had last year, and we're assuming will all be there this year: Children's events, Cinema, Dance, Heritage walks, Literature and Writing, Music, Street Festival, Theatre, Workshops / Seminars, Visual Arts.)
5. Add at least three and not more than five permalinks to posts that you're particularly pleased with. Posts that showcase the qualities we're looking for. Preferably arts-related, natch. Do not send attachments. Do not send links to entire sites.
Added later. Apologies if this sounds rude. It's not meant to be. It's just that there's very little time left in which to do this thing, and we really don't have the time to wade through piles of questions.