As such, I finally got the invite, and was to report at 4pm at Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai.
No sweat. Plans were made, I was going to go on the bike, attend the conference, stay over at a friend's place and head back the next day.
Monsoon threw a spanner in my plan though, and from the mid of the week, it started to rain cats and dogs. Quick pulse check with friends in mumbai told the story - its raining quite heavily there. Last minute plan changes, and with my wife wanting to come with me, we decided to go in the car.
Usually it takes around 3 hrs to reach the airport (where the hotel was ), but with rains, we started with a buffer of another hour. 1200 hrs we left. Going was smooth with a few splatters of rains, but with each km nearer to lonavala, the rains started pouring in. Just after the Talegaon the rains really started pouring in. Rains by themselves are great ! Rains with spray from the trucks and cars in front ... oh boy ! no visitbility at times ! Speeds dropped.
Around 3pm left the expressway and got into the mumbai traffic ! Oh man ! What a pain. Traffic was crawling everywhere ! :( , but still better than in Pune as people were driving mostly in their lanes. what would have taken around 40mins took 1h30min. Reached the hotel at 4:30pm - which was ok, as the start was delayed due to rains !
The moderator's union is an effort by Yahoo! to reach out to the moderators of various groups, and hear their voices. Each moderator was to come up and present about their group. Just 2-3 mins per person, but many took more than that.
At the end there was a poll for the following categories (2 winners in each category):
1. Most Unique group.
2. Best introduction.
3. Best dressed moderator.
as well as an award for the most punctual.
Well, I was there representing BN and I am proud to say that we were voted among the top 2 most unique groups !
After the moderators, it was the turn of the Yahoo folks to tell us the goodies in store for us. This is what I am assuming many people will like more instead of my dreary writeup of travel ;)
Yahoo! Groups 2.0
Yahoo groups is going to be revamped fully. The concepts they showed us were great (but with a disclaimer that things are likely to change). Heres the feature set that I remember :
1. Customizable homepages.
What this means is that moderators can have different elements on the home page instead of the current static one. E.g. instead of just showing the current description and a few messages, one can customize to also show pics, calendar agenda etc. Kinda like what you can do on a google homepage, but I am not sure if the widgets are going to be customizable.2. Custom user profiles.
So, today you got a yahoo id - and you join a group. No other info is available. The moderators will be able to provide custom fields on a profile which they would want users to fill up.3. Group discussions on Yahoo pages.
This is the example given to us. Say there is a discussion on NBA, and there are NBA centric yahoo groups. If the group has opted for the feature, then current discussions will be shown next to the news item on the Yahoo page. Pretty neat IMHO.4. Allowing attachment Archives.
Storage space is going to be unlimited. With that, YGroup also will provide for a means for archiving any attachments sent to the group. Hmm.. Unlimited Storage space : check. Archive of attachements ... what if they are viruses ? I do not think I will still be in favor of attachemtns, but there are many other groups out there who do allow attachments - it would be great for them I believe.
The other thing that was shown was yahoo glue. Its a search with a difference. It searches different places for the item. you can check it out on :
Search for something - say - Yamaha. You will get pics, videos as well as the regular search.
Left Mumbai around 9:30pm and was home at 1am ! Next day was to be a meet at lonavala.
Most pics taken by my wife