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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pink Advantage or Ink Advantage !!

Well, that was my first thought when I saw what was on screen at the HP - Blog Adda event last weekend. But I am getting ahead of myself … let me start at the beginning.


It was a first for me. Attending a product promotion event, especially for bloggers and tweeps. The opportunity presented by Blog Adda and HP. The venue was 'At Fat Cat' (Veera Desai Road, Andheri West near Andheri Sports Complex), a new restaurant (for me) in a frequented part of the city ... I was wondering how come I missed it till now. The venue has a nice touch and feel to it. I would love to go back there in more relaxed ambience.



 

Besides the obvious HP event; the thing which attracted me was a chance to meet and interact with fellow bloggers and of course to meet the team from Blog Adda with whom I have been interacting for the past 9 months … but only through email. Now I could put faces to the names. Ditto for some of the bloggers and tweeps about whom I had heard but never got a chance to meet them.
Right at the beginning of the event, we were informed about the hashtag to use for all tweets about and around the event with the promise of a prize for the one with max tweets. I was kinda pleasantly surprised with the twitter contest at a bloggers meet but then realized that practically all the bloggers around were active tweeps. It also revived my own interest in my twitter account which has faced neglect from me in past year or so. It was nice to get back to tweeting again. Hashtag and all.
I mis-read the hashtag which led to some interestingly confused funny moments where I wondered why HP would have a hashtag of "Pink Advantage" only to be told by a fellow blogger that it was actually "HP Ink Advantage" … #hpinkadvantage
Our host from Blog Adda … Sagarika … told us about the other contests which included using some keywords and introducing ourselves. We were to write this down as well as tweet them with the hashtag. With the kind of fervent activity on mobile phones I was witnessing, it wouldn't take long for #hpinkadvantage to get into the top 10 trending hashtags in the country.

HP Presentation and Q&A
The representative from HP made his presentation introducing us to the new range of HP printers and going in detailed explanations about the HP advantage. This new range not only has a low startup cost of less than 10K (5-10 K range) but the printing is approx. 75 paise per page (less than a rupee). So the low cost of ownership of printer and low cost of printing is a dual advantage. He also told us about the various other features that came along with the HP models … wifi connectivity and touch-screen panels. A very interesting feature that was introduced was email printing where one can send an email to a particular email address (from practically anywhere in the world, from a laptop or even a mobile phone) and the prints would come out of the printer at home. Voila. This is truly a leap ahead in printing technology.
Quite interesting was the software they used to make the presentation. It was like a vast canvas with the text and images and the presenter/assistant would simply zoom in and zoom out of the vast plane as one would do with google maps. It was damn interesting to watch the presentation. I wanted to ask them about the software but missed asking them in the aftermath of activities post the presentation.
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session where we asked the HP rep quite a few questions about printing and printers; while some shared interesting uses of their printers. One particular participant had a 12 year old HP printer (still functioning) … even the HP guy had not heard of hat printer model. Most interesting aspect of the Q&A was the clarification on the difference between Laser printing and Ink Jet printing and their pros and cons. Interestingly, the life of printing from a inkjet printing is about 40-60 years while that from laser printing is about 100 years. Truly amazing fact. Another interesting discussion was on new cartridge versus cartridge refills. HP Rep pointed out that although the refill works; the risk of damaging the printer is high and the cost saving too low (due to falling prices of original cartridges) for such a risk to be undertaken.
 I was pretty much convinced about the features of the new range of HP printers and would like to have one now J In fact, I have been thinking about owning one for some time. A lot of printing needs to be done … almost about 20-30 pages every month and its seems to be increasing steadily. Going out for prints at print shops costs about 4-5 bucks per copy so I am anyway spending about 100 bucks every month for personal printing (I usually avoid doing it in office unless I can't avoid it). Also, the need to scan and photocopy documents/bills has increased over the years and it would be convenient to have a all-in-one machine close at hand. Having a printer at home would be so convenient and I am sure once the printer is there, the family would find more uses. 
ZENGA
After the discussions and Q&A's, the hostess informed us about the game of Zenga for us. This was again new for me. Had not heard about it. It is a simple game where a tower is made up of small criss cross placed blocks. The participants have to pull out blocks from the tower (not the top) making sure the tower becomes unstable BUT does not fall down while they are pulling out a block. In case, you cause the tower to collapse; the person who pulled a block before you WINS. The game was made more interesting by the fact that our table was set on wobbly flooring and the table moved and swayed all by itself. We were 6 of us at the table and we all had a lot of fun and laughter playing the game. Best part of the game was that I won the game.



For a closer look at Zenga itself ... here are a few pics off the internet for your reference.


After the game, there were open conversations between the bloggers … not about HP … but about blogging. The subject of Tech Blogging came up and numerous observations came up (primarily that tech bloggers make their product reviews extremely techy which are of no use to the average blogger who is not a techy but looking for some proper simple understandable product review). There was a discussion on plagiarism which seems to have grown over the years especially when people plagiarize content from other blogs and claim it as their own for participating in contests (and even winning them). A sidebar discussion was also on the bloggers who enjoy writing loooooong sentences which spill over several lines. The universal advice of Keep It Short and Simple was repeated and reminded to some of us who are guilty of long rambling sentences. :)



I loved this part of the evening where all the bloggers were passionately discussing something close to their hearts ... blogging. A lot of blogging tips were shared and a lot of laughter was floating around. Not to forget the snacks served during this phase. They disappeared from the plates before anyone could notice them.   
The next item on the agenda was the Prize distribution for the various contests for the evening. One of us got a grand prize of a brand new printer from the range to which we had been introduced. I envy the guy who won it. I should have won. :)
There were several other prizes for the introductions, the Zenga Game, the max number of tweets during the event … the prizes being an HP Headset.

A gift for all attendees in the form of a 8 GB Pen Drive & a Magazine made everyone happy.
Before we could say our Good Byes; we had group photos being clicked and one of the sweet bloggers got a cake which everyone enjoyed.

The Girls Gang went in for a separate All-Girls-Group-Photo ...

The Cake ... courtesy 'Blogwati G'

I have missed many a BlogAdda events and this one was my first. I am now looking forward to attend many more such events. They are damn enriching.
A special Thanks to HP for organizing and sponsoring the event. It helped me learn something new about printers and printing while interacting with fellow bloggers … a motley bunch of enthusiastic fellas
(Image courtesy: Blog Adda team. Pics picked up from Blog Adda's FB album)
Addendum: Post the event, we all received an Email from Blog Adda with the twitter ids' of all participants. That was a very good idea since we can easily connect now.

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