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  1. #1
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    Default Requirements in IndiaWilds

    Dear All,

    We had a fruitful discussion in Kabini during the IndiaWilds Meet and of course loads of fun. We had a whale of a time. Most of us met each other for the first time, however, immediately camaraderie was established.

    Manasi has already posted in detail ( Indiawilds Kabini Meet..! - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities ). I am just writing about some of the action points.

    In a few other postings in the IndiaWilds forums I had mentioned about my vision for IndiaWilds. I am reiterating it here again.

    Nearly a decade back in 2003, I had first written down my vision for IndiaWilds. I had felt that we won’t always have charismatic individuals like Valmik Thapar. People like him have straddled the conservation scenario in India like a colossus. The question is after him what? Where are the next ten thousand Valmik Thapars? The conservation challenges in India is so huge that we need tens of thousands if not millions of such tireless champions. I believe in the collective power, the power of the WE. Together we stand strong. Hence I had conceived an online advocacy arm, which can bring people of all hues under one umbrella. We have achieved some, however, there is miles to go.
    In the gradual evolution and unfolding of IndiaWilds vision.

    1) Original Articles: We are soliciting original articles on conservation written for IndiaWilds. I have started uploading those at Category Archives: Conservation . These articles will also be a part of the IndiaWilds monthly newsletter. I have contacted a few reputed biologists and a few others have expressed their desire to publish their articles and research papers in IndiaWilds.
    Action from Members : We need to spread the message and ask deserving biologists/researchers/naturalists to write articles and research papers. I am happy to mention that Roopak has agreed to contact people on behalf of IndiaWilds.
    Members are also welcome to help in growing our base of contributors.

    2) Newsletters: The monthly newsletter goes to about eight thousand (8000) people by email. This includes members as well as non members, senior Govt. officials, researchers, activists etc. One suggestion that was given was to create PDF documents that can be printed by people and circulated in their offices, kept in homes etc. (At this point in time, I want to avoid the cost and hassle of printing newsletters.) I think it can be done. We are working on that. Anyone having any suggestions please let us know.
    Action from Members: Members are also requested to forward the newsletter online to spread the message.

    3) Wilderness Updates: The wilderness updates section was created with the idea of members visiting the various sanctuary, Tiger reserves and protected areas to come back and report about the situation on the ground. It can include details of the place as they saw, experiences they had as well as conservation challenges as perceived by them. You can post images along with your field report in the wilderness updates. At present, we post various news items as well as reports/discussions about specific wilderness areas.
    Action from Members: Beef that up and more people write about their field visits.

    4) Conservation Imagery: We decided on creating a specific section to post images related to conservation. These are purely for documentation purpose and we understand that some would be taken under trying conditions, compact cameras or even mobile phones etc. These images are not meant for critiquing. If the image is powerful enough, members can start taking action on their own by writing letters to relevant authorities and/or we well write a common letter/start a campaign. Action already taken.

    5) Website developers: Members who can help in developing and enhancing the IndiaWilds portal (need basic HTML knowledge) can let us know. Like all others, it will be a free donation of services towards the community. Mail at administrator@indiawilds.com to help in website development.

    6) Facebook Ambassadors: In this age of social media, the message of IndiaWilds can be spread easily. We briefly discussed about the need to have some online ambassadors/facebook ambassadors/IndiaWilds ambassadors (a rose by any name smells as sweet. So call it whatever you want). This would require promoting the IndiaWilds page in facebook, promoting links etc etc.
    Action from Members: Anyone who wants to take the responsibility of promoting IndiaWilds page in Facebook, please let me know.

    7) IndiaWilds Forums: A few of us regularly critique images ( I know that I am a bit late in critiquing these days). Critiquing not only helps in the development of a photographer, but also provides an alternate point of view to well established photographers. It also helps us in visualizing the scenario and we too learn as well. Of late, a few members are seen posting their images without caring to critique images of others. In a peer-to-peer learning forum, it is perceived as a selfish behavior. So please critique images and tell us whatever you like in the image and whatever is not so good in the image.
    Action from Members: If any of you want to take the responsibility of providing leadership to any of the sections, please come forward and let me know.

    If you have any suggestions please reply to this post, so we can include that too.

    If any member is interested to help in any of the activities mentioned below, please
    mail at the following id – administrator@indiawilds.com or PM me.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi
    Last edited by Mrudul Godbole; 13-07-2012 at 10:57 AM.

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    send a mail to administrator
    Last edited by Gajanan Bapat; 13-07-2012 at 10:48 PM. Reason: wrong post

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    Hi Sabyasachi

    At the outset, my hearty congratulations for taking Indiawilds to what it is today. I recall the humble beginning, years ago, and when I see the growth today, I cannot but be awed by your whole hearted commitment, focus and dedication towards your goals and passion, which has resulted in this wonderful forum carving a niche for itself in the wildlife and conservation community in the country today.

    Congratulations to all the senior members, who have contributed their bit towards enhancing this noble cause. We have come a long way, yet as you have rightly said, thereís a long way to go.

    Iíve said this before in the past quite a few times in this forum . . .

    Running the site - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    Congratulations Indiawilds - Indiawilds: Land of the Tiger. Conservation, Wildlife Photography, Communities

    and I am saying this again . . . we need to look at a sustainable revenue generation model if we are to keep this forum going (rather than expecting you to bear the hosting and related charges year after year) and also fund a few of our own projects and initiatives, which will help us contribute more effectively towards the causes of nature and wildlife conservation.

    Maybe we can look at it from multiple points. One, to keep this forum going, we can look at a nominal subscription fee which will take the load off the shoulders of Sabyasachi on the administrative and operational expenses of running this forum and Two, look at collective initiatives like Wildlife photography classes, conservation films, sponsorships, Donations, aligning with global bodies (like WWF etc) to set up a corpus fund for our projects and initiatives.

    I sincerely feel this is worth revisiting, for our reach, power and collective strength is a lot better compared to what it was, half a decade ago.

    Regards
    Rajan

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    Hi Sabyasachi,

    I truly agree with Ranjan's thoughts here. IndiaWilds would be much stronger as a self sustained group. This will allow us to take up various on field activities like conservation projects, wildlife documentary films etc.

    While some members would love to contribute their time to IndiaWilds projects, some having busy schedule might like to make some monetary contributions while others can contribute simply by sharing the initiative or using their contacts to get some sponsors. The options need to be explored.

    Conducting various wildlife photography workshops is also very good options. There are lots of things which are comparatively difficult to teach through forums, so in many cases workshops will help to share knowledge among members and also to get connected with new people interested in wildlife conservation. This will also help to generate some cash inflow.

    Just sharing my thoughts, apologies if anything sounds inappropriate.

    Thanks,
    Atul

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    Thanks Rajan and Atul!

    Several years back when Rajan, Roopak and other members had expressed their doubts whether IndiaWilds will survive or not as promoters of companies are known to move from one fad to another. I had said that I am committed and passionate about the cause. Passion doesn't understand the financial impact. Members had given many suggestions. Rajan, Roopak, and others had at that point of time wanted to personally contribute money. I had refrained from accepting it. I had said that if it is some kind of membership fees, life time membership fees, workshops etc, then perhaps we can look at it. There were also suggestions for getting sponsorships and advertisements.

    At that time I had not said anything about sponsorships and advertisements. I knew that our ranking based on online traffic at that time was not good. Today, it is Good and am sure it will soon become Fantastic. The only conservation site which is ahead of us is that of wwfindia (which was established more than a decade back. I am mentioning this as a fact, I have excellent relations with them). Though I am not mentioning the statistics of IndiaWilds here, I can share it with any potential advertiser. I am sure with the kind of members we have, they can help us in reaching out to marketing guys who decide on media buying ie. where the advertising is placed.

    Till now we have kept the commercial sites (selling cameras etc) out. I am told in abroad, forums take them on board as sponsors. I havent thought through this idea in detail.

    Regarding workshops: It is a mess. In this field everybody proclaims himself to be an expert and they fight against each other. Many of our members read the articles in tips section multiple times and then talk offer it as a learning in their tours. I don't want to get into it. Only in cases when members want to contribute towards IndiaWilds and as a gesture I offer them one-to-one workshops with me, I am fine with it. Also, doing a session for 20-30 people in some corporate is ok. I don't think this will be done many times, so I guess we shouldn't devote more time on it.

    There are many people sending me mails asking me to take up conservation projects in their areas. We will do so, however, we will take it up slowly but steadily.

    As far as wildlife films are concerned, the amount of money that is required to create quality natural history programming, in the initial years it is tough to make money. However, rest assured that there will be many films as I know and believe that films as a medium has its place in conservation. Short films as well as feature length films along with the monthly IndiaWilds newsletter and articles will form a potent combination for conservation advocacy.

    Also, I would like you guys to encourage anyone interested in conservation to become our members, read our articles and newsletters etc. Budding photographers can learn photography here and also get initiated into conservation. So it would help if you all can forward our newsletters in your organisations or make a post in your intranet site give a link back so that interested people can follow it. There are many ways to help.

    There will be many situations, there are many people who don't believe or are able to appreciate our previous work and the future vision. However, that doesn't pull us back. We need to stand together else our effectiveness will be lost. In the August 2010 issue ie. IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 2 Issue VIII I had talked about Democracy, Activism and the Power of WE. IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol 2 Issue VIII
    Also, conservationist are hunted down by the mafia. So more important that we stand together.

    Some more suggestions have come by email. I have asked a few of them to post here so that others can also discuss those points.

    Hmm. Long post. To pick up the key point, we can look for sponsorships/advertisements. If any one of you has contacts with the relevant marketing guys or even CSR guys in the corporates, then you all can help.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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