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Invited as a Guest-lecturer at Saurashtra University

Meeting new people and knowing their life-style, achievements, culture etc. has been a passion for me for years. When I launched Speakbindas.com on January 30, 2009, I had no idea that it will become my identity one day that will become a reason for reputed Saurashtra University to invite me as a Guest Lecturer on a fine Monday of August 4th, 2009.

When people who don’t know me personally visit Speakbindas.com, they always tend to believe that I am a journalist. And their assumption has a strong reason that I agree with. I mean, Speakbindas.com is all about interviews of leading people from various sectors of life along with writeups on various issues – the bindas way, which is mostly the fashion of a journalist. But to sum up entire assumption scenario, all what I can say is, I am not a journalist but journalism is me!

Vikas Rajpopat is the Adhoc lecturer at Journalism Department of Saurashtra University. He lectures on the subject ‘Internet Journalism‘ for the first year students of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. He is aware about activities of Speakbindas for few months now. Rather, he also conducted one interview of a movie maker from Rajkot for Speakbindas. He genuinely shared a word about Speakbindas with Dr. Nita Udani, head of Journalism Department, and thus I was invited officially. I was asked to deliver the lecture on Social Networking websites along with brief introduction of Speakbindas and activities it is involved with.

With students at Saurashtra University

With students at Saurashtra University

It was one and half hour lecture that I was to conduct. The class had approx 25 students. I started off with the introduction of Speakbindas, its activities, interviews and stories covered so far etc. I also shared the reality with them that I never studied journalism hence Speakbindas is all about my passion only. I rather strongly shared myself as a journalist inside me, without any outer certificate of journalism! The class had some 10 or so girls and rest of the boys. Most of them seemed very attentive to what I was saying. My lecture language was mixture of both English and Gujarati. But after few minuets itself, I felt that I should try to deliver it in Gujarati only, only except most necessary English keywords.

After finishing up the Speakbindas introduction, I took on the subject of ‘Social Networking websites“. Prior to that, I surveyed the class for the students already using internet on regular basis. Unfortunately, some students weren’t even handy with computer, hence internet world was something NEW for them. I tried delivering my lecture in such a way that even such students can follow the things I am talking about. I gave a brief informative presentation on leading social networking websites such as Orkut, Twitter, Hi5, Metrojoint, Facebook, Myspeace and Friendster etc.

I explained the features of these sites, and how they can make use of it. I believe that, these social networking sites can be of great help for the internet journalists. This concept made the class quite an interactive, that students started asking questions. That was wonderful, because I felt that not only I was the one talking!

I also asked a single question to all the students that what is it that has made them to study the journalism. A girl sitting on the front bench said “I want to concentrate on burning issues, meet the lower class and give their problems a voice like I am also intended to meet prostitutes and find out from them what really made them to chose the worst profession?”. A guy sitting on the front bench said that his passion is to interview successful people and to know what it took to reach to the level they are today. Then, I honestly suggested them that they should have a clear vision about what they want to do as a journalist being it a vast field. I also requested them to find out what is it that really that makes them passionate? And then DO IT. Their course is of two years, and I shared my view that, apart from studying theoretical subjects, they should also utilize these two years with practical experiences too. That will at the completion of their course, will enhance their resume with extra field work, which may help them receive the special attention from print media or electronic media, wherever they want to purse a professional career.

Few students shared their desire to work with Speakbindas, which I happily accepted. I felt that Speakbindas can be a ready-made platform for them where they can share their field work, which is viewed by hundreds of people. This way, they too will have an early identity in the field of journalism. Two students named Yogendra and Adhiraj from the class met me after couple of days and shared their ready-ness.

They wish to interview someone, and we are in the process of the same. It would be a video interview. For them, it would be their very first practical step into the world of journalism. I am helping them with the preparations required to conduct an interview. I personally will accompany them during the interview along with my camera and tripod. Later, I will share the technical knowledge with them, i.e. how to edit a video, which are the softwares to do the same, how to insert music, if needed etc.

I believe that whoever wishes to pursue a career in journalism should be outspoken, very good listener and a keen observer. Outspoken skill helps one to take control over the situation and not just let it pass by. I mean, until and unless one can not ask questions, how can he handle a situation? Second skill I believe as most important is being a good listener. These days very few journalists carry this skill, because all what they believe in is just finish the list of questions they prepared to ask, without listening to its answers with total attention. Every answer can create a new question, if you are interviewing someone. But if you have only your questions list in mind, then you would skip this healthy interaction. I agree that, in the initial stage, sometimes fear of forgetting questions might frighten the beginner and that’s agreeable and to avoid the same, one should keep a small diary in hands having questions written in it during the interview, without feeling shy.

Thirdly, if you are a good observer, you can be a successful journalist. A true observer is one who sees things differently from others. Lets say A and B both are certified journalists. A is a normal journalist with limited practical skills but with good command over theory. Where as B couldn’t score much in theories but has a sharp observation skill. On a way, they visit an old temple. Journalist A will just take it as an old temple, take a round of it and forget it. But Journalist B’s observations dwell upon its history, types of the stones used to build it centuries back, any particular drawings on stones etc. Journalist B can make out a very interesting and new story out of it, where as A won’t be able to see all that B could see.

This lecture has raised my belief level that, I can surely become a mentor for the journalism students, lead them to a practical world and help them shape their professional career. Speakbindas is open to all who wish to make use of it. And again, as I said, Speakbindas is all about passion for me and is absolutely for free of charge for all students of journalism from all the universities and private & government colleges.


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

12 thoughts on “Invited as a Guest-lecturer at Saurashtra University

  1. Jignesh Patel says:

    Wow! Devang. I always believed that if you are provided with such platforms, you can do wonders. You are different from others. You have bunch of knowledge and information stored in your brain. If you are invited from more such institutions, I believe that their students will learn many NEW things like you have shared with me over the years.

    Rather, what I believe is that, you should be serving any such institute on permanent basis, if they dare to appoint you looking at your practical and knowledge skills and not only so called CERTIFICATE degrees.

    India always loses intelligent people like you just for the sake of certificates. I am afraid if some foreign institute knows of you, we will lose you! I request to those institutes looking for a creative mentor for English or Journalism departments, go ahead and get Devang in. He will surely make wonders for you. And not only these departments, but Devang can be a creative mentor for any department.

    oh! and I forgot to congratulate you for a step-ahead you took through this lecture and I bet students must have enjoyed it like anything.

    Keep it up,brother.

  2. Suresh Tanna says:

    Hi Devang,

    I have been reading your site since last few months. Though, never commented even a single time being a lazy. But because I was shocked knowing through this post that you are not a journalist! I was believing so far, that you are a journalist, and hence took all your interviews as granted.

    But now that, I know you are not a journalist, I see all your work with a different vision and I must admit that you for sure have a creative head, boleto DIMAG. And my friend, we all know that our Indian society recognizes people like you at the later ages only! Which is really sad. So called educational institutes, universities, colleges these days are only after making money by providing low level education which is mostly theory and then distributing the results as certificates considering their job done. And we all know what happens to such a graduate student when he/she faces the real life. They just feel stuck knowing that whatever THEORIES they were taught during their studies make not much sense or are mostly outdated. I am not against theories, but I am against ONLY THEORIES.

    I would like to see if some institute take a step further and appoint you as a CREATIVE MENTOR like Jignesh Patel says above, it will truly make a difference for the students whom you would teach. And I believe that you are very much perfect for it looking at your various interviews, your command over English and your choice of picking up people from different sectors to interview. (Just wonder, inspite of not being a journalist, how you reach and convince them!!?)

    Let’s hope, your knowledge and practical skills are utilized by educational institutes for the benefit of students at least. I always believe that skills of people like you and Jay Vasavada are not used at its optimum.

  3. Vikas rajpopat says:

    Hi Devangbhai!
    (I m not addressing u as an editor, bcause i m writing here as a common man)
    I am very sad to tell you that this article is written in a very bad manner. I have always supported Speakbindas for its ACTION but not for its pompous words…i hope that u would understand the difference between a blog and SPEAKBINDAS. It seems, i allow myself to be harsh, that you dont have vision for SPEAKBINDAS!

    Very Disappointing!

    – Vikas Rajpopat

  4. Dear Vikas,

    You have been a true volunteer and supporter for Speakbindas that you have made me believe that, you will be the base-supporter for Speakbindas. You have made things easy when it came to meeting people and contacting them. And that doesn’t wonder me much, what wonders me is that you did all these on volunteer-basis, which is rarely seen these days. I mean, who would work for a cause which doesn’t pay them money? But you have been an exceptional friend.

    Reading you comment, all what I can say is this – Justify your disappointment and I will make it up to you and all speakbindas followers.

  5. Jagan says:

    I don’t understand why i find ad$sense in this blog which makes no sense for something that calls itself a free resourceful guide to jounalists and for someone who runs this as a passion and not a revenue! Ofcourse hosting costs. So what? Passion hai na!?

    @Vikas: Isn’t the vision clear with ads in the blog? 😉
    At the end of the day – traffic, alexa ranking, SEO, SEM, link building, page rank, clicks and cents matter.

    @Devang: May be at least you should try a revenue sharing scheme with the contributors instead calling this a social service and trying to attract volunteers.

    I would like to add, I never volunteer for FREE to someting that
    1. Earns money itself,
    2. Make profit,
    3. Markets itself,
    and above all, which cannot agree to the fact that Business is BUSINESS and not social welfare.

    btw, don’t you think that displaying in-line text ads is fooling around visitors??
    No offense meant, i guess there’s one such word called ‘ethics’ still exsists.

  6. @Jagan

    Looks like you have taken entire thing according to your pre-defined perceptions. All what I can say, it’s your perception about the things and not the reality. I severely feel sorry for your such poor one sided observation. I am also afraid whether you posted the above idiotic comment keeping some prejudices in mind. Whatever it may be, it’s my duty to make things clear, not for those who have nothing to do with Speakbindas instead just commenting, but for those who loves Speakbindas, and that number is in many.

    You said you don’t understand why adsense, right? Answer is simple “Adsense is to support the passion.”. I can remove the Adsense right away if you agree to sponsor Speakbindas.From your blog profile I learnt that you are unemployed, so it would be harsh of me to ask you to sponsor Speakbindas, so I would say support speakbindas by finding sponsors. In this technological advanced time, you would agree (I hope!) that even CREATIVITY and for that matter PASSION requires time, resources and MONEY. So Adsense is only tosupport my passion and passion of fellow volunteer correspondents, if at all it can.

    Personally, I feel pity on poor readers who just believe in commenting without giving themselves enough reading and observation from all dimensions. I want you to have a read of below line:

    “In the future, when Speakbindas receives constant great traffic/visitors, we will surely honor the successful contributors – Speakbindas Volunteer Correspondents with monetary gifts.” which is in the page https://www.speakbindas.com/become-an-author/. Now does that satisfy your answer? Or you still believe your one-dimensional comment? I wish that people should first observe/check/test things from all dimension before posting only ideological and not at all practical comments.

    And about the vision of Speakbindas that dear Vikas questioned about, and I still await his reply in this post, I wonder why he hasn’t yet posted reply here, well, how can someone like you Jagan, who has no whatsoever concern or association or active participation of creative contribution in the development of Speakbindas can raise a question on its vision? I am sure that the smart readers will easily notice your foolishness on this. I mean, who the hell I am to question the vision of Manmohan Singh if I am not a good citizen of India? We always believe in complaining, but we are not willing to take any responsibility. I have a broad vision for Speakbindas, which I would be glad to share with you if you are interested to know about it. Meet me sometime in person, and I will happily share the same with you.

    And you acted like you were hurt or cheated by me when you used the word ‘ethics’. Why don’t you just justify your comment with multi-dimensional observation? See,dude.. I know those people who simply believe in complaining without participating. I should have skipped your comment coz personally it doesn’t make any sense to me, but the readers of speakbinds should know the reality.

    And there is a nice quote, I would like to share with you:

    “When it’s about others, people become ideological but when it’s about them, they become practical.”

    Jagan,I invite you to first DO SOMETHING for Speakbindas and then COMPLAIN. Do I satisfy your doubts?

  7. This is getting absolutely nasty for no reasons.

    I am not obliged to read this if it doesn’t suit my taste right? Right. Very true. I apologise for following it so far.

    But now, sure I will never ever read any comments posted by the characters of the spiteful drama drafted above.

    However it did hurt and it will STILL hurt to the core to see intelligence taking pleasure in malice.

  8. Jagan says:

    Readers who got distracted from my previous comment, stay away from this if this gets published.

    Glad to hear!

    I didn’t find the “follow-up” comments here in this post. But got to know that a visitor came here through this when i was noticing my traffic stats.

    Well, here’s an offer from this unemployed.
    Should only adsense support your passion?
    Here i’m to support the same with 8GB ram, quad core intel processor and 100mbit line. Remove all your adsense and in-line ads and put my VPS hosting ad banner some where deep down so that it does not intrigues the loyal readers of this blog. Is that okay? I’m damn sure the free hosting shared servers on which this is getting hosted (trap17.com) aren’t anything better than my dedicated server 😛

    When i made that comment i never expected you to throw down a challenge to sponsor you for your hosting costs. And i’m ready to take it up!!

    I do not think that for a passion generated blog, there will be more expenditure than hosting. However no issues, i still stick on my words with sponsorship.

    Well do you want more? Keep my skyscraper banner in the left sidebar and my business banner in the right bar. And i can pay for that! I might have found some job but this is the same money of that unemployed me!

    And now, i’m going to hurt your Ego to the most. Please take a deep breath and release the breath slowly and steadily before continuing further!
    Push the domain to me and i’m ready to bear all the domain transfer, renewal, premium hosting charges, and i’m even ready to hire writers to post here!

    I call it ‘hire’ and you call it ‘honor’.
    I speak ‘business’ and you call it ‘passion’.
    I ‘advertise’ and you call it ‘sponsorship’.
    You see how good i’m able to think from your side?

    And at 2:55am i need not say all this.. but to keep it short i end up in the SpeakBindas style,
    “For the comfort-ability of the readers of the SB, to avoid the inconvenience caused due to the ads and to get rid of the got-cheated feeling of readers by the in-line ads, and above all to support the passion behind the founder of SB alive and not dead due to hosting costs, i sponsor SB a hosting on my self account with zero maintainability costs”

    Do you still need me to search for some sponsor?
    I’m ready to DO MORE THINGS and complain NOTHING for the welfare of SB.

    PS: lol, it is very strange for me itself to speak this rude. But you know, being an Aries, i never step down on challenges! I wanted to presses ctrl+a and del. But love your take on this and so a mouse click.

  9. You made my day, Jagan. I happened to read your comment at early morning, shoudl I call it fortunate or unfortunate! Nevermind.

    I think what hurt your EGO most was ‘unemployed’ word that evoked you at a larger length. I mean, that word is produced by yourself only in your blog in ‘about me’ page. I happen to meet people who love to say “I am not a big personality, I am a small personality!”. This they say consciously, but sub-consciously they wish to be called big personality. But as they themselves say this, when next time I meet them I literary and bluntly call them “Hi small personality, how you doing?’ in front of others, and naturally they feel bad, just like you did! (Then why would in first place they introduce themselves with words they won’t like to hear?)

    Coming to your offer, rather offers.

    Why would I need your hosting in first place when things are running smoothly here? And that to in place of your banners on the site in place of adsense? I mean, what’s the ‘marginal’ and ‘real’ difference here? It would have been a fair say from your side if you had said to simply provide hosting for free against nothing, that would have been called a ‘sponsorship’! (And it doesn’t matter where yours ads should be put, thing is, you wish them on site just like adsense!!) Think about it for a moment!

    I accept your offer for a skycrapper on the sidebar. let’s fix the charges.

    You sounded so silly asking me to transfer my domain to you. Why would I do it for the sake of just 400 bucks? Makes me laugh, thanks for that! But your offer for ‘sponsorship’ of hiring writers is lucrative, let’s do it.

    You have shared your desire for searching for sponsors for SB. That sounds interesting (at last!). By separate email, I am sending you project proposal, which will give you idea of SB’s future vision and plans. Go through it, and search for sponsors who can support that project. (Or may be you can be a sponsor)

    And as you said you being rude, It wasn’t rude at all. You were quite fair with your offers but unfortunately ALL are not for SB. I bet, there are many bloggers who are in search of such FREE offers of hosting and domain, you can render your service to them, that way, it will be meaningful service you know like serving the food where it is most required!

  10. ashwin ahir says:

    such a nice article!!

  11. ashwin ahir says:

    such a nice n wondfll article!!

  12. Pancham Shukla says:

    Congratulations Devangbhai.

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