Showing posts with label Socialmedia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Socialmedia. Show all posts

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

One day for Love on Social Media: Blog # 328

One day for Love on Social Media

        Often, Social media is looked up on as a fertile ground for hate. Be it Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, people choose to unleash nastiest version of themselves on these channels. People say the kind of things to each other which they would never tell another person to their face.

There are times when posts on social media channels have caused riots, racially motivated attacks and heinous crimes. These deplorable, mindless deeds lead to many people quitting social media and staying away from these channels which if we used in a good, positive way can do a great deal of good for humanity.

So why not start off by choosing one day to share only positivity on social media? This May 1st, let us decide to not share anything negative on any platform. We won’t tweet mean comments, share hate invoking posts or vent anger at someone’s picture.
Here are some ways to spread love and positivity on the social media channels on 1st of May.

Thank your family for all that they have done for you.
Tell your loved one how much you love them.
Tell your friends how they have a special place in your heart.
Tell your colleagues how grateful you are for their support.

It really is very simple. On May 1st, let us share Love, Appreciation, Gratitude, Care and everything positive. Feel free to download and use the below cards ūüėä.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Is Elon Musk a cowboy CEO to delete Facebook?: Blog #325

Is Elon Musk a cowboy CEO to delete Facebook?

Elon Musk of Tesla deletes the Facebook pages of himself, Tesla and SpaceX. I think it is a tad bit foolish of him to do that. If he wanted to show that he is taking a stand, he could have deleted the Facebook profile that belonged to himself. Deleting the Facebook pages of both the firms is impulse and drama without any reason.

I feel this is a classic case of a CEO thinking he knows everything to know about anything there is. I am sure there is a team that manages the social media account of Tesla and Space X. He should have consulted them. It doesn’t look like that consultation happened. Reason being the FB pages were deleted in 20 minutes after Elon Musk’s Tweet. Any social media team worth its salt would have resisted this move. The resistance wouldn’t have come to an agreement in 20 minutes if there was a constructive discussion unless Musk is surrounded by Yes men.

Anyone who knows something about managing a Facebook page will know that having a corporate page is a huge advantage. In any firm, sooner or later things go a bit unright. I am not saying wrong, but unright (somewhere between right and wrong). In such instances, you need all the avenues at your disposal to clarify where you stand as a firm and what your explanation about the situation is. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN and other social media channels come handy in situations like this.

Tesla and SpaceX are much loved and admired firms. There is considerable interest among the general public about both the organizations. People like to know what the firms are up to and the media of the day is social media. If you expect everyone to visit the firms’ websites and understand what they are up to, that is a bit foolish and presumptuous.

Add to that the fact that Tesla and SpaceX are both commercial firms. They don’t exist just for furthering research and science. There is a business aspect to both the firms. In such a situation, why would you take such a reckless step that risks your connect with your potential customers?

May the light of ‘Social’ wisdom shine on Elon Musk soon!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Whatsapp Groups! : Blog #298

Whatsapp Groups! 

Apart from climate change, imminent nuclear war and changing leadership patterns across the world, one of the significant agonies of the modern world is Whatsapp groups! If you are part of some specific groups, you have already understood what is being talked about and is wiping a tear away.
Whatsapp, Whatsapp Groups, Groups, Social Media, Technology, Life

To begin with, there are the Big fat Indian family groups. Yes, the ones where we wake up to 127 good morning messages (with flowers and quotes in place) followed by devotional messages and fun forwards that are presented as latest which were, in fact, doing the rounds on the internet a good 10 years back. God save you if there is anyone’s birthday. 127 birthday wishes will follow with divine pictures and messages intact. Please note that all the social rules apply in this group too. The 2nd uncle who fights with the 4th uncle will not ping/talk about him in the group. Same goes with the aunties from Delhi & Mumbai. Adding to the flavor are the in-law dynamics.

Now comes the school friends’ group. There will be some friends who aren’t working. But why should they care about those who have a 9-5 job. They begin their day with pictures of their babies, food that is prepared, parenting tips, TV serial reviews and calls it a day with their baby wishing Goodnight! And dare you forget to reply/respond, you are labeled as heartless/pretentious corporate sell out.

The most vibrant are the college groups. They play by the rules. No divine/good morning/birthday forwards. But, there will be unabashed self-promotion – requests for endorsements on FB/Twitter/Instagram of their spectacular persona. It can be in the form of pictures, blogs, short films, songs and so on. If it is a B-school group, then there are the incessant surveys that are pushed your way. The interesting thing here are the subgroups. If there are 50 people in a group, there will be 50! subgroups. People who talk to each other, people who don’t talk to each other, friends, enemies, frenemies, crushes, lovers, brothers, sisters, batch mates, project mates, lab mates, we love/hate Ms./Mr. Lecturer and on and on and on.  

To name a few other groups, there are society/flat groups, PTA (Parents groups – One can no longer lie about the results not being out), College alumni groups, bikers, theater enthusiasts, pretentious intellectuals, tech gurus that exist too.

One that is worthy of mention are the work groups. It is a microcosm of the office itself. There are bosses who send the most boring jokes and there are boss’ favorites who give 5 laughter–with-tears- smiley to those jokes. There are those who maintain dead silence. Even if their life depended on pinging on this group, they will choose martyrdom instead. There are those who send inappropriate forwards. There are those who delegate work and more importantly talk about work at 11:36 PM. There are false praises, there are smart reactions (smiley with shades on) and there are forced applauses too.

THANK GOD for the mute option on WhatsApp groups. Taking that away will be the most unkindest cut of all. That will be nothing less than an act of Terror against Humanity!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Was the Snapchat CEO wrong?: Blog # 297

Was the Snapchat CEO wrong?

India is the largest democracy there is. It is the seventh largest country in the world with 29 states and 7 Union territories, each with strong cultural identities. Some of our states are so big that they are larger than some of the European nations. India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world with a GDP of more than 2 Trillion US Dollars. Our population is more than 1.3 Billion, home to the world’s largest young population and an average age of just about 29. We produce more than a million engineers every year.


India is also home to largest number of people living below the World Bank’s international poverty line. One-third of our children under the age of 5 are underweight. More than 1/10th of our population is undernourished. We also have the largest number of child laborers under the age of 14.

We have made considerable progress in the last 70 years and there is much to be proud of. But there is a lot more than needs to be done. A significant population of our country still needs support and help. People who read this blog have access to all the basic needs of life and most of the ‘wants’ too. But that does not mean all is well with our country.

Snapchat, Snap, Nature, Ocean, LifeRather than getting offended by some CEO of an app that looks like a Notodoris minor, maybe we should do some soul searching.  All of us glued to our smartphones and laptops are turning a blind eye to the dual realities of India. We must take cognizance of the great divide that exists in this great nation of ours. Just because we don’t venture out of the comforts of our offices and gated community apartments, we don’t see poverty in its rawness.

Also, is poverty something to be ashamed of? Should it be brushed under the carpet? Why do we get so offended by the word ‘poor’? Had he described us as a ‘rich country’, will we all be very proud?

If we all took as much time to talk to our maid/security guard/driver/newspaper boy and found out how we could help them in as minuscule a way possible than mindlessly herding towards down rating the app, our country will be a much better place. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Social Media & Split Personality!: Blog#294

Social Media & Split Personality!

All of us have that one friend who leads multiple lives on different social media platforms. On Facebook, s(h)e might be a constantly happy-sunny – on cloud nine – persona. On Twitter, s(h)e might be an astute observer giving his/her two cents on such varied fields as politics, business, entertainment, culture and world affairs at large. On Instagram, there is a photographer dying to be discovered by the world whereas on Linkedin, s(h)e is the best employee of the day, month and year – driven, passionate and AMBITIOUS!!! Here is a fun take on how we express ourselves on different platforms...

To begin with, the display picture on multiple platforms:

Hrithik Roshan, Bollywood, Facets, Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Now comes, how we describe ourselves - the 'About Me' on various platforms:

Consider a typical Monday morning. How do we express ourselves?

Now let us look at the all-important #Hashtags :)

Facets, Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Hashtags, hashtag

How can we end without having a look at the extremely edited, yet #nofilter pictures shared on the channels? :)

Ranveer Singh, Bollywood, Facets, Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Ranveer Singh, Bollywood, Facets, Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

p.s. Don't forget to share this with your friends on FB, Twitter & Insta - Wouldn't suggest on LinkedIn though ;)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

A letter to Zuckerberg: Blog# 279

A letter to Zuckerberg

The past week has been nothing short of an opinion DELUGE. There has been a barrage of information all around. Be it the deafening TRUMPet at US or the dark blindfold of black money in India or the corporate opera being performed at the Bombay house in the shrillest of voices, one could not escape opinions.
Zuckerberg, Mark zuckerberg, Facebook, Social Media

I am someone who thoroughly enjoys such dramatic turn of events and is in awe of the fact that how social media amplifies the drama. What got to me though was the umpteen repetitive forwards and posts which kept on coming with no end in sight. Everyone, including me with a keypad at their disposal opined about all of the above topics.

If you are someone who pays attention to social media, you would have heard of how Twitter became too LOUD for anyone to be on the platform and thus led to its limited growth. This was because of too many people taking extreme positions about various subjects on Twitter which led to a lot of hatred and thus people being put off. Somehow I feel Facebook is headed the same way.

Among people, there is almost a compelling urge to put up an update the moment we hear (not learn or understand) about something. We HAVE to show that we too are aware about the ongoing around the world. The only research that goes in before putting up the posts is in understanding of taking which side would enhance one’s social currency. Should I post pro Trump or pro Hillary? Should the prime minister be criticized or appreciated? Should I be on TATA’s side or should I stand with Mistry (as if either of them are bothered).This leads to extreme positions. If one doesn’t put up a status, there is always a “well posted” (not well read) friend of yours asking you if you are aware of the latest event or not.

Now about how the posts are becoming repetitive and thus boring.  No one is taking the effort to think through a situation. Let alone analyzing it. There is no question of reading up about a topic. Almost all of it is borrowed thoughts. There are little or very few posts which explore the grey area.

            I think all of this has something to do with what we are taught in our schools/colleges/workplaces. We are all told to speak up, to express ourselves, to TALK. When was the last time you heard someone asking you to LISTEN? I can’t remember having heard that in the recent past. Almost all the workshops in effective communication is about delivering content effectively. Nobody talks about the need for mindful listening.

            What I would urge Mr. Zuckerberg is to include a ‘Listening’ option on Facebook. This should give people informative, qualified, researched articles about a trending topic which will show the positive and negative reactions regarding a topic. . There should be an option to show to the world that the person is ‘Listening’. Something like ‘Listening about Trump’ or ‘Listening about black money’. This is critical because people HAVE to show that they are in the loop. Such an option will bring back reading, research and will reduce rhetoric. The decibel levels on Facebook will reduce and sanity will prevail.

Let us make listening cool again.

Arun Babu

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Pictories #1 ~ Of pictures and the stories they tell ~ Blog # 278

Pictories #1 ~ Of pictures and the stories they tell

                   I have always admired people who can capture a moment in time more beautifully than we, the lesser mortals see it. Yes, the magicians who create magic with a lens and a click – Photographers! Such talented people. I shared some of my pictures with one of my friends, who is a very talented artist. He told me “Yea, these are ok. You will get better”. I was not exactly excited to hear those words. But I know what he meant and he is too earnest a friend J. It takes a lot of patience, an eye for detail and an eye for beauty that we see around us to get that perfect click. So I will keep trying.  

            Meanwhile, I thought I will try and share what was going through my mind when I was clicking these pictures. It is indeed true that a picture speaks a 1000 words. And the best part, it speaks different sets of words to each of us. So here goes J

Trees, Road, Infosys, Infosys Office, Infosys Chennai

This was clicked at the Infosys office in Chennai. In that moment, I was thinking, how much ever we try, we rarely come close to what nature can achieve. Look at the magnificent canopy that nature has created for itself and for us! Do you see the little patches of light on the road? Intricate, isn’t it? And many a time, we get so caught up with our work and life to pause and take a look around. It is all that takes to make our day. 
Jalebi, Yellow Jalebi, Desserts, Indian Deserts

Looks can be deceptive. These Jalebis were not as tasty as they looked. I wish if I hadn’t eaten them before taking a click. Had I not tasted, I would have had a happy memory around this pic. Now when I see it, all I can think of is the mild disappointment. I always eat the dessert first if it’s on my plate. Patience doesn’t really come to my help in those moments. How about you?

I feel there isn’t even one color in the world which is not present in this picture. These are handmade, little flowers made out of palm and coconut leaves. I have always been drawn to handicraft. What intrigues me is the fact that each and every one of these little things is made by a person. It is not created by the mere movement of machines. There is a story behind each of them.

Words fail when we try to describe the beauty of fire. My wife and I were out for a stroll at night. There was this fire burning by the road side. Being in Bangalore, fire and its warmth from the distance is quite welcome. I stopped and stared for a while admiring how fascinating fire is. Very few things in life can destroy with as much grace and poise the way fire does.

Well, Kerala, Kitchen, Kerala Kitchen

Now, those of you who have spent your childhood in Kerala would relate to this picture. This is a little bucket resting on the pavement of a well waiting to be flung in. In olden houses of Kerala, these windows will open out to the well from the kitchen. There will be a similar window on the other side of the well that opens to the bathroom. Much before motor pumps started humming, water used to come up in these little buckets. This picture brings back memories of childhood.

Like the above pics? Want to be bombarded with such images on a regular basis? ;). Please follow me on Instagram. My Insta handle is roamdworld .

Check out the other Pictories:

Find Pictory #2 here
Find Pictory#3 here
Find Pictory#4 here

Thank you dear Nandakumar uncle for putting this idea of Phlogging (Photo – Blogging, as he calls it) in my head. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Why should you watch TED talks? : Blog # 277

Why should you watch TED talks?

If you were to ask me if there is something on the Internet that is fun, cool, educative, varied, and intriguing all at once, my answer would be “Yes, TED talks!” It is such a beautiful thing one could have thought of, that too in the 1980s! Internet has just amplified that imagination in a stupendous way.

TED, TEDx, TED talk
So for those of you who do not know already, TED talks are small, 18 minute speeches by people who have excelled in their lives. Excellence could be in anything and everything. Many a time, it is not limited to just excellence. The talk could be about an Idea that could impact a society or mankind at large. Infact, the mission of TED is to spread Ideas. Also, the focus is more on content of the talk and less on delivery.

What is it that you stand to gain by watching TED talks? What I felt is that it has the power to ALTER our perspective. For instance, there is this talk called “The Price of Shame” by MonicaLewinski. It is astounding how this video makes us think of that incident in an absolutely different way. You will never think of that lady in the way you might have thought of her till that moment. These talks are powerful enough to enhance/enrich our perspectives. This has a profound effect on the way in which we approach situations, people or life at large.

Thanks to internet, there is a deluge of information around us. To know which is true and which is just a ‘beautiful presentation’ requires considerable effort. TED talks have built credibility around them through years of consistent effort which makes these talks a treasure trove of correct and thus valuable information. We get to learn A LOT by listening to these talks. There is comfort in knowing that one doesn’t have to go back and check the authenticity of information being given out on this platform.

TED talks are a master class in communication. Although the focus on delivery of speech is less and content is given prime importance, there is still a lot to learn about speaking and communication at large by observing the speakers. The pauses they make, the clarity with which they speak, the details- how much they include and more importantly how much they exclude in their speech, their body language are all worth noticing and learning.    

Many a time, we tend to think that communication is only about speaking. I feel communication is equally about listening too. Being surrounded by electronic gadgets, I think our ability to listen effectively is reducing at the rate of pings.  Taking an effort to listen to such conversations of value and trying to understand them will help us a great deal in becoming good listeners. Try being a good listener; your friend circle will start to swell - not on Facebook, but in Life!

The best thing about TED is the fact that this platform is like one of those non-preachy, cool, super intelligent professors that the luckier ones among us would have had in college. May be that is the reason why TED Stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – Yes, Entertainment! I rest my case.

Arun Babu

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Who is Pokemon? : Blog # 274

Who is Pokemon?

Unless you have been living under a rock or on a short lived social media detox mission, chances are you would have heard of the ‘Pok√©mon Go’ madness which is taking the world by storm. Here is an attempt to tell you in very simple terms what the hoopla is all about. I am neither a gamer nor a coder so much so that I need to seek help to know the RAM capability of my phone. So this is as layman as it gets. Also, ‘Mon’ is an endearing term for a little boy in Malayalam. Further, ‘Poke’ roughly translates to a ‘hopeless person’. For a small while, I thought Pok√©mon is the evil twin brother of Tintu Mon!!!

Pokemon, Pokemon Go, Gaming, GamesTo begin with, Pokémon Go is an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile based game. AR is the technology in which whatever you view infront of you is slightly modified and shown on your screen. It alters (enhances or diminishes) the way in which you see a certain visual. The game is developed by a company called Niantic which is founded by John Hanke. Now starts the interesting part of how the game came about. John was a Google veteran who used to work on Google Earth and Google Maps. Talk of connecting the dots and so beautifully at that!

Now how to play the game? One has to explore the real world. For once, this isn’t a game which will lock us down to the confines of a 4 inch screen. One needs to go out to play the game. We should walk outside, look for, find and catch Pok√©mon outside your home/office in a public place using our phone’s screen and camera. We can also collect items at Poke stops and battle at gyms to conquer them. If we do all of these, we get experience points and once we have enough points, we get a level up. Pok√©mon currency are called Poke coins. Once we reach level 5, we get different teams – red, yellow or blue. The game proceeds such.

It is fascinating to know how the places where Pok√©mon appears at the public places were arrived at. There was a game called ‘Ingress’ which is a sort of a predecessor to Pok√©mon Go. People who played that game in a way made a huge databank of locations available which was used to decide the Pok√©mon appearance locations. In addition to this, historical markers, public art works and Geo – tagged photos from Google maps were used to arrive at places which might interest a large number of people.

Now, there are different types of Pok√©mon’s. How they appear at different locations is based on what kind of habitat they use. For instance, they used the geographic markers on google maps to identify what kind of area it was. If it is a water body, only certain type of Pok√©mon will appear near those places. They also looked at Climate, Vegetation, Soil and rock types of places and assigned the Pok√©mons which could inhabit such places.

Is Pok√©mon going to be just a flash in the pan? The founders are quite serious to not let that happen. They are planning to extend the game with addition of more experiences – by building capability to create lure modules to attract Pok√©mons, more cooperation between players, trading etc. They are expecting the game to become more popular once goggles with inbuilt AR capability becomes an affordable technology. 

Will Pokemon become the world's Mon? Let's wait and see :)

Saturday, 4 April 2015

I am off Facebook ! : Blog # 211

I am off facebook !

A while back, one of my friends put up a post on Facebook saying he is leaving fb. Another friend of mine commented on that post saying “A huge loss for facebook!” In my mind, that comment was the best reply that post could have got. Many a time, we tend to misread our own importance in the scheme of existence of the whole Universe.

Facebook, Activate Facebook, Deactivate Facebook, FB, Social MediaBefore you jump at me saying it is a personal choice, I agree with you on this aspect. It is indeed personal discretion. But the only person who has anything to lose is him/her. Whenever a new technology sweeps mankind, there is a group which step aside from that wave. They attach an almost evil dimension to it. Would you believe me if I said there were people who said they were against computers? It worked for them for a small time. In today’s world, if one doesn’t know to operate a computer, it is as good as saying that person has stopped living or is frozen in time. Add to that, life could become immensely easy for them if they had kept an open mind.

Social media exists to connect people and to share information. Of course, it has its frivolous sides where we use it to boost our self esteem albeit momentarily and to sustain relationships even if it’s through exchange of fake pleasantries. But many a time, we do that even in a social gathering too. Does that mean we stop meeting people or that is all we do in a social gathering? At times, to get along in a society, one has to hold back a few words and utter a few generous words even if one doesn’t subscribe to a fellow being’s school of thought completely.

Now there is this angle of addiction to this debate. Whatever we start doing in Life, it goes through phases. Initially, there is a lot of enthusiasm about it. Then comes a stage where the enthusiasm slows down gradually and then it plateaus. Social media is also no different. We learn to deal with these phases at various points in life. One should learn to rein in ones addictions and exercise control over ones urges. Stepping out completely from something for fear of addiction only hinders this learning. It is like saying “I am not taking an electricity connection for fear of getting a shock!”

There is a concept called ‘Network Externality’ in the study of business. An application of this concept is that a good or service gets used by almost everyone that it becomes extremely popular and furthers its own demand. So what happens is when you choose to not use that good or service, you kind of get left out. In our case, social media essentially facilitates communication. So it becomes difficult for people around you to know about you and stay in touch with you if you choose to not use this service. And if you really think those who care about you will make an effort to reach out to you inspite of your absence in one of the popular channels of communication of the day, it is like waiting for a telegram. And by the way, telegrams are dead J.

Keywords : facebook,socialmedia,deactivatefacebook,quit facebook,quit twitter,twitter,leave facebook, delete facebook,leave socialmedia

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Death knell to Orkut : Blog # 181

Death knell to Orkut

I was reading through an article which elucidated Google’s decision to log out of Orkut permanently.  Isn’t it the largest example of someone missing the bus in recent times? What is more surprising is that an Innovative giant like Google could not identify such a humongous opportunity!

A blog about Orkut, Goodbye to OrkutMany of us began our parallel lives on the social media through Orkut. It still evokes nostalgia when you see that purple circle and a bunch of faces. The scrapbooks,  the albums and the testimonials are soon going to be a  thing of the past. As you login to Orkut one last time, let us look back to see what went wrong.

Orkut was an idea which was ahead of its times. But what is painful for Google is the fact that it was not decades ahead. It came prematurely only a couple of years earlier. We all know about first mover’s advantage but Orkut is the classic case of a first mover’s curse. No one expected Social media to bloom on this large a scale. Google was also caught napping on this new phase of growth that they were gifted with.

There are lessons to be learned from this debacle. To begin with, I think Google as an organization did not nurture this sprouting sapling well. They might have been busy tending to the Sequoias in their garden of innovation. What they failed to understand was the fact that the existing technologies which have grown to become giant sequoias have scaled their heights already. It was in the sapling that is Social media where the potential for enormous growth lay.

Also, when the portfolio becomes large as in the case of Google; it becomes quite a task to devote equal attention to all the tracks. De-risking by putting the eggs in different baskets is one thing and being able to nurture all the baskets equally, quite another thing. It doesn’t matter how huge a corporation you are. There are always competitors waiting in the wings to take off just when you slow down to take a breather.

The spectacular emergence of a competitor is what makes this missed opportunity so conspicuous. Facebook grew by multitudes of leaps and bounds during this time. The organization invested time and dedicated effort to the extent that it has almost attained network externality. Network externality in this context means a state where in a technology becomes so ubiquitous that the popularity of it drives its growth.

All these point towards the necessity of organizations to be agile and alert about the business environment. In the last few years, the rapidness with which defining changes occur around us has become quite frequent. These days, an enterprise might think it is off to take a short siesta but chances of it waking up as a Rip van winkle is quite high.

Having said that, even though we move on to better things, one can’t help but feel some fondness for Orkut. Log in one last time, go through your testimonials, archive your albums, read through the scrap book and give it a fitting adieu. As with other things in Life, let us retain the best memories from that time of life and move on.

Arun Babu