Saturday, May 19, 2012

Meet the enemy of the internet!


Not the government, not some anonymous hacking group, virus or terrorist network; the greatest threat to the internet as it exists today is from none other than its biggest site, Facebook!

Facebook likes you, but hates the internet!

Before I explain why or how, let me first give you a quick background about why Facebook is in a position to threaten the internet.

The back story:

Newspapers, radio and television are the three main sources of news for us till date. They are typically run by Governments or Businesses that have commercial and political interests to cater to. There is always a danger of the news being censored, biased or sensationalized and one can never really believe every word one reads or hears through these mediums. Such is their reputation that the villain in the 1997 James Bond movie ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ was a media baron who controlled and manipulated news to his advantage. That was the year before Google was born and the rest as we all know is history.

Once the flood gates of internet opened, mainstream media was no longer the only gatekeeper of news, it was a free world and anyone was free to post anything anywhere on the internet, my blog is an example of the same. Most of the online content was discovered because we searched for it, mainly via Google Search. Then came social networks and the concept of sharing came into prominence. Twitter and Facebook bring news straight into our News Feeds and we do not have to go anywhere else searching for news.

If it is not shared on Facebook it does not exist!

While Twitter still remains a niche network with a small percentage of active users who make all the noise, the dominance of Facebook has been so huge that almost everyone we know in real life is a member there, and quite active too. Apart from this we have celebrities and brands who keep screaming at us to LIKE their Pages on Facebook at the expense of their own official websites. Facebook Pages are far more attractive to them because that is where all the people are. In due course of time Facebook has become not just another website but...

Facebook is ‘The Internet’ for many!

This places Facebook in a position of great power. And like that famous dialogue from the Spiderman movie “With great power comes great responsibility”, we expect Facebook to act with maturity as people depend on it to bring them the news. Instead, it is slowly turning out to be a very smart villain and with the IPO money, things can get really bad. Hence the focus of my post is on Facebook, on how it treats ‘The Internet’ as its arch enemy, and why we should be concerned about it. When I say ‘The Internet’ I mean the internet that exists outside the walls of Facebook. With respect to Twitter, I already called it a BITCH once; it is now time for Facebook to face the heat. Here it goes...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Paradox of ‘The Artist’



A nod from the Oscars is a sure shot ticket for any film to achieve celluloid immortality and this year the big winner is the unassuming film ‘The Artist’, a well deserved winner grabbing the coveted Best Picture, Best Director and the Best Actor awards along with a few other awards. Not able to contain my excitement I managed to catch the film playing on a big screen nearby. Not a single word was spoken in the movie yet by the time I came out of the auditorium a thousand words filled my mind.

Interestingly, the storyline of the movie can be summed up in one line; in fact it can fit into one tweet of less than 140 characters. I doubt if any other movie in recent times has such a simple story.

‘A superstar of the silent film era fades away from public memory as the advent of talkies makes him redundant.’

This one line story set in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s has a theme that keeps recurring throughout human history, especially relevant to us in current times more than ever. In this post I am not going to write a review about the movie but speak about the thread that remains common between the film and the evolution of human innovation and also highlight what I think is the biggest take away from the movie, a PARADOX of sorts wherein lies the true beauty of the film. So here it goes...

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Two Faced Indian!



What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the following word?

BUSINESS MAN

That was a question I asked on my Facebook Page couple of days back. The people that follow my page belong to multiple demographics and since there is no right or wrong answer for this question the answers were many, ranging from Dhirubhai, Ambanis, Profits, Gujjus, Suits, Money, Cheat, Trade, Profit, Loss, etc, etc. Most of the answers were universal and could be understood by everyone but there were a couple of answers that I am sure baffled the rest of the people and made no sense whatsoever. The answers were Puri Jagannath & Mahesh Babu.

Now who the hell are Puri Jagannath and Mahesh Babu and what do they have to do with the word Business Man?

Ask any Telugu person worldwide or anyone living in Andhra Pradesh; he or she would instantly identify the names and chances are, before this weekend ends would have at least tried to watch the latest Telugu flick releasing today ‘BUSINESS MAN’ starring Mahesh Babu, directed by Puri Jagannath. I say “at least tried” because as per reports every single show of the film is sold out for next few days.

In the city of Hyderabad it has released in a maddening 110 cinema halls with one multiplex playing 34 shows of the same movie on day one and every single show is SOLD OUT, yes every single show. Yet, interestingly most of the rest of India is ignorant about the existence of a film called BUSINESS MAN as is evident from the comments on my page and otherwise too.

Crazy isn’t it?

Ok, if that wasn’t crazy enough, consider this.