Can there be more emphatic a statement about the Importance of social media than the fact that Prime Minister of the country has 12million followers on a single SM platform, Union cabinet ministers engage with public regularly on SM.despite this Plenty has been spoken and written about social media in the past few years.
What is social media? Web definitions : Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. There are 13 most popular social networking sites. My focus is going to be solely on Twitter, this is the platform which has emerged as the one that. Media and it’s venerable personnel are often heard complaining about. Before proceeding further I wish to thank my dear friend as raghunath for providing the historic inputs on conventional media which enables me present the subject matter in proper perspective.
We started 235years ago with print with Hicky’s Benegal gazette published in 1780 ,this first mover advantage has been lost by print media.India heard it’s first radio broadcast in 1930,(85yrsold) then ceylone broadcasting corporation took away bulk of the listners. Now FM channels are trying hard to regain those listners.
Next was TV started in 1959, regular telecast began in 1965, It was the 80’s saw a national channel, 90’s witnessed a proliferation of of satellite tv’s by 2012 823 channel of which 184 were pay channels existed in India. This conventional media still did not satiate the appitite of the public for information.
Net was launched in India in 1995 it’s only 20years old, youngest of the sibling. Low internet penetration in India, yet #2 when it comes to twitter usage globally after USA, ahead of Japan, Germany & UK! Presence in social media is a matter of personal choice, in my case26/11 /2008 was the inflection point, when we watched in impotent rage as India was held hostage for 72hours by half a score terrorists from across the border, started to comment extensively on newspaper sites and tv website, found comments at times were edited or held back on pretext of moderation. This lead to my taking to blogging in a very serious way and then investing a lot of time on twitter to make my views on issue public, challenge the narrative of GOI and main strem Media.
Consumer profile in India is no longer the passive consumer of 60’s,70’s,80’s &90’s. present consumer is very active & discerning, he invests heavily into shifting thru the information & getting to the facts at the earliest. What is Twitter? Normally described as social media platform! The meaning differs from person to person some use it for selling, some for connecting with the world, a few for fun and some for sharing knowledge, views and debate facebook enjoys the number status in terms of registered users in India, followed by Twitter, this is the forum that I personally favour and will speak about it at length.
Twitter is also the altar Ego for many, Twitter is the sounding board, Twitter is for attracting others, personalities from Entertainment Industry announce forthcoming releases, Socialites their pet themes and of course media personalities invite you to view their show on TV and pose questions, more importantly they mock and challenge. Twitter has become a personal pigeonhole for Tweeple who block the journalistic fraternity, pelt them with tweets to which the recipients cannot retort directly, this is a role reversal to the utter dismay of the media, has not yet been able to come to terms with. It is reported that a show hostess last week on air in the course of show stated that she was a hated figure on Twitter, question is? Did she elaborate on her own contributions for attaining such a cult status
An indisputable fact is that people on this forum have tremendous knowledge on almost all subjects are vocal and quick to correct any misrepresentation by the media folks, this leads to debates and often heated exchanges largely civil in nature often ending in Tweeple being labeled by media folks as Internet Hindus, Right wingers, Khakhi Chaddi Brigade, Trolls etc etc.
There are stray incidents of abusive language being employed by a few, blocking is normal. Irreverent Tweets are also a norm, rumors by media, as also misinformation is tried to be inflicted on us, such Tweets are duly deleted with promptness that the mischief does not return to haunt the perpetrator, by way of retweet or be used as evidence to confront the culprit. Tech savvy Tweeple ensure that such tweets are instantly captured and re-posted to the dismay and discomfort of these individuals who tried to be cute on this forum. There is a recent instance of a journo from Economic Times going overboard and posting hateful tweets, cruelly attempting to later justify them as a joke, we did not detect any humor what so ever in those tweets,.
With the passage of time, presence on twitter lead to experimentation into areas which I had not previously traversed,when an atlete faced paucity of funds totake a coach of choice to London Olympics a hjoint effort was launched with others on twitter under the banner of ek Aur Prayaas to raise funds. This was a surprising success, all funds were directly remitted to the athlete’s account.this was followed up with raising funds for Assam riot victims, here againg the funds were directly remitted to those organization which were working on the ground in Assam, was personally targeted by the then UPA govt, which got my handle blocked by local ISPs, however twitter insisted on court order to block my handle from their end. UPA cud not furnish that. Next when state of Maharastra faced serious drought again we employed twitter to gather funds & volunteers for on ground work. During the serial bombblast in Mumbai in 2011 again it was the tweeple who organized to have details of blood banks, hospital, names list of the injured & organizing car pools, this was done in a very organized manner,Social Media has empowered the public & is being extensively used for various activities other than commercial or chit chatting. Story of twitter & social media will remain incomplete without going into details of ALAKH2011. on 13 april I was tweeting pictures of jallianwalan bagh, when shailesh kumar pandey a resident of varanasi got into a conversation with me & expressed his desire to traverse the entire country on his motor cycle & specially visit the sites & homes of those who sacrificed their lives for the country, but were unknown to Indians. He named this mission of his his as ALAKH2011 THE UNSUNG HEROES.During his entire jouney he was constantly in touch with us on Twitter regardless of the city/village OR state he was traveling thru or the time of day or night. When his motorcycle stopped working in kerela at about midnight, this was not something which cud not be overcome, tweeple nearest to him were contacted who in turn got hold of a mechanic who reached the sport where shailesh K pandey was, motocycle repaired without much loss of time & stress, he managed to complete his journey successfully & reached home safely, without any mishap any where enroute.
During the natural calamity in uttrakhand it was again social media, tweeple in particular who once again joined hands without any call from any authority, name list were compiled, funds collected, rope bridges built, Mr alok bhatt from dheradoon took the lead in this effort. He also went ahead & collected sufficient funds to provide cattle to villagers & procured refrigerated vehicle to transport milk from those villages, providing employment is as important as rescuing people in case of calamity.
Social media twitter in particular also played a significant role in the gen elxn of 2014, we did conduct several meets in different cities under the banner of ‘EK aur Prayaas’
These were calledc as transition beyond twitter, since these were offline interaction.
Media in the meantime came up with a theory that Social Media could influence between 165 to 210 seats in forthcoming General Elections. This was not a finding of media’s own but from a Knowledge foundation body and the study was backed by the Internet & Mobile Association body. This study shows that that Social media users may be the new island of new vote bank that conventional political class has to worry about. The report suggested that by the time India went to poll in 2014 the SM users number would remain close to 80Mn. Add to that 25Mn NRIs those who now have voting rights. Even if they are not present physically to press the voting button, they still remain huge influencing block.
Based on the SM users intensity, the study details there are 160-High impacting constituencies, 67 medium constituencies and 60 other low or no impacting constituencies!
Scope of social media being employed for social causes is a big plus. With the ever increasing number of users.social media may very soon play a crucial role in how the govts will run in this country. In conclusion give me great pleasure to inshare with you Chittaranjan Kar of Barbil, Orissa
was honored by Barbil MunicipalityOdisha on IndependenceDay 2015 for SwachhBharatAbhiyan signature drive.