Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Five Things I cannot live Without – Facebook Twitter Linkedin Blogs and Google

This post came as a result of, when I logged on Orkut after months and saw a scrap from one of my lost friend after 11 years. I was happy to find him and I updated my Facebook profile with a message – Orkut still works…
Today’s internet users are hooked to social networking sites and I really liked writing a piece on it with a consumptive perspective. So here it goes…
This was one of the profile question asked in Orkut while making your online profile and the common answers to these were family, friends, cell phone, TV, bed, air, water and things of other utilities. When I also made my list, it consisted of similar things, though few profile had different needs like sports, cricket and others. But today when I compare my time spent on things I do and things I like to do and a platform where I can share is my online social networking.
A year back, like any other youngster, I was hooked to one of the most famous social networking site called “Orkut” and loved connecting back with old friends through scraps and updating pictures . The love saga with Orkut was there for few years in my life, but then as it says that every business should have a Creative Destruction in order to evolve themselves with better utility and better value for its users and it didn’t live up to that benchmark with time.
Facebook offered to its users much more than scraps and pictures with utility like community gaming such as Farmville. I remember watching renowned Prof. Jagdish Seth on CNBC TV quite a few months ago when he was suggesting to a small scale Auto components Entrepreneur to create an online community like Farmville as an innovative idea. Today FB is no more limited to youngsters but it’s a medium which is loved across age, gender, nationalities, and in my opinion it is the most egalitarian community.
Twitter is another of my favorite communication medium which I like because it is the best way to reach maximum no. of users at a given time and also it is one of the most convenient ways to share your views through short messages. Its convenience and its reach are the two reasons which make it very popular with the celebrities as they are short of time and they want a greater reach to their fans.
Another favorite with most of the writers and not professionally trained journalist is to share their detailed views on the topics they love is through blog. This is a platform where one can reach the target segments through detailed communication available on a click of mouse button. It is a medium which is loved for its reviews, personal diaries, travel experiences and knowledge on the rarest of the subjects in the world.
In addition to all these social networking platforms, there is something different in this web world which is fast gaining popularity among the business users, This is a hit among the working professionals and students where they can scout for work opportunities in their interest areas, share expert knowledge and ideas on the fast changing business dynamics and help expand their business know how and an extended business network across the globe. I personally like this website because of its seriousness on pure business networking.
Last, but not the least the most utility search engine of this world – Google which has made our life beautiful and convenient much more than what a Roti Maker or Rice Cooker did for a housewife. Google is the most preferred companion when you are struggling to find some statistics, searching right pictures for your presentation or researching on any of your favorite topics. Just like Ocean covers 3/4th of earth, Google covers the whole web space and life without it in 21st century can never be imagined.
As a Marketer, I feel that I like these websites not only because they help me in connecting with old and lost friends or sharing our views or gaining our knowledge , but it helps to market many products, features and one’s own personality. I cannot predict till how long will they sustain, but the commercial utilization of these websites have just been started by the business community and definitely these platforms have a lot to offer for few more coming years. Also, with coming of 3G in India, these websites will be easier to access by mobile users and the traffic is bound to grow.
To summarize its fast and continued growth in the coming years, I would like to share learning from one of my favorite book “Creative Destruction” by Richard N. Foster and Sarah Kaplan which would definitely be required to keep all these websites performing and keeping its users interest alive. “It is no longer good enough simply to operate well. Corporations have to operate and manage creative destruction at the pace and scale of the market, without losing control or they will falter and fade.
I leave the opinion to my readers whether these five elements found in the web space with undefined chemical composition have replaced the original Panchtatva with some startling Facts gathered from Google.
As per Nielsen online Facebook has more than 87 million users who spend an average of more than 4 hours /day
•There are more than 75 million users on twitter and still growing day by day
•The web space has more than 100 million blogs on different topics –Source Technocrati , a leading blog statistics site
•There are more than 40 million Linkedin users across the globe connecting business

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Circus-The Show Must Go On

Prabha,a Circus artist from Nepal
Russian Circus Artists
Well, do you remember the last time you had watched a Circus? I am sure majority of us will not be able to remember. Some of us will try to make guesses like it was 10 years back or may be 15 years back. This would be the case with lots of people who are above the age of 25 years as of now. The reason is very clear; entertainment has changed a lot in last 15 years with advent of satellite channels and penetration of new age communication medium like internet.
My reason for choosing a topic like Circus is not to debate on the fall and rise of this beautiful acrobatic entertainment, but would like to share my experience reloaded.
Its 7 pm and I am eagerly awaiting my friend to go and watch the Rambo Circus today. We get to the gate of the Circus and buy the highest priced ticket of Rs.120 which we can very happily afford today. People say quite true that a movie is best watched from last row, whereas Circus is best watched from the first row.
I get an immediate feeling of nostalgia as soon as I enter the Circus arena with a tall conical tent at the center place and lots of swings attached at the top of the tent for the show by trapezium artists. We both discuss, on the animals we would get to see though knowing that we would not get to see Tiger here, as all the endangered species have been banned from being used in the Circus. After 5 minutes of patient wait, the show finally takes off with the introduction of Circus artists, who seem to be mostly from North East part of India and Nepal and few artists from the former Soviet Union.
While watching a host of different shows, I realize that there are few things about Circus in India which has not changed at all, like the starting show of stunt on swings by trapezium artists, cycling on one wheel, dog show, parrot show and the jokers. They are still the same, though I definitely feel that the quality of comedy by jokers has declined heavily. The great filmmaker Raj Kapoor had idolized the image of joker as the most essential part of a Circus, but today they seemed to more of nuisance and just a fill up gap between the shows. This was a pure disappointment for both of us.
There were definitely some new shows which made our spend quite worth like the dance show by beautiful Uzbek artist, where she dances while lying down with 4 trays of burning candles over her body. Another show which was really exciting was a show by a Naga lady in which she throws the cups and plates with her feet to land exactly on her head and she is able to do so while balancing 3-4 pairs of cups and plates. There were regular shows like the fire show by the guys and a show by elephant where the animal uses his trunk to pull up the stunts and a lady rides on him like the good old Maharani days.
Another good item to be discussed is the acrobatic dance mix with Salsa steps on a song “Tere Haath mein mera haath ho,” from the movie “Fanaa” by a couple. The song was well rehearsed and showed the same passion that is seen in Reality shows like Dance India Dance, Aaja nach le etc. There is no doubt that India is full of such talents, and it’s just that lots of artists don’t get the right platform to showcase their talents.
I wanted to go to the back of the circus stage, where the artists wait for their turn and have a chat with them to understand on how they live, how do they perceive life, do they really love their job, what brought them to work in the circus, how much money they make, what support they get once their career is over in circus etc. etc., but that didn’t really worked out. Also, I miss that I was not able to take the snaps of the Circus as photography of any sort was prohibited inside the circus area. I am putting some photographs which I was able to gather from other websites. I also tried to do some secondary research on the Circus and am come out with some information which gives an idea about their life in the Circus. The Indian Circus artists on an average earn Rs.5000-6000 per month whereas a foreign artiste earns around Rs.1000/day. This earning is very low compared to what the people in other entertainment sector receive, but still you will always see the smile on the artists face and their dedication to their work. They live in tents for the period till the time Circus is being played in the city and the living conditions are clean and have washing and cooking facilities. I also heard that many young artists marry within themselves as its hard to find a match outside, quoted by Prabha, an artist from Nepal. The foreign artists are mostly from former Soviet Union countries that come here on short term work visa or on a cultural exchange. They seem to have helped in reviving the Circus business in India as they add distinct flavor to acrobatic performances. Also, now since there is a ban on the use of wild animals in the show, they have to depend major on the human performances and the variety they would offer.
The show has ended and we both are about to leave the arena, but yes with lots of beautiful memories reloaded and a burning desire to learn about them , sit with them and bring insightful stories on them to this world. Well, my answer to the question in the beginning is now very different, “the last time when I watched Circus was around a week back” and my suggestion to my friends and readers is to go and watch this traditional method of entertainment whenever they get an opportunity and help in reviving our very old Circus.
At Last, the show must go on…..
You Tube Videos links of Rambo Circus-
  • Rambo Circus Video in Mumbai

  • Rambo Circus Video in Solapur

  • Rambo Circus Video