From the monthly archives:

May 2007

What’s the future for youth on Facebook?

May 30, 2007

So everyone is talking of Facebook.  My Twitter is abuzz with it. My aggregator is bursting with blog posts around it.    The social media blogworld is freaking out in it.  Even my 79 year old aunt who sent me an add as friend invite!  Reminds me of the old days when we all moved from one social networking site to another.  This one’s different of course – its more than small pieces loosely joined and the potential is immense with the opening up of their platform.  Widgets and plugins around VOIP, presence, twitter, music, video being created with a frenzy. A great platform play.  I like this play – although I haven’t done much with it yet.

Still, I can’t help wondering, with all the attention it’s getting and with this invasion of geeks, social media analysts and older folk like me, how the youth on Facebook are going to react!   Ironically, they are the ‘older’ Facebook users – we are the newbies. Will they see us as an intrusion?  Will they build their own walls now that it’s less of a gated community?  What might those walls be? Will they revolt, as they did last September when they felt their privacy was compromised by the addition of new features? Their definitions of what’s public and what’s private is different from ours.  Will the more geeky among them, who would like to build on the platform read the fine print and get put off?  Will the opportunity for marketing and advertising that it’s going to encourage put them off? Or will they embrace this change and build their own worlds on the platform? Will there be a massive shift from Orkut and MySpace into Facebook?

Hmmmm.  Interesting to see how this one progresses.

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Freedom of Expression – Art student arrested, MS University Dean suspended

May 14, 2007

Peter informs the Blogger’s Collective about a series of protests against the arrest of an art student and suspension of the dean of MS University all over the country.  Here are details on the incident. 

By
now, you would have read, heard or seen the news of the arrest of a
student, Chandra Mohan, and the suspension of the dean of Maharaja
Sayajirao University’s Fine Arts faculty in Baroda, Prof. Shivaji
Panikker. (For those who haven’t, please catch up through the press
links below.)


A simultaneous all-India public protest will take place on 14th May, at 6
p.m. 
The Mumbai protest wil be in front of Jehangir Art Gallery. Those attending are requested to wear black and/or white.

Protests in other cities:

Date and time for all: 14th May, 6p.m
.

New Delhi – Rabindra Bhavan
Mumbai – Jehangir Gallery
Vishakapatnam – Faculty of Fine Arts, Andhra University
Cochin – Kashi Art Café
Hyderabad – Fine Arts, S N School, University of Hyderabad

Bangalore – M G Road, opposite Gandhi statue
Santiniketan – Kala Bhavan
Guwahati – Press Club

Unfortunately, I’m in groups at that same time so won’t be able to attend, but I urge those of you who are appalled at the incident to go there and lend your voice.  Even if you aren’t technically an ‘artist’.  This is yet another form of suppressing our freedom of expression, it is an assault on our creativity, another crude and vicious attempt at politics taking over our educational system – and we should fight against it. Am sick of all this moral policing – putting an art student in jail, charging him with non-bailable offenses – come on, we’re going backwards here. Who decides what crosses the boundaries of “outrage” in all these moral policing cases like what happened recently with Orkut and blogs?  Why are those that attack an institute free? Do we take it all quietly?  And its so ironic really, when so many of our ancient temples, manuscripts, sculptures and paintings depict erotica  so overtly – even in the context of Hindu Gods and Goddesses which I have seen. 

I like Ranjit Hoskote’s perspective on this:

“It appears that the champions of a resurgent Hindu identity are acutely
embarrassed by the presence of the erotic at the centre of Hindu sacred
art. As they may well be, for the roots of Hindutva do not lie in
Hinduism. Rather, they lie in a crude mixture of German romanticism,
Victorian puritanism and Nazi methodology.



What happens next? Will the champions of Hindutva go around the country
destroying temple murals, breaking down monuments, and burning
manuscripts and folios?


For those who aren’t aware of the incident, Amit, who believes
“isn’t a Hindu then entitled to say that his religious feelings are offended by Hindutva? Huh?”  points to many resources on this matter in a blog post so aptly titled Fascism in Baroda:

“The matter is being followed at Art Concerns, who have a detailed chronology of events up here. Do also read what Ranjit Hoskote, Gulammohammed Sheikh and Johny ML have to say, as well as this piece by Abhijeet Tamhane. Peter Griffin has more links here, as well as details of a public protest I intend to be part of in Mumbai.”

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On CNN-IBN : Orkut community helps collect aid

May 4, 2007

I’m going live on CNN-IBN in half an hour, at 8.30 pm.  They’re doing a show on how a community on Orkut is helping in collecting aid for an ailing lyricist.  They’ve asked me to comment on the positive aspects of social networking.  I hope we don’t go thru the usual pros and cons of social networks, an angle most channels approach the issue from.

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Twitter vs Jaiku Metaphors

May 2, 2007

I’ve been using Twitter a lot again recently. And yesterday, when Jace wondered

“Twitter. Jaiku. Twitter. Jaiku. What to use?” I found myself thinking about why I tend to be in Twitter more than Jaiku. I know Jaiku is better ‘loaded’ but I feel I lose the real flow in conversation there as the updates are all jumbled up with updates from blogs, flickr accounts, bookmarks and newsreaders. I feel comfort with Twitter that I don’t with Jaiku. Difficult to express why – just that there is comfort in its simplicity. A cappella versus symphony. Sandwich and coffee versus a full-course meal (how often do we have the latter!). Dal-chawal versus biryani.

What metaphors would you use for comparing your Twitter and Jaiku experiences?


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My view of Mumbai

May 2, 2007

The view from my new place – is on the 16th floor and I have spent all afternoon looking out at city life. I had to drown the sounds of construction and traffic out though – Glenn Frey did well with Strange Weather!

A picture named Dina697.jpg

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