Tag Archive: Facebook


People are varied individuals and each one of us has a different definition for expression. Let’s look at some common instances. For a sportsperson going through a bad patch of form, you would have heard the “I’ll let my performance do the talking” countless times. For a writer, a pen is the most powerful and glorious weapon to own. For a programmer, his programming skills are a means of expression as to how proficient he is. And for the gung ho spirits, action speaks louder than words.

Our hectic work lives do not leave much time for catching up with friends these days and this is where a virtual social network has worked as a mode of bridging the gap. But even on a popular social networking platform, the mode of expression for users was restricted to borrowed quotes and a few relevant photos and videos till now. But the recent emergence of internet memes has put a new twist to our daily social binge. Memes are basically hand-drawn images of expressions which people have on their faces when they encounter certain situations. The ironic thing is that half of the time we don’t realize how one expression can I fact be used to show one feeling a many J Although if you peak through the internet these days, the definition of the term has broadened with the use of movie snaps and intuitive sayings to go along with it.

The first meme I encountered was a mischievous frowning face which is now famously known as the “Troll/Problem/U Mad Bro” face. It was a 4-box image about a thief bullying a guy into giving his money. The victim says he likes the thief’s knife and then uses it to take his money back. The truth is that it sound pretty lame in writing but has been made humorous and interesting by the use of expressions. And before I knew, the regularly visited pages were flooded by such memes. Not only are they fun to read as compared to standard media sharing, they appeal to the masses much more these days.

After a while, I had the impression that these memes and rage comics were just a means of some virtual tomfoolery which brings our daily life situations in front of ourselves with a pinch of wittiness. But the fact is that the use of memes is much more than that. Marketing professionals have strategized memetic marketing as one of most powerful forms of reaching out to potential customers. Not only is it cost and time effective but also much more visually engaging which makes the whole campaign easy to comprehend. People might pass this off as a current fad which will slowly wear off in the coming seasons but the way I see it, memes are now an integral part of the World Wide Web and will keep on evolving in a synonymous way with the changing times.

It was a routine Saturday evening when me with some of my colleagues were wandering inside Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. The creative media head of our team had the concern of upgrading his old and continuously wearing out handset with a top of the line Smartphone inside his head. So off we went scouring all the present showrooms for the latest expensive offering one can get his hands on.

A couple of hours later with no visible inroad I knew that the evening is bordering on being wasteful when suddenly some loud music echoed from the endmost part of the mall near the fountain area. A few minutes later we were all there and in front of our very own eyes a surprise unfolded. The empty space scouring with mall-goers made way for a few people who started dancing in the middle of the area. And very soon, more souls joined in and I came to realize it was another Flash Mob! But since most of the flash mobs in India these days are corporate affairs, it was a bit of surprise that there were no branding banners or displays around. As the performers grooved and thumped to the music in a coordinated display the crowd surrounded the mob with constant claps and whistles and a few of them even let themselves loose along with the group 😀

At first, it seemed like a routine flash mob which might end in a few minutes when other layer of the whole plot unfolded.. In came a chap to join the group and started dancing along. Moments later, his girlfriend was present in front of him to whom he proposed in a proper dramatic filmy style! The girl accepted and the revelry continued. It took some time but I eventually got my head around the fact that it was in fact the first Flash Mob Proposal ever to happen in India! It reminded me of the flash mob at Grand Central Station in “Friends with Benefits”, albeit a bit more Bollywood-ish..

But that was it and I never got to hear anything about it in papers or tabloids. It might be strange coming from a journalist who generally vies for stories like this, but I have never been the sensationalist kind and somehow I understood the low-key component of the whole act.  But that was until yesterday when I realized that it was a flash mob organized by LG. The making of the proposal video showed how a simple Facebook conversation and the LG WR Forum transformed into an event of such a magnitude. And the main schemer of this romantic gala was LG’s own WRMan Sherlock. I had seen those web cartoons at random once but this lovey-dovey idea on Sherlock’s part must have him floating in seventh heaven at this time!

And the actual flash mob was even better. The video length seems a bit short as compared to the live time duration but it is still immensely enjoyable to watch. As modern as we might have gotten with our progressive mindsets, it’s moments like this which would make any girl feel special. I am not ashamed to admit I would love such a stereotypically romantic proposal myself!

What’s even more heartening about the whole affair is that this LG World Record Team had the guts to think of such a unique and out of the box concept and have the brains and audacity to execute it in grand fashion. Yes it is a way of brand promotion and marketing but the main agenda was giving a loving couple the surprise of their life! Isn’t that what a flash mob is all about; bringing smile to people’s faces! 🙂

My first tryst with virtual Social Networking came in 2007 with Orkut where in you could interact with people you might not be in touch with; enjoy a few social games as well as share jokes and interesting facts within a group. But Social Networking has been redefined by Mark Zuckerberg’s “Facebook”. The social networking platform has grown rapidly in the past few years and become almost like a daily binge habit across the masses.

If I am being brutally honest, I am less concerned about checking my Outlook for mail in the morning and more eager about what’s new on my Facebook page’s News Feed! And I am pretty sure that there’s a mass majority who would have a similar routine ;p What’s even more interesting is the amount of apps (mostly time killing) that can keep us engaged as well as the user created pages which serve as a more than efficient source of information and updates about your topic of interest. This makes Facebook a lot more than a social networking tool. Add to that the seamless integration it has on various mobile OS’s which just increases its reach and popularity.

Now that’s one part of Facebook; the user concern part that is. The other one has a lot to do with online marketing and business promotions. Major brands have their paid ads hosted on public profile pages depending on user preferences while online commerce portals benefit a bucket load from this. Using Facebook as a medium, businesses are able to reach a more extensive audience base with minimum costs as well as attract a whole host of new ones with online contests and offers. And all this gets done at a fraction of the cost (close to nil in most cases) which makes Facebook a preferred option.

But even giants feel the pressure in this ultra-competitive business arena. After Facebook’s IPO failure, Facebook has launched a number of new paid features with Paid Post Promotion being the latest amongst them.  Now whenever you go do a status update or share a link you like, the posting options give you a “Promote” option to increase the visibility of your post amongst your friends. I am not sure about other countries, but the price prompt I have had whenever I tried the feature was $0.30 (or 16.00 INR). Reactions to this new add-on have been mixed to say the very least. Even I am a bit on the fence with this.

As far as I see it, the feature has two sides to it. From a personal user perspective, the vast majority will obviously not be in favor of the feature as one would conceive it ill to pay Facebook to promote their posts. The belief around the block is that we would be plunging in to newer depths of virtual obscurity if we have to pay for our friends to notice our posts. They can engage in a post if it’s interesting enough. Plus, there’s the risk of spamming on your friend’s walls which is most likely to be scrutinized even further. On the other hand, business promotions might be more viable due to the prospect of reaching more people and takes online promotion a notch up.

My personal take is that this feature will have a split opinion from a user and commercial scenario and only a clear tilt in favor of either of the two will determine the fate of Facebook’s latest initiative. My question to you: a good step by Facebook or a desperate act of monetization??

Facebook – the new tool of success

Facebook has become the integral part of our daily lives over the past few years. What makes is different from other similar social networking sites is the ease with which the users can use it as an effective tool for interaction with others people. Be it uploading of photos, videos, status and comments; it helps us feel close to our friends and family despite the physical distance. What many people don’t realize is that Facebook has become the vehicle for advancement for many individuals and enterprise. Once such person that readily comes to mind that used new age online mediums to dazzling success is President Barack Obama.

Every celebrity, artist or media personality has set up a page on Facebook; so has ever small, medium and big enterprise. Why? Because it is the most cost effective method of reaching out to the people and making them interested in you and your products. Unlike pamphlets, news paper advertisements or spam e-mails, the photos and other interesting content on the Facebook invokes instant user interest that is shown in the form of user comments that fly thick and fast in the dynamic FB environment. No wonder, that the interactive social networking site has become such a big hit.

A company like Samsung India has more than one and a half million “likes” of its Facebook page, while even a new and upcoming author like Chetan Bhagat has more than 21 Lakh “likes”. That is a huge incentive for both public figures and companies alike to use Facebook for their purposes. Not that the users are complaining, because FB gives us the freedom to “Like” and “dislike” and “subscribe” and “un-subscribe” from any pages or updates. I wish that we could somehow extend that to our ever day life, simply “dislike” people we do not like or make them disappear from our life by a simple “unsubscribe”.

So whether you want to know about latest gizmos, movies, books, contests or follow your favorite star, Facebook has it all. I came across a new campaign the other day from LG India called WR campaign; which is about LG products that hold world record in different categories of electronic appliances. It is being run by WR man characters – a cute bunch of animated characters that come with interesting information about LG products and reply to user answers. Sure, who has the time to call and ask when you can do it on the Facebook itself! Or the information about contests like ICC Awards 2012 with free tickets to SriLanka – does it go via Mumbai, where my parents live by any chance?

The jury however is still out on the role of FB is events like the Arab spring or the way it is being misused by hate groups and criminal gangs for interacting or setting up meetings. While the provocative aspect is undeniable; it simply comes with the territory. For an average user like me it gives me a chance to interact with my friends in real time environment and know what is happening in the world around me. Or at least the aspects and things that interest me.  For now your friend Kitty kitten Nisha babi signing off until next time.

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