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Sunday, April 17, 2011

ORKUT : It taught us the meaning of social networking

It was a routine day during the winters, for a change the sun was shining bright as I was busy playing cricket and the board exams were fast approaching. As the play time ended, one of my friends invited me to his house. I obliged to his invitation. He started his computer, connected the internet; and then came the moment. He opened a site which was about to change my perception about the utility of internet.

It was called “ORKUT”. At first I was not able to spell it correctly and my retina faced difficulty in adjusting with the colour schemes of its homepage. Finally, the site opened. I started going through different applications and tabs of the site. For some one who has always used something as simple as yahoo messenger , Orkut was a complex thing to deal with as it was a totally different way of social networking.

I regularly visited the café and my friends who had access to internet. I also demanded my father to install a net connection as soon as my boards end. It was time to learn a few things about social networking. The learning started from the concept of scraps. As the chats were live and visible to all, thanks to the scrapbook, every one was interested about whom you are chatting , what you typing, which use to make it interesting for every one though at the cost of your privacy.

Another feature that took people by surprise was the privilege of uploading photos. This meant that now people can share their images with others and can comment too, instead of creating bulky mails for the same. Also, some of the notable features were : To become some one’s fan, rating people on coolness and trustworthiness, Message box, expressing your thoughts by writing testimonials for your closed ones. The best and most popular tab was the one which use to say “ Add as a friend “. Every one use to like hitting the key  But the main thing that simulated social networking in netizens were orkut communities , not only you can vote on the polls but also can be a part of an ongoing discussion on forums. At least in India, there would be very less homosapiens that were not feeling addicted to orkut.

Then came the doom of a fabulous creation by google. The reasons were clear, lack of innovation and marketing of the brand lead to the downfall , Then came “THE FACEBOOK” walking straight into the den of the lion called orkut. With the basic features of orkut and a bit of innovation , they completely ousted orkut out of the market. They went a step ahead and were known as a social networking as well as a micro blogging site. As the orkut team realized that the market is slipping from their hands, they started copying facebook features. Some of the highlighted duplication were : Dedicated chat window, status updates and profile changes and updates. By the time google’s orkut team discovered that they need to make amends, the market was already captured by Facebook. This high profile drama just emphasized on the lesson that being first is not enough but the key to success is to keep innovating.

Today orkut is a deserted place which acted as a training ground for a bigger thing call “ THE FACEBOOK” . Lets not forget that orkut taught us the meaning of social networking, adding a new dimension to the world of internet.
But the present and future of networking lies with FACEBOOK !!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Delhi, Dilli, Saddi Dilli, Delhi Meri Jaan and the list goes on. There are numerous names of this wonderland and we all are no less than Alice. This city has seen it all ; from the glorious past of the Mughal empire to the devastating times of the British invasion. Apart from these, Delhi is also vested with the honour of being the national capital. To continue with, the city have some of the architectural gems in the form of Red fort, India Gate, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, Civic centre and many more.

This is the place where the control panel of the country which is the “ Parliament” is situated.  The first ever Commonwealth Games and Asian games of the country were held here and this is the city where for the first time in the history of India, our countrymen will hear the roaring sound of the Formula 1 engines.

A localite will tell you that the inhabitants of this Utopia celebrates Durga Puja, Eid, Muharram, Christmas, Ganesh chaturthi with same zeal n vigour as we do on Holi and Diwali. But for some years now, some high profile crimes have dented the image of Delhi immensely. Incidents like Nithari case, Rapes, Eve teasing , and a couple of murders have been the order since Delhi bagged the rights to host the Commonwealth games. One might say that Delhi has suffered the side effects of growing at a fast rate. An economist would comment that as a place develops and grow, the inflation rate also increases but I would say that with development comes an increasing crime rate, though the correlation between the two is difficult to prove as in the case of inflation.

Delhi F1 Track

 As I think more about Delhi’s rising crime rate and insecurity, I am reminded of what happened in Godhra, where a train was set on fire , a strong labour protest pushing Tata’s Nano project out of Singur, The Telangana issue is forcing bandhs regularly for many months now, a social unrest and terror strikes in Jammu & Kashmir for so many years, and most recently a terror attack in Mumbai costing innocent people from within and outside the country their precious life’s.

Well Delhi is not all about crimes , it has been a theatre of dreams too. To take a leaf from Delhi’s diary of Dreams, this city was home to many big personalities before they earned their fame on the big stage, like Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, Mirza Galib, M.F.Hussain and many more. Also one of the most memorable event in Indian cricket’s history came on the turf of Feroz shah kotla when Anil Kumble took all 10 wickets in an innings against arch rivals Pakistan on this very ground.

While writing the article, a news channel playing in front of me was telecasting a show and the anchor asked a question that “ Is Delhi Safe for women” ? and almost simultaneously I answered yes its very much safe. Why do people forget that this is one state where a female Chief Minister is playing her trade for more than 10 years  and this is the city where a women takes her seat as the President of India everyday.

The idea here is to convey a message to the public that crime can happen in any city and it does not have anything to do with any city, province or state.
On a closing note, I would like to say that Delhi is called the heart of India. So when your mind stops working, have faith in your heart.!!