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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Why Code of Conduct? Who is Social Media Hurting? Politicians, Kapil Sibal or Industry Giants

There as been an uproar in the social media after Kapil Sibal made clear, his intent of curbing freedom of expression on social media. Even though he insisted that he was advocating self-regulation initially, he has upped his ante by using words like code of conduct, sensibilities of people, offensive, stiff fines etc. It is clear what he has in mind is censorship.

I could see it coming for sometime. The social media has brought in a change in the environment and given the power to the common man to voice his opinion. It is not that people were not having their opinions earlier, just that the audience they had was limited. Such a thing everyone could handle. But now that there is a possibility, rather certainty of the common man making his opinion reach a huge audience and make a difference the very guys who ignored him are now shivering in their boots.

If it was so easy to spread negative sentiments on the social media, the Gandhians in the ruling party can use the social media to spread love and peace as easily. Why are they not doing it? Because, they understand that it is not so. Just like a single drop can cause a spill in the cup only if it is full, messages on social media can not cause a change unless the sentiment already exists. If there was no corruption in India, Anna Hazare’s tweets and updates would have gone unnoticed.

So who is the social media hurting? The religious extremism of the Indian people has, more often than not, been fanned by these same politicians. Even today they continue to sustain a communal divide by recognizing minority communities. The people who partake in riots and communal unrest are the goons nurtured by these same politicians. The common man’s participation in such activities is restricted to suffering.

It is hurting the politicians because they know that now there is a possibility of people getting on to the streets at a short notice. Mistakes and (mis)adventures are more likely, now than ever, to be noticed and questioned by people. They don’t want that to happen.

It is hurting the industrial giants of India because earlier they could easily fool the people with lies about themselves and their products. But now people talk to each other on social media before taking any decisions. Lies don’t work anymore, only good products and services do. The marketing spend is going down the drain and profits are reducing. The industry giants don’t want that to happen. They could have prompted this move. The clause of defamatory content can easily be extended to a negative review about a product or company. That will surely help in curbing the truth and then companies can again go about fooling people with lies.

Kapil Sibal, he is merely a pawn in the hands of the Gandhi family. The family which can conveniently revert a decision which backfires and equally conveniently take credit for what works. Apparently it was a caricature which started this hullabaloo.  Why is it so difficult for them to take the negative sentiment in their stride and work towards changing it?

Lastly if you have a habit of eavesdropping, in all likelihood you will be surprised or shocked about what others are saying about you. Why is Mr Kapil Sibal or anyone else for that matter trying to listen to what others are talking about? If they don’t, their sensibilities will not be affected. Unless of course, like Hitler, you want to go around and make people pledge their allegiance to father/motherhood and execute those who don’t.

Instead of crying hoarse about the offensive material on social media sites the politicians and the industry leaders should use the social media to enhance their reputation online and engage with the common people to improve the governance/products. I am available should someone need it.

The truth of the matter is that social media has given us the power to express ourselves and no government of the people, by the people and for the people should take away this fundamental right of ours.             

Originally posted at Social Chakras Blog

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Social Media Management Company, Social Chakras, Launched | PRLog

Social Media Management Company, Social Chakras, Launched | PRLog

More than 90% of consumers with access to Internet are using Social Media and networking with others. Social influence has always played a major role in the buying decisions of customers. But now more and more people are relying on the social media online to seek referrals and recommendations from others, asking / answering questions and sharing their experiences. It is not only the big multinational or national brands who are being talked about, the phenomenon can be seen taking place at the local level; theaters, restaurants, etc, are all being discussed on the social media.

No business can ignore Social Media anymore. If one does, it is not only losing an opportunity to enhance the business, but its absence from Social Media may also be causing damage to its brand and reputation. Social Media is here to stay and that is the reason why each and every business needs to have a Social Media presence and engage with their customers.

Social Chakras, a company providing Social Media Management Services for businesses was launched yesterday. The company offers customized social media solutions for businesses which include consulting, strategy development, setup & training and full service management.

Varinder Taprial, CEO of Social Chakras, says, “Whether you want to believe it or not, the fact is that your customers are talking and it is up to you to find out what they are saying. The only way to do that is to embrace the social media and engage with your customers.”

“Many businesses do not realize the power of Social Media,” continues Taprial, “Those that do still ignore it because they lack the knowledge, resources or the time to handle the Social Media effectively. Some even try it and give up after a while. This is where we come in. We can help businesses, no matter the size, to establish and even manage their Social Media presence to reap the rewards of effective usage of the Social Media.”

Varinder Taprial is a Social Media specialist, electrical engineer and author.


Tel: +91-22-65345740
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Social Chakras is a Mumbai based company providing Social Media Management Services to businesses. Their services include consulting, strategy development, set up & training and full service management.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Social Chakras - A New Venture in Social Media Management Services

Hello, to all my readers! My apologies for the lack of getting any fresh posts up for a while and also wish a rather belated seasons greetings (Happy Diwali) to you all and hope that you have a prosperous new year. 

My life has been rather hectic and a bit chaotic, to say the least, these past few months as a lot of things changed, forcing me to also change my direction in life. Well, my husband and I have now decided to start something on our own, after having worked successfully on the internet for about four years now blogging, writing and authoring books. So we put our minds to work and came up with the idea of starting a social media management services company

It seemed the perfect choice and befitted our expertise and knowledge in the subject having worked with the social media for the last four years. It seems like an exciting and promising venture as the social media is still relatively new and is yet in the evolving stages, especially with respect to its usage by the businesses to gain the maximum leverage out of them. More so, in India most businesses are not even aware of the power of the social media yet and how they can increase their growth and profits by just getting an online presence. 

This is how our company "Social Chakras" came to be conceived last month and we managed to launch our official website on 1st Nov 2011. The concept, philosophy and logo of the company was conceived by Varinder Taprial and is based on the philosophy of the human chakras. Our company, Social Chakras provides holistic Social Media Management Services and is one stop solution for your entire social media/online presence needs for your business, be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogging or Twitter.

Holistic Social Media Management Services

We believe that similar to the human Chakras which are windows to our soul, there are seven distinct elements to the social media presence of a business which impact its performance. These elements are the windows to the soul of a business i.e. its customers, and we call these elements the Social Chakras. The study and management of these Social Chakras is vital to the holistic well being of a business. Read More

Along with the website, we have also started a blog for the company, where we hope to keep our readers and customers/clients updated on the latest happenings at Social Chakras and also in the world of the social media. So visit our website and blog for more details regarding our business and what we have to offer as services. Watch our Social Media Presentation Video.

Follow Social Chakras Here:


We are open to one and all who require our assistance in managing their social media profiles and online reputation. No business is too big or small for us. Even individuals, celebrities, authors, musicians, artists, entrepreneurs starting out in business are welcome to use our services. We offer flexible and customized packages to all our clients and hope to deliver results to suit their needs. So, don't hesitate to contact us or call us for your social media management.  Our Email - mailto: 
Call US NOW:   +91-22-65345740

Read the press release: Social Media Management Company, Social Chakras Launched

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anna Hazare Victory Makes August Kranti A Historic Moment

The Social activist Anna Hazare finally agreed to end his fast today at 10am after the govt agreed to his three demands in the parliament through a resolution. Anna Hazare had been on a hunger strike for 12 days and the doctors had begun to get worried about his health. The parliament was in session yesterday wherein all the party members were present and they debated on the issue of corruption and the demands of Anna Hazare (representative of the civil society)that was shown live on TV. But the climax came when Pranab Mukherji ended his speech and immediately adjourned the Lok Sabha without having the voice vote that was agreed upon. This created a sort of confusion in the minds of the people and the media alike as to whether the govt was again trying to flip flop, as it had been doing so all this while. But, a few minutes later it was clarified by the speaker that the thumping of the desks was taken as a unanimous resolution. This brought a huge relief to the Anna Hazare supporters who were worried about his health and wanted him to end his fast soon. 

Anna Hazare Breaks Fast Today at Jantar Mantar

In the end, the day ended on a victorious note for the Anna Hazare camp as the govt was forced to pass the resolution in parliament. The Lok Pal bill will now be sent to the standing committee and the process will be initiated to have it passed, hopefully as soon as possible. “I thank and congratulate the Parliament. But this win is only half … half is still left. This is a victory for all Indians, and for all our activists. This is a victory for the media. I will break my fast tomorrow at 10 am in everyone’s presence,” said Anna Hazare, amidst huge cheers from the crowd at Ramlila Maidan.

He conveyed this message to all the people gathered at the Ram Lila grounds soon after Vilasrao Deshmukh and MP Sandeep Dikshit handed him a letter from the Prime Minister. Key member of Team Anna, Arvind Kejriwal said, “The whole country would be watching every step taken by the Parliament.” For the last 12 days Anna Hazare has been a picture of determination."

"Terming it as a “win-win” situation for both sides, another Team Anna member Medha Patkar said while there was no surrender of Parliament supremacy, there was also victory of people’s power. However, she still termed the development as “part betrayal” as this was not something which was agreed during a meeting between Team Anna and law minister Salman Khurshid. “But I will not like to say (these things) now at this historic time when people’s power is at its peak,” she said." DNA News

Anna Hazare ended the hunger strike finally at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi today. “This victory is a result of your sacrifice,” he told his supporters at Jantar Mantar, adding that “this is only the beginning. Our real fight begins now. If the government does not pass Lokpal Bill, I will come back to fight again.”

Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said on Friday, “This sets a precedent – it shows how civil society and government can work together. We are happy that we are now ending these days of uncertainty through a resolution in which both sides had confidence in each other.” 24by7info

So in the end, the revolutionary protest that was started by one man, Anna Hazare, got the support of all the people of India to end corruption will probably be a movement of historic significance in the years to come, and will be termed very aptly as the "August Kranti". We, the citizens of India, have shown the true power of the people in a democracy and the power of a democratic nation. We have reminded the govt the true meaning of democracy, that they seemed to have forgotten during these 65 years of independence, somewhere down the line. Let the world also see the largest democratic nation in its true glory and force. The people cannot be fooled for ever. Let's hope that this movement continues to chase the cause to fruition as this is just the beginning and a lot needs to be done to make the govt accountable to its people. 

Reading Cafe congratulates team Anna Hazare for this victory. Jai Ho!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where Team Anna Went Wrong!

It was good going for Team Anna. Anna Hazare, that is. What started out as the battle for elimination of corruption seems to be taking another direction already. It's still early days and the protest or the movement is only in it's second day today but there are certain issues which force me to foresee a loss for team Anna. And the reasons are not far to look. They are calling it a war, a war against corruption. Then it makes sense to follow the principles of war. Team Anna seems to have overlooked the principles of war totally, though I would have expected them to take care of these just because of Kiran Bedi who is an ex-IPS officer and must have certainly heard of Clauswitz and/or Sun Tzu. Let us explore these principles and see where the Team Anna went/is going wrong.

Selection and Maintenance of Aim: This is regarded as the master principle of war. Clearly the aim of Team Anna was to start a protest against corruption. Somehow during the first day itself the protest has changed into a battle for freedom of expression or the right to protest. A smart move on the part of the government. Right now everyone is saying that they are with Anna and not that they are against corruption.

Maintenance of Morale: The Government did well to try to break the morale of the opposition by arresting the leaders or those spearheading the movement. Morale is just a positive state of mind derived from the leadership. The leadership gone into jail, there was no one outside to take charge and keep the morale of people high. The others like Kejriwal and Bedi were only trying to keep the morale of the public high by giving them news about Anna and that he was fine and still fighting.

Offensive Action: Sometime down the line, one has to resort to offensive action. It does not mean that you have to take to arms and start killing people, just that you have to adopt an aggressive stance and seize the initiative. In this case the only aggression shown was that they stuck to their demands, while it would have been a trite prudent to confuse or throw the government off-guard by maybe asking for permission to protest in other cities and thereby giving a larger face to the protest.

Security: Provision and maintenance of the secure environment required for achieving the objective was not catered for at all. It seemed like Team Anna had presumed that they were not free to protest against the government of the day and had premeditated the happenings and their response. It was their undoing. Maybe Anna should have arrived at the venue before the Delhi Police asked him about his intentions and started his fast. A red-handed arrest would surely have won much more points for the protest than a preventive arrest, which also gave the Government an opportunity to salvage the situation.

Surprise: The Government made the right guess that no protest against corruption will start in the absence of Anna, the leader. After he was arrested, all the others in the movement including the supporters of Anna started protesting against the arrest rather than the main objective of corruption. Team Anna would have done much better if they had a succession plan as a back up and it would have been great to see the protest start in the absence of Anna. The Government would really have been in a jam then.

Concentration of effort: Even though Team Anna had warned of a protest almost two months in advance, somehow they did not coordinate the effort in the other cities. Whatever we are seeing in some of the other cities are just individual efforts totally without any guidance or co-ordination from the core team.

Economy of Effort: Again an outcome of the lack of planning, we see people gathering at multiple locations to protest against Anna's arrest. Some are at Tihar jail, some at the India Gate and others at what they are now calling the Anna Hazare stadium. If there was some direction and control, it could have been lakhs of supporters at one place rather than a few thousands each in multiple locations. Numbers do make a difference when the government and the media, at the behest of the government, are trying to make the efforts look futile.

Flexibility: Totally lacking in the present campaign, the team is trying to follow a written script. They lost the initiative when Anna was arrested by not providing a leadership and then they lost it again by insisting on a permission for a longer term of protest. If they were flexible enough to start the protest and had garnered sufficient support by the end of the permissible period, no government in the world would have been able to make them walk out after seven days.

Cooperation: Sharing of burdens, risks, opportunities and threats is something which is totally lacking from this team. The only thing that others besides Anna are sharing is being a spokesperson or a negotiator. It seems like no one else is ready to share the burden or the risk of fasting, They are willing to work behind the scenes but do not want to be in the center of the action. Hardly something you can call cooperation.

Sustainability: Even the businesses are following it now. Once started the movement has to be sustained. Team Anna does not seem to have a plan to sustain the movement and it seems that they are hoping for the public to somehow in some manner take up and sustain the movement. What happens if the Government does give the permission to Anna to continue his fast for thirty days and he succumbs to it or is forced to break his fast? Who will continue the movement... Have we even thought about it.

If it is indeed a war, a war against corruption, it would augur well for the proponents of this war to get serious and prepare for it as if it was war and no war can be won without following these principles of war. A Battle, maybe, but War, No.. Never. I wish that someone thinks about the above issues and takes corrective action to put the movement or the protest on the right track and lead it to its logical conclusion. I wish all the citizens of India who are lending their support to this movement "all the very best" and pray to God to give courage and inspiration to all the citizens to thwart all the attempts of the politicians and the bureaucrats to curb this movement against corruption.

Anna Hazare Brings August Kranti to Fight Against Corruption

Anna Hazare has been trying to get the government to pass the Lok Pal bill with the intention to fight the rampant corruption in the country. He decided to go on a fast on 16th August, one day after the independence day in Delhi at JP park. Well, what do you know, before he could even step out of his house, he was picked up by the police officials and taken straight to jail. Great! What an ingenious way to try and put an end to a threat. Arrest the person responsible for causing an agitation and lock him up in jail. He was taken straight to Tihar jail.

If the congress govt thought that they had the situation under control, and had nipped the problem in the bud, they were absolutely wrong. The people of India showed their support for the cause and for Anna Hazare by turning up in huge numbers and marching towards the India Gate. Throughout the whole day, more and more people are joining the march and collecting on roads waving the Indian flag and shouting slogans asking the police and the govt to release Anna Hazare from jail. Of course, they have no intention of doing so, so soon as they probably have realized the power of Anna Hazare and his movement. 

Anna Hazare with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Tihar Jail
For the last 64 years now we have seen how the government have been slowly and surely looting the country and it's people and abusing power. Their governance has been no different from the very British who we strove to drive out of our country. Till today, they are still using the same old ways and methods that were set in the constitution by the British Raj. Adopting the divide and rule policy has given the govt the upper hand, making all the states as their respective "kingdoms" where they can dictate terms to the people by using strong arm tactics and terrorising the poor people into submission so that they get the desired number of votes. Is that true "democracy"? 

We have seen the govt officials and members of the parliament involved in shameless scams after scams of all kinds and the justice system never seems to get anywhere with them. These people are still sitting snugly in their "cozy" luxury apartments and flats built out of this loot and smiling away smugly at us when caught on camera. Corruption is rampant now and become a way of life for not only the govt but anyone who wants to become rich and famous. Why only rich and famous? Even the common man is now forced into being corrupt when he wants to get a simple job done. Want to buy a flat? Pay some amount in cash, that is black money. That is corruption. Move a file? Pay some bribe and get the file where you want in a jiffy. 

Recently, a lot of scams came into the limelight, involving big names from the govt, corporations and the big businessmen, the 2G scam and the Adarsh scam involved crores of rupees, just to name a few. This is shameful. Anna Hazare is trying to fight this corruption and bring about a change in the constitution to make a new law so that nobody can get away with corruption, even if it is the Prime Minister himself.

Anna Hazare is being called the "August Kranti" for raising this issue and getting the support of millions of Indians to fight for this cause. He has used the social media to his advantage, by taking his cause to face book, twitter and you tube. I do support this cause, and even if I am unable to physically be present at the march or protest that's taking place at the India gate today, I will do my bit to further the cause by writing this blog. If you too want to support this cause just click on this link and paste it as your profile picture on facebook:

I think Anna Hazare has used the Gandhian way of protesting by going on a fast, taking out a walk, asking people to fill the jails "jail bharo" andolan and the non co-operation movement. I think its a clever move on his part, after all it was this very congress party who got into power by using Gandhi's same tactics to drive the Britishers out of India and get freedom. These same people are now calling this method "unconstitutional". 

The govt has not handled this matter in the right way by arresting Anna Hazare and putting him in jail. This is undemocratic. The people are angry and will revolt even more now. Do they think they can fool us with all this mindless talk? The way the parliamentarians discussed the issue in the house today showed that they were scared to lose their power over the people and a way to make easy money. The statements made by Kapil Sibal were shameless and showed their true colors.

I urge the people who are in this protest to stay focused on the subject at hand, that is fight to end corruption, and not to get waylaid by the talks that are being held by the police and govt officials who are just trying to get things under control once again, and are hoping to sidetrack the basic issue. They will do anything to wriggle out of passing an "anti-corruption" bill in parliament. The other parties are equally guilty of this charge and are no different from the ruling party, so their show of support to this cause is purely political. They probably just want to use this cause to overthrow the present govt and force another elections on the people.

Let's hope that this August Kranti will make a difference to the civil society. This may be the revolution that we have all been waiting for. So if you feel strongly about the way you have been fooled by the govt all these years, then its time to show your support and join the cause in any way that you can. Let's teach these arrogant politicians a lesson for life. Let's remind them that "democracy" means - Of the people, By the people and For the people........Jai Hind!

Anna Hazara, who styles himself on India's independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, refused to leave jail on Wednesday after the government u-turned over his detention and ordered his release.

Read the latest news updates as this story unfolds:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Probe The Role Of Media in the Speak Asia Scam

Speak Asia online reeked of a scam even when it first started and if you check out the Google search results, for the period of April May 2011, when the company’s advertising campaign had reached a crescendo, you will find many items, blogs, and groups calling it a scam. There are many who actually carried out a detailed online investigation and suggested why the company and it’s offering was a scam. During the IPL, the authorised channel was continuously barraging the viewers with Speak Asia ads. Not only that, even the Times of India carried an advertisement for the company. See it at Here I am certain many other media companies also carried the advertisement.

The question which goes a-begging is that why is the media allowed to run ads for any company without verifying the credentials of the business they are carrying the advertisement for. Just a fine print of requesting the readers to verify the credentials is not sufficient. If thousand or lakhs of investors have been duped of crores by this company, the media which carried the advertisements, i.e. helped in the promotion of the fraud, are actually accomplices to the crime, if it is one. Remember Home Trade. Is it not a social responsibility of the media to investigate and blow the lid off such scams aimed at looting of the masses? But here it is working the other way round. The media is actually helping scamsters and fraudsters to loot people by promoting their ventures.

Even now, when arrests have been made in connection with the purported scam, why is the media still carrying advertisements of the company, helping it to build credibility and garner public attention / sympathy? For the last two days Times of India has been carrying advertisements for the company. I am sure, so are the other newspapers. How many individual accused are allowed to use the media to justify their innocence in such a public manner? This gives a whole new meaning to the term, “Trial by Media.” The media acted as a promoter first and now has taken on the onus of the defence. Many of them are now going to respond with a freedom of expression thingy. Don’t believe it, at all. Someone’s got a stake large enough to have the motive to bail the company out. Someone powerful.

The photograph shows the COO of Speak Asia Tarak Bajpai after his arrest. Does his expression show any signs of a man who is scared or ashamed of his arrest. He is grinning, just like that Haryana Police Officer SPS Rathore accused and convicted in the Ruchika Girhotra case.

It just goes about to show how the politicians, bureaucrats, rich businessmen and the media join hands to loot the public. The investigative agency has already stated that it may not be possible to recover any of the monies. Today’s news reports indicate the scam could be well over Rs 8000 Crore. Maybe they decided it was enough and they could close down the operations officially by letting the tardy, slow legal system take charge of burying the company.

Let us wait and watch how many big names tumble out of this closet.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is Modern Day Communication Destroying Potential Leaders?

There was a time when the King, Minister or the supreme leader gave a task or objective to a team leader, and then relied completely on him/her to not only pursue the objective with full determination and sincerity but also to take care of the surprises, opportunities and threats enroute for the best of the cause. So once the team and hence the team leader was out of earshot, he was totally independent and it was entirely up to him to prove himself save, a little bit of help from subordinates, if he was fortunate.

There were many instances when situations threw up leaders, at times totally unexpected ones, who seized the opportunity and proved their mettle. It was a kind of nature’s law, in line with the survival of the fittest, that the leaders got their chances and the ones with the leadership qualities outshone the others in demanding situations.

Cut to present day. There is but one leader. The head honcho. Everyone else does what the he desires. Delegation of responsibility has taken a different meaning altogether. Initiatives and decision-making are generally snubbed and where allowed are only under prior intimation and strict supervision. And all this is possible, to the delight of the ‘Boss’, only because of communications. Call it an obsession or the fear of failure but bosses all over the world are reluctant to allow their subordinates the option of developing themselves as leaders. Let us look at the ways the bosses (mis)use the communications available to them to suppress any leadership talent which might be just waiting to flourish.

Give me a call when you reach there Quite clearly the boss does not want to go there himself  but wants to be sure that no wrong decision is made. While he trusts his subordinate to see and report correctly, he does not trust him enough to allow him to take a decision. The cell phone makes it possible.

Why don’t you mail it to me The boss wants to be sure of what is happening. The subordinate’s word is not enough. He wants to see it himself. Maybe the dolt missed out something. The email makes it possible.

Why Don’t you just Google it The boss thinks that the subordinate’s experience and knowledge stands for nothing. If Google confirms what he says, maybe that would be the right decision. Google makes it possible.

Make sure he faxes a signed copy Once upon a time a word used to be enough, but now even if a subordinate is getting a signed copy himself, the boss still wants a signed copy faxed to him just so he can use the telephone number as evidence at a later date. Facsimile makes it possible.

Call my friend and ask him what he is doing The friend may be personal or professional but since it is possible, why not just ask him. He is a smart guy, and still surviving, must be doing something right. Yes sure, Vasco Da Gama would have probably discovered America again.

We are under heavy fire, what do you want us to do? Consider Normandy. Any dolt will know that when one is under fire, one should fire back. But in these days of telecommunications one is supposed to take permission to consider saving his own life. Modern communications make this possible.

We all keep talking of development of employees, but, the fact is that over a period of time the independence of the employees has been reducing. Bosses do not allow people to be independent. While it may be very good for a company and the boss, that all actions and decisions are taken in a controlled environment, for the subordinate, it is probably the worst thing that may happen, as far as his own development as a leader is concerned. He learns never to trust anyone. He learns that no one is OK. And he learns that, for his own good, he must never delegate responsibility to anyone. The worst outcome of this entire situation is the mentality, which sets in people’s mind, that one need not even be good enough to be a boss. The previous boss was a twit and so can I be.

It is high time people realized that communications are to be used for a purpose higher than just controlling subordinates. So many, would be, leaders are constrained to show their worth in a competitive world just because of the perception that a wrong decision is going to be fatal(?) for the company or the boss. Employees ought to be given a chance to show their true worth. The best ought to be allowed to come up rather than the sycophants. But if one does not allow the circumstances to decide the best one, the only way one can choose is based on who brought the best wine to the party. It is high time the managements of large business entities showed a way to the others by entrusting their faith in the manpower, by giving opportunity to people and developing what I feel are the leaders of the future.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Google Plus Says No To Anonymity

In what may be the best news for Internet users on Social Networking Sites, it has been reported that Google Plus has said no to anonymity. Read the report at  It is a brave and ethical move by Google, to develop a community which is social in real terms and not full of hooligans, cowards, bullies and other anti social elements. This is something Facebook did not, and still does not, have the courage to do. It does not make business sense to them and business is what they are doing. Google on the other hand has yet again reiterated their commitment to social responsibility with this move.

Or maybe it is something Google has learned from Facebook. Facebook, for all its following and user base, according to me, is full of two kinds of people, the exhibitionists and the voyeurs, and I am just talking of the people who use their real names. Add anonymity and they would go down much further than that. Many of us have received hate mails from anonymous users, had unsolicited mails sent to us, naughty videos posted on our profiles and then sent to the entire friend list, tagged in photos we do not want to be part of, added to groups we have not even heard of and many such other things. The reason for all these activities is the umbrella of anonymity Internet has provided the users with.

Anonymity is a refuge of cowards and no matter how much one stresses upon the benefit of anonymity on the Internet, the pros of genuine identification will always far exceed the cons. Freedom of expression and democratic interests normally figure in any discussion advocating anonymity over the Internet. But what use is the freedom of expression if it can easily be shrugged off as not from reliable sources or as a campaign by the opposition/enemies as the case may be. In the short term perspective anonymity might help send across a message but ultimately a face has to be lent to the expresser of thought for it to have a logical impact. As we have seen during the recent civil unrest in many countries, no amount of anonymous protests made a difference. Ultimately people, real people, had to take to the streets. The democratic process also benefits if real people take on the system rather than people shooting off messages anonymously. Imagine Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, spearheading their movements anonymously.

Anonymity is also quoted as essential to the whistle blowers. Point taken, but again, in the long run, shouldn't we be vying for a system which allows one to speak up without fear of reprisal. Why would we ever want to have a system where some people have have so much power that others cannot fight for their rights or for the truth?

Then there is the difference between anonymity and confidentiality. You get confidentiality from the likes of Doctors, Lawyers, good friends and family. Try going anonymous with these people and you will not get a single correct advice. On the other hand if you would want to share your issues on the Internet, trust me you will get responses only from quacks and fly by nighters. It is simple, if you are anon so shall I be. In the larger scheme of things if you do not tell who you are, you are pretending to be someone else.

Hate messages, spam, threats, frauds, illegal activities, all are a result of the anonymity which the Internet has so far provided to the users. Google, at the prospect of losing a few million users would have taken care of all that. Imagine a civil, social network where everyone knows who the other person, that they are interacting with, is.

Well Done, Google. Goodbye Anonymity.

Copa America 2011 Finals - History Will Be Made

Football fans all over are looking forward to watch Copa America Finals live. Lot of other people across the world would also be watching the match for a chance to watch Larissa Riquelme live, living up to her promise.

The world is keeping their eyes on the Copa America 2011 finals for reasons beyond just the game. Copa America 2011 Finals will be played out on Sunday, the 24 Jul 2011 between Paraguay and Uruguay and irrespective of the result, history will be made. 

If Uruguay wins, this would be their 15th win and they would become the most successful team in the history of Copa America. Currently they hold the record of 14 wins with Argentina. If Paraguay wins, this would only be their third win, but they would be the first team to lift the cup without a win on the road to finals. Yes, they have not won a single game so far during the regulation or extra time. The two games that they actually  'won' ended in penalty shootouts. If they win the final also on Penalty shoot out they would end up with a clean slate.

The other reason the world is watching the finals closely is for seeing if Larissa Riquelme, Paraguay's most famous fan, gets a chance to fulfill her promise of stripping for the team and whether she actually delivers on her promise.

Uruguay are the favorites in the final match up and have clearly played much better than Paraguay has so far. But then it could all boil down to the tactics the teams employ in the finals. Reaching finals of a major tournament without scoring in the regulation time is also in a way a major achievement. Talks a lot about the defense the team has. The tactics employed by Paraguay could have been a result of a , "Better Safe than Sorry" mentality, especially when a team is playing against the likes of Brazil and Venezuela. In the finals, being the last game, we could see Paraguay turn tables and return back to the offensive play that they actually prefer.

Uruguay has Suarez who is the top scorer in the tournament and Perez comes back into the team after missing the semi-final. Uruguay also has the past supporting them having beaten Paraguay in the last two times they played each other.

Paraguay on the other hand are playing the Copa America finals after 32 years. 

The final is being played at the Monumental stadium at Argentina at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.

Probable Teams:

Paraguay: Justo Villar - Marcos Caceres, Dario Veron, Paulo Da Silva, Ivan Piris - Edgar Barreto, Nestor Ortigoza, Christian Riveros, Marcelo Estigarribia - Lucas Barrios, Nelson Haedo Valdez.

Uruguay: Fernando Muslera - Maximiliano Pereira, Diego Lugano, Sebastian Coates, Martin Caceres - Alvaro Gonzalez, Diego Perez, Egidio Arevalo Rios, Alvaro Pereira - Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez.

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