Category Archives: Media

The Role of Media vis-a-vis the Commonwealth Games

The world witnessed an incredible India with the XIX Commonwealth Games—a country of incredible extremes.  The country that has charmed the world with its rich cultural and heritage treasures stunned the world by goofing up the preparations for the XIX Commonwealth Games currently being hosted in Delhi. It is a huge honor and privilege to be able to win the bid for the hosting of this game but a lot of things went wrong down the seven years given for preparation. Media all over the world went berserk with criticism and slur. Indian media too was not far behind. This is what brings us to the strangeness of the situation, the position of media and its role in perspective of our Commonwealth Games.
Indian media surfaced with its stories of horrid corruption and lousy preparation just a couple of months to the Games. The point here is what were they following since the day Delhi was awarded the Games’ hosting?  Today we have more than a dozen channels fore bearing the news front but sadly they seem to follow the wrong news more often. It’s not the authorities that have woken up late for the preparation but the media itself was sleeping over it. Neither did the media pose questions to the newly formed government over the Commonwealth Games when they came into power, nor did it book Delhi Prime Minister Sheila Dikshit, OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi or Sports Minister MS Gill well in time. True, the perpetrators were busy hauling gold rather than creating infrastructure but media is equally to be blamed for missing it altogether until India as a country was neck deep in trouble. What came out as flashing news and to the dismay and heartbreak of Indians just a couple of months before the Games did help  to salvage the situation but that was about it—it did nothing better than “salvaging”. Had the seven years gone into the preparation within the hawk eye of media of course, India would have prevented the muck that was thrown into its face  internationally.
Media indeed played the big daddy through out the Commonwealth controversy bullying the authorities for their shortfalls and corruption, but somewhere they went too far with it. With just a week left to the Commonwealth Games, media was all over the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium pulling out pictures of live reptiles habituating the host stadium. It went overboard with these stories and forgot its responsibility as an Indian media. What was needed at this hour was stories that encouraged the world of Indian capabilities rather of its eminent struggle to pull up an act.  The over proportionate stories of Indian handicap resulted in leading athletes of the world pulling out of the Games sighting security as concern. Countries like Australia threatened to boycott the Games completely. Unfortunately Indian media never realized that responsible reporting is the hour of the need rather bullying and bashing their own country’s pride.
Today, as we are past through a “spectacular” opening ceremony and into the second week of the Games with more than forty medals in Indian kitty including twenty four gold and several silver, media is yet again going overboard with the way we as an India have managed to place ourselves back into the good books of the sporting arena. I believe, caution should be the need of the hour, and reporting keeping in mind the fact that any bridge, any  pedestal can collapse anytime, coz at the end of the day XIX Commonwealth Games is a pulled up act rather a well planned event. Sigh!

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A guy named Orkut

Wading through time and space I stumbled upon a community for orkut’s history.  Well with India featuring third in the worldwide user list it was interesting to note the content.

Orkut was launched way back in January 22, 2004 without any fanfare usually associated with Google (remember Chrome). The site is named after its creator Orkut Büyükkökten, a humble Google software engineer. Orkut Büyükkökten hails from Turkey and was 27 years old when he developed it as an independent project. Initially the network was intended as an elite community with membership accessible only through invitation.

Well, Orkut (the guy) has a profile on orkut network with more than a million scraps which I am sure he never cares to go through. The handsome young man has very normal interests and no wonder this software wizard fails to understand women! His communities listing were interesting apart from all those related to orkut—I mean the network. This Stanford geek loved his friends even before he created the most popular social network second only to Myspace.

As an employee of Affinity Engines, Orkut had developed a similar system, InCircle, intended for use by university alumni groups. Within six months of its launch by Google, Affinity Engines filed suit against Google, claiming that Büyükkökten and Google based orkut on inCircle code. The allegation was based on the presence of 9 identical bugs in orkut that also existed in InCircle. The lawsuit has long been settled so we don’t need to get numbed.

Thankfully, by 2006 orkut was open to all. Since then it’s the most visible site in Brazil, followed by US and India. In August 2008, Google decided to manage and operate it from Brazil shifting its base from California.

It holds its obligatory state censorship in Iran for being a threat to national security and ethical issues (yawn…) and ran into trouble with Brazilian government for spreading child pornography and hate speech. India too had its share of trouble with orkut with various hate campaign hurting national sentiments. The Indian Cyber Police have since then made agreement with orkut to prosecute anybody found misusing the networking site. Seems they are not sleeping….
Presently, there are more than hundred social networking sites doing the rounds of the internet, with facebook, orkut, flickr, myspace, netlog etc being just few of them…

It is all the more amazing to find that Orkut’s history community has only 23 registered members and Orkut Büyükkökten has only 506 memebers in his friend list. Seems people are too busy networking…