Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vox Populi

This is so typical it almost make me wonder about the shade of blue the sky reflects today. No, this isn't some sort of quasi metereological blog, although the meteor shower witnessed the day before yesterday in India was quite interesting, or so I'm told. This blog is about democracy, and as most blogs about democracy usually are, is quite disparaging. Now, almost all naysayers of democracy would have you believe it wasnt a great idea in the first place. I mean, look at the sort of uselessness prevalent in such democratic countries as the US of A(that great beacon of immorality and diplomatic skulduggery) and the European Union(that great beacon of financial mismanagement and general avarice). These crackpots would have you believe that the way to go is the China way. That would be before you tell them there isn't any porn in China.

NO porn! My, that is such a travesty, but the only possible route to development I presume. And the widespread censorship of free opinion is only a side effect, maybe. But, seriously..no porn...

The key thing is, no matter how flawed the basic idea of democracy may be , it is still the only one that works. You merely have to look at Muammar Gadhafi or Hosni Mubarak , or even closer to home Pervez Musharraf to see why dictatorship isn't really the best answer. Thermodynamically speaking, nature does abhor a vacuum, and if power becomes too concentrated it will try its best to spread itself as thin as possible. Dictatorships then, cannot be condoned and neither can the sort of politburo politics that would create an oligarchy of politicians and suppress dissent. A democracy works, and we have countless examples to back that up.

But it doesn't do very well in our country, and you may really blame the politicians for it, but they aren't really at fault. We are still in ruler mentality, we refuse to give politics the amount of disrespect it deserves. Our rulers are the best dressed, richest, most venal people in the land. They should be the exact opposite. You see, our rulers should be the worst dressed, poorest and most straightforward people in the land. We refuse to acknowledge this because we still want some sort of rajah, we dream of the sort of benevolence we read about in our schoolbooks, of Ashoka, the sort of egalitarian justice practised by Harishchandra. We have glorified and immortalised these historical figures, and we expect our new masters to have the same characteristics as these wise people of our history.

But perhaps the worst culprit of it all is our own self centredness. We only glorify such rulers because they unify us through our collective adulation. Without such a polarising figure we would be completely incapable of any collective action. Rational beings that we are, most of us act only in our own self interest. And of that there is no shortage in our country. We are pulled in a million different directions mainly because we have a million different agendas and most of us are content to reduce the agenda of public good to a sideshow, because our chai is getting cold. While we support the idea of a free and transparent government, that we should be didactic in our support, particularly to the dichotomy of having people committed to eradicating corruption doing so for their own political gain, is completely egregious. In our own awkward arguments, we would weaken the arguments of those who would seek to fight for us.

The truth of the matter is the world revolves by dint of self interest, it is set into motion by the sort of people who believe that it would stop if they left the room. There is no action without profit in our world, we just have to make sure to see the larger picture.

Sometimes it pays to align your opinion to the world of greater good. To analyse intent without judging motives. Sometimes the objective is bigger than the people working towards it.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Popular Posts..and alliteration as an atrocious aside

"You don't argue with popularity..but if you did..you'd be wrong..." -Robbie Williams

This is not just another social networking blog, this is another social networking blog with recommendations, which makes it doubly pernicious to you, the bored reader. But there is no real need to get vituperative with the invective right now, because (unlike the Indian cricket team) things can only get better from here. The point now is that popularity, as a contest can now be judged in the purest way possible, through numbers and raw data(yes Google have been at it again)... and well, if you are observant enough, you would observe rather flippantly that my blog is close to the lower end of the popularity spectrum. When I say close, I mean inhabits.

And while there are a quite a number of remedial measures to take in order to mitigate this particular situation, I won't just list them to you in the space of a boring old recourse or two(seriously, where is the fun in THAT?) I will bring back my old system of blogging(I can almost hear the deafening applause), that of writing long and seemingly unending lists of things that are ultimately..pointless. Honourable mentions to items that did not make the cut are of course.. putting up a banner ad on Wikipedia, considering that Jimmy Wales refused multi million dollar offers, if this is not to be believed, and skywriting for advertising purposes, which just seemed a little bit over the top, although many say is the weapon of choice for jilted lovers and real estate agents. Anyway, here goes..

1. Aggressively promote your blog/mouthpiece/newspaper/article on facebook(yes that's why they have the Promote button on there anyway) or twitter or linkedin or your mum's recipe blog(if she has one you probably shouldn't be reading this)

2. Agressively promote your blog offline. This includes the use of knives/pistols/brass knuckles/lampshades in achieving your desired objective. Remember to leave the target (audience) wanting more(or at least able to read).

3. Aggressively promote your blog(ahh..you see there's a pattern developing here) to people who would aggressively promote your blog. It helps if your blog is about the art of living or about actual issues related to living.

4. Write about sports that you know nothing about but others would have an especially strong opinion on for no apparent reason. The EPL is a good topic if you study or have ever studied in a snotty private college with epithets like dude forming breakfast fodder.

5. Hyperlink. i really cannot stress this enough. This is because most web crawlers have a system of backtracking on links, and image links generate extra hits of search engines. But hey, even if you think SEO has something to do with SETI, it wouldn't hurt to put up a youporn/porntube/tubeporn/pornyou/anyporn/wtf..porn link on your site anyhow.

And there you have it. Between classes, the blog with genuine tried and tested advice on how to do well in life and beyond, the sort of practical tools you need for your life. Carry on then, create your own blog, and before long, you would be mouthing off your own little tidbits of nonsense to an eager and mostly disingenuous crowd of supporters. Good luck.. and happy reading!


Thursday, 6 December 2012

Face-palmed

And this is where things get interesting. The reason why Facebook doesn't put out ads, unlike that pesky Google+(yes a blue bar asking you to join is an ad, contrary to what those marketing geniuses believe) would be because they really have no need to. Pick up anything these days.. yes and that means ANYTHING.. chances are it would have a facebook logo on it, asking you to either like a page, or comment on it, and encouraging you to pretty much go berserk on THE social network of choice posting about what a great time you have had and so on. Most often the facebook logo is so big, it almost obscures the product logo, and the link assumes that you would of course sit down and type the whole thing. Now there have been significant scientific advances in the sector of viral marketing. I kid you not, there have been papers published on the average human being's propensity to type certain lengths of characters at a stretch. Unfortunately the human race as a whole did not do too well, bloggers and database programmers were, of course exempt from such inanity.

The whole point of viral marketing now, is to get as many people hooked in as little time as possible. That, of course, you might argue was the hook earlier as well, for ALL kinds of marketing. But that's not necessarily so, while television and print ads used to target groups of people, or sectors if you will.. viral marketing has a more.. proletarian approach. The idea is to make a product universal, where all categories of people would be able to purchase it, and enjoy it. The Nintendo Wii did superbly on that count, trading console power and the traditional crazy adolescent market, for good old fashioned exercise and some geriatrics. The hook these days, is where the marketing people would have it placed. And it appears to be placed right on the scruff of the neck of the facebook user. Anyone, young or old can put up something that everyone can view and share. While placement used to be one of the 4 Ps of marketing(where do they come up with this anyhow), it now seems to have changed to profit. Marketers want to spend as little money as possible ,with as excellent results as possible.

Well, here's a revolutionary idea. Make a product so good, everyone would want to be talking about it. Make a product so cool, everyone would post pictures up of it on Instagram. Failing all of which, make an ad so brilliant, it could rival gangnam style(nonsense) music videos in terms of absurdity and popularity. Concentrate on QUALITY, rather than the mass push of the ad. Yes, it is true that is seems almost retarded to depend on the fecundity of marketers these days, hence leading to the sort of snide comments about marketing being too important to be left to the marketers. Maybe it is, and we'd never know.

Either way, the point is that we'd really like to talk about the sort of things that interest us.. Like the next Justin Bieber concert or the goings on of our respective colleges and what not. We'd love to talk about what you're marketing, but get off our backs about collective euphoria and try to engage our attention with the sort of creative chutzpah that I assume you are paid for. There isn't any need to advertise facebook pages, because it kinda defeats the purpose of social media anyway. 

Product first. Advertise second.