The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela

fcc110799fdefe89d75c572622d07c9fHello people. A confession, the staying off Facebook / Twitter didn’t really work. Social media platforms are no longer just places to share your thoughts but also to seek information and exchange ideas. This bit was missing when we first started blogging. Back then it was only about sharing. So that’s a learning from this experiment.

But the sad part is that the news we are accessing on social media is like not even like .1% of the world. I looked up popular news website, NDTV, TOI, BBC, and you know what i found? Everywhere there are only the same 3-4 incidents concerning a micro fraction of India passed off in the name of national news. Nothing can be more pathetic than this. We used to think that foreign networks are better at covering the entire region of India, South Asia, but no they suck equally. They too are talking about those same 3-4 things, I mean what about the rest of the country? Stupid things like Smriti Irani’s Twitter war, Modi’s Tweet which doesn’t mention LGBT identity – these are national news, and these are the same shit that make it to the India section of foreign networks on BBC or Guardian. It is bloody depressing how little we know about what’s going on in the world and how much we talk. Even these Twitter celebs who are so angry all the time and bringing revolution by their tweets are like dumb struck on 99.99% of the topic. Continue reading

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Social Media Ethics, Safety and Privacy issues – Guftagu at Azad Foundation

First published on my social media start up Samyukta Media. Experience from series of talks to marginalized women at Azad Foundation.

Samyukta Media

By Sanjukta Basu

I recently delivered a series of 2-3 hours talks, something we call a Guftagu (chit chat) with groups of young women from marginalized background as part of capacity building initiatives by Azad Foundation.

Guftagu with Azad Foundation

Founded in 2008, Azad Foundation is an Indian NGO empowering marginalized girls by providing them formal training in commercial driving and also providing them jobs via their sister entity Sakha Consulting, a social enterprise.  Over a period of 5-6 months, these girls are trained not only on various aspects of being a commercial driver but also other life skills they might need in order to be fully independent, self-confident and realize their full potential as strong empowered individuals.

Alices in Social Media wonder land

The Azad Foundation girls mostly come from very patriarchal regressive background with very little experience of even stepping out of their home or talking to male strangers without supervision let alone…

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Gift economy – Why it cannot work with Indian mentality (In response to an Open Magazine article)

This was supposed to be a comment on an article ‘The Man Who Doesn’t Ask for Money‘ on the Open Magazine. Somehow the comment thing didn’t work, I tried thrice and every time it gave me an ‘HTTP Error 504 Ajax Comment.’ So I thought I will just publish it on my blog. (As a side note, not being able to comment on a blog / e-magazine just makes me very sad)

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Mention in Sunday Guardian and TED Fellows Friday

Social Media Baithak coverage by Sunday Guardian

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Launch of Samyukta Media: My small step in a big world


Samyukta Media is alive and kicking, please visit website for more updates

So it has been about 3 months that I have quit and an update is much needed on how has life been without a job. Life has been good, more importantly,  it has been exactly the way I planned. Sometimes I get worried when everything goes according to the plan, a voice echoes constantly in my head saying, “Something have got to go wrong somewhere.”

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Public Announcement: I am no longer associated with Bell Bajao

November 2009, Samode Palace, Rajasthan, ‘Breakthrough’ was having its strategic planning and retreat. In an interactive game the staff were asked to mention the date/month they joined Breakthrough and how has their journey been so far.

When it was my turn I said, “I joined Breakthrough one and half months back and if jobs were relationships I will have to say, I have seen many people, been in many relationships of all kinds, but with Breakthrough its like I met my dream man and for the first time I am in a committed relationship, I am here to stay in Breakthrough.”

But in life and in relationship nothing goes as per your plans. Barely 6 months down I have quit the job which I thought was my dream job. It typically feels like a breakup, so many plans, like dreams, are shattered, so many ideas couldn’t be executed. The momentum I gained with the social media part of the Bell Bajao campaign, the path I had taken the preparations that were underway – all came to a sudden end.

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Survey by TCS shows urban school children in India are well versed in New Media

This particular survey done by Tata Consultancy Services shows that  “The Web 2.0 Generation are digital natives, with high technology savvy, global in terms of aspirations and outlook as well as being increasingly optimistic about India’s economic future.” The survey is one of the largest conducted amongst youth in India covering 14000 students from schools across 12 Urban cities.

Some of the highlights of the survey:

  • 63% of urban students spend over an hour online daily
  • 93% are aware of social networking
  • Orkut and Facebook are most popular online destinations
  • 46% use online sources to access news; TV, Newspaper users at 25%
  • 62% have a personal computer at home
  • 1 in 4 students own lap-tops in metros; 2 of 3 own music players
  • IT and engineering remain overwhelming popular career choices
  • Media & Entertainment, Travel and Tourism are emerging careers
  • USA, UK top list of international destinations for higher studies

The results make me very happy and give me new ideas for the Blogging Outreach Project. When I got inspired to do the blogging outreach 3 years back the new media scene was lot different, now a lot of things have changed. Most importantly internet has entered many more urban houses in the last few years.

Today, so many children are being well versed with new media, tomorrow they can use the medium of blogs, photo/audio blogs to spread information at a far greater speed than it is traveling now. Information is still not traveling at the speed in which it should, and is still restricted to a certain class / group of people. The real India, the villages are still not on the global map.

Each village needs a blogging center which would be manned by an army of citizen journalists, who would gather information and publish it directly to the world wide web, so that information reaches in real time to the largest audience without bias.

So much work to do.

Read more about the survey here.