Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Social Networking Sites .. Worthwhile ?

Social Networking sites like Facebook and Orkut have a lot of easy chatting spaces. And many of the times a user might not like to see everything come as feeds. This can be controlled by setting ones privacy settings etc. But rarely anybody does it, and these sites too keep on changing their settings.

The sites have been mis-used and there is a big campaign in Delhi University where the sites were used for sexually harassing the student or academic colleagues with the ‘Let’s have tea at 5 pm at the canteen’, ‘Let’s meet at ..’ comments.

While internet has crossed barriers like age and caste in facilitating communication there are certain norms in communications which need to be learnt through personal endeavour, so that the personal borders are not crossed and rights are not violated.

Some of my friends are using social networking sites for the best of their social messages and sharing of their work. Surya Shankar Dash is sharing on ‘Save Niyamgiri Campaign’ (check site )Kamayani Bali Mahabal is sharing on human rights fronts ‘Repeal AFSPA & Irom Sharmila’ and likewise. Thus it is possible to create a community of your own and use the site for social purposes.

Check 'Irom’s iron in the soul' interview article on Tehelka site.

YouTube has been well used in these campaigns and the movement has been captured through small digital cameras. This has become easier with the improvement in internet technology, its access and expansion of bandwidths.

In this manner advancement in communication technology has created new opportunities for the social movements. These opportunities need to be grabbed.

Discussion rolled on as to how the Pink Chaddi Campaign (check Blog) against the Mangalore Pub incident created a large public support.

Blogs can be use to express your opinions on certain issues and these can be linked to your social networking sites so that postings in the blog are automatically fed in the network profiles. This helps to create a community of friends who are ready to receive and respond to your feeds. But for Blogs to be read by more and more people, 'aggregators' should be used.

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