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Mixed Media: The week in Facebook status tags

13-April-2009
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Mixed Media: The week in Facebook status tags

I’m not a compulsive Facebooker even as the site is on always in the background as I log in at work every day. I’m not much into Twitter, though I’ve been on it for over a year. I never get down to putting the all-important sentiments of the day as status tags, but admire others who find the time and, more importantly, remember to do it. What I do manage to do is scribble some observations in a little black book, that’s now assumed the form of a notepad file that I update as often as I can.

Here are some of these jottings that I would’ve liked to have as my Facebook status messages last week.

Monday, April 6:

… is surprised that Hindustan Times powers newspaper-killer Google’s mother-of-all election microsite

News publishers across the world are questioning the policy of providers like Google picking up content from its websites for free. Agreed this helps in building traffic, but Google News offers what most of us do when we refer to news in a print or online offering: the first two or three lines of a report. We dig deeper only into items that interest us. HT’s tie-up is good for its website and Google’s crawlers are welcome in India since they bring in more visitors, but I’m not sure if in the long run it’s wise to befriend players who parasite on content.

Tuesday, April 7:

… hangs his head in shame. Jarnailism is no journalism The government may have deserved more than just a shoe to be hurled at for letting the CBI give a clean chit to Congressman Jagdish Tytler for his alleged excesses in the 1984 massacre of Sikhs in the Capital, but this was surely no way to behave for a journalist at a press conference. Jarnail Singh, the Dainik Jagran reporter, was damned by his employers and the media fraternity for chucking a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram, and rightly so. He has also apologised for his act.

Will journalists be asked to take off their footwear at PCs in future? I’m certain the next time an American president speaks to the media in the Middle East, security persons will be on tenterhooks. The sentiment will possibly be similar every time an Indian political leader addresses a press meet. Well, not just a political leader, but just about anyone. It’s the newest form of protest and don’t be surprised if someone comes up the idea of a bulletproof glass shielding leaders with just one TV camera providing feeds to all channels.

Wednesday, April 8:

… sobs that only Tata Indicom users allowed to text Facebook status updates

Facebook has had a mobile-friendly website for a while, but now, like Twitter, it has allowed users in India to text status updates. Sadly, it’s only open to Tata Indicom customers, though I was told that other cell Co users, too, have been registered. I tried entering my Vodafone number, but got a message saying my mobile network didn’t support the verification process at this time. Note: at this time. Guess it’s just a commercial consideration and some early bird lollies for Indicom.

Thursday, April 9:

… hopes content on mobiles gets a fillip with all of Aircel’s arsenal in Mumbai and Delhi

You’ve seen the MS Dhoni ads on telly and in the papers. Less than a month after its launch in Delhi, Aircel kicked off in Mumbai as the metro’s seventh GSM service provider. Save cricket scores, content-based services aren’t as hot in India as ringtone and picture downloads, but I see the promotion of content services in Aircel ads as a plus.

Friday, April 10

… is worried as India TV quits NBA after the redressal authority slaps Rs 1 lakh fine

In a letter to NBA President G Krishnan, who is also CEO of TV Today, the company that runs arch rival Aaj Tak, India TV has cried foul. I’m not going to use all the harsh words of the letter here as there is an urgent need for a settlement. We’re lucky that we are in the midst of the elections preparations and no I&B minister/ secretary would like to take on news channels. For, this episode is bound to find pride of place in government dossiers. It offers just the right excuse for an Anand Sharma to step in and push for a regulatory mechanism. Remember, we’ll have an all-new infobroad minister in around a month-and-a-half from today, and like every minister has done in the past, he or she will have a view on regulating news channels. A divided and incomplete NBA will invite much harm to the trade.

Saturday, April 11

… is relieved that IPL and news media reps have reached a settlement

No pictures of only the grass at the Wanderers at Johannesburg next Saturday. The IPL and the News Media Coalition, a representation of global news firms, have reached an agreement on IPL coverage. With this, text and photo agencies will be able to offer services to websites. However, a Cricinfo story adds that reporters of websites will continue to be barred from the designated media enclosure at the grounds during match days. IPLT20.com is the official IPL website. Thank heavens there’s no ‘exclusive’ arrangement with a newspaper or news channel, but don’t be surprised if there’s one in future. More monies after all!

Phew! No updates on Sunday. Day spent with the family, some R&R and then this column. But may not be a bad idea to update my Facebook status more regularly. Right?

(The views expressed here are my own.)

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