Stories about online

Mubarak’s departure: Triumph of the citizen

Three Fridays, eighteen days. There is no greater testament to the power of people, ordinary people that is, than what the Egyptians have achieved yesterday. Overthrowing Mubarak is historical, not just for the overthrowing of a deeply entrenched dictator, but because the revolution straddles both, the present and the future of the idea of social aggregation. Present in its ability to rid a society of autocracy and futuristic in its ability to do so without revolutionary leaders, this, and the Tunisian revolution, has shown the world that age-old notion of heroes rescuing troubled damsels in distress is just that – ...

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Scandalous Islamabad: Facebook’s gossip vultures

On an idle Sunday afternoon spent eating pizza and chatting with my sisters-in-law, I was introduced to ‘Scandalous Islamabad’. In case you don’t know what it is, ‘Scandalous Islamabad’ is a Facebook group inspired by American TV show Gossip Girl (remember the mysterious “And who am I? That’s one secret I’ll never tell. You know you love me xoxo Gossip Girl?”) Currently, this Facebook group has a following of almost 5,000 people. The grapevine is active The group that was created in January this year keeps disappearing and reappearing. Apparently, this is because they got hacked. There is a post on their ...

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Can you imagine a world without Wikipedia?

“Wikipedia only works in practice. In theory, it’s a total disaster.” Wikipedia, supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, has accumulated over 17 million articles in 262 languages as well as inspired copycats in Google and Facebook (see Google Knol and Facebook Community Pages). It still, however,  does not have money to keep the site running – nor does it want to charge money or display ads on its websites. If you’ve been to the Wikipedia website lately, you might have seen a banner at the top of the page that says “Please read: A personal appeal from Wikimedia Executive Director Sue ...

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Listen to the customer!

Gone are the days when you needed to lodge a complaint about a problem in your telephone connection or electricity metre and nobody was available to even listen to your voice. Now, the scene has changed. Companies have started to focus more on customer service due to increasing competition in the marketplace. Many companies that didn’t even know about customer services now have state of the art call centers and customer touch points. Here they are not only listening to customer complaints but also resolving these on an immediate basis. However, there is still a place where customers are complaining ...

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For the love of books: Digital is not always better

I’ve been papering my wall with pages of old books that I’ve loved. The mechanical exercise is strangely cathartic and every time I step back to look, it makes me happy. However, it does set off a train of thought on the role of books in a busy world, where paper is becoming redundant. Is it true that they are becoming largely ornamental, to display on shelves and proclaim, “I read”? For those who can afford it, options exist which have eliminated the need to ever enter a bookshop. The Amazon Kindle, for instance, is the ultimate simulation of the book ...

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Media sensationalism trumped by online insensitivity

When the Airblue flight ED 202 crashed into the Margalla hills, there was a barrage of criticism against the media reportage of the incident. Sensationalist, unethical and downright insensitive were the allegations against the Pakistani media, and to be honest, they were not misplaced. From boasting to be the first ones to have broken the news to showing gory footage of blood and body parts, running after families of the victims for juicy soundbytes depicting their pain and giving false hope by airing incorrect reports of survivors, the media certainly had a chargesheet of complaints against it, and justifiably so. Bloggers ...

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Money 101: How to make some extra cash from home

The first rule to increasing your bank balance is saving. Last week I presented a few home remedies of making your rupee last longer. But money rule number two is far more exciting as it suggests increasing the family income – extra earning not only means extra saving but also extra spending and an overall better quality of life. Get to work Forget detailed scientific research – just browse around your local neighborhood and see the steady benefits of a two income family. They are likely to be the ones whose kids are going to better schools; their disposable income is more so ...

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Veena’s web presence: 10/10

Like other Pakistani celebrities, Veena Malik too has a website. It is veenamalik.com.pk, and not veenamalik.net, which claims to be a fansite, and certainly not veenamalik.com, which has nothing to do with the film/TV star. I thought I could write a piece about Veena Malik’s page similar to the one I wrote when I discovered Meera’s website. But after going through it, I was actually quite impressed. First of all, the website is not new. I just found it recently. Also, the vast amount of options and the information available on the page simply amazed me, not because it is done in ...

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10 things Pakistani blog readers should know

Blogs can be casual, formal or anything in between. So while writing, the blogger can interrupt the readers with an “akhhh thoo” if he wants to, without having to suffer tons of meaningless comments. It’s a blog, not a featured article in Foreign Policy magazine. Blogs are opinion-oriented. They may or may not be backed by hard facts. A blog or ‘web log’ does not necessarily have in-depth analysis that will ...

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Sharing links is not ‘helping’

So, The Express Tribune decided to run a report on all the fantastic mobilisation that is being witnessed online toward helping out flood victims. Wow. So, before I start ranting about this topic, let me first say that there are a few online voices who are making a genuine difference by coordinating efforts and collecting funds, and that is commendable. But then there is everyone else (and you know who I’m talking about); the other 90 per cent of armchair Twitterati and time-pass Facebook people who are busy sharing links and decrying the ‘awful floods’ and doing absolutely nothing to help. So ...

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