Stories about social

You are right, Malala’s speech could have been better!

It was a privilege to take a few minutes off my life and listen to Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the United Nations– alas, on YouTube. I’ve been away from social media the past few days, but I couldn’t help but take a cursory look at social media to see folks questioning whether Malala’s speech could have been better. Strangely, I have to swallow my anger and admit: you are right. Malala’s speech could have been better! It could have been better if this speech was delivered at the UN General Assembly by Barack Hussein Obama, the President of the United States ...

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When Ramazan became Ramadan: Our infatuation with Arab culture

Come the sighting of the moon and my inbox, cell phone and social media feed is inundated with greetings of ‘Ramadan Kareem Mubarak’. It’s a common phenomenon and I am not the only one to experience this but it does make me think. What has happened in the past couple of decades that we have made the shift from Urdu words to decidedly Arabic ones? If the change was in language as a whole it would make some measure of sense. Languages are of course organic and new words come in but in this case it is not a natural ...

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If Twitter can have their site in Urdu, why can’t Facebook?

Since its inception in 2004, Facebook has been a revolution, an addiction, a maddening genius which took over websites like MySpace, Orkut, hi5 and revolutionized the dynamics of social interaction. To cater to its ever increasing user base, 1.11 billion (active March 2013), Facebook has revamped itself many times to keep a competitive edge and keep their user base intact. In 2008, it offered users a new experience- now Facebook could be used in one’s mother tongue. This breakthrough received immense positive feedback. The language barrier was felt no more and networking became simpler, authentic and increasingly intimate. However, with Facebook allowing over 50 languages across ...

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The positivism of Taher Shah

A few weeks ago, one of my colleagues introduced me to a song that was soon to become the new sensation over social media. The way-too-classy video and bizarre lyrics made the song an immediate hit — but not in a good way. By now, most of you must have guessed it right; but for those who haven’t, it was none other than the new blockbuster, Taher Shah’s Eye To Eye. With each click the song received, a new meme appeared on the social media websites. This increased popularity (mind you, a notorious one) made me wonder, how the singer ...

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Political cartoonist: When reality just isn’t good enough!

Cartoons have been a standing feature of print media as well as an illustrative means of providing comic relief. With the evolution of participatory democracy, cartoons have evolved into political comment and are also an instrument of social debate. The advent of camera photography transformed print journalism, however, photographs could not be given the same creative and commentary aspects that cartoons possess. Cartoons are considered an irreverent description of the artist’s understanding of a certain social or political situation. The insolence of the brush draws out laughter from the readers but paints the leaders and the decision makers on the wrong ...

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Pretension in the making

Business dinners were once relatively private affairs organised with little fuss. Today, however, the word ‘corporate dinner’ immediately brings to mind extravagant dining halls, elaborate menus and seating arrangements, interminable guest lists and the presence of expensive entertainment as a finishing touch to the evening. Clearly, the expansion of the corporate sector, over the past century, has led to a simultaneous expansion in the extravagance with which the corporate sector receives and likes to be received. Today, when Aunty Zulaikha and Major Jamshed hold a corporate dinner, it has to be the social highlight of the season. Everyone who is anyone ...

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Social Media Mela or Twitterati kitty party?

Yesterday afternoon, I was at the Social Media Mela, (better known as SocMM12) at Avari Towers, Karachi. As I neared the hall where the particular session I had to attend was to be held, I heard they were running late ─ and fashionably so. When I first saw #SocMM12 trending on Twitter, I immediately thought of guns (let’s blame rap songs on the radio for this). When I found out what it really was and I took a look at the event guide online, I made a biased assumption; this wasn’t going to really be a broad-horizoned ‘social media’ mela; ...

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How much Klout do you have?

Is there a way to measure your influence on social media sites? People have forever been confused about what exactly makes one important online and where they rank. Is it traffic or engagement? What is the actual standard for success online?  In September 2009, a small San Francisco-based start up with 40 employees stated that they had the answer to all of this. Their answer was Klout. Klout essentially claims to be the standard of gauging how much influence a person has in the world of social media by aggregating their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other footprints to come up with a score for influence. Yes, there are tons of social ...

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Who tops Pakistan news on social media?

The need to be ‘social’ online is shaping up to be a new rat race for clicks, comments and user engagement among local news media outlets. With an estimated 20 million Pakistanis online and over six million on Facebook, the ability to convert these numbers into tangible, easy-to-measure consumers of news content is, even at this early stage, a new measure of success. Currently media groups are focused on growth and expansion of their user bases (via their sites or social media channels), experimenting with forms of content and content sharing mechanisms and for some, the first phases of trying to ...

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The Hunger Games: Stimulate your mind

If the best games stimulate the mind and the body, then The Hunger Games belongs near the top of the pile. Adapted from a novel bearing the same name by Suzanne Collins, this first installment in a trilogy is a superb dramatic action film, which engages the grey matter on various levels, thanks to its rich depth in characterisation, as well as a subtle multi-layered narrative. Set in a dystopian future in North America, things start with 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), who feeds her little sister Primrose (Willow Shields), and her widowed mother (Paula Malcomson), ...

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