Friday, November 28, 2008
“I don’t care if this post does not make sense” – India’s Blogosphere Comes of Age – Financial Times
“The ensuing sense of anger was also captured. A blogger writes, “We cannot tolerate these fanatics arriving in a boat on the Mumbai coast armed with explosives and guns. We cannot tolerate the fact that they got into high security stations and so called well protected hotels with guns and bombs and held people hostages. We cannot tolerate the fact that they killed people to just prove that they were capable of doing so. I refuse to be resilient. I refuse to be tolerant. I want answers and I want them now. I want to know why the intelligence did not spot this. I want to know why the coast guard did not spot this. How can we let these uncivilised people hold the city at siege? I don’t care if this post does not make sense”.”
I am interested to see how India handles this massive, symbolic insult. It's a rickety metaphor but perhaps an apt one: 9/11 provoked the same passionate, vengeful emotions in Americans. I have absolutely no idea how India will handle their own watershed situation. I sense it's gonna be handled with more decisive actions then shown in India's past. These situations do make you understand WHY some people are perfectly okay with slapping around terrorists for information. Does that make it okay? No, but....
Twitter Turns Serious Amid India Terror – Financial Times
“Users have requested news when local coverage has been blacked out, and posted breaking updates from Indian channels ahead of Western networks. One man based in Australia used Twitter to request information on his missing family: “Hearing that more and more floors at Oberoi have been cleared but still no word on my cousin (Italian national woman with infant).” Six hours later, and after several desperate –messages, he wrote: “Just saw them coming out of the hotel. Live pictures of them safe and well. Overwhelmed.”
But as the attacks have gone on, the stream of messages has become more and more cluttered with conspiracy stories, arguments, spam messages and confusing posts, thrown in with tweets from media outlets and observers.”
Again, the wheat-from-chaff issue is brought up, although I believe the upcoming generation is savvy enough to figure out what is total bullshit and what is accurate. It's not like the major media outlets are startlingly accurate themselves.
One question: which route guarantees the most accuracy? The oversight of a trained editor or combining many sources of data to arrive at a general truth? I can't decide.
Twittering and Blogging About Terror – Times of India
"Blogger Harish Iyer, who started ‘Terror in Bombay’ soon after the attacks, has been posting everything from consulate numbers to lists of hostages. ‘‘Anything to do my bit,’’ says the 29-year-old, who is also fielding calls and emails from people desperate to find their loved ones.
Blogger Amit Varma, whose blog is called India Uncut, was in a thoughtful mood. “Earlier today, I was working on my novel. Now I wonder what’s the point. The book will come out in April, and Bombay will be a different city then. This book was written in a Bombay before these attacks; it will come out in a Bombay after these attacks, and it somehow feels, as I sit here in the business center of a boutique hotel a stone’s throw from the mayhem, that it will be inadequate. It is a love story and isn’t that perverse?”
We can only hope Mumbai will come out of this with its crazy-ass spirit intact. Slumdog Millionaire is earning a lot of attention and praise right now: hopefully the movie will draw international attention to how wonderful Mumbai is. Mumbai is aching for good publicity right now. I haven't seen it yet but I damn well will soon.
Twitter’s Moment – Forbes
"The question now is how to manage--if it is manageable at all--the information that comes to the forefront when anyone with a cellphone or a cheap laptop can blast information around the globe with a few keystrokes.
There are some reports that Indian authorities asked those in Mumbai to stop Twittering about the event in order to keep the activities of police quiet.
If true, that's a breakthrough. It's the sort of challenge journalists covering combat have long grappled with: What information should you share? Who decides what you can write? To what end?"
Good questions. We as the tech savvy are going to have to answer them to an at least acceptable degree before the older generation sees citizen journalism as "worthy." It also leads to uncomfortable questions about control: do we need control over citizen journalism? If so, who gets to inflict it? Do we really trust people to self regulate?
As an aside, general consensus seems to be that the terrorists were NOT using Twitter to monitor police or military activities. But we don't know anything for sure yet, do we?
That's all for now. I think I'll start posting some of my backlogged reviews of Mumbai restaurants in the next few days. I want to be reminded of the wonderful things about the city.