Bangalore is home to a host of twitter celebrites whose news and views are followed by thousands in India and across the world. Nikhil Varma talks to some of this year’s happening tweeple
Tweet handle @beastoftraal, 13, 966 followers
Karthik discovered Twitter in 2009. He contends, “Faster and better internet access is one of the main reasons these social media websites are very popular in Bangalore.” Karthik feels that the advent of the social media has made everything have a global angle. “We have started looking at everything around us from the point of view of how we share it online. This is not new either - a writer is bound to look at everything around her in the form of words or sentences; a photographer looks at things from a framing (photos) point of view... in a similar vein, a person active on social media is bound to look at how interestingly things can be shared.”
Tweet handle: @gkjohn, 7173 followers
GK John discovered Twitter and was sceptical initally though he was soon a convert. “It has helped me with the range of conversations I have and the diversity of opinions I am exposed to and can engage with. As for my work, it has helped me make connections and find assistance in all sorts of ways.” As far as the future of the social media is concerned, John contends, "Broadly, I think we will move to things that help with future decisions. It will be a lot more about the quantified self and a lot more pervasive."
He sounds a word of caution, “The deeper we immerse ourselves in digital networks, the more there is for intelligence agencies and governments to keep tabs.”
Tweet handle: @acorn, 28,657 followers
Nitin Pai was one of the earliest adopter of internet services and platform. He set up his website in 1995, when the internet was in its infancy in India, began blogging in 2003, much before blogging became big and joined twitter in 2009. He says, “Twitter has certainly helped me reach out to a larger audience, both to influential individuals and the public at large. What I like most is the ability to connect with intelligent people both in India and abroad.”
As far as the future of the social media is concerned, Nitin says, “The important question is how do we raise the quality of public discourse, whether in mainstream media or social media. Without a robust and civil public discourse, it will be very difficult to fix India’s most important governance problems. While social media is great in terms of flagging issues that might not otherwise make it to day-to-day conversations, the discourse suffers from partisanship, abusiveness and short news cycles. I have found that twitter has reduced the quality of debate as much as blogs elevated it, vis-a-vis the mainstream media.
I think it behoves thinking people to be mindful of their online behaviour, and set the right example in terms of etiquette, responsibility and maturity.”
Tweet handle: @tinucherian, 1,44,078 followers
Tinu Cherian stumbled upon twitter while trying to promote Wikipedia-related events in India at a time when the Shashi Tharoor-Lalit Modi spat was creating waves on twitter and mainstream media. He also organised a a tweetup (meeting of twitter users) in Bangalore with Shashi Tharoor, the poster boy of Twitter India then.
It was the first ever tweetup with Tharoor ever. Tinu says, “As I explored more of the platform, I got more interested and addicted to it. It became my primary source of information and discussions. He adds, "I think social media will ensure that people will talk more and engage and network on social networking sites, though the platforms may keep changing as Myspace and Orkut was displaced by Twitter and Facebook..