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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crowdsourcing Diplomacy: Leveraging Social Media In India's War Against Terrorism

Just finished posting my latest blog entry yet something doesn't feel alright. Just a few months back at around this time (its nearly 2 in the morning) i was watching on TV, a group of terrorists attack and lay siege on Mumbai. The next few days, there was a feeling of national outrage, every Indian worth his salt was angry as well as determined to do everything to make sure that incidences of these sorts are not repeated. Yet only 6 months have passed and an alleged key conspirator has been released by a Pakistani court. Apparently, India has expressed displeasure and Pakistan has pooh-poohed it.Can we do nothing except wait for the next major attack to take place?

In this era of globalization, India's greatest strength is its democracy. We are the largest democracy not just because of the numbers but also because of the level of political participation.
Well, know the power of democracy, even a small group us can force the government to reverse major decisions, we can burn trains and destroy public property and still get away. And that is not all! In the global stage too, we can vote to make the Taj Mahal, number 1 in the list of 7 wonders of the world chosen democratically. Well, the Taj deserves it but if its a matter of votes then we Indians can vote and make the nearest shanty declared the 8th wonder of the world. After all, we are the largest enfranchised group in the world and quite aware of the power that enfanchisement brings along.

Our presence in social media is as formidable. We know the power of the individual on a democratic platform, we can make hashtags of nonsensical or just too ambiguous words and use our numerical strength to tweet it until it is a trending topic on Twitter.

Twitter is the place where "everything Social Web" is taking place. Well, Obama being on Twitter is a common knowledge but he is not the only politician tweeting. There are lots of them including the newly sworn in Minister of State for External Affairs, Sashi Tharoor who is quite active on Twitter. Apparently, even the Minister of External Affairs, SM Krishna is on Twitter going by the latest MSN report!* Yet, our great Indian democratic parivar on Social Web and Twitter in particular would prefer to tweet "#wtfwednesday" or similar but desi tags as trending topics. This is the same segment that has been an important part of the group of users who have, through social media, forced companies like Facebook and Twitter itself to reverse their decisions. But, conspicuously enough, they are not as vocal or as expressive when it comes to #Mumbai terror attack trial.

In my previous post I have two simple questions the answer of which also answers questions that should suffice the Pakistani courts.If the Indian twitterati now raises this question in unison its likely to reverebate far more loudly than ever. Afterall, the President of USA, Indian Ministers of External Affairs (both Cabinet and MoS) and numerous other politicians and key decision makers from India, Pakistan, USA and rest of the world are on Twitter.

Crowdsourcing: is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. [source]