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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


Friday, February 26, 2010

Roar On The Web, Tigers Are Dying Out In Jungles

Posted by: danish Ahmed 3:14 AM

There are only 1411 tigers left, what are you going to do to save our national animal from extinction? This question was put to me by a friend of mine who had shown little concern for any social,environmental or wild life conservation cause, as of yet. Quite clearly his question was directed at me solely because he knew that I blog, tweet and facebook and the television commercials of telecom provider Air Cel calls upon viewers to use social media to help save the tigers from extinction. I have done my bit or may be my two-bits ( corresponds to exactly two retweets ) but refuse to be sucked into the media campaign. My problem is that I cant see how we can save a species from extinction by blogging,tweeting, facebooking or using any social media platform ?

I do agree that the social media is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful tool for ushering in social change but in many cases including this one, raising awareness among the people is the only advantage that it offers. The telecom provider sponsoring the campaign doesn't say what its strategy is and how we can actually help. Honestly speaking, I am not at all sure if Social Web revolution has made inroads into the hinterlands where the endangered species dwell and as do poachers and smugglers. Television on the other hand has had a far more successful penetration, it would be safer to assume that villagers,forest-dwellers as well as poachers and the guards have a better chance of being exposed to television campaigns. Yet the television advertisement encourages viewers to take to social media. Instead of using social media to influence traditional media such as the television, the company is actually using the latter to shift the focus to social media. This seems to be a classical case of tail wagging the dog.

However, I don't mean to say that Air Cel has not added any value to the cause and has just been trying to boost its brand by creating a hype around such an unfortunate issue. It has indeed, through financial means, helped celebrities from diverse fields develop affection for the national animal and empathize with the dying out species. And now every kid however old or young, knows the exact number of a species' population. 1411 will hence be known as the number that represents the tiger population,even in the future. Indeed, 1411 may well became the magic number of tiger population, when we realized that our national animal and such a beautiful creature, was dying out in the jungles while we were roaring on the web by blogging, tweeting, facebooking, orkutting and the like. It is time that some of us realize and accept the fact that we actually cannot eat what we grow in FarmVille. Social Media is simply awesome for lot of reasons but alas, magic is not one of them!