Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Virtual World

When i first used Email in 1997 i was amazed by how fast it was , less than a decade after that i was looking out for something different to it, something that would make me feel more connected than the feeling of talking or writing to a machine. In 2007 i joined Facebook and found out the new meaning of writing on a "wall". the interactivity and the fact that one had to do nothing extra to reach to all friends was amazing. I started reconnecting with friends from high school, colleagues from my first job or the new friends in my life, but this was restricted to the people i know and people who know me.
Although i joined Twitter few years ago i did not realise its value (hence little or no activity before yesterday) until i joined this course on Government2.0 at SU. Twitter makes it possible for me to follow anyone whose views i want to know about , it may be the prime minister or president of a country , a movie star, a well known expert without the need or the compulsion for them to know me. Also Twitter is more than just a communication channel it is also a medium to gather information on things that are happening and are talked about around the world, something known as "Trending". "hashtags" are very important to keep track of things that are trending . it is quite common to have more than one hashtag in tweets to make sure that a wider but relevant audience is reached . Traditional media now follows the twitter trend to break new stories as well as put across opinions of wide number of people around the world. The term "citizen journalism" has found a new meaning and a higher dependence by the real world media. More often it is these tweets from the ground that are the only source of information that too in real time.
So much for the media and media watchers , what role is the government playing in this virtual information game. Governments in western countries are using social media to not only decimate information but also to gather information. Governments of the developing countries like Nepal have no idea what Twitter is and are infact look at it as a medium that takes away their traditional control over information . I hope i can learn more on social media and web2.0 to be able to convince the government of my country to look at it in a positive light and use it for the betterment of the governance system as well as connect with the vast majority of youth who are increasingly getting disillusioned with the government.

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