Posts Tagged ‘misleading publicity’

Woke up this morning to a rather comical article on the front page of a serious (at least I thought so) financial newspaper and this immediately got me pondering (again) about the cultural differences impacting the use social media sites, globally.

Like I have always said, Twitter is my first love. But, to remain in love with it while in India is another matter. Two things have always annoyed me here-  firstly, DM (Direct Messages) asking you for “frandship” and secondly the gender bias. Women in India are supposed to behave in a certain fashion and arranging tweets-up to meet random strangers on a regular basis is a social taboo here. There goes my vision for @socialBLR. As much as I would have loved to meet and greet new people and share common experiences, things work diffrently here and keeping yourself “safe” from ulterior motives might just be a better option. I’m not here to network but just to share but the thin line of difference is somehow lost in this part of the world.

Without deviating further from the reason for my post today, let me get straight to the point: Tweeting for money (using your personal handle)

Call me naive, but I was rather amazed to read that people actually talk about products and events in their everyday tweets not just because they are genuinely interested in them but because they are paid to do so. I am not commenting on the personal choice made by people here (That is none of my business) but on the “trust-factor” we lay on Twitter, as a whole. This makes me think, makes me laugh at myself and makes me believe my favorite place on the web a lot lesser than before. Not everything people say on Twitter is to be taken seriously. Someone I follow because we share common interests suddenly looks like a Shahrukh Khan selling a hair oil that he has never used. Alas!

I suddenly missed my Twitter friends in Melbourne. Didn’t we all tweet about the restaurants we frequent, the events we attend and just the awesome people we meet everyday? I’m not sure I’d like to learn that they were all tweeting about them because they had  to and not because they want to. That said, I am not saying Twitter is not used for promotional purposes (of course that’s the main purpose twitter exists, for most of us) but to promote something without tagging it as an #ad or #promotion would tantamount to cheating, for me. Promote a brand- happily do it, but from its OFFICIAL twitter handle, if you may. That way I know that you are saying good things about a brand you stand for.

To think of it, using popular names likes Miss Malini, @rajeevMasand, Madmanweb, @beastoftraal etc to get the word out is a VERY good choice but paying them for it? I’m not sure.

It’s best when Twitter remains a personal experience (good or bad) shared with people who are genuinely interested in “what you are up to” and follow you with love, than to influence their mind because someone paid you for it.  I really want to continue going to the movies Ravi Kapoor suggests and the restaurants @Madmanweb ticks as good, please let it remain so.

Just my two cents there, what do you think?

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