Friday, January 23, 2009

Blogged Out

Over the past few weeks, my colleagues and I have been unable to login to any Blogspot ad. This made us wonder, what was up with blogspot, was it down time? A quick search for a possible problem dredged up old articles of how, once upon a time in 2006, Blogspot had been blocked by Indian ISP providers. The problem was complicated by the fact that it has taken over 20 days (and calls every day to a call center) for my Tata Indicom internet connection to be shifted from the 8th floor to the 9th floor in the same building! Exemplary example of mumbai’s efficiency. We finally realised that a certain ISP was probably blocking the sites.

Which is why, today I am posting my first post after such a long time. It is interesting to see that my last post has earned a comment from some one at italki.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Social Networking the Language that Makes the World a Smaller Place.

A friend of mine recently raised an interesting question on Facebook – ‘How many of my friends on my friend list are actually my friends?’ An interesting question indeed, it prompted me to write yet another social networking article.

Many people on many social networking sites have overly inflated friend lists. How many of those so-called friends do we actually scrap, write on their wall, or drop messages on a regular basis. Perhaps the number of friends has merely become an online status symbol? I have seen a number of people having multiple profiles interlinked because they add anybody and everybody and have ultimately reached the limit of their friend list! I for one, diligently prune my friend lists every now and then, keeping only those who message me (and those who I would like to message me!) on the list.

True the key focus of Social Networking, is to make new social ties while reviving old ones and building on current ones. Speaking of which, I recently made a new acquaintance, a person who speaks Portuguese. Which is interesting as I don’t know a word of this language, I converse with this person by switching between Google’s translate website and my social networking site. Literal translations are awkward, to say the least.

Which made me wonder, aren’t there any social networking sites built for this. Where people who speak two different languages can converse with each other using built in translation within the site? An idea for yet another social networking site perhaps? Maybe, but a quick search online reveals a number of language communities peppering the web. There are even sites like or which is a social networking site of sorts dedicated to bringing together people who wish to learn a new language.