i am nikhil

nikhil's muzings

Time for Change

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The last 2 days have been something that I can’t currently explain. Am just dumping whatever has occured to me while frozen to my seat and Twitter this last 40 hours. will edit and refine it at a later date probably.

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Some Useful Links : 
Mumbai Help @ Pinstorm
Mumbai Help @ Dina Mehta
Twitter Feed for #Mumbai
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My 101st post is about responsibility. Our responsibility 
Yesterday, around 9 pm, terror struck my country. At it’s heart, in full sight of everyone on all known forms of media. Consequently, I was glued to my computer for the nest 8 hours without respite. watching the chaos multiply. I did what seemed to me at that point, the best recourse. I offered my time on the net. Calling up or donating blood was not a feasible option. So I did best to post updates on Twitter. And judiciously help people in my little way. Am pretty proud of the way Twitter fared this last 18 hours. as a social medium. I can only hope that whatever I and all the others on Twitter retweeted continually through the night was of some help to those looking for it. And pray we didn’t outdo ourselves and thwart the ongoing rescue attempts.That our efforts didn’t bring any harm to any innocent bystander in any way. I remember repeating over and over again what can I do as a person.Now I am trying to make sense here of what has occured to me since then.
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People react instinctively to situations when in danger or shock. Only training helps us get the better of the survival instinct and avoid chaos. WE need an action plan. A fixed guideline of how to respond to any situation like this is the first thing we need to propagate on all forms of social media. 
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@Vinu has a shining example of doing what you can. He managed to grab a ton of pics and upload them withing the hour of the start of the ordeal. @dina, @asfaq, @netra are just three of the many people to whom i have been tuned in and am in awe of, for their  service. I mean it takes a hell lot more than just a feeling of resposibility to stay online and provide information in real time for 2 straight days. Kudos to you folks!
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Changes that I could Think of : 
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Institutional changes take weeks and months to implement. Radical departures from one’s routine can never be sustained for long, and die down with the hype and hysteria. 
Terrorist Attacks are on the rise. While we do need to fight them and reduce them, let’s start by first preparing to face them and reduce their impact.
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1.Awareness needs to be ramped up about what each of us ought to do in times like the last 40 hours. The Govt doesnt have to go and tell people what to do in the hour of need. We should be ready for that in advance. A large scale viral campaign using OOH & Social Media about a fixed point readiness bulletin seems like the most logical preparedness first-step.
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2.A central Information source, capable of sustaining massive web traffic needs to be setup. All the efforts seen over last 2 days point to this. We are not ready yet. but we are capable. so let’s do something about it. If the government has difficulties managing relatively New techonologies, then let the Social Media proponents offer their help. Barcamps , Tweetups & blogmeets are ideal for us to offer and network our efforts to this end.
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3. We seriously need something like http://www.ready.gov I’m sure if we bloggers / Twitter folk make a dedicated effort, we can find a backing Public figure who is aware of the implications of Social Media trends to help us out and interface with the government.
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4.The biggest glaring fault that leaps to my eye regarding the #Mumbai attacks is the lack of centralisation. NSG is fully capable. as is ATS. Marine Commandos were swift in their response and are amongst our most elite teams. and yet, this ordeal has already spanned close to 40 hours. People need to figure how they can help the government unify the working of it’s defence and police forces. I agree complete integration is impossible and unheard of anywhere. but we need to improve our response speed greatly.
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5. Lastly, our government needs it’s Internet Task Force. #mumbai has shown the world that India is web-aware and online. we need to harness the social tools made available to us, and help our country’s government function better.
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Written by iNKV

November 28, 2008 at 07:36

Posted in Uncategorized

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