The Best Goodbye Ever

And once in a while a movie comes along that makes you want to write a note on it. No, Drona, Karzzz, LS2050 don’t exactly fall into the category that I meant. :)

A lot of discussion happened before I saw Dasvidaniya, mostly on twitter, and many thanks to one person who put the idea of a review in my head. I might have let laziness overcome me if not for that. And so, while i will not go about doing a long drawn review, I shall try to pen down the thoughts that came to me as I watched the movie.

The film worked for me, and the major portion of the credit would go to Vinay Pathak, who has carved a niche for himself, that no other actor can occupy now. It started with Bheja Fry and a few shades of that character can be found in this too. While the basic story idea has been used several times, it is the actor and the situations that makes it endearing and believable.

It’s the story of a relatively uncomplicated human being, but thanks to a single situation that arises, his life is forced on to a much faster pace than he’s used.  My heart went out to him, when he asks ‘Why me?’ . That one sentence captures the angst of a man who has lived all his life doing the right things, but is yet treated unfairly even by the cosmos. Meanwhile, he lives his life based on a day to day ‘Things to do’ list that he religiously maintains. A meek person who is pushed around by everyone and life, the list is what gives meaning to his life, right from buying vegetables to repairing his momma’s hearing aid to several mundane things that we would regard as well, mundane. But like he himself says, he is not ambitious. Even when pushed, his dreams (in the beginning) are only a car, saying No to his boss, a foreign trip etc; yes, nothing great, but it’s typical of the man’s character, and you end up liking him all the more for it.

Through the journey of one man, the story shows how simple human existence can be, if only we let it be, how it is possible to love unconditionally, if only we let it happen, and how there is an innate bond between human beings, if only we care to show it. But like a couple of characters in the movie show, at some point, the selfishness that we see around us, and perhaps within us, has created in us, a cynical outlook, and we force on ourselves, a complicated existence. So much so, that (like in the movie) we’d not believe that when, after a dozen years, someone wants to visit us, its only for the pleasure of seeing us.

Yes, it is possible to live, without strings attached to everything we do or say; and by living so, it is possible to create great joy not just in us, but those around us too.. someday, hopefully, we can live this lesson.

until next time, time is running out

PS : So, some might turn around and say “Oh, The Bucket List”, and to those I’d say, for the majority of Bollywood lovers who understand Gunmaster G9, this works way better. :)

Micro Ambassadors

The recent twitterguru polls conducted by itwote was a neat social experiment. The idea was to choose the person on twitter (in India) most loved by all. In that sense, the number of followers a person had or the number of tweets did not, though i did feel that the person with more followers did have a distinct advantage. Incidentally, the person with the maximum followers did win, though I’m still debating my point, with myself.

However, the social experiment for me was completely different. It had to do with what I think would be the long tail of twitter popularity. While the final nominations were only 5 people, the amount of nominations were much larger. It made me realise that in the vast set of twitter users, many of us look up to others, pay attention to what they have to say, follow the links they share, in essence, extend to microblogging, the milieu of blogging.

But there is a crucial difference – the twitterstream. Which means that in some ways it is also a broadcast medium. So, while I may not follow a blog because it predominantly covers stuff I’m not interested in, and therefore end up missing an interesting conversation that happens there, such a scenario is less common on twitter. So, my reach on twitter would most likely be more than my blogs.

So, I was wondering about the concept of micro ambassadors. Let me show you through an example. The movie Dasvidaniya. We had a lot of discussions around it – the origin of the word, the website, and thanks to chupchap, I realised that the dasvidaniya website had, in addition to the Facebook and Orkut groups a very cool application, that tied in with very well with the movie – a Thing To do list, and by connecting friends, it could’ve made a very good social viral. Yes, there are many such apps, but this one has a context. I know at least 4-5 more people who were equally interested in the movie. And we were playing out the role of micro ambassadors. Now this might be a small number to begin with, but with an interesting app, and the long tail of twitter popularity, we sould’ve convinced at least a few to watch the movie.

The value add here is that as a regular twitterer, I know other twitterers who’d be interested in a particular subject. What does it take – a few free tickets, in other words, product sampling. The duration of the micro ambassadorship should be decided by the kind of product, and the experience time it requires. In the case of the movie, it would be say, a couple of weeks.  A group of people passionate about a product./service, convinced about the value, spreading the news to others who’d be interested. While there are many stories of blogs being used for a viral spread, I haven’t come across many on twitter. It perhaps is a lack of awareness.

But it raises a question for me. While I believe that both blogging and microblogging have their unique place on the web, does twitter, because of the way it is used, lend itself more to brand usage than blogs? Micro ambassadors, because they may not have the ‘star value’ of bloggers, and are relying on the long tail of popularity on twitter. Is it even better than social networks, where there perhaps might be constraints like viewership being limited to real life friends? I’m also wondering about new networks like Afinito (via Startup Meme), a service that connects you to other people with similar interests, or Orbius, a ‘safe and controlled environment for brands and companies to connect with their customers’.

What do you think?

until next time, now for a revenue model 😉