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Pakistan’s social media revolution

Discussion in 'Social & Current Events' started by Dance, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Dance


    Jul 20, 2010
    +0 / 4,992 / -0
    Pakistan’s first-ever international social media summit, held this weekend in Karachi, was a big success because of the energy and creativity of its participants. Top bloggers, Twitter users, and other social media mavens flocked to it from all over Pakistan. They were joined by their counterparts from across the globe, including Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, and America. Social media really does create a global village and it was a pleasure to see so many of its distinguished citizens. I was struck by the talent, imagination, commitment of the young bloggers. Among them I met committed visionaries that will help realise the vast potential of the people of Pakistan.

    Perhaps showing the generation gap, I did not know that Pakistan has such a lively and active blogging community, with over three million citizen-journalists freely reporting on virtually every topic under the sun. Pakistan has one of the fastest-growing Facebook and Twitter-using populations in the world, with over four million Facebook users. Remarkably, the per capita internet access in Pakistan is between 10-15 per cent of the total population — more than double that of neighbouring India. Using even the most conservative estimates, 20 million Pakistanis are regularly online, or the equivalent of the population of four Singapores.

    Pakistan enjoys tremendous freedom of information and online expression. As a representative of the United States, I am keenly aware of the vibrancy of that free speech every time I log in to my computer or pick up a newspaper. Although a bit bruised sometimes, I welcome it! By amplifying the diversity of voices, social media is making life a richer experience for us all. And this is possible because Pakistanis are using their freedom of expression every day, online. Blogging is reinforcing the backbone of democracy – freedom of speech – a freedom that is enshrined in the US Constitution.

    In Pakistan, the freedom of the press was earned over time, through the sacrifices of its people, especially the sacrifices of those in the media community. Journalists and bloggers now play a central role in the effort to institutionalise these hard won freedoms.

    We must never forget, the many journalists who have been killed or injured as they sought to report on the challenges facing us today. They take extraordinary risks to enlighten us with the truth. Nobody embodied this commitment more than Syed Saleem Shahzad, who was senselessly murdered trying to pursue this truth. All of us are diminished by his passing. But, there is no doubt that his work will continue and others will pick up the baton and carry on. It is up to each of us to honour his legacy and do all we can to support press freedom as a fundamental right to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. Blog on.

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  2. Dance


    Jul 20, 2010
    +0 / 4,992 / -0
    Social media: From Egypt's revolution to Karachi​

    “My family isn’t aware I’m in Karachi right now, they think I’m still in Turkey,” says Egyptian blogger Mohamed El Dahshan as he laughs when he is asked if Pakistan was as dangerous as it is portrayed in the media abroad.

    Mohamed was in Karachi for ‘Network!!’ – Pakistan’s First International Social Media Summit. An economist by training and a consultant on government policy, Mohamed says he has been blogging for the last six years and has also moved into writing for the press.
    He was actively involved in the Egyptian Revolution from day one and reported it on both social and traditional media.

    “I was blogging anonymously before the Egyptian Revolution, focusing on travelling at first and then moving on to politics and current affairs. I’ve been focusing more on Egyptian affairs for the past seven months now,” says Mohamed.

    Mohamed says a group of people was already actively expressing their concerns even before the revolution, both online and offline. He says they would gather in small numbers and protest to make their presence known. At the same time people in Egypt were also active online, pushing for awareness and focusing on critical issues.

    “I would say 2010 was the buildup and 2011 was the explosion. People’s grievances had been building up for a while. Our job was to inform people and go out in small numbers to inform people about issues being faced.”

    Mohamed says the revolution would have happened if social media was not there, but it would have taken a little longer.

    “Social media allowed people to come together, organise and motivate themselves. It gave people an outlet to vent their anger,” says Mohamed.
    “Social action is collective action. If the government tells you you’re on your own and everybody is happy, you are afraid of doing things. But social media changed that. It helped bring together people who were upset about the same things.”

    Mohamed says the biggest social media platform that contributed towards helping people during the revolution was Facebook. He says there were influential blogs but Facebook had groups with hundreds and thousands of members, people who had been victims of “brutality”.
    “Twitter was super important during the revolution, it helped us get live updates,” he says.

    He says the government’s move of blocking social media websites and the internet itself to isolate people was a “stupid” move. “You can either be home alone and afraid or you can join a million people and live and die together, but you cannot be afraid alone.”

    The Egyptian government during its crackdown against social media sites had labeled Facebook users as the “Facebook Youth” and stating that they were criminals against the government. Mohamed recalls when he was travelling in a cab and was stopped and beaten up by a mob because he was carrying a laptop with him.

    Mohamed says the revolution helped people more active than they already were on social media sites. “People had a new found respect social media, even the Egyptian Army has a Facebook page now and they make all declarations through it. They recognize the power of social media.”

    Now that the revolution is over, social media is helping people become observers and be more responsible in Egypt. Mohamed says people have put up documents found at state police offices and he himself went to a referendum and put up pictures of technical violations.
    “We are still wondering what we should be doing now. Maybe we are on an observation mission.”

    The Egyptian Ministry of Finance invited the youth of the revolution to ask for their feedback on the budget, Mohamed says. He believes social media has helped create the awareness that the youth is also a stakeholder in the country.

    Mohamed says there is always a core of people and it is the core that takes the actual cause forward. He says focusing on the same issue counts the most and Egypt was lucky to have a dedicated core focusing on an issue.

    Momentum is important for change he says, and adds that the government in Pakistan always manages to deflate the momentum.

    Social media: From Egypt’s revolution to Karachi – The Express Tribune
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  3. Dance


    Jul 20, 2010
    +0 / 4,992 / -0
    Pakistan is Indonesia five years ago, says blogger​

    KARACHI: Hack Chuan Ong, a blogger from Jakarta, who arrived in Karachi to attend the Pakistan Social Media Summit, started blogging after reading the book “Naked conversations” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel.

    After reading the book, Ong, Technical Advisor at a company called Maverick, decided to start a corporate blog in order to take his company ahead. As a result, Maverick was one of the very few companies that, after realising the importance of blogging, got into it.

    The implications of social media, when it came to the scene, Ong explains, was that it removed the need for conventional media for companies to reach out to their consumers. “The companies could talk directly to the consumers,” he says.

    Ong describes a corporate blog as a place where a company can clearly put down its own point of view while interacting with its consumers and other stakeholders.

    Ong speaks of how, shortly after entering the blogosphere, he along with 12 other bloggers decided to hold a session, “a talk fest,” called Pestablogger for people to share their views. To his surprise 500 people attended the seminar. In four years, Ong says, Pestablogger’s audience grew to 1,500.
    As the blogging world became more organised, they started holding ‘blogshops,’ workshops for bloggers, with the help of the US consulate in Jakarta. As a result the US consulate became very popular with the blogging world. An example of its popularity, Ong points out, is that once when President Barrack Obama was visiting Jakarata, the embassy made a Facebook page for it, which gained 70,000 followers within three weeks.
    What to take from the summit

    Ong describes Pakistan as ‘Indonesia five years ago.’ He believes that Pakistan is heading in the same direction with respect to technological as well as political progress.

    Talking about the summit, Ong says it is reminiscent of the Pestoblogger when it first started in Indonesia. Ong sees energy in the people of Pakistan and believes that Pakistan should open itself to the rest of the world through the use of social media.

    Facts about Indonesia and Social media

    Indonesia is the second largest market for Facebook in the world with the US on top.
    It is the third largest use of Twitter, with Brazil and Netherlands topping the list.
    It has the third largest number of people using WordPress.
    It is one of the very first few countries that started using 4Square.
    People from all over the world are investing in the tech industry in Indonesia because of the facts stated above, says Ong.

    Pakistan is Indonesia five years ago, says blogger – The Express Tribune
  4. AsianUnion

    AsianUnion SENIOR MEMBER

    Nov 1, 2010
    +5 / 6,375 / -7
    United Kingdom
    As we all know that political parties now using the social media for their promotion in the youth. first of all PTI started to use facebook for the promotion as the voluntarily people doing it on facebook. PAT, then N league and other parties also started to promote on facebook.

    Social Media which is one of the most important tool of marketing now days all over the world and you would found that there are great number of celebrities are using facebook, twitter and other social media to promote them selves. yet in pakistan we are not using the facebook and other social media as we can do it.

    There are lots of people who yet don't know the effectiveness of social media and not using this tool of marketing.