Friday, November 11, 2005

What manipulated crayons, we are!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.
You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

This is one of the most sensible of the quizzes I can't claim to have not taken. What is my world view? (I was materialist) , What were you in your past life? …and others that I was too amused to take. (What rejected crayon are you, Kissing purity test, what is your underwear type)
I mean, who gives a shit?
It's catered for the self obsessed internet users/bloggers around the world. The creators are hoping that in the one second before they hurriedly start answering the questions assigned, they’ll glance at the car insurance and dating ads, and be tempted into them. The creators of these quizzes are probably bored students who are paid a bit for it.
It's a bright idea, though horribly manipulative. This new type of advertising. If you have a gmail account, you'll know that you have links related to mail content with every mail. A mention from an unassuming friend about his arrival in Bangalore is used to market 'cheap' airfares to Bangalore, property there etc!
Behind all this is the concept of knowing what you are most interested in and using that information for advertising. I am pasting an article I wrote for the college paper below:

Will the media be history?

We the smug students of Media Studies may understandably react strongly to know that the print media may be extinct in nine years. Will we be among the unemployed begging at Brigade Road signals then? Well, we can never be sure but according to an internet forward I got recently, Google will be responsible for the extinction of our profession? Huh? That harmless little know it all thing that saves you for every psychology project the night before submission.?

According to this particular internet forward called ‘The museum of Media History.’, one day Google will compete with The New York Times and the latter will lose and ultimately become a newsletter only for the elite and the elderly. Before I begin this sort of ‘futuristic’ History I want to emphasize that I am nor plagiarizing but merely re-stating what the net forward had to say and am not claiming it ……………….. to be the epitome of accuracy. (Yes, that was a disclaimer in disguise.) It is the year 2014AD. ‘It is the best of times. It is the worst of times.’ Everyone participates in the media and it is a ‘living, breathing medium.’ It all began in 1988 when Tim B. Lee invented the World Wide Web in Switzerland. Ten years later, two scientists from Stanford would invent Google, the world’s most effective search engine. was soon launched and aimed to sell everything online. Google news became a news website that had news edited by computers in 2002. In 2003, Google merged with blogger, a personal publishing tool that allowed one to publish unedited content and maintain a profile of one’s interests and aims. 2004 was when it really all began. Sony launched its first electronic paper. Google launched gmail which had unlimited storage. At that time it was a privilege to never have to delete a message again. It’s something we take for granted today! Eventually all of Google's functions were combined-news, blogger, mail etc and the Google grid was created. What is the Google grid? The Google grid ensured that one had functionally limitless storage space and access to information accessible from anywhere in the world .One could conceal information or publish it for the whole world to see. Internet journalism has matured. In 2007, Microsoft launched Botser, a program that ranks and rates news upon personal taste. The Sony E-paper was cheaper than normal newspapers. In 2008, Googlezon was launched .This combined the technology of which provided the social recommendation information in the form of consumption patterns, demographics and tastes. This meant that if you were a subscriber to Google they’d know that you were most vulnerable to consumer brainwashing a.k.a advertising after college hours, preferred McDonald’s to Pizza Hut and so on. They would have access to your blogs and personal files. In 2010, inefficient news gatherers had no business of prancing about the place writing generalized news stories for everyone in the world. Google discovered a new algorithm that would construct a news story for every user. The real struggle for conventional journalism began in 2011 when the New York Times sued Googlezon for violation of copyrights law and for unethical journalism. The case reached the Supreme Court and needless to say googlezon won. The New York Times went offline! In 2014, googlezon launched EPIC (Evolving personalized information construct).Everybody contributed to what would be news and most were paid. This was still a tiny cut for Google’s advertising revenue. Like we do today, all our news is delivered to us the way we want it. It has what we want to read about, how we want to read it and in the order that we want to read it. We could choose a combination of editors depending on our choice. So is news now, deeper, broader and more advanced’? They know our consumption patterns, our social status, our interests, our potential interests. They view us as a potential finance source for the economy, they tell us the news that will manipulate us into making decisions on what and where to buy and how to be. In this sense, it is the worst of times. There is no place for journalistic ethics. News is a ‘collection of trivia’ that is ‘narrow, shallow and sensational.’ Ted Grasse, dean of the Stanford University journalism program said that journalism is a ‘form of public communication and not a private service aimed at individuals whose demographics, advertisers find appealing.’ Perhaps the extinction of journalism won’t happen according to the exact forecast. No, I’m not saying it in the fear of being sued by Google (!) but the concept of journalism as objective presentation of happenings around the world, its aim being primarily to create awareness is fading.

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