Skip to content
Oct 19 / Viji Iyer

Brand and its consumers

Photo by Scbr

Through the years we’ve had an intimate and codependent relationship with what we consume and utilize as a brand. Brands, clearly provide important benefits to both consumers and firms. In this consumerist age just about everything under the sun can be creatively painted, packaged and promoted as a brand.

The inception stage is when a firm packages a plain commodity and plants that seed initially in the minds of the consumers. The latter phase (as described by Kevin Lane Keller is his book, Strategic Brand Management) is the more fascinating one when consumers’ carry out that imagination (in their heads) and allow it to manifest into the perceived benefits a commodity can provide us. I quote, “A brand is a perceptual entity rooted in reality, but it is more than that- it reflects the perceptions and perhaps even the idiosyncrasies of consumers.” That’s the power of a brand, and we as consumers play an active role in the creation and consumption of it.

What interests me is, are we usually in control of the brand in the purchasing process, or do we tend to succumb to the brand and give in to their appeal(s)? It leads to the question of, is it a need-based purchase or a desire driven marketing package? It continues to be an interesting game to see how brands play on the psyche of a consumer.

Brands were originally created by firms to aid consumers in the decision-making process helping them choose between alternatives as a win-win marketing strategy. As consumers we like to be given a platter of choices versus being driven to pick one forcibly. It plays well into the psyche of consumers as it gives us the illusion that we are always in control and making that choice rationally. Theoretically that may sound plausible but in reality what happens is a totally different ballgame!

Branding today is so powerful that it plays into our psyche creating deep associations with what we may consider as need-based wants and trying to seemingly fill in that void. Point is, they let us believe that purchasing that brand can help make us feel more attractive, happier, more successful, more popular and we tend to give in to those fantasies, and at some point allow the brand to take over without even realizing it!

Lee’s jeans with tummy tuck technology that promises to instantly slim you, Reebok’s Easytone shoes designed as an innovative footwear solution marketed to make your butt look better. The Axe effect, a Unilever deodorant product line marketed humorously, featuring ordinary men becoming instantly irresistible when they spray on the Axe. Coca-Cola’s new advertising campaign focusing on the feel-good factor. The “Happiness Machine” video on YouTube features a Coca-Cola vending machine transformed to deliver surprising “doses” of happiness to unsuspecting college students. Voss, a Norwegian premium bottled water company has become coveted for its taste, purity and sleek packaging. The brand today, has set a new standard of luxury and style within the bottled water market.

These are examples of some of the everyday commodities we consume that’s cleverly packaged and branded to sell us much more. So point is, are we just buying the brand for its utilitarian benefits, or are we really buying into the persona and perception that brand has been able to create in the process? What’s your take on it? What do you feel?

Photo by Scbr

Oct 14 / Viji Iyer

Evolving data lifespans

Photo by Steve Bailey

I was sitting with my laptop browsing the other day and realized at the time of shutting down, that I had two windows and at least a dozen tabs within them open simultaneously. As a personal browsing style, this is typical of me toggling between a bunch of data at the same time. I bet a few of you out there relate with that reading style! It dawned on me that, how we receive and consume data these days has evolved radically!

Merriam Webster defines lifespan as – the average length of life of a kind of organism or of a material object especially in a particular environment or under specified circumstances. That implies it could be the amount and duration of time any data or information lives and is considered new, recent or relevant at that point in time.

Come to think of it, it’s incredible to see how the lifespans of what we consume as information these days is constantly changing and evolving with our times.

Here’s some food for thought-

Lifespan of a Book Perhaps Years
Lifespan of a Magazine Months
Lifespan of an Email Weeks (until it is archived or deleted)
Lifespan of a Headline News A Day
Lifespan of a Text Message Minutes
Lifespan of a tweet or Facebook Wall post Instantaneous

The mediums of disseminating information have evolved through the times and how we consume and preserve this data has concurrently changed with it. Originally, our primary source of information came from books. We depended on those hardcopy books to refer about all things under the sun and they monopolized our attention lingering on as a living document for several years. They had the longest lifespan and served as our single most relevant source of gathering data and assimilating information. With changing times, our sources for gathering information diversified, creating myriad absorption avenues and each constantly competing for our attention.

Consequently, what we consider as hot, current or relevant information keeps condensing and their lifespan shrinking. We tend to absorb information from one source and swiftly move onto the next source that wins our attention. The technological advances have been instrumental in defining how and for how long a document lives and is considered relevant by its audience.

For better or for worse, we are living in an age that’s constantly engulfed by competing information. The constant stream of data never sleeps! Turn on your Twitter handle or browse your Facebook Wall at 2am, the stream of information flows ceaselessly. When you dip your feet in the Twitter stream at 2am, you automatically start participating in what is considered hot and current at that point in time. Interestingly, what is considered relevant now becomes passé fours hours later. You have now moved onto the next new thing!

What does that tell you about how we consume information in this day and age? Is it this information overload that is causing their lifespans to shrink? Has our attention span decreased or have we become more impatient wanting to move onto the ‘next thing’ as a result?

What do you think, what are your viewpoints?

Photos by Steve Bailey and Andreas Lunde
Oct 8 / Viji Iyer

How social media has given the news broadcasting industry a facelift

Photo by ABC Archives

It’s been fascinating to see how the power of public opinion has evolved over the years. We as a community have come a long way in challenging today’s agenda setting within the broadcasting industry and defining what we consider as news worthy. We’ve made long strides from how agenda setting was originally defined as “the process whereby the news media led the public in assigning relative importance to various public issues”(Zhu & Blood, 1997).  Information would be packaged and controlled by the handful few that played the role of media gatekeepers. The manner in which news was traditionally dispersed influenced public opinion on what they considered as important and relevant.

We have come a long way from that definition and social media has played a catalytic role in this process. Every morning I wake up to ‘Morning Express’ with Robin Meade on CNN’s HLN (Headline News). Apart from getting my daily dose of news, what interested me was their tagline “We give you the news. You give us your views”. I realized that the power of agenda setting has shifted gears. Social media had permeated its way into the broadcasting industry revolutionizing how news is created and disseminated today. They too are adopting the new social media strategy of listening and engaging versus the old fashioned dogmatic methods of push strategy when it comes to news and information.

News channels today are opening the doors to their audience asking them for their opinions. They share the worldly happenings with their public and welcome them to give their feedback regarding it. They are interested in knowing what the people think and have to say regarding the events of the day and encourage them to reach out using the social media channels. These days we can, not only pick up the phone to call the news stations but have myriad resources at our disposal to communicate back. We can choose to email back, tweet about our thoughts (on Twitter), leave our comments on their Facebook fan page, blog about it or even publish a YouTube video sharing our opinions. This then becomes a reciprocal process of action and reaction based on live and instant conversations. We as an audience today get to choose and decide what is newsworthy and play an active role in that process.

So what does that mean? How does that affect us? It affects us at a very fundamental level. It allows the layman to have a voice and more importantly be heard. It gives us the opportunity to get involved and be engaged in the news making process. With the ability to participate in these conversations through these social media sites, the viewers start taking deeper interest, become more socially aware and become active gatekeepers in their community. Look around, current instances of any breaking news many a times are foremost gathered by a witness who just happens to be there. Be it the initial images of a tropical storm, live relay of a plane accident or a humorous celebrity faux-pas moment, is first witnessed by a viewer who captures it on his camera phone and streams it on YouTube or iReport on Soon enough it is picked up by several news channels making it a newsflash breaking news. Content is no longer the fiefdom of the powerful few but is becoming more egalitarian. And its people like you and me who get a voice and hold the reins to what we define as news today!

Photos by ABC Archives and Kino-eye

Sep 30 / Viji Iyer

Recognizing our social media responsibility!

Photo by A J Baxter

Ready access to technology has made us more powerful that ever before! We have the power today to make anything viral if we rally our forces and energies behind spreading that singular message. All it needs is a click of a button to forward and share it with a multitude of others. Advent of social media today has made that possible. Like everything else, there are two facets to using power. If used and exercised judiciously social media has the clout to raise awareness practically overnight in support of a humanitarian cause. We have witnessed and participated in several such efforts in the recent past. Case in point- Katrina victims, the Haiti relief efforts, Pakistan flood efforts, Gulf oil spill relief and rescue efforts. All of which targeted towards aiding the victims across the globe.

However, the same power if used carelessly can cause more damage than you can imagine! I was compelled to write this post after watching the news today on how social media played a role in the tragic demise of Tyler Clementi, a young freshman at Rutgers University. The 18-year old accomplished violinist, tragically committed suicide after learning that that his college roommate had surreptitiously video recorded him during his private moment and broadcast it live without his consent. The otherwise considered shy and distinguished musician’s last words were left on his Facebook page “Jumping off the gw bridge sorry.” Unfortunately, nobody could save this young man’s life in time.

This may be one such tragic case that surfaced online, but it comes as a huge warning and wake-up sign for all social media users. This is a glaring example of invasion of privacy and taking social media to the other extreme. We all at some point in time may have video recorded some incident perhaps at a party, and shared it jokingly with our friends. We may not necessarily think twice or make much of that supposedly funny incident except to share a few laughs while forwarding it to others. However, as a society, we need to be more conscious and bear some social media responsibility!

In this digital age with ready access to technology and the ability to disperse information instantaneously, has blurred the line of privacy converting most things into an entertainment value. Lesson to be learnt is that we don’t become puppets in the hands of technology! Hiding behind an ‘avatar’ does not give us the permission to act irresponsibly. We need to constantly remind ourselves that there is an actual person just like you sitting behind that computer that deserves the same respect as you.  Be it sending out a tweet on Twitter, updating your Facebook status, uploading and sharing photos on Flickr or forwarding a YouTube video to others, we all need to exercise proper judgment. It is important that we recognize the repercussions of our actions versus falling victims to our own making.

If everybody does their bit and acts responsibly using good judgment, social media’s positive impacts can be that much more amplified.

Photo by AJ Baxter

Sep 27 / Viji Iyer

Lessons I learnt on how to promote my blog without being noxious

Photo by Mr Ush

Congratulations! You’ve taken the leap to start your own blog and make your mark on the blogosphere. So what next? Now comes the tricky part. Creating awareness and promoting it! You are eager and excited to share it with others but nervous about doing it the ‘right way’. Now, I’m sure there are several floating theories and formulas on how to promote your blog the right way and do it tactfully. Here are few of the lessons I learnt along this process:

Key is to push your blog, but not all the way to annoyance.
It’s like walking a tight rope; you want to introduce your new blog gracefully with others but not yell and scream from the rooftop to get attention. Nobody likes a pushy salesman forcefully selling you his product without your consent.

Piecemeal it based on your comfort level.
Share your blog initially (via email) with your inner circle of peeps you feel most comfortable with, and can trust. Your family and close friends! Then, as you get more comfortable extend it to others – your community, colleagues, boss, sports buddies etc. and your circle expands.

Tweet about it on Twitter. But don’t get into the copy-paste mode!
Share your new post initially by tweeting about it. Keyword being ‘once’. Don’t sneak in your post by re-tweeting it in regular intervals thinking people won’t notice! Newsflash, people do! Imagine this noxious guy at the party yakking about himself non-stop the entire time. Yeahh! You don’t want to be that guy. If your blog is worth its mettle, people will carry it out for you by RT’ing it. Remember to thank them promptly when they do!

Think bigger and leverage your LinkedIn.
You can promote and advertise your blog by updating the ‘post an update’ feature under the ‘edit your profile’ section. You can take it a step further by downloading the ‘Wordpress’ application and synching it your profile page. That way, it will show regular updates of your blog on your LinkedIn page. This is especially useful if you are using WordPress for your blog. This enhances your visibility with your larger professional network of colleagues, senior management and even potential recruiters.

Are you in for the long haul? Then, its time to create a Facebook fan page.
Create a separate Facebook page for your blog under the brand, product or organization category. Customize the tabs and ensure that your profile and description is similar to what you have on your blog, including your blog title, logo and profile picture. This helps in creating a continued brand experience when people move from your blog to your Facebook page. Use this page wisely to optimize your blog goals. Bear in mind, this is one more thing to create and manage regularly. So get into it only after you think you are ready for it.

Let your work speak louder than you!
Remember, content is still king! If your writing isn’t authentic or appealing, people will roll their eyes and interest will fizzle out no matter how hard you try to promote it. So focus on the quality of your work and readers will come back.

Recognize that your blog at some level is an extension of you.
So be socially responsible and conscious of what you put out there. Portray your blog in the same light as you’d like to be portrayed and perceived in person.

Don’t be afraid to give link-backs if you are contributing to a particular topic.
Always try to give shout-outs and track-back to the pundits out there. Don’t be a narcissist! It’s a reflection that you are not living in your own kingdom, but making an attempt to read your fellow bloggers’ works. This will help in giving your work latitude making your content richer and multi-dimensional.

Most important, and crucial…Patience! Patience! Patience! (Have patience!)
Yeah! Doesn’t it have the same ring as location, location location?! Basically, building your profile through your blog takes time. It’s certainly not a viral or overnight process. In this day and age where we are inundated with never-before-seen information, people click and choose their time online. Respect that it is people’s personal time, so don’t try to encroach it forcefully. Politely welcome them to your blog, and let your work speak for itself!

Check out Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs and Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich from Netiquette, CNN who offer further tips on promoting yourself online.

What lessons did you learn about promoting your blog?

Photo by Mr Ush

Sep 24 / Viji Iyer

Give your employees a fight song and refuel their passion for work

Photo by Beverly & Pack

Did you know that an average person spends about 93,600 hours of their lifetime at work? This is assuming we work an average of 40 hours/week starting from age of 20 years until 65 years! That’s a considerable chunk of your personal time spent serving an organization.

Imagine, what that can do to you? Unknowingly, we all at some point in time, get so caught up in the rut of things that we forget why we got into it in the first place. If that’s the case with you, it’s time to stir the pot and re-kindle your old flame – I mean your passion! There needs to be enough fuel to keep your zest and passion last that long, if not, it can become an empty, sterile place to work and earn a livelihood.

Unfortunately, the current economic downturn has contributed to this. It has not only shaken the stock market but also the faith and spirit of the people. The sudden and domino downfall of companies with their downsizing has not only stolen employees of their jobs but also their identities. This is considering how for some, their work became their life, having dedicated so many years of their life to an organization! As for those who remain back and still have a job, they appear equally clueless on what to expect next! Is it my turn next? Will I have a job when I come back tomorrow morning? – There’s a lot of insecurity in the air, tension between relationships, poor morale and a constant undercurrent of fear versus sense of pride and ownership towards your work. The economy today has made people feel like Kleenex tissues. Everything is disposable, including human emotions and spirit!

Agreed, the economy will take its time to recover and rebuild itself. But we are only looking at the numbers and running the statistics. In the chase to fix the bottom-line and balance out the assets and liabilities column, its crucial that companies don’t forget and leave out their most important asset – their employees. If you want to fix your bottom-line, invest in your people first! Fixing the economy is not an easy feat, but we can start with refueling our people with hope and give them a purpose.

This is a great opportunity for organizations to not just revisit their number crunching strategies but also look at revamping their outlook towards change. Focus on what matters most and strengthen that. Give your employees a fight song and revive their team spirit. Empower them by engaging and involving them in the decision making process. Nine out of ten times, people just want to be heard and shown some respect (yes, I’m quoting Oprah here!). Like Courtney Rubin, I agree, it’s not all about the compensation.

In chasing the big picture, even the small wins count, so stop to acknowledge and celebrate that. Value and acknowledge your employee’s efforts. A small act of thanking an employee by name, and recognizing her/his efforts in front of others can help boost employee morale. Rebuild your employees’ trust in the leadership and strengthen your walls inside out! Tracy James and Nancy Mobley offer interesting tips on how to effectively communicate and engage your employees in a recession.

What’s your viewpoint? Would love to hear your outlook on this economy and how we can help our people?

Photo by: Beverly & Pack

Sep 20 / Viji Iyer

What is it about the universal language of sports that unites us unequivocally?

Wolfpack fans. Picture by dtraleigh

The other day, my husband was watching the college game between NC State vs. Cincinnati on ESPN while I was fighting for the remote to toggle channels between commercial breaks. Yup, don’t judge me, I’m not much of a sports buff as he is! But as they were showing a pan shot of the audience, I couldn’t help but be amazed to see the ‘sea of red’ in the crowd. Practically, everybody at the Carter-Finley stadium that day was wearing red, rooting for their team unanimously. Go Wolfpack! I thought, Wow what passion! What team spirit!

Something is to be said about the world of sports that just breaks all barriers. Even growing up in India, a highly diverse country, when it came to cricket – the national sport, everybody from my grandmother to my neighbor’s son doted over the Indian cricket team. Cricket in India is not merely a sport or a source of entertainment, it symbolizes much more than that. I see a similar thrill and fanaticism in the American football. If sports could be a religion we’d all be singing the same choir across the globe!

What I find most fascinating is the power of a game to just unite people across the board. Not only are they involved in the game but act as primary stakeholders championing the cause. They are fully present, completely invested and focused on their singular, unanimous goal – to win!  For those few hours, the ardent fans metamorphose and embody their home team spirit. They do what it takes to show their solidarity towards their team, even if it means cheering in the stands half naked with body paint showing your patriotism and loyalty.

What’s even more stupefying is that people accept that behavior as team loyalty versus scoffing at it. Isn’t that incredible?! You just let your guard down; throw aside your differences and fight for your team. You develop a pack mentality defending your team even if that means celebrating a win together or moping over a loss in unison. Common theme, being passionate about it no matter what!

As humans, as mundane our lives might appear with disparate backgrounds and lifestyles, on game day we transform, paint our faces red and go tribal humming the same fight song. We feel passionate! We feel powerful! Imagine what this could do for you if you piggyback on this euphoria?

At a micro level, what if you could rally this force and be able to generate this kind of energy on a day-to-day basis? I look at organizations and wonder, what can they do for their employees to inculcate, encourage and nurture this kind of passion? Furthermore, imagine the potential of what that can do for your company at large at a macro level? I believe, as individuals we all have that passion deep-rooted in us, for some it’s blatant and burning, for others it’s a matter of rekindling the spark. It’s in delving into that passion that has the power to transform things from ordinary to extraordinary! My next post looks further into that aspect from an organization’s standpoint to see what that means for them?

Pictures by dtraleigh and MattGDawson.

Sep 17 / Viji Iyer

How do ‘you’ stand apart in this world of competition?

Picture by MrB-MMX

Everybody faces competition and has to tackle one-upmanship during his or her lifetime. I was born in India and exposed to competition right from my formative years. India is currently home to about 1.15 billion people, representing a full 17% of the earth’s population. With such a sheer population explosion and finite resources there’s inherent competition starting right from getting admission in the ‘best crèche’ in your neighborhood to finding your dream job. As toddlers, we are all taught to behave our best and mind our manners in front of others. As adolescents, the pressure builds further where even a .5% difference in SAT scores can dictate if you will get admission in the premier college of your choice or not.

Later on as adults soon after you have graduated you are beckoned by the real world to make something of yourself and find your dream job. As you stand in line waiting your turn eagerly, you look around and see you are standing amidst a sea of others just like yourself. You realize you are just one among the thousands competing for the same thing. More importantly, you notice how similar you look with the person standing next to you. They appear to be wearing similar clothes, make-up, hold comparable portfolio, share similar educational qualifications, all of them vying for that one spot. Like them, you too share similar aspirations to succeed and to get to that number one spot with the higher title and bigger pay. Before you realize, you start drinking from the same kool-aid!

Time and again you are faced with the same question. Recruiters at college or work repeatedly ask you; “Tell me, why should I choose or hire ‘you’ over others?” What makes you stand apart? You start scrambling in your head and thinking, how can I prove I’m better than a Joe or a Helen to bag this opportunity? You start pulling out your GPA scores, the certifications you’ve gained, awards you have won, and try to show off your presentation skills with which you think you can win over your competitor(s). I say competition, as you are always trying so hard to prove to be better than the person standing next to you.

Truth is, you are perpetually in a race chasing that next big thing you think will make you happy and content. Our society in many ways dictates this race. It got me thinking that I’m possibly never going to truly win this race! How long will I have to keep chasing trying to prove my merit over the others? If I do not remove my blinders now, this can end up being the never-ending chase of my life.

The question of how do I stand apart suddenly ceases to exist. I realized, that I was asking this question and looking for an answer outside. The answer is actually much simpler and elementary. It lies in the ‘core’ of us all revealing who we truly are. Now, this requires some digging not on the outside but ‘within’. Partaking in this race we tend to put on layers upon layers thinking it’ll make us better, stronger or superior than the others. However, in actuality, who we really are lies beneath all those layers we’ve been adding throughout our lives. In order to get to that truth, we need to strip ourselves of all that manmade baggage.

The question transforms to become, “How do I want to be known or remembered tomorrow?” In that, lies the essence and answer to who we truly are. I believe, in unraveling and recognizing that core aspect of oneself, you finally become comfortable with yourself. You begin to truly understand and embrace your core values that matter most to you in your life. It’s in that process that you start recognizing both your strengths as well as your weaknesses that help in defining your character and personal brand. That awareness now becomes your ‘guiding force’, your uniqueness on how you start leading your life henceforth and portray yourself confidently to the world.

So the next time around you are standing in line waiting your turn, you instinctively start seeing things differently. More importantly, you start seeing yourself differently. You are not as psyched up about how can I prove that I’m better than Joe or Helen but rather your energies are diverted inwards to a deeper point. Your concerns become, are my actions aligned with my core values? The actions you take and the future decisions you make branch out from these core values and a better understanding of yourself.

It’s adhering to these core values that truly sets us apart making each one of us unique in this race of life. For Helen, the guiding force might be living a life of complete honesty, whereas for Joe all of his life’s decisions might revolve around his family’s wellbeing. In living with this realization you finally start living in synergy with your inner self. So as much as the external world might appear to be the same with its set of problems and challenges, your outlook on handling these challenges change.

You are no longer in a race to compete with others, but start shaping your life around what matters most to you in your life.

Photo by  MrB-MMX

Sep 14 / Viji Iyer

Launching your blog? Some considerations

Photo by Steve Jurvetson

My mum always told me ‘don’t be shy! Always feel free to express yourself!’ What that taught me was to break away from my own mould and not be my own enemy as I venture into new things. As a natural sequel to my introductory post I’d like to dedicate this post to all the people who influenced me during this process as I was deliberating about starting my own blog. As much as it took me several months of active procrastination to get to this point, I’ve spent the past few months interacting with some great people and gaining valuable advice in return. This post is compendium of all the creative advice I’ve gotten from the people I’ve met and known, thanking them to help me get to this point. I thought it was only fair that I shared what I learnt and spread their magic.

‘Food for thought’ as you get ready to launch your blog

Don’t be stuck in ‘analysis-paralysis’ get moving with it.
Blogging does not have to be sweat-breaking process that follows the sentiments of a white paper, so don’t over think it, let the creative juices just flow and enjoy the process.

Don’t go for perfection or uniqueness – doesn’t exist.
I kept stressing on what could I say ‘new’ that’s not been said before? Then it just hit me; it’s not what you say but how you say it that brings the novelty in it. People will always welcome your viewpoint on a specific topic. So make it unique by giving it your voice.

Always imagine yourself sitting across your boss sharing feedback over a cup of coffee.
Getting comfortable with this mental visual as you write your blog will help keep the tone of your blog engaging and conversational.

First write recklessly with your heart, then go back and revise it with your head.
Try not to be over-cautious as you write your first draft; just write what comes to you initially. This will bring out the spontaneity and allow your readers to get to know you better. Then, imagine having the same conversation with your boss and revise it accordingly!

Find people you can trust who can call a spade a spade.
Networking is key! Find people who you aspire to be like and can learn from. More importantly, surround yourself with people who are not afraid to give you honest feedback about your work. I thank my family for being my biggest critics pushing me to do better!

Content is still king!
If you do, invest in this whole-heartedly, for the right reasons and don’t shirk on the quality of work. If you want your readers to come back, your content must appeal!

If you are out there trying to venture into this, don’t bother to reinvent the wheel – leverage the one that currently exists! These are few of the blog sites that I admire (listed in no particular order) –

What has been some of the interesting advice you have gotten or shared with others on blogging?

Photo by jurvetson
Sep 10 / Viji Iyer

I’m starting a blog! But why bother?

My squiggly notes

Yeah, I know! I had to ask myself that question before trudging further. With more than 133 million blogs that have been indexed by Technorati since 2002 and counting (source: why am I piling onto this blogosphere? I did not want this to be an impulsive or sporadic thing I choose to do one morning or get carried away seeing some of my cool social media friends do it with such ease and poignancy. Before investing any further, I had to know what my intentions were? In looking for a deeper or intellectual explanation to convince myself, it dawned on me that my motive was quite simple. I was plain curious!

I was curious about signing up on Twitter wondering what to do with it next? It all started as fun and games when a friend of mine coaxed me to sign up on Twitter last year as a way to stay in touch and have live conversations. In less than a year since I signed up, I’ve started using Twitter as my primary source of information and knowledge. It’s become my daily go-to site for everything. I get my daily dose of live local and global news, get inspired reading posts from my blogging gurus, follow updates on newly posted jobs in my area, even trust the movie reviews I read helping me decide my Friday plans for that week!

Like Twitter, I’m curious to follow the evolution of social media and its potential impact on my life. I’m curious to see how it is transforming the way I perceive the world around me. How it is changing the ways I assimilate knowledge and gather news from dynamic sources. Primarily, I’m most curious to see the domino effect it is starting to have in my life and influencing how I communicate with my world.

Truth is, I have been actively engaging in social media since its inception without even realizing it! Look around, social media has permeated our everyday life influencing how we perceive and engage with the world around us. Right from the choices we make each morning starting with the brand of coffee you drink, the clothes you wear, the stocks you choose to invest in or the restaurant you go to and celebrate your special events are all influenced in some fashion through a more dynamic form of ‘word of mouth’ – the social media. I had to be a part of this revolutionary form of communication and pen my thoughts along this process.

So in getting back to the ‘why bother?’ part, I felt ‘now’ would be a good time to transfer my longtime illegible squiggles from my small red notebook and convert it into an actual blog. I therefore start this blog with a pure intention of getting back to writing using this medium as a bouncing board to share my thoughts, experiences, questions and hopefully a few eureka moments. As a social media enthusiast, I’m curious to see where this process takes me, and eager to document and share this with you as I surf through the bursting world of social media and its yet to be explored potentials. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I know I’ll enjoy writing about it. Would love to hear your side of ‘why bother?’ that got you into blogging.