The first Facebook Developer Garage in Chennai takes place today (March 15th) at 2PM. Its a community event in an unconference mode where we get a chance to explore, get gritty, tinker, experiment, and test out ideas for Facebook Platform. The idea is to get our hands dirty, and explore fresh ideas and solutions.
The event is not just for hardcore techies but also for business folks who would like to know how to leverage social networks effectively. Social Networks can be potent tools for building online communities, PR, brand building, talent scouting & recruitment amongst others.
Thomas Jestin, who is the winner of the Facebook App Contest will be demoing his app. Philip Urech, a Swiss national, will present his experience on how United Nations used Facebook and social networks in their Nuclear Disarmament campaign.
Photon has been kind enough to offer their office space as the venue. Here’s the address.
No. 2/102, Photon Towers,
Old Mahabalipuram Road, Karapakkam,
Here’s the direction to the venue.
For more information on directions and venue, please call Vasanth at 98409 59948 or me at 98415 97744.
Here are the other logos that we designed for the Garage.
I vividly remember the first meeting with Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain. It was a couple of years ago when they had invited me home for a wonderful spread of absolutely yummy home-cooked meal. The recipe for each of the food item was taken from their best selling, award winning book, ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’. The book went on to win the prestigious ‘Gourmand’ Award for the ‘The Best Vegetarian Book in the World’ in 2006.
The success of their first book encouraged them to publish their second book titled ‘Sukham Ayu’, a carefully researched book which is the quintessence of an ayuvedic diet. The book is a wonderful collection of recipes consisting of simple, vegetarian dishes with the goodness of Ayurvedic insights.
From left to right : Pratibha Jain (standing behind the podium) is a Ph.D in Languages and runs a language translation service. Jigyasa Giri (with the mic) is a Kathak dancer and choreographer. To her left is Latha Menon, documentary and adfilm maker and wife of Rajeev Menon, famed cinematographer and film maker. Next to her is Andrea Jeremiah, model, Jazz musician, singer, theatre personality and actress. Right most is me, singularly representing the male community, having been overpowered by a very eloquent, multi-talented, beautiful women.
When my turn came to speak, it was rather easy for me. I spoke from my heart. Not only was I impressed with Jigyasa’s and Pratibha’s passion for food and their ability to author books, I was quite impressed with their marketing ability. While writing a book is tough ( oh, just ask me!) , getting the book marketed is even tougher. I personally think that both of them did an outstanding work in using the Internet to get the word around.
They were also living my dream. I always wanted to document my grandmothers’ lives so that their rich experiences and fond memories can be passed on to my daughters and their kids. It always remained a wish list and when I meet someone who walked the talk, they instantly gain my respect.
The book is based on extensive research done at KARE, a health retreat in Pune. Dr.Prakash Kalmadi, Founder and Medical Director at KARE was so impressed with their first book, ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’, that he invited the authors to his retreat to start work on an Ayuvedic cookbook.
Just before the event was about to start at the Landmark bookstore in Nungambakkam, an old friend bumped into me. He happened to be there at the bookshop and when he learned that I was there for the book launch function, he asked me, “What’s the connection with you and cooking?”. He caught me off guard and I sheepishly replied, “Eating”!
Facebook recently kicked up a huge storm over the privacy debate when it tweaked its terms and conditions a bit. The tweak may have been small but its repercussions were so huge and Facebook had to retract the changes immediately.
So, what did Facebook do? Simple, it said it now owns anything you post on its website. It wants to have the right to use your content, including your photos, your writings, and your friends’ contact details for whatever purpose, including advertising. And it can use it forever, even if you delete your account.
Actually, it looks a lot more scary if you read the clause in legalese. You hereby grant Facebook an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide licence (with the right to sublicence) to:
* Use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any user content you post on or in connection with the Facebook service or the promotion thereof subject only to your privacy settings or enable a user to post, including by offering a Share Link on your website;
* Use your name, likeness and image for any purpose, including commercial or advertising. And that’s just one part of the clause
With so much legalese thrown at you, it’s no wonder people got nervous. Facebook eventually buckled, when it noticed the huge user uproar and mass deletions of accounts.
In this article, I’d like to take a balanced debate over the entire privacy issue. So, I asked my blog readers to voice their honest opinion on what they think of it. Anirudh certainly isn’t happy with someone else claiming ownership over his creation. He says, “If you create something, then you are the owner of it. As the creator, you have the full right to decide who to show or share it with. Facebook now is forcefully trying to take my data that I created”.
Chinamyi, a popular singer in AR Rahman’s troupe, says that it’s for precisely this reason that she will never upload and share the music she creates on sites like Facebook. I can sense the bitterness when she opines, “We are not used to intellectual property rights. We are used to being exploited, not credited, not paid for, especially in the creative field. That’s where most of the plagiarism exists”.
There are folks who understand the rationale behind Facebook’s move. Rish G says, Facebook is not wrong in claiming that it owns your content. “The terms of service are similar to those when you join a company–you sign an agreement that says anything that you create/invent/develop is proprietary to the company. You join Facebook, anything that you write or post would by default be owned by Facebook. Heck, it’s their servers. If one is worried is that whatever they write is owned by Facebook, they are free to create their websites and own what they write by adding the copyright disclaimer.”
To me, it sounded like a very valid argument. Another reader, Pratiksha wants people to ‘chill’ and not over react. She points out that the Facebook clause does not say it owns your data and it only says it wants to use your data. In other words, it’s like you are granting Facebook a non-exclusive licence and as the creator, you can still use the data however you want.
Anuradha points out that the fundamental problem crops up when we don’t bother to read the terms and conditions. She asks, “How many of us read the T&C before agreeing to install software or open a mail/blog/file sharing account?” The answer, sadly, is almost none. And I’m not surprised why. Why would anyone want to read 16 pages of long, verbose legal speak which is written not to be understood.
Kausik warns that there might be more serious terms tucked in between the swarm of legal speak. Ram thinks that the entire issue is overblown and a big media hype. A few others, who are indifferent to the entire brouhaha, wonder what’s there to make a fuss. They argue that we all created a bigger ruckus on privacy when GMail started placing contextual ads in our email messages. But we still continue to use GMail and the world continues to revolve around the sun.
Move on, is the message. On his part, Mark Zukerberg defended the site’s action of keeping the content even if the guy deletes the account by drawing the email analogy. He says, “When a person shares something like a message with a friend, two copies of that information are created—one in the person’s sent messages box and the other in the friend’s inbox. Even if the person deactivates his/her account, the friend still has a copy of that message.”
Partiban says that keeping messages are fine but he completely disagrees when it comes to photos and blog posts. He says, “Photos and posts are not sent to friends. They are published in my account and I should have the right to delete them permanently if I want to.”
Shrav, an engineering student, issues a warning that should Facebook implement the new law, he will move away from Facebook as will thousands of others. But it doesn’t look like Facebook is in any hurry!
One of my goals for 2009 is to get better at public speaking. While many say that they have enjoyed my talks, deep inside me, I know I could’ve done much better. Way better. My heart always cringes when I miss an opportunity to deliver a knock-out performance (and not just a good performance). I think there’s a sea of difference between a good performance and a Knock-out performance. My ex-boss calls it “hitting the ball out of the park”. �
The Entrepreneurship Cell at IIT Bombay is organizing the annual The Entrepreneurship Summit on 7th Feb. The event hosts Eureka’08, Asia’s biggest business plan competition. I’ve been invited to be a mentor and look forward to sharing my expertise and helping the folks out.
The event that really captured my attention is this PR 2.0 event that will take place in Tehran, Iran. It’s organized by the Iran PR professionals and pleasantly surprised by how much interest they have in leveraging the Net as a medium. I’ll be keynoting at this event and will be speaking on how Govt organizations can leverage the power of Social Media. The event takes place on July 9th.