Tag Archives: web 2.0

Interesting Nepal related Facebook groups

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

You might want to go through this article titled “Facebook आन्दोलन” in today’s Kantipur for reference. And please, enter your email in the box on the right so that I can send you my future posts in your inbox.

twitter intro of article(source, kind of!)

Facebook is becoming one of the most popular web sites in Nepal. Many Nepalis are using it. This entry, a supplement to an article that I have written on today’s Kantipur, is about interesting groups that are created by Nepali people or are related Nepal.

facebook movement kantipur HF 05Mar10

Click to enlarge (ठुलो पार्न तस्बिरमा क्लिके हुन्छ )

The global popularity of Facebook is suitably reflected in Nepali people’s usage of the social networking site. As it is with users around the world, majority of Nepali Facebookers are youngsters, young professionals and a lot of journalists based primarily based in Kathmandu (and other cities AND at least one in Jumla!). Over the past couple of years I have done a couple of stories about Facebook (and many more mentioning it). Every time a story is published, I receive comments from people who either didn’t know about the site but came to know about it from the story or just joined after reading the story. Actually same thing happens with any other story. Once I was very much into doing stories about Gmail when the service was recently launched or was getting popular in Nepal. Some of my colleagues in the newsroom still think my devotion to Gmail played some role in popularizing it. Continue reading

Feel Free To Browse The New York Times

Yes, now I feel FREE to browse New York Times on the Web! Thanks to NYTimes.com and and best wishes to the site to attract more visitors (to attract more advertisers to have more revenue)

It was disheartening and disappointing to learn about the Maoists drop out from the cabinet today but one news report brought smiles on my face. The headline: Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site. I was reading the web site of New York Times which is one of my favorite news sources on the Internet. But I always have difficulties in accessing some of its contents becasue of the pay service. Most of the time, I just purse my lips and start browsing other links. When I really need or want to do read them, I email the link to one of my friends in California who is a subscriber to the TimesSelect. He then sends article in my inbox. Last time, about a month ago, when I did the same, he sent a blog post instead. The title was: To De-select The Subscription Option Press Escape. The blog post said that the Times was soon eliminating its pay service TimesSelect and there was a link pointed to a New York Post article about the possible Times decision. Since then I was waiting for the official confirmation of that report by the Times. In the meantime, I even though that what if New York Times doesn’t eliminate the TimesSelect jus to prove that New York Post report was false!

I knew about the possible development about TimesSelect via a blog entry and in a letter to readers, Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of the site, NYTimes.com say that one of the reasons for the elimination of pay service was the growing influence and impact of blogs or Web 2.0 on the Internet. “Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers increasingly find news through search, as well as through social networks, blogs and other online sources.”

Paying for news on the web is a tricky issue even for the big players. The only successful pay news site is that of Wall Street Journal (not to be confused with Wagle Street Journal, Wall Street Journal is a world famous American business newspaper!!) Personally, I am very much against it (that is why you are reading this blog post for free ). First, I don’t have I money to pay. Second, I don’t have credit card. Even if I get one, buying news is not in my priority. By the way, to own a credit card, with lots of money in the account, is one of my unfulfilled dreams (one of them, owning an iPod was fulfilled some months back). The first thing I will do after getting hold my own credit card is log on to ebay.com and take part in auction and go to Amazon.com and order a book.

For people like me who are living in a third world country like Nepal, to log on to the site of New York Times is equivalent to taking part in the pay services like TimesSelect though I know I am not really the kind of audience that the Times is produced for or targeted for. It’s not cheap to have Internet connection on the first place. Still, being in a Third World country has its own advantages as well. For example, I didn’t buy any of the software that I am using on this computer for the last couple of years. We take software for granted as we think buying a computer (hardware) itself is a big thing for us and we think by computer it should mean both hardware and necessary software packaged into one. That’s why free things are welcome.

On Microsoft verdict in Europe

Another news report that caught my attention in the past couple of days was about the Microsoft by the second highest court in European Union. I had a kind of mixed reaction to the verdict that Microsoft had abused its market power by adding a digital media player to Windows, undercutting the early leader, Real Networks, New York Times reported. The court also ordered Microsoft to obey a March 2004 commission order to share confidential computer code with competitors. The court also upheld the record fine levied against the company, 497.2 million euros ($689.4 million).

My first reaction was: Why can’t Microsoft do what it was doing? After all, they made the Windows, not the Real Player or Apple. Why can’t Microsoft add a feature in their product? And why on Earth, or in the computer rather, should Microsoft share confidential code with competitors? Why? If people can’t compete, so be it. Let Microsoft rule the computer.

Second thought: well, may be Microsoft can’t dominate the computers like they are doing now! I know this thought isn’t very much convincing and I would be more than happy if some accidental readers of this post explain me. I also think that such feeling (first thought) might have come to me as I haven’t bought any software yet and have no idea about monopoly in software pricing.

Back to the TimesSelect: I want to say Thank You to New York Times for not just eliminating the pay service but also making available the archive for free. Another provision that really pisses me off that in the Times website is its free-only-for-seven-days policy. I not only get information from the Times articles and news but also learn about various aspects of journalism and writing skills. They also provide me important reporting tips and ideas.

I also hope that NYTimes.com will experience a surge in visitors, page views and overall traffic which will help the site to attract more advertisers which in turn will help the site and the newspaper to present more news and information from around the world to its readers around the world. That’s why I am linking to the standard first page of the article on NYTimes.com instead of one that displays the printable of the page that doesn’t contain advertisement. I will also continue linking to printable version as well for those like me who don’t always have fast internet connection. Didn’t get what I am talking about? Try this standard and this printable version of the same New York Times article about Microsoft verdict to find the difference!

Web 2.0 in Nepal and Time Magazine’s Person of the Year

time magazine person of the year cover“Congratulations,” says my Kantipur daily colleague Sudeep Shrestha. “YOU have been named Person of the Year by Time Magazine.”

“Congratulations to you as well,” I respond. After all, YOU are also included in that you. “But you really deserve the accolade,” he says. “Because you were one of those who posted content on the web. I rarely did that.” Still, I said, accept the congratulations yar. “After all, you are also an Internet user.”

As I get down from the office building, another note of congratulation comes from Shohan Shrestha, news chief at Kantipur TV. “Congratulations,” he said, firmly shaking hands as I was heading towards Jai Nepal to watch the movie Kabul Express. [The movie wasn’t really as per my expectation. You can see same old Pakistan bashing that you can find in any other Indian movies. The movie spends most of the time in proving that Taliban members are from Pakistani army. This is exactly why, I think, Indians can’t make any movie of international class. Because of load shedding in Kathmandu, we faced technical hitch in the theater but the sound of constant chit chat coming from behind our seat was enjoyable. The girls, apparently from a college in Kathmandu, were hilarious.]

So that was our way of receiving the announcement of Time Magazine’s person of the year award. That was three days ago. As soon as I saw the news of Time POY in the wire, I was excited and translated the item for my newspaper. I like the idea of declaring persons or things as person of the year but sometime get disappointed that majority of POY are Americans (an editorial, posted below, from Hindustan Times points out the fact). I enjoyed reading the article on the web when about Time Magazine’s choice of computer as the person of year in 1980 (I think). After the news about Time’s Person of the Year got published on the last page of Kantipur, waves of congratulations started coming in.

But the celebration and those congratulations might be exaggeration version of our reality. Interactive Internet services (Web 2.0) have gained popularity among net users in Nepal as well. There are quite a few blogs and interactive web sites where user generated content plays vital role. But we are still far behind in posting contents in the web as compared to many developed countries. We can say we are in progress but our economy is the main challenge for that. We have an economy that is growing in a very slow pace and many people, I am talking about the educated ones, are deprived of access to computer and internet. Still we are hoping that the internet will be cheaper in coming days and more and more people will be connected in the World Wide Web. The challenge for now is to increase Nepali or Nepal related content on the web as Internet has already become a starting point for almost every thing.

Here are two editorials about Time POY in two Indian newspapers:

Hindustan Times: It sounds highly flattering, but when Time magazine puts you on the cover, do consider the possibility of journalistic laziness as a reason for the news magazine bestowing you the honour. For you to beat the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and former American Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld could lead to a skewed understanding of how important you have been in the global scheme of things over the last one year. But then, making a character from the Axis of Evil-Plus get the coveted spot sends out even more dangerous signals these days.

But there could be another reason why you get to be on this year’s cover. Since 1995, all of Time’s Persons of the Year have been Americans, starting from former US Speaker Newt Gingrich right down to last year’s trinity of Bono (he’s as Irish as M Night Shyamalan is Indian) and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Making an easily recognisable (for the American subscriber, that is) non-American the Person of the Year can be devilishly difficult. This is usually worked around by putting Aishwarya Rai et al on the cover of the Asian edition of the magazine. While this gives every Time reader in India the idea that an Indian has finally become the global toast, that Ms Rai’s photograph doesn’t adorn a tabletop in Houston or in Zurich tells the real, smart picture. But you don’t, you can’t localise a Person of the Year. So it had to be you, anonymous blogger or user of sites like YouTube. But you don’t feel that feted, do you?

Times of India: You don’t get only 15 minutes of fame anymore; You get an entire year. Time magazine has hailed You as the person and phenomenon that defined 2006. The millions of people behind all the user-generated content on the World Wide Web, with its blogs, file-sharing portals, social networking sites and collaborative encyclopaedias, have taken the wheel of the world and the place of traditional great men.

According to Time magazine, there were certainly ‘People Who Mattered’, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, Pope Benedict XVI, Hu Jintao, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, but none of these quite compared with the average Joes, the citizens and architects of the new digital democracy.

The shift began at least two years ago, with the emergence of Web 2.0, the second generation of Internet services that emphasised collaboration and sharing between users. Whether it is reporting news, sharing camcorder footage of wars or terrorist attacks, reviewing products on Amazon or simply telling your own story on video blogs, a million voices are creating new dissonant and fluid realities.

History is no longer about what those in power choose to do and, more importantly, choose to reveal. History is now about what You have to say. So over to You.

Inviting Nepal To Gmail: An Experience

Nar Phu blogs will be posted daily. Please check below

dinesh wagle gmail communication image

I emailed from new Gmail address two years ago to express my excitement to myself. And, as you can see in the photo above, in the next email I congratulated myself!

A new job is keeping me busy in the last few days. I have become a distributor of Gmail, so to speak. Four days ago I wrote an article titled “Jamana Gmail Ko” [Gmail’s Era] and I felt it was my duty to provide an email address at the end of the article so that readers who might want to give a try to the service but have no one to get invitations from would write to me. That’s what happened and I started getting emails in numbers that I hadn’t expected. I didn’t realize that so many people would be reading teh article or (even if they read) be interested in trying out Gmail. I had hoped to received a few dozens requests for Gmail invite but as of now, the inbox says there are about 500 messages. Five days after the article, requests are still coming in.

It’s a time consuming act though. Nevertheless, I am enjoying inviting these folks to the world of Gmail. This is also part of my passion of sharing information like in journalism. First, I shared the information I knew about Gmail with the readers of Kantipur and now I am sharing my Gmail experience with them by inviting them to join this cool email service from Google. Many of the requests contain interesting messages and those kept me smiling.

Here is the article that I wrote in Kantipur.

जमाना जीमेलको

दिनेश वाग्ले

एउटा पुरानो प्रश्न- कम्प्युटर निर्माता एप्पलका प्रमुख कार्यकारी स्टिभ जब्स र एक फेसन डिजाइनरबीच के फरक छ ? उत्तर- दुवै आफ्ना उत्पादनको बनावट र सौन्दर्यप्रति अति रुचि राख्छन् । आइपोडको कामुकता चर्चा गरी के साद्दे ? तर बितेका केही वर्षमा फेसनेबल, कामुक र लोभलाग्दो हुने दौड गुगलले जितेको छ । जीमेल पछिल्लो र सशक्त उदाहरण हो ।

जीमेल छैन भने तपाईं के ‘फेसनेबल’ ? ‘कुल’ कसरी भन्ने ? दुई वर्षअघि ‘अपि्रल फुल’ मा आएको जीमेलका फ्यानहरू भन्छन्- हटमेल र याहुमेलका दिन गए, जे छ जीमेलमै छ । हुन पनि जीमेलको दुई जीबी स्पेसमा नअटाउने कुरै के रह्यो ? अनि गुगलको चकित तुल्याउने खोजी-क्षमताले जीमेललाई पनि धन्य पारेको छ जसका कारण दुई वर्षअघिका सन्देश एकै क्लिकमा फेला पर्छन् । खोजी-क्षमताले हटमेल र याहुमेलको टाउको दुखाइदिएको छ, उनीहरू चुस्त हुने अभियानमा छन् । त्यसैले हालै हटमेलले ‘विन्डोज लाइभ’ ब्रान्डअन्तर्गत सेवा थालेको छ भने याहुले नयाँ डिजाइनसहितको इमेल प्रणालीको परीक्षण गरिरहेको छ ।

अन्य इमेल सेवामा नपाइने जीमेल सुविधा ‘च्याट’ हो जसका लागि मेसेन्जर चाहिँदैन । इनबक्समा छिर्नेबित्तिकै इमेल सूचीको बायाँपट्टी ‘सम्पर्क’ हरू अन/अफलाइनमा देखिन्छन् र च्याट स्वतः सेभ गर्न (या नगर्न) मिल्छ ।

सुरुवातमा जीमेल केही विवादमा थियो, इनबक्समा देखिने शब्द-विज्ञापनका कारण । जीमेल भण्डार हुने कम्प्युटरहरूले सन्देश स्वतः पढ्छन् र त्यहाँका शब्दसँग मेल खाने विज्ञापन दायाँपट्टी देखाइदिन्छन् । त्यसले प्रयोगकर्ताको गोपनीयता भंग हुने गुनासो आएको थियो । सन्देश मानिसले नपढ्ने तथा कम्प्युटरले स्वचालित रूपमा त्यस्ता विज्ञापन राख्ने भएकाले गोपनीयतामा कुनै समस्या नहुने जीमेलले बताएको छ । विज्ञापन सबै इमेलमा हुन्छ, झन् अरूमा ध्यान विकेन्दि्रत गरिदिने झिलिमिली ब्यानर हुन्छन् ।

प्रयोगमा सहजता र भण्डारण क्षमता जीमेलको सबैभन्दा आकर्षक पक्ष भएको यसका प्रयोगकर्ता बताउँछन् । सुनौं ओजस्वी राणालाई जो मलेसियाको एउटा कलेजमा ‘लिबरल आर्टस’ (स्नातक) पढिरहेकी छन् । ‘वास्तवमा धेरै स्पेस भएकाले जीमेल मन पराउँछु,’ जीमेल च्याटमा कुरा गर्दै ओजस्वीले भनिन्- ‘उसो त हटमेलले पनि धेरै स्पेस दिन्छ तर जीमेलले जित्यो । जीमेल सेवा छिटो छ । अँ साँच्ची, जीमेलमा त्यो च्याट प्रणाली समाविष्ट छ जो मेसेन्जर प्रतिबन्धित स्थानमा प्रयोग गर्न सकिन्छ । जस्तो, मेरो कलेजको पुस्तकालय !’ पहिलेदेखिका र धेरै सम्पर्क त्यहाँ भएकाले हटमेलको मेसेन्जर अझै प्रयोग गर्ने गरेको ओजस्वीले बताइन् ।

जीमेलेको ‘स्पेस’ दुई जीबीभन्दा बढी छ र प्रत्येक सेकेन्ड चार बाइट बढिरहेको छ । अर्थात् सन् २००९ सम्ममा जीमेल स्पेस तीन जीबी पुग्नेछ । ‘कुनै सन्देश मेटाउनुपर्दैन’ भन्ने जीमेलको नारा छ । ओजस्वीको जीमेलमा १ सय ७४ एमबी भरिएको छ । ‘चार महिनाअघि मैले असावधानीवश सबै इमेल मेटाएँ,’ उनले भनिन्- ‘नभए यसको झन्डै पाँच गुणा बढी थियो ।’ अरू इमेल प्रयोगकर्तालाई जीमेलले सुरुमा अचम्मै पार्छ । ‘लामो समयसम्म हटमेल प्रयोग गरेकीले जीमेलमा फोल्डर नदेख्दा अप्ठेरो लागेको थियो,’ ओजस्वीले भनिन्- ‘तर लेबलबारे मैले छिट्टै कुरा बुझें र यो सजिलो लाग्यो । सुरुमा स्पेसले चाहिँ मलाई साँच्चै उडायो !’

स्पेसकै कुरा गर्दा अब जीमेलमा वर्ड फाइलहरू पनि जस्ताको तस्तै भण्डारण गर्न सकिन्छ- इनबक्सको माथिल्लो भागमा रहेको ‘डक्स एन्ड स्पेडसिट’ मार्फत । ‘फरवार्डिङ’ सुविधाबाट कुनै एउटा जीमेलमा आएका सन्देशलाई स्वतः अर्को ठेगानामा पठाउन या आउटलुकमार्फत कम्प्युटरमा झारेर अफलाइन हेर्न सकिन्छ । हटमेल या याहुमा भएका सम्पर्कलाई जीमेलमा ल्याउन सकिन्छ जो जीमेल खोल्ने बित्तिकैको सन्देशमा हेर्न सकिन्छ ।

यति पढेपछि जीमेल प्रयोग गर्न मन लागे त्यो हुने साथीसँग निम्ता माग्नुस् । चिनेको कसैसँग छैन भने, विषय हरफमा जीमेल चाहियो भन्दै blogmandu at gmail.com मा इमेल गर्नुस् ।

Internet and email habit of Nepali people has changed over the years. More and more young people are becoming loyal consumers and heavy users of Internet and email in cities like Kathmandu, Biratnagar and Pokhara. They want to try out new technologies and services. I have found that the more and more young users are not just limiting their internet usage in Chats or messaging. In my interaction with young internet users in various cyber cafes in Kathmandu couple of months ago, many said that they were logging on to look for universities in the US or UK or Australia. Some of them wanted to be in touch with friends they made during their stay abroad.

Even if we are one of the poorest countries in the world, emailing has become a very necessary part of Nepali life; that is to say in the city area. I can’t imagine working without Email though we went through that horrible experience for a week following Feb 1, 2005 when King Gyanendra dismissed democracy, imposed autocracy and emergency, cut off telephone liens and switched off Internet connections. Emailing has emerged as new cultural phenomena in Nepal that is changing the way people communication. An email account is a must if you are studying in private colleges to be considered that you are not unfashionable. No email, you are considered backward. Young people have found it easier to communicate via email things that they can’t say in telephone. Instant messaging and chat are other examples. Not to mention the growing popularity of mobile SMS phones among youth.

Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are the most popular fee email service in Nepal. More than 95 percent of the requests I received were from Hotmail and Yahoo addresses. Sorry Bill Gates and Jerry Yang but Gmail is so cool that I want many people to try it once. I don’t mind if they don’t like the service and stick with old addresses. I have noticed that Hotmail and Yahoo have also upgraded their services and space which is definitely good.

So my friends were asking me if I was hired by Gmail as they saw me writing article on Gmail and inviting readers to it. No, I am not hired by Gmail or associated with Google. I wrote the article because I thought it was important for readers to know about the service and I gave the email address to make sure that those interested would get opportunity to try the service as it can’t be used without invitation.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Gmail (and Google in a whole) and I am immensely enjoying the service since the third week of April, 2004, 22 days after it was launched by the search engine company. I wrote an article in Nepal Magazine about Gmail at that time. My request to try Gmail for that article was reciprocated by someone at Gmail and I got the invitation from Google. I have abandoned Hotmail since then (though I have reactivated the account for reporting purpose) and I rarely use my Yahoo accounts. And I am totally into Gmail chat that is incorporated into the inbox. I rarely use MSN messenger (though I have been logging in to the service once a day these days for reporting purpose) that too with my own domain email address.

I have invited many people in Gmail and those I invited have also invited many others. Gmail network in Nepal is growing day by day. I think people will be enjoying Gmailing until a new service with better features comes into effect.

Note: Okay, if you still don’t have Gmail and want to give a try, email me at blogmandu (@) gmail.com. Don’t forget to mention “Wagle, Malai Gmail Chahiyo [I want Gmail]” in the subject line!