India Witnesses First Social Media Prime Minister in Narendra Modi

India got its first social media prime minister in Narendra Modi.  The three time chief minister of Gujarat will soon sworn as the 15th prime minister of India after his landslide victory trouncing the ruling United Progressive Alliance led by Congress. During the general election 2014, Narendra Modi became the second most-liked politician on Facebook behind only  Barack Obama, president of United States of America. Obama is also popularly called “first Social Media President of USA”.

Modi’s tweet proclaiming the victory of the Bharitya Janta Party(BJP) is testament to the fact that people are connecting with political leaders online.  The tweet  has become the most retweeted tweet from India in Twitter’s history. Till May 18, 2014, it has received 68,750  retweets and had been favourited 29,000 times.

 

Maximum RT and Favourited  tweet in India till now.  Pic: Twitter

Maximum RT and Favourited tweet in India till now.
Pic: Twitter

This was the first social media election for 1.2 billion strong India with the advent of Social Media giants in India, namely Facebook and Twitter, whose users run into million from urban areas to rural areas. Modi  from Bhartiya Janta Party gets the credit for first initiator on social media platforms when most of the politicians were busy ridiculing the emerging social media tools as “waste of time” and impersonal way to connect to masses. Even, Lalu Prasad Yadav, former chief minister of Bihar, known for his rustic behaviour fell for Twitter. He is now an active twitter user keeping intact his humour on the micro blogging site.  Earlier, he had criticized the use of social media.  In run up to the elections,  Facebook, the US based social media giant came up with  dedicated  Facebook ELECTION TRACKER to monitor political conversation on elections in India.

According to Facebook, “From the day elections were announced to the day polling ended, 29 million people conducted 227 million interactions (posts, comments, shares, and likes) regarding the elections on Facebook. In addition, 13 million people conducted 75 million interactions regarding  Narendra Modi.”

 Modi has 14.3 million fans — The Fastest-Growing Number on FACEBOOK  and  4,158,031 followers on TWITTER , the micro blogging site

In India,  814 million were eligible voters, and the interest in this year election was palpable — a record breaking 66% voter turn -out.In few of the parliamentary constituencies in Gujarat,  the voter turnout  crossed 70 %.  There is no denying to the fact that people, young & old are  turning to popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to talk  & engage on politics. In India, Facebook already had relatively high penetration in India, with 100 million active users.  According to published article in Quartz “On April 30—the day that 89 of India’s 543 constituencies went to the polls—696,000 election-related tweets were sentSince Jan1, the breakdown of tweets for the various national candidates/parties has been 34% for Narendra Modi or his Bharatiya Janata Party, 27% for Arvind Kejriwal or the Aam Admi Party, 4% for Rahul Gandhi or the Indian National Congress.”

The Facebook Election Tracker sums up the story well for elections in India- BJP and Narendra Modi tops the chart, while congress stood at last behind the newbie Aam Aadmi Party, on the last day of the elections.

BJP and Modi tops the chart, congress at the bottom.  Credit: India Tracker/Facebook India

BJP and Modi tops the chart, congress at the bottom.
Credit: India Tracker/Facebook India

The general elections 2014  reemphasized the fact that do not  underestimate the power of a tweet or a post in this globally wireless connected world! Modi landslide victory has proved all the social media critics wrong, especially his political opponents who we were more critical of his communication strategy of using social media extensively.

Social networking giant #Facebook said “29 million people in India have made 227 million interactions through posts, comments, shares, and likes about the elections from the day they were announced.

General Elections 2014 on Facebook  Credit : FacebookIndia

General Elections 2014 on Facebook
Credit : FacebookIndia

Rahul Gandhi, scion of Gandhi family and the face of Indian National Congress (INC) during general elections has no social media presence. Despite the fact that, he  is the young face of  Congress.

Today youth in India is social media mobile & savvy. They are tweeting, posting, sharing  from everything under the Sun.This time, youths were very much part of this elections and they participated in a big way.  They are vociferously demanding for a better future, jobs and amenities.During Modi’s victory speech in Vadodara, the parliamentary constituency from where Modi won by a margin of over 5 lakh votes, he gave due credit to role of social media in spreading the message  of ab ki baar Modi sarkaar far and wide”

Narendra Modi respecting the power of social media in his victory speech has stated that- “Due to social media, lies & false promises of several leaders could not go beyond the podiums of their rallies! More power to social media ,”

It is yet to be seen how social media euphoria translates into real work on ground level.  This will be watched closely by online & offline !



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Can Modi Do a Barack Obama in General Elections 2014 ?

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES .

A comparative analysis of USA President Barack Obama and BJP Prime Minister candidate, Narendra Modi in General Elections 2014

 

India fairs poor in Internet Freedom, says Transparency Report of Google

India, second country in the globe  to lead in the top 10 countries requesting user information from January to June 2013 from search engine giant, Google. However, USA tops the list with 10,981 requests followed by India with 2,691 requests  to Google. This  was revealed by  Transparency Report published by  search engine giant Google.

According to the Google, out of the total request, 64 per cent requests were provided with desired information.

 google1

According to  the report since 2010, “requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent. This comes as usage of our services continues to grow, but also as more governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we’re allowed to publish.”

This very much highlights Government of India steps to curtail the Internet freedom with draconian law and also keeping a watch over internet to monitor users in India. However,  the nature of requests from the government of India to Google has not been categorized whether the requests are  political in nature, regarding national security or for any other issues.

By year 2014, India will have 243 million internet users, surpassing  USA which has the second largest internet base in the world, according to the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International

At present, China leads with more than 300 million internet users while the US has an estimated 207 million internet users. (Source: TOI)

The  “draconian”  section 69 of the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act, empowers the Indian government to direct any Internet service to block, intercept, monitor, or decrypt “any information through any computer resource.”

In April 2011 the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India,  issued new guidelines for “intermediaries” (such as internet service providers, website hosting service providers, search engines and online payment sites), under which Internet companies are expected to remove content that regulators deem “grossly harmful,” ”harassing,” or “ethnically objectionable” within 36 hours. Failure to comply could land companies with fines or possible jail time.

 

 

 

Create Human Connections with Mobile Data Collection

Often when we think about technology and social connections we talk about how we are disconnecting. I have often heard my own grandparents moan about those “terrible smart things” keeping me from my friends. But for organizations? Smart phones and mobile data collection create stronger ties to the people they serve.

From Mumbai to Miami, organizations struggle with paper forms. From invoices to surveys, the data collected is important, but paper holds us back. It takes ages to fill out, is prone to errors, and easy to lose. Worse, it keeps your workers in the office, entering data, when they could be in the field.

Now mobile apps provide a faster, often cheaper alternative to paper forms. With checklists, and auto populated fields, your field workers can fill out forms faster. Real time submissions upload the data immediately. All that data entry you hated? With back end integration, it’s gone. No more squinting at handwriting, or searching hours for forms: they’re all organized in the cloud.

Faster data submissions also benefits your clients. You can send invoices to your clients in minutes instead of days. The app will generate a PDF for each client that goes directly to the client’s email. You can customize the PDF to include your own logo, the photos, and even a thank you message for using your service.

For example, say you’re a local plumber. Not only can you do the invoice while out of the office but add new features. Add before and after photos. You’ve erased the headache of another paper form for your customers and differentiated yourself from the crowd of plumbers.

Creating connections via mobile data collection may not seem logical. But like social media and mobile phones, it creates new avenues to not only help your business, but also reach out to your clients. That’s great, you say, but what does that have to do with human connections? Mobile data collection frees up your time to invest it back on your clients. Workers formerly stuck in the office are freed to work in the field with clients. Money that once went to maintain your files can be used to expand services. Mobile apps allow you to expand your services, and grow your organization.

Faster data submissions also benefits your clients. You can send invoices to your clients in minutes instead of days. The app will generate a PDF for each client that goes directly to the client’s email. You can customize the PDF to include your own logo, the photos, and even a thank you message for using your service.

For example, say you’re a local plumber. Not only can you do the invoice while out of the office but add new features. Add before and after photos. You’ve erased the headache of another paper form for your customers and differentiated yourself from the crowd of plumbers.

Creating connections via mobile data collection may not seem logical. But like social media and mobile phones, it creates new avenues to not only help your business, but also reach out to your clients.

–Katie Simpson (Guest Author) is a content strategist and copywriter at Canvas.