This post is dedicated to my good friend Nayana Somaratna.
Very often I am asked by people - 'Why do you Facebook, Tweet and Blog so much? Don't you have any work? Have your businesses shut down? etc etc'
Well, Nayana raised this topic is a slightly different discussion here, but the answer is the same.
Since I want to honor him, I have decided to call the explanation the RAVAN Conspiracy (Nayana is from Sri Lanka, and I am personally very smitten by Ravan. Remember also that Ravan attained Nirvana by getting himself killed by Rama. So he attained his goal).
So, what is the RAVAN Conspiracy ??
R - Reality.
For me, Facebook is REALITY. Take for example Nayana himself. I was piling some gyaan at a conference a couple of years back and Nayana came to me and asked ' Are you Rodinhood'? That's the first and only day we met. But just look at the way we have interacted!
Yesterday, at a concert, I met Anand Dhople whom I had never met before. We connected on facebook and then exchanged seat numbers and met yesterday.
Facebook and the other Social media platforms actually expose me to a REALITY that I would never enjoy and experience in the real world!
I go to ANY CITY in the world and I have a real friend to MEET - with whom I share some background, post etc. That's HUGE for me, specially since I otherwise live a very strict - Home - Office - Home life!
A - Ask
I shamelessly ASK anything and everything on my social media. And the answers and results I get are STUNNING!
I fill up vacancies, get to know which hotel to stay in Pondicherry, close on a 20k Camera, understand how to implement G+ code etc etc etc via my asking.
I cannot begin and end in explaining HOW MUCH Social Media helps me in my Business. My friends check and play my games, I get Industry contacts and everything just happens when I request!
This is ALSO why I 'friend' anyone and everyone. To me, everyone is someone I can learn and benefit something from!
It helps to have 12k friends 22k friends 55k+ friends (combined count of FB/Twitter/Linkedin and others). Ask them anything and you get a reply!!
V - Voice
The Social Network is my VOICE. My belief is that by SHARING my experiences and gyaan (some people hate it and call me all sorts of names and think I am 'dhoongi (false) etc) , but honestly - I DON'T CARE.
I think that my Contribution to Society is not going to be anything significant via donations or building schools and hospitals (I am too kunjoos to do so also ) but via KNOWLEDGE SHARING.
My belief if that I can help Entrepreneurs BLOOM - then that will create much more prosperity and happiness than anything else. For that I need a VOICE - and social media allows that.
I mean how else can you brand yourself 'Rodinhood', create blogs and social communities and get noticed? All this is less than 2 years???!!!
In March 2010, I was invited to speak at Harvard Business School thanks to my Rodinhood blog that had noticed there!
A - AWARE
I am a spiritual hippie. I SEEK to be AWARE.
Social Media - the more and merrier - fulfills that desire in me. So many times I get into fights with people and then get a good drubbing. Often, I say something that expresses my 'internal' blossoming and its facebook and other platforms that DRIVE ME sometimes to be aware. THE INTROSPECTION Social Media provides is a meditation.
My one sided and very anal stand on Anna Hazare taught me to be aware of things and situations and realities that I have never thought of before via others peoples sharp criticism of what I wrote.
I live in a very cozy, comfortable, cocooned Ivory Tower in South Mumbai. My social media interactions have made me AWARE of the other realities in the real world.
N - NEW
I am 42 years old. I meet school friends, college batch mates and other peers who look like they are 60.
My personal belief is that Social Media keeps me NEW
It makes me feel like I am reborn everyday because of the sheer velocity of NEWNESS that I encounter in my feeds, walls etc.
I get a NEW opportunity to say something, meet someone and just share something NEW every day.
So, behind every wannabe businessman - there is a VC :-)
Now, ALL THIS BS would not be possible if I was NOT ALLOWED AND TOLERATED by my Venture Capitalist - Sumant Mandal who allows me to take a nice hefty salary and yet spend so much time on all these social media activities. In fact Sumant INSPIRED ME To start Rodinhood.
Finally you also have the real secret of why I get away with all of this...
Hey Alok - Nice read as usual and I am thankful to you for all your posts!
You should consider Investing in some other company as a VC (if you havent done so) - that will give you a different kind of Nirvana! If you have invested as a VC/PE, would like to know your experience ... may be as a post dedicated to me!!!
Thank you so much, Alok ! It is indeed a privilege to get to know exactly what goes on inside your mind.
As you've mentioned, I first got to know about you via this site, even before meeting you in person. And even when I met you "in the flesh", I was able to interact with you much more comfortably (I can remember quoting the income tax inspector story !)
BTW, I'm glad that you like Ravana (which is the Sri Lankan name). In our culture, he is known as a guy who invented his own flying machine many thousands of years before the wright brothers !
History says something different. The plane actually belonged to KUBER.
Ravana's mother Kaikasi and his grand- father Sumali put evil ideas into his king him to take away the Kingdom of Lanka and the Pushpaka plane from Kubera. He ignored the principle that an elder brother should be looked upon with the respect due to a father. Kubera had to flee from the kingdom. Ravana became the King of Lanka and began to rule over the Rakshasas
Personally I admire ravan for what he achieved. Good or bad but what a man! The lord himself has to take an incarnation for this person. If we forget his one last mistake, the entire universe has no other person of his caliber.
Just my two cents.
@Alok - that was nick name? :D too funny.
very much inspired.
Got to know another dimension of Alok.
Just joined: I like the open flow of communication