Archive | May, 2012

Factors to help get hits on social media

17 May

If yo are a struggling blogger and want people to visit your blog often, following is a list of pointers that help (in no particular order):

Zaid Hamid/Camels/Arabs

At some pint in time during the era of ‘enlightened moderation’ (yuh right!), someone decided it would be pretty cool to ignite the enlightened feeling of patriotism in the youth of Pakistan by starting a cult of laal topi, self proclaimed mujahid-cum-faqeer-cum-sufi-cum-muazzan NOBODY, who would inform bunch of sorry excuses for slackers, what their ears would love to hear i.e they are the superior nation above all others, chosen to do God’s bidding. After all who would mind the idea of holding such importance, specially when in actual they hold no serious significance in real life.

I do not look constipated. Its my being-important look (Photo: laaltain.com)

While on one hand this phenomena helped fuel dangerous type of superiority complex in already naive minds, on the other hand it opened up gates to series of one liner puns/satire articles/social and cultural criticism blogs for many times to come, mainly due to retarded persona of the main man behind the whole ISPR project campaign and the frequent blunders he made. While some used the issue to highlight growing concern about the urban middle class’s psyche or the occasional jibes and satires, some people made him a permanent subject of their every article that followed to date. Its a strategy that never fails. And if you can add somethings about how primitive Arabs are and something about the camels its an extra bonus. Basically this category writers originally were just writing about camels and Arabs only. After Zaid Hamid’s emergence, they have added him to their main puns while Arabs and camels are just a side jokes. Even after the cult of Ziad Hamid ultimately fell to its inevitable doom, this category writers kept beating his name because their pay checks depended on it. Plus there was one major factor i.e online Indian readers would always love a Zaid Hamid joke, no matter how stale it might be. And considering the population of India, is a pretty good chunk of favorable hits on your blog/article.

Why no body write about me

If you are thinking of using this factor and still keep the originality than use it as a passing jokes in your blogs and occasionally write one of the fictional satirical stories involving him. I have also used this strategy and most of the hits  (as expected) on my blog were from India. If you do not wish to be original about it, than who cares? Indians will still tweet about it anyway.

See the trend/Pick a side

More often than not, something happens that creates a shitstorm in the social media circles. There was that Amir liaqat video leak, Maya Khan’s date raids, facebook ban, Sialkot lynch mob and countless other incidents which have over different periods of time created a series of articles, facebook statuses and tweet/re-tweets. The trick to write something about them is the timing. If you are even one week slow to pick on the trend, than forget about it and move on. Because there is a thing about current state of Pakistan’s media. Its probably too much for its target audience. One thing comes and another makes it fade away. After all, human mind can only contain limited information that it can focus on.

I didn’t even feel the need to scratch my shoulders, punk!

Sometimes there is not a need for any event to happen to make social circles talk about it. Every once in a while someone would share an opinion in any of the articles/blogs that will grab every one’s attention. Most likely its title would sound like an attack on certain circles of media or society in general. And for some days people will just talk about it, either in support of that opinion or against it. You need to pick one side at this point, find every thing you can against it and use it in a rebuttal of your own.

Do not waste your energies on trivial articles. Make sure you have chosen a worthy one that has a considerable amount of social media audience which is interested in the topic. Most recent example of such case Dr Hoodboy’s proud testimony of bayghairati (no pun intended), which generated fair pieces of rebuttals varying from average bloggers to seasoned authors, which of course also indicates that the names involved should be of worthy note as well.

Give sense of purpose

Here’s a fun fact about humans: No one likes to hear that they are useless.

So it is always an added bonus if you manage to convince people that supporting your opinion may bring some change. There are no better examples for this than the cases of Maya Khan and Meher Bukhari. A section of social activists felt proud that at least they managed to produce something tangible in the world besides tweeting their frustrations. This gave them sense of achievement and the higher number of re-tweets and every body lived happily ever after.

Including both the anchors of course, when they moved to a bigger channel with more money. Remember what I said about memory in the last section?

In case you are wondering, yes she is indeed laughing AT YOU!

Keep the hate mail coming

Some people suffer from what the psychological experts describe as getting-boners-from-hate-mail-syndrome. If you are one of them than you are in luck because this will help you generate lot of hits. And since you rather enjoy virtual insults, threats in the comments section anger should not bother you much. After all its better to piss people off virtually than on their face, so its a win-win situation.

One example of how hate mail can be used as an advantage is his piece with a title and a picture intended to sere the purpose i.e more hits and hate comments. In the author’s own words:

I have been asked to comment on this picture by the blog editor of The Express Tribune, probably because the last time I blogged about the niqab, I took a controversial stance that earned me hundreds of comments, at least a thousand “likes” and retweets on Facebook and Twitter, and the ire of several dozen internet trolls who branded me as the blogger who “supports nudity”.

Yes, we all know why the editor asked you to. It was not about making a point I imagine because I didn’t get any after reading the whole piece.

Religion

Basically this section is also associated to the earlier section of hate mail. Except that in this case, the word ‘hate’ is most likely I-will-fu**ing-kill-you equivalent.

Apparently, religion is one of the most sensitive aspects of human life. Or should I say, the ways of the forefathers are. Of course people find to hear that, what they have been following over the years might have some problem. So basically you can use the emotion to your added advantage if you can basically pin the blame of everything wrong with this world to religion. Even if it has nothing to do with it. I have even read articles that suggest that just because someone tends to recite Ayatul Kursi for protection, he/she is more prone to being careless about real safety measures. Or the education problem in Pakistan is due to the fact people prefer Hakeems rather than doctors. Notice that Hakeem itself has nothing to do with religion. But reading it, people get the idea of bearded mulla. It is your own artistic skill that will make this problem look like its a religious one.

Veena Malik

I know I said this list is without any particular order  but evidence suggests that probably this factor is No.1 in the list. The famous mufti sahab episode of her interview with Kamran Shahid is anchor’s highest rated show till date and at that time it was the highest rated show on prime time so far. When ET published 2011’s year’s most popular topics of its website, the blogs about about that episode were at the top. When Nadia Khan wanted to do a show on her return, Veena was the topic she picked up. For over a good period of the month 2 out of 4 recommended pages on ET have been related to Veena, whether they hold any meaning or not.

Imran Khan

If you combine all that is written above in one package, except for Veena who does not fit in the package (pun intended) and use all that for only one subject over and over again, that subject would be called Imran Khan. You can add him to your daily one liner jokes about Zaid Hamid / Hamid Gul types. You can pick a side i.e for or against him and start a heated discussion in the comments section. You can be sure to receive floods of hate mail whenever you write anything against him. You can also the technique of attacking religion by showing off Imran Khan as a fundamentalist. Because he IS popular in youth, has a strong fan following plus circle of harsh critics, you can be assured anything you write about him will definitely score some valuable points.

I wouldn’t suggest what this author here has concluded. He is not the target of any ‘Goebbels’ vendetta’. But his definitely is used because it sells. Indeed their seem to be authors who have made a career out of him. I am not saying they do not write about anything else. I am just saying no body notices whatever other things they may write about. Plus they have the tendency of writing his name just for the sake of it in things that do not even relate him. And the trend is not just limited to wannabe intellectuals, but even holyshit-why-this-nuclear-physicist-does-not-focus-n-his-own-job types also use it often. Why Dr. sahab why? Why are you content that Dr Abdul Salam should be the only noble prize winner in Pakistan? Is the hate mail really worth it or are you expecting a noble peace prize? (Yuh right!)

The e$$ence of $hirk and continous decline of media

10 May

Disclaimer: I have tried to write this article in a way that it may not smell in anyway of sectarianism. But  still, if any of the content disturbs any man of faith, than let it be known, it is only because of you.

وَإِذْ قَالَ لُقْمَانُ لِابْنِهِ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ {13}

[Shakir 31:13] And when Luqman said to his son while he admonished him: O my son! do not associate aught with Allah; most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity–

The arabic word لَظُلْمٌ literal meaning is to place something out of its proper place. When a human being puts his own life in the hands of some idol which can bestow no favor upon him, he has not only done لَظُلْمٌ with the Creator and Sustainer, but with his own soul as well. At the end of the day he is conned into something which has no profitable effect on him. People often talk of shirk as injustice to God, but if you look more closely it should not bother a bey-niaz God. Why than it is the biggest sin? Because by indulging in it, man has actually lowered his own worth. It is by knowing one’s self that a man can truly understand God.

Quran in many of its verses has asked mankind to ponder upon its own creation. Humans are the best of the creations and human mind is capable of performing wonders which a man himself can not fathom at start. And yet even today, man is compelled to indulge in such hocus-pocus that one wonders how a human mind at one time can elevate itself to seven heavens and while at other times sink to the depths of existence.

Contrary to what people may think, shirk has more to do with human’s personal life rather than just a set of beliefs. It appears that demi gods need to be satisfied over time with expensive gifts and luxurious offerings. A God does not need gold offerings or ridiculous clock towers around His house.

They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well.
( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #215)

But since demi gods are created by humans, they require high maintenance. Men whose bread and butter depends upon people $erving the demi gods would never want humans to interact with God directly cutting the middle man or idol in between. That is why in Islam in its original form it is forbidden to charge for teaching Quran, religious guidance or any other form of preaching.

But man would not let that happen. Sometimes the rulers themselves act like demi gods. No wonder a major  part of human history involves kings and caliphs who either claimed to be manifestations of God themselves or His chosen ones.  Thinking of Pakistan we are still living in malukiat where either someone just takes the  throne himself by an iron fist or we keep giving our own fates in hands of  incompetent and callous people . Sometimes these demi gods appear in form of humans wearing religious cloaks and titles. They would want a qari to help you recite (not understand) Quran, an orator to mint money by making people wail over religious tragedy, a pandit to recite rituals of scattering ashes of dead father in the sacred water, a priest to listen to the sins you have committed, something which is between you and your God, and to ensure that you funds are properly being used for the welfare of the ‘people of God’. Or if you are of a less skeptic nature, perhaps a pir to keep you safe from all the ailments that may or may not befall you.

The middle man does not wish to leave you, because the middle man has to earn his bread after all.

But of course some have bigger appetites than others. For instance there lives a pir sahab in one of the very posh residential areas of Lahore, whose porch is always filled with cars such as Mercedes, BMWs, Prados, Pajeros and God-knows-what-else-luxury vehicles. This Pir sahab charges tens of thousands of rupees per sitting to ‘cure’ ailments varying from cancer to black magic. There is no money back guarantee of course, because if you are not cured, it is because you have not put up enough faith or you failed to do things according to his directives. I am not aware if he has actually cured anyone or not (however I know someone whom he has not), but he has very powerful friends or should I say mureed. One would think that healers would have time for the unfortunate ones who can not afford heavy prices as well, but of course it is too much to ask. After all how can one find time for the poor when there are worthy people available. Perhaps I should not be too cynic.

Sad part involving all this is that 1. It is not limited to uneducated people only 2. The trend does not seem to go down. That is the reason perhaps our morning shows have dedicated special weeks and programs for pir sahibs to ‘heal’ our nation. I happened to see one of such instances:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPWiR0KMVag

Here is Baba Jhanday Wala (so much for the creativity in choosing then name) curing people through live calls to save them from djinies, break black magic curses, or cure fertility problems of dejected couples . And if you are not convinced from his name that he is for real, you just need to watch his ‘miracles’ and be enlightened. . Behold! Following are the ultimate steps done by the Baba G to prove that he is for real:

Step A: Listen to the problem of  the aggrieved.

Step B: Hold a tasbeeh between his fingers.

Step C: If it moves to and fro, announce that the problem will be solved. If it doesn’t, then  Baba jee will do something about it.

Only if all the world’s problems could end with the motion of a tasbeehBaba ji informs us that he does not charge for his services. Although people on mazaars sometimes give him 2 thousand or 5 thousand for a  single taweez. Open ended business helps in no tax returns you know. Baba ji informs us that we should not have faith in him ( duh!), but to have faith in the Quran he is holding. Incidentally,  which chapter of Quran  prescribes this method for curing the ailments?  Prophet SAW was advised to recite Surah Naas and Falaq, while we need to sit and watch a man making funny faces to calm our nerves?

This kind of thing has implications far worse than what may seem. Over reliance and faith in what healers or fortune tellers may say can break houses. In one of ARY DIGITAL’s fortune telling show ‘Sitaron say agay ‘, once a caller wanted to inquire about the reason for her not having son when the fertility tests the couple had done had come out fine.  According to host’s claim however, his hisab suggested that the problem lay with the husband. I do not know what happened in the house after that call had been completed.

Instead of media being used to project knowledge, we are projecting kala jadu or us kay tor . On more than one occasion, weeks have been dedicated for different morning shows for airing specifically this type of garbage. God wants humans to widen their horizon while we are hell bent on descending down the depths of ignorance.