Tag Archives: facebook

Pakistan becomes the 27th most Popular Country on Facebook

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface

Illustration of Facebook mobile interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to a report of the Third World Strategy website, Pakistan now has 9,000,000 users on Facebook. The demographic profile and other segregated data reveals that 70% of the Facebook users in Pakistan are under the age of 25 and around 44,000 new users join Facebook on weekly basis.

The most interesting slant in the findings is related to the gender. In almost every age group the number of male users outweighed female users. The revelations do not end here as the website also claims that Android is the most popular Smartphone OS in Pakistan. Males prefer to get their hands on Androids while females remain content with iOS. The older individuals also cling to iOS and the youth banks on Android phones.

The analysis of brands in the market depict the ‘lion’s share’ for HTC and Samsung. With regards to the operators, Ufone remains popular among women and Mobilink is being preferred by men. Dell laptops are all scattered among teens (Thanks to the Laptop scheme which made everyone a merit scholar!).

The findings also connect the rise in GPRS supported cellular phones with the penetration of Facebook. Almost 5 million users access Facebook through their cell phones. Ufone is the most widely used network for visiting social networking websites.

The noteworthy fact remains unnoticed in most of the blog posts and news releases regarding the popularity of ‘social media conglomerate’ in Pakistan. Males are taking the leverage of social media more than female members. Can this lead to the conclusion that the male gender is more comfortable in voicing it’s views over social networks?


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Revolution 2.0 or Cyber movements?

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator)

Google 貼牌冰箱(Google Refrigerator) (Photo credit: Aray Chen)

Thanks to Tim O’Reilly for influencing our lives with the dynamic, interactive and connected versions of websites. The one you are reading now (, Google (our ultimate source of searching out almost anything even if we know about it already) and life is incomplete without social interest networks like Facebook. Digital natives from around the world are e-connected. We are enjoying the off shoots of a much complex and interwoven nexus. An endless pit of cyberspace, but why a pit?

It wouldn’t have been if the experts around the world would have sketched out a definite plan for creating ‘uniform digital access’. The participatory approach works when there is an equal opportunity for everyone to participate. Imagine yourself among the friendly Chinese natives and try using Google or any other search engine. After a certain time interval these pleasant-looking members of police force will pop out with a not-so-pleasant message- ‘Your online activities are being monitored!’ There are certain web pages and directories that cannot be accessed while browsing in China. There is an ‘information-communication divide’ (they have access to technology and information, but it is not being communicated to them). On the other hand, we saw Tweets from ‘Tahrir square‘ embracing Egypt and pulling down the thrown of a stern autocrat: ‘Hosni Mubarak‘. Established democracies like the United Kingdom are worried about their Cyber security. On monthly basis the international mainstream media inform about the viruses being created to specifically target Iranian Nuclear Programme.

Like all movements in the world, there are ‘goodies’ and ‘spoilers’ in the digital galaxy. It’s about gaining new weapons for achieving old targets in a covert way. Following what Martin Luther King said, ‘evil in the world is not due to ‘bad people’, but due to the appalling silence of ‘good people’. Digital natives aren’t acquainted with these anonymous rebellious Cyber movements, especially in the developing countries. Similar to the literacy rates that gauge the progress of any nation, ‘internet and media literacy’ are likely to gauge the survival of nations in the coming years. You have to be a part of this, yes, but for a good reason as well! Depending upon your circle of influence, small positive steps reinforcing each other can count. ‘Staying informed is a pre-requisite for staying connected’. I have tried to explain ‘why’. You can enjoy the off shoots, without forgetting to act as a responsible Netizen (a citizen with online presence).

Originally written for http://www.the by the author.

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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Random Scape


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Uprising in the Middle East and the Role of Social Media

English: Middle East Map

English: Middle East Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Professor Dr.Ahsan Akhtar Naz
Director Institute of Communication Studies
University of the Punjab, New Campus, Lahore

“It is imperative for the students to remain well-acquainted with current affairs as in near future all of them would be a part of media organizations. The uprising in Middle East is a unique event in international politics”.

Mr. Javed Iqbal
Host at Dunya TV

“Dictatorship has always been defined as ‘one man rule’. The recent change in the Middle East was a protest against the verdict of one man”.

Mr.Javed Iqbal expressed the view that credibility of social media is increasing day by day which was evident by the uprising initiated through its help.

Dr. Mansoor Jaffar
News Techniques Instructor

“A change of phase has definitely occurred in the Middle East but it was not followed by the real change which is the need of the hour. As private media was under the control of the state, therefore people dwelling in the Middle East used social media. Interactive social networking websites have gained power which eventually enabled the people to trigger a disciplined protest, moreover, Persian versions of Twitter and Facebook were introduced to facilitate the people”.

Dr. Mansoor told the audience that a journalist is considered as a spy in Arab states, which obstructs the effectiveness of mass media and thus decreases its credibility. He suggested all the students of communication studies whether print, electronic or social media to understand the significance of person-to-person communication.

Mr. Shahid Malik
Working for BBC for the past 25 years

“Media doesn’t modify facts rather it processes them efficiently using their effective gate keeping. ‘Stateless media’ could be counted as ‘social media’ which has the ability to bring about a revolution”.

Dr. Ijaz Butt
Professor of International Relations and Political science
Principal, Government College Township, Lahore

“Monarchical regimes persist for a long time and do not pay heed to public aspirations. Consequently, corruption prevails in such circumstances, fomenting people to get infuriated and call for a change. American hold on the Middle East was directly linked with the vested interest of the USA. On the other hand, Middle Eastern rulers exchange oil for arms and ammunition in order to stabilize their regimes”.

Dr. Ijaz was of the view that social media has helped the people to stay informed and trigger a change but this change was directionless as no one mobilized the masses.

Dr Bushra Hameed ur Rehman
Assistant Professor of Mass Communication
Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab

Dr. Bushra.H.Rehman defined social networking as ‘two-way traffic’.

“ ‘Judicial Activism’ in Pakistan was due to the use of social media. Egyptian uprising was a consequence of the mass protest orchestrated by people of action. Whereas, in Pakistan people have a perspective that if they have criticized something inappropriate then they have done their part and nobody is prepared to take an action against it”.


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Cyberspace Reporter Versus Earthly Reporter

Difference between ‘Reporting in the Virtual World
the ‘Physical World’

By Fakiha Hassan Rizvi 


This report will succinctly identify and explain the differences between reporting in the real world and in the virtual world. To test the differences, experience of reporting in both the cyberspace and physical world is presented. The differences are arranged in the themes of, data gathering, organizing the report, writing and publishing. Conclusion ascertains that differences lie mainly during the stages of ‘data gathering’ and ‘publishing’.


The report aims at identifying the major differences or divergence between data gathering, organization, writing and publishing, while reporting events in the real world (physical world) as opposed to Computer Assisted Reporting and Research through an online medium (virtual world).

Rose (1995) concisely describes the differences in the internet/virtual/cyberspace and the physical world by arguing that the Internet doesn’t host a ‘new set of population’. Whosoever uses the internet is also connected to the real world, somehow or the other. Consequently, the online providence of information reflects events in the real world. [1]

However, Susler (2001) justifies major differences between the virtual and real domains by taking the support of ‘Cyberpsychology‘. Internet is psychologically distinct due to its characteristics of ‘anonymity’, ‘variation in skill levels’, ‘absence of geographical boundaries’, ‘option to change appearance/identity that leads to deception. [2]

Kolodzy (2006) discussed the two reporting techniques in the context of ‘convergence’ that distinguished online news from the print medium by emphasising on ‘interactivity’, ‘hyper links‘ and ‘multimedia’, which allows online journalism to ‘guide’ and ‘tell’ more than any other medium of communication. [3]

Dueze (1998) mentions that the online reporting of events is more complex as; [4]

He presented a model for online journalism in 2003, explaining that online reports leave more room for dialogue between the reporter and the reader, it is instrumental and concentration is centred upon ‘public connectivity’. On the other hand, traditional journalism concentrates editorial content through orientation and monitoring. [5]

Conclusively, the Cyberspace reporter is the creator and controller of the content, with the luxury of ‘self-publishing’ at his or her disposal. The traditional reporter is bound to follow the editorial policies of the news agency/print media outlet that he/she is working for.
Dueze’s model for online journalism:


Web Journalism: The Use of Blogs as tools for Reporting

Although social interest networks like Facebook, information network like Twitter, simple html websites and blogs, all are potential reporting tools in the virtual world. However, the report focuses on ‘Blogs’ only.

In 2009, the executive director of Committee to Protection Journalists, Joel Simon, said that “bloggers are at the vanguard of the information revolution and their numbers are expanding rapidly”. The Royal Pingdom (a forum that looks at the uptime-monitoring needs of 90% of the companies in the world) estimated that 70 million WordPress blogs shall be created by the end of 2011. In March 2012, the ‘nielsenwire’ reported that over 181 million blogs have been tracked around the world. The exponential rise in blogging is followed by citizen or participatory journalism, especially in countries where traditional media fails to present the views of the masses.

A specialist blogger (trained journalist having a blog of his/her own) applies the journalistic practices and values like objectivity, fairness, balance, coherence and news norms, such as timeliness, human interest, proximity, unusual nature, conflict, impact and helpfulness.

On the other hand, an undifferentiated blogger (not specializing in the field of Journalism) is likely to deviate from the journalistic norms. A citizen blogger may provide a highly subjective account, owing to some of the limitations and personal bias, while reporting an event.

Consequently, after content itself, it is the presentation of the content in the online report that counts. The presentation is likely to differ, according to the bloggers skill and familiarity with standard journalistic techniques of reporting.

 Experience: to Test the Differences

The experience of covering a seminar in the real world and the one that was mediated through a video clip on ‘vimeo’ can give a clear view of the points at which a Cyberspace reporter and Earthly Reporter diverge.

Reporting in the Physical World:
A seminar to be reported in the real world is likely to follow this pattern:

earhtly reporter

 Problems that influence reporting:

The tape recorder might not record properly as reporter is a participant, he/she is part of the audience. The hiss and noise in that setting is likely to obstruct the reporters concentration. This was removed by appointing two reporters so that points missed by the other could have been covered.

All the speakers weren’t available at the end of the session. The reporter had no other choice than to miss out details that were to be confirmed from those speakers, instead of misreporting them.

A photograph was taken by another participant at the event for the report.

Reporting in the Virtual World:

A cyberspace reporter is likely to follow this pattern:
cyberspace reporter

The highlighted differences represent the distinction between a Cyberspace reporter and an Earthly Reporter. Note that both the events were more or less similar, but the reporting processes of data gathering and publishing differed in both the worlds.


[1] Rose (1995) Net Law: Your Right in the Online World

[2] Axelrod (2009) Violence goes to the Internet: Avoiding the snare of the net, Charles C Thomas Publisher

[3] Kolodzy (2006) Convergence Journalism: Writing and Reporting Across the News Media, Rowman & Littlefield.


[5] Veglis & Siapera (2012), The Handbook of Global Online Journalism, John Wiley & Sons.

Journalism Notebook

Journalism Notebook (Photo credit: planeta)


mappa_blog (Photo credit: francescopozzi)








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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Research Hub


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2 Years of Blogging and the Journey Goes On…

WordPress issued this pleasant notification today and I felt ecstatic! 

Anniversary with WordPress

Today, I would like to thank all those who are following my blog and considering it worthy enough.
myphoto (3)

Blogging isn’t an easy task, but there is nothing better than it once it turns into your favourite hobby. Evolve this habit into your passion and adhere to realistic plans while doing so. My journey with has been more of an adventure. These few posts, the animated images in the side bar and the page that defines me, helps an indecisive person (me) to face life every single day.

 “Words are my accelerators and I’m not sure whether they make the ride bumpy or smooth, all I know is that they don’t let me remain stationary”.

 I wish that this special part of my life remains intact.


Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Random Scape


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Will Online Journalism Redefine Traditional Journalism?

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web – Opportunity, Challenge, Responsibility (Photo credit: Fräulein Schiller)

Access to information was never that easy, before the World Wide Web engulfed the globe and transcended through continents. This made our lives easier, faster and distances didn’t seem that long. Like anything else, ‘journalism’ imbibed the technological waves as its foremost requirement. There is a ‘ocean of information’ in the digital world that doesn’t accept boundaries. Internet evolved in a way, which turned out to be conducive for ‘content-generation’. Web 2.0 made ‘self-publishing’ easy and cost-effective by assigning users with the reciprocal role of ‘communicators’ and ‘audience’. The long tail phenomenon ensures unlimited shelf-life for archiving data. Social media have democratized the sources of online production and distribution. This isn’t going away for it has worked for web owners around the world from Google to Facebook.

However, analysts differ on what impact will this have on traditional print media outlets. They have a reason to diverge, technology is not the same everywhere and media literacy is a distant target for most of the developing countries. These prerequisites are essential for replacing traditional media or at least, competing with it. This is the reason that in some parts of the world social media has started to redefine old ‘media practices’.

At the Mashable media Summit of 2012, Jessica Bennett (editorial executive of Tumblr) revealed that Tumblr’s traffic is three times that of The New York Times and CNN. There are more than 80 million blogs and 170 million users, more than 50% of whom are under 30. Daniel Roth, executive director of LinkedIn argued that: ‘LinkedIn has taken out the middle man – because journalists used to interview a source, now the source can write content himself.’

In July 2012, Syed Talat Hussain a seasoned journalist and T.V anchor from Pakistan expressed his views about the burgeoning blogosphere in Pakistan. According to Talat, bloggers are not journalists as they lack journalistic traits of accountability and responsibility.

On the other hand, in Mexico, four bloggers have been murdered this year as a warning to those who want to use social media for reporting nano-crime. A Syrian blogger was burnt to death while reporting from the city of Hama (Syria), using a pseudonym. In India, two Facebook users were arrested by a hard lined rightist party, Shiv Sena for posting a status about the party’s be late leader Bal Thackeray. Whether or not they are journalists, but they have started to face the same fate. Journalists are now also reporting in the traditional mainstream media about the Tweets of politicians.

There are several examples that predict the involvement of Online Journalism and Social media in the future of media. It might be a unique marriage between the traditional and the innovative forms. Whatever mould it decides, redefinition of the media is something likely to happen, the difference will lie in the access to technology and the extent to which journalists are trained keeping in view their media literacy rates.

Online Journalism and Traditional Journalism

Online Journalism and Traditional Journalism


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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Random Scape


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Social media addiction

It was yet another day when I logged in to my facebook account in order to kill my time and my eyes got fixed when I suddenly saw a facebook page titled; “when I shut down my computer I pick up my cell phone and start using facebook again”. With a faint smile on my face I finally understood that why ‘social media’ is the “buzz word” nowadays and what a great deal of contribution our tiny communication gadgets (cell phones) have made towards the promotion of this new form of media.

With the evolution of technology many new technological aspects of our life have been correlated and they reinforce the effect of each other. Therefore, they affect us (the humans) synergistically through their dual action. Teenagers are ‘tweeting’, ‘facebooking’, they are connected with their social circle 24 hours a day through their cellular phones and aren’t forgetting to update their day to day activities by utilizing tools of social media.

If the flare is gaining this pace then it is quite witty at the end of cellular phone brands to mention facebook, twitter and my space while publicising their handsets. Even the low end handsets are now ensuring the facility of GPRS and a facebook application. Realizing the importance of this latest innovation in the media world and the way it has taken to enter into the life of people a handset compatible for internet use is now emerging as a necessity. Why not? After all facebook hosts more people than those in China and India. Yes! According to an estimate facebook has more population (users) than that of China and India. Even if you think that it’s unfair to take it in that context because a single user can have more than one account then don’t forget that there are twins and triplets in the real world as well. It is also interesting to note that the United States has more facebook users than voters.

Let us take the example of the Arab Spring, the protests which initiated it were all coordinated through facebook and twitter. Therefore, political and social activism is also a consequence of social media use in a variety of ways.

This paradigm shift in media culture is spreading like a wild fire. It doesn’t matter that you are a gossip queen, a rock star, a mobile dealer or even a lay man- who doesn’t like to remain in touch with near and dear one’s through a cost effective medium? Social media does the magic and cell phones are facilitating it to do so.

Originally published in Phone World Magazine April 2012
This post is also available at the website of Phone World Magazine


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