A front page article in yesterday’s HT grabbed my attention. Guess what it was about. It was about Microblogging or SMS blogging. Especially so, when I read about a Microblogger who got an SOS call after two boys fell in a river in Saidan village in Manipur and he flashed the SMS on his blog. Within minutes almost a hundred people gathered at the spot and one of the boys was rescued. Wow! I said to myself. Imagine the effect Microblogging can have in our day-to-day lives. A user who watches the latest movie in town can Microblog about it and within a few minutes a whole generation of users can read firsthand about whether it is watchable or not. No waiting for the newspaper next day to know how the movie is! Movie Critics, move out!
Now imagine a very filmi incident. A young girl out on the road. The street is empty and dark and the fog is thick. As she walks fearfully, four ruffians step out from a car parked nearby. As they move in laughing about how “Hamari Koi Maa-Behen Nahin Hai”, the young girl whips out her cell phone and coolly SMS blogs an SOS “Bachao Bachao”. You know the ending, don’t you? If “Deewar” was to be remade and Shashi Kapoor recited with a smirk on his face, those famous words “Mere Paas Maa Hai”, Amitabh could have his own retort “Aur Mere Paas Mobile Hai”.
Anyway, Microblogging or blogging on cellphones in SMSes is set to become one of the most popular services available in the technology domain. It is a practice of sending brief posts to a personal blog on a Microblogging web site such as Gupshup or Twitter. Microposts can be public or made viewable to a private group of subscribers. Subscribers can read Microblog posts online or request that updates be delivered in real time to their desktop as an instant message or sent to a mobile device as a SMS. Gupshup, the Microblogging service from Webaroo Inc is growing at 4% a day and estimates to have a whopping 20 million users by this year end. Phone companies are waking up to the popularity of Microblogging and Nokia Nseries introduced its ‘M-Blog’ last year while Reliance has seen a four fold increase in its M-blog usage. In Japan, five out of the ten best-selling novels last year were originally composed on cellphones. In India, this spells a world of opportunity for writers and creative people.