Business Today

From the Editor

Here's an e-mail that serves as an example of the power and perils of the phenomenon called social media.

Rohit Saran | Print Edition: July 12, 2009

From: Rina Mukherji
Date: Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 4:13 AM
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Shame on the Indian Media (must read)

Today, three magazines hit the stands: India Today, Outlook, The Week.

All three of them have the "Mumbai Attacks" as the cover story. However, there is a major difference. While India Today and Outlook have jacked up their prices from Rs 20 to Rs 25, The Week has increased its price from Rs 15 to Rs 20. This is a blatant attempt to fleece Indian readers at the expense of the several hundred martyrs who lost their lives!

Hence, we request all patriotic Indians to boycott:

  • India Today & all magazines from the India Today Group.
  • Outlook and all magazines from the Outlook Group.
  • The Week and all its allied publications.

Let us not purchase these magazines and instead search and read on the Internet. Please forward this mail to your friends, e-mail addressbookmates, family, colleagues and associates.

Let us lay a wreath over those who sold our country's martyrs for the sake of a few extra bucks. Forwarded by an unknown Indian...

This e-mail, which landed in my inbox when BT was busy with its 26/11 special issue, is an example of the power and perils of the phenomenon called social media. Though technically e-mail (even the mass sender variety) is not exactly social media, this example demonstrates the impact of the phenomenon quite accurately. The person who wrote the e-mail (or a similar post on Facebook, or Twitter or Orkut) didn't know that the three publications had raised their cover price more than a month before 26/11.

Yet on the cyberspace, these publications had been branded as anti-national and mercenaries. This is just one instance of the influence social media has come to have over the reputation - and to an extent the fortunes - of corporate India. The medium is not all negative. Companies have begun to use social media for customer interface, hiring, product testing and image management. Our cover story (pages 44-60) provides a peek into this fast catching trend.

We all know how bad campus placements have been this year. But did you know that first-time recruiters are hiring fresh graduates in hordes from the IITs, IIMs and other campuses? Check out who these recruiters are in the first BT-Synovate annual campus recruitment survey. We may like some TV ads and we may dislike some-but we surely can't escape from them. So, it will be interesting to know which are India's most-watched TV ads. That's exactly what we seek to find out in an exclusive arrangement with TAM. Turn to page 62 to see India's 25 most-watched ads and what companies do to make their ads win the popularity sweepstakes.

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