How / Why did Rakhi trend – A case study

August 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, fakereviews, humour, Internet, spam, Technical, twitter, Visions | 10 Comments
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I assume that most of you are still recovering from last night’s events. Totally surreal stuff, I must say. Triple Baaraats, 3 grooms , 2 idiot MC’s and of course the multiplee talented Rakhi Sawant. A by-product of this whole ruckus was that India witnessed yet another trending topic [after #indiavotes09 etc ]

This was a pretty interesting experience to watch, as well as to participate in, as one could clearly see the effect of opinion snowballing, and mass-hysteria eventually taking over.

This is all I can say about ‘why’ did Rakhi trend. Well you see, ‘ The human mind is a complex system, and…”.

Oh, ditch that. It’s the ‘how’ that’s explainable.

So, how did Rakhi Madamji muster so much mojo?

Well, the obvious answer has to got to be – “due to a lot of tweets in a short timeframe”.

For the uninitiated, I’ll provide the same background that I wrote on http://whatthetrend.com/trend/Rakhi [ which incidentally, is a wonderful site to know why a topic is trending on twitter. So the next time you see something like “Cash for Clunkers” or ” Bob Saget’s gone bonkers” trending on twitter, you know where to look for answers ]

Rakhi Sawant is an Indian film actress who participated in a Reality Show on National Television (Channel – NDTV Imagine) called “Rakhi Ka Swayamvar” to select a bridegroom for her. In the Final show aired tonight (2-aug-2009), she selected “Elesh Parujanwala” from Canada as her husband to be.

[ I’d throw in an image but for the fact that I couldn’t find a single decent picture, and even among the bhajan variety, there were none with a Creative commons license. Perverts, please search here ]

So, with this much info, lets dive into some statistics.

[ Note: ATPS – Average Tweets Per Second ]

The show started at around 9.00 p.m [ I.S.T], and for the initial 10 minutes the tweet flow was quite slow, at around 5 ATPS ]

Soon, some celebrities [or  twittebrities, if that floats your boat ],  joined in the action, and all hell broke loose. Some samples.

gulpanag

[ Ah, the marvels of good liquor ]

pritish_nandy

[ Sums up the nation’s opinion with this tweet ]

Soon enough, the twitter universe was flooded with retweets, ” what the eff ” ‘s, <brain explodes>, ‘shoot me. shoot me now‘ ‘s , on one end.

Not to be perturbed by this, the positive Rakhi Chee forces retaliated with tweets like ” Go Elesh“, ” I’d marry Elesh, He’s cho cute“, ” OMG, Rakhi Sawant looks so hot  ya“.

But it was mostly the apathetic crowd that both cheered and jeered [ I know that doesn’t make sense on many levels, but work with me on this ], that was the peach of the tweetset. Sample these.

shaaqt

[ Witty that one ]

schmmuck

[‘Main is Desh ka damaad Hoon’, but in a canadian accent. Sounds vaguely familiar]

By this time [ around 9.30 p.m], the term was buzzing on Twittscoop at around 10 ATPS. The next best term was “Shark week” at 30 ATPS, which had already started to trend. So, on an a normal day with not much news happening [ no plane crashes, no celebrity deaths, no white police / afro-american professor drinking chilled beers with the U.S president ], we can make a decent speculation that there has to be atleast 30 ATPS for a topic to trend.

This by itself is no mean feat, so Kudos to Rakhi for keeping us glued to the telly. Assume that the average twitterer, even in the heights of their frenzy tweets about 1 tweet per 10 minutes.

[ The power twitterer does about 1 tweet in 2 minutes say, and the other twitterer who’s just an innocent bystander,just pops in to say ” Oh, why’s this topic trending”. say 1 tweet per 30 minutes].

In some universe with a favourable averaging scheme, the number 1 tweet in 10 minutes figures, and I’ll use that.

To achieve a critical state of 30 ATPS, for say about an hour, for the trend to be noticed, we’d need,

1 person can tweet 1 tweet in 10 minutes = 1 / 600 ATPS

x people need to tweet 30  tweets in 1 second. 30 ATPS

So, assuming an equal distribution of tweeting in the timeframe, we needed about 18000 people to start the trend, which is quite reasonable and achievable, since there around 25 million twitter users globally out of which around 2% are Indian, [1] [2], which makes it a potential 500,000 Indian users.

This was the tweet density for yesterday. This is what a one-time-wonder trend looks like.

rakhi_sawant_tweet_density

So, as you can notice, ‘rakhi’ was in the limelight for around 2 hours[ mentally visualize chopping off the curve where the height reaches 30 ]

[ graph courtesy: Twittscoop ]

There were some obvious side-effects of this inane exercise. People not used to seeing their twitter stream getting littered like this, got extremely pissed off, and started issuing death threats in all possible directions. Sample.

andi

[ My my, such strong emotions. Now you know how provocative Rakhi’s aura can be ]

So, in conclusion. Bah, easy peasy work. We can make anything trend, given enough determination, teamwork and resolute joblessness.

Hum honge #kaamyaab ek din. [ Loosely translates to ” May the #manForce be with you” ]

P.S: Respect to all the twitterers featured in this post. I come in peace. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Honey, I shrunk the Url…

July 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, humour, twitter | 6 Comments
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For numerous reasons, I don’t like bit.ly so much. Some of them being –

  • They don’t have a middle layer which acts as a NSFW [ stands for Get Kicked Out of Office if you open This here] warning. There’s the append ‘+’ at the end of the link hack. But seriously, who does that usually? You barely have enough time to click on links these days, save reading their contents as well.
  • They’ve a “This page has been reported to serve malware in generous doses” middle layer, but since it’s Mr.Twitter who’s one of their major link sources, this has to be more ‘realtime’. Depends on what realtime means, yes. But everyone’s using that word nowadays, so what the heck.
  • They’ve a twitter monopoly. You’ve got to hate the leader. It’s a rule.

So, Should I plan to start my own Url Shortening service, it wouldn’t have all these issues. And just to humor myself,  I shall call it id.ly

And since there’s no Country Top-Level domain with .da, I’ll have no competitors like va.da . Humour monopoly, FTW…

Pre-(Post-Script):

Is there a Mai Ka Laal, who can gift Mr. Veerappa with a moi.ly domain… He’d be the cool-kid on the block, instead of the peddler-like grumpy face that he flaunts usually.

You know, as genuinely awesome as the chap to the right, who’s currently booked under the Limca records, for the fastest fast in India. [ No, I’m kidding. Maybe]

Moily-Karunanidhi

Obligatory Show-off Post-script section :

Whate pity. Honourable Son of the Soil can’t get the prized gow.da. He’ll have to settle for de.ve , I guess.

Today’s Special – à la carte

June 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Bengaluru, criticism, music | 2 Comments
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Bonjour!

“Tout ce que dit en français, des sons de classe” – ‘Anything said in French, sounds classy’ – Monsieur. Abhishek, Circa 2009.

Well, enough of dillydallying.Yesterday, Akshay and I, had been to the Fête de la Musique, at the Alliance Française de bangalore. A cozy place, and a Cultural hangout for the French, in Bangalore. We had no clue of the lineup, and I, had almost thought that it was the ‘Galeej Gurus’ who’d be performing.

I saw the calendar, and it said “Today’s Special“. And that, was the name of the band. Band names[ and songs] mostly come out as as the aftereffects of drunken revelry. [ Considering that this band cites whiskey and beer to be some of their driving influences, my guess isn’t that far-fetched 😛 ].

And needless to say, it’s a decent pun as well. I suppose they get stuff like, ” And Ladies and Gentlemen, Today’s special performance is by well, Today’s Special”, all the time. Much like when there was this bunch [including Frank Noon], who called themselves The Next Band“. [ And the Next band is ……] , or even better, this group that performed at Decibels at Saarang 2009. It was simply called “The Previous Band“. Man, the confusions.

‘Today’s Special’ was listed in the lineup for Saarang as well. I couldn’t see the entire Decibels event, hence must have missed them there.

Anyway, about yesterday’s performance. Absolutely loved it. Primarily funk based music, and the fact that they can dabble in with a bit of metal as well, makes them extra special.

Today's special

Now, that’s some branding. Bound to impress.

Here’s what the band has to say about themselves.

We are a Bangalore based blues rock band, mostly into classic blues, blues rock and retro hard rock, with an added flavour of funk.We cover songs of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Phish and the likes, and also compose originals that fall in the same taste.”

Some would call it confusing and disoriented that they have so many influences, but the fact that they switch easily between these at will in their tracks, makes them versatile, I feel.

The Band’s line up [ I picked this from the website, I’m sure about at least the vocals and the bassist], and my opinions about them:

Aditya : Vocals – Roaring, High voice at times, which suits the retro style very much. Could do a semi-growl if need be, I guess. The lyrics are very much set to the swing style [ Elvis -like ], and this chap sings fast-paced as the style demands.

Dhruv : Guitars -Very Naice, Sir. Nice techniques, the sweep Picking was awesome, and the riffs were very distinct.

Sathwick : Drums – Brings the song into picture right from the start. The bass and the drums combination is probably the signature of this band, from what I could make out from most of their numbers.

Shalini : Bass – Let’s get out the most obvious fact first. A Female bassist? Yes, that’s something really rare. Unique enough to feature an independent wiki.

Ok, once the whole hullaballoo and temporary jaw-dropping was done, we were actually in awe of her performance. One hell of a bassist. And as I said just two lines before [ were you noticing?? ], the bass+ drum intros defined the course of the song.

Yesterday’s performance featured originals like “Aloo Tikki” and covers like “Hush – Deep Purple“, and “Woman – WolfMother“. The wolfmother cover was nearly identical, and the highlight of the gig, for me.

One minor complaint is that once I tried to some post-concert searching for this band, its tracks and lyrics, I was thoroughly pissed off.

It’s a pain googling for them. Try some innocent search term like “Aloo Tikki Today’s Special”, and a hajar Tarla Dalal like cooking sites pop up.Aargh. With a little Search engine kungfu I could manage to find their myspace page, and some two tracks. Seriously guys, A Blog comes for free these days.

Kindly to be setting one up soonly. Thank you.

Akshay pointed out yesterday that Rock n Metal music seems to have dried up in Bangalore for the past few months, what with absolutely no gigs of interest happening.

Genetically mutated concert organizers, Please take note.

Chetan Bhagat – The three mistakes of my life.

June 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Posted in criticism, humour, literary, sarcasm | 58 Comments
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chetan Bhagat
presents…………
The three mistakes of my life…….

  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat

This is the primary reason why people don’t approach me for book-reviews…..

Anways, jokes apart. The reason his first book was good[ again, my opinion, shoot me], was because it was a novel attempt[ nah. no puns]. And primarily because, I’m an engineer and this book was about IIT. After that, friends, the charm has faded away.

I haven’t read the third book yet. Ah, A lying,nasty, cynical,hypocrite you say.
No. What prompted me to put this up, was some lame comments on a ‘genuine’ review page.

  • just loved it…….i hav only read three novels in my life…n they r all by chetan bhagat…         I sincerely hope that this guy is joking. Or is this Chetan Bhagat himself?
  • hi chetan i must say u always rokzzzzzzzzz n plz nxt time try to write something new not the same scripts yar waise i must say u r great. No Comments
  • i must say its a rocking come back chetan uncle i am a big fan of your i read your five point someone ,than a night at call center…….. but i must say that you are a perfect writer…. i am plnnin to take your book “three mistakes of my life” so how has been your experience for been the best seller for 70 weeks ?????? it must be fellin great ????? Chetan Uncle? Wtf. You btter be plnnin hard. I’m fellin awesome btw.
  • being a die hard fan of chetan..i can say dat dis book jus rockz…but a little less dan his previous books…its worth reading once..some ppl commented dat they can write better books dan this every week..dude..if u could have done dat..then u wud nt b here postin reviews for smeone else books….is dat clear???        Yes Sir. All- Clear. The job of a critic down the drain.

Ok. I thought I’d be unbiased and put some comments that actually dissected the book for what its worth. Some of them were too shallow, and most of them involved obscenities. Hence I present you the link.

What I didn’t like honestly was his division of reader-mentality on his blog.

  • Core Readers – hardcore fans who will read all CB books
  • Fringe Readers- My fringe readers are those who do not like my books, but read them anyway. They are “I’ve read all 3 books , all are crap” variety.

[ Sir, I thought your 1st book was good. and 2nd was bull-crap. I haven’t read the third one yet, Do I qualify?]

  • Critics – “the reviews were not as bad as I expected. Maybe they liked the book, or maybe they had a change of taste or maybe they realized that a few million, English speaking, educated Indians can’t be wrong.”

Mr. Bhagat- Sir,  witnessing the exquisite linguistic skills of your elite fan-base. I wouldn’t take that opinion for granted.
And he continues criticizing the critics….

  • “but if you call yourself a critic or an expert, you must offer some original, analytical insight about the work – good or bad, to justify your job. Summarizing the plot and repeating past interviews is not that. Anyway, less slamming this time, so I am happy. Thank you guys.”

The problem is the moment you end up slamming him, you’re automatically promoted to the 2nd set of readers.  What do we do?

Anyway. Go ahead. Read his book. He’s after all the “biggest-selling English-Language novelist in India’s History”.

P.S: Chetan Bhagat rokzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

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