Imphal, Apr 9: This may not be the latest buzz in town. Yet the latest form of journalism, or micro-blogging that swept the hills of Manipur is undoubtedly mobile phone blogging, thanks to the information technology revolution brought in through mobile phones which enable bloggers to create ones’ own groups sans PCs or laptops.
Since owning a cell phone is no more a status symbol, the increasing number of mobile phone users make possible to create ones’ own groups. Eventually, it has become a buzz word for mobile phone users even in remote areas of Manipur though it is relatively new.
For starters, the rule is simple. Create a free account on SMS GupShup (www.smsgupshup.com, created by a Mumbai-based Webaroo Technology India) or create a group by sending an SMS simply to 567673434 through your mobile phone. And you add up to 100 mobile numbers of your friends to form a group. If you send a message to 567673434 then it will be delivered to all members of your group free of cost.
There are many mobile phone groups now in India. Groups like SMS world, TSK BREAKINGNEWS, SaiBaba, Wordstock, MyToday, etc have enjoyed wide popularity among many mobile users in India.
The culture of micro-blogging through mobile phones has also caught the attention of the people of Manipur especially among the tribals, who made good use of it. According to the finding of NNN, groups created here are more of community based blogging which serves as a channel of communication among the users communities.
And importantly, in the absence of data-enabled cell phones in areas like economically deprived tribal dominated Manipur hills, the mobile phone blogging is best done in using SMS.
Groups like GanggamTimes (Gangte), Zolengthe (Zou), Sinlungnews (Hmar), PupaTimes (Thadou), Huilhinet (Thadou), ZogamThuthang (Paite), etc are some of the prominent groups which serve as channels to communicate to their groups, catering to the need of members of their groups which mostly comprised members from their respective community. Various tribal dialects including the Thadou (having four/five groups) Zou, Gangte, Hmar, Paite, etc have their own respective groups.
For them, creating a group has become a thing for the beginner as there are many lots who have just created a group without proper intention or knowing what actually it is all about, the finding indicates. Some of the groups have now started to strive by breaking the latest news happening around the world. Obviously, it has served the purposes of disseminating news as well as keeping the members in touch with one another.
Take for instance, GanggamTimes (GGT in short) which made a late entry though in ‘mobile phone blogging’ world, it has become one of the most sought after group – breaking most of the news to its members. Just crossing 1000 members, GGT sent around 20 messages to the members daily comprising the latest news and events, rib tickling jokes and quotes from prominent citizens.
Another group PupaTimes which has more than 2000 members is achieving a feat in having the most number of members though the contents are mostly a re-production of other groups’ news items.