On 27th March 2015, TRAI has released a Consultation Paper proposing a regulatory framework for Over The Top (OTT) services.
I am trying to develop a regular rapport with this Google+ since I believe that over a period of time, this will affect in a big way on how search results are displayed to users. I do not have definitive stats which indicate that a person in higher number of circles result in higher SERPs, but this is a gut feel and more on that later. Visiting Google+ and engaging on the social network is part of my daily agenda. If you are a blogger, you should try it out some time.
However, when I logged onto Google+, this is what I saw on the top of my screen
So I did what any normal person would do.
I raged. Then I calmed down and tried to reason with the system as to why this could be the case. After reading through the myriad of support articles that were linked in the notifications, the only action one could do was delete all content that I had submitted and submit the profile for review.
After submitting my profile and waiting for a day, the good folks at Google decided that my profile was still violating some of their policies.
As a user, it would have been great if they could clearly point that out, however much to my chagrin there has been no actionable point from Google. Big Brother wants to disable my profile and that’s the way it would stay. An automated system is a good thing, but an iron wall is bad … I cannot even question why my account was suspended … the two documents that suggest probable reasons are Google+ User Content and Conduct Policy and Name Policy.
The former suggests that I have uploaded some content which could be hate comment, spam, …. the later suggests that my name does not seem genuine. I don’t know which allegation is more disturbing. I would love to contest these allegations, but there is no committee with whom I can take this up with … there is simply a red notification about the ban.
I have always been a Google Fan-boy, perhaps I still am, but this system makes me question their approach at trying to launch a social network. If you are spurning away your active users, how do you propose to get more users to stick to your social network?
Got to see a peek at the IT Vision document of Reserve Bank of India, thanks to a tweet by a friend. Go ahead, read it, I am not going anywhere. I will save you the effort though, I can summarize it in one word.
In more colloquial terms, Bullshit.
There cannot be a more generic document which meanders around superfluously. It touches upon literally all the peripheral topics which one can bring up when the words Information Technology are mentioned, but it fails to take a stand on any topic.
I gave them the benefit of doubt and went to the Contact Us section of their website. After I keyed in a longish feedback to their vision document, when I submitted the request, I got a very nice error message (shown below)
Great execution of the vision RBI! Not only have you declared that your vision for technology is a blurred mixture of all corporate jargons, but also one of the most basic functionalities on your website is not working.
Further reading on the report informed me that a committee had been setup to create the vision document. Committees are the perfect excuses for being faceless, blameless and gutless. You do not have to take any stand and you do not have to do any work.
Good job o ye Banker of Banks!
We are in the process of formalizing our IT and Electronic Access Policies. In this process, often the team drafting the initial proposal finds it pretty easy to switch to the Orwellian mode of 1984, wherein Big Brother is always watching.
Although the intent of these people often stems from the fact that they desire to protect both the system and it’s users, but that sometimes requires that extra bit of control. However, it becomes extremely difficult to tell the need for control from genuine to paranoia.
Further, due to some unforeseen events happening in the recent past, these rules are doubly strict ensuring that the past mistakes of a few have to be borne by the entire team. Only to ensure that something that happens out of the blue should not happen again (and rightly so!).
The problem at hand is how to ensure that people are enabled to work and co-create with each other, but are still protected from any malicious ill will that might exist outside (and even within the system). How can Big Brother start co-operating instead of watching?
One clear method is to assume that all people are good and need to be enabled. The other is to work closely with them step-by-step and layout a simplified process and get the end-user buy-in on each of the steps. Till that happens, Big Brother will continue to exist … we are watching you!