Light Within

Making sense of Social Media

Sitaroon Ki Bastiyan

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Abbas Khan is a celebrated writer of our time. His other published work includes three novels and seven short story books (Zakham Gawah Hain, Tu Aur Tu and Mein Aur Umrao Jan Ada (novels), Dharti Binam Akash, Tensikh-e-Insan, Qalam, Kursi Aur Wardi, Us Adalat Men, Jism Ka Johar (short story books) and Reza Reza Keenat and Pal Pal (afsancha -- shortest story books) and a philosophical compilation Din Mein Charagh.

Living now in serene and rustic environment of Bhakar, Abbas Khan has completed another shortest story book Sitaroon Ki Bastiyan. I have the pleasure to translate the book into English while the Urdu version goes to the press. Stay tuned, I will soon start posting the short stories at Logic is Variable.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, January 16, 2021, ,

Krakoram Express

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Spanking new Krakoram Express (42 Down) running between Lahore and Karachi is already old and no more a rarity in Pakistan. When i traveled, all the original fittings like coat hooks, locks, handles and seat covers were in place. No more.

Six passengers have a compartment to themselves. No streams of persistent vendors. No one can have the pleasure of hanging from an open train door as they are locked stop to stop. Like Lahore-Islamabad motorway the train is for many a symbol of modernity and progress.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, January 15, 2021, ,

From the Mother of the Dolls

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Dear Friends!

I started in 1993 to make handicraft dolls in the village of TGD together with the village girls. The effort was based upon available resources and a respect for the local tradition. Especially the hand-made dolls representing the dresses of the different provinces and minorities became very popular.


Only scarce information was available at that time about these groups and their dresses and obtaining the relevant materials was also a problem. Detailed field studies were needed to obtain and organize the required information, which was quite expensive.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Thursday, January 14, 2021, ,

Monetizing Your Social Media Space

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We are living in the age when we can see mass media turning into media of masses. Printing press, back in fifteenth century, started a publishing boom and an information revolution. Along the way, market forces established the rights and rules of the game for the privileged few who could afford to buy printing presses and grind forests into paper. Result: handful few own the industry and control information - they decide what the masses will learn. These few disseminate information on a need-to-know basis mostly. You know them. That's the world of mass media.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, January 13, 2021, ,

Urdu Column in Army Magazine Hilal

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Tuesday, January 12, 2021, ,

Pornography on the Internet - Perspective

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Pornography on the Internet is a new king of plague that has spread all over the world. It is seamlessly tearing apart the fabrics of societies, visibly corrupting the public morals and damaging the institution of family. It is also here in our society and every Web user is aware of its presence. More than 60 percent of the country's Internet users are visiting porn sites, BBC reported quoting Pakistani telecoms officials. But many local users are still unaware of its impact and hence are indifferent about the need to combat this threat; some has simply chosen to ignore its presence. Even talking about pornography on any forum is considered a taboo.

Like it or hate it, explicit images of naked flash on the Internet are popular. Free and easy access to naked flash engaged in various acts is extremely popular. Let me hurry to add a disclaimer that the Internet cannot be blamed for this because it is merely a tool; neutral. Restricting access to the Internet is also not a solution. Similarly, Playboy, Penthouse, or Hustler cultures overseas cannot be held responsible for exporting the trend here. Dr. Irfan Mahmud Chaudhry, a psychotherapist in Lahore says, Viewing nudity is a personal penchant that may lead to addiction and many other negative behavioural changes.

Pornography began spreading with the advent of the Internet as a new medium of communications in the middle 1990s. Earlier, like the video cassette recorders and even earlier like printed material, the Internet has been effective because it allows viewing pornography anonymously in an absolute privacy, without fear of being pointed out as a sex starved or a perverted psychopath. And, now cyber space is littered with porno websites for any one with a computer and a modem to access. Experts predict that tech advancements like use of cable modems and DSL connections will fuel even more growth in the trend. No wonder some people in the world have not only accepted porno but playfully heap it with high brow attention and defend it?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Monday, January 11, 2021, ,

Almost famous

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Nasim Shahid at Facebook

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Sunday, January 10, 2021, ,

Urdu Twitter for Hilal

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This article appeared in June 2012 issue of Pakistan Army Monthly Hilal .
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, January 09, 2021, ,

Mai Bismillah

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I believe in “mothers” as an instruction. They are always there for granted. I had to say fare well to another great mother on Saturday, June 18, 2011. I feel the pain, sadness and void within on two accounts; one she was my mother in law and second she was a great person – an anjuman in herself.

I will always remember her for many things. Best one that I liked is that she would say Bismillah with almost each sentence in her conversation. Starting everything with the name of Allah had visible effect on her persona and I could see blessing of Allah almighty in her worldly affairs. Anyone could see that. Due to this I very fondly used to call her Mai Bismillah.

Another of her distinct trait was her generous hospitality. She was very hospitable. Anyone going to her house (and many people used to go to her house) would have food or whatever was suitable and possible at the time. She would go a long way to make sure that any guest has food before leaving. And this act too brought in more blessing in her life.

Looking back, I can say that what she did for her off springs and what she accomplished would not have been possible without uncounted blessings of Allah almighty.

You were a great mother and great person Mai Bismillah. I will miss you for ever. May your soul rest in eternal peace.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Saturday, January 09, 2021, ,

Business {Blogging} Proposal

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A strong online presence is important for businesses in today's high-speed and competitive world. Blogs have already become a new are a new buzz marketing. Marketers are blogging for organizations, products, ideas and or for other organizational goals and achieving.

That has not started happening in Pakistan yet. An overwhelming majority of local consumers who do not (or cannot) use the Internet and even marketing professionals still ask what is Blog?

To understand blogging as a corporate communications tool, we must understand the nature of blogs . Here is a short definition, "Blogs - an abbreviation of 'weblogs' - are published on the web, typically as microsites standing by themselves but today also as parts of traditional web sites. They reflect the interests, thoughts and opinions of the person, sometimes persons, publishing the blog. Blogs are characterized by frequent updates, an informal tone and many links to other blogs and web sites."

A business blog is a blog published by or with the support of an organization to reach that organization's goals. In external communications the potential benefits include strengthened relationships with important target groups and the positioning of the publishing organization as industry experts. Internally blogs are generally referred to as tools for collaboration and knowledge management.

Blogs can drive visitors to existing web site and help find new customers and engage the ones organizations already have. Blogs are prevailing and cost-effective marketing tools. As far as businesses is concerned, there are clients and potential clients. A blog will create a dialogue between the business, present client base, and potential buyers. Communication has never been easier and user friendly.

Once an organization has a blog, it offers immediate and high impact interaction with its target audience. As more people have online access, they'll want more than the standard online newsletter or typical PR response (we are so averse to existing PR stereotypes). Long gone are the days when companies simply fed information to their customers. Now everyone asks for a dialogue - a meaningful exchange of information. People also want to know that organizations are listening to them and paying heeds to what is being suggested, and blogs allow just that -- responding quickly and openly.

From a business point of view there are several potential reasons to blog particularly in less connected country like Pakistan. But, as always, it depends on what businesses want. Blogs are no different from channels like video, print, audio, presentations and even word of mouth marketing. They all deliver results - but of varying kind. The kind you can expect from blogs is mainly about stronger relations with important target groups.

Who should blog for the businesses? Ideally, front line people who know the business in and out should blog about it. Marketing professionals can also use this powerful tool. Organization can hire professional writers to blog for them under company's name or blog under their own. Depending upon the feedback and information provided by audience, an inside blogger can develop the ability to write in his or her own voice and create content for business blog. Outsider bloggers can view business with an objective eye and offer fresh marketing ideas and strategies.

Outsider blogger can study company's marketing materials, reports, other collateral information, and meet key people in organization to learn about what organization does and how best to market the product through blogging.

In developed world, blogging is being taught in most business school as a part of business studies and or part of mass communication courses.

Bloggers can post material written in editorial style and voice, updating at least once a day, three-to-five days a week. The content may also include company news, events, and information about new products and services relevant to your business.

Earlier, online marketing and web sites never picked up in Pakistan because of obvious "digital divide that exists due to individual disparities in levels of income, education standards, psychological reasons, age, gender, rural urban divide, and quality of life or collective deprivations like lack of physical infrastructure."

Pakistan corporate world should look at blogging as an opportunity to reach out but sadly, this has still not started to happen.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Friday, January 08, 2021, ,


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