Friday, September 16, 2011

KTWV 12 Issue 7: Taking Stock of Online Activity

15 years ago, Kooler Talk (Web Version) was the lone voice of Stephania on the internet. We were a happy family which grew to about 3700 people who would occasionally read my musings and compliment me on driving up the nostalgia. I do not think I had any problems. Principal Wilson and even Valson Thambu, made an effort to communicate with my readers and me at various times.

It all changed with the advent of Orkut, LinkedIn and Facebook. I am sure that there must also be some other places where the presence of the alma mater exists.

The Orkut  SSL, St. Stephen's College Group has been dormant since 2009 and has just 61 participants listed. There are 2 Groups on LinkedIn, St. Stephen's College Alumni and The Stephanians Network. Some discussions do take place there occasionally. I would have thought more of our Stephanians would be part of these, as LinkedIn is a more professional oriented site.

Coming to Facebook,  we now have 4 Groups, Laal Sitara, Stephanians, St. Stephen's College and the last one which I assume is supposed to be a parody site, Laal Pitara.

(I do not want to quote Facebook numbers as they are really quite irrelevant!)

To be the truthful, I do not know which site represents which viewpoint, not that I should care. Some claim to be the Official Voice of the Alumni and the other claims it is the Official Voice of the Alumni.

Facebook is a site for social intertaction - not a site for Alumni Associations to be fighting over the right to be the Official Alumni Association.

Whenever I see a site which is linked to any of my alma maters, I join it to see what is happening. I find many discussions, some good, some bad, some indifferent - and I absorb them all. But it does not mean I endorse everything that is claimed by the Administrators of the site. Because of my running Kooler Talk (Web Version), many try to impress me with their site.

After all, I am a Stephanian, and therefore I have been brought up to make up my own mind about thrings.

I stand on my own principles and that is why Kooler Talk (Web Version) which has been online for 15 long years, with occasional breaks to recharge my batteries and my finances. It has stood the test of time. It is my take on the nostalgia that I experience whenever of I think of my alma mater.

I do have a similar site for my Mumbai School, also 15 years old now  and it has also been very popular.

We have many who have been in both institutions. I came to India in 2009 as I organized the 50th Year reunion of my class of 1959 from my Mumbai School.

My plan is to hold the 50th year Reunion of the Class of 1963 in Stephen's College in the year 2013. We would recreate some of the very nostalgic events of the 3 years that I was in College. But it is a little more difficult than my school Class of 59. In 1963 all those who joined college in 1958 and left in 1968 could be considered to be in my Group of 1963.

To this end I intend to start a Google Group for this 50th year Reunion.

If all of you from these years are interested, do get in touch with me through any channel we share in common. I expect that it will be an historic event as people as 58er Rahul Bajaj, 61er Kamlesh Sharma, 63er Montek Singh Alhuwalia, 60er Mani Shankar Aiyar, 62er Swaminathan Aiyar, 65er Mammen Mathew, 66er Philip Mathew, 63er Suman Dubey, the 63er Seth twins (Aftab and Roshan), the 63er Rai twins (Chandra and Suraj), 62er Rathikant Basu, 63er Siddarthh Singh, 61er Bulbul, 63er Badrinath, 82er  Niranjan Desai, 63er Ajay Verma, 62er Dr. Peter (Tubby) Philip, 61er Ashok (Tony) Jaitly,  and many other great names would be in the participants list.

If I am to toast the Staff as well of that period we would have Anthony Stone, Raj Sircar, Ranjit Bhatia and quite a few more.

I am looking forward to interacting with all of you as I slowly but steadily move to getting the Google Group online in then next couple of months.

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