I was telling a friend about the need to find your own expression when it comes to writing when the discussion took a sudden turn towards a rather unexpected aspect though I wouldn’t call it entirely bizarre.
‘You can be comfortable with only your style of writing,’ I said, ‘and this comes only when you keep writing. You literally stumble upon your writing style.’
My friend wasn’t obviously impressed by the prospect of having to stumble and fall before you discover if you have it in you to write a comic novel or a poem that is as fast-paced a s a thriller would be! So he immediately retorted, ‘So I think I would not become a writer. I’d prefer to be a blogger.’
‘But bloggers too are writers in their own way,’ I replied.
‘Then I’d want to be a tech blogger,’ he was insistent upon moving away from the precarious life of a writer, it seemed to me.
‘And who are tech bloggers?’ I asked.
‘Well, those who write about the new things in technology,’ he said, and then added, ‘I have a few friends who keep writing on laptops, PCs, mobile phones, software, and even computer games.’
‘They must be pretty good to understand all this mumbo-jumbo of technology,’ I said.
‘Oh no, they don’t,’ he was out to surprise me again and again it seemed, for he continued, ‘none of my friends is an engineer or a software expert.’
‘Then how do they manage to understand so much, get into the very depth and then write about it in simple terms that lay readers like me would understand?’ I asked.
‘They copy.’ He said, simply and firmly.
This discussion made me think seriously as even I was writing a bit on technology… though I had stumbled upon my own style of expression… that is, communicating technology in the form of dialogues, discussions, stories, and poetry! This gave me an edge over the conventional ‘tech-blogger’ who… well, simply take the tech facts from authoritative websites and sources and pass them on. Language to most of them did not mean much and all that matters to them is the speed with which they can put up this ‘borrowed’ information on their web-pages and get ‘web-hits’ to be able to earn their right to the advertising on their sites.
With me none of this is true. I am never in a hurry to reach my reader to simply tell them that a certain phone has been launched or that a certain game has these qualities or that a certain software update is available and so on.
To me, what really matters is:
- An interesting aspect of technology that may need a dramatization or simplification for the lay-reader
- A novel way of communicating this interesting aspect of technology
To get to the stage described above, I normally follow this routine:
- Read extensively on the topic from sources on and off the web
- Discuss matters with the right people to look for angles that may not have been explored earlier or haven’t been tackled effectively
- Try to find out a less explored angle and then try to decide on an appropriate platform to communicate it, for instance, it could be in the form of a short video or a story or a poem or simply two or more people talking about it
But then we’re digressing from the main issue… I wanted to find out if tech bloggers really do copy or if they went and wrote original stuff every time. If they actually did write their entire post in their own language (even if it wasn’t a creatively sublime expression) I’d declare them as winners! For, after all, every fact already exists somewhere or the other and all that even the big writers and poets do is to behave like intrepid explorers and step into the unknown to find them… and having found, they just tell us all their experiences in their own discovered style!
I was thinking about this topic when I thought of checking my emails for the day and… the first mail that I opened to read told me that I was quite near the answer to the question in my mind: Do tech bloggers just copy?
I happen to be a Mob!ler or, as some choose to say, a Brand Ambassador for Samsung Mobiles and this is one reason why most of my ‘tech’ posts are on Samsung products or certain interesting aspects of Samsung devices. To keep me abreast, I get relevant information mailed to me… and this email that I’m talking about came with the ‘press release’ for a couple of Samsung devices just launched.
‘Hmmm…,’ I said to myself, ‘Some tech bloggers or tech webpages must surely have written about these devices as the press release was sent a week back.’
So the next thing I did was to check out a few reviews for the devices mentioned. What I found was very interesting.
Let me first quote from the press release that came from Samsung:
“The Samsung GALAXY Pocket is just 11.9mm slim and 97.0gms light that makes it easy to carry. However, despite its compact size, the GALAXY Pocket packs in quite a punch with a powerful 832MHz processor and HSDPA 3.6Mbps with advance Wi-Fi connectivity, that enables fast data processing, advance multi-tasking and fast downloading of multimedia files. It is based on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and users can access Google Mobile Services and download free apps from the Samsung Apps store. The 3GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB) provides ample space to store music, movies, photos and apps. The TouchWiz interface of the device provides a smart and intuitive touch screen that provides smooth menu navigation through easy-to-access widgets.
The Samsung GALAXY Pocket comes pre-loaded with rich features including Social Hub, ChatON messenger, Facebook and an event scheduler making this device the hub of the user’s social life. The Samsung GALAXY Pocket is priced at Rs. 8150/-.”
“Samsung today also announced an exciting consumer promotion on its premium Galaxy Note. Any Consumer buying a Galaxy Note between today and May 31, 2012 can avail free Sennheiser headphones, download free music and games, download full version of Angry Birds Space free and get a free flip cover. Samsung has sold more than 5 million units of GALAXY Note since its launch in November last year.”
Now let me compare this information with what I found on the net. The two examples are from websites that command a lot of respect, so you can imagine what the small-time tech blogger would be doing!
‘Samsung introduces Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Pocket in India’ a review on Think Digit:
‘Samsung launches Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy Pocket in India’ a review on IBNLIVE:
My observations on the examples given:
- Copying is of two types. One where a series of sentences are lifted without changing a single word. The other where the writer or the journalist has taken only the relevant facts and put them in his own words but sporadically got lazy and copied a few innocuous sentences
- Do press releases give journalists and bloggers the right to just copy and propagate? No. Press releases are interestingly worded guidelines and people are expected to use the facts and give credit where sentences are lifted and quoted
- Are journalists any different from bloggers? Not really. Blogging and micro-blogging is as much into the propagation of news and views as any newspaper or journal today… and they may, in fact, be the first source for many information bytes. It is, therefore, imperative that bloggers bind themselves into all the ethical codes of proprietary and conduct themselves with dignity.
I do admit that bloggers, like many journalists, aren’t technology experts and may not even understand the intricacies of many of the facts that they may mention in their writings. Moreover, they may always be under the immense pressure of deadlines. However, a good blogger (and this includes a tech blogger too) and every good journalist must remember that:
- Readers crave for facts that are useful to them. So yes, you can catch hold of all relevant facts but, for God’s sake, put them in your own words!
- Readers love articles, reports, blog-posts that have a unique creative tilt attached intrinsically to them. They need facts that dress themselves up as the actors do in some play
- Bloggers (tech bloggers too), writers, and journalists need to allow themselves to be pulled by the gravitational force of wonderful technological innovations just as much as they need to embrace the inherent beauty of a never-before turn of phrase, memorable word combos, and sentences that have rhythm and beat guiding them!
Now let me tell you that this post was actually to give you information about the two recent launches by Samsung and to tell you something about the products and other facts that were a part of the press release. I have converted a techno-post into one that goes on to discuss a topic that is dear to many of us… and, of course, I’m not going to rob you of any of the other vital facts that you really must know about the new products from Samsung. So, here I give you the entire text of the press release that came and launched a new thought in my mind.
The text of the press release from Samsung:
Samsung Strengthens its Smartphone Portfolio-
Launches GALAXY S Advance and GALAXY Pocket
Announces exciting consumer offers on Galaxy Note
Hyderabad, April 17, 2012 – India’s No.1 smartphone device provider, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, today announced the expansion of its GALAXY smartphone range with the launch of the GALAXY S Advance (GT-I9070) and GALAXY Pocket (GT-S5300). These stylish devices are designed to deliver a powerful performance and offer an immersive user experience.
“Samsung’s Galaxy range of smart phones continue to delight consumers with their stylish designs, powerful performances and innovative features. GALAXY S Advance and GALAXY Pocket being launched today serve to strengthen our premium as well as the entry level offering in the Smartphone market. Our rich product portfolio coupled with a strong focus on India relevant applications and premium messenger services like ChatOn truly help our consumers personalize their Smart phones” stated Mr. Ranjit Yadav, Country Head, Mobile and IT, Samsung India.
For its Indian Smartphone users, Samsung has made available several interesting applications on its Mobile application store. Through the My Reader apps, Indian consumers can access over 300,000 books from Landmark, get 26 Newspapers and 28 Magazines, and access popular comic titles such as Amar Chitra Katha etc. My Music app allows Samsung Smartphone users to download and listen to more than 100,000 songs from Hollywood/Bollywood and popular regional titles. Handy is a single point application where users can search, book and pay for flights, trains, buses, movie tickets, create their own stock portfolio /get real time stock price and stay updated on latest in business news, search a restaurant by cuisine and even reserve a table for themselves. Mobile TV app allows users to watch their favourite TV shows while being on the move while My Movies app gives users access to Movies and Videos Trailers of their Choice. These and several thousand other applications available on the Samsung Application store allow Indian consumers to experience and interact with their Samsung Smartphones in newer ways.
The Samsung Smartphone range enables users to stay connected through Samsung’s Social Hub and ChatON services. ChatON connects phone users—across all mobile platforms—into a single community using phone numbers instead of usernames and passwords. The ChatON feature provides instant messaging, group chatting and sharing of content in multiple formats including images, video, voice, contacts, calendar, etc.—to make messaging simpler and more intuitive than ever.
Samsung GALAXY S Advance delivers outstanding performance with premium visual experience
With a WVGA Super AMOLED display and a large 4” curved glass screen, the Samsung GALAXY S Advance offers its users a premium, bright and clear visual display. Powered with a 1GHz Dual Core processor, the device offers fast booting speed, seamless internet browsing and smooth image processing. It is based on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and users can access Google Mobile Services and download free apps from the Samsung Apps store.
The device comes loaded with three content rich hubs – Readers’ Hub, Social Hub and Game Hub that redefine the mobile entertainment experience. Users can capture special moments through videos and photos using the device’s 5MP camera and can also tune in to their favorite MP3 songs or listen to their favorite programs on FM radio. Samsung GALAXY S Advance also features Find My Mobile, a unique lost-phone management system that enables users to trace their lost phone via a web browser (samsungdive.com) and allows remote deletion of data.
With HSPA 14.4mbps connection speed and BT3.0, the GALAXY S Advance offers great connectivity options enabling users to make optimum utilization of the device’s capabilities. The Wi-Fi Direct feature connects users to other devices through Wi-Fi access points for easy content sharing.
The Samsung GALAXY S Advance is priced at Rs. 26,900/-
Samsung GALAXY Pocket is easy to carry and fun to use
The Samsung GALAXY Pocket is just 11.9mm slim and 97.0gms light that makes it easy to carry. However, despite its compact size, the GALAXY Pocket packs in quite a punch with a powerful 832MHz processor and HSDPA 3.6Mbps with advance Wi-Fi connectivity, that enables fast data processing, advance multi-tasking and fast downloading of multimedia files. It is based on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS and users can access Google Mobile Services and download free apps from the Samsung Apps store. The 3GB internal memory (expandable up to 32GB) provides ample space to store music, movies, photos and apps. The TouchWiz interface of the device provides a smart and intuitive touch screen that provides smooth menu navigation through easy-to-access widgets.
The Samsung GALAXY Pocket comes pre-loaded with rich features including Social Hub, ChatON messenger, Facebook and an event scheduler making this device the hub of the user’s social life. The Samsung GALAXY Pocket is priced at Rs. 8150/-.
With the launch of these two new Smartphones, Samsung has a range of 19 Smartphone models priced in the range between Rs.7350/- to Rs 38,250/-
Samsung today also announced an exciting consumer promotion on its premium Galaxy Note. Any Consumer buying a Galaxy Note between today and May 31, 2012 can avail free Sennheiser headphones, download free music and games, download full version of Angry Birds Space free and get a free flip cover. Samsung has sold more than 5 million units of GALAXY Note since its launch in November last year.
About Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$143.1 billion. Employing approximately 222,000 people in 205 offices across 71 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
23 April 2012