Monday, September 24, 2012


Rule #9: You Probably Don't Know Anything.

...or even half of anything. Yet.

If you’ve read enough, you probably know that this is extremely true, and you'll give me a high-five for my title, say you love my blog, and be done with it.
If you don't, and just lurk on the internet like all of us, and don't believe me, you might have to read on for my maybe-insignificant little life-experience to understand why I'm saying this.
Okay, either that, or attempt to read up on the Higgs Boson.
Good luck, either way.
As for myself, I feel like a "Universal Idiot" - someone who's a "big picture" person, knows about the extent of the universe and our insignificance, but may never gain even 0.1% of its entire knowledge.

You see, every time I stumble across something new, or even just explore the history behind each Google Doodle, I find something I thought I knew but really didn’t, 
something that I actually just didn’t know at all. 
For the same knowledge-gaining reasons, I also follow all the fact-/event-sharing handles on Twitter (like @UberFacts, @OMGFacts, @LaughingSquid and so on).
I’ve even taken the trouble to write a post somewhere on this blog about how science just amazes me and we can never really know the entirety of this universe or even a fraction of it for that matter.
The pictures from the Mars Curiosity rover should help put this in perspective!

What just recently blew my mind and moved me enough to write this was the Social@Ogilvy Training Workshop on the 20th and 21st September, 2012. i.e. last Thursday and Friday, that I attended.

Because I’m now part of the Social@Ogilvy team in Mumbai, and possibly the first in India.

As a writer.

To do great things on social platforms.

So much WIN.

So much I-should-stop-now-before-I-sound-like-an-over-enthusiastic-squirrel.

Okay, back to the workshop –
Up until Thursday morning, I believed that if there was anything I was good at and understood well enough to say I can offer beneficial services to, it was the world of Social Media Marketing and “the stuff” that goes into managing or portraying brand presence on a Social network. I won’t get into it because I’m sure you know, or kind of know, what that entails. This also means you think you know, but probably don’t. 
Yeah, that thought blew my mind too.

It took the introductory speech, the first 20 minutes of talk, from the eye-openingly intelligent and knowledgeable Social@Ogilvy Training team of three to make me realize that I knew absolutely nothing about what I have been doing for the last 2 years. The stupendous training team: Hastie Afkhami, Jenna Boller and Scott McBride.

Social media is not just something that allows you to have a facebook page or twitter account, or both. It’s not just something that “takes your brand to millions of people”. It’s MORE than that. Yes, the ICanHazCheezburger MOOOAAAR kind of MORE.

Imagine the life of every mother on the planet, her love for her baby, her need to make sure the baby gets the right kind of care and the right kind of love. Then imagine connecting an insight like that to a social network. No, putting up a post saying “Hit the random buttons below to show how much you LOVE a mother’s LOVE for their BABIES!” with a picture of a baby, which really just doesn’t cut it, even though it’s the first thing you want to do on mother’s day. And no, adding a cat in there is not a solution.
Here’s what cuts it:
A campaign for Huggies Hong Kong that became a facebook success story in July 2011:

This was just one of the many case studies we were taken through, and this was just a small taste of what one can do on Social Media. I’m beginning to see this as a whole new frontier, where the already-infinite possibilities are more limitless than before.

It’s not just about giving people the importance or the power that they crave to have, but giving them a whole new experience in their lives that they could never have before. Who wouldn't love something that makes you happy?

Burberry just did something that changes the way I look at advertising – 
You’re not just taking an experience to an audience.
You’re not just taking the audience to the experience.
But you’re understanding both, you’re understanding what they’ve already seen and you’re giving them a new way of doing everything they want to do.
That's in caps because I've noticed it's something people don't seem to care about anymore, and that randomness is so careless.

By this point you’re probably asking yourself why I don’t summarise the campaigns, in my own words, since I'm a writer, instead of pasting links for you. Let me answer that, in my own words: I’d rather have you see and read for yourself, instead of listening to my very overwhelmed nonsense. I’ll be honest: I’m so much in awe of the world/the universe that the simplest thing could amaze, appall or surprise me. Why? Because I didn’t know it three seconds ago. And you didn’t know this about me five seconds ago.
Isn’t all this knowledge just awesome?
Well, you still probably don’t know anything.
And neither do I.

Also, here's one final link I want to share with you just because it's so much fun:
Old Spice Muscle Music:
Don't leave that page till you've pushed every button!

So the point here is (as cliché as it sounds): The more you know, the less you realize you actually know.

Try it. Start reading about music, history, science… you’ll find about a 100 things on every page that you had no idea existed. Hastie, Jenna and Scott took us through an intense and vast amount of things in just two days. I don’t know how they did it, but they did it so well. From planning, to strategies, to that extra boost social media can give a brand – they showed us so many paths in the maze of Social@Ogilvy and what we can achieve through the magnitude of Social Media (and trust me, ‘magnitude’ is just not magnitudinous enough). Everyone who attended has left with about ten times more information, education and sense than what they walked in with. Not to mention smiles, and very handy guidebooks!
Me? I’m still just appreciating how much more I know, and how much is left to still learn and do!

A statistic I read about a few years ago said that three species go extinct every hour on Planet Earth. Yes, I can see all your faces going :O and WTF, right?!
Here's some tweets from @UberFacts:
  1.  If the entire population of China walked past you in single file, the line would take close to 100 years to pass you.
  2.  Most men immediately exhibit a decline in mental performance when interacting with women - Women do not have this problem.
  3. There are about 1,400 species of bacteria living in your belly button.

…and so on. Yeah, this is the kind of interesting-to-weird stuff that keeps my mental clock ticking.

Another go-to site for me for all things tech, mobile app and entertainment related is @mashable. And you've probably guessed that the one social networking site I’m on the most is Twitter.
Twitter is the next best place for knowledge hungry people like me (the best being Wikipedia of course). Its constant scroll of information, packed into 140 characters or less, is the perfect amount of “controlled” bombardment (since you can follow who you like) on my cognitive self. Now THAT'S what I signed up to the internet for!
A few other sites that work the same way, or can be just as knowledge- and awesomeness-friendly:
  1. Pinterest
  2. StumbleUpon
  3. Flipboard – for all you app-happy, iphone/ipad/android owning buggers like me

I think I’ve said enough, and honestly, this rule is more for you to figure out than for me to extrapolate, or even pretend to explain really. There's so many more effective and interactive uses of social platforms, great ideas, videos and live events that I've seen and love to share, but I think this should do for now.

Here’s a list of sites that started me off on this "Education My Universal Idiot" trip. I hope these help you too!
  1. Nikon’s Universcale
  2. NatGeo and LonelyPlanet
  3. NASA
  4. Mashable
  5. StumbleUpon
  7. AdsOfTheWorld (you need to filter the ads here well, otherwise you’ll also end up seeing pretty crappy ads!)
  8. IMDb top 250 movies (Movies, TV shows and a few documentaries have been very big eye-openers)
  9. Afaqs
  10. The Economist (more the magazines and ipad app than the site)
  11. and Grooveshark
  12. deviantArt

There you go. Don’t hesitate to take one word out of somewhere and paste it in a wiki search. You may never come out of that wormhole of learning and education that it gives you, but that’s the point of this.

Enjoy, and I hope I’ve made at least a quark-sized amount of sense today!

*Thanks to everyone at the Mumbai SOCIAl@OGILVY TRAINING on 20th and 21st September, 2012. This post is for the super people at OgilvyOne Worldwide, in Mumbai and everywhere else, and for the awesome people who took us through it all!*

Mumbai Social@Ogilvy Training Workshop


  1. Fantastic just-about-right-enthusiastic-squirrel!
    I pictured you like the little girl from Chronicles of Narnia peeking into the cupboard...

  2. There's some great stuff that has been done on Social Media. The more you explore the more interesting it gets. And because the field is so young, it's easier to learn a whole lot!

    Keep the excitement :)

  3. I completely agree with you! There is so much to learn, understand, process, absorb,....(phew I will stop with the synonyms here)Moreover, post the workshop I am really looking forward to what is in store of us. How we will learn more and (hopefully) work on exciting WOW ideas is my anticipatory thought!

    Hastie, Jenna and Scott have been nice darlings to help us prepare for what's in store for us at Social@Ogilvy. I just hope we take it to a new level here in India.

    Let's be a speck in the universe. Albeit, a significant speck.