Regarding GVK's idea of getting Mysoreans involved in civic problems through the medium of internet, I have to state the obvious that it is a non starter. First, there is a problem of few having the internet connection. And of those who have it, 90% are likely to be too "busy" to worry about the civic problems.
This is what Dr Bhamy Shenoy wrote in response to my post – Blog that empowers people. His premise may be right – not many in Mysore have the Internet access; and most of those who do, do not use it for much else other than to check/send e-mail. Assuming that we have around 10,000 Internet-connected residents in Mysore; and that 90 percent of them use it only for personal communication, we are looking at 1,000 odd Internet users who can potentially be engaged in interaction on issues of public concern.
MyMysore.com would be a thriving interactive forum, even if half their number can be initiated into ways of posting messages on the web and reacting to other people’s posts. Blogging is another way in which one can share one’s experience and put forward one’s point of view. At mymysore.com we have initiated into blogging a few public-spirited Mysoreans. It was a few months back that I phoned Capt. Anup Murthy, after reading his spirited letter-to-editor in Star of Mysore. He said he didn’t know much about blogging, but was willing to give it a shot.
I got in touch with Mr Vijendra Rao on reading about his website in a newspaper. He didn’t require my pep-talk on blogging. Mr Rao is a multi-blog person. More recently, we heard from Ms Vidya Nagaraj who stumbled on our site while on a web search for masale-puri recipe. We may not have helped her with the recipe, but our interactive enthusiasm for her quest touched her. She readily agreed to blog for us from her remote Japan town. Dr. Javeed Nayeem was another person I persuaded to blog for us after reading his column at Star of Mysore (what would I do without it?). The blogs that evoke comments are the ones that put across a point of view that is interesting, often informative, occasionally, controversial; and always authentic.
What has all this got to do with Dr.Shenoy’s question about involving people in civic problems through the Internet? Maybe the bloggers do not always write about civic issues (would be a bore, if they do), but they blog about their own things that interest readers; and many of them may be persuaded to interact on issues raised in the website discussion forum.