Yawn.2:00 AM yet sleep eludes me. A caffeine boost at this point can fill your head with all sorts of philosophical questions or cravings for cheesecake. The question which is haunting me now is the purpose of the internet. While the internet is a great repository of knowledge how far has it come forth to help the Indian student community? Yes, I know that it is an invaluable source of research where you often get ready made material without ever visiting the hallowed temples of your college library. However, what interests me now is that even though there is a profusion of social networking sites, very few actually serve a real purpose.
For all those who are going to pitch spiels about the need for interaction and the 'human touch' which is fast disappearing in this ever shrinking world I will not bother to challenge you. My question is entirely different. How does the world of internet truly help us? Sure facebooking (now a recognized verb) is fun but inane poking and scrapping and adding applications can only get you so far. Since its 2:00 and I'm not really coherent, humor me by reading on a little further about these musings of mine.
You must all have college notice boards where various notices about lost wallets, events around campus, the odd student looking to buy a book, someone looking for a pg etc. find their way. Many of these are replaced by other notices within days, no hours; others get ripped and thrown away, some are lost in a deluge of other similar looking listings and only a few persistent ones serve their purpose.
As a means of advertisement whether for accommodation or car pools, notes or events this is so far the only medium we have. Now wouldn't it be great if all the notice boards of a university could be brought together to lessen the work that students have to do. I mean c'mon we are a lazy bunch at heart and don't raise that eyebrow because if we weren't there, wouldn't be so many dubious guides floating around. The all powerful entity that is the internet can certainly be utilized to meet this need. Surfing through the net I came across one such site which is a Mecca for student needs.
It is a site created by recent pass outs who recognized the paucity of actually useful sites among myriad networking sites. www.searchmycampus.com is a boon which has come forth to lessen the burden on young shoulders.
This site offers the solution to all our student problems and needs metaphorically under one roof. Ads relating to housing, jobs, merchandise, various services and more are brought together on this site. Despite being quite technologically impaired I can safely say that this site is extremely user friendly and a much more convenient way to solve our problems. No longer will we have to exert the 'physical labour' required to put up ads on the college notice board, check the responses, check other ads and run to other colleges to put up posters for events.
This site has virtually wiped away any effort required on our part as everything is available at the touch of a button. This site aims at creating a community much like the social networking sites but the important point of divergence is that this site actually serves a useful purpose and meets need that is strongly felt. There are no intermediaries or touts who offer the solution to every problem but at a price.
On this site it is the student community which has to come together to form a strong network and help themselves by helping others. The clincher here is that this site offers its services absolutely free of cost. While generations have depended on notice boards, the next step is now here and we must not miss this opportunity. There is now an actual way to maximize the efficiency of the purpose our ads serve and it would certainly be foolish if we do not avail ourselves of this chance. I mean, think about it.
If we had not accepted Sabeer Bhatia's proposition to make life easier for us through hotmail I would probably not be here writing this and expect it to reach you. The site certainly has the potential to revolutionize the way we function and the winds of change must not be stopped.
Delhi University Amity University Delhi IIT Delhi