…or even a natural calamity, for that matter!

Have you noticed?

Aliens almost always attack the US, with the notable exception of District 9, where they, at last, decided to hover above South Africa.

Its almost as if aliens are aware of only one region in this planet – probably because it is lit up so well in the night, that it is quite brightly visible from outer space!

India? It is usually a marbled tomb that gets destroyed by aliens in this part of the world – the rest of the country can take a hike.

But, how do you explain natural calamities ‘occurring’ in US first, then? Even in 2012 – where an Indian, after having painstakingly rediscovered doomsday, announces to his wife, in horrendously broken Hindi, that they may have to relocate – India’s extinction happens in a few nanoseconds, on a radar blip.

And US? Oh, it gets destroyed, zip code by zip code!

I don’t blame the trend – after all social media, as a concept and as a marketing/ PR medium, is mighty evolved in US. If you wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me to name social media stars, chances are that I’d name the Chris Brogan and Jason Falls of the world – well, its their daytime (timezone) then anyway!

At 11 am though, in my office, I’d be naming Rajesh Lalwani, Kiruba Shankar, Gaurav Mishra and Gautam Ghosh (an indicative list – other stars…please excuse!).

The kind of money being invested in social media PR/ marketing in the US perhaps outnumbers the combined amount of money even being considered outside that country. So, its only fair that social media’s evolution is so closely linked to US.

At this point, I’ve got to thank David Armano for joining Edelman, a week after I did in India – brilliant timing. I get to piggyback on his joining, for any news announcements – like this one, by Arun Sudhaman. To be fair, I do recall Jeremiah Owyang mentioning about Gautam Ghosh joining 20:20social, in his ‘People on the move in the Social Media Industry’ series, though I can’t quite find the link to it now! But, if I did indeed recall right, all is not lost in the Indian social media scene yet.

On the other hand, I do not consider myself a social media superstar – in fact, I’d cringe if you call me one and would head to the nearest loo to make sure I’ve not changed my undies-trousers sequence. I do not have an external image of having known social media to some/ any extent – it is perhaps more pronounced with the people I know/ interact with, my colleagues and my clients.

That…is a very different appeal and personal high than being known as a star outside the relevant circles. Discussing social media with an informed client or convincing a largely clueless client about the benefits of social media engagement and winning his/ her respect is top on my priority – not building my twitter follower count and propagating places where my alleged wisdom is being quoted…well, I do indulge in the last two from time to time, of course, but from a priority perspective, they rank lower.

For a predominantly PR person, that sure is a bad working strategy, I know.

From this point of view, I was pleasantly surprised during my first 2 weeks at Edelman – many employees in Edelman India and quite a few of the clients I met knew about this blog and were even discussing specific posts! That’s a good sign and a sign I could do more of!

Edelman making such a move in India is news enough and shows that, we, as a country, are definitely evolving and taking social media’s potential seriously. I really hope, we’re able to collectively make a solid mark in the global social media map in 2010. That is one of the reasons, why I always add an Indian angle to whatever I blog about – it may not resonate with the larger crowd outside India, but it sure is a small start to build a profile of our own nuances.

Efforts like Rajesh Lalwani’s IndiaSocial are also a great step forward towards such an objective.

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