I would easily lose interest in something that has been going on for over five-six days. After all, I work in an industry where the average life-span for news is a day or two - which a giveaway that I work in Print, because in TV the average lifespan of a story is a few hours at best - unless of course you happen to be a Hurricane called Katrina. But, I haven't for a couple of reasons - while many across the blogosphere might think that the first few articles that have been appearing on the matter are inept and reek of stupidity, at least they are a start. With most stories, the amount of knowledge increases as a story progresses - and not a single story so far, has questioned the authenticity of the bloggers facts. In fact the silence from IIPM has been fairly telling. Some people have also written that one reason many in the larger media haven't picked the story up is because people in the larger media think that bloggers are a bunch of slagging, foul-mouthed bastards. Heck, I'm proud of that, and because I work in the industry, I think I have a right to point out the ineptitude and hipocrisy in some of the stories that I see.
Do I think that most Indian technology writers know jackshit? Sure, I do. Do I think that Sports Writers all have political agendas and that some of them were actually involved in the match fixing scandal? Yes. And don't get me started on Political writers and commentators. All that they want is a Rajya Sabha seat. Why should we continue to write on things like this, because there are some people who look at the net for information and well, while blogs may never be the best source for accurate information - they can help someone make up his mind. Say you see an advertisement or a story with dubious credentials - or one making very tall claims - you would want to check them out online. And that is where this story began, didn't it?
And the other puzzling thing has been the amount of muck that this story has raked up. Following the not-so-veiled threats by the institute to IBM, Gaurav quit, and while many people support his decision to move on, I still think that they should have burned the laptops - maybe they could have been arrested for environmental pollution. And anyway, they're the ones who would have ended up looking stupid. If IIPM threatens my publication to fire me, otherwise they would burn 10,000 copies - my circulation department would probably run off the additional copies and send them the bill - and dutifully ensure that their ABC Audit happens during that exact period - all Circulation departments are the same. Mind you, on IIPM's homepage now, they have linked to stories about free laptops - all PR plants - on their home page. Anyway, the dirt has ranged from the following - Does the Berlin School of Economics actually award a DSc? Did a certain person claiming to be a IIM-B professor ever teach there? What about a person claiming to have graduated from IIM-C (and who has a habit of catching people across IIM's with their pants down) Did he really graduate? The name of a news-channel being dragged into the story, whose MD had the following words to say when asked on the supposed JAM 'sting' - "Huh?" - Why were they dragged in - Did they really think that people who read comments on the internet are as stupid as people who read their adverts? What about the fact that the person behind the institute won the 'Gold Medal' from the same institute? What about the fact that they actually went and threatened physical harm on Rashmi? Or claim Outlook is corrupt after they withdrew the rankings given to IIPM? What about the fact that The International Management Institute in Blegium is not affiliated to any University and that on their Research and Publications Page all you see are - guess what?
All these nuggets were culled from posts I have read across the blogosphere over the last few days. Across tens of blogs - little nuggets of muck. Which are written by "real" people - not ones who claim to study in non-existent schools or can't decide between UCLA and UC Berkeley. Or even claim to have been hired by Deloitte. And please someone explain to me, why a consulting firm would hire another consulting firm?
Anyway, its getting late now (I have promised my boss not to blog during the day after I messed up the last story I was supposed to give in), and I should go home and crash.
And then again - there is a some humour in it all...
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