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Adnan Siddiqi

Lets get technical


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Web 2.0 and Karachi's Minibuses

Shahrukh asked question about reliability of Web 2.0 on Facebook. What actually he asked was something which was not asked first time neither last time. He asked:


Do you think Web 2.0 bubble will burst pretty soon or it already did? 


The first question comes in mind, What is Web 2.0? .Uncle Tim tried to explain the story behind it but that was too complex for a layman. In January I shared what actually is being considered Web 2.0 by IT geeks and laymen. After visiting the link and experiencing several Web 2.0 based systems myself, I came up with conclusion that:

Web 2.0=(Community || Mash-ups || Blogging || RSS Feeds || Big Fonts n Text || Rounded DIVs || Tagging||Wikis||Adsense)


Almost something like that right? You will find all or any of them or many of them in apps which declare themselves Web 2.0 complaint applications.

Now the question arises, what's the source of Inspiration? what made Web architects to come up with systems which have all mentioned attributes. I personally not sure but when I see such things in web 2.0 based applications it reminds me Karachi's Minibuses who have all or few of characteristics of Web 2.0 Applications. 


The thing which you're seeing above is actually one of many minibuses in Karachi. A very well-decorated bus. The decorated layer which you are seeing is actually called Chamak Patti in local language which means Flash-strip .These buses have several other salient features as well like high-volume unwanted Music, Supersonic speed, professional drivers who're so professionals that they consider it insult to apply brakes. So what do I find similarities between Karachi's minibuses and Web 2.0 or How Web 2.0 terms which I mentioned above are applicable on these mini buses? Follow me!


1) Big Colorful Fonts and Text:  One of the main feature of Web 2.0 websites is Big Fonts,Text with lots of Colors. Karachi's Minibuses have been using this feature for several decades. Writing Route number in Big Big decorated and colorful fonts like you can see U-5 here is not a Web 2.0 invention. Our very own Minibuses Owners and local Minibuses Architects came up with this idea which worked very fine because it was easy to figure out what that bus is all about.  


2) Rounded DIVs, ColorFul Layouts and Big buttons:  The layer of decoration which is called Chamak Patti is nucleus of a minibus. Just like a Design layout makes a Web site attractive or worst similarly the layer of Chamak Patti plays main role to  make a bus attractive or worst looking. Most probably idea of big buttons and colorful layout was taken from these Chamak-Pattis.

3)RSS Feeds/Podcasts:  You will ask how the feature of RSS feed exists in a MINIBUS?? Well, let me explain. what's RSS feed? a medium to send you info continuously no matter you like all of them ,few of them or NONE of them. You have to accept feed entries. By keeping this scenario in mind, we can safely say that continuous and high volume cheap music in minibuses is NO different than unwanted RSS feeds. NO matter how much you despise, you gotta listen the music or cheap and vulgar jokes( FM-W11 fame).

4)Tagging:  Now you will guys say that I will be failed to associate Tagging with Minibuses. Sorry to burst your bubble guys but Don't underestimate our local talent. Tagging is all about.. ummm.. linking something or someone by writing few words or a word so that others could be notified about the content nature. Now how does it work in Buses? well very simple. Ever witnessed stuff written on back of seats? Things like R+S with cupid sign, if this is NOT tagging then what else would you call tagging? The R+S with cupid sign actually telling that R is in love with S providing no further details but it does tell nature of the Content that is Aashiq(Lover). So again, credit goes to our minibuses.

5) Adsense: Now you guys gotta say, Adnan Beytay, You can't prove it!-Well why not guys? Any Karachiite who claims that he has traveled in minibuses and say he never saw mobile marketing agents then don't trust him. He's just lying. In Karachi's buses, you would see characters who sell some product by repeating some pre-written content which they memorize  very properly. Yes you are right, I am talking about those who starts with thing like ,Merey Meharban, Bhaijaan Qadardaan aaj k din mey aap k samney ek nayab cheez laya houn- Then they add customized stuff related to their product and when they reach to stage where they have to reveal price, they end up with thing like ,Kompany ke Mashoori k liye ye sirf x Rupay mey where x=Amount of product.


6)Wikis:  Sounds weired? yes I also think so but our minibuses also act like Wikis. If you don't know what are Wikis? Wikis are web sites where content can be edited by several users regardless of their association with content managers that is, you can add/remove data from certain website and save it. Update info will appear for other visitors. Our minibuses provide this feature by allowing users(passengers) to edit out different instructions written on walls of minibuses by bus owner. For Instance if it's written, Apni Cheezoun ka Khud Khyal Karain so some passenger will edit it out and make it Apni Cheezoun ka Khud karain or if it's written Khirki se bahir Sir na Nikalain then some Manchala passenger will make it as Khirki se Bahar na Nikalai and Safar Khamoshi se Karain becomes Khamoshi se Karain In this way our buses provide a great interface to edit out different instructions without any external interference. 

7)Social Networking/Communities: Web 2.0 also provide a facility to interact with other users free of cost. You can chat with them, fight with them or whatever you want. All free of cost. Minibuses provide this feature by providing a platform to tussle with conductor, driver and other passengers. You just get involved with them no matter you are necessary or not which is not different than participating on blogs and Social networking systems. :-)

8)Mashups: Mashups are actually systems where more than one type of applications are integrated on a single page. Usually Maps are integrated with other systems to provide a visual information of certain stuff. In Buses, the only way to have Mash-up is making efforts to get into Ladies Compartment. Do keep this thing in mind that this mash-up could create lots of trouble for you :-)


So, that was all about Web 2.0 features in our local minibuses. Next time when you prefer your journey in minibus, do think once about the features provided by minibuses but Use them at your own risk. Don't complain me if you are unsubscribed(Kicked out) from any of mentioned service due to your stupidity. :-) :-) 


Image Credit: Fazullah Abbasi 


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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2007 12:40 PM by kadnan
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nasir said:

good one adnan...

# November 1, 2007 9:16 PM

zahid said:

Excellent post, that's a pakistani touch to web 2 point (oh)

# November 2, 2007 6:59 AM

K) said:

Seems like you have lot of free time. Good work!

# November 9, 2007 8:20 AM

kadnan said:

No It took only 10 mins to write  and I was off from office that day. ;)

# November 9, 2007 2:59 PM
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