05 February 2010

Shashi Tharoor enthrals Oman Twitter Community

(Pictures © Muscat Daily, Apex Press & Publishing - Thanks to Letha Jose)

Dr. Tharoor's Tweet feedback about his 1st Oman MeetUp

"SangitaSri Thx for assembling the Oman tweeters. Good group, strong discussion, lovely gift! Much appreciated #TharoorMuscatMeetup "

Oman Twitter community makes an international record for hosting the 1st Twitter Meet of Dr. Shashi Tharoor outside India held on 5 February 2010 at the Indian Embassy Muscat - Oman in the august presence of HE Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India in Oman.

Thank you your excellencey for having readily provided the venue and special mention of thanks to the counsellor, social secretary, attaché-admin and other well wishers at the embassy of India.
Quoting Yahoo News “Dr. Tharoor is the only politician in the world, outside the US, whose tweets are tracked by so many and a top twitter official , is scheduled to meet Tharoor soon to get his inputs on how public figures can use it to keep in touch with followers and get their grievances redressed.”


About 45 people including representatives of the twitter community and social media enthusiasts attended this event where Dr. Tharoor signed a 2 meters long poster saying "Keep tweeting; let us keep in touch in 140 characters" addressing tweeps of Oman. This poster had user names and profile pictures of about 120 twitters of Oman.

Dr. Tharoor was warmly received by Sangeetha Sridhar (@SangitaSri) with a gift pack of books about the Sultanate of Oman - Digital Strategy, Social Media and Branding she had authored/contributed. He showed keen interest in the digital scenario of Oman and appreciated receiving these titles.

Highlighting the fact that this is the 1st Tweet Meet attended by Shashi Tharoor outside India, plotting Oman at an International level in the social media, Sangeetha mentioned that Dr. Tharoor's presence has honoured the Twitter community of Oman and brought more attention to social media like Twitter. She also thanked the media for their excellent and enthusiastic support to this event.

Cooperative endeavour

Omani twitter users @BaderHinai and @AmjadAlHinai who designed twitter poster with over 120 Oman twitter names and profile pictures with Syed Faisal (@lasiaf) collecting signatures, presented this poster to Dr.Tharoor. He also signed a similar poster for Oman Twitter Community saying “Keep tweeting; let’s keep in touch in 140 chars”.

This was followed by a one-on-one Question Answers session. Dr. Tharoor elaborately and candidly answered questions asked by Rajiv Ahuja (@alkara), Ahamed Shanavaz (@shanavaza), Aswath Sridhar (45vvA7h), Rekha Balakrishnan (rekhabaala), Sunaina Ahluwalia (@asunaina) and Lovesh Vashist (@lv_1).

Responses were spontaneous, enlightening, humorous and highly engaging, reflecting the wisdom and views of @ShashiTharoor. All through the event Omani twitters @FatmaNoor and @BaderHinai were tweeting live about the event with pictures.

Quoting Twitter’s co-founder and Creative Director Biz Stone, “We’re always excited to hear about the new ways in which the world of communication is changing thanks to the clever new uses of Twitter by different folks in all areas of the world, including politicians like Tharoor….We’ve seen many politicians begin to use Twitter for campaigns, get feedback and share news because it gives them a direct line to their audience”.

Summary of Q & A Session

Dr. Shashi Tharoor suggested more politicians to engage in such platforms to connect to the community and communicate in real-time in replying to Rajiv Ahuja (@alkara). He thanked his tech-savvy colleague who motivated him to use such social media technologies in responding to Ahmed Shanavaz’s (@shanavaza) question.

Replying to Aswath Sridhar (45vvA7h) - a student, he advised selective and discretionary use of online media such as twitter and to avoid posting anything public that would embarrass their parents or cause themselves to regret at a later point in time.

He acknowledged the sensitivity of indulging in real-time communications and the possibility of misinterpretations due to brevity of twitter posts in just under 140characters in his response to Rekha Balakrishnan (@rekhabaala). He added that he would continue to read most of the twitter posts addressed to him and reply when he is free and use this as a powerful tool to with the public.

He also mentioned that he is personally tweeting at @ShashiTharoor and not active on any other social media such as Facebook or Orkut, which in reality could be overwhelmingly time consuming. He shared anecdotes on how real-time tweets have helped him in to reach wider network of people instantly and also how the mainstream media is extracting this from twitter to other regular formats.

Read Sunaina Aluwalia (@asunaina) instantaneous and interesting blog post about his response to her question regarding it how ‘Tweeters’ could deal with the real/potential backlash that follows deliberate or accidental misinterpretation of a Tweet – He said, “All one had to do was to be prepared to take the good with the bad and handle the consequences appropriately”.

In answering a question on how to utilize the energy of non-English speaking masses in India through social media for better governance by Lovesh Vashist (@lv_1) Dr. Tharoor acknowledged this digital and linguistic gap due to such technologies specially for Indian native scripts and hoped for technical solutions in the near future.

Hospitality Gesture

Examining the memento presented, Dr. Tharoor enquired with curiosity the significance of the trinkets embedded and their relevance to the culture of Oman. He displayed profound understanding and appreciation of the culture and heritage of Oman. A group photo session with the entire twitter community ended the “Tharoor Muscat Meet UP”.

Outstanding Persona

Dr.Shashi Tharoor, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs and a member of the Indian Parliament. Formerly he was the Senior Adviser to the Secretary-General of United Nations, as well as former UN Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information. He is on an official state visit as an invited guest of the Government of Oman during 4-7th February 2010.

He found time to attend this Twitter Meet amidst his hectic schedules. After his consent this meetUp was organised in just 3days through online registration http://twtvite.com/xpgh4c with short deadlines so as to get the attendees approved for security clearance. Regular TweetMeet attendees were also registered via emails sent within similar deadlines. Final embassy invites were sent to approved list of attendees.

@ShashiTharoor is a celebrity politician and undoubtedly the most popular twitter of India with an impressive number of 644,100 Followers and precious 2917 tweets. He is the first Indian celebrity to cross the milestone of more than 100,000 followers on Twitter (Now he has over 644,100 Followers). For more information kindly visit his personal website at http://tharoor.in/ and view his twitter account at www.twitter.com/ShashiTharoor

Sincere thanks to all well wishers and many other twitters who wishes us well from around the globe for this “Tharoor Muscat MeetUp”.

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Dullister said...

This is truly amazing! God bless Ms Sangeetha for her effort and hard work.

Great work, you are an incredible woman.

And I like the fact that it was featured in Oman's newspapers. :)

Prithvi said...

Congrats For the success of the meet up ... u did a wonderfull job.... :)

alex said...

good effort congrats

Prasanna said...


You did a great job! This is a real good beginning in opening up the politicians to the general people. I hope more of this continues!

Raj said...

Great Post and effor Sangita Sri. Lucky you people :)

Sangeetha Sridhar said...

Dullister, Prithvi, Alex, Prasanna, Raj THANKS GUYS. You are very motivating.