Thursday, July 28, 2005

Of Ryze and Java beans

There's something about online networking that I really can't put my finger on.

Many of course, claim that THAT is in fact the whole point why its so popular: the lack of messy, hands-on, in-your-face interaction that often, considering the human context, can get messy.

Ryze is a bit different though: here are no smileys, no winks or any other ingenious, annoying inventions of the chinese kind. It serves as a contact network for professsionals and artists all over the world, most of who do in fact meet, once it's of mutual interest to do so.

My mentor at JWT India [madras] introduced me to Ryze when I was a copy intern on the first floor. A year ago... just a year. And through this year, I have both sharpened pencils and broken 'em, had haircuts and then forgot about them, loved and... yeah well. But throughout this circus, this whole mad season, the thing that has remained has been Ryze. Ethereally so, and mayhaps a tad incongruous, but remained it has.

One page, filled with guest book[GB]entries from people who, apart from being rebels or CEOs or both, also happen to be some of the most creative, and most human of humans I have ever met: Ryze has been a space of acceptance, of pushing the metaphor and containing the word.

I disagree, and strongly, with the idea that forming communication links in cyberspace is something otherworldly, unreal and a bit strange.

Can get strange, oh yes. I have had shout-down battles with strangely offensive skin-heads over downloading music... I have written doggrel verse alongside another friend, laughing at our valiant efforts to verbally out-joust the other. He won, of course. But nonetheless, those few exchanges will be things I remember forever...

like how I will always remember how the SEA-EAT blog began with the idea that a few people had in the days post december 26th to have an online resource space where people from all over the world could ask for advice, provide information and help pull together, and through.

No company, no aid agency, no U.N.O. Just the power of minds, fingers and fibre-optic cables. The SEA-EAT blog has been accessed thousands of times, covered by papers and news channels, and has provided hope and relief to hundreds.

I am moved by this, yes. I am constantly awed by it, I jig to the hallelujah chorus in the wave of joy that such connection brings. Because it is in such weaving of minds that the boundaries that exist between people in physical reality break, and fall away.

Ryze has no lofty goal of human redemption though. You will find no networks discussing a possible answer to the Palestine-Israel issue. But you will find people exchanging business principles, writing pieces, chocolate recipes, social aid, strategies, contact info, and holiday trekking ideas... to name but a few. A common thread also seems to be the love for caffeine: apparently both nocturnal and diurnal tapping at gb's and networks goes with a good cuppa joe.

I do like Ryze. Not only have I met some wonderful professionals who gave me the perspective on advertising that I needed at that time, but I have also found an eclectic set of friends... and in a strange world of great distances and neon DNA, I have also found in them an extended family.

God, I hate mush. But seriously though- if you don't believe the part about meeting great people...

...I would like to introduce you to Vishal Misra, Esquire and his beautiful art.
I rest my case.

I need more coffee.


zigzackly said...

Speaking of doggerel,
Would exchange of verse
rhymed, short, terse,
on a blog, be bloggerel?


The Wizard of Odd said...

All Hail the Griff! For again the camels are out
the citizens are in a frenzy
The priests were seen to pout.
Bloggerel it is and bloggerel it shall stay--
But does it call for membership, RSS or a special day?