Israeli Defense Force Responds To Criticism Of Games On Its War Blog

first_imgThis is the meat of the IDF’s explanation:“In no way is ‘IDF Ranks’ meant to gamify Operation Pillar of Defense or any military actions during the operation. We embarked on the operation for serious reasons – Israeli civilians have been the target of rocket fire for over a decade – and we continue to see it with the utmost seriousness.”I take that response very seriously. But I’m genuinely surprised that the decision to turn IDF Ranks back on did not strike anyone as unserious. As I’ve tried repeatedly to make clear, I thought the initial social media campaign was quite seriously executed. It was well done. It captivated the media and steered the conversation. Then the game knocked it off the rails. “The IDF blog itself was launched in 2009 and is not a ‘war blog,’ but rather a site meant to encourage transparency and provide breaking news regarding events in the area,” the IDF says.Surely that was the original intent, but that changed on Thursday when it became a live blog for an ongoing attack. And again, just to be clear to critics, I did not find that practice inherently problematic. I found it interesting and mostly successful.“During Operation Pillar of Defense we provide our readers with news updates and operational information regarding IDF actions. In other times, though, the blog has hosted varying content, from reports about routine activities to more lighthearted personal stories. It is this content that ‘IDF Ranks’ was meant to promote.”Yes, I’m sure it was, but the IDF turned the game off at the outset of Operation Pillar of Defense, and then it turned the game back on. When asked why this happened, the IDF offered this explanation:“Over the past two days the blog has experienced technical difficulties due to high traffic, and ‘IDF Ranks’ was temporarily taken down to make necessary adjustments to our systems.”I was on top of the live-blog story very early, and I never saw a trace of any game components until 36 hours or so after the campaign began. It’s plausible that the IDF took it down for traffic reasons at a very low level of traffic, but, if I may editorialize just a little, I’m suspicious of the answer.I followed up to ask why the game was turned back on and got this response.“We turned it on because it is an integral part of the blog and has been for four months. After the site was briefly down because of the spike in traffic, we isolated it as a potential factor and, once we rectified the technical difficulties, brought it back up again.”If you say so. Whether this is the entire explanation or not, we can certainly conclude that running a fun game on a live blog about serious military action wasn’t troubling to the decision-makers at the IDF. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos jon mitchell Related Posts The Israeli Defense Force spokespeople behind the IDF Blog, the @IDFSpokesperson Twitter feed, and the rest of the Operation Pillar of Defense social media campaign were quick and forthcoming in response to my inquiries about the light-hearted game that took over the gravely serious blog yesterday. I included some of the IDF comments in yesterday’s story but I want to look more closely at the rest of their messages.The IDF spokesperson who responded to me explained that “[t]he game ‘IDF Ranks’ was conceived and launched four months ago … as part of our efforts to create a interactive community to encourage social interaction generated by the IDF social networks online.” Basically, it gives you badges and ranks for actively using and sharing the stuff on the blog. Not very fun, but not a big deal.center_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#War Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Students, women join campaign demanding protection of Manipur territory

first_imgMany sections of the people, including students and women, joined the campaign in Manipur demanding the protection of Manipur’s territory, against the backdrop of the understanding the Centre had reached with some Naga bodies, which held peace talks for the last 22 years. Students from most of the districts came out of their classes on Friday, squatted on busy roads and formed human chains, thereby hindering free flow of traffic.They raised slogans that Manipur territory cannot be compromised and diluted. Women activists and student leaders told The Hindu that Manipur is a State with 2,000 years of written history. M. Keinatombi, a woman activist said, “That Manipur had been an independent kingdom is established by the international treaties the State had signed with some foreign countries. Manipur had its Assembly and elected MLAs. King Budhachandra who was a titular head was summoned in Shillong, now capital of Meghalaya, in September 1949 and he signed the merger agreement under duress after keeping him under house arrest”. He had signed the merger agreement on September 21, 1949 though it was officially made public on October 15, 1949 to synchronise with that of Tripura, a princely State in the Northeast which was merged with independent India. However eminent scholars and other intellectuals in a public convention were of the unanimous view that the merger agreement with Manipur is “null and void” since the State Assembly never authorised the titular king to sign the agreement.”Women who take out torchlight procession every day say that they shall not rest till the details of the Naga agreement are put in public domain.After snapping ties on Thursday with the Manipur government, the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), formed by five civil society organisations quarter-backing the agitations, exhorted the people to launch various campaigns near the houses of the 60 MLAs and four MPs who are allegedly shirking their accountability to the people on this burning issue.Sunil Karam, coordinator of the COCOMI says, “Though the Chief Minister N. Biren had assured the leaders of the civil organisations to summon an emergency session of the Manipur Assembly it is now clear that there will be no session to take a resolution on the Naga agreement. On the other hand, Biren says he will be first to resign or to sacrifice his life if Manipur’s interest and territory are compromised. However some leaders point out that it will be immaterial if Biren resigns or takes the extreme step once the Naga agreement is inked.”Earlier another BJP Cabinet Minister. T. Shyamkumar said he will commit suicide if Manipur’s territory is compromised.However, women activists said that no purpose will be served by their “sacrifices” after the inordinate delay. Women vigilantes say that if there is nothing objectionable in the Naga agreement it should have been kept in the public domain. They further say that it is fearsome why the government is transporting security personnel in trucks, special aircrafts and helicopters to Manipur ahead of the public announcement of the details of the Naga agreement.Police said though they are outnumbered by students, women vigilantes and other activists in the day-and-night agitations, the additional forces from Tripura and other States have not been deployed in the trouble-prone areas yet.last_img read more

IPL 2011 says no to Ganguly says no to Kochi’s request for Ganguly: Sources

first_imgThe Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council has decided against allowing unsold players to be picked up by the franchisees, sources said on Friday.Former India captain Sourav Ganguly.The decision, taken during the IPL governing council meeting on Friday, comes as a jolt to former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who had headed Shah Rukh Khan’s team Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for two seasons.Ganguly was among the three capped players who had remained unsold during the players’ auction held in Bangalore last month. VRV Singh and Wasim Jaffer were the other two players.Later, the Kochi team had expressed interest in picking up Ganguly. While the meeting was still underway, sources told Headlines Today that the governing council had turned down Kochi’s request to pick up unsold players after some franchisees raised objections.Sources said as many as three franchises — Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals had objected to Kochi team’s move.last_img read more