The strange obsession for Likes/comments on Facebook

Mr Thoms of Italy who is one of the worlds’s most acclaimed Street Artists, has an interesting painting “Like a vision”. It is of a maniacal looking man chasing the coveted Facebook Like. Top scientist and Oxford University Professor Baroness Susan Greenfield warns us that Facebook (FB) is creating a generation obsessed with themselves and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives.

Is this Food for thought?  Is it a subject we all can relate to? Please Read on.

FB started in 2004 and the world was not the same again. Earlier we humans used to get upset when someone got to know about our private moments. Now after FB caught on and became the fad, we humans get upset if everyone does not get to know about our private moments. This feeling according to me got accentuated after FB introduced the concept of “likes” a few years back.

Now What are Likes on FB.  The like button is a social networking feature, allowing users to express their appreciation of content such as status updates, comments, photos, and advertisements (Wiki). So if an FB Friend posts some content, one can appreciate it by pressing the “like” button. This of course does not mean that if one does not press the like button, one has disliked the post or has ignored it.

Is there a Dislike Button on FB. Well, No. Zuckerberg says he considered it seriously but gave up the idea as it may encourage negativity and users could use it to “shame” others. He says that for those unwilling to use the Like button, he has offered the “comment” button.

What is Comment button. Simple. One can comment on content such as status updates or photos. Thereby one can give views of appreciation or of even disagreement or criticism.

It is only logical that if an user posts something on FB, he expects his Facebook friends to like it or give a comment. This is but quite natural, otherwise why would someone post something on social media. It logically is due to someone wanting others to know about something, and react to it. But why this need. Isnt it surprising ? Here, Baroness Greenfield who is a House of Lords Member with 32 degrees and  200 published papers can be quoted again  “why should someone be interested in what someone else had for breakfast? It reminds me of a small child saying “look at me Mummy, i am doing this, Look at me I am doing that.”” Its almost as if they are in some kind of identity crisis..In a sense its keeping the brain in a sort of time warp ”

Let’s analyse Why this need. Apparently some FB users feel the need to become mini celebrities who are watched and admired by others on a daily basis. There is a need for them to do things which they think are FB worthy. They live in a world which is not a real world but a world where what counts is what people think of you or what they click about you. Serious research has been done and is being done on this.

 Extent to which A FB user can go. Imagine the extent. Then please imagine a bit more. Still you can’t imagine how much and to what extent an FB user can go. He may actually start using an Internet bot, also known as web robot, WWW robot or simply bot, which is a software application that runs automated tasks over the Internet. Typically, bots perform tasks that are both simple and structurally repetitive, at a much higher rate than would be possible for a human alone ( Wiki). In simpler words, an internet Bot is used to generate views on you tube and likes or shares on FB.

Why . Isnt it strange. No, apparently not. Literacy expert and author of 200 books Sue Palmer,most well known for her book “toxic childhood” says that “people paint their own portrait on line. They live as star of their own reality TV show that they create and put out to the world”. Therefore it is quite possible that an FB user first convinces himself how great he/she is in some particular area. And then uses BOT to generate fake likes.

Tagging too is a tool used to enhance likes/comments. As two of my senior friends were discussing , tagging is kind of forcing someone to like the post. Regular tagging can be a burden on someone’s timeline and extremely boring. People are too prone to assume that by tagging someone, a favour is done to them or that the tagged person is flattered. Solution for excessive tagging however is simple and has been provided by FB itself. Use privacy option so that a tagged post needs permission to show up on timeline.

Implications of this obsession for FB likes.  Straightaway one can diagnose three scary developments in a person. Reduced concentration, a need for instant gratification and poor non-verbal skills, such as the ability to make eye contact during conversations. These, as one can obviously realize can have fast reaching consequences.

Conclusion and Solution. Lets accept it. FB seems to be here to stay. Unlike other social media, it is brilliantly adaptative and innovative. It is taken very seriously. Even Heads of State’s and Governments too are having their own official FB page recognising its importance. American President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have well over 4.5 crore and 3 crore likes respectively. One can presume political leaders too look for FB Likes. And presumably Likes received by their opponents. This can be elaborated by narrating an interesting true incident, The Sheriff of Hampton, Viginia , USA actually terminated employees who liked the FB page of an adversary. Consequently, a federal appeals court in Virginia handed down a decision that the US Constitution protects the rights of US citizens to like any FB page of their choosing.

What i mean to say is that in such a situation, where even Governments and Heads of States give such importance to Facebook Likes, how can an individual not do so. Especially when a master spider like Zuckerberg is craftily weaving his web.

The only solution is introspection (unfortunately something which we are not good at). Still, one has to do so. One has to introspect whether one is falling into this deep well of no return. Thereafter one has to make conscious efforts to come out of it. Ideally, one should reach the stage where one pursues one’s hobby and interest and posts on social media, be it views or songs or articles for one’s own satisfaction, without being affected by the reactions of others (likes or lack of them). It’s not too difficult. One has to however recognise the potential problem and its gravity (for it is actually serious and potentially a life changing problem) and then take corrective steps. The mantra is Introspection.

I hope you liked this blog. I too am putting it on FB. And i promise you even if there are no likes or comments i wont use BOT to enhance fake likes.


Is the E-mail Dead

I normally check my e-mail on Sundays. Sorry, Let me amend this sentence.  I normally check my e-mail on Sundays to mostly delete lots of e-mails without even reading them.  In my guestimate maybe i delete more than 90% of my e-mails.

This led me to think “”Is the e-mail dead or dying.?””

The Origin of E-Mail. Sabeer Bhatia and Jack Smith started Hotmail in 1996. Soon after, Yahoo Mail started in 1997. Later gmail became popular. E-mail quickly took over as a fast, easy and convenient method of communication. I am one of the early users of e-mail. Proof of that being that i do not need to use a . ( dot) or an _ ( underscore) or an year such as 2000 or 2016 etc with my name in my e-mail ID.

Increase in importance. E-mail quickly became an important part of day to day life and was extensively used for communication. Slowly, it’s importance increased more and more and it started replacing inland letters and postcards.

Why – Primarily because of faster and surer communication. It was also non-intrusive and extremely convenient. An e-mail will come and remain in your in-box and it is up to you to choose when to read it or not to read it.

Innovation . E-mail started being used in more and more innovative ways. Instead of writing a letter to a friend or relative in USA and it taking ages to reach, an e-mail can be sent which will be instantly delivered, read and replied back. Say, a birthday wish, or congratulations for a promotion, or best wishes for engagement or wedding. Earlier Cards used to be sent. But one is never sure if it is delivered or not. Hence e-mail cards and wishes were sent. Delivery guaranteed.

Increase in Business use. Thereafter from personal use came an important development and evolution in e-mail use. Business use increased.  E-mail started being used for commercial communications. Business proposals were sent on e-mail as attachments. Reports to bosses were sent. Companies started doing e-mail marketing more aggressively. Businesses started tracking their customers and kept them informed. Marketing concepts like customer retention, new product development and more.

E-Mail helped all these tremendously.

New Social Media Innovations Linkedin Started in 2003. 13 years later, LinkedIn has 2 new customers/members every second. It has over 128 million members in USA and the country with second largest members is India ( 35 Million), where it is fast growing. Worldwide it has 450 million members.

Facebook which Started in 2004 presently has over 1.7 Billion active users. It has started the concept of Business pages  and presently has over a million advertisers. USA has over 185 million FB members while the only other country with over 100 million members is India.

Twitter, an online social networking service which enables users to send short messages upto 140 characters, called tweets started in 2006. It currently has more than 500 milion users out of which 300 million are active users.

Whatsapp started in 2009. It too has taken the world by storm. The potential of whatsapp can be recognised with the staggering stats that FB acquired Whatsapp for 19 Billion $ even though the revenue generated by whatsapp was 10.2 Million $.

Why am i writing all this. Simply because these 4 are popular social media tools which in my opinion are posing an increasing threat to e-mail. Earlier we used to keep in touch with e-mail. Now we keep in touch through whatsapp and FB. In fact like inland letters and postcards were considered slow earlier, now sometimes e-mail is considered slow, when its more easy and faster to get in touch over whatsapp or FB.

There are other advantages too of social media. Say you want to organise an event. Organising it is easier and more efficient by forming a group in FB or whatsapp than by e-mailing repeatedly. In fact, let me share my own experience in this. 15 years back in our training batch of almost 200 officers we formed a yahoo e-group. 5 years back, we organised a batch get-together in which almost 60 officers participated and the primary method of communication was e-mail and of course SMS. Now, this year once again we organised a get-together and this time it was organised much more efficiently through whatsapp. In fact most of the officers said that they have not visited the yahoo e-group since ages. Some have even forgotten their passwords as they have shifted to g-mail. None of us could remember who the admin of the yahoo e-group was.

So Is the e-mail dead. I would still say NO. Yes, it needs improvements. Interestingly, the biggest threat to e-mail is e-mail. I read somewhere that in USA and India its legal to send e-mail till a customer opts out of it. Whereas in Europe a customer has to be asked whether he can be added to mailing list. If so maybe the European Model can be adopted.

To conclude, i would state that the business use of e-mail will always remain. In fact organisations now are having specific official e-mail ID’s where official mails are compulsorily required to be sent.  ( on a lighter vein, Hilary Clinton i am sure now knows a lot about this ) The personal use of e-mail, though decreased will also remain. Response to a tweet, or a blog post, people will/may still prefer to be informed through e-mail. The growing use of e-mail on cell phone is ensuring its relevance too, as even deleting messages takes seconds. E-mail is also relevant and important as many personal messages are not suited to the public exposure of a social network. It offers privacy and space. It offers option to write peacefully and in detail, outlining the thoughts and reasons behind the message. Therefore, it will remain alive and healthy, but in a modified Way.

These are my random thoughts. Do u agree ?

Globalisation of cricket.

The Cricket All Star series is a brainchild of two legends, Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne to promote the game in different parts of the world, starting with USA. Many legends including Sehwag, Lara, Ponting, Donald, Walsh, Akram, Kallis and Glenn Mcgrath featured in the 3 match cricket series. No wonder, it is termed the All Star series.

Genesis of the idea. As Sachin himself says, the idea came to him and Warne in the 2014 MCC Bi-centenary match. They realised that former players still have lot of passion for the game. Further, many fans, from non cricket-playing countries come to see cricket in the regular cricketing venues. Therefore why not have an attempt to globalise the game. Accordingly, he and Warne decided to have their 1st series in USA, and depending on the response, make it an annual feature and take it to other parts of the world.

Doesnt one retire to stop playing? Will people come to watch older cricketers? These two doubts are not by me, but by Ian Chappell. In response, Shane Warne stated that “There are a lot of people in America that have never seen some of their idols play. They’ve got their chance for the first time to come to the stadiums and actually see some of their heroes play. I think that’s a very exciting thing. We’re going to be putting on free coaching clinics for schools, all sorts of stuff.”  Hence he termed Ian’s view as disappointing.

Why to start with USA? There are 2 common beliefs. 1-Isnt cricket unknown there and Baseball reigns. 2- USA doesn’t have a cricket history. So why USA ?

A look at some astonishing facts.  USA surprisingly has a cricket history. The game was played there before baseball. George Washington was a strong supporter of Cricket and was known to play it with his troops. Cricket was quite popular, so much so that John Adams had said that if chiefs of cricket clubs are called President’s why not the Head of the Country. In 1844 there was an annual cricket match between USA and Canada which drew 20000 spectators. Bets of over 120000$ were placed (Current valuation over 2 Million$). Bart King was one of the great American bowlers. His bowling techniques 115 years back contributed to swing bowling and are followed by Great bowlers of today too. In fact, Sir Pelham Warner has called Bart King one of the best bowlers of all time while Sir Don Bradman called him America’s greatest cricketing son.

Therefore there are 3 reasons why the series started in USA; 1. It is a great country with a cricket history. 2. It has lot of immigrants from cricket playing countries. 3 In an effort to globalise and promote the game, why not start with USA, the greatest country in the world.

Why cricket declined in USA. There is a theory that Cricket declined as it was an elitist sport and available to very few. Hence Baseball took over. Professionalism in England and Australia made them the world leaders. There was also the one man phenomenon “Babe Ruth” who singlehandedly made Baseball an exciting game. Whatever the reason, the fact is that nowadays cricket is virtually unknown there.

Will Sachin’s Venture be successful in short and long run. In current times there are 37000 active players in USA and 1100 Cricket clubs. Cricket is played in all 50 States of USA. So its not that the game is totally unknown. As Usman Shuja, former US National cricketer puts it “Sachin is Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson put together . The star power and respect he has is beyond anyone alive today.” So if anyone can create some interest, it is the Master himself . His visit along with some more mega stars will certainly increase interest in the game. A revival may be an ambitious thought, but increase in interest is almost certainly assured.

Are the All Stars still fit for International cricket. Almost certainly Not. However when asked, both Warne and Sachin said that they can still play a couple of games which is different from regularly playing and being part of a long cricket season. In a lighter vein though looking at the cricket played in the 3 matches, one has a feeling that the batsmen have aged better than the bowlers.

Will people shift from baseball to cricket? Almost certainly not. A view was opined that there are minor baseball leagues where players languish with earnings of only 1000$ a month and they may slowly shift to cricket. This seems unlikely as they do so with the hope that one day they will play in the big league, similar to so many playing cricket in India without major earnings and only a few making it to the big levels. In any case the intention is not to compete with Baseball, but to bring a new sport to a hitherto unexplored terrain.

What I feel about Cricket’s future in USA. Ultimately only sports played in schools/colleges/states and sports leagues based on full time clubs with a regular sporting calendar can sustain in the long run. This is unlikely to happen in USA and if so, not immediately. However, let us look at the intentions of Sachin and Warne once again. Their stated intent is to globalise and promote the game. This series has given thousands their first chance to see cricket in a stadium. That too to see the games legends. For some category of people like security guards, cameramen, ushers and volunteers it will be the 1st experience of cricket. Ultimately it’s the effort that counts and the fact that thousands came to the stadium to watch live the people they had been idolizing shows that the effort has been worthwhile.

Further, Cricket clinics were indeed conducted and while many felt that they were hurried events, it was indeed enthralling to see young kids ask legends like Sachin technical questions like for instance, How to defend off the back foot?, How important is it to keep the head still ? and so on. The kids will never forget these lessons learnt from none other than Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne. Who knows, maybe some of them will go on to play Cricket for America in the World Cup. No harm in dreaming.

Overall, one can conclude that the brave attempt of Sachin and Warne to globalise the game and promote it in different parts of the world, and starting with USA is a wonderful idea. Like Ivy League Alumni seek to donate to the institutions which gave them so much, so also Sachin and Warne are giving back to the game which has given them a lot. Time will tell us how successful they are in the long run. However the start has been good, and the idea is definitely a success.

Well done, Magician of Spin Warne and Master blaster Sachin.

All about autographs

Saddest autograph story in history. It’s definitely got to be John Lennon. His killer, Mark David Chapman actually took his autograph on an LP, 5 hours before he shot him. This was recovered by the US Police who returned it to the original owner who sold it for 94000 pounds in 1999. At present its estimated value is 535000 pounds. The current owner is keeping his name a secret as he is having death threats . Ironically Chapman said his intention was to auction the LP and give the proceeds to a children’s charity. Thats wierd, isn’t it.

What are Autographs. They are signatures of famous persons. Most of us have collected or thought about collecting autographs from celebrities. The most common categories of persons of whom autographs are collected are filmstars, sportstars, and singers. In fact , autograph collection is a hobby in itself, known as philography. Some people devote their lives to celebrity autograph hunting. Think of it. Autograph collection can get you into the record books. Richard Warren of California has 2381 books , all signed by their original authors. He started his hobby at the age of 16 and became a lifelong passion for him. This record is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records

Where autographs are taken and stored. Sometimes in a stray piece of paper which one manages to find at that point of time. Sometimes, in notebooks or diaries. Super fans have celebrity autographs tattooed on their body parts. Serious autograph collectors have specific autograph books and keep on adding to their autograph collection in that specific book.  It is also very sought after to take autographs of celebrities on memorabilia signifying the sport/activity for which they are famous. Say, Sachin Tendulkar’s autograph on a cricket bat, David Beckham’s autograph on a football, or as we saw in the sad example above, John Lennon’s autograph on an LP. Something unique which can be cherished can be a celebrity like Sachin TendulKar”s or Andre Agassi’s autograph on his own autobiography.

Professional Autograph hunters. Recognising the money-making potential of autographs, professional autograph hunters actually plan for getting autographs of celebrities, which they can later on sell. The value of an autograph can be immense. The value will also increase over time.  Making money in autographs by George Sullivan in fact is a prescribed textbook in University of Hawaii.

Autographs on Photographs. Celebrity autographs gain more value when the autograph of a celebrity is on his/her photograph. In an article by the Telegraph, U.K, some of the most valuable celebrity autographs in pictures were listed and on top of the list was actor James Dean, whose signature is said to be worth 18000 Pounds.  Other prominent celebrities on the top 10 list are Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy, John Lennon, Elvis Presley and Lady Diana.

Interesting habits of celebrities regarding autographs. George Foreman used to record the name and address of every person to whom he gave autograph to ensure they are not sold. Most avoid signing in public as fans frenzy can unnerve them but they don’t mind signing in more quiet environments. For instance Michael Jordan used to avoid signing autographs in public for security reasons but where less people were there, for instance in golf tournaments, he used to cheerfully do so.

My 1st memory of autograph hunting.  I remember as a schoolboy rushing up and taking autographs of 2 of India’s best cricketers ever. One was the great Sunil Gavaskar, and i clearly remember putting my diary on top of several others. He did sign and said “Patience, young man, if you don’t have patience, how can you be an opening batsman.”? The second was Krish Sreekanth. He was busily smoking away inside the bar of Hotel Oberoi of Bhubaneswar. I rushed up to him and he said “ Out, you are below 18.”. I said “yes sir, immediately after you give me an autograph please”. He had a hearty laugh and did give an autograph. I remember having taken autographs of the entire Indian team and most of the visiting English and West Indian teams to Cuttack more than 30 years back. Unfortunately, the diary is misplaced, but the memories remain.

Now as the dad of a teen and a kid , i have not taken an autograph for several several years. However my interest in autograph hunting is revived in living the happiness of my daughters when they excitedly get an autograph of a celebrity. It takes me back to my childhood as well.

Is Autograph Hunting on way out. Well, it has survived around 100 years . Probably autograph hunting started around 1920 with rise of baseball, and shift in baseball from a pitching dominated game to a hitting dominated one. Babe Ruth was the 1st celebrity who was hunted by autograph hunters. Later Joe DiMaggio was too, and apparently he converted it into a money making oppurtunity as well. However, what has survived for 100 years has now a serious threat. That is the emergence of the modern fad called as “Selfie”, which is taking photo of a celebrity with the front camera, so that one captures photo of the celebrity and oneself.

If anything can hasten the end of autograph , it can be selfie. I certainly feel so. Do you ?

Is Pinch Hitter concept in One Day Cricket on its way out

Who is a pinch Hitter;  Normally it’s a lower order batsman promoted up the order to take risks and score quick runs. Since he takes much more risk there are more chances of his being out in this quest for quick runs. This risk is seen as acceptable by the Batting side captain.

What’s the objective – To reduce the asking rate when the side batting first has put up a big score.  However, sometimes the side batting first may also adopt this tactic.

Any other thoughts behind the move ; Even if the pinch hitter gets out, there is not much of a major problem as the regular, established batsmen are still there to continue doing the job assigned to them. Batting captains may also feel that there is a possibility of some overs of better bowlers spent on non-established batsmen.

Who is the 1st Pinch Hitter Is it India’s very own K Sreekanth. Remember his taking on the fearsome West Indian Bowlers in the 1983 World Cup.  Or is it Vivian Richards, whom many call the best ODI Player of all time. One issue strikes me. Sreekanth was a regular opener, not someone promoted to pinch-hit. Likewise Viv Richards was a regular Number 3. Whereas a pinch hitter is promoted up the order to take risks and increase the run rate.

My view on who the 1st  pinch hitter was  I personally think the concept was planned and executed first by Martin Crowe in the 1992 World Cup when he asked his middle order batsman Mark Greatbatch to open. Possibly this was necessitated due to injury of regular opener John Wright. Anyways, Mark Greatbach “ironically” became Cricket’s first pinch-hitter. I have used the word ironically deliberately as only couple of years back, at fast Perth, with his side following on, against an attack of Lawson, Alderman, Rackeman and Hughes, Greatbatch played 655 minutes and 485 balls to score a patient 146 not out at a strike rate of 30.1 to get his side an invaluable draw. The same dour batsmen was transformed in 1992 World Cup when throughout he played aggressive cricket at the start of the innings and majorly contributed to success of his team to reach semi-finals.

Then came not one but two Pinch Hitters The wily Arjuna Ranatunga took a step forward in 1996 world cup by unleashing  2 pinch-hitters at the top of the batting order. Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharne redefined the concept of slog overs by  scoring quickly right at the start of the innings- from both ends. This worked spectacularly and the Lankans went on to become world champions in that year’s Cup.

Tactic followed by all.  With the Sri Lankans spectacular success, the concept of pinch hitters evoked interest. Soon cricket saw most nations employing this ploy. Pakistan experimented with Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq, South Africans with Lance Klusener while West Indians had Kieron Pollard. India too once took the gamble of sending MS Dhoni at No.3 requiring a chase of 299 and the wicket-keeper responded with an attacking 183 not out. Subsequently however Dhoni evolved into a finisher which of course is a different story. Among current cricketers, one has to mention the incredibly talented Glenn Maxwell who can change the course of a match within minutes. Australians have experimented with him sometimes at top of the order.

Further evolution With the success of Greatbatch, Jayasuriya and Kaluwitharna, other teams realised the importance of having players at the top of the order who can pile up runs quickly. Players like Hayden, Gilchrist ,  Sehwag and David Warner began to bat at the top of the order for their countries with distinction and success, playing spectacularly fast cricket. One has to of course mention Chris Gayle, who deals with only Sixes, Boundaries and singles. Brendon Mccullum too can be thought about as one more incredible master blaster at the top of the order.  The blasters of the past seemed in fact slow in comparison. For instance Sreekanth’s 38 in 1983 world cup final took him 57 balls. The middle order too  saw aggressive batsmen like AB De Villiers and Kevin Pietersen taking the attack to the opposition and playing super fast cricket at a bewildering pace.

Shock value wearing off ? Arguably Yes. Bowling Captains and bowlers realise that with a cool mind and proper application, the chance of getting the pinch hitter out is quite high. There is also a chance that Batsmen who saw pinch hitters promoted above them may feel demotivated. Furthermore the pinch hitter may take his promotion too seriously and try to play like an established batsman. One instance which comes to mind is Srinath versus South Arica in which he scored 53 in 69 balls. Surely an established batsman like Dravid or Azhar or Jadeja over whom he was promoted could have done that too and maybe gone on to hit a match-winning 100.

It is also possible that by promoting a pinch hitter, are we running the risk of losing the bowling skills of a bowler, which is his main job. Irfan Pathan can be considered a case study. The last point, for me, is that earlier with conventional cricket and players playing along the ground there was a need for pinch hitters who could hit over the top. Nowadays everyone does it. So why use a pinch hitter.

Conclusion All said and done, the pinch hitter remains what it is. An Option. To be used or not at the discretion of the batting captain.  Overall it’s an acceptable risk, to be left to the wisdom and discretion of the batting captain, to be used judiciously and not too frequently, so as to retain the shock element . Yes, the use of the concept has probably decreased in recent times, but it is too early to say it’s on its way out

What is your View ?

Various levels of fanhoods in sports; The Involved Vs the Casual Fan

What exactly is a Fandom. Collectively fans of a particular person, or sports team or Movie/TV series are known as Fandoms.  Now what exactly is a Fanhood. It is an individual’s infinite knowledge about something of which he is a fan, A fanhood could be of a sportsperson or a sportsteam or even of a country.  Therefore a basic distinction is that a Fandom is collective while a Fanhood is individual.

Some well-known Fandom’s      There are various famous Fandom’s everywhere in the world. Potterheards are Harry Potter fans, who are members of the Harry Potter Community. Twihards are the Fans of the Twilight Series. Justin Bieber, a much loved as well as disliked International personality too has his own Fandom who are known as Bieleber’s. Similarly in sports too, there are Fandoms and Fanhoods as well, who are an integral part of Sport. Champions like David Beckham or Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal have their own Fandom’s as well as Fanhood’s of different levels.

Now what is meant by levels of Fanhoods. There are some who know absolutely all there is to know about a sport(s) or a sports personality. Others can be more casual and follow the game as a pastime, out of interest or simply because at that particular point of time they may not have anything better to do. Accordingly therefore we may conclude that there are casual Fans and there are involved fans and both impart their own imprints on the magnificent world of sport.

The extent to which Fans will go. This will vary from fan to fan. The most extreme example of course is the stabbing of Monika Seles by obsessed Steffi fan , Gunter Parche . This was most horrifying and changed the course of tennis history to some extent. There have been many examples too of fans stalking their favorite stars, which will definitely be unnerving for the latter.

How mega events impact different levels of fans differently In a different blog post i had written about mega events such as Olympics, Football World Cup and Cricket World Cup and how they are much awaited events. So much so that once one such event ends, the waiting for the next event starts. Is this so for both the casual fan as well as the involved fan.  Well, i would tend to think that mega events would affect an involved fan much much more than a casual fan. This is because an involved fan almost lives the life of the sports or sportsperson whom he is following. There is a sense of anticipation about the event and once it happens, there is a sense of elation or disappointment, depending on the result. On the other hand, for a casual fan the event indeed is important but the impact is considerably much lesser. Therefore different levels of reactions are elicited out of different types of fans for different mega events

Interestingly, the same fan can be an involved fan for some sports and a casual fan of another sport or sports. To give my own example, i am an involved fan as regards cricket and tennis and a casual fan of most other sports, such as football or badminton or chess or boxing. Therefore something in cricket or tennis may affect me more than say in another sport. I may also feel the need to take up an arguement on cricket or tennis if i perceive that my view on a particular issue is right and someone else is saying something which is not correct. On the other hand say if its on football or chess or Foumula 1 racing, i, as a casual fan may simply accept the view of someone who is an involved fan, taking his/her view to be correct.

Feeling of One type of Fan for another. An involved fan may feel contempt for the casual fan. He may feel that the casual fan knows hardly anything about the sport on which he knows so much more and has so much knowledge about. Probably more or less this may be true. Usually in most cases. However the involved fan should well understand that he/she may get bogged down by number crunching while the casual fan, since not emotionally involved may come up with remarkable insights. Therefore ideally one should not have contempt for another fan for in the fascinating huge-mega world of sport it is not possible to know everything. Rather attitude to learn will make an involved fan even more knowledgeable.

Which fan is likely to be more influenced by others, rationally or irrationally? In my opinion, the involved fan is likely to be influenced by others more rationally when confronted with logic and analysis which may not be properly understood by the casual fan. On the other hand the casual fan may be influenced by others, more irrationally. This is because basically for him sport is a pastime to be taken in a relaxed manner.

Which fan is more likely to learn ? Probably the involved fan. For he would like to understand different facets and nuances. While the casual fan would not be as involved. Since he is more relaxed and not as serious.

Is an involved fan always an involved one. Probably Not. For instance with age and experience, a fan may be say an involved fan of Formula 1 racing and football in young age and later focus less on them and more on another sport. Within the ame sport there may be dimensions. As say one may watch Football World Cup and Euro and hardly any Club Football. It may depend on venues. Say someone prefers Wimbledon to tennis at other venues. Probably with passage of time, priorities and love for different sports and games do change a little.

This is my perception of different levels of fanhoods, ranging from involved to casual fans. Do you agree ?