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Tuesday, March 10

What 'Sarkar Ki Duniya' can learn from homeless in Houston

Read this news item about a homeless guy in Houston, Tim Edwards who thanks to an Internet marketing campaign has become the face of homelessness in the US to thousands of online viewers...Check out the website Pimp This Bum!!

1. The site hosts regular web casts on Tim. One can ask questions about Edwards' life and his slow fall from office manager with a home, a car, and a future to a homeless guy on the street short of hope.

2. The website also is a place where visitors can donate money, services and goods to help Edwards yank himself out of homelessness.

3. I don't know enough behind-the-scenes story about this case to comment whether this is yet another case of marketing stunt rather than substance but if an online forum can get a guy some money in his hour of need, it's a good effort!

4. Closer home, it's a pointer for reality show programs like 'Sarkar Ki Duniya'(the new kid on the block) on the newly launched channel 'Real' to take a cue and do some meaningful stuff and create some goodness rather than waste national time and attention on choreographed inanities that strain to get diminishing TRPs...

5. What Tim Edwards and Pimp This Bum show is that even in a low attention span economy - content, commerce and real life can come together to produce an engaging story. Can we create stories around struggling farmers, unrecognized artisans, slum kids and use the tremendous power of the Internet to mobilise public opinion and funds...

6. The Internet has this amazing power to connect the dots - between loneliness and friendship, between problems and possibilities, between scattered stories and a fragmented audience...

Am sure a lot is being done but a hell of a lot more can be done if people in media and marketing can connect some dots outside our narrowly defined jobs...

1 comment:

Ted said...

There is now a documentary about this story, Pimp This Bum the Documentary is a finalist in Worldfest Houston International Independent Film Festival. See www.pimpthisbummovie.com
It really is an amazing feel good story. This bum on the verge of suicide is pulled up by this website and these marketing guys. He got alcohol treatment, job training, end everything he needed to get on his own. He is now working and supporting himself according to the website.
I wonder if we will ever see the movie in distribution. Documentaries are sometimes hard to find, though this one is really quite different. Perhaps it we be treated as some sort of docu-drama.
Ted Pashsa