Recently, an acquaintance in a whisky company asked me to help locate a part-time resource to manage social media. I asked Kunal Chandra, who handles social media for the happening Monkey Bar, for help. “Post it on Put Me In Touch on Facebook,” he suggested. I did. Within minutes, my Facebook app was pinging wildly and I was drowning in applications.
Here’s where social media like Facebook work so well. Special interest groups are a treasure trove of resources, and Bangalore has some good ’uns. Put Me In Touch (38,000 members) uses its membership as a resource base, using people to help people, from finding Kannada teachers to cobra catchers, from hair stylists to places to practise football. Another great example of Facebook conviviality is the slew of foodie groups that have popped up of late. Since the premature demise of the original Foodies in Bangalore group, there are now several more on Facebook, linking thousands of foodies across the city. Activities include reviewing restaurants, posting recipes, food photos, organising foodie meet-ups and generally adding masala to the food scene. With several thousand members each, they have become a force to reckon with. Food Lovers’ Club (14,000 members), Foodies in Bangalore 2 (2,250) and Bangalore Foodies Club (13,330) have their own activities, rules and ethos. Then there are the food bloggers like Archana Doshi. Her Facebook page, Archana’s Kitchen (2,55,000 followers) has links to her website, where she focuses on simple vegetarian recipes and food demos. Started when she decided to be a stay-at-home mom, she admits tech savviness has helped her reach her audience. “I loved cooking, so I started sharing my recipes on my site. Later, I realised social media could help me connect with people,” she says. When new couples and bachelors reply to her posts saying she has helped them master their fear of cooking or given them new food ideas, it makes her happy.
Similarly, Bangalore dog lovers turn to Bombat Dawgs (2,230 members) for advice and support when it comes to their pets. Pet
behaviorist Sindhoor Pangal has taken her counselling to Facebook, and she likes the fact that the group helps in all matters doggy – from discovering pet-friendly resorts, cab services and restaurants, to groomers, doggy food delivery and pet laws. “First-time owners get overwhelmed sometimes, they need regular reassurance and support, and in Bangalore there is always someone available online who can help.” Her greatest joy? Reuniting lost pets with their owners through the group.
There’s more to Facebook than selfies and holiday photos. Dig around a bit. You will find solace, support, information. And maybe that antique claw-footed bathtub you’ve been hunting for.
— Ruma Singh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ruma Singh, a Bangalore-based lifestyle writer and wine blogger, presents a column on observations, insights and what’s buzzing in the city.