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What does opening of KFC and Pizza Hut in Nepal imply?

June 6th, 2009 3 comments

If you haven’t heard about KFC and Pizza Hut opening in Kathmandu yet then that’s one old news already. You can see the interview with the Nepal Unit Manager of the company in eKantipur.com here. The news has already created a buzz in the Nepalese community as can be seen here, here and here. If things go as planned, Kathmanduites will be able to try KFC and Pizza Hut by September 2009.

Investors have been complaining for long that Nepal does not have a suitable environment for investments. With political instability still looming, what does the decision to open two well known fast food chains in Kathmandu imply? Are the investors hopeful about stability or is it that the fast-food industry thrives even during tough times.

Also, KFC and Pizza Hut both have a knack among the youth but still they would have to face tough competition from local favorites like mo:mo. Will these new chains be able to win Nepalese hearts despite declining popularity worldwide due to health issues? In any case, the introduction of international fast-food chains in Nepal would change the fast-food industry for sure. What exactly would be its impact is something we need to wait and watch.

Categories: Analysis

Which Nepali online media has best breaking-news coverage?

May 3rd, 2009 3 comments

Most of us living outside Nepal have a tendency to follow news from Nepal; especially after events like today when chief-of-army was sacked by the Maoist government. There used to be a limited number of online web-sites that covered breaking news from Nepal but in the past few months the online media scenario has changed a lot. Today I visited a number of web-sites to see how well they covered the news immediately after the government sacked the chief-of-army. I am presenting my finding here with a hope that it would help you find better news sources than the ones you are using right now.

1. eKantipur.com
My browser returned the “The server at www.ekantipur.com is taking too long to respond.” message. I could not figure out whether eKantipur had any covering on the issue. The site probably had a large number of visitors that it was not ready to handle which is a pity.

2. HimalKhabar.com
The web-site had two posts covering the latest development: A picture from press-briefing and a post titled ‘Katwal received the letter’. The web-site however did not present the news as a breaking-news and was short on descriptions.

3. TheHimalayanTimes.com
This website posted multiple pictures and news scoops about the event along with a breaking news status.
Here are the headlines of the news postings:
NA calls emergency meet
Maoists celebrate Katawal’s ouster
Katawal sacked, Khadka acting CoAS
NC to take to the streets

4. Nagariknews.com
This website provided a wide coverage of the issue from the development of the story to reaction from different parties and groups. It featured the news as a breaking-news and soon posted images from the protest program of the Congress affiliated student union and the welcome rally by Maoists in Narayanghat. It listed the following highlights:
कटवालले अवकाशको चिठी बुझेनन्
* सैनिक मुख्यालयमा कटवाल परामर्शमा * कांग्रेसले बलाएको सर्वदलीय बैठक जारी
* एमाले स्थायी समितिको आकस्मिक बैठक * एमालेद्वारा मन्त्रिपरिषद् बैठक बहिस्कार
* फोरमद्वारा निर्णय प्रक्रियामा असहमति * निर्णय गैरस‌वैधानिक : कांग्रेस
* माओवादी छापामार तयारी अवस्थामा * निर्णयको विरोधमा नेविसंघद्वारा प्रदर्शन

5. Dainikee.com
This website had a early coverage of the event but soon started having problems. It had faced some issues in the last few days and today displayed a single text ‘Allrounder’ instead of the news page.

6. Mysansar.com
This one of the most viewed Nepali website posted a news article on the blog with the title ‘कटवाल हटाइयो’. While the website did help people know about the breaking-news, it still lacked the details. Mysansar being just a blog compiles news from national sources like prints and television and presents it in detail after couple of hours of the main event.

7. Nepalnews.com
This one of the oldest online news source for Nepal did provide a good coverage of the event with multiple posts and recent photos. Still, it did not have as much detail as the other dedicated media sources.

To sum up, online news scenario is improving in Nepal with the latest media houses emphasizing on online coverage of news. The sources that were the best until last few months are not the best any more because of the new media houses doing really good in this area as is proved by the best coverage by NagarikNews.com today. Whether the new media will continue to out-perform the old ones is something we need to wait and watch.

Yes master, I will tell you what’s on my mind!

April 11th, 2009 1 comment

Many Facebook fans have not yet noted that the display message above Facebook status box has changed from “What are you doing right now?” to “What’s on your mind?” Shailesh Pandey, a PhD. student at The University of York, recently posted his thoughts about the change in his Facebook profile. I am presenting it here with his permission.

Facebook keeps on changing itself. I do not want to get into the discussion of how democratic it is and which one is better. One of the changes I found amusing is the status update section. They were not satisfied with knowing what I was doing right now. They wanted more, they want to know what is going on my mind. That is fine with me.

However Facebookers do not seem to change. Most people still post similar content as they previously used to. For them the content that goes inside the box does not have any correspondence with the question being asked. Technically “I am eating Mo:Mo” is not a correct reply to “What’s on your mind?”.
I do not remember a time when my friends have asked me “Ke sochdai chau?” and my reply was “Ma Mo:Mo khadai chhu”.

Assuming people are not going to change. I see two sensible options:
Option 1) Remove the fancy question altogether. Just give this message instead: “Post anything below”.
Option 2) Give two boxes instead of one. Let the people type in their own status question and answer to it.
So now people can write
“What am I eating right now?”–>”I am eating Mo:Mo right now”
“What emotional state am I in?”–>”I am frustrated.”

Away from the time-pass discussion, if you are thinking of why there are companies that do it, answer might be quite simple. Remember we are in the age where information is one of THE sources of power.
There are companies to whom we are enslaved because now they have reached a point where they know almost everything about us.

They know what we like to see/eat/buy/read, who our friends are and what our friends like to see/eat/buy/read…. and now soon how we think.It is what I call “Information Induced Slavery” and I can claim that this term is mine as Google returned “No Result” for this term and Google is never wrong.

This kind move however is a predictable move from a desire to know “what you do” to “how you decide what you do”. On the ground of this reasoning I should not have posted this note. But hey I am addicted to information and a slave does what the masters order.

Categories: Analysis