10 steps to enrich your WhatsApp group and make it more meaningful

I think most of us in this networked world are part of one WhatsApp group or another and I bet all of us crib most of the time being the part of those groups.

Few years’ back I had written an article on LinkedIn titled “7 To-Do List for Creating Meaningful WhatsApp group”. Idea to write that article originated from my disenchantment with a WhatsApp group of my old colleagues from one organization we worked.

You can find that article here:7 To Do list for creating Meaningful WhatsApp Group

As a quick recap, I am listing out the points which I had mentioned in the article:

1)Don’t create a group when your objective is not clear

2)Don’t assume; ask

3)Group must have some degree of homogeneity

4)Don’t create a group which you can’t control and lead

5)Consider the limitation of the platform while creating the group

6)Do lots of research to be admin of the group and earn respect

7)Have the ability to break the monotony and generate interest

Now, along with above mentioned points, I have few more to add which I learnt from more groups I have been part of after that either created by me or someone else.

1)What is there for me: No one will do anything without the sight of tangible or intangible outcome and benefit. No result will come without a preceding corresponding action and when there is an action, it is bound to bring out the result; positive or negative and that’s the rule. If you have added someone in the group and asking him/her for something, even to read what you have written, you must show and prove that he/she has something to gain from it. No one works for free. Even charity is done for supposed better afterlife, whether it exists or not can be debated. So, if your group members have nothing to gain from your group, then either they will sit dull or they will exit.

2)Don’t involve monetary transactions if you haven’t built a team of evangelists of your cause: If any of your message/post ideates about monetary transaction, then the first point will come very strongly in force. People will start asking multiple questions to justify the value of money they are being asked to spend. Many more dimensions will come to complicate the matter even more. So, don’t bring out any proposal which involves money without being sure of loyalty and devotion of group members.

3)Agree to MVP: If you are looking for 100% participation in your proposal, then you are looking at and lurking around impossible, which will not happen. So, agree with Minimum Value Proposition of your proposal and Minimum Viable Participation to make your proposal successful.

I will keep repurposing these points as the time progresses to make it more meaningful to the readers. In the meantime, you can interact with me for personal branding services and inbound marketing at .

Idea ReviewBy Mukul Bhartiya / November-10

Review of Data Breach at Tech Companies

10th November 2020

I saw a news piece today on Linkedin that leading e-Grocer of India, BigBasket suffered a potential data breach and it could have compromised details of 20 Million users. The data included users’ full name, email IDs, passwords, contact number and every other bit of information and was put on sale for USD 40,000 on dark web. Now, every other bit of information could only mean the delivery address and amount of purchases made on BigBasket. Management of the company claimed that they don’t save the financial information on the website. If sales numbers are recorded, then potential target of fraud can easily be identified.

Few years back I was doing a course offered by Coursera, designed and delivered by NorthWestern University titled “Understanding media by understanding Google”. Among many reference study materials, statement by one gentleman in one of the video said something and it stayed with me since then. Responding on what is the difference between Apple and Google, he said, “Apple sells you a product and Google sells you as a product”. I can’t comment about Apple because I haven’t used any product of Apple so far, but I can definitely vouch for the statement made about Google. Every application installed in mobile wants access to phone state information, read and write access to message and many things more. As I tried to change the keypad of one of my mobile, I was prompted by information that by agreeing to activate it, I will be giving access to all the information I will be punching on it, including PINs and passwords. So, I immediately withdrew from the activity. Some seven-eight years back, I was using an app called Foursquare, which used to give points on every check in. Funnily enough, despite the fact that these points were not redeemable in money, getting points used to give me a high. One day I checked the statistics and charts of my check-ins and found that it has complete and accurate record of my movements. It gave chill in my spine that if this data reaches someone either by design or deceit, I and many people who are using this app like me are completely exposed naked of our travel, shopping and eating behavior. I immediately removed the app from my mobile. Not only that, I stopped checking-in on Facebook and giving random reviews on Google of the every visit I made. I simply don’t want to be available for everyone on the internet. I am not saying that my details can’t be accessed, but as far as possible, I will try to retain control of my information to myself.

In this digital and 5G age, every other tech company wants to know about us, they want to analyze our behavior, they want to control our behaviour for either corporate or political bosses or both. Facebook had started many information gathering campaigns either by itself or partner apps by allowing them to use its platform. Couple of them are “Ten Year Challenge” and “How will look on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Tinder”. By getting the photos of users of ten years’ gap, coders at Facebook can find it easy to predict how the person is aging and how his/her face is changing with the progress in age. This is helping them to sharpen their facial recognition skills. With four different photos, Facebook is getting the access to any change dress can have on the appearance of an individual. By participating in these campaigns in the name of having fun, users are actually being made fun by Facebook or any other app.

The moment we log in to some app or website, we give them entry to our private life, which is accessible to whole world and we can’t deny that. But we, as a user should be cautious of using the apps or sharing our information which could otherwise be used for some other purpose than making our user experience better. Tech companies also must be brought under strict rules about collecting the type of information about its users.

Imagine “Weather” app asking permission to manage your calls and read and write message. I was recently integrating my Microsoft account with Google and Microsoft was asking me the right to write or delete all the messages of Google. Whether Microsoft does that or not is a different question, but I don’t understand what purpose it will serve for Microsoft other than controlling all my online behavior. Tech companies must be forced not to collect information which has no connection whatsoever with the identity and nature of the product. Financial information may be the immediate fear, but manipulation of human behavior and controlling their actions are the biggest fear which needs to be fought forcefully as a society.

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