Facebook and the free basics nonsense

A very intelligent marketing campaign, and a very well planned plot, this was Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’.

One would argue, “Why refuse to have something that we are getting for free?” and that is the mentality which is the target. Facebook plans to provide some selected services for free to users, among which are obviously Facebook and its services. But at what cost?

If free basics somehow makes its way into India, it claims to benefit the masses, but it is acting more like an evil version of robin hood here. All other services that compete directly with facebook may be charged even more. And this may lead to destroying of scope for the smaller competitors, who currently have an equal platform for competition.

Imagine having free access to facebook (which is rarely used for knowledge) but you have to pay for something like Wikipedia. Also, I am doubtful about the free access to facebook too, telecom operators may introduce new plans, which include this ‘free’ access as benefits to highly overpriced plans. Want to use google? Extra money. Amazon? More money. And this will definitely add to the frustration of the many mobile users already confused due to differences in plans.

And what about the small competitors, the startups struggling to make it big on the internet? They do not have the money to make contracts with demanding telecom operators, and thus the market will become 10 times more harsh for them. For what? For a billion dollar company that wants to expand its customer base.

Wondering why Facebook is pushing free basics so much? Well I can tell u this, it is not doing this for charity. After the launch of Digital India initiative and the exponentially growing number of mobile users, Facebook sees lots of potential in this country. More facebook users = more ads = more money for facebook. And this ad money can easily cover up the cost of initial setup, so there is huge profit and a chance of market dominance for facebook.

Now that you’ve read the basics of free basics, make sure you don’t click on the spammy notifications asking you to save the internet. Free basics in all its forms is a threat to net neutrality and should be ignored, just like the candy crush saga requests.

And when you see any friend ‘voice their opinion’ about free basics, here’s what you post on their wall:

facepalm

A commitment towards endless learning.

Its finally time for the first post. So why not start with something meaningful, something important to me. Through the course of life we realize that some things have extra importance for us.

Among other things, learning has always been a part of my life. And I’m not talking about the traditional learning, because I believe most real learning occurs outside the classroom, and only when you’re passionate and curious about it. Learning cannot be forced upon someone. An example would be learning online, with an infinite amount of resources present on the internet. Now it doesn’t take mind boggling student loans or unreasonably high tuition fees. The learning can start right at your phone or computer screen. All it takes is a strong will, and a decent internet connection ofcourse 😉

I’ve been fortunate to have learned online from many of the top universities in the world. Harvard, MIT, Yale, IITs, IIMs, you name it, all are online now. Recently I read an article on a blog about 45 free online courses which one can complete till December. And I took it as a challenge. Starting today, i’ll be doing all the courses in the list that attract my interest. The experience is surely going to be fun. 🙂

Also, lets make this social. I’ll be keeping everyone updated on the progress. You’re invited to take the challenge with me. We can do this much better together!

The link to the course list is:

http://mashable.com/2015/10/13/free-online-classes/

Until next time, like Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish” 😉