Thursday, December 13, 2012

King of Unconditional Apologies

Kiruba has been the beacon of blogging and tech related events in Chennai. It can be said that more people know Chennai because it is Kiruba's town. So it pains me to see him being besmirched by all and sundry in the TEDx Chennai issue. People should read his explanation and understand that if some rules were broken it was only for common good. The netizens of Chennai are one hundred percent behind Kiruba. He is a humble soul, who readily acknowledges his mistakes and has the gumption to say "The buck stops with me". 

This is not the first time that some obscure international organization has tried to sully Kiruba's name. There was some website called Wikipedia which issued him a cease and desist notice. Did it impact Kiruba's progress? No. On the contrary it spurred him further. He was even called Steve Jobs of India . (I wasn't personally present on that momentous occasion, but here is a tweet from some one who was there). 

I am a fan of his writing skills. In fact, over the last 10 years I have devoured all his posts and have tried to distil the essence of his wisdom. He has been remarkably consistent. 

See this post from 2006 when some idiots in blogosphere accused him of orchestrating spam comments from a content company he was working for then. Due to some server error, this post was deleted from his blog, but as an ardent reader I was able to find this in the interwebs.

April 7, 2006

Unsolicited Comments. Unconditional Apology

Do I like unsolicited mails? No. Do I like spam comments on my blog? Heck, no. They why would I subject other fellow bloggers to the problem? Blame it on ...oh a lot of things.

For those who are unawares of the context, here's a heads up. contacted bloggers with a proposal to mirror their blogs on citing certain advantages. For those whose email wasn't available on their blogs, the information was left on their comments box. (You can see a copy of the mail in Krithiga's blog.) This ticked off a lot of bloggers who didn't like this unsolicited intrusion on their blogs. Many of them have vented their anger on their own blogs. Here's the some of the blog posts from Chandrachoodan, Chenthil, Kaps, Prabhu, Krithiga, and WitchyAngel. More are bound to join in.

So, where do I come in the picture? I work in Sulekha. Even though it's Kartik's name that you find in all the messages, in a way, I'm directly responsible as I oversee his operation. The buck stops with me. If anyone has to take the blame, it would be me.

Honestly, the intention was to communicate the message. We didn't have any wrong intention. However, unsolicited it is and unsolicited comments are not good. No two ways about it. It's a mistake and I will own up to it.

I'd like to offer my apology. There may be just few who have taken the effort to voice their thoughts on their blogs. But I'm sure there are others who wouldn't have liked it but kept it to themselves. I'd like to say sorry to them as well.

This is one reason why I like the blogosphere. You get instant feedback. Sometimes they can be acrimonious and downright negative. Those are the valuable ones. You have to respect that. REALLY respect that. What's important is reacting to it and taking corrective action. And even more importantly, owning up to the mistake.

What's the corrective action? Obviously, no more unsolicited comments. Period. If you do hear from us, it'll be via email but they won't be spam mails. You have my word. They will be personally writtenemail, written by a real person with something important. If you don't like that, we'll make sure you won't hear from us again. Honest.

This incident couldn't have happened at a better time. Today evening, I'm delivering a speech on corporate blogging to an association of corporate communicators and one of the topics I'm touching on is how blogs can be destructive for corporations. You know, the 'other-side-of-knife' stuff. And lo, I'm experiencing just that. A powerful message of what collective power of blogosphere can do.

I welcome your opinion and would encourage you to voice it out. Be it good, bad or venomous. I respect them and I'm all ears.

 Then there was the ruckus about wikipedia and director designate issues. This was his response. You can read the complete post in his blog

Today morning, I received a formal Cease & Desist from Wikimedia India office.  It’s the right thing for the foundation to do.  As soon as I received it, I sent the following mail to the members of the Wikipedia community.
Dear Wikipedians,
First, I start with apologies if I have caused any disrespect to any. That was not my intention and if I have,  I’m truly sorry.  I respect the community and all the efforts.
Since my last email to the group earlier this year, I have consciously not associated or falsified my position. I agree that my old business-card was misleading and apologize for the confusion.
Its good to have clarity in this issue and this mail to the group clears the confusion.  To reiterate, I’m not associate with the board in any capacity and will contribute as a Wikipedian as another member of the community.
Thanks for the patience and once again, apologies.  If you have any further queries from any member of the group, I’m happy to answer them.
Kiruba Shankar
And now this TEDx issue. See his cultured response and use of the same words as before. His word is his bond, it never changes.
          So, what is your final take on this?
I feel relieved to open up and explain.  Personally, me and the entire team of organizers gave our heart and soul to organize a great event. Among the three editions we conducted, the 2012 edition was the best.
The organizing and volunteering team have been fabulous. Amazingly high spirited and enthusiastic. Over 50 people worked hard for over 4 months to pull off this event.  In the frenzy of the activity, some boundaries were crossed inadvertently and unintentionally.  As the curator, the buck stops with me. I should have been more careful and I own up the responsibility.

All those who are throwing mud at him, have you ever seen anyone accept responsibility for a goof up every third year? And having owned up responsibility, shake off the bad news and reach for even higher stars? Accept, that you are jealous of him, his success. As for me Kiruba, even though I am a truck fleet operator now and far removed from your sphere of activity, you will always be my ideal.


Shyam Krishnaswamy said...

Thalaiva - Whatay post !

Chenthil said...

Shyam, spread the message. Let more people write in support of Kiruba.

Anonymous said...

Never take that tongue out of that chik :0

Hawk Eye said...

you forgot this apology. it counts as a separate one.

Chenthil said...

Anon, I assume you meant cheek :-)

Hawk, I completely forgot that post. Damn me. I was such an asshole to question him. I am a convert now to his style of self promotion.

Nitpicker said...

Don't you mean shake 'off' the bad news?

Anonymous said...
There is one more apology that the world does not know of. Kiruba was never a Board member of Rangde. He latched on to them as an advisor and went around misrepresenting himself as Board member. He was later asked to stop this misrepresentation and fired from his advisory role. Beware of the glib talking con man Kiruba...

Chenthil said...

Nitpicker - corrected the typo. I get a feeling that you are an old acquaintance / adversary of mine.

Anon - No idea about Rang De. News to me.

I am a ComplexNumber said...

He is Rasukutty of 2012

Ha Ha Ha...very funny....I looked at his website and it just reminded me of the scene from Rasukutty...where Bhagyaraj is dressed up in many costumes (As pilot, lawyer doctor etc)

Mahi Kashyap said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

one broken guitar ="free culture house" !!