[Interview] In Conversation With Krish Ashok, A Creator, A Techie and an Ideal Social Media Personality!

Krish Ashok

Meet Krish Ashok : The mastermind behind the blog, ‘Doing Jalsa & Showing Jilpa’. He is an IT consultant and one of the most popular bloggers of today. He is a multi-faceted personality, a blogger, columnist and multi-instrumentalist. This interview will bowl you over as you are about to enter the room of Jalsa & Jilpa. He heads Web 2.0 InnovationLabs professionally. Krish Ashok

People know you as a multi-talented person. Please introduce us to Krish Ashok when he puts on the Social Media hat.

I don’t particularly put on a different hat when I’m on Social Media. Fortunately, Social Media is what connects what I do at work and what I do outside of work. So, a fair introduction of me is the Social Media/Techie/IT guy at work and Musician/Blogger/Columnist/Internet Memesmith outside of work.

How did you begin your social media journey? What piqued your interest in it?

I’ve been online since the very early days of the internet in India, so, to me, the dawning of Social Media was not a particular date in the calendar. By design, the internet has always been social, except that technology has progressively gotten easier to use. I was on the internet forums back in the 90s and there’s no reason to consider that to be anything other than “social” media of a kind. What piqued my interest is not too dissimilar to why people generally get onto social media.

  • To connect and discover people who share my interests, may it be tech, music, video games etc.
  • To share knowledge and get real time feedback from people and, in the process, learn more.
  • Derive a sense of achievement and recognition from a peer group.

I mean, let’s be honest – likes and RTs give us a kick and a virtual pat on the back for having created something that people find useful, so as long as we don’t let it get it to our heads and infer the right things from this data, it’s useful.

While you may be modest about it, one can’t deny that you are a very popular online personality. How do you see this popularity influencing your offline life?

Haha! Well, although I haven’t reached the level where I need to walk around with bodyguards, there are 2 things that I have seen online popularity affect. One is random people walking up to you in public places and asking if I was the “Jalsa Jilpa guy” or the “Tambrahmrage guy” or the “Parodesy Noise guy” etc. The second is online recognition translating into real life opportunities such as column writing, being invited to speak and judge events, music gigs and so on.

You are creating so many awesome stuffs; memes, funny take on logos, and podcasts, along with so many other things. How do you make time for all of them?

I still think there’s a lot of time I waste. For me, it’s really about spending multiple small increments of time on these hobbies as and when I find the opportunity to do so. I might get musical ideas when I’m in the elevator or column ideas when I’m commuting. I also don’t watch TV, other than the occasional live sporting event, so the key thing is that I am very particular about not spending time on any activity that is purely passive.

For me, watching movies or news on TV is a passive activity. I’d rather follow news on Twitter and engage with people instead of mutely listening to someone telling me something. Even when I’m listening to podcasts, I usually combine it with some parallel activity like running or exercising. Sometimes I am asked why I can’t just sit back, relax and enjoy the world and my answer is – I am! Nothing is more relaxing than the act of creating something, be it music, an iPhone app or a Powerpoint presentation.

When did you start getting recognized on Social Media? What was the tipping point?

Probably this post back in 2007 , the first one that other blogs and aggregators linked to, but in general, it was the personal blog and the mix of humour, sci-fi, pop culture and visual (photoshop) elements that got attention first.

Please take us through the creative process behind your memes (like Tambrahm Rage). Also, what is your motivation behind creating them?

I find that the best ideas for memes come from free-form creative chatter with like-minded conspirators on Twitter where contemporary news, pop culture flow hand in hand with humour and that’s usually an excellent source of meme ideas. I then use creative tools like Photoshop and music composition tools to bring them to life. There really is no motivation to create other than the joy derived in the creative process itself. There was a point of time when I seriously believed I could use humour to make points against superstition, religion and the likes, but I quickly realized that the only thing that was happening was I was taking myself too seriously and that is never a good thing.

Where would Krish Ashok have been if there was no Social Media?

I’m not really sure, because I think the progression of technology has always been towards more openness and sharing so I, for one, never really imagined a world without technology that enables this. Even before Social Media, I was sharing my creations over email with family and friends and before the internet, I was far more active going to quizzes and music shows and such, so there was always some form of social interaction around creativity.

As Social Media has evolved over the years, how has your usage of Social Media changed?

I think over time, I’ve curated my information flow a lot more. I find myself using more filters and analytics to sift signal from noise and I think that’s the way of the future as well. I find myself increasingly tuning out any and all kinds of corporate social media cliches and my overall browsing experience has, over the years, improved its ability to get rid of anything that I don’t want to see.

What would you suggest to people who want to build their personal brand using Social Media?

I have only one piece of advice: spend more time being interesting and less time figuring out how to spread your interestingness on Social Media. The latter can sometimes be an all-consuming affair, one that ultimately just affects the former for the worse.