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A metropolitan city India (NRI)
Mouthshut Community Center – 101
Jul 21, 2004 04:14 PM 3712 Views
(Updated Jul 24, 2004 02:08 AM)

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. - George Bernard Shaw

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead



In one of my earlier reviews, I had mentioned that MS is like a sanctuary of birds. It is quite true in my humble opinion (IMHO). Just like the various birds that make up a sanctuary and their habits, we have quite distinct members and their habits. MS is a sanctuary and MSCC is a place of common interest for all the birds (i.e.) members.

As per dictionary. COM, a community center is a ?A meeting place used by members of a community for social, cultural, or recreational purposes?. I shall digress into whether this place is used for all these purposes later in the review.

One has to understand the fact that community center is for the betterment of the community as a whole. It stands to serve a purpose to the members by keeping them informed and provide some recognition for the members. A community center always performs a single aim ? ?To advance its community and provide facilities?. Some CCs perform exceptionally well and I have seen innumerous examples for the same.

When the CC concept comes to an online portal, it is unique and the concept complex. It is difficult to maintain the personal touch for the starters, not addressable to myriad of members and some may take it in a skewed sense.



Community Center, as many of you already know has News, Member News, Current Contests, MouthShut Logos, Hall of Fame, Best Debut, Hot Reviews, Member Flagged, Mouth Sealed, MouthShut Direct, Star Writer Guidelines, Search a Friend, Advice, General Thoughts, Rating Reviews, Trusted Circle, Writing Reviews, Community Center, Profile Page, Messages From the CEO & Aarti Kapoor

Each of them has some means of information sharing for MS members. Personally, I look forward to the news section. Often I feel disappointed that this section is not updated on a regular manner. While it is nice to publish important news, only important things do not make newsworthy items. If this section is updated frequently with member-focused information, the popularity will grow. The same applies to Member news. It is indeed very sad to see very few (I am one of those members who didn?t post a single item here).

Contests section is nice but goes on and off at discrete intervals. While monetary factor plays a role, it would be nice to have contest going on, even without the money. I guess it is the sheer personal attachment that drives many than the money factor (as far as I am concerned (AFAIK)). More contests will increase the number of reviews. Some critics may want to stay out of the rat race but one should remember MS is a consumer forum first than any member?s personal child. We are here to make an informed decision to buy products. While humor, creativity, laughter, satires, philosophy are bonus materials; it is the first-hand accounts of product usage everyone is looking for.

Hall of Fame, Best Debut, Mouth Sealed, and Mouth Flagged are all member recognition and alert sections. I personally feel that Best Debut is the noblest of all. I feel that the SORT criteria should be made public for the benefit of all members.

Hot Reviews is the review recognition forum. I do not miss this one page at any cost. Many times, you miss some exceptional reviews, unless you have subscribed to the member. This is the perfect place to catch them. Some restrictions on the type of reviews making it is heart-burning to some and I personally feel that it should be categorized with scope for more than having 15 of them. Even member advice/tips are equally worthy of being a hot review. I gave my 2 cents in my 50th & 51st reviews.

The rest of the advices and messages with links to the reviews/advices is nice one and it is very helpful to many new comers. I personally feel that every new member should go through each of them.

It would be great to have ?showcase reviews? for the benefit of new members. While there may be debate on those chosen, it is always nice to direct the new members in the right direction. After all, MSCC

Messages From the CEO & Aarti Kapoor are nice to know what MS is up to, in the form of new ventures and enhancements to the site we all love.



It is appealing and helps many new members.

A know-how for members, be it tips, be it reviews, be it who?s-who

Get personalized opinion MS on various key aspects.



When I think about it, many ideas comes to my mind. First and foremost is that it could be more members focused. I feel it touches the members, but not enough. There is a lot of scope to improve. It can create a healthy atmosphere in the form of many features, such as

♣ Online-chat

♣ Knowing who is logged on and a feature to send an M2M

♣ Moderated Message forums (Can be an extension of the commenting feature, available only to members)

♣ Guides (in the form of reviews and members) for various topics

♣ A Nomination feature

♣ List of old star-writers and their reviews

♣ Hot reviews by week/month/year, based on the readings/ratings and popularity

♣ Well read/reading members

♣ Last reviews read option (Last reviews read/rated by a member-> This gives an opportunity to catch up reviews by members)

♣ Unique review of the day (Similar to the one on the front page. This can be a good review say 3-4-5 years ago)

♣ Online support request feature and status follow-ups.

MS can be all this and much more.


Just like you have many problems to be solved in a nation, just like there are many issues to be solved by the power of will in heart, there are many things to be done in MSCC. We need to become a part MSCC to make it much more productive and conduicive. This can be done by small contributions such as writing nice reviews and sending the suggestions to the MS team. You can also play a role in guiding the new members in the right direction, like some of the members are doing. Virginia Woolf once wrote, ?One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them?. This can be done by a better community service.

Let MSCC become an excellent place to hang around. Amen!

I hope you liked the review. Do leave your valuable comment(s).


I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough

Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades

For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

  • Alfred Tennyson in Ulysses

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