We promised we’ll bring to you a series of ‘celebrity interviews’, a casual chit-chat with socialmedia celebs who are effectively using different social networking channels. As promised, we flagged off with the interview of Syed M. Ruhani Rabin. With over 73,000 Twitter followers, this Friendster ‘star’, is not at all an unknown name on Social media. This is the first attempt in the series. Enjoy.
SocialExcerpts: Tell us something about your childhood. What was your initial dream/ambition?
Ruhani Rabin: Surprisingly I always wanted to be a Pilot. That was my childhood dream to Fly. But like everything else these dreams evolved to be a different dream.
SocialExcerpts: When did you realize your potential in this domain (online media)?
Ruhani Rabin: I actually realized back in 2004 that I am starting to make some impact on the online media industry. SocialExcerpts: What was your first professional achievement? Which one is your greatest? Ruhani Rabin: I have a quite a number of professional achievements. First would be writing complex calculation based 7 part software for Bridge Design Analysis. It predicts the lifetime of a bridge based on entries given by the engineers (Software Development 1999). Greatest? That is pretty much a difficult question because in different context in industries, all work can be greatest or not.
SocialExcerpts: Friendster is known to be the grandfather of social networks. It was one of the most popular OSN, much before Facebook was conceptualized. Why do you think Friendster couldn’t match the steep rise MySpace, and Facebook managed?
Ruhani Rabin: As a company person I can’t actually comment on this. But as a single person, I personally think it was about evolution. Every successful web products evolve really fast. The previous company owners missed to achieve that evolution over time.
SocialExcerpts: Friendster has got a strong user base in Asia. What changes are you considering (in terms of the UI and UX), keeping in mind the current “I-look-better” battle between Facebook and Google+?
Ruhani Rabin: We really did change the product direction of Friendster. It is no more a social network site. It is a online gaming site with social networking components. We are not in a battle with Facebook nor Google+, both of these companies have enough resources to do any massive changes overnight. Our target on the UI/UX is to have a Simple yet effective site.
SocialExcerpts: Of the popular trio in the social networking sphere, among Twitter, Facebook and Google+, who do you side with and why?
SocialExcerpts: What does ‘FB fans’ and ‘Twitter followers’ mean to you? Which one do you rate more effective for social media promotions?
Ruhani Rabin: This always varies on context of content, so both channels are important.
SocialExcerpts: Any particularly interesting project that you’re currently working on?
Ruhani Rabin: Currently I am really busy with ideas on our product – Friendster itself. There are a lot more elements to put in and improve.
SocialExcerpts: What next from here? How do you see life after 5 years?
Ruhani Rabin: I love to see myself in a ThinkTank group for Google or similar company.
SocialExcerpts: Any advice to budding social media enthusiasts looking to have a career in social media?
Ruhani Rabin: Social media is not a solution. If a product is bad, social media can’t make it right. On the other hand, It is a diverse channel to reach mass amount of audience. Depending on industry context, social media can bring aura of excellence for product and services. That is not a easy work because it is a constant evolution of learning and improvisation. People are personal by nature. So it is very very important to be “Professionally Personal” (This term is by me) and get things done. Be honest, keep your words and connect.