CramBuddy uses content, quizzing and social networking to help students in their learning process. In conversation with founder Chirag Patel
CramBuddy uses content, quizzing and social networking to help students in their learning process. In conversation with founder Chirag Patel
I was quoted in a recent Social Samosa post – on Facebook Graph Search. Do check it out on their website, it has useful thoughts from various others as well.
Given that it is a fairly large move, (third pillar, Facebook calls it) I thought I’ll add to my quote there. As a final goal, both Google and Facebook are trying to organise and display information to users, because contextually relevant information is still a means to revenue, especially in the era of information overload. Google crawls the web, and Facebook uses social connections as a means to gaining this information. Google is also trying to add social as a context, and Facebook has Bing’s support. It’s not a war now, but it’s definitely armament.
Facebook has tons of data to get this right, and this is dynamic data, thanks to the information we supply, and this is going to get better as Pages (and people) start optimising for Graph Search. Also, once the Open Graph is integrated and actions outside FB also start becoming data, it will become a larger treasure trove of information. Though there’s no advertising product in sight, I will wager that it is an advertising foray in the guise of a consumer tool. As I wrote in the article, Facebook now has the user’s intent broadly divided into 4 categories (people, places, photos and interests), along with his/her ‘influencers’. All of this will allow for some massive segmentation, and thus better targeted ads. And this is not necessarily evil, it can be damn useful because discoverability will be increased.
In terms of implication for brands, (like I said in the quote) brands with organic signals (eg. for a retail outlet, check in at a physical location) will have a starting advantage. Once the Open Graph kicks in, social actions on websites will become a huge advantage. Content marketing takes on added significance since every action on FB increases the chances of a brand being discovered. Oh yes, Like is a back with a vengeance! On a tangential note, recruiters could use Graph Search as a hiring tool.
It’s a long shot, but what would happen if Graph Search was thrown open to Pages. Think about it – as a page admin, I already have the ability to target my post to a certain level (about 7 parameters) but that’s really basic demographics. What if I were able to target (organically) (as Myntra) an Angry Birds t-shirt post at people in India who Like Angry Birds. (or even standard apparel brands)
Meanwhile, there are two immediate concerns. One – privacy. Users will, over a period of time, calibrate the information they supply to Facebook with the advantages of doing so, but it will be a difficult process. The second, I will highlight through a comment made by Romit on Twitter
Facebook Graph Searching. Could be powerful if many of my friends Like a lot of stuff they actually like.
— Romit Mehta (@TheRomit) January 21, 2013
But this is just version 1. I’m sure Facebook will have/build more signals inside the hood to filter data. Social just became even more interesting. For that. Facebook gets a thank you.
until next time, Like I said…
Treetle helps you find people in your neighbourhood who are interested in the same things that you are. In conversation with founder Pankaj Dugar..
LinkedIn’s article curation is improving very well in my case. What I particularly like is the dash of serendipity in the list. One of the articles I recently read was “Are we all being fooled by Big Data?” Though it is less to do with business per se and is skewed towards economic forecasting, it does make for a very interesting read.
Gartner’s 2013 Strategic Technology Trends has Strategic Big Data as one. In fact, I’d also add ‘The Internet of Things’, ‘In Memory Computing’ and ‘Actionable Analytics’ (also in the list) as related items, as a source, enabler and application respectively. While Big Data has been talked about for a while now, and has seen applications as well, I am not sure how accessible it is to the majority of organisations and brands. In essence, is it ‘mainstream’ enough? (I see organisations struggling to link existing data) Are there frameworks being built that will aid analysis and action across various functional domains – ways to nimbly access and use contextually relevant ‘packets’ from troves?
Probably 2013 is when we will see things moving. But there’s something about data that worries me. This has come from my own experience as well as from the things I have read/heard. And that’s where the organisation’s intent becomes important, because you can find data to validate most anything! This is all the more significant because with improving technology, the volumes of data will have the potential to help brands shift paradigms and disrupt the status quo. But it can also be used for strategic/tactical blunders. As the saying goes ”If you torture data long enough, it will confess to almost anything“
All of this reminds me of social media. The hype, the evangelism, the tools and so on. And just like social, Big Data has in it the ability to amplify the inherent nature of the enterprise.
until next time, think big
The review was first published in Bangalore Mirror.
I knew that Shillong is called the Scotland of the East, but Coorg is apparently called the Scotland of India. However, what amazed me more is that in terms of my culinary mapping, I associate both of these places with pork, and that is something that Scottish Highlanders have an aversion to! Thankfully Cheers Coorg’s menu doesn’t have Scots in mind as the target audience. But long before the menu, the ambiance does a good job of conveying the restaurant’s character. From the funky tablemat that gives you an introduction to Coorg, its heritage, culture and cuisine to the various décor elements that line the wall – including photographs, sketches and even a couple of guns, Coorg is all over the place. Meanwhile, to get to the place, you can follow the map here.
The menu, presented in the form of a compact clipboard, also tries to give a sense of character. For instance, there is a “Real men ask for their drinks” line in place of a bar menu, but unfortunately the spirit is limited to words as the license is still a couple of weeks away. This proved to be a recurring theme.
We began well with both versions of the Nalla Malu Kanni soups – chicken and mutton, and a Mutton Bones soup. The Mushroom Coconut soup we wanted to try was not available. The Mutton Bones soup was spicy, with the pepper making its presence clearly felt, but though it was a fine soup, the Nalla Malu Kanni soup, with its mix of a mild sweetness and a peppery kick delivered slightly later stole the show.
The menu is skewed majorly towards appetisers, so it was a difficult task to choose the representatives from each kind of meat. The Chilkana Pandi triumphed over its peers and turned out to be an excellent choice. The pork was well cooked and the onion and green chillies based masala also had a touch of sourness courtesy the vinegar. The Chicken Fry in Green Masala had tender chicken in a spicy masala made of green chillies, coriander and a hint of mint. Mutton was represented by Khaima Unde, minced mutton balls. The meat was bordering on tough, but not a complete disaster. Aquatic life made it to the table in the form of the Kachampuli Fish fry, though the tamarind was a name only presence, and the only discernible flavour was that of the pepper.
The alfresco area on the first floor was nearly full by the time we were ready for the rest of the meal, and that meant the main course took a while to get to the table. The Pandi Curry was a mandatory choice but failed to deliver, with a poorly diluted gravy that was rather insipid. The only consolation was that the pork was well cooked. The Chicken Curry also did not impress with its coconut based gravy. Most of the vegetarian gravies were unavailable, and from the options we asked for a Kumbala (pumpkin) Curry. Mildly sweet, it was just about average. We tried out most of the ‘accompaniments’ – Kadambuttu, Noolputtu, Paaputtu, Akki Otti, Sannas and Neyi Koolu (Ghee Rice). The Kadambuttu and the ghee rice were the pick of the lot. The former had an excellent consistency and the ghee rice was different from the standard fare with a mild sweetness to it. The Paaputtu was a tad crumbly, and the Akki Otti was an XS version!
When we asked for the Dessert of the Day, the only option other than the Ice Cream, we were told that it was Caramel Custard, not really the Coorgi dish we had expected. So we decided to end the meal with juices and coffee. The Passion fruit juice and the Filter Coffee were not bad but the Kaipuli (bitter orange) juice was the clear winner.
For about Rs.1200, you could share a soup, a non veg starter, a non veg main course dish and a couple of staples, and a dessert. (Inclusive of taxes and service charge)
Cheers Coorg has nailed the ambiance, and features a unique cuisine, but they do have some way to go in terms of the quality of food, before we can truly say cheers!
Cheers Coorg, #29, 80 feet Road, Indiranagar , Ph: 080 41219555
How about a world where people continue doing the things they do, and the most relevant and useful information just comes to them? That’s the domain Pugmarks works in. In conversation with founder Bharath Mohan.
I really avoid writing “trends for 20xx”, but towards the end of last year, I jotted down a few things for an article. Same thoughts, but I expanded a bit.
Barring a game changing phenomenon that further complicates the already shifting landscape, these are the 3 areas where I see the needle shifting more than others, in 2013.
1. Content is (also) Advertising: Branded content will continue to rise as the worlds of publishing and commerce collide. Brands will invest (talent, money, time) more in content creation and curation. Also, paid media (traditional and social) will be used to promote owned media (blogs/twitter/FB page content etc) and we’ll continue to wonder how much was earned by publishers in supposedly earned media! By ‘advertising’, I don’t just mean the traditional marketing communication kind, but one that brings out more of the character of the brand/organisation itself. Hopefully this will be the first step towards a larger culture of authenticity, values, and transparency. Something like McDonald’s “Our food. Your questions” would fit the bill.
2. Social Orientation: Social is media, social is CRM, social is enterprise collaboration, and many other things which we haven’t even begun to explore. Silo based approaches for social will evolve into socializing business strategy itself – a horizontal approach (and team) that looks at business objectives more clearly, and encompasses everything from CRM to ORM and beyond. These teams will also be equipped to handle everything from new social platforms to how social integrates/manifests on more advanced devices to technologies from AR to Big Data. Not all of this would happen in a jiffy, and there would be challenges aplenty – right from setting objectives to harnessing various skill sets to getting buy-ins from various verticals that social would interact with and affect. Social Business is most likely this year’s gamification in terms of buzz and random usage, but while that sorts itself, businesses would at least need to start seeing social as a strategy, one that can actually provide competitive advantage.
3. Brand Voice: Speaking of competitive advantage, brands will figure out that they need to craft a voice and tonality that can resonate on social platforms as well. Many of the large brands we see now have grown up on media that never talked back, and hence adopt a traditional media approach to communication on social as well – swinging between being apathetic and being servile. An identity and voice that can withstand the rigours of increasing conversations across platforms needs to start getting built. There might be multiple renditions of the voice as well – adapted to contexts, audiences, intent and so on, and brands will thus need to learn cohesion in narratives. A new approach to storytelling that spans media, understands popular culture and involves consumers better is the brand imperative.
until next time, #makeittrend
Clubd rewards you for frequenting your favourite hangouts in town. In conversation with founder Ishwar Sundararaman.
A couple of weeks back, I’d written about the increasing broadcast tendencies on social platforms. Some events last week reminded me of something I’d tweeted a while back -
“let’s make it trend” is the new “let’s make a viral”
— manu prasad (@manuscrypts) May 11, 2012
It is, for better or worse, an item in the social marketer’s checklist. So unless it’s a day on which we’re outraging on multiple issues, you can easily see ‘branded’ trending topics. At Myntra.com, we’ve been playing with hashtags for quite a while now – #bachpanstyle was one such experiment. As we practiced more, the patterns started becoming more evident. Late last month, we started the #hotindecember hashtag in response to a business objective – creating more awareness about the similarly titled promotion at Myntra.com – and had constructed it around the promo TVC. It resulted in the hashtag trending on twitter. Just to check the lessons learned, we ran a #hotin2012 hashtag on 31st Dec, and ended the year as the #1 trending topic in India.
Considering that there was a much more serious issue taking up everyone’s attention, this should be surprising, but it’s not, and that’s what we have learned of Twitter’s trending algorithm.
That was about a brand using social as media. Like I mentioned earlier, the first hashtag was based on the TVC, something that had gotten us positive feedback on Twitter. After the Delhi incident however, the ad was considered by a few as ‘projecting women in poor light’. (worthwhile mentioning that Lisa Haydon, who starred in the TVC, had tweeted about the TVC being a lot of fun) Users, who also utilise social as media, are bound to have their opinions and will air them. The interesting part was that all this (hashtags and criticism) was happening in the same timeframe – 27-31st December.
Why do I find it interesting? Let’s take a step back. It was only when TV stations started competing with the rabbit population that we started contemplating the fragmentation of media as we then knew it. Add to that the increasing web (+mobile) penetration and things became more complicated as time progressed. Brands (in general) still haven’t figured how to handle this, so fragmentation within a social media channel and its impact is small fry, except this is probably an indication of the future.
This time, we chose not to react to the criticism – given the circumstances, it would have probably led to a nasty debate. Thankfully it died down. But what if a few twitter heavyweights had gotten into the act and made it trend for all the wrong reasons? We’d not have had the luxury. We’d have to refer to Crisis Management 101. In a worst-case scenario, we’d probably have to consider taking the TVC off air.
In essence, when an interactive medium is added to the mix, fragmentation takes on a completely different meaning. It no longer means isolated compartments which don’t talk to each other, the events on one affect another. As a media buyer, a brand can choose not to be present on some media, but when a channel talks back, the brand’s choices suddenly dwindle. I think this will manifest itself much more in 2013, the learning curve is going to be very steep!
until next time, user generated brand virals!
Disclaimer: The perspectives above are personal, and does not reflect the thoughts or actions of the organisation mentioned.
Full of Toys seeks to ensure that a child’s playtime is meaningful and fun with world class toys. In conversation with founder Gautam Gupta