Social Media

More Socialising

I’d written this a while back on social networking sites and their relevance/irrelevance, and now i see this. If you’re too lazy to click, Orkut is letting developers make their social applications available to Orkut users.

In the post I mentioned earlier, I had written how Facebook scores over Orkut due to the sheer pull of different elements which cater to my interests and the way it also allows me to relate to my friends on many different planes. The simple idea being that I’m a blogger, an F1 enthusiast, an avid reader, A Heroes fan etc . My friends also share many of these interests, and there are multiple applications which cater to all of these. Orkut’s only efforts so far has been groups (which Facebook also has) and that was just not enough. The latest announcement means that Orkut’s expansion of services are going to be in that direction.

While that may spark the thought that it might level the playing field, I , for one, dont think so. For starters, Facebook already has the first mover advantage in the space. That can be argued because crowds have a tendency to flock towards the latest new thing as far as social networks go. But, I’ve seen a lot of Orkut users climbing on to Facebook and then saying ‘Its way too confusing’. For the non-confused Facebook user, its a good place to be, because the confusion acts a filter which prevents the clutter in Orkut. So I don’t think a lot of Facebook users will go to Orkut for the applications. That, however is something that depends a lot on the applications developed. Lastly, Orkut has managed to collect a lot of users hat are undesirable. These are spam/porn guys and the ‘I want to do friendship with you’ specimens who are still regulars in Orkut. So, while Orkut’s applications might be killers, a lot of potential users might be put off owing to the damage already done, the new privacy features notwithstanding.

until next time, socialise :)

Social Responsibility

And the mother of ’em all is finally here- My Space. I wonder if the promos happening on Channel V for its campus star is My Space’s idea of an Indian launch. I hope not, because i kinda liked Big Adda’s efforts, and hope to see a good brand campaign from My Space.Meanwhile, i read this article recently, which talked about social networking fatigue.

While it did make interesting reading, and gave what could be a popular perspective about the sites, i would tend to disagree on the fatigue factor.While I admit to being a more recent convert to all the sites, i’ve been on orkut and facebook long enough to have come across fatigue if it was lurking there. In fact, the case could be true of orkut where my involvement has perhaps seen a downturn after i joined facebook. But thats because Orkut doesnt have enough meat (IMHO) to keep me interested, and that’s precisely what differentiates Facebook. Its not just about messages and photo sharing, vampires/werewolves and forwards, its also about applications which cater to your interests in life – be it word games like scrabble, Tv shows like Heroes, or the philosophy of Ayn Rand, or a simply super group like ‘I love trashy Hindi movies’, the list just goes on.

I can’t see fatigue setting in when i’m playing scrabble with friends, while buying and selling in the fantasy stock exchange, and doing a likeness test with my friends and so on. In fact, the kind of fatigue i see is in the number of sites that keep cropping up. While (with the entry of My Space) we have three globally recognised networks, we also have the local clones like minglebox, yaari, Big Adda etc. And here’s were the fight will happen.Thats because there are users, and quite possibly the majority, who are into the social networking sites because its the in thing, and offers the (by now) plain vanilla benefit of connecting with friends. Once that connecting is done, their attention span becomes fleeting, and they’d hop, skip and jump to the newest site before you can say ‘Scrap’.

So every new site launched and every new campaign for them would create a ripple in that market.But then, there’s also the user who’ll try to derive value from a network which offers such avenues for him, and for him there’s no fatigue. If the site keeps adding stuff that will add to the user stickiness, then they would have to worry only if a better product comes into the market, not because of the wannabes that appear from time to time.

In essence, social networks, as every other commodity, will be solely responsible for how long they keep the user, depending on the value they create.So you see, the writing, as they say, is on the wall :)

and i bid adieu, wishing you all the best in your socialising efforts..

Magnetic Messaging

How To Get Your Ex Back –

So, HT buys DesiMartini for a cool $10 million. Cheers to that, because the exit strategy seems to have worked for them, although i saw many sites warning about the impending bubble 2.0 in the Indian context.
I have always wondered about the business model of the ‘main bhi’ social networking sites, and this makes me all the more suspicious about the intentions. I really wonder how many of thes

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e guys are actually in for the long haul, although the other wondering is what exactly do they tell the VCs about revenue models when they go in for the initial funding. Maybe they give conspiratorial winks to each other when they reach that slide :)

But to pull back, how do you think an offline major player like HT can leverage social networking? While DesiMartini was one of those sites which had a fairly good burst in the television media (which would’ve driven up their user base), I’m sure they would be minnows if compared to the videsi orkut or even facebook these days. Do they see some potential for bundling print and web in terms of ad sales? Or is it a strategic buy to gain a footspace in the still nascent Indian internet space?
Or hey, do you think HT’s trying to increase their valuation? 😉
and i bid adieu, while you should start work on that start up of yours 😀

The Next Big Thing

No, this is not the major announcement about an awesome new service I’ve developed, thats later..sigh

This is about the Ambani kind of Big, and its amazing to see what i consider a perfect duplication of the strategy that made an oil, petrochemical conglomerate. Backward integration. Only ADAG is not stopping at that. Its going horizontal too. Its putting its fingers in every pie that has some stake in the entire big pie of communication and entertainment – be it content or distribution.
Lets talk about distribution first. They have a nationwide CDMA serivce provider, hell, even a GSM provider in a few markets. Smart!! They will roll out a DTH operation very soon, and they already have the retail version of broadband up and running. Its only a matter of time before they make a big impact in the consumer broadband space, and I’m not even taking the ubiquitous datacard into consideration. Which basically means they have 3 platforms – mobile, internet and television neatly tied up. A small bylane in distribution – Big FM, Big Flicks. FM is not that small, and Flicks is a good start to a click and mortar way of functioning. In fact so is FM, because a friend who works there recently sent me a link to their podcast!!
Now the meat – content. You want movies, they got Adlabs. You want music, they got Big Music. Oh, you’re that new gen animal that thinks UGC and social networking is cool, welcome to Big Adda.
I’d like to think that somewhere i have seen a fragment of the big picture that the younger Ambani has in his head. The more i see it, the more i admire it, coz he really thinks big.
Meanwhile, if/when they integrate from a brand communication perspective, they have a perfect family friend who can be ambassador. Yup, you guessed it, Big B 😉
and i bid adieu thinking zapak is a whole new ballgame 😀

Blogalisation

wonderful to see that a lot of my league members are getting hot and sizzled up – started with blues, then it was w-bug and now its simon..and ahem,(just for the old trumpet’s sake) readers please note that mera number aaaya tha, but no, i am not getting in to the ‘been there, done that’ spiel, my ego will not permit it…hehe
but damn, am i a lucky charm or what!!…no i am not, :), coz they are extraordinary bloggers anyway and linked by a lot of others. which is why i believe that rediff’s modus operandi of classification, if they do follow any, is totally devoid of bias, and certainly not like what happens in ToI…hehe..plus, i can truly rely on it as a source for my league additions, more often than not…’hot and sizzling’..i like this kinda blogal warming…:)
but (yeah, unfortunately, theres always a but), on a more general level, i do hope that the ‘blog’ kind of social interaction does not go the way that everything else seems to be going..getiing a price tag attached…. some time ago, i would have laughed if someone told me that i would be buying packaged drinking water, now i fully believe that oxygen and feelings that i consider beyond the range of money like love, hate and many others , will become fully commercialised by the time i see 2010….
and therefore why should blogging be any different?.. it is only a matter of time before some ass clowns realise the commercial value of a weblog..and if we say that ultimately we can stop it because we are the users, i wouldnt agree coz the same holds true for water…
but yes, we can try, and so guys, on june 9th, international bloggers day, let us try to keep the grass green, the sky blue and the air free in our virtual community, burn the commercialisation bridge when we come to it and preserve blogalisation in the free form it enjoys now….
in manuscrypts trivia
another good fwd,
We all know those cute little computer symbols called “emoticons”,
where:
:) means a smile and
:( is a frown.
Sometimes these are represented by :-) and :-( respectively.
Well, how about some “assicons”? Here goes:
(_!_) a regular ass
(__!__) a fat ass
(!) a tight ass
(_*_) a sore ass
{_!_} a swishy ass
(_o_) an ass that’s been around
(_x_) kiss my ass
(_X_) leave my ass alone
(_zzz_) a tired ass
(_E=mc2_) a smart ass
(_$_) Money coming out of his ass
(_?_) Dumb Ass

till next time, keep the faith and the blogal harmony….
P.S. hope archies doesnt release a card for international webloggers day!!
and please use Post Scrypts and not the rediff comments box