Category Archives: Social Media

The client who doesnt know

Clients can be very intimidating at times. Being part of a startup sees me do a range of activities from Business Development to Project execution to Client servicing. While I am largely comfortable with the other aspects of my job, client servicing stands out as a thorn in my otherwise peaceful job.

The worst of the lot are, however, clients who dont even know their product very well but are out to market it. What is worse, however, is that their profile refuses them to even admit their ignorance. 

A recent episode saw us presenting a full fledged plan to the client, assuming she was well aware of the product. A series of emphatic yeses saw us implementing the plan as per the scope of work defined and agreed upon. The creatives were approved and the project ready to be rolled out. 

A final user acceptance testing assured us that we were on the right track. We were, however, sadly mistaken.

4 months into the project, the client’s seniors suddenly woke up one fine day and decided that the design, layout and the feel of the product was not upto the mark and wanted changes.The plans that we had shared initially seemed to make no sense to them and the client chipped in as well with her share of concerns over a product approved by her.

We soon relaized that neither did she have a sense of the product nor had she bothered to clear all grey areas with her seniors. This resulted in a product that was probably not what they wanted in the first place!!

All she seemed concerned about was a call that she had with her senior every tuesday, after which a string of panic calls would ensure that documents upon documents be sent with timelines, revised timelines and other details. Her limited knowledge of the e-mail service ensured that she just couldnt figure out where our mails disappeared resulting in us sending it all over again.

Thus started an entire cycle of redevelopment, taking up expensive time and resources and another round of client servicing which sometimes included a haughty exchange of words. Every call simply added more undue pressure and distaste. As such, over time I have only disgust for the client.

The project isnt over yet and so isnt the problem…Have a thought on how to handle such clients?…write in

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Mumbai Bloggers Meet:Was it worth it?

Bloggers meets have always intrigued me? What is it that binds 100-150 (at a time) and makes them assemble together under one roof? What do you talk? What do you discuss?  and how can one subscribe to the idea that bloggers across are the same?

It is to answer these questions that I, despite the saturday, chose to attend the Mumbai Bloggers Meet organized by mumbaibloggers.net.

The event was like a movie, slowling unfolding, to reveal the story.

It started with the credits, with a lady called Netra Parikh receiving a majority of the applauds…Thank you for organizing this and that and that and this…it felt (and maybe I dont know) as if her very being inspired bloggers to laugh, to cry and ya, to write.

Next came the round of introductions, which for the majority of us, was the chance to get someone to readourblogs.Surprisingly, almost all of them, had a Twitter ‘handle’ (as they defined it) as well, making me wonder if this was a true representation of the ‘Mumbai Blogging Fraternity”

It was time for the sessions and, this is where, I finally felt was a thread that united bloggers across genres.Ashoka is a non profit that describes itself as a Citizen Service Organization and seeks to create and nurture Social Entrepreneurs to drive change across nations. More can be read about them here

Every such organization seeks to drive awareness and the internet, of course, becomes the preferred medium. The internet, itself, however has evolved and it is a web of conversations that drives the internet today. It, is, therefore to create awareness and drive conversations that the Ashoka was looking for “Blogger Guardians”, who would become the voice of the Social entrepreneurs and drive conversations around them across the web…A good thought indeed.

The rest of the meet seemed to revolve around shameless self promotion, a lot of technical staff and a few laughs here and there ( Thakkar from hurrhurr.com).

The few interesting people I either observed or met included

a) An aunty who’s been blogging in malayalam and is quite excited about it.

b)A couple of Hindi Bloggers who are trying to make a social impact through their blogs, one of them being badhas.blogspot.com

c) A surd blogger who visualizes better and puts across meanings through drawings rather than words (wish I could remember his blog id)

Well, time for a final take on the entire event.

  • Being a social media analyst myself, I felt that every such meeting, is becoming a time out for the same group of people again and again.This is not a representation of the true population of bloggers in Mumbai.
  • A lot of talk is revolving around Twitter, which may not exactly be what bloggers are looking for in such a meet
  • A lot of talk is revolving around technology and nuances of technology, which everyone may not understand.
  • A lot of talk goes around SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which I fell, anyway defeats the purpose of your writing for the true love of writing. Also, a lot of us are not even aware of what SEO is and a bloggers platform may first be used to educate people around the same and then delve into serious discussions around it
  • Too commericial. Sponsors, new businesses, promotion takes the pulse away from such sessions. While, for some monetization is the goal, for many it isnt. There needs to be a balance struck to ensure how much monetization one can talk in such a forum.
  • Agendas for such meets needs to be laid out clearly before the meeting itself.

There is probably, a need to verticalize the genres of blogging and then call for such sessions. Value Addition can happen only then. Till then, it only becomes a platform to chit chat and gossip, something I do through the week anyway.

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Testing Flickr Slideshow

Was thinking of posting something today on Kerala. Am down with Viral, however, and my brain seems to be clogged with empty spaces.

Instead I thought I’ll post a slideshow of pictures that I had taken with my N73 in Munnar as a trailer to the high res pictures that will come later with some detailed stories and explanations.

This is also the first time that I am trying out a Flickr Slideshow since the day Aparna (my colleague) pointed it out to me.

Update:

Quite unfortunate:It seems that Flickr slideshows are currently incompatible with WordPress.com

Initially tried to embed the Flickr slideshow html on my blog but the preview completely erases the code.

I tried a workaround as well through http://flickrslidr.com but have been so far unsuccesful.

The slideshow feature seems to be throwing up problems across Myspace and Livejournal blogs as well. However they seem to work just fine with Blogger and WordPress.org blogs.

This is what Flickr has to say about the entire deal:

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/79445/page3/

WordPress.com doesnt seem to take a clear stand on the issue

All I feel is slightly disapoointed…Hope both the greatest blogging platform and the greatest picture sharing platform resolve the issue soon

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BMW:The Initial Years

Just continuing with the Did you know series. This presentation was created in the early days of my MBA at IMT on the BMW company…It is also my first attempt at embedding a presentation from slideshare.net ( The Social Media element of mashups)

For my Imtian readers, this was made for Mr Rizwi, our IT Professor.the date: 8th August, 2005

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The Kawasaki Tweetup:what I liked and what I didnt

Well the mandate was from above and so it had to be done. Besides it was a chance to see the twitterati from Mumbai and a man who’s been associated with some truly amazing ideas.

The tweetup was at 7:00 and we left by 6:00…one auto and a superfast train later we were in the lobby of the Oberoi by 7:30. The meeting had been organized in the business center and apart from our team of 4 souls, there were 22 other individuals including Mr. Guy Kawasaki.

The discussion…well it seemed to take the usual track of geekiness which seems to get more than its due share in all conversations involving Social Media. The war seemed to be between the Mac lovers and the Vista lovers and it seemed to me,given Guy’s association with Apple,everyone just wanted to talk Apple..the macs were covered and so were the iphones. Twitter was bound to come up in the conversation and while we do have around 4,500 members(as opposed to the 2500 mentioned at the tweetup) on it, I kept wondering why is it only a Geek’s paradise in India.

I guess its the adoption of the medium which has been slow. Any web technology that comes out in the market is adopted first by the enthusiasts. I am a keen web enthusiast and so was one of the first to signup for Twitter. I found it to be an interesting tool to be in touch with people in my field,Social Media and primarily use it as a proffessional tool to understand and gauge the industry. However, in India, where primary adoption of Social media is by the teen and early twenties crowd, is there a valuable proposition that Twitter has to offer? I think not.

A large part of this population roams around with the likes of 1100 in nature, the web? well thats to be done from a computer? and staus messages? well doesnt Orkut and Facebook also allow you to do that apart from the hundreds of other features they offer?

I was disappointed with the way Orkut was brushed aside at the tweetup. Well, for one,it’s the most popular networking destination in India. As sophisticated or web savvy i may be, I daily check Orkut.It remains to be my primary communications tool.

Facebook..well I guess its the branding. Every Marketer claims that his/her target audience resides on Facebook? How do you know that? and on what basis do you say that yoour target audience doesnt reside on Orkut?

Most people, I have come across do have an account on both and use both with passion.
The twitterati is in no way a representation of the Social Media in India.It goes much beyond that. It covers forums like a Pagalguy or a Jatland or a tv Masti…it covers networking like an Ibibo,Orkut,Facebook or a Bigadda , it covers blogs and it also covers review sites where thousands of consumers express their opinions on products)brands and services.

I still havent got a chance to attend a discussion where Indian Social Media is talked about.Would love to attend one.

Well, the tweetup did manage to convince me to restore my Twitter account as well as take a look at alltop.com which seemed to be the buzz of the day.

This one’s specifically for my blog’s audience. Follow me on Twitter and do comment here on why or why not would you have an account

My Twitter id: http://twitter.com/robinjabraham

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Hancock and social media!!

I am no critic…In fact the eternal optimist in me has only appreciated movies–all movies. As far as Hancock’s concerned, the movie was an excuse to meet up with my friends from MBA days.

Saturday morning rising was a bit different from the other saturdays. My room mates had gone to Bandra the previous night to watch Hancock and were unfortunate enough to find me in a sleepy and impatient state by the time they returned. Anyway the first words I heard, as I attempted to awaken my senses, the next morning were “Accha hua tu aaya nahi”. The expected question “Kyu?” brought forth a detailed summary with reasoning as to why the movie was “f**** all”.

As chance would have had it, the same afternoon I found myself with a tub of caremalized popcorn at Fun Republic, Andheri watching the same movie I had been warned against.

Now let me directly proceed to what i found interesting in the movie. Will Smith did an amazing job and so did Charlize Theron. The Script writer…hmmm I think he lost track of whether he was writing a romantic flick or a “super hero” script.

What was most interesting was the mention of “Youtube” in the movie. There is this scene where
Jim Carter( a PR professional) is trying to explain to Hancock how he is perceived by the masses. He proceeds to show him some ‘user generated videos’ on the site.
Now I dont know if there was a clear advertising effort by Google, but it surely shows Social Media’s increasing role and prominence in our daily lives.

Two months back I was looking for a good “net connection” in Mahim. When asking for reviews, some of the answers were based on You tube video streaming speeds. ” Good connection but video streaming is slow” and “If you’re a active You Tube user xyz connection is the best” constituted a fraction of the opinions I got….The Inference is clear: Social Media and User Generated Content is arriving….slowly

Heard the movie’s not doing well but it sure seems to have been a success on “Youtube”

The Hancock Channel

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Did you Know?

For all those who thought that Orkut was the most popular social networking site across the globe, heres a realty check…it’s not!!! what’s more? it’s not even in the top 4 social networks of the world.

The top 4 include myspace.com, facebook.com, Flickr and Classmates online. MySpace had a staggering 73 million visitors in May 2008…Unbelievable huh!! thats more than twice the total estimated Indian online population!!!

Comscore Top social networks

Comscore Top social networks

Indian population Online

Indian population Online

Myspace.com belongs to Fox Interactive media which in turn belongs to News Corporation ( the same company that owns STAR Tv in India )

It was initially built by a company called euniverse ( later renamed to Intermix Media Limited) and was inspired by Friendster.com, another popular social networking site. The site along with its parent company was later sold, in July 2005 to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation for $ 580 million!!!

Myspace.com was launched in India on 17th April 2008 and looks to garner a chunk of the Indian Social networking space.

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My Job: The Need

Most of my friends are clueless about what i do. Social Media…Buzz…Internet Marketing…Blogs…etc etc…my feeble attempts at explanation have only left them clueless with some additional jargon. Here is an awesome video I came across which will tell you why and where I come into the picture.

In short I listen,I understand and I engage with the consumer

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