Archive for March 18, 2008

Spacing Out

Posted in Brand, India, Internet, Social networking with tags on March 18, 2008 by manuscrypts

So, MySpace is planning a formal launch in April. I had written about them earlier, when they were doing the Campus Star thing with Channel V. Maybe the idea was to get in the seed users from the audience category they expect/want. This is also a case of going after Youngistan then 🙂 But this is a neat way of doing beta testing.

Not a bad start then, because they have apparently got some 62000 users registered on IndiHub, which is a community they’d created. From what i saw, it mainly had to do with the music scene, and what has been called ‘Indian programs’. The site does have quite some Indian bands’ videos and songs. I checked Thermal and a Quarter, which is a popular Bangalore band, and it already has over 200 comments. I also happened to check for Galeej gurus, another well known Bangalore band, and found them too, though with lesser comments. Similar with Motherjane.

With Orkut and Facebook having a major presence already, MySpace will have to find radically different ways of reaching out to their core audience, and college/other music bands definitely fit the bill. If they take over this space, which currently has no owners, they could swing a good and loyal audience their way. The other good part is, it is a good way to become a part of college fests. eg. If Galeej Gurus are going to play at IIM-B’s fest, (and they’re going to know that well in advance), MySpace can actually have communication at the venue saying visit Galeej Gurus at My Space, blog about your experience at IIM-B, connect with other fans, find out where they’re playing next and so on, instead of going about the ‘online partner’ logo way. The idea is obvious- build communities around stuff which evoke passion. The brand then becomes very contextual, relevant, and therefore something which one would immediately want to asssociate with.

I wonder if they’re also planning the same trick with a more mass commodity – Bollywood, because in the videos’ space, i saw an exlusive interview with Ranvir Sheorey, and a Mithya trailer. This can be another great community builder. Imagine the movies’ trailers having a mention of MySpace in the same ‘Galeej Gurus’ fashion above. Exclusive interviews, trailers, chats with actors, more importantly actresses :D, downloads of wallpapers, ringtones etc – in essence, a Bollywood Hungama in a social networking milieu. Do this for every major movie that releases, actually the non major ones too, after all, its Bollywood and I’m waiting to see how Himesh’s Karzz will turn out to be (hope that numerology funda in the end doesnt turn out to be a preview)

I wonder if this is what they are planning. If so, social networking in India will be fun because this is a good answer to Facebook’s applications, and while junta will flock to this latest offering purely because of the novelty factor and snob appeal, its important to build users and communities right, so they dont flock towards the next entrant.

until next time, this is my space 🙂