India Still Shining

I’d written a post earlier on local sites. Happened to come across another one yesterday. Its called indiashines.com.

To summarise what the PR note had to say about the site, the need gap identified is a social network plus site which understands the “diverse language, cultural and regional requirements” needs and one that’s therefore customised to Indian needs. Hmm, so what all does it offer? The typical social networking offering of connecting with friends and family and sharing photos, videos etc along with privacy tools, a classifieds (including jobs), options to customize home pages with regional weather, photos, jobs, maps and news. And of course, how can anyone not have blogs? 🙂 They’re saying exactly what you’re thinking – “YouTube, Blogger, Gmail, Craigslist, Flickr, Monster.com combined with the Weather Channel on one website” and localised. And wait, recommend it to friends, and you’ll get a rupee per friend.

Few small things that I thought were well done –  it automatically took me to a Bangalore page, but with the option to change my city, and thats quite a lot of cities thats listed there. The weather, the map, the profiles are all bangalore. They have done a very decent job on the news, by taking feeds from sites as varied as Techtree, the Hindu, Exchange4Media, HospitalityBizIndia and all Bangalore specific news. All of these worked for Agartala too, so its a pretty good job.

The photos, music and videos are a bit dicey- though it changes with cities, the content somehow doesnt match. eg. Tamil movie trailers in Agartala. The classifieds and ‘deals’ haven’t been worked on yet because irrespective of city, apun sirf Mumbai dikhayega!! Thats on the homepage, though. Once inside, it shows local content.

The community part is very interesting. A small digression, I was able to navigate inside quite easily even without logging in, and that includes browsing profiles. Thankfully, I wasn’t allowed to judge whether they were hot or not (yup, its prominently displayed in the profile) without logging in. The layout and items inside (testimonials, upcoming birthdays etc) reminds me a lot of Orkut. But hey, they even have a ‘Poke me’ button. But wait, its not just all ‘Add to shopping cart’ from other sites eg. something very interesting i noticed – imagine your blogger account being connected to Orkut and posts coming in the newsfeed in your profile? Thats something these guys have done. Very interesting.

Now, while you have groups, the listings and ratings feature in Yahoo Local is not to be found here. But a mashup of this and Yahoo Local (hey, no harm in thinking of possibilities) would create that locality based social networking phenomenon that I’d want to see. Who do you think has better chances at getting there first (humour me, just assume they want to), the above mentioned entities or Tolmolbol?

until next time, tol mol aur bol 🙂

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2 Responses to “India Still Shining”

  1. Dear Author,

    I am Saran from IndiaShines.com. Thanks for your blog and comments you have posted about our new social networking website IndiaShines.com. We appreciate that you shared about our site. You asked some great questions I like to answer some of them today.

    We want Indiashines.com to become a social networking portal where you can connect with your existing friends, make new friends, be entertained with user contributed content, regionally organized and be updated with your local happenings. That is the one of the reason why we made profile browseable even for non members but with a privacy tool for members to hide it and share only with friends and members they approve.

    As more users contributed content aggregates the more exact results you will see when you go to other parts of regional networks. That is one of the reasons why you see better organized content for Mumbai, Bangalore and Tamilnadu but not for Agartala. Eventually when users contribute the content should be more targeting that region. Given the word we are only 1 month old and user’s adoption rate is very good. They are contributing very interesting stuff and sharing with the world.

    Yahoo local, we don’t want to mix up pleasure and business in one place. Social networks are meant to make friends and be connected with existing friends. So we think adding Yahoo local will be contradicting. But we have lot of other cool stuff under development which will be more social based and contributing to the world. Our priority is to make Indiashines.com a safe place to connect and make new friends. We are improvising our usability and privacy tools.

    We welcome you and any of your readers to visit and join IndiaShines.com. We would love to have you as members.

    Thank you, Good luck

    K Saravana Kumar
    India Ventures

  2. manuscrypts Says:

    thanks for the reply, and all the very best 🙂

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