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Don’t call us, we’ll call you…

Posted in Brand, India, Internet with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2008 by manuscrypts

Read a very good post here on how words lured a potential customer in, but actions spoke louder and managed to get him out safely.

I had a similar experience with an entity i wrote about (like a lot of other people did) a few days back – Like I’d mentioned, I skipped the mobile invite and was content with an email one. And as they’d promised on the site, it arrived within 5 days (4 days – customer delight?). And it wasn’t just one, i got 5 of them. I started out with the first one, didn’t work. I thought it was just me, and tried the second, that didn’t either. No, I wont bore you with single counts anymore, none of the 5 codes worked.

Since i love to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone but me, i started googling for similar experiences, and found out there was at least one more guy like me. But the number of positive entries there made me try again, still didn’t work, so I guess the cosmos’ message is pretty clear “Beta, it’s not for you’. Sigh. Fine, i get the message.

There’s another tangential set of experiences. I have always bemoaned the lack of a good ‘Amazon-like’ site here. So whenever i notice there’s a new player in the field, whether it be rediff’s feeble attempts, or newbies like gobookshopping or the flipkart guys (who i got to know of through a brilliant marketing exercise of giving away bookmarks outside the Strand Book Festival) I immediately sign up. The next thing I do is check out if they have stocks of a book that I’ve not been able to get offline.

The latest case is that of ‘Dublin’ by Edward Rutherford. I have asked all three entities for it, but have not got a response. Rediff actually billed me for it and then sent a mail a few days later stating they didnt have stocks.  And this is not the first experience of the kind.  However i keep getting ‘push’ messages from them about ‘latest releases’ and ‘mega discounts’. I wish they’d understand how much difference a conversation with the customer makes. Meanwhile, Strand would note it down in their book and give me a buzz as soon as they got the book.

until next time, action and satisfaction

Zoom In

Posted in India, Internet with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2008 by manuscrypts

On one hand, i see the TV media guys, sprucing up their websites to improve engagement with users. On the other hand, I also read about how they are sharing content with pure play internet channels. I guess it will be a while before we see exactly how TV and internet will co-exist and still make money.

I’m still figuring out Blinkx only slowly, especially since another entity of a similar kind caused me a lot of heartburn when i checked it out. In my first attempt at Hulu, they refused to show me most of the stuff I wanted to see, citing some regional reasons. I was so looking forward to seeing some Simpsons episodes 😦 In my second attempt, i had to be operating from the US to see anything at all. Blinkx, however, operates on a video search level, though in the future, I wonder how much of a distinction there will be among a youtube, hulu, blinkx etc especially if content – professionally created or uder generated, will be shared everywhere. Will there be someone interested in keeping their content exclusive, or will it be too risky not to share it? Its something I’ve yet to understand. This and this, though old, might throw some light on it.

Meanwhile, the other big news today is the launch of WATBlog says Web18 might have spent 2 C for that domain. I thought of taking it for a pin and have been told that it might take a couple of weeks since my mail id is in a queue. In typical Indian fashion, they told me that jumping the queue is possible, if i give my mobile number. But since I’ve been inundated with SMS relating to everything from commodities to movie tickets to holiday packages to jobs and everything in between, I decided to pass. Unfortunately, even WATBlog’s username/password combo doesn’t seem to work anymore. You can also read about it here.

While its competing in the quite cluttered horizontal portal space, it already has a tangible differentiation with the homepage. I’ve always liked Web18’s moves even though they took the concept of niches to an extreme, and now this one seems likely to set a new benchmark for Rediff & Co. Come to think of it, would also have been a cool name, maybe with a teaser like “ soon”. “In.come soon” also has a nice ring to it. Haha, okay, i shall refrain. 🙂 They also have a presence on TV which is also on expansion mode. That almost makes them a ‘one of a kind’ entity here, except for, of course The Times Group. Incidentally, i saw an ad of Zoom yesterday (below)

It claims to have 23 applications on Facebook. Now, I consider myself fairly active on Facebook, and have never come across a Facebook application from Zoom. Can someone enlighten me, coz i love Bollywood trivia games. Incidentally, if you consider yourself a Heroes fan try out my quiz here.

until next time, kisko dekho?