Archive for twitter

The Stage of Conversation

Posted in Brand, Social networking with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by manuscrypts

Branded networks, that’s what the new property from Nautanki.tv (read the comments section) YouTopia is going to be. (via agencyfaqs). Update –  This is going to be called spaces, and is still under development.

The rationale is that since brands, especially in a nascent market like India,  may not want to invest in the infrastructure thats required for social networks, YouTopia would provide the same for individuals and brands to create their own networks with “necessary tools or applications like instant messenger, forum and facility to upload and share videos or photos while configuring their social network”, in return for an annual subscription fee (in the case of brands).

Reminds me of Ning, though in this case, they have said that the brand can choose an independent url (so is that unlike Ning where it has to be say, nautanki.ning.com). Also, there will be an ad network, which will operate on a revenue sharing basis between Nautanki and the owners.(?) (I don’t know whether Ning has a revenue sharing mechanism) And, does the last but one paragraph in the afaqs article mean an API? Hmm

Now the question I’d like to ask is, while (apparently) every brand manager wants a Gang of Girls, is creating a social network the way to go about it, or is it more important to maintain a conversation with the consumers? The argument I have is the same as the one i had for the online communities vs groups -on -social networks post. If the conversation is already happening at a social network, isn’t it better to be a part of the conversation there and be a facilitator? Would a brand have enough meat to pull the audience to a place where it will be the only ‘attraction’, and will they be able to maintain the interest for long. A Facebook group/ page, for example, already offers most of the stuff mentioned above, and I’m sure more features will be added. People have a certain comfort level with twitter conversations, would a brand specific network be able to recreate that? Multi Brand Outlet or Exclusive Showroom?

I understand that its debatable, but meanwhile, there are efforts on to sew the conversations happening on various platforms into one interface. So we have, in addition to Friendfeed, a browser – Flock, an add on to a browser – Minggl, and the last i heard a new entity – Combo (via Startup Meme), which attempts to do this through a web based dashboard and widgets. I hope they send me that invite soon, so i can do some test drives. 🙂

Meanwhile, have you noticed a comment option in Facebook’s news feeds, quite like Friendfeed, i thought. And here’s something for you to go ogle. That was Aditi Govitrikar, now where’s that I’m feeling lucky button?

until next time, scatter or gather?

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Conversations and Noise

Posted in Social networking with tags , , , , on June 3, 2008 by manuscrypts

I came across a new tool, a couple of days back. It helps you make an interactive profile card, and is called retaggr. Its got widgets for StumbleUpon, Gtalk, Twitter and many many more, and can be linked to your profiles on del.icio.us, LinkedIn, Blogger and a few dozen others too. In essence, its like a signature that keeps in touch with whatever you’ve been doing in social media – whether its tagging a photo on flickr or commenting on a blog post, and just like a signature, you can use it on the social media to ensure that other people know what you’re upto. Interesting?

Yes, but it also showed me a glimpse of the expanse of social media. There are conversations happening everywhere, on Facebook, twitter, blogs, Friendfeed ranging from meaningful discussions to trivial chit chat, but all of which are important to users. Is it possible to keep track of all the conversations you’re interested in? More importantly, how much of filtering does one have to do to keep track of only the things that interest him/her?

I really don’t think its as simple as choosing your friends or followers. Yes, it helps a bit, and in time, some calibration can be done to receive exactly the kind of alerts, tweets etc that you want. But in the end, conversations can go anywhere, and need not be restricted to your circle. Is it really possible to connect all the threads, because in the end, we are dealing with people here. People have conversations, a germ of an idea happens, and they carry the conversation somewhere else and forget about the original conversation.

People are also not uni dimensional, they have multiple interests. Even after i figure out who i want to be friends with or ‘follow’, not all the stuff they talk about would interest me, and unfortunately it takes time to figure out the conversations that interest you from the ‘noise’.

Speaking of time, it flies, its been a year since I started this blog. How have i been doing, my dear one and a half readers? 🙂

until next time, don’t even think of saying GTD

On the right track

Posted in Advertising, Brand, India, Social networking with tags , , , on April 30, 2008 by manuscrypts

Saw the new Fastrack TVC on air –  Shut up and Move On, but I didn’t see it there first. Fastrack is a brand whose communication i try to follow, simply because i feel that somewhere they’ve got the pulse right.  Of course by doing that, they also end up making customers who don’t fall in their TG demographics (me, for example :D), but thats fine so long as they keep their TG is happy.

So when i read here that a new campaign was on, i googled for the new TVC. Couldn’t find it, and then suddenly remembered that Fastrack is also on Twitter, and knowing the way they’ve been updating, I was sure I’d find a link, and i did. And that’s what’s cool about Fastrack. Not only do they get their communication right, they also experiment extremely well on platforms like Orkut, Facebook and Twitter, which means, unlike the usual lip service that’s done regularly by brands, this one’s actually interested in social media. Even their website seems to be on a wordpress platform.

A search for fastrack on Orkut would throw up quite a few pages with dozens of fan clubs, the largest one having more than 23000 members. Facebook has a few pages and at least 2 fairly large groups. Around 70 followers on Twitter. Just goes to show how well it can work when a good product is also a brand that is willing to have a conversation with its customers.

Even their regular communication smacks of attitude. I remeber a print ad that had a ‘No conditions apply’ with the image of a bull sitting on a closet between ‘no’ and ‘conditions’. Liked it so much that i checked the sale out, and thats how i bought my first Fastrack watch. So Fastrack’s brand manager, take a bow 🙂

Coming back to this ad, it is apparently targeted at singles between 15-25, and has an underlying theme of the generation’s penchant for instant gratification and variety seeking. While they have weaved in Fastrack quite well into a good storyline, i really didn’t like this one as well as say, this, but i think that’s more a problem with the basic premise rather than execution. The basic premise being the promotion of superficiality, especially in relationships. Yup, it perhaps is just another sign that I’m really not the TG 😉

until next, don’t SUMO , have your say

PS. Meanwhile, the other blog celebrated 5 years of existence yesterday 🙂

Evolution, or is it?

Posted in Brand, Internet with tags , on April 3, 2008 by manuscrypts

I read a couple of posts which made me think about this issue – social media’s role in the human mind’s evolution. What started out on  a tangential note here (tangential only because of the context change, on its own its definitely a compelling thought) was given this direction here.

The idea as expressed quite clearly in the first post’s title is ‘has asking become a substitute for thinking?’ The second post takes it on further and explains how asking for information, that otherwise ‘almost redundant’ info which could have been easily gathered anyway, is asked for, and not gathered, thanks to the proliferation of networks like Twitter.

Well, this ‘asking’ has been a common phenomenon in the workplace for quite some time, in the garb of ‘info sharing’ and otherwise, only with the advent of the web, the questions are now asked to a collective, the vast expanses of the www. It reminds of something I’d read a while back which basically said that if God could be equated to a collective consciousnes, then perhaps the internet is our first baby step towards reaching God.  And if that is the case, then (like i commented in the second post) this outsourcing of info collection to a collective is perhaps a way of evolving i.e. by crunching the time for ‘lower’ level problems, we will find more resources to tackle the bigger riddles of life. But that could be just wishful thinking,eh?

Meanwhile, if the crowd is going to supply the info, then it becomes all the more important for brands to be tuned in and be able to ensure that the crowd has enough data, and the right emotions towards the brand. Because going by this trend, the new age consumer will stop doing what he does these days – painstakingly gather information about his next purchase.

until next time, click away