Monday, November 23, 2009

Coffee Drinkers are from South ; Tea Drinkers are from North

This is a post from the after effects of “2 states” by Chetan Bhagat.

A wonderful book written on the life story of Chetan himself, it goes on to describe the cultural differences between the North and the South in a rather shady way. With a clever introductory note, about his love for the south, and hence his right to dig at them, had struck a rather negative chord with me

What struck me even more was the harsh reality that actually prevails, which made him to write on a biased perception of 2 different states, Punjab and TN. The former being his home turf, while the latter a place which he describes about, pretty much based on his first visit.

A book, pretty much based on the pre-cell phone and pre-internet era , talks about or rather bashes Chennai about everything , that it has not been .The author illustrates the characters who hails from North India to discuss on the “dark skinned Madrasi” who listens to “strange songs” early in the morning (Suprabhatham) , eating strange coloured vegetables and tons of rice in a banana leaf , one who loves curd rice for dinner ,has no fashion sense and of course glorifies the Thalaivar(Super star Rajnikanth) in his every flick

If one gets to feel, at this juncture, I am defending myself to dispel the myths that are illustrated in the book above, you’d rather be mistaken. You could probably treat this as a first hand info about Chennai/TN from a person who’s been born and brought up in that city

The city shares its land with a vast sense of communities among the Tamil Sect itself and the myth about it having mostly dark skinned people is a pathetic joke, one could say. At this point, I’d rather say, what’s in a color, than defend myself of the fairness among my city people. The same applies to their fashion sense or their cuisine and daily habits

The feeling one goes through when people remarks against people of their own country of a different culture could be rather agonizing . Everything from a Sardarji joke to a Madrasi joke, not to mention the interstate rivalries for mere necessities like water and electricity might have put India to Shame.

As the quote says, if Mahatma Gandhi was born 500 years ago in a different country, he would have been worshipped as God now.

Similarly, if Sachin were to belong to a country like UK or the US, he would have been given an immortal god status, and probably declared as King, rather than being insulted by illiterate hooligans, who blames him for not promoting his fellow mates.

Absolutely no offence to my fellow Maharashtrians, but rather directed at the people who is actually responsible for tarnishing its image in the name of Religion and State communities like the Shiv Senas and the Sri Ram Senas . Even more shocking, is their open admission of their inglorious attack on media offices (or their brutal attack on women in clubs, discs) in national television and their justification of the acts. With no possibility of justice, even remotely, thanks to their unyielding power on the ruling as well as the opposing parties, the attacks could well be on the rise and definitely more to come. The irony of the situation is, they give the reason being to oppose anti cultural activities, while they involve in hooliganizing and attacking the innocent women, who should rather be respected and revered, rather than moral policing them
(One thing they could learn from the dreaded Mafia in Italy, is that, no matter what, the women and children are never touched nor involved)

The paradox that could leave a non Indian baffled is how one’s adaptability and adjustment to the US/Uk culture is far easier and more welcomed than a culture which a fellow country man follows
It makes me think, is it unity in diversification or rather should be termed as diversification in unity?

We belong to a human race, that is supreme and unparalled by mere definitions. We don’t need to seek together to protect it, but rather be someone who doesn’t destroy it
As aptly quoted in Batman Begins “We need to seek the means to fight injustice. To turn fear against those who prey on the fearful."

INCREDIBLE INDIA !

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Notes from Twitter Cofounder Biz Stone Talk

Read this awesome article in my company portal and thought of sharing it :
BizStone :  " 1. Twitter is a two year old company

2. twitter taught us what it needed to be - by watching how people used the service, we learned what it needed to be

3. Biz has been doing this about 10 years… first at weblogging startup, the blogger at google

4. over 10 years, there is a general move towards openness

5. it’s not that email has gone away, people still use it, but they are moving more towards an open way of communicating

6. biz calls it’s social alchemy

a. “I’m having a beer at the boston airport”
b. No value to 99% of people who read it

c. But the one guy in the airport who reads it and come joins Biz Stone, and then they talk and form a company… that’s the alchemy

7. when founding it…

a. they were looking for ways to connect the mobile to the web

b. thought it was interesting if you saw the collective messages was friends, not just a single person, but everyone, you get a flavor for the day.

8. when starting

a. they built prototype in two weeks

b. they asked friends to try it over the weekend

c. when they started trying it, the tweets they saw made them laugh. They knew then they wanted to keep working on it

9. In 2007 SXSW interactive conference

a. Twitter was just getting started… 20,000 users

b. They saw a new behavior they had never seen before

c. En mass a whole bunch of people got up and left one presentation to go to another presentation

d. It turned out that people were tweeting about how great the presentation next door was

e. And at night, people would tweet that they were going to a pub, and it would fill to capacity within 10 minutes

10. MarsPhoenix changed the way NASA communicates

a. Used to be very staid. The science comes in, the science gets vetted, they hand it off to a PR department, they vet it and share it.

b. They tried blogging, but they used the same process. Still boring.

c. Then they tried twitter.
d. They twittered in real-time about the Mars Phoenix lander. Anyone who followed the twitter account would learn new details at the same time that they scientists learned. It was very exciting.

e. They thought they would do this just for the landing.

f. By the end of the day, they had 50,000 followers.

g. So they kept tweeting the whole mission until the power ran out on the lander.

11. story of reporter…

a. he was reporting live, he got arrested.

b. Tweeted one word: “arrested”

c. Friends called the dean, the dean called a lawyer, the lawyer called the consulate, and a couple of hours later a second tweet came “freed”

12. “Twitter is about the triumph of humanity, not the triumph of technology”

13. Earthquake happened.

a. It took 9 minutes for the AP to put out a 57 word update.

b. In the same time, there was ~3,000 tweets about first hand experiences of the earthquake.

14. Twitter trends identified natural gas leaks, terrorist attacks, events in Iran.

15. Business adoption: “Follow us on twitter: Find out when warm cookies come out of the oven”

a. The bakery owner: I sell all of my cookies as soon as I tweet about them

16. Twitter 101: for business

17. business.twitter.com

18. Twitter investments…

a. Trend towards openness

i. In communication

ii. Open source software

iii. API

iv. A very rich, open diverse ecosystem quickly evolved. It’s a huge driver for Twitter

19.

b. We started out with a mobile focus (140 character limit to work on phones)

i. There are 4 billion mobile phones on the planet. Much bigger market than PCs.

ii. They want to bring a real-time network around the globe.
20. The open exchange of information brings a positive benefit.

21. What’s the best way for HP to use Twitter?

a. It’s a new form of messaging. What’s the right way to use it? There’s a time for texting, a time for email, a time for twitter. (e.g. plane landing on the Hudson)

b. Twitter is a new form of messaging that people want. Use it as a native form of message “how do you want to send this photo? Via twitter?

22. Now if you can do a text message, you can share on the internet. This is making the barrier about as low as it can go.

23. How to monetize twitter?
a. They are going to follow the same patterns they see in the commercial space
b. Twitter will remain free for individual users
c. They are going to big commercial users, like JetBlue and BestBuy. Asking how these big companies are using twitter, and what twitter will do for them.
d. So the plan is that Twitter will introduce a commercial accounts feature to give big business some of these tools. "

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Masked Nation

As my friend quotes,
“100 years ago, when a black man becomes president ,people said pigs would fly. 100 days after Obama swearing in , Swine flew ! “

We are witnessing a nation that is crippled and bound in panic because of a flu disease, which has rocked the people out of their minds, to live in fear, as to when they might catch the disease.


A country, which stood unflinched when earthquakes and Tsunami struck killed thousands of people, or when the dreaded AIDS drifted into the society, is now cringing in fright of a disease, that has been blown out of proportion by the media

A nation where, even major injuries and health problems are simply treated with potions of herbal leaves, turmeric and powder; where mineral water is simply unheard of in most places ; where dustbins have simply ceased to exist , and roads have been turned into spitting places and ironically is now fearing even for the smallest cough or a mild fever and rushing themselves to get tested.

As Jerry Seinfeld quotes
“ The only warning label people really respect is 'dry-clean only.' Y'know what I mean? Speed limits, lung cancer, cigarette warnings - your very life is at stake! People go, 'Ah, the hell with it!' But dry-clean only? 'Oh, don't put that in the wash! It's dry-clean only! Are you crazy?!'
The media, whose primary responsibility is to educate people about prevention of the flu, improve awareness has turned into a frightening monster by extrapolating the no of deaths in every city and showing graphical images of deaths across the country.
Schools have cancelled their assemblies, malls have shut down, theatres have postponed new releases, esp. over the weekends to avoid mass gatherings, and offices have turned into operation theatres, with almost everyone wearing a mask. Railway stations, bus stands portray a dark figure, each one fearing whether the virus is lurking around or if the next person has caught the flu.
Only a handful of news channels including NDTV has been brave enough to ease the ongoing panic by stating that, its not necessary to wear masks , to have a normal social life and not to consume Tamiflu at any point of time, unless prescribed by the doctor , under extreme fever. They were also right to point out that more people die out of TB, Cancer, Aids ,and more importantly road accidents by the hour.

This is not a post to provide “de-information” to the people or venting out my anger on people’s crazy fear. I am neither unpatriotic nor uncaring. I am simply appalled by the mere ignorance of so called literate people who spreads rumors and alarm people .

As they say in Batman Begins
“A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely. A Legend ! “

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just 'Bing' It on !

Spoiler Alert : This post might mainly revolve around the future of technology and the ongoing battles between the major giants, and could possibly come off to a be tad boring to my "loyal female audience" ,as I dwelled and pondered long enough about my blog theme in my last post .

The following article basically summarizes the two laws of Al Ries (22 Immutable Laws of Marketing) & its relevance with the ongoing battle to regain supremacy in the worldwide web
THE LAW OF DUALITY:
“In the long run, every market becomes a two-brand race.”

a. The battle usually winds up between two major players, usually the old reliable and the newcomer.
b. In a maturing industry, third place is a difficult position to be in.
c. The customer believes that marketing is a battle of products. The kind of thinking keeps two brands on top. ‘They must be the best, they’re the leaders.’

THE LAW OF THE OPPOSITE:
“If you’re shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader.”

a. Whenever the leader is strong, there is an opportunity for a no.2 to turn the tables. In strength there is weakness.
b. Discover the essence of the leader and present the prospect with the opposite. Try to be different not better.
c. Present your products as the alternative to the leader.
d. The first brand that captures the concept is often able to portray its competitors as “me too’s

The Battle

The War between the two giants, Microsoft and Google , had a late kickoff ,with the intensity increasing only after Google's buying out of Youtube while their search engine share expanded in a major way on the other hand.
They competed in several categories such as video sharing sites, Operating system, Browsers,
Office Suite Applications, Mobile OS,Email service and finally the search engine market.

Microsoft's response to Youtube , in the form of "Soapbox" and "MSN Video" failed miserably
and have recently announced that they are scrapping the Soapbox site.The feud increased when Google launched their own Google Chrome browser to challenge the likes of IE and Mozilla ,though its still in a wait and watch mode ..
Both Google and Microsoft were quick to adapt to the cloud computing strategy , as both of them launched their own suite of Office Apps. Google , with their Google Docs, Spreadsheet
while Microsoft replied with their Windows Live and their soon to be released Office Online 2010

Finally it has led to this - To conquer the search engine market

Search Engine Market Share


Source : Net Applications

As seen above , Bing , the new search engine from the Microsoft guys, was launched in June ,
but haven't succeeded in creating even a tiny dent in Google's Market share .
Even the 5 % share acquired by Bing has simply been acquired from their already existing search engine services which included MSN search and Microsoft Live Search


Search Intelligence

As quoted by Tim Berners Lee,the founder of the world wide web , the search engine market is still in its infancy. From evolution of a simple search
engine concept by Google , it now stands in Intelligent Search , where a search portal can determine what the user actually requires and returns an answer rather than a mere list of websites which contains that keyword.
For example , a search query of "List of Chinese restaurants in London" would actually return a list of these restaurants , rather than displaying several hotel websites which contain the corresponding information

Instead of doing Google-type searches, researchers using Intelligent search can enter a query and get answers categorized with relevance and solve their problems — all in real time

EU Browser ultimatum

Microsoft after facing several charges of anti-competitive practice from the EU regarding its bundled softwares and browsers in its previous operating systems like XP and Vista , has come out with a new statement in relation to its future releases . The policy reads , Microsoft will no more offer their Internet Explorer in its Windows 7 Operating system and would simply offer its users a list of potential browsers , which they could download from the internet .
Ironically the list would also include their arch rivals Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

Future

The future of technology and its accompanying bounty lies in a simple handheld device - a mobile .The race to a Mobile OS has already heated up with the same companies again competing for the top ,which includes Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, Palm OS and last but not the least, Google Android.

The introduction of high end mobiles like IPhone,HTC , Palm OS etc has also given rise to mobile apps.A mobile application can be developed by any developer , who just needs to download a SDK (Software Development Kit) from the net , and starts developing his own application , which can range from a simple calculator to a mobile game or any graphical & tool.The developer can then sell these mobile apps in several sites, where users can pay and download onto their respective phones.
The mobile phones are further being developed to also act as a global positioning device to help people navigate across different places , by providing local traffic and route information
on the move.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Healed the world with your music !


Its’ a sad day for the world of music, as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson passed away last morning, suffering from a heart attack. A tragic end to an amazing genius, who simply ruled the world with his mind blowing music, and creating an entirely new trend in the world of Pop and R&B

As we grew up listening to his everlasting music, his death can be quite hard to accept, as we sometimes relate and assume eternal immortality to our icons and their piece of art.
Some of his songs including “Jam, Remember the Time, Black or White Heal the World, Just Beat It, You Rock my world” and several other singles still loop around in millions of hearts and stands the test of time

With several allegations to his name, and millions in debts, MJ’s life wasn’t as glorious as his music turned out to be, and despite his acquittal in all the 12 cases levied against him for child abuse, his image was completely tarnished and defamed by the media and press. He went close to bankruptcy and was almost forced to sell his Texas ranch to clear of his debts and legal suits. After suffering from various illnesses for the past 10 years, Jackson was due for a comeback concert on July 13, and his death could only be an ironic end to all the speculations and reports surrounding him.

As I usually say , “Someone who creates good music is a genius ,but someone who defines music is God. And there’s one and only god – Michael Jackson

Long live his music and may his soul rest in Peace

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm Bangaloreddd !


(My office Building - The cream/white colour building)

A new job in a new city can certainly accelerate things in one's insipid and rather stagnant life , and could bring in a completely new perspective and dimension to the world around you or as one might refer it to a paradigm shift ,if you happen to know the word.
Esp it happens to be a dream job in a top notch company , there's nothing more to expect for,completely overshadowing ur past failures , making you forget all those bad breakups and other troubles that seem to haunt you for months to come , even making the constant shuttling between Chennai and Bangalore every week , a worthwhile journey
And this is just a glimpse of my past month's events .The original version runs into several pages

I always intended and desired to rant about personal and common stuffs in my blog .yet,after several deleted rough drafts,I have resisted it strongly , so as to not affect the theme of my blog, which includes marketing and sports

Sports in all forms has been a complete disappointment to its million fans across the world , esp in the past few weeks ,and as the Murphy theory holds, all wrong things happen at the same time.A small dissection of these sports follows:

Cricket : A classy ,gentleman's game has been turned into a raging, impatient, quick-to-fame game with its introduction of the T20 format ,which is being further divided into IPL, World Cup T20, Champions league etc. The World Cup , similar to the IPL had its own share of upsets. The overconfident, injured, Ex-Champ, Indian team , falling like nine pains to power of Gayle , the mammoth Aussies being eliminated in the first round ,or the mighty South Africans losing to Pakistan , the World Cup has become another disaster , as evident from its dull SriLanka-Pakistan finale. Not that they didnt deserve it , but it jus shows to prove that this version is only for those who can make it happen that day , and doesnt give any compliments and regards to true class and brilliance.

F1 : A sport , completely dominated by politics , and its future hanging in the balance , adding to its recession woes . At a perfect "unperfect" moment, F1 chief Max Mosley comes up with a budget cap of more than 60 % , and a standardized engine for all the teams and promptly and rightly rebuked by 8 of the 10 major teams threatening to quit and start a rival series.
The situation has worsened now , as the deadline for the agreement has ended , and the new series is jus less than a step away. F1 fans have felt complete contempt with these new political developments and divided upon which one to follow, though the balance tips in favour of the rival series , since it includes Ferrari,Mclaren,Brawn GP,Red Bull Toyota and so forth.
F1 will be merely reduced to just any other sport with teams like Force India and other useless American teams competing it and may not be really that worthwhile. The sport's sponsor may also duly shift to the rival teams , as thats where the big brands and big bucks lie.

Football : One of the widely adored teams, Manchester United has given up on its key Portugese striker,Christiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a sum of 80 million pounds,thus ending the year long controversy. Added to that , United has failed to renew its contract with Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez , which comes as a rude double shock to its fans and a major cause of worry to the already ageing team of Scholes,Giggs,Rio Ferdianand and so on. Man Utd might find itself in a big crisis , as to whom to fill in as replacements for the right midfielder and striker position and has got a major job in their hands , and as to its future , even Alex Ferguson may not have the answer to it

Tennis : Nadal misses out on Wimbledon , due to injury , and a major disappointment to the Centre Court audience not to witness the duel between Nadal and Federer

and to add to it , I havent added Golf and BasketBall to this rather depressing list

Anyways have a happy sporting weekend ppl !!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine Optimization (SEO) as defined by Wikipedia is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results

A better understanding of SEO is obtained by studying the structure of search engines.
An internet Search engine basically comprises of of three types , which are
• Search Engines : Google , Yahoo ,MSN ,Live etc
• Directories : Yahoo Directory,Open Directory etc
• Portals : AOL,Netscape etc

The above mentioned search engines take into account many factors while deciding the ranking of a given website and also plays an important role in positioning the web site among its search results
Hence SEO is a crucial thing for several internet businesses which tries to race ahead against its competitors to rank among the top in the search results for a given service
Another reason for the existence of the SEO industry is the fact that the vast majority of Web sites are developed with no thought about how they will generate traffic and hence a professional Search Engine Optimization service bridges this gap
There are several sites that offer professional SEO Services for a website , which includes long term marketing strategies for keyword placement on major search engines. Keyword Performance LLC is one such firm which is an ethical search engine optimization company that offers five star seo services for natural and organic rankings and offer everything from standard SEO to press release services and distribution.
Video is a relatively new technology to search engine optimization (SEO) and, within the past few years, has changed from being another form of social media marketing and a link back to another tool to enhance ranks in a search engine. It is also touted to be a multibillion dollar marketing strategy in SEO industry within a couple of years. The video seo service offered by this firm comprises of Professionally produced Search Engine Optimization Videos to enhance your Google rankings and increase traffic to your website.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The rant of a disgruntled CSK Fan and his IPL Analysis

The second edition of the IPL finally drew its curtains last night with resounding success, as perfectly orchestrated by Lalit Modi . With 8 star studded teams , it was always predicted to be a exciting clash of the big players including the retired veterans , who still managed to retain and display their prowess and their hard hitting skills.

Unlike last year in India,the SA pitches proved to be a tough battling ground for the batsmen .The pitches were dead and flat , the ball didn’t come on to the bat , and proved out to be a paradise for spin bowlers and scoring runs became quite an ordeal . Totals of 170+ were hardly reached, and even 120 became a very competitive total to chase under lights in several cases.

The IPL almost belonged to the spinners, which included the greats of Warne, Muralitharan, Kumble and even Raina who were extremely economical and tough to play, against their spin. The pace bowlers, on the other hand suffered the demolishing onslaught of prolific batsmen like Hayden ,Glichrist and Sehwag who were simply a treat to watch , as they smashed countless sixes ,most of them disappearing out of the ground. Sreesanth might have had several sleepless nights and nightmares, after being totally demoralized and smashed by the big gutsy Hayden , who might have as told him “Think of a different career option, rather than bowling to me”


Hayden undoubtedly became the key performer of this season, with 572 magnificent runs with a staggering average of 52. His one hand sixes to deep fine leg , walking down the pitch to a pace bowler , as if taking a stroll to meet his other partner , and meanwhile dispatching the ball to a six , 5 quick fire half centuries , and a strike rate of 145 , the IPL couldn’t have offered more.
In fact the 37 year old was touted to be the best fielder amongst the players , with his brilliant catches, and diving fielding in the ground , which shamed even the 20 year olds who couldn’t even figure out where the ball was going to land ,or to throw directly at any of the six large stumps


The IPL Flaws

Despite its adaptation from the English Premier League , the IPL has failed to replicate the football leagues in its points system or the league format and has almost become a huge disaster with two major upsets in the semis .

The English Premier League has 20 teams , with two matches between each teams , and the team with the highest points at the end of the 38 matches wins ( A goal difference comes in to play if there is a tie) and hence no concept of a semi final or finals

The UEFA champions league has a “2 leg” feature , where there are 2 matches of every semi final and the team with the highest goal difference (also higher “Away” goals) at the end of two matches subsequently qualifies to the finals ,hence completely ruling out any irregularities and upsets.

The T20 version, unlike its 50 over predecessor , is completely susceptible to major upsets and hence a direct semifinal berth to teams qualifying in the 3rd and 4th spots was a big mistake . Everyone predicted a Delhi vs Chennai clash (with the Super Kings handsomely winning the diamond and ruby enriched trophy , over the Daredevils ) . Yet , it became a Hyd Vs Blore finals , and turned out to be a major anticlimax finish to this exciting season and dearly losing out a major chunk of the TV viewers ,despite the promised glamourous closing ceremony featuring the hot fashion models, Akon’s performance etc .
In fact , Set Max even advertised a Deccan Chargers vs Super Kings final ,after the first semi , and had to change those copies immediately.

IPL Marketing

Coming to the marketing aspects , it has been learnt from the official figures , that all franchisees including the last placed KKR , has earned close to the 66.5 crores from the total bounty received from sponsors ,broadcasting rights and TV Ad revenues . The TRP Ratings for the IPL has completely dominated over all other shows , including reality shows and the ever popular TV soaps , and managed to convert a major chunk of even non cricket followers to watch this 4 hour of madness.

Vodafone , in fact found it immensely favourable to launch their ZooZoo ad campaigns , during the IPL matches , though its sales & ROI on advertising is still in great doubt ( Though experts might argue it doesn’t lead to direct sales and acts as only a brand value and brand recall enhancing concept.
My Question : They are absolutely adorable and funny, but is it worth spending so much ? )

Future ?


Modi is contemplating 2 tournaments of this version in the same year , and even considering venues like US, Europe in the forthcoming years.
This might be a big profitable venture for him and his comrades , but it can prove catastrophic to the game of cricket as such , with the already declining Test Cricket format . In all fairness , England and Australia are the only venues , where one still expects a fairly large amount of attendance to the 5 day version , while countries like West Indies, India and even South Africa hardly sees a 5000+ spectator count for 5 days together.
ICC has to act strongly in order to save this enduring and brilliant version of the game .
Where else can you expect real strategies to come in to place, the batting captain declaring on lunch in the fourth day ,setting his opposition a fairly modest total with 1.5 days to go or the struggling team holding on to its final few wickets on tea on the final day , trying to play out its final few overs without losing any more wickets, with almost 7 fielders, just inches away and surrounding the batsmen to catch hold of anything red before it pitches in the ground.

On the lighter note , the Kolkata Knight Riders , managed to satisfy everyone’s expectations by losing 8 games continuously and finishing last in the table ,and got the distinction of being eliminated first.
I hope they stick on to their same game plan next year too

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Twittering World


A microblogging website , that lets user post about "what they are doing" ,in just 140 characters, whose basic idea sprung up from a simple status message concept from Instant Messengers like Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger etc, Twittering has become the next generic name and an Internet buzzword , alongside Googling , Digging and Facebooking......

With the growing buzz , Twitter has also been flooded with celebrity pages , with several high profile people creating a Twitter page for them , to update their fans about their schedules, events,photos etc.
The list has included everyone from Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey , Britney Spears, Mariah Carey , Coldplay , Chris Cornell , Larry King and even sports teams like LA Lakers, NFL etc

Infact it has not even spared the political world , where the likes of Barack Obama and 10 Downing Street are constantly using it to reach out to their people and listen to their queries . For a fact . Obama’s Twitter page has almost 1.05 million followers whereas 10 Downing Street has a half million viewers.

comScore reports that 9.3 million people worldwide used Twitter in March, up from 4.3 million in February, growth it partly attributes to the large amount of media coverage Twitter has received.

Revenue Model

Twitter co founder , Biz Stone says , they are trying to create value for their consumers and once the "Twitting" fad grows into a larger phenomenon , they would start on their revenue generation spree by targetting companies .
Twitting experts on the other hand feel , that traditional advertising will not work for this microblogging site , and Twitter must adopt an entirely different strategy to make money out of this site.
As Kotler says , "The aim of marketing is to make selling unnecessary"

Revenue need not come only from ads. Twitting updates from users across the world, about their activities , at a given point of time , at a given place , can lead to enormous customer insights which can be further sold to major firms including market research agencies , and at the same time , protecting the privacy of the individual users.

Keyword search can also be a key element in their revenue , with the type of information streaming out constantly from their 9 million users would lead to a very profitable customer insight database to be sold to firms.

E.g. If a media agency is able to understand that people belonging to a particular city , say New York, are more inclined to watching TV at a given hour(from their Twitter updates) , this can lead to better media planning and hence increased network ratings for that corresponding channel

Twitter also plans to develop tools that brands and companies can use to drive research and engage consumers. These brands can create premium and paid "Twitter” pages that contains exclusive information on the latest releases, news and articles about them, and also offers special discounts to their "followers"


Future of Twitter

With a simple one line concept of "What you are doing " Twitter has certainly turned some heads and on an expansion spree. The success of it lies in its simplicity and the timeframe of the message it tries to convey (similar to Digg - Digg ur fav posts , Facebook - A place to network with friends and relatives , LinkedIn - a place to network with possible recruiters etc)
It is also touted to be the 2009 Top technology trend of the year.

Despite all the media frenzy surrounding it , the future of Twitter is still uncertain , where some users believe it will either die a eventual death after a brief stint or it will get taken over by some corporate giant like Microsoft or Google
Rumors has it , that talks are already been taking place , for a complete buyout by Google in the near future.
Will it be called Twoogle then ?


Catch me on Twitter at :http://twitter.com/hkmurali

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Brawn Identity

F1 2008 , in the recession era , has witnessed several changes , in the form of cost cutting (almost 60 %) , structural modifications to the car and rule changes.

The changes include :

  • Return of the slick tyres (in addition to the intermediates, the wet tyres and the soft compound tyres)
  • A smaller rear wing and a much wider front wing with driver-adjustable flaps
  • KERS, the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems which can give drivers up to an additional 85 horsepower for 6.6 seconds a lap
  • Engine : ev limits will be cut from 19,000 to 18,000 rpm. Drivers will be limited to eight engines per season, with each team allowed an additional four engines for testing
  • The pit lane will now remain open throughout any safety-car period, allowing drivers to refuel without penalty
(source : F1.com)

FIA , has constantly revolutionizing the sport , with radical changes almost every year , to keep up with the popularity of the sport ,in comparison to others .Their aim has been basically to stop the dominance of certain drivers and teams ,due to their increased financial resources and highly advanced R&D setup, which has ultimately led to declining interest in viewership ( Not yet proved completely !!)


They first went after the racing god , Michael Schumacher , by introducing structural modifications in the F1 car to prevent him from winning . When he eventually retired , they went after the Ferrari team , and to stop their monopoly in the constructor standings, and as such havent been successful in stoppign them.

Until last year , the game stood as a 2 horse race , with only Ferrari and Mclaren giving it a real tough fight to gain the championship , with the likes of Renault , Sauber , Toyota coming a distant fifth or sometimes barely scoring a point.
Season 2009 , on the other hand has a come real shocker , with debutantes "Brawn-Mercedes"(Ex-Honda) team , comprising of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello has finished 1-2 while giants like Ferrari and Mclaren hardly finished the race .

As far as marketing is concerned , its a good thing to see a healthy competition existing amongst the teams, but when it comes to a sport like F1 , the fan base basically comprises of a 70 % Ferrari fans and a 30 % Mclaren (read : Lewis Hamilton fans) and hence it will be a major disappointment to see a team like Ferrari struggle against minnows like Brawn Mercedes,Red Bull,Torro Rosso or Toyota

F1 boss,Bernie Ecclestone has certainly got his facts wrong , and is acting upon a wrong assumption that , F1 can be saved only if even the lower placed teams are given a handicap or some other kind of advantage to give them a podium finish.

F1 doesnt sell because Jenson Button or a Sebastian Bourdais wins
F1 doesnt sell in India because it has the Force India team ( If thats the case , GP2 should be more popular , since India seemed to grab more wins there )
F1 doesnt sell because of a Williams or a BMW Sauber car

The only reason F1 is the most favoured sport in the world is because of the Prancing Horse,Ferrari . The single most greatest car in the whole world. Their dominance in the sport , (starting with Michael Schumacher till their recent find ,Felipe Massa) is the only reason F1 is surviving. A car , that has inspired millions to race , that has redifined the word "speed" and
has constantly stood for the ideal dream car , every guy wants to own.

Hope the Malaysian circuit brings back the Ferrari dominance. !

Ending on a lighter note , I just came across Jerry Seinfeld's standup act on loyalty towards sports teams :

" Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city, you're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean, you are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt, they *hate* him now. Boo! different shirt!! Boo. "

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Delhi 6 to Chandini Chowks !

Am back here in the blogging circuit after an amazing trip to one of the splendors of India , Rajasthan and Delhi

Covering a distance of almost 2000 kms in a span of 5 days, it turned out to be a very long road journey covering almost several parts of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer , Pokran, Ajmer , Pushkar & Delhi and back to Chennai. Yet it was an enthralling and unforgettable experience to be mesmerised by the grandeur and beauty of the forts and palaces

But what really struck me , was the phenomenal changes that has undergone in the nation's capital in the past few years. Delhi ,since childhood has always fascinated me in several ways . One being the beautiful historical monuments like Qutub Minar,Red Fort lined across the city, the immortal beauty of the Taj,the varied culture prevalent in the city , the food and the pretty gals :P

The same city though is now shedding its historical tag in lieu of becoming a highly developed "modern and a cool" city with its massive skyscrapers ,malls , discs and the dominance and rising fame of the shopping streets from Sarojini Nagar to Chandni Chowks , thanks to Bollywood cinema. Gurgaon , in fact looked like a shining jewel and resembled almost like New York ,at night when viewed from the highway

Not that I am against this trend of modernisation , it's jus sometimes a sad state to see history being forgotten , and other factors come into place .Reports indicate that even the famous city tours have begun including the Chandni Chowks the famous malls etc and leaving out the historical landmarks . People heading out to Delhi are more keen in checking out the famous malls and the shopping areas , than seeing the landmarks which might be of a little concern , for "Brand Delhi" .Can the brand still possess the historical places as its key trait ,and unique selling proposition or will Delhi 6 / Chandni Chowk replace it ?

To me , Delhi is a delightful and an unforgettable place ,which i love dearly the same way I love my Chennai (not jus for the landmarks but for several personal reasons :) , and I jus hope the history lives on for generations to come.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jai Ho , Rahman !



The moment has arrived . A moment to cherish, relish and revel upon.
A moment to savor , and feel thankful to all the gods.
A moment to squeal in joy and jubilation , to see Rahman’s pic splashed across all the papers in the country in almost every single page, with people pouring in with their wishes and love for this extraordinary , yet simple man.

For those who worship him as God , and be proudly called as Rahmaniacs like me , I must admit this is the moment we have all been waiting for .An award not to prove his greatness ,
but merely a statement to tell the world of his existence and to show them that we can beat them in their own field.

As far as Rahman is concerned, the award may not be probably for Slumdog , but just an award to prove to the world ,that this is just one entry point, to show them that we can redefine your music, in your own way .

It s a pity though , that some of Rahman’s brillaing masterpieces have gone unnoticed completely , esp in the North , since them being Tamil songs. Beginning from 1990 with Roja, until 2001 , Rahman’s Tamil –Hindi songs ratio was almost 80 – 20 , and considering that fact , it is still a sad state to see that barely, only one or two songs appear in his all time Top 10 list.

So considering that fact that most of his songs haven’t been recognized in his own country , it surely will be a long time ,for the global music arena to take notice of him , and his music. So the Oscar has given that first step ,, not just in the US , but within our country , to take pride in his work, and learning to appreciate all his compositions , irrespective of the language in which it is composed.

The two Oscars certainly came as a big surprise to a large section of the audience, for critics and even certain “Rahmaniacs” admit, Slumdog Millionaire may not have been one of his best compositions , as compared to his earlier tracks like Roja, Bombay , Dil Se etc.
Yet, as luck would have it , Rahman broke into the Hollywood spectrum in music ,through this movie , and gave a completely fresh perspective on English film music with 13 spell binding tracks

As a pride owner of the complete collection of Rahman’s albums , in all languages , I have prepared my very own Rahman Top 20 and here it goes

1. Maa Tujhe Salam - Vande Maataram
2. Kathal Rojave (Roja Jaane Mann) - Roja
3. Munbe Vaa - Sillunu oru Kathal
4. Kannathil Muthamittal - Kannathil Muthamittal
5. Vellai Pookal - Kannathil Muthamittal
6. Kaiyil Mithakkum - Rathchakan
7. Tere Bina - Guru
8. Dil Se Re - Dil Se
9. Arziyan - Delhi 6
10. Ella Pughazhum Iraivanukke - Azhagiya Thamizh Magan
11. Chale Chalo - Lagaan
12. Anbae Anbae - Jeans
13. Katre En Vasal - Rhythm
14. Vennilave - Minsara Kanavu
15. Snehidane - Alaipayudhe
16. Thamizha Thamizha (Hindustani) - Roja
17. Pathshaala - RDB
18. Anbe Aruyire - Anbe Aruyire
19. Thenmettu Paruva Katru Karuthamma
20. Jashn - E Bahara - Jodhaa Akbar

Long Live A.R.Rahman and his eternal music !


JAI HO !!
Is it Grammy the next time for our "thala" ?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cricket's New Rule

Cricket , over the past has seen numerous changes , owing to the rising decline of the game's popularity and revolution in technology.
If it was tennis , that was first caught up with the technology , which introduced three challenges per set , against the umpire's decision , its now cricket which has caught the fever.

The ICC has confirmed that the ongoing trial of the umpire decision review system will afford each side two unsuccessful reviews per innings

The Rule reads as follows :
"With this change, the system will see the fielding and batting side allowed two unsuccessful appeals to the umpire per innings to change a decision if it is perceived to have been incorrect.

The rest of the playing conditions for this trial remain unchanged. The appeals can be made only by the batsman in receipt of the umpire’s original decision or the captain of the fielding side, in both cases by the player making a "T” sign with both forearms at shoulder height.

The on-field umpire will consult with the third umpire, who will review available television coverage of the incident before relaying fact-based information back to his colleague.
The on-field umpire will then deliver his decision either by raising his finger to indicate “out” or by crossing his hands in a horizontal position side to side in front and above his waist three times – as per a “safe” decision by an official in baseball.
If it is different to his original decision, the umpire will touch both shoulders, each with the opposition hand, to revoke the previous signal and then make a fresh signal as per the revised decision"
(Source : ICC)

With the growing on-field tension and disappointment by the players for wrong decisions has cuaght the eye of the ICC , and have passed on the buck to the third umpire for an added responsibility - Challenging the field umpire's decision and reverting them if proved to be wrong.

Is technology really a menace in such situations for being responsible of cricket losing it's "personal " touch of the onfield umpiring ?
Or can the game still hold on to its glamour and excitemnt , like football ,which still remains the coveted sport despite having its innumerous wrong "handball / penalty decisions ?

The war between Technology Vs Human is on , and this time the battle is on the grass !

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Captain's Knock ! Or was he Knocked out ?

One of my first posts in the blog was on the historic One day International played between Australia and South Africa in Johannesburg , where South Africa chased down a record total of 434 in 50 overs
Several years later, history came quite close to repeat itself.. But this time , the other team, or rather would say , the best team won in the end



The feud ,competition and rivalry between these two teams is not yet over , which is quite evident from the recently concluded test series in Australia.
Despite the fact that , South Africa won the first two tests by luck and won the series, the third and final test match was not an easy affair.

5 days , 450 grueling overs , a broken test wicket at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground), an injured captain with a broken hand , coming out to bat at No.11 (as compared to him coming opening) , a controversial catch claimed by the Australian captain , this match had seen everything cricket had to offer in one of its finest forms of the game , Test Cricket

Ricky Ponting, the most resilient and daring captain of the Australian cricket team , allowed the visitors to chase a target of just 367 with more than a day's play left , by declaring so early .. Despite knowing fully well , that SA had won the previous match by chasing a mammoth target , Ponting dared them to achieve the impossible yet again.
Sports fans and critics would have called him a foolish person to declare early ,esp when SA had reached 67 for the loss of just one wicket at Stumps Day 4. Yet Ponting silenced them all and proved why he is still the best captain around , with his intent of going for a kill rather than play for a draw

The match extending to the last 3 overs of the fifth day's play and still the result of the test match was quite indecisive with both possibilities of a OZ win or a draw was laid open..
120 runs to win , and one wicket in hand (that being the SA captain , Graeme Smith, who had earlier walked out on a retired hurt ,after an express delivery from Mitchell Johnson broke his left hand,and showed no signs of coming to bat again)
With less than two overs to going the final day , Graeme Smith walked on to the pitch , with a standing ovation from the crowd , jus to bat through the final 15 odd deliveries to draw the match. But though , his stumps were rooted from the ground by the same Johnson , with just 10 balls left in the match.

The match would have won by the Aussies , and the series captured by the South Africans , yet at the end of this magnificent 3 weeks of test matches , it just shows to prove why Test Cricket is still and will ever be the best the game can offer.

5 days of intense and grueling cricketing action in fading lights and broken pitches , brings about a sheen,an efficiency and a class in these players that ODI or a T20 can never dream to display .

Fours and Sixes can show you who has more power , but the true test of character comes out only when you battle out an entire day's play in a test match..

That's why , they still call Dravid, "The Wall" !