Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Google to Shut Google Buzz

Google announced to shut down the highly-controversial social networking product Google Buzz, along with several other services in the coming weeks, Xinhua reported.

Google on its official blog, Google announced the death penalty to its code search engine, Buzz, Jaiku which let users send updates to friends, the Google personalised homepage feature iGoogle, and the University Research Program for Google Search.

The shut-downs came as part of Google's housecleaning effort announced in early September, in which the company said it will shut down a number of products and merging others into existing products as features.

"Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome," said Google in the blog post.

Google Buzz, a social networking and messaging tool integrated into Gmail service, has been widely criticised for privacy concerns and held back the search giant from expanding its businesses to the social networking space.

After Buzz, Google launched Google+ in June, which has been receiving a good response and passed the 40 million user mark, the company's chief executive officer Larry Page said.

Source: Times Of India

Facebook helping Indian Film Makers

In the era of credit crunch, social networking sites like Facebook and other online communities are fast emerging as tools for independent filmmakers to crowdsource their film projects.

Sanjay Suri-Onir's recently released film 'I Am' is India's largest crowd funded movie with more than 400 producers from over 45 countries. Happy with the success of the 'I Am' experiment, Suri is now crowdsourcing his next film 'Chauranga' again through Facebook. He has already put up some 60 posters of the film and is looking forward to pull in some talent also.

Paris based Indian filmmaker Prashant Nair, who debuts with his film 'Delhi In A Day', also sought help from the French government and online communities to pull in resources for his small budget movie, starring veterans like Lillete Dubey, Victor Banerjee and Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Prashant is looking forward to perfect this method in his next film 'Amrika', which is again based in Delhi and takes a look at the Indian perception of the country.

An open forum, moderated by Reliance Entertainment CEO Sanjeev Lamba and including panelists like actor-producer Sanjay Suri, director Ketan Mehta, Russian director Vicktor Geinsberg and Nair, discussed various methods of co-production and crowd funding on thee sidelines of Mumbai Film Festival.

Talking about his experience, Suri said that an independent filmmaker looking for crowd funding should be prepared, transparent and should have a distribution plan in place. He also said that since the method involves many like minded people, the filmmaker should be prepared that the whole financing will take time.

Talking about the unique methods of film financing, director Ketan Mehta said filmmaker Himanshu Roy was one of the earliest directors to use unorthodox methods to raise finance for his films and then there was Prabhat studio, which was a producers body made of directors. He also talked about Shyam Benegal's film 'Manthan', which was produced by dairy farmers in Gujarat.

Russian filmmaker Vicktor Geinsberg, who made a film on one of the most loved novels of Russia in the post-Soviet era 'Generation P', said he initially approached the Russian producers to finance the film but was turned down because the film uses a lot of foul language, a taboo in Russian cinema. He then realized that since the film was about an advertising guy, he could raise money from the products featured in the film.

He is now planning a sequel to the movie 'V Empire', which is again based on the novel by Pelevin.

Original Post at Times Of India.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Here's to CRAZY ONES. Think Different

Here is to Steve Jobs who is been great inspiration for innovation.



Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent.    They imagine.    They heal.
They explore.    They create.    They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people.
While some see them as the crazy ones,
we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Its all about content baby.... Interesting

All the website entrepreneurs out there, read this very intersting artcile that I found on plugged.in.  In the fast pace world everyone wants to move ahead and were content is most important criteria esp. for some web domains. Just don't copy the most important part of your business referring to this case model - which is very common around India and I bet across the globe.
Zomato has published strong proof against Burrp accusing them of copying restaurant listing data from their site. From what it looks like, there is no excuse that Burrp team can really present for this. And as usual saying, “User submitted data” is as lame as it can get.
In nutshell, Zomato publishes their own number for some restaurants that they have up tie-up with. Burrp, as accussed by Zomato, while copying data, also copied this phone number and hence was easily caught.
We have been experimenting with a few business models and have for a few restaurants put our own phone numbers on which we take table reservations on behalf of the restaurant. These instances are very few in number (~1% of our database). So these numbers are our numbers, the restaurant staff doesn’t know about this and these numbers have no business showing up on some other website (even our API does not serve these numbers). Also, we have our own proprietary GPS systems which help us collect very very accurate (within 2 meters) GPS coordinates for restaurants listed on Zomato. So when these coordinates, until the 5th decimal point show up on some other website, we have a problem.
Now, we found a few such instances on Burrp.com; these instances are incomplete listings (they didn’t take our data which they thought would be proprietary), but these listings have our phone numbers and our GPS coordinates in them. Here is a screenshot:

Note: I have saved snapshots of these Burrp pages on Freezepage at these URLs:
Zinos on Burrp on Freezepage
Mangal’s Profile on Burrp on Freezepage
Btw, we found these listings by doing a simple “site:burrp.com 49422222” search on Google. 49422222 is a Zomato owned phone number in Delhi.
We have found multiple other such instances on Burrp.
Now, we have pointed out such issues to Burrp twice earlier and the response we got was:
“This was a user upload, we have nothing to do with this, we will take down the listing. Thanks for keeping an eye on us. And please don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. We maintain 150,000 listings, so we don’t bother about copying your data at all. We don’t do such things.”
Now, this is not a user upload. The ‘user’ who added this listing is a Mangal84, who has added 11052 listings to Burrp (yet) with 0 reviews (!). Clearly a Burrp employee, since May 5, 2009. More about it here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/mangal-shewale/23/519/867 or http://www.freezepage.com/1316835281MDMFHBHHQU
With user uploads, I can understand, shit happens. But even then, you just cannot pass off shit in the name of user uploads. It’s a well known fact that Burrp verifies and moderates every listing upload that is submitted on the website. How could such a thing get through the moderation and verification system? So, if it is indeed some users uploading Zomato data to Burrp’s servers, we strongly recommend that Burrp should either strengthen its moderation systems or shut down the sections of its business which they clearly cannot manage.
What I have not been able to understand is the map coordinates available for a few restaurants on their system. I don’t really think that a user would go to the extent of going through our source code, extracting the map coordinates and submitting them to Burrp. As far as I know Burrp doesn’t even have a facility to submit raw map coordinates. And I think there is only a one in a million chance that the user accidentally dropped a pin on a google map which is exactly the same as the super accurate coordinates collected with our GPS systems. I would like to give Burrp the benefit of doubt, but it is highly unlikely that a user is doing this. As shown above, its quite likely that a Burrp employee is behind all this scraping from Zomato.
This is not the first time that Network18 has been accused of data stealing, earlier JustDial had sued Askme for data theft and the latter was asked to shutdown as well. It seems Network18′s web presence is nothing but a content farm. Their in.com property is also known to be reproducing SEO rich content from all over web on connect.in.com. They are so sure they are violating copyrights that they have published a notice for Copyright Infringement Issues on all pages.
While there are strong and might we say ‘insensible’ laws being made around web publishing that even go on to restrict fundamental rights of speech, there is no action on mass infringement like these. You need to individually go fight cases. I wonder why Google’s Panda update hasn’t taken up on this. Though one remarkable thing here is that in.com was doing all this through help of Bing until now but now Bing’s logo has been removed.
On web where having data is major part of your product it seems people have taken it for granted. Earlier even Cleartrip has been accused of data theft by Travelocity. The case led to momentary arrest of Cleartrip’s CEO.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Daily Expense Manager - Android App

My Mom wants me to write accounts every day and its very tedious job. I either forget to enter the things or have trouble to get any stats over my expense.
Anyway I been using this Android App called Daily Expense Manager and its great. It does almost all the things that I need. I can take backup on SD card or email it to myself, make entries any time as its installed on my phone, have stats of my mode of payment (credit card, cash, debit card, cheque), total expense - monthwise, date wise etc.

Overall a great app for anyone who wants to write accounts. Simple and effective.

More details can be found at : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.techahead.ExpenseManager&feature=search_result

Great App on Android for Daily Expense Management and logging.

Pad Thai Noodles

Ingredients (note the ingredients are approx. and as per my taste, please alter as per requirement):
  • 2 Cup Pad Thai rice noodles (linguini-width)
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Garlic
  • 2 sticks Cilantro
  • 1/2 lime 
  • 2 Pinch of Salt and Chlli
  • Small portion of Cauliflower, Carrots and French Beans
  • 1 Spoon Soya sauce 
  • 1 Spoon Chilli sauce
  • 2 Spoon peanut butter - creamy or chunky.
  • 1.5 Spoon Coconut Milk
  • 1 Spoon Olive Oil
Preparation:
1. Take half a pan of water and boil the noodles in the pan for 10-15 min. or till it gets soft. Add a pinch of salt so it doesn't stick and tastes better.
2. Drain all the water and set the noddles aside.
3. Take the Pan and put 1 spoon olive oil in it.
4. Throw 2 chopped onions and 3 Minced garlic
5. Once golden brown, put the stove on low heat and put some peanut butter sauce (crunchy or creamy as per your taste. I like it crunchy).
6. Add Cauliflower, Carrots, and french beans as per the taste and availability
7. Pour 1.5 spoon coconut milk.
8. Put pinch of salt and Chilli powder. Also put 1 spoon soya sauce and 1 spoon chilli sauce. (If you don't have chilli sauce or soya sauce then also its fine)
9. Add 0.5 spoon lime juice and mix well.
10. Serve hot in a plate with chop sticks or fork :) .

Done.

Note: 
- Peanut and Coconut Milk Sauce can be pre-made for faster preparation. You can make those sauce by following this recipe and thus add noddles and soya sauce + chilli sauce + veggies and then done.
- Peanut Butter is available at good groceries stores. (Sundrop has recently come out with peanut butter and is available for Rs.100)
- Coconut Milk is available in tetra pack or tin. Tetra pack is usually available for Rs.58
- Suggestions are most welcomed. 

Pad thai with small rice noodles and chunky peanut sauce.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Satay in Peanut and Coconut Milk Sauce

Ingredients (note the ingredients are approx. and as per my taste, please alter as per requirement):
Preparation:
1. Prepare the Peanut and Coconut Milk Sauce
2. Drain all the water of the Tofu packing
3. Place the Tofu in the sauce and marinate. Let the juice get inside the tofu.
4. Pass the bamboo sticks through the Tofu and lay it over the grill. I have Toaster oven thus I am using that. Turn it after 4-5 minutes and keep it on the grill/oven for 12-15 minutes. Make sure it don't burn.It should be grilled.
5.Serve it in the plate using same Bamboo sticks or Chop sticks.

Done.

Note: 
- Tofu is now easily available in India. It is also sold as Soya Paneer. It usually cost around Rs.50 / 500gms. If the Tofu has an option of Firm or soft then get Firm or extra firm. If it doesn't have any option and no choice - buy whatever is available. Usually Soya Paneers don't have any options. 
- Peanut and Coconut Milk sauce can be made by using following recipe. 
- Suggestions are most welcomed.

Satay with Tofu, Peanut and Coconut Sauce. This is a non liquid sauce. Made with Chunky Peanut butter.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Peanut Sauce for Thai Food

Ingredients (note the ingredients are approx. and as per my taste, please alter as per requirement):
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Garlic
  • 2 sticks Cilantro
  • 1/2 lime 
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Spoon peanut butter - creamy
  • 1.5 Spoon Coconut Milk
  • 1 Spoon Olive Oil
Preparation:
1. Put 1 spoon olive oil on the pan
2. Throw some Garlic and Onion
3. Once golden brown, put some Creamy Peanut Butter, Coconut Milk.
4. Put 1/2 lime and then add a pinch of salt.
5. Finally add Cilantro

Done.

Note: 
- Chop all the veggies nicely.
- You can also add Crunchy Peanut Butter
- For more liquidity texture, add more coconut milk and water.
- Peanut Butter is available at good groceries stores. (Sundrop has recently come out with peanut butter and is available for Rs.100)
- Coconut Milk is available in tetra pack or tin. Tetra pack is usually available for Rs.58
- Suggestions are most welcomed.

This sauce is made with Chunky Peanut Butter. It is non-liquid sauce.

Bean Burritos and Casadia

Ingredients (note the ingredients are approx. and as per my taste, please alter as per requirement):
  • 1 Re-fried Beans (see note)
  • 1/4 Lettuce or cabbage
  • Salsa Sauce
  • Sour Cream (see note)
  • 2 Jalapeno
  • Corn Tortilla or Meda Roti (see note)
  • 1 Spoon Olive Oil
  • Shredded Chesse(optional. see note)
  • 1 fine chopped Onion - FOR Casadia only.
Preparation:
1. Put 1 spoon olive oil on the pan
2. Place the Corn/Meda Tortilla
3. Place refried beans, jalapeno, Salsa , lettuce/cabbage, sour cream and chesse at half side of the tortilla. Make sure you don't over fill else when you fold the tortilla the stuffing will come out. Also don't put too much salsa as it will extract tomato water. The proportion of all the above things will be Refried Bean - 1 spoon, Jalapeno - 3-5 pieces , Salsa - 0.5 spoon lettuce/cabbage - 4-5 pieces, sour cream - 0.5 spoon and chesse - 0.5 spoon.
4. Fold the tortilla. So now the circle tortilla will be semi circle. Turn it over till the tortilla becomes golden brown and cooked.
5.Cut the tortilla like pizza slices or make one more fold and you can also eat it like a roll.

Casadia can be made in the same way but instead of refried beans and Jalapeno put lots of cheese and some onion, salsa, sour cream.

Done.

Note: 
- Sour Cream is usually not available in India. I usually make it with Dahi. Tie the Dahi in a cloth and drain all the water. Make sure all the water is drained. Once done set it aside for 5 min. You can also put couple of drops of lemon. I don't put lemon as just Dahi with drained water tastes good to me.
- Corn Tortilla is the best and makes an authentic Mexican taste. But again its not easily avaiable in India and some Hypermarkets keep it but they are all exported from abroad and are very expensive (10 tortillas for Rs.250). Thus you can either make them (we tried but its too much work and didn't turn out good) thus I get Meda tortilla that are available at local franky outlet/maker. This Meda roti tastes same as corn only its less healthy and heavy on stomach. But it costs around Rs.4/roti which is damn cheap compared to corn tortillas.
- You can use Monterrey and Sharp Cheddar cheese. I use any kind of cheese or no cheese. Go Cheese have started selling shredded cheese (Mexican style) in India. No idea on quality but looked good. (let me know if you have used it). Else Kraft have great cheese but again expensive in Indian market since it been imported.
- Refriend Beans tins are available in the market. You can also make Refriend beans from scratch. Will post the recepie soon. But as of rightnow either you can google it or buy the ready made tins that are available for Rs.100 or normal Kidney Beans for Rs.60 and then refriend it at home.
- Salsa recipe can be found here.
- Suggestions are most welcomed.

Bean Burrito warped in Casadia style instead of Roll as its east for me to eat. Also I have used Meda Roti instead of Corn Tortilla.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

ZNMD Poster at Copy Machine

Couple of years back I wrote a blog on "Bollywood's Copy Machine". Well here we go again. This time the latest movie - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara's main poster is been copied from Lords of Dogtown movie.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara


Lords of Dogtown

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yamunastak (with meaning in English)

Prologue

Shri Yamushtakam is the first among the sixteen works known as shodashgranth. This particular granth is composed by Shri Vallabh in v.s.1549(1491 A.D.) on the Shraavan Shukla 3 during the prithvi parikrama ShriVallabh was in Gokul and he was undecided about the exact place of Thakurani Ghat. At that time Shri Yamunaji herself appeared and guided Shri Vallabh and pointed out the exact place. Shri Vallabh than and there composed Shri Yamunashtakam,the beautiful stotra,in the praise of Shri Yamunaji. It consists 9 verses,eight of them are written in praise of Yamunaji and in 9th Shri Vallabh describes for daily paath- doers the fruits ofShri Yamunashtakam.

The fourth beloved (turyapriya)of Shri Krishna,Shri Yamunaji is epitome of selfless devotion towards Krishna,and only through her or her Kripa(grace) a jeeva(soul) can experience the param phal i.e. leela-pravesh. She purifies souls and removes all obstacles which are in the way between jeev and prabhu and gives the exalted jeeva a new body fit to experience the leela-phal-"tanu-navtva"! For ordinary bhakta of to-day the recital of Yamunashtakam daily will enhance his love towards Shri Krishna,abolish his paap-bad deeds and above all the bhakta will be able conquer his svabhava-basic instincts.

Shloka 1

Namami Yamunamaham sakal-siddhi-hetum-muda
Murari-pad-pankaj-sfurad-amand-renutkatam I
Tatastha-nav-kanan-prakat-mod-pushpambuna
Sur-asur-supujit smarpitu shriyam bibhratim II1II

I (Shri Vallabh)bow joyfully to Shri Yamunaji,the giver of divine super natural powers for experiencing the bhagvadleela. Shri Yamunaji is loaded with the glistening sands emanating from the lotus feet of Murari ShriKrishna. The water of Shri Yamuna is scented with the perfumes of blossomed flowers from the forests located on the banks of Shri Yamuna,such Shri Yamuna is worshipped by gods and demons equally. II1II

Shloka 2

Kalindagirimastake patadamanda poorojvalaa
Vilasagamanollasat Prakataganda shailonnata I
Saghoshagati danturaa samadhiroodha dolottamma
Mukundarativardhini jayati padmabandhosuta II2II

"Falling forcefully on Mount Kalinda Shri Yamunaji appers to be crystal white and looks beautiful with her luxurious flow through cheek like rocks of mountain. Shri Yamunaji follows a zig-zag path noisily and while she flows up and down she looks as if sitting on a beautiful swing. Shri Yamunaji is superior as she enhances our love towards lotus-feet of Lord Mukund. II2II

Shloka 3

Bhuvam bhuvanapaavaneem adhigatamanekasvanai
Priyabhirivasevitaam Shuka-Mayur-Hansadibhee I
Tarangabhujakankana prakatamuktikavaluka
Nitambatatasundareem namata Krishnaturya-priyaam II3II

Bow down to Shri Yamunaji the fourth beloved of Lord Shri Krishna,who has come down to earth to sanctify it and on earth she is served by parrots,peacocks,swans etc. with melodious noises as if served by loving friends. Shri Yamunaji wears bangles in the form of waves and sand on them looks like pearls. Shri Yamunaji looks beautiful with hips in the form of her two banks. II3II

Shloka 4

Anant-gun-bhushite Shiv-viranchi-devstute
Ghanaghannibhe sada Dhruv-Parasharabhistade
Vishuddha-Mathura-tate sakal-gop-gopivrite
Kripajaladhi-sanshrite mam manah sukham bhavay II4II

Shri Yamunaji is adorned with countless virtues and is worshipped by Shiv,Brahma and other gods. She has a lustre of rain filled clouds and fulfilles the desires of sages like Dhruv and Parasher. Pious city Mathura is situated on her banks and she is surrounded by gop and gopees whose only refuge is kripasagar Shri Krishna.O Shri Yamuna! please bless me with the happiness of mind II4II

Shloka 5

Yaya charan-padmaja Mur-ripoh priyam-bhavuka
Samagamanato-bhavat sakal-siddhida sevtam I
Taya sadrashtamiyat Kamalja-sapatniv yat
Hari-priya-kalindaya mansi me sada sthiytam II5II

Shri Gangaji who has emerged from the lotus feet of God could become beloved of Krishna and fulfilled every wish of her followers only after her merger with Shri Yamunaji. Shri Yamunaji can be compared with lotus born Shri Laxmiji only, who is also Shri Krishna's beloved. Shri Yamunaji who destroys all the ills of Shri Krishna's devotees may live in my (Shri Vallabh's)heart forever. II5II

Shloka 6

Namostu Yamune sada tav charitrmatyadbhutam
Na jatu yama-yatana bhavati te payah-panatah I
Yamopi bhagini-sutan kathamu hanti dushtanapi
Priyo bhavati sevanat tav harer-yatha gopikah II6II

O Shri Yamuna! Your character is wonderful!! A person who partakes your water has no fear of pain inflicted by Yama-the god of death-as how could he hurt his sister’s sons(devotees)however wicked they may be because they become beloved of Shri Krishna like Gopikas by serving you! O Shri Yamuna! Let us pay obeisance to you incessantly.II6II

Shloka 7

Mamastu tav sannidhau tanu-navatvam-etavata
Na durlabhtama ratih Mur-ripau Mukund-priye I
Atostu tav lalana surdhuni param sangamat
Tavaiv bhuvi kirtita na tu kadapi pushti-sthitaih II7II

O beloved of Mukund Shri Yamuna! By your nearness let my body become new(worthy) so to gain the love of Shri Krishna-the enemy of demon Mura- is not difficult. So let us shower you with love(by prayers) as Ganga became famous only after merging with you and was not worshipped by Pushti-Jivas before that.II7II

Shloka 8

Stutim tav karoti kah Kamalaja-sapatni priye
Harer-yadanu sevaya bhavati saukhya-mamokshatah I
Iyam tav kathadhika sakalgopika-sangam-
smar-shram-jalanubhi sakal-gatrajaih sangamah II8II

oh! Shri Yamunaji! the co-wife of Laxmiji! The beloved of Krishna!! no one is competent enough to praise you. By worshipping Laxmi with Shri Hari one gets the bliss of salvation only while you give much more- as your water is mixed with sweat generated by the bodies of Shri Krishna and Gopikas while having exotic sports and by worshipping you the devotee gets the bliss of this too.II8II

Shloka 9

Tavashtakamidam muda pathati soor-sute sada
Samast-durita-kshyo bhavati vai Mukunde ratih I
Taya sakal-siddhayo Mur-ripushcha santushyati
Svabhav-vijayo bhavet vadati Vallabh Shri-Hareh II9II

O Shri Yamuna! Daughter of Sun!! A person who always recites these eight stanzas with joy gets freedom from all of his sins and he surely gets affection of Lord Shri Krishna by which he attains all the super natural powers. Shri Krishna-the enemy of demon Mura-becomes satisfied and devotee conquers his nature so says Shri Vallabh.II9II

Monday, July 25, 2011

Plus coming up with Business Page and Games

Well yes we all are waiting from Google Plus to come out with its Business Page and Game Page. In my past article on "Google Plus for Business. Signup for testing the Business Pages " they said that they want everyone to hold on the business profiles and wait till the year end for an official Business page.

But things are moving fast and might be rolled out in next couple of months. Their is a high demand for the Business page from the Tech community.

Also if Plus wants to win the war against facebook, they need to have the Games page. I know many people who don't want to jump on Plus since they will miss their Farmville or other similar games. Thus Plus needs to get Games on board at earliest.

So here is the official news from Google Plus's Christian Oestlien



Also recently Google acquired two social gaming companies like Social Deck and Slide. Thus its just matter of time to see the gaming part of Google Plus.

Social Deck Screenshot Pet Hera

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fresh Easy Salsa

Ingredients (note the ingredients are approx. and as per my taste, please alter as per requirement):
  • 6 Tomatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 1 Garlic
  • 2 Jalapeno
  • 1 Chile Pepper
  • 2 sticks Cilantro
  • 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 spoon olive oil
Preparation:
1. Chop Tomatoes (small), Onion (small), Garlic (minced), Jalapeno (minced), Chile Pepper (minced), Cilantro (minced)
2. Add some olive oil.
3. Mix everything in a big bowl.
4. Drain excess tomato water.

Done.

Note: 
- Chop all the veggies nicely. That is the trick. The more you mix and better it gets. 
- Suggestions are most welcomed.

Salsa with excess tomato water. Drain the water.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Suing spoofs is like killing the Creativity

Well recently McDowells Ad is been in news to get sued by Harabhajan Singh for spoofing his Royal Stag Ad.

I personally think that its ridiculous. As spoofing is not bad, its just an alternate content development to capture the audience. Some time spoofs have been better or connects better with the audience then the original.
Movies, Actors, Politicians, Sport person, celebrities, ads, concept etc all been spoofed and I guess suing them is just killing the creativity.

Some of my favorite spoofs:
- Austin Powers spoofs James Bond Movies
- Coco Cola VS Pepsi: spoofs during late 90s in India (most of the ads came during world cup).

Checkout Royal Stag's Original Ad with Harbhajan Singh



Checkout McDowells Platinum's Ad with MSD spoofing Bhajji



Contact monline today for creative content development for your services/products.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Top 5 Social Media Automation Tools

Social Media Automation Tools

Yes checkout the Top 5 Social Media Automation Tools that we use for our clients campaign.

1) Social Oomph :

Social oomph does just about everything, from scheduling tweets and Facebook updates, auto-following, auto-Direct Messaging, to managing multiple accounts and tracking activity related to your profiles.

2) Hootsuite :

Hootsuite is a slick collaborative “Social Media Dashboard”. That said, it’s much more than a dashboard with scope to manage multiple accounts, assign tasks to team members and track/monitor your presence.

3) Twitterfeed :

Twitterfeed is not just a feed for twitter as the name might suggest. It’s a great way for you to syndicate content (that’s available in a feed) to your other social media profiles…e.g. Your latest blog post shared on twitter, Facebook etc.

4) Gist :

I’m only new to Gist, but it’s already proving very useful. Gist combines the information you provide into consolidated Gist profiles. Then, Gist goes to work on your behalf aggregating sources like blogs, Twitter feeds, company information, and news articles from thousands of news providers.

5) Social Mention :

When it comes to tracking social media mentions of yourself, your company, your brand, your products or even your competitors, there’s no easier way than through Social Mention.

Now – there’s plenty more tools and automation services out there in “social media” sphere…
If there’s a FREE automation tool you use to streamline your social media efforts, share it with us via the comments below.

Source: ineeedhits

Also I am looking for a tool that would include google plus.. but on luck.

If you know any tool that works with Google Plus..please post.

Google Pulls the Plug on RealTime Search


By now all you Google Realtime Search users will have realized that the feature has gone missing and your search query produces a 404 error page. This is because Google’s Realtime Search was recently disabled due to the termination of its agreement with Twitter who also happened to be the main source of real-time data for the search product. Ironically, Google announced this news through a tweet on its Google Realtime Twitter feed.

Google Realtime search was pretty simple – it produced results in real-time from various sources such as Twitter, FriendFeed, Google Buzz, Facebook, MySpace, Quora, Gowolla, Plixi and Me2day.

But the question everyone is asking is why? To be honest, nobody really knows for sure. One suggestion is that Google has plans to integrate its newly launched social element Google+ into the Realtime Search feature and thus saw no point in giving Twitter feeds more exposure in its Realtime search results. Google’s’ Gabriel Stricker reiterated the same in her statement that “The company envisions including Google+ information along with other Realtime data from a variety of sources.”

The agreement between Google and Twitter expired in July 2011, however Twitter will continue to provide real-time data to Google’s main competitors, Bing and Yahoo.

While Google will be doing away with Twitters real-time data in its Realtime results, Twitter data wont be gone from Google results completely:

While we will not have access to this special feed from Twitter, information on Twitter that’s publicly available to our crawlers will still be searchable and discoverable on Google.

Although Google has not provided any clear answer as to why it didn’t extend the agreement with Twitter, here’s hoping that realtime search is gone for good.

Source: ineedhits

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Plus for Business

Google Plus for Business

There’s a new social network on the block, and publishers and brands are scrambling to figure out how to use Google+ for business. When a social platform starts growing exponentially [personally, I already have 49 Google+ followers and it’s only been a week!], good marketers take notice and move in fast. However, social media marketers have hit a major roadblock with Google+ – there are no business tools. What’s a company to do?

We got word yesterday from Google+ Ads Lead Christian Oestlien – fittingly in a YouTube video posted on his Google+ profile page – about Google’s plans for business-oriented tools. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Don’t create a business page yet: Oestlien asked brands and business to hold off using consumer profiles to create a business identity on Google+. Using a personal profile for a company or brand violates the Google+ terms of service (much like Facebook’s policy). Google says it will be “actively working with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles,” although companies like Ford already have profiles which Oestlien himself has shared in his feed. In summary, create pages at your own risk until the proper tools become available.

2. Google+ business tools will be coming… sometime this year: Google engineers are currently working on separate business pages, which will include integration with other services like AdWords. According to Oestlien, the “business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses.” However, no time frame has been set for the deployment of these tools.

3. Apply to be part of the Google+ for business pilot: Google will be testing business features with a small number of users. You can apply to here: http://goo.gl/zq95C

The fact that Google+ has an Ads Lead is a hint of things to come; clearly Google intends to put some form of AdWords on the site, like it has with every other major Google property.

In the meantime, the Google+ rollout is having a massive effect on Google services across the web, and publishers, brands and businesses should take note. The Google 1+ button is has already been deployed on Google AdWords and search results. Publishers can (and should) add the 1+ button to their content, similar to “Tweet This” or “Share on Facebook” buttons. It is likely that these “votes of confidence” from users will show up on their Google+ profile pages and be integrated into Google’s search rankings secret sauce. In addition, Mashable reported that Google will rebrand Blogger and Picasa to bring them into the Google+ fold.

It took brands years to get on Facebook; a year or so to realize the value of Twitter. Clearly times have changed. What’s next for Google+? Stay tuned…

Orginal Article by Alexia Nielsen

TRAI - New VAS directives - VAS ad Telecos disappointed


Considering the interest of mobile phone consumers of country, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on July 4th issued some strong directives to the telecom operators on the procedure of providing Value Added Services (VAS) to the end users. However, these directives would affect revenues of Telcos who are already battling falling ARPUs and are eying improved incomes after the launch of 3G services, the major attraction of which are the lucrative VAS services.

TRAI has rolled out the directives under 9 clauses in its statement. In its clause it says, All Cellular Mobile Service Providers and Unified Access Service Providers are directed that no chargeable value added service shall be provided to a customer without his explicit consent and that any value added service, which was earlier being provided free of charge, shall not be made chargeable without the explicit consent of the customer.

The regulator in its other directive has said that incidences have been brought to the notice of the authority where value added services have been renewed to prepaid consumers even in cases where available balance in consumer account was insufficient for the renewal of VAS resulting in negative balance.

To prevent automatic renewal of a VAS, TRAI has also asked the telcos to provide prior notice of three days to the concerned subscriber asking whether the service should be renewed or not.

TRAI also says that every service provider shall, at least three days before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service, inform the consumer through SMS, the due date for renewal of such service, the charges for renewal and tollfree telephone number for unsubscribing the value added service.

“If, in response to such request, the consumer indicates his explicit consent by conveying “Yes”, such VAS shall be renewed and such consumer shall be informed through SMS the charges for renewal of subscription of value added service shall be deducted from subsequent recharge,” Trai said.

However, most of the TRAI’s directives seem okay with the Telcos but the most controversial and unacceptable is the 9th Clause, in which TRAI says that in all cases where the value added services are activated through Out Bound Dialer or service provider initiated call or during pre-call ring back announcements (both voice as well as automated) and where a consumer dials a specified telephone number or short code or a telephone number providing interactive session for subscribing to a Value Added Service, the service provider shall obtain confirmation from the consumer through consumer originated SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within twenty four hours of activation of the value added service and charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him for such value added service and shall discontinue such value added service if no confirmation is received from the consumer.

Now this point is receiving negative remarks from the operators as they find it practically unfeasible to receive any such confirmation from the side of consumer in written form. In an effort to find industry people’s view on this point, insightVAS came to know that the subscriber would probably not want any further correspondence in this regard and he/she would definitely not waste his/her time in writing an email or sending a fax back to the operators. Moreover, in many remote areas the facility and basic infrastructure for sending an email is not accessible.

Most subscribers are still deprived of the internet facility while on the move, how they will be able to respond on such queries while moving.

Durg prices by SMS

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, a regulatory body which determines the pricing of medicines and drugs to keep them affordable for the common user has come up with a convenient SMS based service with which they will be able to choose the cheapest brand of medicine prescribed by the doctors.

Under the service, a needy must send the brand name of a particular medicine through SMS on which he/she will be sent an SMS with a list of brands along with their prices so that he can choose amongst all the options.

There is a significant difference in the price of the costliest brand of a medicine and its cheapest alternative. A recent survey by NPPA found that prices of the expensive brands can be ten times higher than the cheapest alternative of the same medicine.

Drugs are not allowed to be advertised, so companies push their brands through doctors. There is a wide practice of companies giving gifts, sponsoring foreign trips and other incentives to doctors to prescribe their brands. Indian consumers are price-sensitive, but most are unaware they need not buy the costly brands prescribed by physicians. The purchase decision is made by their doctor.

Source: http://www.nppaindia.nic.in/

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Study: Google+ population explodes to 10 million

Google+ appears to be in the midst of a population explosion.

A statistical analysis by Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com and chief executive of Facebook app maker FamilyLink.com, concludes that the Google+ population reached 7.3 million on Sunday, July 10, and likely will reach 10 million today.

And if Google keeps the Google+ invitation button active, as it has since Sunday, Allen expects Google+ to reach 20 million users by this weekend, he said in a Google+ post late Monday night.

"The user base is growing so quickly that it is challenging for me to keep up," Allen said.

A population of 10 million or 20 million is huge in absolute terms, especially given that the service is two weeks old today. But it pales to Facebook's 750 million, half of whom log in daily. Allen's statistics, though estimates, do provide evidence that there's demand for another sizable social network--and that Google isn't necessarily forever doomed to fail in trying to launch it.

Facebook and Google have been fierce competitors. Facebook more than any other company showed that new competitors could outdo Google in important online markets. Now, though, Google has shown that Facebook, too, can't take its incumbent power for granted.

The public trial of Google+ began with a limited set from the tech in-crowd.

The public trial of Google+ began with a limited set from the tech in-crowd.

(Credit: Lutz Beyer/Cybay New Media)

Google+ began with a small group of the tech in-crowd, but has been steadily expanding. The invitation button that let people add their friends had been a rarity, but the current explosion is doubtless fueled by the relatively easy availability of new invitations. In addition, it Google appears not to be throttling the sign-up rate, or is at least throttling it less, for those who receive invitations.

Allen isn't the only one impressed with the Google+ growth.

"I predict that Google+ will go from 0 to 100,000,000 users faster than any other service in history," said Bill Gross, founder and CEO of technology incubator Idealab, in a Google+ post yesterday. His reasons:

The service is great. It is timely. People are engaging with it like crazy. There are rumors that there are already 4.5m people. That might be high. It might be as low as 1m, or even lower, but my guess is that it's more than 1m people already. That already is probably the fastest growing service (0 to 1m) ever. Now it's not completely fair, since when Facebook started, and when Twitter started, etc. those were tiny companies, and Google is huge. However, the product is extremely well executed, and a lot of people are smitten.

The next year will tell. Will there be bumps in the road? Sure. Will Facebook and Twitter fight back with more innovation? Of course! But I'm saying that Google+ is already good enough, and the team on Google+ is being so responsive in a way that makes me believe they have a real winner here.

To estimate Google+'s population, Allen tracks surnames that appear on the site. Here's how he describes his methodology:

My model is simple. I start with US Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S., and compare it to the number of Google+ users with each surname. I split the U.S. users from the non-U.S. users. By using a sample of 100-200 surnames, I am able to accurately estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population that has signed up for Google+. Then I use that number and a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users to generate my worldwide estimates. My ratio is 1 US user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users. That ratio was calculated on July 4th through a laborious effort, and I haven't updated it since. That is definitely a weakness in my model that I hope to address soon. The ratio will likely change over time.

He's working on updates to his approach, too. At some point, though, it'll likely be made obsolete by Google itself, when the company concludes the time is right to trumpet its success.

Article by Stephen Shankland @ CNet

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sharemarket Mobile Trading gathers stream



It's been just nine months since the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) gave its nod to mobile trading. But the trend has caught up with trades through uniform resource locator (URL)- and wireless application protocol-based systems.

"With mobile penetration reaching around 700 million users, against 100 million people using the internet, it makes sense we develop a mobile app that will facilitate trading for a wider set of public," says Abhay Sinha, COO - India, South Asia, ME, Africa and CIS - Dion Global Solutions.

Earlier known as Religare Technova, the company has launched TradeExpress, an application built on a wireless platform solution, and helps users to look at market watch, open trading windows, place orders, etc. Sinha says, "We have clients from Motilal Oswal to Standard Chartered, and depending on the number of users and trade volumes, we quote a price to facilitate mobile trading. This can vary between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25-30 lakh."

For mobile trading, a trader needs a general packet radio service-enabled cell. Most brokerages have already launched, or are planning to launch, portals for trading through BlackBerry and Apple iPad. While the trader has to pay the mobile service provider for downloading the application, brokerages have to pay the technology developer on the basis of trade volumes. But the charge is small, considering the growth in volumes brokerages claim to be witnessing.

"Every day, we do trades of around Rs 1,000 crore through the online platform. And, that is after the platform has been used since the past five-six years. But mobile trading is catching up quickly. It accounts for Rs 12-15 crore of trades on our site. We are excited about its future," says Vinay Agrawal, executive director - equity broking, Angel Broking. It was the first company to launch an application-based trading platform last October. One has to either download the application from the website of the brokerage or get the link over an SMS. Meanwhile, Angel's application is available for even Java-enabled handsets.

The complexity of the platform, however, continues. While orders can be placed using the mobile trading platform, any order that doesn't get through because of network problems is not the brokerage's responsibility. Also, most brokerages don't allow clients to pay through mobile using m-banking. The clients are required to have online accounts. A few brokerages do allow mobile payment, but Sebi has capped it at a small amount.

Players like Motilal Oswal have thus developed several variants of trading platforms. The brokerage has about 640,000 customers who have access to its trading platforms. In the past six months, according to data available, it clocked 60,000 trades on its mobile platform. "We decided to host a mobile-friendly application on the web, where one just needs to type the URL on his handset, as it can then cater to a much larger client base across mobile platforms," says Naveen Bachwani, senior VP and head (business solutions & innovation), Motilal Oswal Securities. So, if a handset is stolen, the client's trading history remains safe, as there's no data saved in it.

Security issues are specifically addressed while developing the trading platform. Quality testing is done several times just to make sure that the client faces no setback due to the application, or back-end problems.

"Lack of a clear mandate on the use of mobile trading, availability of limited cellular bandwidth and connectivity, and devices with limited capabilities were some major hurdles initially," points out a senior Financial Technologies' (FTIL) official.

FTIL had launched two mobile trading technologies in 2006. iWin was developed to work on all mobile operating systems like Android, Symbian, Windows & BlackBerry OS, while Net.Net was developed using web development tools from Microsoft. FTIL has 225 clients who use these applications in all asset classes such as equities, derivatives, commodities and currency.

Orginal Article by VAS

What do Google execs know about Google+ privacy that you don't?

I finally made it into Google+, the new Facebook-like social service from Google that’s in “limited field trials” right now.

It has at least one useful but hard-to-find privacy feature that is disabled by default. How did I stumble across this setting? Simple: I looked at the Google+ profiles of top Google executives and engineers. Every single one of them has changed this default setting.

You can see the evidence for yourself by visiting a new website, SocialStatistics, that serves as a leader board for the new service. Does anything jump out at you from this chart?

Hmmm. The list of top 10 users, as ranked by the number of people following them, includes the two Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, along with Senior VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra, who runs the Google+ project. Google Engineer Matt Cutts is at #6 on that list.

Those four high-level Google execs and employees are all listed as having 0 Friends, whereas everyone else in the top 10 has lots of friends. Mark Zuckerberg has added 69 people to his Google Circles. Leo LaPorte has 330 friends, Bradley Horowitz has 748, and Robert Scoble has, as expected, thousands of “friends” after only four days.

If you go through the rest of the list, 12 of the top 50 Google+ members have 0 friends (the percentage is even lower if you look in the top 100). And more than half of those zero-friend people are high-level Google employees or company insiders like Gina Trapani.

What they’ve done is perfectly reasonable. In fact, once I saw this, I dug into the Google+ interface to see how they did it and made the same change to my own settings. Here’s the secret:

1. Go to your Google Profile and click Edit Profile.

2. Click the little globe icon to the right of the list of people in your circles.

+Vivek Google Plus Privacy setting screenshot

That opens the dialog box shown here.

3. Clear the top check box to hide your circles completely, OR click Your Circles under Who Can See This? if you want to restrict access to this list to people who are in your circles. (I suspect this is what Page, Brin, et al. have done.) The globe changes to an empty circle.

4. Click Save to accept the changes and then click Done Editing to hide the privacy icon again.

There, you’ve just hidden the list of people you’ve chosen to follow on Google+.

My question is: If this setting is one that everyone on Google seems to feel is important for their privacy, why isn’t it the default for the rest of us?

Original Article by Ed Bott

Monday, July 11, 2011

Facebook Vs Google Plus

Facebook Vs Google Plus

Yes..google plus is out. Everyone is talking about it and wondering who is better. Well here is the box comparison between the two and I guess time will predict the winner. But its going to be a tough fight.

Feature

Facebook

Google Plus

Groups

Facebook calls it Lists. Its not that user friendly and I have separated my coworkers with rest (as don’t want to share all the info with everyone)

Rating: 2/5

Google plus calls it Circles. Its easy and user friendly – drag and drop. Actually its one of the main feature of Google plus.

Rating: 4.5/5

Interest

Facebook don’t have any exact features of interest. But you can join Groups of specific interest and get the info. Again it can be useful info to rubbish.

Rating: 2/5

Google Plus calls it Sparks. Again it searches various blogs and group over the web and helps you to keep watch on those. Good but not best.

Rating: 4/5

Video Chat

Facebook just introduced their Skype feature. It is of great quality. But you won’t be able to watch Youtube videos.

Rating: 3.5/5

Google calls it hangout. Nice feature and easy to do. You can do it with complete circles or just few friends.

Rating: 5/5

Chat

Facebook’s very popular feature. It will allow on site users to chat. Also on mobiles its done thru various third party apps.

Rating: 4/5

Google calls it Huddle. Can be easily done from iphone/android phones. Groups chat are also very easy. Google uses Gtalk of website chatting

Rating: 4/5

Like something

Facebook have Thumbs up Like sign. Like is iconic.

Rating: 4/5

Google has colorful +1 sign. Its new might catch up later.

Rating: 2/5

Privacy Concerns

Facebook have an option of selecing different profile of different groups. But hardly anyone know it or uses it. It also non-user friendly.

Rating: 2/5

Google lets you choose how your profile will look to others. Circles sharing makes profiles more private.

Rating: 4/5

Brand/Company Page

Facebook has fan page. It is very popular and every other good brands wants to be on facebook and get more likes.

Rating: 4/5

Google Plus yet to have this feature. I don’t think it will take long for them to add one. Need to wait and see

Rating: 0/5

Users

Everyone is on facebook. They have first movers advantage. Lets see how they are holding the on.

Rating: 4/5

Google Plus have all the gmail and other service users with them. It won’t be too hard to convert to google. But will take time and have to do well through the process.

Rating: 2/5

Integrated Services

Facebook is a good social networking site. It needs to add multiple service like what they did with Skype to take on google.

Rating: 2/5

Google is a mammoth. They have so many good services besides search engine that facebook needs to be on their toes to beat them

Rating: 4/5

monline’s conclusion

Facebook is good and so far have done well. But need to really have more features and ties and one point integration tools to beat the beast.

Google needs to capture all the users of facebook and add be a one palace for your daily web access needs. Its not easy to change people mindsets (after people are used to with Facebook). It not easy but google has all the money and talent to beat the surprise billionaire.

Let me know your views.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Free eBook: 7 Google Tools to Improve Your Marketing Effectiveness

Google is a key player in the rapidly evolving landscape of Internet marketing. The search engine remains the dominant destination people land on when they do research, look for reviews and shop.

However, Google is not only a search engine. It also owns a range of assets that provide marketers with social networking and content creation opportunities.

Find out about some of Google's lesser known tools and learn how to use them for marketing your business. HubSpot's latest eBook will help you get started with 7 of these tools and improve your marketing effectiveness.

In this eBook you will learn how your marketing can benefit from:
1. Google AdWords
2. Google Docs
3. Google Keyword Tool
4. Google Alerts
5. Google News
6. Google Reader
7. Google Places

Download the Document here

Rented Offices are IN



Concept of rented offices are IN since companies are looking to reduce the overheads and add professionalism. The location and quality of the office are very important. It's going to be very important services for start-ups.

Some of the major things to look for before deciding:
1. Location - Should be in good corporate area
2. Furniture and ambiance of the office space
3. VAS like courier services, WiFi, Cafeteria, High Speed Broadband/Leaseline pop
4. Backoffice services like Fax, Xerox, Printing facility
5. Space
6. Scalability
7. Presentation room with project
8. Telephone - Landline ready
9. Reception and Helpdesk
10. Professional Housekeeping
11. Life and over facility/quality of the building
12. Good quality restrooms and drinking water facility

Checkout some of this websites which are recently came across.

http://www.newbridgeoffices.com/index.php

http://www.serviced-office-mumbai.co.in/

http://www.officesmumbai.com/index.asp

Please come back and post your reviews about this companies or any other if you are aware.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

“As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience.”

This was recently quoted by Google software engineer, Luciano Cheng in the announcement that Google has updated the Google Sites service with automatic mobile rendering for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices.

For those of you unaware of Google Sites, it’s a free service that lets users create and collaborate on a simple webpage and this update will allow site owners to customize their sites for mobile devices.

Site owners can make changes like matching the page width of their site to that of the device and re-sizing the text & images so that they all fit into the screen width in smaller resolution. They can also opt to adjust the sidebars and dropdown links or hide some of the links in their site’s footer to give more space to the page content while providing a neater appearance to the sites. A preview of what their sites will actually look on the mobile devices is also available on the desktops.

Users can enable mobile rendering on their site by following these steps:

  1. Log into Google Sites at sites.google.com.
  2. Go to “General settings.”
  3. Go to “More actions.”
  4. Go to “Manage site.”
  5. Click the check-box next to “Automatically adjust site for mobile phones.”
  6. Save the settings.

Apart from this Google is also giving Google Sites users the ability to search and access their own sites from mobile devices by adding mobile versions of the site list, sites search, and browse sites categories.

Even though Google Sites is not a very well known property of Google this recent update should increase its popularity as a handy tool for creating mobile friendly sites.

Article by ineedhits.com

Study Shows Search More Credible Than Social Media

Of the 2.4 billion brand related conversations taking place around the world each day Google searches provides information for about 145 million of them. Intrigued by this information Google recently joined up with the KellerFay Group to conduct a study to learn the effect of internet and search on word of mouth conversations.

The study primarily focused on determining the influence of internet, search and media/marketing channels on word of mouth conversations between people and their subsequent purchase pattern. Of the 3,000 adults surveyed across 12 categories it was found that the majority of them were “most likely” to buy something after hearing positive feedbacks from a trusted source. Of these, more than half of consumers who discussed goods and services were most likely to make a purchase based on the conversation.

What I found most intersting was that word of mouth feedback from search results are more likely to lead to a purchase than word of mouth feedback from social sites like Facebook and Twitter, as indicated in the chart below.



The Key findings of the study are:

  1. Face to face, word of mouth conversations (WOM) are still the most preferred way of discussing a brand and 94% of word of mouth brand impressions, take place offline

  2. Internet is the main reason for initiation of WOM conversations and is the #1 platform used by people to take an action after their conversations

  3. Search over the internet leads to more than 15% of all WOM conversations in the first place

  4. Google is the leading search portal to which people turn, after their face-to-face conversations, to find more information and or purchase the brands discussed

  5. Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations happening per day

  6. Word of mouth impressions generated by search are 25% more reliable and 17% more likely to lead to purchase than those generated by online social media sites such as Facebook


As always, Google has put all the important information from the study into a short video which I have embedded below for you to check out.



Word of mouth is such a powerful indicator in a person buying decision, so marketers should take a good look at the results of this study when determining how to market their business.

Article by SearchNews at ineedhits.com

TRAI issues Direction to Service Providers on provision of Value Added Services (VAS)


With a view to protecting the interest of consumers, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on July 4th issued a direction on the procedure for providing Value Added Services (VAS).

The issue of the procedure for activating value added services has been receiving the attention of the Authority from time to time. While the Authority is conscious of the salience of value added services, it has always been keen that their growth should be without adversely affecting the interest of consumers. Accordingly, emphasis has been laid from time to time to ensure that value added services are provided only after obtaining the explicit consent of the consumers. Various steps have been taken by the Authority in this regard from time to time.

Despite various initiatives, complaints regarding provision of value added services are being received by the Authority. This issue was deliberated in detail in the consultation paper on “Review of measures to protect the Interest of Consumers in telecom Sector” issued on 2.8.2010. Most of the consumers have underlined the need for further strengthening of the provision to seek explicit consent of the consumers as they are of the view that value added services are still being provided to consumers (especially pre-paid consumers) without taking their explicit consent. Incidences have also been brought to the notice of the Authority where value added services have been renewed to pre-paid consumers even in cases where available balance in consumer’s account was insufficient for the renewal of VAS resulting in negative balance.

Therefore, the Authority in partial modification of existing Directions has directed all Service providers as follows:

1). In all cases where the value added services are activated through Out Bound Dialer or service provider initiated call or during pre-call ring back announcements (both voice as well as automated) and where a consumer dials a specified telephone number or short code or a telephone number providing interactive session for subscribing to a Value Added Service, the service provider shall obtain confirmation from the consumer through consumer originated SMS or e-mail or FAX or in writing within twenty four hours of activation of the value added service and charge the consumer only if the confirmation is received from him for such value added service and shall discontinue such value added service if no confirmation is received from the consumer.

2). Every service provider shall, at least three days before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service, inform the consumer through SMS, the due date for renewal of such service, the charges for renewal and toll free telephone number for unsubscribing the value added service.

3). If there is insufficient balance in the account of a consumer at the time of renewal of subscription to a value added service, the service provider shall send a request, through SMS, to the consumer to indicate his consent for continuing such service by sending an SMS as "Yes" or "No" to a toll free number and if, in response to such request, the consumer indicates his explicit consent by conveying "Yes", such value added service shall be renewed and such consumer shall be informed by the service provider through SMS that the charges for renewal of subscription of value added service shall be deducted from subsequent recharge.

Data from VAS

Monday, July 4, 2011

The 2011 CMO's Guide To The Social Landscape

While social media’s acceptance by and importance to the consumer has ramped up rather quickly, those who believed it had relevance to digital marketing were thought to be making a mountain out of a molehill. Well, that molehill has turned out to be more like Everest. A social-media strategy has clearly become a marketing must-have. These days, marketing channels, platforms, and tools that lack a social component--some way for consumers to actively engage with your brand--are probably doomed to failure. But what worked this time last year might not work today, for this is a rapidly shifting landscape that must be mapped out regularly.

With this in mind, CMO.com decided that our wildly popular "2010 CMO's Guide To The Social Landscape” needed a fresh look and up-to-date analysis. We turned, once again, to 97th Floor, the SEO and social media firm that developed last year’s chart, to help you determine which social media tools and channels are your best bet in terms of customer communication, brand exposure, traffic, and SEO. The result? Our second annual guide for 2011.

For your convenience, a downloadable PDF version of the chart is available at the bottom of this page. And in the spirit of social, please share it with your colleagues and broader professional networks.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD THE DETAILS

CMO's Guide line on Social Landscape

CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD THE DETAILS

Sunday, July 3, 2011

2Bn people to use Mobile Banking by 2020: Study

Mobile financial services are expected to improve the lives of around two billion people in developing countries within a decade and boost economies, a Boston Consulting Group study found. Overall, mobile financial services can reduce financial exclusion by 5 per cent to 20 per cent through 2020 and increase gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 5 per cent, with Pakistan, for instance, potentially seeing 3 per cent uplift, said the study.


It added that improved access to finance fostered entrepreneurship, new business creation and new jobs. Mobile financial services can also help overcome economic shocks such as natural disasters or unexpected medical emergencies, the study said.

The report, released by Norwegian telecom group Telenor, focused on five countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Serbia - which represented a broad development range. Some 72 per cent of the population in developing countries are without access to banks or credit cards according to the study.

They manage to work around this by borrowing from friends and family, obtaining short-term credit from employers, forming savings clubs or seeking out moneylenders but these options were often risky, costly and with indeterminate results.

Telecom firms such as Telenor, Vodafone, Orange and MTN have begun investing in mobile payment systems in Asia and Africa that allow consumers to make basic payments for utilities for example but also participate in savings, credit and insurance programmes via mobile phones.

In Kenya, Safaricom's M-Pesa's UAP Insurance insures poor farmers through mobile phones against weather-induced crop failures for example. Norway's Telenor said it was still early days but that the potential for growth was expected to be huge. Telenor's EasyPaisa programme in Pakistan started with 2,200 retail outlets in October 2009 and now has 12,600 retailers spread over 650 cities across the country. It has some 10 million estimated users and the total value of money transfers has reached 17.4 billion Pakistan rupees ($167.2 million).

Skype, which is being bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, introduced a new service on Thursday allowing users of Android phones to make free video calls to Skype contacts, including those on Apple iPhones .

"We are committed to bringing Skype video calling to as many platforms as possible," Skype's product and marketing chief Neil Stevens said in a statement.

The move will help makers of phones based on Google's Android software compete with Apple's FaceTime video-calling service launched last year for the iPhone and now available on its iPad 2 tablet and Mac computers.

Video calling could also help new Skype owner Microsoft promote its Windows Phone smartphone platform, which it is merging with Nokia's in an effort to become competitive with Android and Apple.

Skype had an average of 145 million connected users per month in the fourth quarter of 2010. Together, they made 207 billion minutes of calls in 2010, about 42 percent of which was video calls.

Mobile video calling is in its infancy, but the fixed-line Internet calling market grew 12.6 percent to $17.3 billion last year, according to UK-based telecoms research firm Point Topic.

With the new Android Skype app, users will be able to make free one-to-one video calls between Android phones, iPhones, Mac computers, Microsoft Windows PCs and televisions.

The first Android handsets to support Skype video calling are the HTC Desire 5, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and the Google Nexus S.
The company whose name became synonymous with Internet calling in the mid-2000s said its updated Android app would initially support video calling on selected HTC and Sony Ericsson Phones, with more to follow soon.

39 Things You Should Know About Google+

Google+ is HOT rightnow. Well read on to get the highlights, let me know as what you think about google+.

1. Google+ is currently available on an invitation-only basis.

2. Google does not consider it a Facebook competitor (at least publicly).

3. Google+ is currently available for download as an app in the Android Market.

4. When you download that app, it splits off the "Huddle" feature as a separate app.

5. Users can post status updates, and these appear on the Google Profile under a tab called "Posts". The +1's and Buzz tabs remain separate. I have to wonder if we'll see Buzz and Posts merge eventually.

6. What is available now is "just the beginning" according to Google. These are just the first features or presumably many more to come.

7. Circles is one current feature. It lets you share things with different people (kind of like Facebook Groups) but with a very different user interface. Watch this video.

8. Another feature is Sparks. This looks for videos and articles it thinks you'll like, so "when you're free, there's always something to watch, read, and share." Filter Bubble anyone?

9. Hangouts is another feature. It's basically group video chat. Google describes it as "the unplanned meet-up."

10. Instant uploads is a mobile-specific feature. Photos upload themselves as you take them, and are stored in a private area on the cloud.

11. Huddle is another group-conversation feature for mobile. Essentially, it's group chat.

The Stream

12. The stream is basically the equivalent of the Facebook news feed.

13. When you share something with Google+ it's added to your stream and the stream of everyone you shared with.

14. The stream shows you what all of your Circles have shared with you.

15. If you mention a user, using the "+" or "@" symbols, the person may receive a notification that you mentioned them.

16. You can see who specific posts were shared with in the stream -- whether they were shared publicly, to extended circles, or a limited group.

17. You can filter the stream by specific Circles.

18. You can chat directly in the stream

19. You can report inappropriate content.

20. You can search for people from the search box at the top of the stream.

21. Soon, Google says you'll be able to search the stream itself from the search box.

22. If you leave comments on a post, you can edit or delete them.

23. The same goes for posts, but you can't edit a post's sharing settings after the post has been shared. However, you can delete the post and share again to different circles.

24. You can "reshare" posts made by others (like retweeting).

25. You can "mute" a post. This will let you stop receiving updates from a post, like if the comments get out of control for example.

The Google Social Network

26. You can use the "Google+ Bar" that appears at the top of various Google products as your connection to the social network.

27. When you're signed in you'll see your full name or email address displayed with a photo or avatar next to it, to help you identify which account you're currently signed in to.

28. If you've enabled multi sign-in you can sign in to two different Google accounts and switch between them using the Google+ bar.

29. When you sign up for Google+, you're also signing up for Picasa Web Albums, so all photos and videos uploaded to Google+ (including from your phone via Instant Upload) will also be available in Picasa Web Albums.

30. You can use the Google +1 button from the stream.

31. You can have a ton of friends on Google+. Robert Scoble quickly added over 1,000.

32. The central user interface is very Facebook-esque.

33. Google+ quickly became the butt of a lot of jokes (and even cartoons), but has also received a great deal of praise thus far.

34. With Google+ Google adds a "You" link to the recently redesigned (painted black) navigation bar across Google properties

35. You can view public Google+ content without actually being invited (Danny Sullivan has a guide on how to view it )

36. China is already blocking Google+. That didn't take long.

37. Invitations have been listed on eBay.

38. There are already privacy concerns about Google+ but the Privacy Guide can be found here.

39. According to the Financial Times article, you can share something within a closed "Circle," but somone from that circle can then reshare it with anyone, and even make it public.

List by Chris Crum