Tag Archives: india

Social Networks in India

With the rise of Social Networks (mainly in USA) everybody is trying their to harness the community power on the web in one way or another. How about a Social Network dedicated to Indians? India has a huge population and one of the highest growing internet users in the world. Shouldn’t this help Indian Social Networks to gain an easy momentum? I don’t think so. While talking about the BPO and the outsourcing generally the English speaking/writing skills of Indians are appreciated and are considered as a plus point, but in case of social networks it can be a hinderance.

It is easier to start a social network for Chinese, French and a few other countries in their own languages as those languages are widely spoken/written in their respective countries. Most urban Indian (or perhaps the web users) prefer to write Hindi in English (including me). If an Indian can find all his firends on Orkut and communicate in English, why does he need to visit any Indian clone of Orkut?

As far as I know there are a couple of Indian Social Networks – minglebox.com (which is in alpha and taking signups) and yaari.com ( which is in beta and giving away some ipods :) ). It is good to see them coming up, but they do have challenges like Orkut which has integrated Gtalk and are adding some cool features.

I think Indian Social Networks face challenges like making themselves more Indianized – mobile integration is perhaps one of the key features. Yaari claims to have SMS inegration, while minglebox is working on it.
Revenue generation – Indian web market hasn’t reached to a point where they can easily sell their brand name/web space for money. The trends are good and advertisers are understanding the value of web presence, but it will take sometime for the advertisers to believe in the web. The early social Networks will have to create the non-exisiting market of web advertising.

I read about meravideo on mashable and newdelhitimes. It is really strange that they got $1.5M funding for an off the shelf script. I understand that the founder(s) have partnerships with Sahara or other brand names, but I don’t think India is at a stage where people can (or want to) watch Kyunki Saas Bh Kabhi Bahu Thi on meravideo or a similar web site. It is highly unlikely that someone in India would want to watch Dhoom 2’s 50 sec. promo on meravideo, while almost every other channel on TV is bleeding with its promos every hour. It is intersting to note that meravideo is hosted in Houston, TX. This would delay video loads for viewers in India. If this service is aimed at NRIs why do they have a contest Make a video and win Rs 10,000*? Once again, I think if meravideo integrates mobile, they can be Indianized. They can offer services like uploading videos using MMS (no pun intended) or WAP, subscribing to videos on Mobile, SMS alerts, etc.

It will be interesting to watch these ventures and see if they change the market or the market changes them. Good Luck!

Mumbai vs New Orleans

Ok…Enough is Enough, *I dislike* these comment-spammers. I was deleting all those viagra and diamond comments/trackbacks and by accident deleted about 7-8 genuine comments :|. If your comment was one of them, then am sorry. I’ll look and install a plugin to shoo these guys, right away.

This is one of the mails that I have received from multiple people:


Parameter New Orleans Mumbai
Inches of rain 18 37.1
Population 4,84,674 1,26,22,500
Casualities after 48
100 37
No.of people had to be
Almost entire city 10,000
Cases of looting and
Countless None
Time taken by Army to reach the
48 12
Status after 48 hrs. Still no electricity and
Almost normal
External aid India contributes USD 5

Well…..I do not agree 100% with this email/data, as there are some things which this message overlooked, such as the 150 – 175 mph winds, levy was broken….etc. But I would still say, it is somewhat reasonable comparison. The mumbai flood also created a lot of trouble (Ask, N-P)

With due respect to all the people who died and the others who suffered, I think people need to have patience. Help others in distress, than looting.

I understand that they haven’t seen something like this before and would critisize govt. for not providing drinking water (Botteled water, I believe), Portable Toilets/Showers, clothes etc. even after 48 hours of the tragedy.

But I think they should also realize that, there are millions of people in this world, for whom these conditions are part of day-to-day life.

I also understand (from Radio stations) that, the levys were being repaired/upgraded by the army and wouldn’t have had cracked if the repairs had been done. Guess why the repairs were taking longer than expected? – lack of funds…..due to the Iraqi *Freedom* movement.

One of the evilest face of the American media was also seen during the course of the hurricane. Checkout this article. It might take u to a weird Ad, just click “Skip the Ad” on top right. The article talks about how blacks and whites are portrayed in the media. A white gathers food for his family while a black loots….

To add to all this, Kanye West’s video (might have bloody popups) was ‘cut’ by the NBC just because he said some good words about Dubya…. Read an elaborate article and transcript here. The last thing I heard on American News channels was that Chinese censor stuff….

This link (might have bloody popups) is really pathetic. Ever saw police goin looting?

If you are visual person like me, you would like to wath the images.

I had promised, a few days ago, on Poonam’s blog, that I would write something about Indians in USA. I haven’t got a chance since then, but I’ll certainly write it perhaps this weekend. Till then read more about this. I’ll post updates about it soon.

BTW saw a real hottie today via /.
I really want it….dammm checkout its spex:

6.8GHZ CPU (AtomChip® Quantum® II processor or 4 x Intel® Pentium® M processors 1.7CHz) / System Compliance: Two Operating Systems with Voice Command (Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional and Linux®) / Memory: 1TB Quantum-Optical non-volatile RAM (NvIOpSRAM-SODIMM 200-pin) / Storage: 2TB non-volatile Quantum RAM (NvIOpRAM-ATA IDE) …..

Why does it happen to me?

Well….. Why? Why just me? Since a couple of days u have been reading that I have been getting emails for other people… here and here. Guess what? I got one more email today. This time it was for some Gauri Sharma about her college stuff. I read the email and started cheking the scrapbook entries @ my Orkut a/c. Suddenly I noticed “Gauri Sharma” in my frnd list (met online). It just stuck to me that, it might be her, coz she is around the same place I am. Checked her site and bammmm she had an email id very similar to me. Mailed her about it and she did get the info which was for her.

Now, if you think this is it, then don’t think, coz weird things happen to me every moment. As I mentioned earlier, I was checking my scrapbook entries @ Orkut, I got a scribble from some guy who is in my friendlist but I dunno him. I don’t even recall y or how he added me. The scribble read:

bhaiye suna hai aajkal india mein hi ho…..kis company mein ? So finally your wish to come back to our country came true? aur kya chal raha hai ?

I was kinda freaked out coz I did visit India a few weeks ago, but what is this job thing and how does this guy know me? I thought it can’t be a case of mistaken identity coz I have my pic (old, but yes it is my pic) and there isn’t much chance of any confusion. I was thinking that he prolly was my junior at school or college at some point of time or whatever. I asked him who told him about that and then after a few scrap posts, he asked me:

Means u r not that gaurav sharma ? IIT kanpur one? (who studied in Cambridge classes in UDR ?)

“lol…….does he look like me?” I asked.

The reply was “yes….u look a lot like him…almost same….:)”

Holly smoke!! This is prolly my 3rd or 4th look alike. Read this(my old lj blog) to know about my other look alikes.

Peace till my nxt post…

Sahara Samay

Happy Independence Day in Advance….

We have 6 Indian channels – Zee TV, TV Asia, Set Max, Sony TV, Zee Cinema and B4U Movies. Most of the time we are tuned to one of these channels. 3 of the Star channels (Star TV, Star News and Star One) are also available on Direct TV (we have Dish Network :( ). I was surprised to know that MTV Desi and Aastha channels can be subscribed @ Direct TV.

I was watching Kahin Pyar Na Hojaye @ B4U and started flipping channels, by accident I landed to channel 584 (only relevant to ppl. who have Dish Network) and I saw that they were showing some channel called “Samay.” It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what it is. Well, it is Sahara’s news channel Sahara Samay. I never heard about it before, not even when I was in India.

I was delighted to see a 24 hr. Indian News channel and on top of it, it shows commercials from India, which means no more crappy Ajmeri Baba and Peer Syed Sahib Ads. There is another Ad which irritates me a lot, I’ll post about it later.

Indian channels are swamping USA now. Zee has started Zee punjabi and Gujrati and there are other channels (mentioned above). So, generally we get to see free preview channels on weekends, so I am not sure if its a free preview or they showin it for free forever.

While writing this post, I searched to check if the Samay is a free preview…..and guess what, I found out that I can also watch Sahara One!!!!!! I think when I was in India, I saw a commercial of Chacha Chaudhri @ Sahara One 😀 I wish they are not just preview channels, but they come w/ Indian ads also.

Some of you (esp. who live in India) must be thinking, whats the big deal….why am I getting so excited (if you didn’t know that I am excited rt. now then – I am)….Its just that I am fed up of those bloody Baba Ads and definetly the Zee and Sony are not too much youth oriented….they just keep showing that fijul ki rimjhim all the time. I want to see what is meant for Indian (living) population and not fijul ke tailored progs. for Intl. audience with subtitles 😐 and apart from that I want to see Indian ads and know what exactly is going on there. Although web is a good place to keep yourself updated….but TV has a visual delight. So now most prolly am gonna watch the newly discovered channels, whole night and may be will discover another channel :p.

I watched about 30 minz of Dus today and liked it a lot, hopefully am also gonna complete it tonight!!

PS: Yes Shahara One shows CC 😀

pay for receiving sms

hello (after a loooooong time)

I came back 2 US exatly a mnth ago n was (still am) caught up in daily routine thingy. Hopefully I will rite more often now.

Actually I was reading this
@ np.com and tht. that, I shud say smthng about the matter.

I h8 h8 h8 h8 and seriously h8 paying for _receiving_ SMs. I have Cingular, they charge me 10 cents outgoing or incoming SMs. When I got the plan,

me (on the fone)- You mean 10 c for receiving SMS?
the girl – yes
me – U sure?
she – yes
me – Is there a way that I can accept or reject SMS?
she – we don’t have anything like that.
me – so, what if some XYZ keeps messaging me unwanted messages.
she – aaaaaa…you can turn off the messages.
me – what do you mean?
she – you can change the settings and choose not to receive any message.
me – What if someone is sending a very urgent message?
she – I am not sure.

ohhhh….well….cellphones r just rip offs in USA. There have been a lot of improvements since I bought my 1st CDMS AT&T fone (4 yrs ago). I asked the salesman,

so where do I put the SIM card? (I was still a FOB)
the guy – what card?
me – don’t u have to put a chip kind of card in the phone to activate it?
he – no
me – then how do you activate it?
he – just call this 800 # and they will do it for you….

AT&T charged 10 c for sending SMS but receiving was free.

Then I bought a sprint fone…..wallah, it was even better, it had no SMS at all, so no jhanjhat @ all.

Then came my Cingular fone, which has a SIM card. But it sucks that they charge money for receiving SMs. I definetly see a potential law suit here. They are charging you for something which is not in your hands and they will charge you for it no matter u authorize it or not. I wish I had the time and expertise to initiate the law suit and could have made a lot of $$ :D.

I used hutch during my trip to India n their signal was much better than wot I get here.

Rest later,

Poojaniya Server ji ko pranaam aur PHP ko sadar charan sparsh. (I was good @ the rattafication of hindi letters to the family)

Bunty Aur Babli

I had very high expectations from the movie, but they were destroyed by the reviews pouring in from everywhere. I adjusted my expectations to a lower level and went to watch the movie. I’d have to say that the movie was fun!! It was different from the routine B’wood movies. BaB is not one of the most logical Bollywood movies, but is an entertainer. Aaina and I laughed throughout the movie along with the _almost_ housefull hall. Housefull is something not so common in theatres in USA. I was surprised to hear a seeti (whistle) in the theatre, when both the B’s started dancing together in Kajra Re. You can read the detailed review here (not written by me.)

B’s and Rani were great!! I really liked how they _tried_ to recreate 70’s style. The background songs from 70’s movies (mostly Big B’s) was a good idea. I also loved the way, they caught the _real_ India. Cinematography and the sets/locations were excelent as they portrayed the India I know. Narrow streets, a bunch of wires on the poles, the houses they lived in, the dust, the stray dogs, dhabbas, railway stations, buses…etc. Dialogues were well written and the actor’s timed them very well. It is really great that the movie was left open ended (chance for a sequel). I’d certainly love to watch Bunty, Babli aur Pappu.

The things which could have been avoided or added were: Dhadak Dhadak, Nach Baliye, Chup Chup Ke songs. They slowed down the movie’s pace, Chup Chup Ke in particular. Aishwarya could have been incorporated in the movie in a better way (say she was a victim or a crook?). The love story Big B talked about, didn’t make much sense (with the song.)

On the whole, it is not as great as DDLJ, but you would still like to watch it atleast 2-3 times.

Acc. to Taran Adarsh

On the whole, BUNTY AUR BABLI just doesn’t have the meat to enthrall the moviegoers. At the box-office, the film has taken an excellent start due to two reasons — the Yash Raj brand and the fact that the two Bachchans have been teamed for the first time. While the first weekend will witness ‘House Full’ boards outside the single screens as well as the multiplexes, the film doesn’t have the power to sustain after the initial curiosity subsides. Monday onwards, the collections should come crashing down. Disappointing!

I don’t agree with it. I think the collections for the movie would go steady. There might be a slight drop (due to negative reviews) but it would be nullified by the comments from people who have watched the movie. Moreover, Bunty Aur Babli’s music will gain more popularity.

I think Yash Raj Films have saved a hukum ka ikka so far and it is the promo for the song Kajra Re. A lot of people were surprised to see Aish in the movie. It is because, they never released Kajra Re’s promo (although they released Big B’s BnB music video). Only the people who took keen interest in the movie or in B’wood in general were aware of Aish’s presence in the movie. It seems like that the promo for the song has been saved for a time when the movie’s ratings/collections will go down. Once the trailer is repeatedly shown on the TV, Aish and both Bs dancing together in the promo would make ppl flock around the theatres once again.

Taran Adarsh has rated the movie 1.5/5 which is very low. He rated V-Z 4/5. I would definetly rate BaB above V-Z as an entertainer (not sure about the stats.) I’d give it 7.5/10.

Continue reading

Is Rediff worth that much?

Its the time for Internet marketing….. after the success of Google’s Adsense and Adwords everybody seems to join the bandwagon. Freshlinks services add to successful SEO. Overture is a live example of the same. The yahoo owned company has made its mark in the field of keyword based advertising.

Indian companies have also started following this model. Not too long ago, rediff launched its blog service, which can help it to promote it’s domain selling business as well as create a huge base for its new Ad Service – P4C. Now I see every other blogger living in India is using Rediff Blogs.

I have used Overture and Google Adwords. Overture charges min. 10 cents per click while Adwords charges min. 5 cents per click. Now according to Pay4Click by Rediff, they charge Rs. 10 per click which is a bit more than 20 cents. Isn’t that too high for PPC? The target audience is Indians living in India and Indians living abroad. I agree that it is a very specific audience but I still think those Rs. 10 aren’t worth.

I was even surprised to know that us.rediff.com doesn’t have a direct link to the P4C but in.rediff.com had it. Which prolly means they are targeting Indian advertisers who want to market their products in India only. Not only this, their rates are in Rs. and they haven’t mentioned $ rates, which again means they are targeting Indians living in India. I am not sure about the value of Rs. 10 in India these days? I am not sure about the average Google and Overture PPC rates, but it would be certainly around 50 cents – $1 (or more?).

So, to get the solution to the problem, I’ll need to ask someone living in India.

Live webcast

249 isn’t that bad as compared to the shaky start. I just got a live webcast link :D. Although I missed Indian innings, I’ll still c Indian bowling. If someone needs the link, then u need to contact me coz I can’t post it here.

If you know me then you should know my email addy n if not then YIM me.

Update: 3 sixes in an over….I think I need to turn it off n goto sleep.

Update1: 135/2 is there still any hope?