Tag Archives: Random

What was HT thinking?

Read about HT’s acquisition of DesiMartini. I vaguely remember visiting the site a few months ago and saw the *familiar* design.

Hats off to the founder(s) and whoever was involved in the deal for pulling off the deal. On the other hand, I think it was a big mistake by HT. It seems like they were very desperate to get into “Social Networking”.

I wonder if HT did their due diligence before the acquisition? There are a few basic things regarding the information provided in the press release.

1) Intellectual Property – Anyone who has been to Facebook can easily spot similarity…duh! I compared DM’s HTML source code (CSS) with FB’s CSS file. It seems like DM did not even feel like changing image names. For instance ‘flex_ arrow_ shut.gif’ (remove the spaces after _) is present on both the sites (at least till now) – isn’t it a strange coincidence? I wonder if FB will want a share in that “less than 10m USD”.

2) According to the founder’s profile

Hi! You have been automatically added as my friend…

He has 243664 friends so far, which is pretty close with the claimed number. But how many of these 250,000 users are active users? They do get more page views per visitor, but have a lower reach.

3) Anyone who has access to Alexa can easily see the trend for the site. I understand that alexa’s data is not accurate and reliable. Alexa has to be way off with their numbers if I believe that DM has 2.5 Million page views a month at this time.

I am still thinking if HT bought DM for their IP (ahemm..) or user base or the concept?

Free Matrimonial Vs Paid Matrimonial

Startupduniya has an article about Kijiji offering free matrimonial services in India. I agree with the author’s observations about the site’s current situation – bogus entries and sparsley populated site.

I think this service can be a disruption for the giant Indian matrimonial sites as some time in future. Marriage is not a simple affair in India. (I think) The people who use these matrimonial sites in India are looking for NRI brides and grooms and folks using these outside India look for a perfect match in India.

People looking for a match in or around their city generally find them through references or newspapers. This is a huge userbase, but not yet ready to go online to look for matrimonials. Kijiji (or someone else) will need to do a lot more to get these people use the “free” service. The userbase will grow organically as Indian Internet population grows. Adding “mobile” features will definetly help fueling this growth and perhaps revenue generation. Educating people offline, about this kind of service will also help.

I feel that whole Indian “online classifieds” segment needs a disruptor to make things easier for users. Kijiji is a good start but they (or someone else) needs to come up with ways to weed out the spam and fradulent postings to get hold of legit customers.

USA has Youtube, India has IndiaTube

Indiatube

It links to meraaindiatube.com, which atm is a fugly site.

I don’t know what’s up with major Indian sites claiming to be web 2.0 and stuff with real bad design. I am not just talking about the color scheme or design in general, but the whole usability aspect. Be it TOI, Rediff or naukri all of them have a bunch of popups, tons of banner ads and non-existent user driven design. I have heard from a lot of people living in India that it is hard to find a good designer there. Is finding good designers a big problem in India? Would love to hear what people know/believe.

Slideshare.net, a great product comes from a company Uzanto which has operations in India and USA. I really liked their simple design. Ofcourse their core audience is not Indians, but it seems like they have Indian designers working on the site.

Love slideshare’s server naming scheme :)

Got a Flock invite!

Flock was supposed to post this on my blog….but it never did, so I am just copy n pasting the post manualy.

Here is the post:

grrrr…..had written this long post, but as usual didn’t save it (darrrnnnn…..this is a preview version, it is supposed to crash)

Let me try recalling what I wrote :(

A few days ago, I signed up for flock and today I got an invite for a preview, so far it looks good (yea, it crashed on me atleast once so far)

Flickr Photo

1. They were successful in making me signup @ delicious, flock uses delicious as favs (wrote a lot of stuff b4, now dunn feel like)

2. It has a create a blog post button and you can post on ur blog thru it (thats wot am doin rt. now.) I was really impressed by the way it found my xmlrpc.php as I gave it my blog url. One dosen’t need to know rocket science to do that, you prolly need to research a bit on the common blogging platforms and you can find out a way to locate the rpc files automatically, but it was cool!

Flickr Photo

3. You can Enter Tags, along with the post. I am not sure, what will be done with the tags? I have a tags plugin @ WP, would they be posted there? I guess not. Most prolly they are for technorati, but how would they be used? Also, it is not mentioned if the tags have to be space seperated or comma seperated or somethingElse seperated. I think it will be cool to see something like this in the input field (instead of that Enter Tags) [“Enter Tags” Related Tags]. This would describe the way tags need to be formatted.

4. There is a Flickr Photos bar, which can be enabled thru the blog post. It shows all the thumbnails of images of a specified flick username. From what I have observed, it loads all the images as soon as you click “Get Photos” button, while it just shows 9-11 latest (depends on the size of ur window) images only and the rest can be scrolled horizontally. The sudden downloading of bunch of thumbnails froze my system for a sec or 2. I have abt 100 pix, may b more) but I am wondering if there is a limit to the # of images downloaded or does flock dls all the images. What if someone got 1000+ images? That would kill the comp. I think it will be helpful to download the first (say) 15 images right away and the rest, either when the person scrolls, or at a very slow rate. I was hoping to get latest images for a specified tag, but I am sure it might be under dev. as it makes more sense to get images sorted using tags, than users.

5. Don’t like flickr? there is a thing called “Blog Topbar” for you. It is a list of latest posts from your blog (the one u r posting to, I think). Initially I couldn’t understand its use…..but now I noticed that you can rite click the posts and edit/delete them thru flock’s UI. It also has a tiny button at top right (w/o any alt tag, I think it shud have 1), which is a refresh button for the posts. I haven’t tried the box called “Drop Stuff to blog it!” yet, I’ll try it once I post this post successfully.

6. Flock blog post has a few buttons for formatting. All with alt tags, except the last 2 (link and unlink). I think they were missed somehow. I was kind of upset that the blog post doesn’t have an HTML view of my post and then “by accident” I found the hidden HTML frame. Its really hidden. Its good 2 c HTML.

Flickr Photo

7. Saved my post once again now, “Save as Draft” shows a message something – publishing your post. I think it shud be changed to something like “saving draft”. Also, I would like the window, not to be closed when I click “Save as Draft”, instead it should simply save it and let me keep writing more stuff, if I need to close the wondow, I can use the X button anytime.

Random Fact: I missed it earlier, you can have more than one blogs configured w/ flock, but I don’t think that u can post the same content to a bunch of different blogs by clicking a single publish button. That would have been a boon for the spammers….

8. Flock also has a feed aggregator, which seems to show some weird results. It shows that on 12th Oct. I posted the iPod Video post, but it also shows that I posted the same post on 19th, along with bunch of other posts 😐 What I suspect is that it is retrieving data from technorati or pingomatic, wich might have been pinged yesterday, but I think it should say that. Also, the Feed Aggregator doesn’t show the url in status bar on mouseover + the links are broken. Instead of redirecting me to a particular post, it is forwarding me to the homepage.Switch to webview button doesn’t seem to work at this moment.

Random Fact: The UI seems a hybrid of FF n Opera. Ctrl+T is used for new tabs (like FF), yay!!! while each tab has the close X along with it (like Opera)

I need to sleep now, but I have a few sceenshots and a lot of other stuff to write about it. I guess, I’ll add the screenshots to flickr and link them w/ the post.

Last Random fact: It uses Y! as default SE + has a Y! search box (sad…) but the good news is, that the FF like google query works “google my query here”. Y! as the default SE and flickr photos? is flock owned (read as funded) by Y! ? BTW doesn’t flickr n flock sound like cousins.

Rest tomorrow (or whenever I get time.)

Yahoo Ads Beta – Review

What happens when you try to implement something real quick inorder to compete with a competitor? You end up with Yahoo Ads Beta.

I applied for them a cpl. of weeks ago (thanks 2 Puneet for letting me know about it) and I got approved yesterday (or may be day before). So, I thought I’d give them a shot. I read the TOS and found some lame stuff:

9g from here

you are a US-based business and you are operating Your Site solely for viewing and use by users within the US; and

How the hell do you operate a site “solely” for viewing and use by users within the US on the Internet? Should I ban all the darnnn non-US IP addresses? Thank god they didn’t ask me to check if each of my viewer is a valid US citizen or Permanent Resident.

11 l (as in ‘L’)

Abuse of Services. You agree not to:
…..
display all or part of the Ad Unit to any user located outside the US

Well……can non-US bots view the Ad…?…….please please let them…….ok may be just one glimpse……

To Yahoo – Please implement your Ads like this

check if user = US-located
if yes
display Ad
else
Get lost you looser, don’t waste the bloody bandwidth, you aren’t worth a penny.

And it will be great if publishers can customize the last message.

I haven’t read Adsense’s TOS lately, but I don’t think they have TOS like this (or may be they do 😐 )

Anyways, I somehow manage to make myself understand about that TOS, I agreed to it, that I won’t ask any non-US to view the Ads, if they do, then its Yahoo’s lack of implementation. I agreed to remove Adsense from my site and created a Yahoo Ad. I didn’t miss my Adsense, cos the Yahoo Ad is a clone of Adsense.

Yahoo Ad Preview

They use javascript for to display Ad preview and it is neat. They also have a “Select Your Ad Code” button for those, I guess, who do not know how to select text in a textarea.

They have a Ad Targeting section, where you can choose a category and a sub-category and can even display those Targeted Ads to a certain page or whole site or a subdomain. I think its good. Its more like an addition to the contextual Ads. Here is what the tag line says: “You can display ads that are based on your users’ interests to complement your site’s contextually matched ads.

And then there is Ad Blocking, where you can block certain domains, usual competitors n stuff.

They also have a Content Setup section, where you can:

Embed Y!Q into your site. What is Y!Q?

Y!Q lets you search from any web page you’re on so you don’t have to interrupt your workflow to find more information. Traditional web searches force you to go to a specific search page and type in a query.

It’s the thing that Y! has introduced in its latest YIM. where you highlight some text and can see the results in a small pop-up-like-a-thing.

They also have Add Your RSS Feed to My Yahoo!, which is nothing but just adding your XML feed to viewer’s my.yahoo.com. Right now they don’t have RSS advertising, but it seems like they are working on it.

Link to a Yahoo! Map from Your Web Site is another lame thing that they have in there, which is simply creating a link to Y! maps from your site.

Y!Q, RSS to My Yahoo and Links to Y! Maps don’t pay u anything.

Payment options are more or less same, but they also allow you to transfer funds to your overture a/c. I do have Adsense and Adwords a/cs but not sure if they allow that or not.

Reports are more or less similar to Adsense. There is one feature called URL Tracking.

What it does is: Track the performance of the ads on your site by domain, directory, or page. which is similar to pages in Adsense. They also have “categories” which are similar to Channels in Adsense.

My problems aren’t over yet……

I backed up my Adsense code and clicked the “Select Your Ad Code” button on Yahoo publisher to replace my Adsense.

I put the code like:

Original Code

and what I see on the site is:

On IE

IE

On FF

FF

did I miss something?

I checked the source of me site and what I see is:

ctxt_ad_partner = \’1214287163\’;
ctxt_ad_section = \’6620\’;
ctxt_ad_bg = \’FFFFFF\’;
ctxt_ad_width = 468;
ctxt_ad_height = 60;
ctxt_ad_bc = \’D40000\’;
ctxt_ad_cc = \’FFD800\’;
ctxt_ad_lc = \’D40000\’;
ctxt_ad_tc = \’000000\’;
ctxt_ad_uc = \’7C0000\’;

Where did these \ come from (Is it Apache?)? On further investigation, found that Adsense uses ” instead of ‘ …..but I can’t change their code, so dunno if I am thinking in right direction or not.

Acc. to their FAQ:

When will ads begin appearing on my site?

Your Yahoo! Publisher Network ads will usually begin appearing within seconds of pasting the ad code into your web pages. If no ads are available, public service announcements will be displayed. If you prefer, you may select a Substitute Color that matches your web page background so that a solid color block appears in the meantime instead.

Note: My Substitute color field has nothing in it.

It has been more than an hour and the Ads still don’t work. May be they think I am a bloody non-US located? I don’t think that is the case, but who knows. I suspect its just the lack of testing (oh well its in Beta, y am I cribbing) and may be some of the javascript used on my site is killing the Ads? But Adsense works fine. Also why the hell it shows 2 different things on IE n FF?

I am gonna switch back to Adsense and report the matter to Y! guys.

Indiatimes.com

Indiatimes.com

Indiatimes.com, I don’t understand certain things about them. Let’s start from the top of that image, where it it says “Rs. 2500/ year”, is .in a new programming language or is .asp a new domain extension (TLD)?

Checkout the “Matrimonial” link (with the new image) on the left, well nothing wrong about it, its just a link to timesmatri.com, which is Times group’s matrimonial website. If you look tiny bit right off that link, you see shaadi.com and Bharatmatrmony.com’s Ads. Are you telling me that you make more money through Shaadi.com and Bharatmatrimony’s affiliates? Are you telling me that you yourself don’t believe in your product and then you want me to signup for Timesmatri.com?

{Distraction}I guess the time has come, when I should start a new category called Advertising.{/Distraction}

Indiatimes started a new feature a while ago, its more like a slideshow and they generally run it for subdomains people.indiatimes.com or women.indiatimes.com. If you have come across any of those, you might have had noticed its generally related to women, not just any women, but hot n Sexy women. BTW if you noticed, the “next” link in those slideshows are really very close to the Ads and I don’t think its unintentional.

Coming back to their main page, if you see the above image, you will see the main section called “Top Headlines”, you should also be able to see a link called “Countdown: the world’s top temptresses” in bold, it seems like it is very important headline. If you were to click it, you will land up here, which is one of those slideshows.

This link is a part of their subdomain “women” (which is closely related to Femina). I thought Femina talked about how women are independent these days. It is supposedlly a magazine for women, which gives them a strength to compete in this “big bad world of men.” The Indiatimes’ Women subdomain has a caption “Inspired, Independent.” Just checkout how are they presenting the women on their website.

Indiatimes Women

This is total crap, they are selling soft-porn in the name of the media. So does Hindustantimes.com, will write about it someother time.

Do you have multiple personalities?

Ever thought that your behavior at 2 different places is entirely different? I am not talking about at some particular moment, but in general.

Confessions (Beta Testing – Puneet :p)
Happens to me always: While in school or with friends, I can be really naughty or prolly think of something really mischeveous to do. But if I am at home, there isn’t a decent non-naughty person like me.

Also, ever wondered, you never use the language at home, that you use while with your friends 😉

BTW if you haven’t seen my tag cloud, then have a look at it and let me know what colors shud I use for less used tags and for the most used tags.