Category Archives: fun

A visit by our local MLA

Yesterday evening saw our local MLA “Jai Bhagwan Agarwal” paying a visit to our apartment/society. It was the first time ever that I was present while someone contesting elections came for a visit as a part of his campaign. It was a different and funny experience. Till now i had seen more campaigning for elections on film and tv then in real life. The cavalcade of the minister was proceeded by various people playing drums, holding banners of BJP and shouting slogans for their leader. Want to know their slogan for this time ?

Rohini ka Obama kaun ? Jai bhagwan Jai bhagwan ” –
Yes, you had to be there to believe it 🙂 Apparently they’ve been using this slogan all around the place.

After the MLA met his supporters who had come to greet him there took place a ritual (which as expected I had no clue about). Its one of those things that are apparently a regular affair around election time. The MLA weighed on a weighing balance and his biggest supporter and friend (a resident of our apartment) donated bags of 1 Rs coins that equaled his weight. I am told its a way to show one’s respect and trust.

Noise and people settled a bit after this and Mr agarwal spoke a few cliched words about how the residents of our apartments are important, how supportive they have always been and we’ll continue doing good things etc etc. The speech(if it can be called) lasted for five minutes before the procession moved to the next apartments leaving behind a few delicious sweet dishes to be circulated among those who had gathered

Of Virtual Gifts and Real Money

If you are one of those who always thought gifts can(and should) always be tangible, think again.

Few facts:
1) People spend over $1.5 billion on virtual items every year. Pets, coins, avatars, and bling.
2) The virtual goods market is expected to exceed $7 Billion in less than 18 months.
3) Facebook’s digital goods business has appeared to double to between $30-40 million/year at the current rate.
4) Second life raises $80M annually from virtual goods.

While a lot has been said about the business aspect of Virtual Gifts, what makes virtual gifts a phenomenon remains a mystery for most. Virtual Gifts might sound a bit weird for some but there’s a lot more to virtual gifts than 1’s and 0’s. Here’s what I feel make Virtual Gifts tick.

1) The Gesture: This according to me one of the most important/human aspects of virtual gifts. One might not be able to eat a virtual cake or smell virtual flowers but the fact that someone took their time, effort and maybe money to gift something has an inherent feel good factor for both the sender and receiver.
2) The Trophy Effect: Flaunting gifts, is almost as common as gifts themselves. The act of giving a virtual gift and receiving one can be flaunted and ego’s(of people involved) massaged. Be it one’s profile page or activity news feed, if implemented well in a platform it can be another reason to share virtual gifts.
3) A virtual gift is better than no gift: You might have hundreds of real life friends and family members but not everyone will buy you a cake or send you flowers but if given an option(with low price) people might choose to share online gifts instead of not sending any gift at all.
4) Fun: You and I might not agree but there’s a fun angle involved with virtual gifts, in a sense that you can have unusual, exotic and virtually relevant( hours for an online game etc) gifts which might not be possible in real life.

Though the virtual gifts market is growing at a good pace what  needs to be seen is what all types of virtual gifts get added to the mix going forward, how can they be interlinked with points or real money and how business models evolve over them. A barter system could also be interesting and so would a resale and sale back of virtual goods for real money. What do you think ?