Category Archives: social media

Adopt A Pothole: A Refreshing Yet Impactful Social Media Campaign from Apollo

While browing my twitter timeline, I stumbled upon a link about ‘Adopt a Pothole’ Clicking the link was totally worth it. “Adopt a Pothole“, is just as it sounds. Simple, Impactful and Social.

What is Adopt a Pothole?

Know of the potholes around? Want to fix them?

1. Start clicking pictures and upload them on http://adoptapothole.in/.

2. Get your friends (25 at least) to support/vote for them

3. Apollo Tyres will fix all the potholes with 25+ supports

adoptapothole

 

 

Adopt a Pothole is a refreshing example of using Social Media for creating connections,increasing brand recall/awareness and having an impact.

The Good

  1. Simple Idea
  2. Addressing a relevant pain point (apt for the brand and meaningful for the consumers)
  3. Low hanging fruit for qualification (just 25 supports)
  4. Inherently Social and Viral (Invite your friends to get your adopted pothole fixed, they can then invite you and others to get their adopted potholes fixed)

The Bad

  1. The site design/usability isn’t all that great. Lots of scope of improvement here
  2. Social Pluggins etc could be used better to leave more imprints on facebook/twitter etc.
  3. Very little engagement on the website. Despite checking it after gaps of 12+ hours, looks like nothings changed and all the data is static

 

From the looks of it, there isn’t much planned to spread the word about the campaign. I assume that the agency in question would be plastering the web with banner ads but a lot more could be done to increase the reach. Basic stuff like having a blog, sharing videos of work being done, user testimonials could be done.

How do you find this campaign? Let me know if you know of another interesting campaign using Social Media

Understanding Twitter’s Discovery Problem

I like many of you, am an internet junkie i.e I spend more waking hours of my day on it than off. I started using Twitter in 2007, a few months after it’s launch and have happened to stuck with it for FIVE long years with steady unswerving loyalty. Not just this, thanks to the tweetdeck (a twitter client) I have it open on my system all the time. Among other things Tweetdeck allows me to manage multiple accounts(my personal acc @mayankdhingra and the @dialabook account), track keywords/hashtags among other things.

So via these 2 accounts I follow close to 2,000 people and have access to at least 3 keywords which I track. As you can imagine, it makes for enormous amount of data in my TL’s (Twitter Timelines) and as expected it gets overwhelming at times. But, that’s not the worst part for me. The worst part is that I like some other information/content junkie can’t have enough of sites/blogposts/news etc and thus I feel bad about not being able to fish out interesting/useful content from my timeline.

Yesterday after coming back home at  3:30 AM or so when I logged on twitter and tried to skim the TL, I found this interesting(thought not much useful yet) website  for tracking multiple couriers, given my business it will come in quite handy. Similarly while checking TL of someone I found this gem for indian indie music.

Think about it, if I weren’t to go and proactively check out past tweets, I wouldn’t have been able to find these, not in the near future at least and this is what pains me.

Discovery(content or otherwise) can happen in two ways

  1. Planned  (Organized/Structured)
  2. Accidental (Random)

If I log onto a particular blog/site everyday for news it is a planned way to discover content (applicable offline too), if I have subscribed to a newsletter it’s planned discovery. However, if someone whom I follow on twitter, RT’s an interesting link and I am online and it appears in my TL it is accidental or random. The major reason I have stuck on twitter despite all the weird ADSD people and their antics is Content and Twitter is by far the best place to get the content dope.

While we all try our best to plan to get the content we’d like to read, it’s the accidental discovery that interests me more. Though by nature this is random and in a way that’s it’s beauty. Out of nowhere you get something that could have an impact. For sake of perspective

  1. Scope for Planned Discovery:
    Source : 1- 100 (upper limit) blogs/sites
    Average Posts/Day on these sources: 5-20(upper limit)
    Total posts/stories accessible: 2,000

  2. Scope for Unplanned Discovery:
    Number of people I follow(from my personal account): 500 or so
    Number of people they follow: 300 or so
    Number of weblinks that a person shares in a day: 5
    Total posts/stories accessible: 500*300*5 = 75,00,00

Depending on my usage(or active usage) of Twitter, I discover less than 0.01% of all content available (Think of the stuff I am missing while I type this sentence)

However, like in other aspects of life I want to be able to control this discovery and try to  bring some method to the madness. I mean, why should I miss really interesting stuff just because I wasn’t scanning my TL and writing this blogpost when somebody tweeted it or how can I increase my chances of finding out stuff about my areas of interest? This is precisely the  Twitter’s Discovery Problem  I am talking about. It’s like a river stream in which I can swim anytime and come out anytime, but what happens when I am not swimming or even when I am there.

How does the relevant content find you and not the other way around?

One of the ideas which a Tarun had was to have an app that rates various links being shared in one’s Timeline based on the number of RT’s it got, so that we get to see what’s popular (weblinks) in our TL’s. Interestingly, before he could find time to built the app, twitter started doing this themselves in their daily newsletters

The problem is twin fold

  1. How to get access to a bigger source of content
  2. How to filter the content for quality and personal preferences

Some top of the head ideas

  1. Further simplify the process of sharing content both on and off twitter. I see a post on iPhone app design and I know 5 people in my network would love it but how to share this with them?  (Think email, think tagging,
    think hashtagging etc)
  2. Sticky tweets: I find something interesting and want most people who read my tweets to be able to see it not just when I tweeted but also for the entire day. How about having that tweet appear on top of my TL and not get hidden in my stream. Sometweets could also appear differently visually/design wise
  3. A hashtag discovery engine: There are tonnes of hashtags people create daily, a smaller subset of this happens in our timelines too. What if people were to use hashtags more and then there’s a page which has a hashtag cloud. The most popular hashtags appear BIGGER AND BOLDERwhile less popular ones  not so. That’s a brand new way to discover content based on how people in my network(or otherwise) tag it.PS: No, this is not the same as twitter trends you genius.
  4. Favorite Tweets: This is undeniably one of the most underused and undervalued feature of twitter, what if we could also share stuff people favourite more prominently? If 50 people in my TL have favourited I might as well would want to check it out

These are just some of the ideas I could think of while writing this blog post but I am sure there’s a lot of value that can be unlocked here.

You could have just missed this post, had it not been for accidental/random discovery. Think about it…

Digg for 2012

“We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.” Betaworks says it’s planning to “build Digg for 2012.” via Techcrunch

The question that comes to one’s mind after reading this is, what’s Digg for 2012 going to be like?

The answer to that question is a place to discover 140 character or so twitteresque excerpts from around the web and that’s what Betaworks plans to do with Digg.

LET THE GAME BEGIN.

Get Rich or Die Tweeting!!

It’s been a long while since I last wrote a blog post and that’s precisely the reason why I am here. Suddenly realized that I(too) have a blog which despite me hating it, has been neglected for a long while. While making a comeback, what’s easier than a rant :D.

I’ve been using twitter for a fairly long time now, almost from the month(or so) it was launched. Despite being using it for that long a period and having my twitter stream open most of the day I’ve never  tweeted a lot, and by ‘a lot’ i mean excess of a dozen fairly distributed tweets a day. Different people have different definitions and clearly for some 10-12 tweets isn’t much. At times I wonder about people who tweet a lot(say 25-35 times a day or more) and mostly end up judging them(not the best thing to do but). What are they like in professional life, in real life(assuming they have one)?

I see lots of wannabe entrepreneurs using twitter heavily to network, RT others tweets, sharing links etc or asking for things which Google could answer better and faster. Then there’s a bunch of what I call “Micro Celebs”, the celebrities of the world of 140 characters whose only claim to fame is there number of followers on twitter or how many achievers or real life celebrities follow them back there. What’s amazing is that these people continue to Tweet/RT the same old things, they used to when they started an year or two back. But luckily what works for them is the fact like search traffic on the internet, there’s always enough audience for them on Twitter, which probably explains why the ones who tweet a lot tend to have more followers.

Most people in my TL who tweet a lot work for some or other company and start tweeting almost the minute they reach their office and continue till the time they head back home. I wonder if they tweet this much and this frequently, how do they get any work done at all. But then,as I’ve seen and experienced myself, you don’t need to get a lot of work done in a big MNC to survive.

Anyways I feel some people(ambitious ones at least) should spend a little less time tweeting about what they are eating/drinking/feeling and instead think how addicted they have become and the things they can get done in that time..

Dial-a-Book gets covered in Todays Mint Lounge

My new startup ‘Dial-a-Book’ has got its first mention in print media today. It’s been almost a year since I started working on Dial-a-Book along with my younger brother and it’s been an absolute fun ride.

Here’s an excerpt from the article

Past life

Dial-a-Book is a Delhi-based start-up founded by brothers Mayank and Tarang Dhingra. Tarang, 25, is a final-year student at the University of Delhi. Mayank, 27, is a software engineer who left a corporate job at Fidelity International in 2005 to work for a string of tech start-ups—from SlideShare, an online presentation hosting service, to MPower Mobile, which works with mobile payments. In 2008, before the Twitter bandwagon bulldozed its way across the country’s Internet landscape, he experimented with creating a Twitter-like service for India called Kwippy—which Mayank called a “conversational platform”. The site folded in mid-2009, and subsequent dabbling in ideas on what to do next led to Dial-a-Book

and you can read the complete article here

I know some of you *might* find this surprising and *might* have some questions for me, so feel free to ping me anytime 🙂

Daily Links: 5th July 2010

Another post to keep me attuned on blogging and sharing some useful information in the process.

1) Speed of eating “key to obesity” – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7681458.stm

2) How to build one of a kind Facebook Fan Page: http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/28/how-to-build-engaging-one-of-kind-facebook-fan-pages/

3) Stephen Fry: What I Wish I’d Known When I was 18: http://vimeo.com/11414505

and just for the laughs, this Vicks Action 500 AD(by Anurag Kashyap apparently)

Unraveling The Mystery of Facebook Community Page

At the starting of this month I noticed a new option while creating a Facebook Fan Page and I wasn’t quite sure what was going on and what to expect next. It was yesterday when I stumbled upon this

Facebook Community Page

that things started to fall into place. The info of this page (Electronics and Communication Engg. IIT Guwahati) reads

Our goal is to make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic. If you have a passion for Electronics and Communiation Engg. (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)sign up and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help. You can also get us started by suggesting a relevant Wikipedia article or the Official Site.

Guess that says it all

  1. Make this Community Page the best collection of shared knowledge on this topic (Regularly updated/active Content? )
    Think of it, if there were to be a decently popular fan page(community page) on anything, say Yoga or Soccer then it would get updated regularly and would have tons of discussions going on it. This page on Soccer would have far more content than any other page on the same topic and it shouldn’t be difficult to guess the SEO juice it will derive and how advertiser friendly that page is going to be.
  2. If you have a passion for Electronics and Communiation Engg. (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati), sign up and we’ll let you know when we’re ready for your help. (Wikipedia?)
    Yes, another community driven page which could have a few administrators or content curators that’ll ensure that the activity on the community page is sustained.

So while everyone happily takes care of the content and discussions, facebook sells the ad space at a premium to advertisers and earns $$. That’s not it, to facilitate the creation of numerous community pages like the one on E &C IIT Guwahati, Facebook has started to automatically create community pages that are up for grabs and might be promoted via ads or news feeds in future.

So what do you think about this move by Facebook? Should Wikipedia be scared?

Update 1:  There’s something more to the move by Facebook around Community Pages. Apparently they’ve started re-categorizing the generic pages(non brands/company pages) as Community Pages. Here’s an email I received about one of the pages I had created a while back

Facebook re-categorizing generic pages

Clicking on the link(for mis-categorizing) leads hereFacebook Mis-categorization of pages

Does this move worry all those who created pages around various social objects/activities? I think so.

Update 2 (1/5/2010):

While logging on to Facebook for the first time yesterday, I saw this notification

From information to community pages

As expected Facebook is indeed on a big mission to turn all the information into community pages. So now all the interests, favorite shows, books etc in my profile are linked to their respective community pages.

Another social wiki in the making

Update 3 (23/8/2010):

Just saw this.


The community pages now also have a Wikipedia tab which pulls in all the information about the subject from Wiki. Let’s see how things shape up from here.

Using Facebook to find the Hero

Facebook Ads are something despite trying my best I find myself unable to ignore. In fact I think  my eyes are now always on a look out for conspicuous ads while I am on Facebook, and that’s how I noticed this ad

Buddha Ad on Facebook

It’s not often that you get too see an ad like this one “Ashutosh Gowarikar is searching for an actor to play Siddhartha/Buddha. If you are male 20 to 30 years of age then audition now!”. This sure looks interesting. On clicking the ad you are taken to http://www.buddha-movie.com/

Buddha Movie Website

where you can find out some basic information about the film and fill up a form to apply for auditions.

This is a really simple and innovative use of using the online medium (mostly Social) to solve a problem(finding new talent) and generating a good buzz long before the movie gets on the floor

Buddha the movie is also on Facebook and Twitter

India: IPL, TV Industrial Complex and Social Media

That new technology, trends etc take their own sweet(not so) time to reach and permeate the Indian market is a well known and accepted fact, and Social Media is no different. While marketing and advertising companies/teams from other countries(especially from the west) might have already dipped deep in the Social Media waters, their counterparts in India are no where close.

When Pepsi ditched Superbowl and chose to spend their budget ($20 million) on a Social Media campaign there were celebrations amongst the Social Media folks world over and everyone(Including we in India) felt that Social Media has finally arrived and the game has changed from being Traditional Media centric to Social Media being equally if not more important. If you think that’s the same with India (transition from Tradition Media to Social  Media at a considerable level), think again.

In the course of last year or so I’ve met numerous Social Media enthusiasts/marketers/analysts and quite a few advertising/media agencies and some guys who are in-charge of marketing campaigns for the brands they represent. Little has changed since last year if we talk about how people who offer Social Media solutions feel and how those who should be using those Social Media solutions feel. Despite all the jazz around Social Media, in India particularly brands are spending a bare minimum percentage of their marketing/advertising budget on Social Media. Not just this, what’s particularly interesting is the fact that in India some brands have started spending more(and not less) on Traditional Media. If these figures are anything to go by

AD Rates for IPL3 and T20 World Cup 2010
you can get an idea of how things seem to be moving in the Indian market. We are increasingly spending more money on Traditional Media and it’s not just TV ads, the print media is also on a roll with Realtors and FMCG companies booking full page ads like anything.  It’s not just a co-incidence that there aren’t any remarkable Social Media campaigns around IPL despite all the hype and hoopla.

Keeping in mind all this and the response that these Traditional Media campaigns manage to get I would like to believe
that the days of TV-Industrial Complex are not yet over in India and it will be another few years before significant changes start to happen.