Is joining a bandwagon the best way to solve a problem?


Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal movement, Terrorism, News coverage on any issue by our TRP loving news channels etc. etc. – Wondering what am I talking about? How can all these things have any relation at all, right? WRONG! There is a small but very important thread which connects these things which are generally as diverse as chalk and cheese. Joining the bandwagon is often referred to as ‘copycat’ behaviour in blunt terms. But is copycat behaviour really bad? Obviously for something like the Anna Hazare movement or cricket fanaticism it shouldn’t be bad, right?

A lot of people in this world are normally jobless. Obviously jobless really doesn’t mean the people who are actually ‘Below the Poverty Line’ and don’t really have any work at all. I am referring to people who have jobs but just love to fight for a cause however good or bad it may be. And they may fight for a cause despite the fact that they may not know much about it.

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New Twitter vs Old Twitter


Twitter, the world’s most famous microblogging service has changed its web interface. There is only reason for Twitter making this move.

A move to bring in more users to start using the web interface. Its been seen that though the number of users on Twitter has multiplied many fold since its began its services in 2006, use of the Web interface compared to other applications has been minimal.

So let us see the differences in New Twitter as when compared to Old Twitter:-

New Twitter

Old Twitter

1. Firstly, the New Twitter is designed to handle multimedia within the stream. One can view images and video from Twitter in a side panel on the right. This area will also show threaded conversations and other users’ profiles.

2. Secondly, all tweets, the users profile and the Direct Messages inbox are now at the top of the screen, with sub-menus for @replies (or mentions), retweets from and of your and others’ updates, lists and followers

3. Thirdly, the look and feel of the direct messages inbox has been changed. The inbox has threaded conversations, with the most recent messages on top and a tally of the number of messages in each thread.

Twitter’s new advertising strategy allows advertisers to pay Twitter to feature in a section that is automatically customised for each user and which suggests accounts for them to follow. This program to set their cash registers ringing is in addition to their “Promoted Tweets” and “Trends” options that show up as the top feed when people search for related words.

But the question is “Will this work”? There are a couple of reasons which indicate that this move may not exactly work: -

1. People love to use Twitter on the go. And since the time it became possible to tweet through mobile phones in countries like India which has a growing user base of Twitter, many people have started using this mode of tweeting. Many others who don’t use mobiles to tweet use various applications to tweet among whom “Tweet Deck” and “HootSuite” are the most renowned. And going back to the net to tweet for such an audience may not exactly be too exciting.

2. The advertising strategy suggesting users to follow certain accounts has been more or less a flop because of the fact that it has been an intruder in the conversations and people wouldn’t want to follow anyone just like that. On a place like Twitter unless you are a celebrity, people follow only after engaging conversations. And so this strategy is a failure from the beginning.

In the end, I would just like to say that though the New Twitter looks pretty good and has some nice new features in it, I would prefer tweeting with Tweet Deck which I have been using since long.

You can follow me @

http://www.twitter.com/aseemrastogi2
Tweets – 8400
Followers – 611
Following – 545


Google’s social media plans have completely fallen flat! Haven’t they?



Google is the most innovative technology company of our times. It has led the way in new technologies on the World Wide Web from the day two entrepreneurs from Stanford University took it to the world. With applications like Gmail, Google Talk, Google Docs, Android, the Chrome browser, its search engine and more, it has shaped the way the world uses the World Wide Web. But today the world has gone more ‘social’ than ever and truth be told – Google is struggling to keep pace with the change.

Google Buzz, Google Wave, Orkut, Dodge Ball – Google has tried its hand at social media and social networking. But sadly it has not seen the kind of runaway success with which it has been associated in the field of technology. The reasons for this are many -

1. Despite the fact that Google has built various applications, it has mostly concentrated on search which is its USP. Like many others, it tried its hand in social media, but didn’t see the success it expected. Orkut is popular only in Brazil and India while Google Wave has closed down and Buzz has not seen much success either.

2. It probably was late in moving onto the social media scene as it initially played it down as a fad. But when a search was conducted as to how more people are spending greater time on Facebook than on Google, it got jittery and started taking drastic measures.

3. Orkut became really popular in Brazil and India. But sadly it hasn’t been able to be even half as popular around the world. And studies now indicate that Facebook is slowly but surely going to surpass Orkut. When Google realised this, it started added apps and also redesigned it. But again they were too late.

4. Google’s search is based on page rank. But today search has become social as more and more people are looking to their friends for views about different happenings.

5. One of the biggest things to worry for Google is the Bing – Facebook partnership which has resulted in Bing getting more and more search requests from the 500 million users while Google sits there and cribs over having missed such a huge population.

So what can Google do?

Google Me which is expected to be some sort of gaming social website can be its saviour. For this it had recently acquired ‘Slide – a gaming player’. But can Google fightback? You can write them out at our own peril!


Roundup of social media /mobile media news for the week (21st – 28th July)



The following is my first attempt to create a roundup of social media news for those interested in the world of social media / mobile media but not able to catch the weekly news. The reference for this is Mashable (www.mashable.com). Would aim to do this weekly or bi – weekly. Looking for your views on what you think about this and how helpful it is.

Latest happenings from the world of Social Media

Farmville cash invades supermarkets nationwide – The social gaming giant FarmVille has teamed up with Green Giant to put Farmville Cash coupon stickers on select produce in 4,000 stores nationwide

Two new Facebook scams making the rounds – Hot on the heels of the Coca-Cola Facebook scam, which promised to reveal the “truth” about Coca-Cola (but in reality simply aimed to get a hold of your personal info), are two more spreading via Facebook status updates

iPad’s social media magazine, Flipboard launched - Flipboard, which is now available in the iPad app store, is a start-up that calls itself the “world’s first social magazine.” It connects to your social media accounts — primarily Facebook and Twitter — and utilizes that information to create an interface that will feel familiar if you’re a magazine lover. It officially launches today.

Facebook among the worst in Web Satisfaction survey with the worst being MySpace

Time – lapse Twitter visualizations shows America’s moods – A group of researchers from Northeastern and Harvard universities have gathered enough data from Twitter to give us all a snapshot of how U.S. residents feel throughout a typical day or week. Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list, these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time.

Farmville users plant 310 million virtual organic blueberries – Organic foods maker Cascadian Farm, situated in the foothills of the North Cascades mountain range in the state of Washington, was once known mainly for its high-quality organic foods in the real world — until it became part of Zynga’s wildly popular game FarmVille.

Facebook has removed the ‘Most Recent’ News feed option for some users

Facebook has reached 500 million members

Oldest Twitter user, Ivy Bean dies aged 104

Linkedin is now worth more than US$ 2 billion based on investments

Seesmic Web supports Facebook and Linkedin – Seesmic has just updated its Seesmic Web app to include support for Facebook and LinkedIn

Twitter shows photos and videos – A new Twitter setting called “Tweet Media” has rolled out to some of Twitter’s users, strongly suggesting that the company will soon embed videos and photos in the stream

Facebook thinking of adding a dislike button

British monarchy joins Flickr after Twitter and YouTube

Latest happenings from the world of Mobile Media and Technology

Yahoo starts Testing Bing in search results – Yahoo search users may soon start seeing results served by Bing. According to Yahoo’s Vice President Search Product Operations Kartik Ramakrishnan, the company has “started testing organic (also referred to as algorithmic) and paid search listings from Microsoft for up to 25 percent of Yahoo! Search traffic in the U.S.”

Google buys 20 years worth Wind Farm Energy – Google has just signed a contract with an Iowa wind farm to purchase clean energy at a set rate for the next 20 years.This move is in keeping with Google’s strong environmental stance; with specific regard to energy consumption and wind-generated energy, the company has been championing PowerMeter and has invested $38 million in wind farms this year alone.

Google Image Search gets an overhaul – Instead of lines of images with text, Google Image Search results now display larger thumbnails with very little text through a hover effect. Text information such as file names, file size and URL are now included when you hover over an image.
Finally, Google has announced a product for advertisers: Google Image Search Ads, a new image-based ad format for Image Search.

Apple has said that even Nokia Mini 97 has death grip issue

Android devices get video calling via Adobe

Foursquare reaches 100 million checkins as more and more organizations are realizing the need of this tool

Ford to unveil 2011 Explorer on Facebook - Ford Motor Company is breaking with tradition in a big way. The company has been leaving digital breadcrumbs on the Ford Explorer Facebook Page, and in just a few days they’ll take to the web — instead of an auto show — for an all-day Facebook event to unveil the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer.

Nasa uses space lasers to map the world’s forests – NASA scientists have used data collected by the ICESat, Terra and Aqua satellites to create a topographical map that shows the height of forests around the world, from the rain forests of the Amazon to the redwood and sequoia forests of Northern California. They say their efforts have produced a collection and visualization of data that is the first of its kind

Nook for Android has hit the market

A new pluging will let you know whether Google is watching you – Another rad browser plugin called Google Alarm hit the Internets this week, which alerts you every time your personal info is sent to Google’s servers. How? Via notifications, a running tally of dangerous sites and, naturally, a super annoying, vuvuzela-like alarm.

Dell streak Tablet says yes to Android Froyo and No to T – Mobile – Dell has confirmed that its Streak tablet will get the Android 2.2 operating system (Froyo) later this year, but it will not run on T-Mobile’s 3G network.

Google Docs have added a translated feature

Steig Larsson first author to sell 1 million books via Kindle

Yahoo Japan has signed a search deal with Google

Ask Q&A reinvents itself – The beta version of Ask.com comes with a new interface and is designed to provide a more semantic search experience. It includes a Q&A product that pulls from 500 million indexed questions and answers and queries appropriate Ask.com users for their answers. It will be released to users on an invite-only basis beginning today.

Yelp testing Daily Deals feature

Google App adds government addition – Google Apps has already landed a few big customers in the public sector — including the City of Los Angeles — and today the company forwarded its drive into the space by launching a new edition of its app suite: Google Apps for Government.

iPhone has reached 17 more countries as of Friday, 23rd July

India has developed the world’s cheapest tablet at US $ 35

WikiLeaks publishes Afghan war reports – A website called WikiLeaks just published secret documents related to the war between the U.S. and the Taliban in Afghanistan. The documents detail deals, armed conflicts, strategies, politics, intelligence operations and some casualties from 2004 and 2010, painting the most complete, publicly available picture of the Afghan War yet

Amazon Kindle 2 sold out

Tinychat boasts 500 million minutes of usage and 300,000 news users every month – Not so tiny after all: Tinychat , a simple text, video and audio communication platform, is growing by leaps and bounds. First launched in February 2009 as a simple way to create Web-based chat rooms, Tinychat today is a full-blown chat system with lots of bells and whistles.

General happenings in the world of business in new media

Apple posts record earnings and calls iPhone 4 as its most successful product launch – Apple has just posted its Q3 earnings for fiscal year 2010 and the company has once again bested its own records, this time reporting an astounding $15.7 billion in revenue and a net quarterly profit of $3.35 billion.

Google mobile search and ads growing rapidly in 2010 – Not only has Google’s mobile search volume grown more than fivefold over the course of the last two years, but the click-through rates for its click-to-call mobile ads do 6-8% better than search ads without a number or URL associated with it, according to Mike Steib, director of emerging platforms at Google

Free iPhone case to cost Apple US $ 175 million

Paypal adds 1 million accounts per month – eBay Inc. has released its second quarter fiscal results, posting gains largely because of PayPal’s accelerating growth.

Nokia’s killer smartphone hurts earnings – It’s no secret that Nokia’s failure to compete in the smartphone arena is hurting its business, and it shows in the company’s Q2 financial results.

Allure to give US$ 725,000 worth of products through Microsoft Tags – Allure magazine has partnered with Microsoft Tag for its annual Free Stuff issue this August, allowing readers to use their smartphones to participate in $725,000 worth of beauty product giveaways, which are awarded on a first-come, first-win basis

Microsoft sells 175 million copies of Windows in 7 months – Microsoft wiped away any doubts about its fiscal outlook with a record-breaking Q4 earnings report, primarily driven by sales of Windows 7 and Office 2010. In fact, Microsoft is reporting that more than 175 million copies of Windows 7 were sold in just nine months, making it the fastest-selling OS in the company’s history.

Windows 7 and Office 2010 drive Microsoft to record revenues – In the most recent quarter, Microsoft generated $16.04 billion in revenue, a 22% jump from last year’s $13.10 billion. This is a Q4 record for the technology titan. Income also rose from $3.99 billion to $5.93 billion, an eye-popping increase of 49%.

Old Spice sales double with YouTube campaign – Old Spice sales have increased 107% over the last month in part to the viral video campaign on YouTube

Disney has acquired Playdom for US $ 763.2 million – Disney has officially acquired Playdom, the makers of popular social games like Social City and Sorority Life, for $563.2 million, with an additional $200 million that could be paid out based on performance.

Samsung Galaxy S new ad mocks iPhone 4

eWise raises US $ 12 million for Online Payments Technology – Online payments company eWise has raised $12.1 million in funding led by Balderton Capital with Total Technology Ventures , and Allen & Co. participating in the round.