My 'Not-So-Personal' Blog

Facebook finally has provided the option of accessing the site using the HTTPs protocol. This is the HTTP Secure protocol which should amp up the security considerably. HTTPs gives the regular HTTP protocols the protection of the SSL protocol which should give it an added layer of encryption and also forces the checking of a valid web certificate.

Do note however that some features on Facebook still don’t support the HTTPs protocol and will not do so for some time. It just comes down to a fair trade-off between security and convenience. You decide.

Shera - CWG 2010 Mascot

Common Wealth Games 2010 (Shera)

Common Wealth Games or CWG as they have been popularly called has become a source of unfortunate embarrassment to India. What went wrong with CWG 2010? Sure we have blamed Suresh Kalmadi and Lalit Bhanot, but there is more to this matter than just the superficial blame game. Before we blame these people, we ought to think about what we could have done and why we didn’t do it. Not preventing a tragedy like this is as bad as being the perpetrator of it all.

We have listened to the half-assed comments made by people like Sheila Dikshit and Lalit Bhanot about how everything was under control and about how we ought not to compare these facilities to those in Melbourne because ‘our standards’ of cleanliness are different from those outside this country. Sheila Dikshit went on to accuse the media and the people of the country that they are not supporting the country when it needs that the most. Well, to be honest, she didn’t leave us a whole lot to support but she has a point there. What have we done apart from dissing our people over their inefficiencies.

We love passing the buck. Thats the one thing everyone in India does with amazing skill. I recall people like Chetan Bhagat blogging and predicting the doom of these games. Sure he did predict everything that eventually happened. Nostradamus would be proud of him. But what else has he done? What have we, the people who read his blog, done? The trending topics in the twitterverse were jokes on the CWG well before any of these disasters came to fore. I think we should get off our seats and go and contribute in any manner possible. Reviews of the site and comments would have helped months back. Citizen evaluation groups have their own value.

The next time India bids to host any such event, let us go out there and help out. Let the government know that their citizens will rip their bullshit apart if they try to cheat the public. The days of the ignorant common man are over. Its time for the government to get its act together and act responsibly. We will be watching.

Did you hear? Mark Zuckerberg, or Zuck, as he is popularly called, is donating $100 mils to the Newark public school system. This massive donation will be the first of many such donations made by the foundation intended to improve U.S. education. The Newark public school system, considered by many to be among the worst school systems, stands to gain a lot from Zuck’s charity.

Speculation is rife that this is a premeditated move to have it coincide with the release of the movie ‘The Social Network’ that is considered to be loosely based on the life of Mark Zuckerberg and talks in great detail about his tiff with erstwhile partner, Eduardo Saverin. This movie does not portray Zuck in a very good light and this move could possibly be meant to counter it.

However, these rumors are exactly just that.. rumors! Zuck’s contribution is in the line of other wealthy philanthropists and should hopefully be seen for what is really represents. Lets just take it at face value and not try to read to much in to it. Three cheers to Zuck!

I found this on Paloma Contrera’s blog, La Dolce Vita. It was brilliant and I felt I had to share this.

You are perfect the way you are. God doesn’t make mistakes. Revel in your own glory and bask in the unique place you have been given in this universe.

Facebook Attracting Indian Companies

As the Indian populace increasingly starts using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, Indian companies are moving on to the social media scene to engage and communicate with this audience. I came across a visual study done by Iffort Consulting that examined the Facebook usage of 25 brands across verticals. And these are not just top brands; These are the smaller players who have found a level playing field.

These brands are engaging their audiences in very innovative ways. They’ve used applications, polls, quizzes and so many more innovative ways. Youth oriented brands tend to dominate the social scene in India. This is the case considering the prevalent demographic in India. Bigger brands tend to have an online presence as a part of their online policy but the extent of interaction is minimal. A lot of these pages have a lot of people who have ‘liked’ those pages but don’t have anything to do after that.

Surprisingly, the most active brand was the Delhi Traffic Police with 12.8 wall posts by site admins each day.

Facebook’s growth in India has been nothing short of staggering. The current estimates put the number of Facebookers in India at 12 million – small change for a nation of a billion. However, each day more and more people in India are creating their online profiles on Facebook and it will soon become the source of the greatest number of Facebook users. India has a huge populace who speak fluent English. This gives online marketers a huge user base to tap in to and engage. The marketing efforts by Indian companies have been similar to their US counterparts but we can expect India-specific benchmarks and best practices in the not-so-distant future!

The election machines in Ohio were malfunctioning because the software of the machine was in conflict with the anti-virus. While this reeks of bad administration, I wonder why there was an anti-virus in the first place.

Do you use social media for business? If you do, you have a very important question to answer. How does social media work for you? Is it better for retention, or is it better for acquisition? This is a very pertinent question because this helps you determine if using social media makes good sense. The pie chart shown below is the breakup of the objectives of social media as listed by the social media managers in the US market. I’ve considered the US market primarily because a bulk of social media work is happening in the US markets and its going to be a while before it starts to get big in countries like India.

This shows that brand awareness is on the minds of most social media managers. It does make sound sense too. The retentive value of what people see while using social media makes this a most excellent medium for promoting their products. As a smaller company, the main concern should be to check if the long term benefits of a social media campaign can match up to your current and short term goals.

Most analysis services state plainly that marketers around the world are using social media primarily to increase brand awareness and maintain the brand’s reputation. I reckon that customer acquisition is the most important goal of smaller companies and that social media should be directed in that direction. Larger companies that are active on social media tend to overshadow these smaller companies. But there is hope. A smart social media plan can help your reach audiences that the larger businesses are missing out on. Trust me on this… theres a place for everybody under the sun. Define your niche and play it up and its social media #FTW!

- Image sourced from http://www.eMarketer.com

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Aj Gupta

Blogger, tweeter, traveler, passionate activist, a foodie, and a wanderer in search for answers. I cant settle down not because I'm lost, its just that I don't believe its time to go home yet.

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