Web

A reader published a comment on the previous post on Customer empathy – which I thought was something worth sharing with everyone – so here goes!


 

“I have been involved in manufacturing and sale of engineering goods for more than three decades in India now. I have certainly learnt that it helps to empathise with your customers to gain their loyalty.

This empathy comes easily so long as it relates to product design, because this actually helps you to improve the utility of your products!

However, it becomes impossible to empathise with customers in commercial matters of price and credit, for the simple reason that such misplaced empathy is the surest way to run your business into the ground at least in India! I mention this because customers in India are by and large not reliable in matters of timely payments.

In short: Technical Empathy? 100% Yes! / Commercial Empathy? 100% No!”


 

Firstly thanks Uday Sir for the comment. I loved the comment, and am taking the liberty to publish the same on my site as well. I agree with the sentiment and appreciate that it comes through with great experience! The thought however should be around how can all this be circumvented. Can a seemingly commoditized product also be delivered to customers with a fabulous value which is irreplicable. I think that is the challenge, and something that Internet companies are excelling at too!

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A comment on – Customer empathy in India and my response

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Business, Marketing, Strategy

Is Social Commerce a Bit of an Oversell?

Social Commerce has been a great talking point in the past couple of years. It’s based on a simple insight that marketers have known since kingdom come but haven’t been able to exploit – consumers don’t trust marketers, they trust friends and family. According to consumer research, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know1 and 70% of consumers trust opinions of unknown users2. And more importantly, consumers today need relevant and timely recommendations. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter got the “social” in place by helping us connect but how could marketers induce us to spend by simply “being social”? It so happens that our conversations with friends often lead to an exchange of information and recommendations on brands and goods that can spur purchases.

The First Wave

Notice the increasing number of social sites designed around interests – fashion, DIY, crafts, photography, travel, dining, et al.? Pinterest, Polyvore, Tumblr and Foursquare are a few that come to mind. Twitter and Facebook also have some elements of social commerce. Several of these sites have a visual interface like the mood-board on Pinterest that users can pin images onto along with the Twitter-like Followers concept to “like” or endorse other users’ boards. The idea is that we as users express our interest in ideas, themes, or even consumer goods because we enjoy personalizing and sharing our interests as an extension of our selves. In short, sharing interests gets people talking and talking leads to purchases. Sure it all sounds dandy, but it’s not without a few hiccups. Allow me to explain

1. Interest does not necessarily equal Purchase Intent

Monetate-convOne interesting factoid about social commerce sites like Pinterest, Polyvore and the like is that they have a strong female user base (nearly 70-80%). Categories like apparel, fashion, crafts, cooking, etc. dominate interactions. Women spend a great deal of time online browsing e-commerce sites for apparel, shoes, travel, etc. but may purchase very infrequently. They might like to create inspiration boards filled with items they love but they might not be able to afford a lot of those things or might not even think they need to buy them.

Monetate-order

This explains the data from Monetate’s Ecommerce Quarterly 2013 which compares conversion rates by referrer (source site where purchase process originated). Of course, some experts have suggested that most users may be loath to leave their interest-driven activities and get down to the drudgery of online shopping. Instead, they may use a search engine at a later date to purchase the item directly from the e-commerce site. Hence, these rates may be understated.

Though what’s exciting about social commerce is that average order values are fairly large, which means if the conversion rates could be improved, it could be highly effective

2. It won’t work equally well across all categories

There are two aspects of converting a social commerce interaction to a purchase: 1) The category of the good should be such that it stimulates social conversations and 2) The category of the good should be such that a recommendation is valued. In the offline channel, consumer research from a few years ago in the US stated the efficacy of word-of-mouth recommendations for various categories of goods as:
BIGResearchEating out and Apparel are two categories that have been explored in social commerce today because they satisfy the two conditions. But electronics, a high-involvement and expensive purchase which should rely heavily on recommendations, hardly figures on any social commerce site because it simply isn’t a topic that people discuss on a regular basis.

3. We are habituated to offline interactions

76% of Word-of-Mouth conversations take place in person3. The fact is that social commerce advocates expect that people will carry out social interactions online instead of or in addition to their offline interactions. That’s a big ask. Sure, some folks may give it a whirl for the sheer novelty of the online platform but the lack of sustained interest has felled many an exciting platform or app. Changing habits is not easy but not impossible either. Social commerce platforms need to cleverly convince users that it is worthwhile spending their time on online social interactions. The need gaps that social and e-commerce fill are networks and convenience – these should be unified to bring a truly valuable proposition for users.

4. Offer/coupon model does not ensure patronage

In a bid to build traction (in Groupon’s case, it’s the entire business model), most social commerce platforms tie up with merchants to offer deals and coupons, hoping that once users get a taste of the platform’s features, they’ll stay. It’s a problem similar to Facebook’s “Like” button on brand pages which research has shown is mostly clicked to avail of offers/deals. Once the offers dry up, so does the user base. Similarly, gamification strategies like those on Foursquare rarely build up any social incentives to sustain interest.

There’s no doubt that social commerce is here to stay. In theory, it’s brilliant. In its current format, however, the implementation is slightly lacking. Innovation in terms of balancing the social and commerce elements and clarifying the value propositions for consumers and businesses is much needed.

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Strategy, Technology, Web

What if 7 billion people write their autobiographies?

(Editor’s note: This article is written by Kalpesh Muchhal – a student at IIM Bangalore, Batch of 2011. He takes a new, radical view at the concept of blogs, lifestories and social networking in general. You can write to Strat.in at contribute@strat.in , if you have views to share with the Strat.in community as well)

A new concept in social networking

The first question you will probably ask is why? After all, isn’t it one of the major undertakings in life to write one’s autobiography? Don’t we need enough interesting experiences before we start writing one? And who will read it? What if I don’t want to reveal my details to someone else?

Well, let us take this up one by one. If you actually think about your life, at least in some ways, it is different from that of everyone else. It can be the movies we like, the people we adore, the particular flavor of coffee that we just need to have after getting in the morning. But more importantly, it is the ideas that we individually possess, and the ways in which we express them. Fingerprints can match sometimes, even DNAs can. But no two people, not even twins, think exactly the same.

And so each one of us has a unique life story to tell. Now if someone starts telling you about his or her experiences, at first it will appear to be random, unrelated information. After all, why would I care that someone started going to school at the age of 5, or that someone has a Doberman called Tommy? But as a story goes on, several important themes emerge. The state of the society one lives in, the beautiful and depressing things that one saw in life, the struggles one has had to make and the things learned from them, the unique ideas one possesses, and so many other concepts. All this is knowledge, which can help others, inspire others, bring about greater understanding, give rise to new ideas. Now combine 7 billion such stories, and you have got an ocean of such knowledge, which is probably the most valuable infrastructure in the world.

Is it a difficult task to write one’s story? It sure is. Firstly, it requires one to sit down for a good amount of time, go over one’s life, and think what are the things that have happened. Secondly, many of these things may be unpleasant, embarrassing, or not in line with one’s self-image. And when one gets over this, there is the whole task of putting it down into words. But, if you really think about it, its not necessary to write everything at one stretch. Nor is it necessary to talk about those experiences which you had rather not share, experiences which are very private. You write a paragraph, then you modify it a little, then after some time, you write another one, then maybe you see a pattern in both of them, and you modify both paragraphs and so on. Isn’t that how a story always gets written, bit by bit, and always emerging into something new?

Does a life story need to have a traditional conclusion, like victory at the end of pain, or rain after a long period of drought? Aren’t the most interesting stories those where the interpretation is left open? Think No Country for Old Men. Or Clarke’s novel Childhood’s End. And aren’t the most addictive stories those which do not end? Think Batman and Joker. A real life story has all these elements. The plot often changes, an experience may not have any goal, sometimes things are done just for fun. In fact, it is precisely this randomness and absence of conclusion that makes real life stories interesting.

Some people say they don’t have enough experiences to talk about. Firstly it is not the experiences in and of themselves that matter when you say your story to someone else, but what it meant to you that is more important. Secondly, I have never believed that people have nothing to write. That is only possible if a person has been in a dark room like Sanjay Dutt in Zinda for many long years (and even then there will be sufficient content). Another example. If you tell a 8 year old to describe what happened during the day, he/she will describe at great length all the things they did, the children they talked to, the games they played, what they thought of the stranger guy going around the corner, etc. So everyone of us have enough experiences. It just requires one to say that they are important.

Who will read it? One never knows. Say you are an ardent football fan, and your expertise of all things football comes out in your story. Next thing you know, many co-fans may want to hear more from you so that you start a nice football blog. Or maybe you were once stranded and lost in a forest, and you came up with a brilliant plan to get out and avoid becoming a meal of some carnivore. Someone in a similar situation may find your story useful. Say you are someone who battled a long-time disease but didn’t give up your spirit and enjoy good health now. Someone going through such distress may find your story inspiring. There are probably a countless ways in which sharing your knowledge through your life story will contribute to others and back to yourself. And while you are at it, you of course don’t have to reveal the names of your friends. You can easily take care of their and your privacy by not revealing personal details, without taking away anything from the story.

Wikipedia has been a phenomenal success in bringing people together to write on different topics. What comes out is often useful factual information and conventional wisdom. A lot of structured information. But is that enough? The vast majority of the knowledge lying within our heads is unstructured, individualistic, not belonging to any pre-specified topic. We somehow need this unstructured knowledge to come out, for it is as useful as its structured counterpart.

So I felt a site was in order and have started a project called Bionama.com. Its free and will never have a business model (maybe a donation button in the future is the way to go). After all, its supposed to be a common pool of stories and ideas, just like a water pond. The stories are in Creative Commons. Well, the site is up and working, but it still needs a lot of help from everyone who can help. Probably the biggest task is making it accessible to everyone in the world, for not everyone has internet access, atleast regularly. But there are other things too, like how to make it searchable enough to be useful, what features should go in, should it be minimalistic or completely embrace social networking features (I have thought the former is better in this case). Need your help in figuring this out. You can start writing your story. But also suggest how to improve upon the idea further. Thanks.

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Public Issues, Web

Humans, Social media and Schadenfreude

Cross posted on Superchooha blog.

schadenfreude

When it comes to Human behavior enough is never enough.  One of the most  interesting traits of  human behaviour is situations we tend to find comfort and solace in. More then the situation its the conversation that happens that has a pacifying effect -but then conversation do not necessarily have to be relevant.  History has it that nothing is as pleasurable then watching your best friends fail at things – while I tend to disagree with that there have been cases where if not friends, but yes people have derived utmost pleasure from incidents absolutely irrelevant to them.

Welcome to whole a new world of human behavior – “Schadenfreude”

Here is a classic explanation of the german word – (More details here)

Schadenfreude — by Si Frumkin

Germans have a way with words. They created words that other languages simply do not have.

Schadenfreude takes 7 English words to define it: “malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others”. The dictionary explains it with a quote from historian Peter Gay — who felt Schadenfreude as a Jewish child in Nazi-era Berlin, watching the Germans lose coveted gold medals in the 1936 Olympics; he said that it “can be one of the great joys of life.”

Now picture this – 50 Million tweets per day. 60 Million Status Updates on Facebook  PER DAY.  Clearly we live in a world where reviews are written before a movie release, debates are held on naming of a product, and kids are named before a couple even has sex.

On a serious note, we are surrounded by opinions –  Good,bad,neutral and extreme,soft, hard. Opinions of every kind.  Thanks to the ease that platforms like twitter and facebook have provided to voice one’s opinion. While these tools have enabled companies to interact with their end customers by tracking their views about their brand, there have been cases where these opinions have created lead to PR nightmares. The human tendency of replicating negative emotion more vehemently over the positive one is not unknown any more.

For instance the Cleartrip Kiruba Incident (Cleartrip’s  Stand and Kiruba’s Stand ) was a issue between a company and a normal customer but the fact that Kiruba’s single tweet reached 1000’s of timelines and was further retweeted n number of times required the CEO of the company Hrush to step in and explain every action over a blogpost. Amidst all this close to 40 twitter updates were made that literally crucified Cleartrip for no good reason.  For some reason people RTed Kiruba’s tweet, while some enjoyed the drama – Amidst all this Cleartrip was defamed. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing but what the heck- people RTed whatever little they knew about the acutal story. Damage beyond repair was done to Cleartrip.

Chetanblock -Another classic example where people drew pleasure from a conversation between Chetan Bhagat and Fly youfools. Consequences – #chetanblocks trended for almost a day on twitter. Some body went on the extent of buying a domain chetanblocks.com. What next – they now intend to make tshirts saying #chetanblocks. All this while hundred’s of people used the hashtag #chetanblocks and thousands of tweets were  exchanged with very few people actually understanding what happened.

While there a dozen other stories where brands have been crucified, people have started deriving sadistic pleasure out of this trend of defaming. I still believe that most of the people don’t actually read facts before they actually share a negative opinion, without actually understanding the consequences their actions might have. They just do it. And yes as a friend of mine puts it – Sadistic pleasure is better then the real version of pleasure. Welcome to the world, the world you live in surrounded by Schadenfreude

I am no expert at understanding the human psychology but then yes Humans are Humans and social media platforms are no exceptional places for them to behave differently.

The next time you retweet a negative thought or share one on FB, for a moment put yourself in the shoes of the brand manager of the brand and ask yourself – Is this what I actually signed up for – To give justifications to people who believe that their brand is bad.  Food for thought.

From my personal experiences on twitter and facebook

Vivek Khandelwal

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Technology, Web

Google Guruji

There was a time when the professor’s word was the final claim. There was no point in refuting it. It had to be accepted, unchallenged and unbiased. Information was concentrated in a few heads and it was held there steadfastly.

But slowly came in a wave that shook the ground beneath the professors. It was a silent competitor, but a friendly guide, a genie that answered all questions put forth. It was unbiased, truthful and it never forgot once the piece of information that was stored between the HTML tags. It simply knew just about everything. It was omniscient. The wave was the tsunami of data that Google unleashed at the click of the button.

Google is the new Guruji in town. The bar of education has subtly been raised. As a teacher, one cannot bluff, nor can one just beat around the bush. There is easy access to all information. There is a bias for precise, updated information. Just type the word and the Pandora’s box opens up with a gamut of information. One has to be extra careful when dealing with information now. Actually, there is a flood of information and all of it can be verified and validated from a host of sources.

The game has changed now. No more is it about data or even information. It is all about knowledge, abstraction, concepts. One better know the why and how of a thing, since Google more often than not will throw what, when and where of that thing.

What it means for Academia?

For academia, this has meant a paradigm shift. When a student asks a question, more often than not, he already has read the basics and understood the working. His quest is for a deeper knowledge as simple data and information can be sought instantly. It has also accelerated the process of learning. Basics can be googled or wikied ( if I may call it so) and the foundation laid for higher or deeper learning. The academician need not waste time in starting from scratch. The average level of learning has risen and will continue to push the ceiling.

Change in interpretation of Knowledge?

What one knows is now a commodity. Anyone can get access to it at a click of a button. The value has moved onto knowledge and application. The leverage lies in linking discrete, disparate sets of data and then applying the concepts to reach a solution.

Another phenomenon uncovered is that mostly what one intends to do, there is a solution available somewhere in the world similar to it. It may not be same, but there is a high probability of it being similar. One has to have the knack to mine it, tweak it and fit it to the current problem. It has become simpler, if not easier. The path to success has been made accessible, but one still has to find the right path and walk it.

Concerns

Google Guruji has however raised a few concerns too. The ease of access has made minds idler. Students are cutting corners in assignments. Any challenge thrown to students eventually becomes a Google Query. There is always a solution available. At one hand, as diligence loses its sheen, mining is gaining momentum. How to get answers from Google for what we want is fast becoming a skill. There are articles, research papers and even books that are fast gaining traction for the tips and tricks to unlock Google’s vast information mine. In a way, Google has quenched the curiosity but throttled the exploratory attitude.

Besides, this ease of access has subconsciously bred superficial understanding. This leads to hollowness in thinking and shallowness in understanding. There is complacency creeping in students’ minds about learning. The on-the-platter access to information is in some ways blinding us to the actual truths of life.

Proprietary information also is leaking to the search pages and this has caused severe anguish in businesses and deep fear amongst governments. Access to information is a noble cause, but respect to privacy and confidentiality are being trampled upon in this pursuit. One man’s query is another’s man privacy. Who decides what is noble? Is there a universal law? Is there a universal moral?

Google certainly made information sharing a universal right – not only among users but also among businesses. So much so, that Google is more a verb than a number or a name. It has changed the way we think about problems, act on solutions. It no doubt has quietly impacted our lives in more than ways than one. Now, Semantic Web concept is fast gaining traction in the Web Space. It is expected to be smarter than the current search and hence closer to the actual answer sought in a search query. Researchers await with nervous excitement as the virtual world closes in on the real one with scorching pace.

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Business, Entertainment, Strategy, Technology, Web

Facebook Lite!

Facebook has no doubt been an innovation engine in the past few years. The site has always brought out features which have led in innovation and later copied by other websites. A few examples are 1) The security features in facebook, which ofcourse were later copied in Orkut. 2) The ability to make applications and allowing such applications to be on facebook, and ofcourse Orkut made an unsuccessful attempt at copying this as well. 3) Facebook Chat, Quizzes, Pictures, Personalized Links. Now the latest news from Facebook is … not friendfeed but rather Facebook Lite! Aimed to be a fast loading, simplified version of facebook. Copying from a statement made by facebook

The new service would be a “faster, simpler version similar to the Facebook experience you get on a mobile phone”. “Facebook Lite is a fast-loading, simplified version of Facebook that enables people to make comments, accept friend requests, write on people’s walls, and look at photos and status updates,” the statement continued.

Now I can see 2 wonderful uses of Facebook Lite! Firstly targeting the third world countries where broadband has not spread completely. Secondly the mobile phone networks which are now providing internet service but not the best speeds. Capturing both can be quite easy and strategically important.

Capturing Third World Countries: The third world countries can now be better called the Emerging Markets. Over the past few years the focus has shifted significantly with studies like Bottom of the Pyramid, the EM stock markets doing very well and ofcourse the current recession. Still the focus on the internet has traditionally been on developed world and mostly the US, why? because that is where companies advertise on the internet. Orkut can be seen as a crown jewel of a website which became successfull in emerging markets by capturing Brazil and India. Yet Google never really developed it further, did not have any good developments, anything to develop the EM audience better. Now Facebook is making a challenge to Orkut and Google. By capturing these markets they are kind of 1) securing the future as people call it 2) making a global space where everyone can connect.

Mobile Phones: Not everyone has a computer but almost everyone today has a mobile! To capture this market will make Facebook ubiquitous. The cellular networks are trying to provide faster internet but with limited success. If fb lite can capture this market then it captures everything. More importantly this is going to spread facebook even better in third world countries, for example India, where the number of mobile phone users is exploding and cellular service providers are now allowing internet access at much cheaper rates.

Inspired from Twitter? Maybe this is true, maybe this isn’t but I get the feeling that fb lite might have got some inspiration from Twitter and its layout. Twitter has been applauded for its simple layout and ease of usage. This feature of Twitter has also made it extremely popular on Mobile phones. Fb lite could have been inspired by this and maybe developed as a way to challenge this. Fb lite will most probably provide a very easy way to update the fb status and might want to pose a challenge to twitter. Well this could actually work out to be an interesting web battle! With Msn + Yahoo trying to beat Google in Search, Facebook trying to beat Twitter, Twitter trying to beat Google in real time search, Blogs trying to beat Newspapers, Google trying to beat Microsoft Windows through its OS, Apple trying to beat all the music labels and phone makers … the coming few years are going to be really interesting!

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Marketing, Strategy, Web

Why Amazon Is Yet To Capture The Indian Market..and Mindset

Having reached the USA, one of the most visible things i saw in the first month here, was how much everyone relied on Amazon.
Professors buy books every week from Amazon.
Students buy books from Amazon.
Students buy used books from Amazon.

People shop on Amazon. For virtually all of their needs.

I was tempted to think of why its not the same in India. Why do we rarely hear students or professionals talk of buying from Amazon.
Ofcourse there is lack of widespread internet connectivity. A large fraction of the population still doesnt have access to a computer let alone the internet.

But even in urban areas, cities and universities where internet connectivity is at an all time high, ecommerce of the scale that Amazon promises…is yet to take off. Some reasons:

1) Large scale proliferation of used book vendors on the streets.
2) Lack of secure or trusted or reliable ecommerce payment channels.
3) Slow traction from partner banks in providing support to ecommerce payment products
4) Apathy to books: fundamentally, the Indian community has been built on a system of rote learning in the classroom. Students are happy to read their class-notes, and write exams. They get good grades. And they are happy. There is a lack of appetite for true and deep knowledge. And this shows in the lack of interest to actually search and buy books.
5) Lack of Indian retailers: Few bookshops in india have a full fledged web commerce presence. So most customers have to have the books/items shipped from global warehouses [ i am guessing that most r in usa]. This adds to high cost. So people would rather buy the books themselves.
6) Sharing: Indian mindsets are fundamentally built on the culture of sharing. Students share books/materials. And encourage reuse of books/materials by handing them over to their juniors once they use them. There is hardly any reaction to the editions getting old. Students just like to get the crux of the book.

Hmmm..something for Amazon to think about!
Over here in the usa, its A-Z and Amazon!!

Shantan

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Business, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Planning, Strategy, Web

Google v/s Microsoft: The Showdown Continues…….

Ding Ding Ding:

Round 1:
Microsoft and Google enter the ring. Microsoft has been the reigning heavyweight champ for years. But Google has grown in size and strength rapidly and has become one of the top rivals to Microsoft.
Microsoft needs to make a move. It tries to beat Google by taking over Yahoo’s search engine, but fails badly. Now it jabs at Google with its own search engine: Bing. Microsoft scores some points with that one, but the young and strong Google parries the blow and seems unaffected. Instead some competitors in the search engine business to both MS and Google are affected. Microsoft manages to gain some respect in this round but things largely remain unchanged.

images2 boxing_ring2 imagesms4

Round 2:
Google decides to get back. And boy it does. It lands a strong punch by declaring its intention to launch its own Operating System: Chrome OS. Microsoft has ruled the OS arena for years with Windows. Millions use it and prefer it to other Operating Systems, even to the free ones like Linux. But things are changing. Google, the king of the internet, is trying to lure the customers into its domain. Chrome OS is internet based, not desktop based. Why would you need desktop based applications when we provide you with everything online? Just open the browser (Chrome of course) and we provide all you need: email service, search engine, Google apps with Google Docs, photos with Picasa, music on YouTube, Google maps, you name it we have it and for free!!! Google wins round 2 hands down. Microsoft is shaken but tries to regroup.


Round 3:

Microsoft gets back at Google with a hook. To counter the free online applications like Google Docs and other software, it declares that the other weapon in its profit making arsenal, MS Office, will be free as part of Microsoft’s Windows Live service, which has more than 400 million users, when the new Office 2010 is launched next year. The public is not exactly sure whether Microsoft deserves any points for this. After all, it’s giving away its major revenue earner for free! Yes, there have been other free equivalents to Word, Excel and PowerPoint like Google apps, Zoho and SlideShare. But they have not created any dents to Microsoft’s market share. But Microsoft knows that there are an increasing number of users who are opting for these free online applications. Adobe and Cisco are also planning to provide online equivalents to MS Office. If MS does not act now, it will lose the edge. MS also makes it clear: Only the online Office 2010 versions will be free. You can use Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One-Note free online but to use it on the desktop, you need to buy it. And of course not all features will be available in the online version. These include ability to broadcast PowerPoint presentations over the web, edit video in PowerPoint and manipulate images in Word to name a few. Also in addition to revenue that will be earned through the sales of the full Office 2010 packages, MS will earn considerable money through advertising on its online applications. MS makes a good comeback. Its stocks go up. Round 3 goes to Microsoft. And the showdown continues……

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Business, Planning, Strategy, Web

From Yahoo! Messenger to Gtalk

yahoo-messenger-9A long long time ago there was a service called Yahoo! Messenger. Even I used to be a very loyal customer of Yahoo! Messenger, such a loyal customer that even when I went to a cyber cafe for a public computer I user to always sign into Yahoo! Messenger first. Yahoo! Messenger was the lifeline of campuses, for communication with friends, gf/bf, random chat and everything else. But that was ofcourse a long time ago!

Soon there was the entry of another IM system and it just blew Yahoo! messenger away.  Google does have this habit of turning the tables around for its competitors and with Yahoo! messenger it did the same. Today most of my friends don’t even login for Yahoo! messenger and many will even have problems remembering their ids. But the important question to address is that why did a successful system like Yahoo! lose to a new system gtalk? and to top it all gtalk did not have a lot of features which Yahoo! messenger had (no emoticons, no sound etc etc)

  • gtalkIM is for Contacts: When you have an instant messenger, it is to connect with people and to be able to talk to them instantly. Gtalk was able to gain a significant advantage over Yahoo! messenger because of Orkut and Gmail. If a person used Orkut he could instantly add all his orkut friends on gtalk with just one click. Moreover with gmail it meant that any person you email a couple of times will also get added to your contacts in Gtalk. No more trouble of adding people which Yahoo! Messenger had.
  • Ease of loading: Google provided multiple ways to use gtalk, as a desktop application and in the browser. Being able to chat through a browser became a boon for gtalk as now anyone could sit on any public computer, just login into gmail and chat with everyone. The need for installing a software which Yahoo! Messenger had was gone!
  • Ever Increasing Features: Although gtalk started very small but the additions to its list of features has been amazing! From emoticons to voice and then even video chat. I did not even think that using just a browser people can video chat but gtalk made it possible. Thus gtalk even gained further marketshare by launching explosive new applications while Yahoo! messenger development almost remained idle.

I guess a lot of people will say that Instant Messengers are fads. Earlier there were AOL, MiRC and other IMs. Next came Yahoo! messenger and captured the market and now it is Gtalk. Maybe they are correct and maybe Facebook or something else can even replace Gtalk but it will require a lot of significant improvements. Gtalk has set the bar higher and for any service to beat it is a really big challenge.

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Business, Strategy, Web

Leveraging social media for profits

Web 2.0, particularly the social aspect of it has lead the gross changes in the way the world uses the internet. In the coming years, this serengeti called the social media would become a very important determinant of profitability for the organization. However, how will the corporate world react to this new avenue of understanding the pulse of its consumers is the big question. I try to address that particular issue using the presentation attached below.

Almost every avenue of interaction on the web today has a social component to it – so the scope of social media defined here is

  • Blogs
  • Comments
  • Discussion forum
  • Micro Blogging
  • Instant Messaging
  • News

Essentially if you want the answer to the question – how can the corporate world leverage the power of facebook or twitter, this presentation is exactly what you are looking for!

Please post your comments about the views presented herewith in the presentation:

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