Social Media and TV

Social Media – Enhancing the TV Experience

People who know me know that I am self proclaimed nut about social media and entertainment. Growing up in India I would wake up at ungodly hours to watch the Oscars and the Golden Globes. I wanted to be the first to find out who won. Unfortunately, none of my friends were into waking up at 5am. So I had to wait a few days until I could discuss it. For me that was the definition of torture. Imagine in this day and age waiting days to discuss plot lines or key moments from your favorite show, event or sporting event. Are you kidding me? It would already be old news.

Bolstered by mobile, Social Media allows millions of people to simultaneously share an experience. If something shocked/scared/made you laugh or if you were mad at a development, you have the opportunity to talk about it or simply hear if others felt the same. This is one of the reasons why I love Digital Media, particularly Social Media and its ability to tap into the collective and ever evolving chatter.

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Airtime – Testing the boundaries of Video Chat

I remember when I had just joined college and all the kids were buzzing about chatting services. ICQ, Yahoo, MSN were the buzz words. It was all anonymous and everyone loved the fact that you could go and talk to random strangers from across the world. Well its a reasonable guess that some of us met our share of weirdos and quickly ended the conversation, vowing never to chat again, only to return a few days later.

The fall of chatting sites is no secret. AOL sold ICQ in 2010 to Russian investment company Digital Sky Technologies for $187.5 million. According to Mashable, as of 2010, ICQ had more than 32 million unique visitors per month. Not bad right. Approximately 80% of ICQ users are 13 to 29 year old and spend an average of more than five hours a day connected to the service. But the popularity of the service has shifted and ICQ has a presence in markets like Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel. Continue reading

Worst Social Media Campaigns of 2011

Two days ago I attended the Suxorz awards at the Gershwin Hotel in NYC. It was perhaps the most fun I have had learning and sharing about Social Media Faux Pas is a while. So here is a run down of the best of the worst presented by the panel comprising: David Berkowitz - Vice President of Emerging Media, 360i; Brian Morrissey, Editor-in-Chief, Digiday; BL Ochman  - Senior Creative Technologist, AFS Intercultural Programs; and Twanna A Hines - Author.

While, the panel had their own way of segmenting campaigns, I am using a different method. So the campaigns will be labelled under – Corporate Mishaps, Political Failings, What were they thinking, and Fighting Back.

Here we go. Try not to punch the screen, some of these brands and personalities totally lost focus.

 

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Google, Facebook summoned

Why is the Indian government afraid of the Internet?

There was a time when businesses hated social media. They thought it was a waste of effort, a resource drain, and lacked accountability and upside. While, many businesses are still late to the party and others are just plan using them incorrectly, several brands/companies have leveraged social media to be a useful tool to generate brand awareness, leads and most importantly activating brand enthusiasts.

So the recent spate of governments, particularly democratic governments, wanting to curb the power of the Internet has perturbed me. Why are democracies infringing upon its citizens free speech? Particularly allowing them to make their own decisions.

Most recently one of the world’s largest democracies, India, has begun asking websites to screen content and even take down content that it deems inappropriate. Indian Telecommunications Minister, Kapil Sibal, meet with Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in a bid to get them to see how some of the content on their sites – social networks and otherwise – was harming the delicate sensibilities of the Indian people. Government officials were particularly upset about Web pages that are insulting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi and major religious figures. Mr Sibal over the past three months has asked these firms to come up with a voluntary framework to keep offensive material off the Internet. Continue reading

Facebook Timeline

Social Media 2.0 – Facebook Reinvents Itself and Social Media

I spent quite a few hours on Thursday anticipating the changes Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg might reveal @F8. The social media giant had already released a few additions over the first half of the week and it was hard to imagine what else he might have up his sleeve.  He looked really relaxed and had this grin on his face and within the first twenty minutes it was easy to see why. In a single blow, Facebook had redefined and revolutionized what we have come to know and expect from social media.

Now a number I spoke to seemed apprehensive about it, why fix what works right? Wrong. Facebook realizes that with players such as Google and Twitter upping the ante, solely fighting them on features is pointless. It also realizes that the excitement factor linked to Facebook is fading. Continue reading

quikster handle

Netflix, Qwikster and a bit of a branding nightmare

So I am assuming you’ve heard the news, everybody is talking, writing, tweeting about it. Not it’s not about Facebook’s latest update but it seems that Netflix has made another bold move.

After increasing the price of its DVD and streaming side by 60%, it has decided to split its famed DVD rental and streaming business. That’s right, the days when you could order the red envelope and stream one of the movies may be behind us. That is of course if you are not one of the many customers, who was so appalled with the price hike that you cut ties and instead moved to a competitor. I did and now I get superfast shipping and many TV serials and movies online from one provider, Amazon. Continue reading

Twitter, Social Media and India

Social Media and India

I have been in India for less than 24 hours and I can see the tentacles of social media spreading across the media and the country. Whether it is press coverage, social activism or articles in print media, its impossible to go through your day without seeing a mention of Facebook or Twitter or an @ or # flashing on the screen.

It was interesting to see TV channels like Headlines Today prominently feature a Twitter ribbon on the screen, as well as prominently displaying the Twitter handle of its anchor. As far as I can remember, Twitter did not play such a prominent role six months ago, when I was last in the country.

Presently, the Anna Hazare led Anti-Corruption movement has taken hold of the country, and social media has played a vital role in drumming up support. The 74 year old social activist has spawned a new age in Indian activism. Anna has  4270 friends onFacebook, and his Twitter handle – Janlokpal – has 47,000+ followers and sends out a minimum of three tweets per minute, and Anna’s YouTube videos have been viewed over 100,000. I was keeping a close tab on the Twitter stream on Headlines Today yesterday and  saw the same tweets being repeated over and over again. This seemed a bit odd and made me wonder if a select group of tweets were picked to sensationalize the story. Continue reading