|Thursday, September 18, 2003|
Surviving in the world of New Media - case studies from India
Ten case studies. Lessons on how to break the rules to survive in the world of New Media. Right here.
1. Spice Telecom - Here's how Spice successfully woos its 7 lakh subscribers in Punjab and Karnataka... more
[link via AgencyFAQs]
5:53:17 PM comment  trackback 
RSS bug - hopefully fixed ?
I spent a few hours this morning trying to figure out how to solve this bug in my RSS feeds that i had created inadvertently. Only realised today that there were no feeds from my blog since September 9.
Being a tech-dweeb - i posted my problem at the Radio Userland support board - and got lucky when David Phillips - who claims to be a night owl that does his best work at night (he's in California) - picked up the thread and very patiently took me through a step-by-step clean up of my error. Thanks David - much appreciated.
Hope readers who've subscribed to my RSS feeds are getting them now - and apologies for flooding your aggregators with many posts.
Next step - to figure out a way to provide an option of a shorter RSS feed. I personally prefer the full version - but i do know it can be irritating when long posts flood your aggregator. Any suggestions on how to go about this ?
4:50:09 PM comment  trackback 
Blogging in an organisation
This sounds like a must-read. No time now - keeping it for later.
Excellent presentation on supporting K-logging within a large organisation. Lucent Technologies' Information Specialist, Michael Angeles, believes blogging has evolved beyond "cool" and is moving quickly into the corporate world. In this presentation, Angeles will discuss who blogs, how and why. He will also discuss how Lucent is supporting bloggers and at the same time keeping close watch over the resulting growth of information on the Intranet.
Lucent's Michael Angeles has posted the slides from his presentation to the (US) Usability Professional Association's "Blogging in Corporate America" event in New York. His talk was called Making intranet weblog data usable.
This is worth a read for anybody interested in:
* how to support quick, easy knowledge sharing
A truly excellent and well-prepared presentation.
4:31:37 PM comment  trackback 
Hotbar in Outlook Express
This is sooo .
Now emails to friends need not look all cold and fuddy-duddy, jazz them up with some warmth and fun. You can add many interestings features through a short download of a toolbar in outlook express.
Also has a few things for more official correspondence.
Just wondering what this will do to spam and pop-ups though. Will try it on my old PC :)
UPDATE : TERMS :
4:15:14 PM comment  trackback 
Social Networks and Brand Identity
As i was writing my earlier post on brand personality in the context of social networks where people are really trying to connect with one another and form relationships, using some form of social software or the other, i thought of a useful model we use in qualitative research to examine brand identities. Perhaps its a bit early for this type of analysis, given the life-stage of this genre, but its fast reaching critical mass (look at the flood of Indians on Ryze for instance). And with so many networks being lauched daily, its soon getting to resemble a commodity market, where brand issues will make for differentiation. So all the more important to carefully create and manage your brand's equity, identity and strategic positioning.
Ideally, its super if different prisms are developed from points of views of brand custodians, customers of the brand and customers of competitive brands. Strengths and weaknesses of your brand can really be highlighted, and differences in brand visions, where very often, we have seen views of the brand custodians being vastly different from views of customers, resulting in low connect.
Here's a brief description of the model :
A comprehensive understanding of the brand may be gained from an analysis of these six facets explained below :
Will try and flesh this out with real examples tomorrow. And the types of questions to ask to generate each facet. Would love to develop brand prisms for some of the social networks and compare and contrast them. Would be really useful to get others; points of view too. Any volunteers to fill in a short open-ended questionnaire ?
3:12:35 AM comment  trackback 
Social Networks and brand personality - strengthening the bond, differentiating the offer
(A long post here - apologies to all folk for 'dumping' it into their newsreaders - am trying to figure out a way to get a shortened RSS feed working for my blog).
Marc in his inimitable and absolutely delightful style takes a punch at The Lucky Idiot Savant, in response to Abe Burmeister aka William Blaze's really neat analysis of Friendster. Abe (not sure which name he prefers, but this means less to type) takes the Friendster UI and design elements to pieces when seen OUT of the context of social networking. However, once contextualised, he points out that these 'overt' pitfalls may well be working to Friendster's advantage.
"Well the truth is the "point and grunt interface" is a bit of hyperbole, in order to make friends and send messages you need to read. In fact other then clicking on the faces, all the navigation is text based. This is not a site designed by someone deliberately trying to make an non textual navigation system. Its a site built by someone who has unknowing stumbled into a great design. Perhaps the best indicator of it all? The logo. Its up there with an Ed Wood movie in the so bad its good category. Three minutes in Illustrator to make a smiley face and type treatment. If I where to hazard a guess, I'd say this is, or at least was once considered, a temporary logo. A logo that perhaps the designer was embarrassed of. One that was made very discreet, as to not call attention to itself. And that's where the brilliance kicks in.
Pay any actual attention to the Friendster logo and you might think its a joke, its hands down bad. Its also light gray and tucked in the corner, where it gets ignored by the conscious mind. But its there and the unconscious might notice. When the unconscious sees it, a message gets transmitted, this is a goofy place the smiley face says: "Be happy, smile, feel free to toss up any silly thing you've created."
And the members have. Friendster profiles are a space of creative flow. People have signed up en mass and have fun with the system. It feels good, connect with friends and act foolish. Jonathan Abrams may hate the creative output of "fakesters" the imaginary characters populating Friendster, but the site design is subtly encouraging the silliest of behavior. And that gives it a huge advantage over the rest of the social software mob, people feel at home in Friendster."
Marc too makes an interesting observation about LinkedIn in this context and i couldn't agree more -
"- Blaze is also right about the power of faces and contributory art. This is something Reid refuses to grok. He broke down and added some faces into the LinkedIn interface - but he still doesn't recognize the power of the human face. He thinks it'll denegrate LinkedIn into some beauty match. But as Blaze points out, the pale gray and ugly UI of Friendster only tends to highlight the beauty of all those friend's faces,,,,,, it's one of the most beautiful things there is."
Abe goes on to make these observations :
"The idiot savantness doesn't stop though. Jonathan Abrams must have been uncomfortable with the directions his creation was moving, the creativity of fakesters triggered something negative in the man. This summer Friendster declared war on its users, fake characters were deleted by the gigabyte, trucked off to a digital gas chamber without as much as a good bye. Despite the smiley face logo the site was supposed to be about "serious" dating, and the fake characters made a mockery of that. In effect the CEO of Friendster declared war on his most fanatical users. Not exactly a move from a business school textbook. In fact one might call it retarded, the people who use your product the most should be listened to and given respect, they are valued customers.
But no, this is social software, the usual rules don't apply. I'm beginning to suspect that the fakester war, was yet another unwittingly brilliant move on Abrams part. Why? Because it made things exciting, it stirred up the pot and added drama to the mix. It made it more then software, something more like a game, something to be passionate about. Making something illegal makes it more desirable, and people are drawn toward passion. Friendster is buzzing with this energy and the "war" just upped the supply. Without the war the fakesters would gradually have become background noise, and they still will. But for a crucial period of time the war provided publicity and sparked passion, and that's good business."
STANFORD GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ó You're trying to catch the digital photography wave. You've set up a hot-looking Web site, picked features and price points the competition can't beat, and you're attracting lots of customers. Then kaboom! A careless technician hits the wrong key and hundreds of orders of snapshots are deleted. The end result? Some of your customers like your service better than ever. Not the outcome you expected? Of course not. But a new study by Jennifer Aaker, an associate professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, suggests that miscues by a business can actually reinvigorate flagging customer interest and loyalty.
Needless to say, Aaker and colleagues Susan Fournier, associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and S. Adam Brasel, a doctoral student in marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, don't suggest that angering customers is a preferred marketing strategy. In a recently completed study, however, they did find that brand personality has a significant impact on customer relationships and the ability of a brand to recover from mistakes. "Marketers seem to have thought personalities of their brands were something flavorful to add to their advertising. But now we have evidence that brand personalities can affect the very existence and strength of the consumer relationship. It is a powerful tool that is underleveraged and poorly understood," they argue. And like human personality traits, brand personality traits "once conceived as unidimensional and static are, in fact, multi-dimensional and quite active."
Some lessons for from these posts :
Don't we all have stories to tell from our own lives, where the deeper the relationship we share with another person, the more passionate are we about it - the greater is our sense of proprietorship and pride and commitment in the other. And the more difficult it is for us to really abandon the person when they cause us hurt.
With the ever growing number of social networks, it is likely to be the more human brand personalities that define the relationship users will have with each, that determine the strength of loyalty, and that will provide pointers to differentiate one network from another.
1:25:43 AM comment  trackback 
Copyright 2009 Dina Mehta