Masala Digital

Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Awesome? Scary? or Simply Brilliant? :)

The weekend has been pretty interesting. I saw rebounds regarding Google and its shenanigans all across social networks and the Internet in general, and then woke up this morning to read more in print. Led to some light thinking on the matter, and I tried breaking these thoughts into three distinct and debatable trends that I have noticed about the BigO.

One champion for your business

On Saturday, Steve Rubel interviewed Jeff Jarvis’ about his new book, What Would Google Do? In the book, Jarvis breaks down Google’s practices into 12 distinct rules and then applies them to aging industries like media and advertising. Denuo/Publicis’s Rishad Tobaccowala points out how Google served an entirely new population of advertisers who didn’t have agencies and that enabled it to set new rules. Google sells performance instead of scarcity (a lesson the rest of media must learn in this post-scarcity economy). Because it rewards relevance, it encourages better, more effective advertising.

One number in your life

I picked up today’s newspaper and there’s Google again with its mega plans to unify the masses. Launched on March 5th, Google Voice is all set to revolutionize telephones.It unifies your phone numbers, transcribes your voice mail, blocks telemarketers and elevates text messages to first-class communication citizens. And that’s just the warm-up. Google Voice began life in 2005 as something called GrandCentral. It was, in its own way, revolutionary. More on it here.

One fellow to help you out on the web

If search wiki wasn’t enough, Google now has made available the “preferred site” option to all its users. The service allows users to overweight certain web sites in the search engine result pages. Once you sign up, Google recommends pages from your history that you tend to visit when searching. You have the option to make these sites (or any other) a preferred destination.

Without even getting into the whole business/ SEO/ SEM discussion, I can only hope that you can turn it off – Half the fun about search is the fact that you can find the “unexpected” and stuff you haven’t seen before. I mean what is “search”, if you know what you’re gonna get?

One person who knows you better than you yourself!

So you worried just about how your search data was painting a DNA of who you are? Google  released 11 software applications for mobile phones that spell a fundamental change in our lives. Among the applications were functions such as text messaging, web browsing, a diary, Orkut – the company’s social networking offering – and Latitude, a GPS-based service that tracks you wherever you go. Innocent enough, perhaps. But combined they would allow Google to know what you are doing all of the time. A truly Orwellian development that has been described by privacy campaigners as “a catastrophic corruption of consent”.

Far-fetched? Not at all. The mobile phone industry has for years seen the potential for a rich market to develop in location-based services if only it could get its customers to agree. Google, on the other hand, has decided to take advantage of that market and it has sought to do so by appearing to be helpful. The rationale is simple – offer a service for free and the customer will not notice that they have given a company the right to know where they are at any time.

So now – considering the above, what do you think?

  1. Google is well on its way to create the “Empire
  2. Google is doing what all enterprises should do – consistently better their offering
  3. Google is retrograding the whole “Internet” story it fed on by killing basics like “free spirit”, “openness”, “surprises”, “sense of wonder” et al

Next Up:BarcampDelhi5!



BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants — often focusing on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats.

BarCamp Delhi is proposed to be a camp where enthusiasts get together and discuss/ brain-storm/ share opinions/ information/ wisdom about anything. Be it Web Technologies, technology related trends, Mobiles, Hacking, Blogging, Vlogs, Social Media etc. that interests the people.


11-12th October – Barcamp Delhi 5 has tentatively been decided to hold on these dates.

How to register & Volunteer?

* Click on BCD5Campers to register yourself.

* Barcamp is your event. Help this event by Volunteering in some or the other tasks: BCD5Volunteers

Proposed Talks/ Sessions

See the list of sessions planned and/or add your talks: BCD5Sessions
IIT Delhi

On the History of Barcamp, please read here.

John Roach
for National Geographic News

September 12, 2008

A multibillion-dollar atom smasher on the Franco-Swiss border may help scientists treat diseases, improve the Internet, and open the door to travel through extra dimensions, according to physicists.The first half of the inner tracker barrel for the Compact Muon Spectrometer, an experimental device at the Large Hadron Collider, is seen in an undated image. In addition to solving big mysteries of the universe, the massive atom smasher—which was "turned on" September 10, 2008—may help treat disease, improve the Internet, and open the door to faster-then-light travel, scientists say.
On Wednesday scientists cheered and champagne flowed as the first beam of protons lapped around the Large Hadron Collider’s (LHC) 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground tunnel at the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, was designed to solve big mysteries in science, such as the nature of dark matter and what the universe was like just after the big bang.
The massive machine could also lead to medical and technological advances, some experts argue.
Such potential breakthroughs are often an “ancillary benefit” of big science projects like the LHC, said Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and author at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Still, Krauss said, these benefits are a misguided way to justify building the atom smasher.
“It’s like trying to argue that manned space missions were useful for Tang,” he said, referring to the powdered drink mix popularized in U.S. households by NASA in the 1960s.
“Our job as scientists is to explain that these esoteric things [such as dark matter] are not completely unrelated to humanity,” he added. “Ultimately, we address the questions of how we got here and what we’re made of.”
Already Providing Benefits
In the months ahead, scientists will use the LHC to ramp up opposing proton beams to nearly light speed and smash particles together, breaking them into smaller components.
Monstrous detectors will pore through the detritus, helping scientists examine the conditions of the very early universe.
The computer network set up to process the mountains of data generated by each collision is already inspiring spin-offs, noted Andy Parker, a professor of high energy physics at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, who helped design the grid system.
Parker is also involved with a Cambridge-based company that is using the grid technology, which links together thousands of computers, to better index images on the Internet.
Such a system determines the task to be done, the processing power required, checks for availability, sends the task out, gets it done, and ships it back to the scientist—all while the person sits at a desk.
“I don’t have to do anything to achieve [all] that,” Parker said.
Technologies developed for earlier atom smashers—such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider that booted up in New York in 2000 and the Fermilab Tevatron started in 1987 in Illinois—are today ingrained in mainstream society, Parker noted.
Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, for example, are common at most major hospitals to make images of the insides of patients’ bodies, often to look for cancerous tumors.
The technique stems from general studies of antimatter and the use of particle detectors, Parker said.
And more medical professionals are turning to proton beams similar to those used in the LHC to blast away tumors deep inside bodies.
“What you can do there is send a beam of protons into the patient, which does essentially no damage at all to the tissues on the way in,” Parker explained.
“All the damage is done at the point where the protons stop. And by tuning the energy of the protons, you can make them stop inside the tumor.”
As scientists working with the LHC learn to better focus and control proton beams, the improvements will likely trickle down to the medical profession, he added.
Faster Than Light
Future spin-offs from the LHC are less certain.
“We don’t know what we’re going to find out,” Parker said.
Though admittedly far-fetched, one sexy idea is that the LHC may find extra dimensions of space/time. If so, the discovery could open the door to technologies that allow people to travel faster than the speed of light.
In a sense, Parker explained, scientists may discover an ability to move chunks of space-time from one place to another through those extra dimensions, effectively bypassing the known laws of physics.
“If you went to the 23rd century and there were people flying around faster than the speed of light, you would say, What is it you found out that enabled you to do this?” Parker said.
“And the answer might be, It all started when we discovered there were these extra dimensions.”
Krauss, of Arizona State University, said that even without such advances, curiosity-driven research is fundamental to maintaining our current standard of living for generations into the future.
“It will help create innovation and enhance the economic future of our children in ways that we don’t know,” he said, adding that the chance to work with machines such as the LHC often attracts students to the sciences.
Krauss added that the big science questions being probed with the LHC are also personally relevant and practical for all members of society.
He explained that just as people are made of stardust, the origins of those particles in stardust stretch back to the beginning of the universe.
“If it all works out, you’ll get a better understanding of what you’re doing here,” he said. “And, to me, that is the greatest benefit of science.”

Intel today launched its ambitious “Connected Indians” movement at The Taj Palace, New Delhi.

connected indians

Check out!

The Connected Indians movement aims to be the catalyst for delivering the power of the Internet into the hands of a billion Indians. Intel states that its success will hinge on spirited public and private participation.

Over the next few months, Intel will mobilize people, resources & infrastructure to facilitate Internet adoption across India.

Over time, this collaboration will help build partnerships between people, Industries and stakeholders via a complete and connected ecosystem to accelerate the growth of Internet and its benefits to the society.

The Connected Indian web site is an innovation in itself wherein users can click on an interactive map to locate their co-ordinates, and then post their voice for an Internet-enabled India. Not only that, they can utilize the in-built feature to invite more of their friends and peers from their web contact lists to add in more numbers.

There is also an India Speaks section that highlights different areas where Internet is making a huge difference in the way people, processes, industries & services in India are progressing with the power of the Internet.

Intel is following up this movement on-ground with specially-designed “Net Yatras” wherein it will showcase Internet’s benefits to Indians using interactive tools & techniques.

This is one movement that has been designed with a specific cause in mind and Intel promises that for every 10,000 Connected Indians who register, the movement will donate a PC to selected government schools in rural areas.

Now that’s what we call a spirited initiative!

Know more about the movement here.

Join the movement here.

Join the Connected Indians Orkut Community here.

Intel’s partners in this venture include google, HCL, Zenith, Edurite, MAIT, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Indicom, Acer, Intex, Novatium, Wipro, Asus, CII, e-zone, lenovo, NIIT, Tata Communications, Croma, NASSCOM etc.

It will be interesting to see the kind of products & services Intel will introduce to take this step further & forward. Here’s wishing Intel all the best for the initiative & hoping that more & more brands take such steps towards better propagation and acceptance of technology!

Photonic Integrated Circuit.

                     Photonic Integrated Circuit.




Scientists have developed what they claim is a small scratch on a piece of glass, which could make the internet nearly 100 times faster and give users unlimited, error-free access anywhere in the world. Lead researcher at the University of Sydney Ben Eggleton while making the announcement said, initial testing of the technology showed it was possible to achieve Internet speeds 60 times faster than the current Telstra network. But if developed further, the circuit could reach speeds 100 times faster, he added.


What is ‘The Scratch’ all about?

“The scratched glass we have developed is actually a Photonic Integrated Circuit. This circuit uses the ‘scratch’ as a guide or a switching path for information – kind of like when trains are switched from one track to another – except this switch takes only one picosecond to change tracks…this means that in one second the switch is turning on and off about one million times. We are talking about photonic technology that has terabit per second capacity, we [now] use electronics for switching and that has been okay, but as we move toward a more tech-savvy future there is a demand for instant Web gratification,” Eggleton said.The University of Sydney has developed the scratch in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and financial support from Australian Research Council.


How it works

The new device, called ‘scratch’, uses tiny scratches on a piece of glass to guide information along optical fibers rather than using electronics’ to do the same job.

Information travels through the internet coded through a series of light flashes which are generated by lasers.

These flashes are then converted into electrical signals which the computer uses to form what is seen on the screen. But there is only so much information the electrical components of a computer can deal with at any one time.

To get around this obstacle the researchers created a filtering device which uses tiny narrow lines to filter the light into 64 channels, delivering much more information in a way which doesn’t overload the electronics of the computer.

Scratch circuits would be installed where information is served from, such as on the computer of an internet service provider.


General view


According to the Centre for Ultra-high bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (CUDOS) at the University’s School of Physics, the scratch will mean almost instantaneous, error-free and unlimited access to the Internet anywhere in the world. Eggleton said that up until now information has been moving at a slow rate, but optical fibers have a huge capacity to deliver more. The scientists have claimed that this ‘small scratch on a piece of glass’ is a critical building block and a fundamental advance on what is already out there.

David Britton, professor of physics at Glasgow University and a leading figure in the grid project, believes grid technologies “could revolutionize society…with this kind of computing power, future generations can collaborate and communicate in ways older people like me cannot even imagine,”


The general opinion about the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) is of a positive revolutionary turn in the world of internet. Networks that are potentially a hundred times faster than the already existing services without costing the consumer will positively change the face of the internet across the world.

. This ‘Scratch’ gives the world an opportunity to get a lot done in less then a second and can take business on the internet to sky rocketing levels, especially online marketing.






The new-look Intel Youth Network is live!

Intel has completely revamped its initiative for the Indian youth, with the launch of Intel Youth Network (


Targeted at the tech-focused youth, the community focuses not only on technology, but also features information on exciting career options and some interesting on-site games to engage the audience. The youth Network is a one-stop shop for the youth to find interesting & relevant information, understand computing-related technologies, refer friends to win rewards, participate in exciting games & contests and  a lot more.

The network also offers an innovative web-based referral scheme, wherein members can pass on PC-sales leads that they may come across within their peer group/friends/family to GID’s (Genuine Intel Dealers) and earn exciting rewards upon closure! This in our opinion is one learn & earn program that is relevant, exciting and can be utilized with minimum fuss!

Bigger plans are afoot to make the website even more relevant & focused in the coming days.

Solutions|Digitas designed the new look and feel and worked with Intel in bringing in content partners. They also are managing the website and will be responsible for future updates, promotions et al. Solutions|Digitas’s involvement is not just limited to the online aspect of the program. They are also actively managing all on-ground promotions including those at colleges, malls & multiplexes.

You can join the network here!

Publicis Groupe Launches VivaKi

VivaKi – A New Growth Engine for the New Media and Digital Environment

Paris, June 25, 2008 – Publicis Groupe today announced the launch of VivaKi, a new
strategic initiative designed to significantly improve the performance of advertisers’
marketing investments as well as boost Publicis Groupe’s growth in the context of rapidly
expanding digital markets. VivaKi will be led by Managing Partners Jack Klues and David
Kenny, both members of Publicis Groupe’s Management Board.

VivaKi will take advantage of the combined scale of the autonomous operations of Digitas,
Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia to develop new services, new tools, and
new partnerships. The strategic move reflects Publicis Groupe’s conviction that a totally
new and more integrated organization of the  media, interactive, analog and digital
universes is necessary in order to leverage scale and technological innovation, the key
determinants of future success.

Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO  of Publicis Groupe, commented: “The explosion of
digital over the last ten years has led to a revolution without precedent in economic history
— in terms of the incredible speed of change, its geographical reach and its depth (the
world today has at least 1.7 billion Internet users).  Our societies are being transformed
before our very eyes: the way people are  educated, gather information, entertain
themselves, meet each other, dialogue and  do business is being  profoundly influenced
around the planet by the digital, interactive and mobile phone environments. Our business
is undergoing equally vast changes. We are witnessing the creation of new global giants
(such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) as well as a redefinition of our business models
thanks to the blurring of boundaries: geographic, professional, as well as between content
and distribution or  roles regarding content generation.

In order to help our clients rethink their marketing and improve the performance of their
media investments in this new world, we have built a leadership position by integrating
digital capabilities in all our agencies, by acquiring Digitas and through striking innovative
partnerships with new players such as Google.

We are today taking a decisive and transformational step by profoundly modifying the
Groupe’s organization, by redirecting investments toward digital and by instituting a
significant change in our professional approach. All these changes will make our agencies
and networks even more competitive and will help our clients build better connections with
their audiences by increasing the efficiency and productivity of their marketing
investments. In reinforcing our leadership in  these new areas, we fully intend to benefit
from the surge in this sector’s growth  and to win substantial  new market share.”

The VivaKi Difference

VivaKi is sharply differentiated by four essential elements:

1. Scale – this is a key factor unleashing value for our clients as they face large new actors
in the media landscape. Publicis Groupe today has the necessary size for global
leadership in its sector. The Groupe is now further leveraging its scale by aligning
resources and the power of its operations under VivaKi.

2. Innovation – by building the VivaKi Nerve Center at the heart of the new entity, Publicis
Groupe is fulfilling several objectives:

•  Creating the world’s largest center for developing the new technologies necessary
to our clients’ future growth

•  Making the resources of the VivaKi Nerve Center available to all Groupe entities,
including our creative agencies

•  Bringing our clients the best solutions to improve performance marketing, relations
with platforms (MSN, Google, Yahoo) or social networks (MySpace, Facebook, etc),
as well as integrated media solutions  and the optimization  of data analysis and
return on investments.

3. Technology – the approach of Publicis Groupe rests on Open Source systems giving it
access to all available innovations and solutions. Proprietary tools will however be
developed, such as Navigator® and Insight Factory®. Links will be developed with digital
platforms, cable operators, telcos and media  supports to improve exchanges and to
benefit form leveraging scale.

4. Talents – with the shaking up of our industry, new more flexible and more diversified
talents — liquid talents — will be critical. Finding and developing such talent will be a core
competency of VivaKi, through the new training and career development programs offered
by its Talent Development Platform.

The different entities (Digitas, Starcom MediaVest, Denuo and ZenithOptimedia) will
continue to develop solutions specific to each of their clients, in a totally independent way
– all supported by the VivaKi Nerve Center and the Talent Development Platform.

The VivaKi Management Teams

Jack Klues and David Kenny are Managing Partners of VivaKi, functions which reflect a
shift from a traditional hierarchical management approach.

Within VivaKi, David Kenny will focus on identifying advantages linked to scale (VivaKi
Nerve Center, Talent Development Platform and Technology); Jack Klues will be
responsible for growing and developing brand-specific solutions.

According to David Kenny: “VivaKi’s scale creates unparalleled advantages for our clients.
It allows us to invest in training and developing the best talent, to sustain the strongest
open-source technology platform, and to provide strong and impactful solutions to our
media partners.”

Laura Lang is promoted CEO of Digitas replacing David Kenny.

Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia and Denuo will continue to be led by their current
CEO’s – Laura Desmond, Steve King, and Rishad Tobaccowala.

Curt Hecht will lead the VivaKi Nerve Center.

Renetta McCann will organize and activate the Talent Development Platform.

Said Jack Klues: “Starcom MediaVest Groupe, ZenithOptimedia and Digitas will take what
they need from VivaKi to strengthen their existing operations. They will continue to operate
in a completely independent way, developing customized solutions for clients. At the same
time, these clients will benefit from VivaKi’s ability to deliver proprietary tools as well as
advantages of scale — helping clients reinforce links to consumers in a more cost effective

The VivaKi Name

The name VivaKi is derived from the word “viva” which means life, and “ki” (or Qi) which is
often translated as energy flow.  According to Lévy, the Groupe sought a name that
signified a new frontier – a new lead solution in the digital era.

Social Media & B2B?

So we all thought that social media was strictly a B2C medium…at least from a marketer’s perspective. While the same is more or less accurate if you look at the numbers and the "consumer" propensity towards youtube, myspace, facebook et al, it may be worthwhile to note certain social inroads into the B2B space, that are getting bigger by the day…

Good reasons for us to keep an eye out on these considering our huge IT client line-up!

LinkedIn offers a pretty basic but comprehensive opportunity: a company puts up a profile and connects with LinkedIn members, then it can promote and supplement profiles with targeted display ads, dedicated e-mails, and sponsorships of the "Answers" category. For instance, if you are a B2B technology company, you might want to sponsor the IT category. This way you reach people who are actively seeking information about your product/industry, and you get to engage with them in a community setting.

ITtoolbox also offers great ad opportunities for enterprise IT companies. You can set up a vendor profile; have a variety of ad units, text links, dedicated e-mails, and newsletter sponsorships; and even help with lead generation through Webcast promotions and white paper programs.

TechRepublic where you can tap into a huge professional IT community is my personal favourite!

Minyanville Exchange (a financial social networking site)

Designer Pages (for architecture and design)

And let’s not forget YouTube. Some B2B companies might dismiss YouTube as simply a youth-oriented, amateur-video site, but it is far from that. YouTube has turned into such a powerful and relevant social media tool that anyone can leverage its reach and viral effectiveness. There are thousands of education, science and technology, news, and how-to videos about and produced by various B2B brands and companies. For example, a quick search for "software as a service" on YouTube generated 1,220 videos. One video has been viewed more than 38,000 times!

Create your own mobile applications- Go Maemo

Maemo is a computer architecture platform built on desktop open source components. It is aimed at enabling applications and innovative technology for mobile handheld devices.

The platform is based on the GNU/Linux operating system and the GNOME desktop. Maemo brings developers an easy to use development environment. Its new, optimized, and evolving Hildon UI is customized for the screen size and usage typical for a touch screen enabled handheld device. The development platform is targeted at innovative developers and innovation houses developing applications and new technologies for the mobile space. Utilizing the maemo platform it is easy to mobilize existing desktop solutions. Maemo enables various business models on the top of the platform, including proprietary application distribution.

Maemo, first introduced in 2005, is one of the core platforms for Nokia’s high-end products. Today maemo is the basis of the OS used in a range of Wi-Fi enabled Internet Tablets. These miniature computer handsets are targeted at a high-tech, Internet savvy audience, including small business verticals. The Internet Tablet models on market are the Nokia N800 and the new Nokia N810. Maemo has reached a level of functionality to provide a full internet experience in pocket sized device – with an intuitive UI.

Nokia hosts the active open source maemo community ( that exists around the platform, and is an active contributor in various projects. Here you can find a detailed description of the maemo platform architecture and the latest maemo 4.0 release, called Chinook.

OR go to the link to check out…nokia forum. also get a chance to win a free n-95

The Fourth Screen

The world will never be the same. There was a time when television was called an “idiot box” because who thought sitting in front of 15 inch screen can be fun, now…

Phones were just another need.

How many times we forget to carry our lunch boxes but never our cell phones..

However, the new word in entertainment is mobile entertainment.

DVB-H technology that enables watching TV on your mobile phone, is available in India. Currently available only on few Nokia models, it is not very well known & also has not been properly advertised lacking licences and services. DVB-H services are only available in Delhi NCR with telecast license from doordarshan,but not too far off are days when other major broadcasters will put there heart in it… I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Why should i miss my favorite game..Online jukebox will be a reality soon in India as nokia gets in final talks with operators on revenue. Also, Nokia plans to bring Nokia online music store to india hopefully by this year end..currently The New big thing in Mobile entertainment is Nokia’s new gaming platform called Engage (revamped completely) – a gaming platform which will change the face of mobile gaming forever. Superb graphics, amazing game line ups with names like EA sports,multi player online gaming options..its gonna rock…so gamers watch out for your favorite games! The service is available currently on only a few nokia devices(N-81,N-82, N95 8gb)

Music- ah i love music but iam confused. My choice of music varies from rock to trance…from underground to pop, ghazals to sufi..that’s why i wanted to buy an iPod so that i can store all my collections..but i dont want to carry one more additional device with me! How many things should i carry..Hmm let me guess my phone?

With breakthrough in nano technology its all possible.

Memory mobile phones have reached 16 gb with apple i phone and NOkia N-96 will be launched soonwith a memory of 16 gb (extendable).

The Mobile: Its not one thing…its many.

I sip my coffee sitting with my friends in a cafe… nobody knows cause with the easy push-email on my phone i can take care of my work without entering my office!

i am always available to all my clients – no matter where i am. Being connected to my official mail sever with my phone gives me the confidence that work won’t suffer even if iam on vacation.

MY stereo may not work while I listen to digital quality music on my phone. I want to watch a movie while i travel…easy stuff on my phone! With high memory,high resolution screen and bose speakers pre-installed, multimedia is a dream come true on my mobile!

I can sit in my office, and yet cheer my favorite football team winning a match that I watch on my phone with DVB-H and video streaming. I go to an unknown place where i don’t know the language, but my phone shows me the way with Voice guided navigation. I know where to party even if i am a stranger in town..with maps and point of interest pre-loaded on my phone.

i see some thing i wish to store for posterity – I click a picture with my 10mpx camera phone

i see a weeding gown and want to show it to my girl, i click, i share my joys with girlfriend thanks to my phone! All this in real time, thanks to video conferencing on my phone.

i discovered this exotic lake want my friends to come visit me here i geotagged it on my phone with geo tagging and mapping.

its all i need, but there is more that i want….

to be contd..

  • Filed under: Mobile
  • About MD

    Masala Digital is not just about Digital Marketing - it's about marketing in the digital age. The defining lines of marketing that segregated ATL, BTL & Digital hardly hold any water in the age of integrated marketing that assimilates effective practices across all available mediums to create truly integrated ideas. Masala Digital is the platform for sharing, collaborating and participating to add wings to these thoughts. You too can contribute..check out the "Contact Us" page for more information.