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Marketing Masala in the Digital Age

Delhi can stop waiting for its buses now..

Here’s the latest from our deal ol’ Delhi Transport Corporation, or more correctly, the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd.:

After going the digital way with on-board GPS, the DIMTS fellows have now gone a step further by creating an Online Bus Information System that will help Delhi citizens plan their bus journeys, effectively cutting the wait-time at bus-stops to a minimal.

Citizens can now track buses on Delhi roads in real time though DIMTS’ “Online Bus Information System”. Both AC and Non-AC buses plying on selected BRT routes and all the AC buses on different routes in Delhi can be tracked using this system. Rest assured, it won’t be long before the system is extended to ALL the routes & buses!

ETA Display Click here to View the Estimated Time of Arrival of Buses on the Bus Stops

virtualdisplaymap Click here to View Route-wise Expected Time of Arrival of Buses on Delhi Map (Google Map Integration!)

OneView Click here to View the location of Buses on GIS Map of Delhi (Roll-over mouse on each stop. Green pointers are buses (incl registration numbers for ID)

This is awesome stuff..and an example for others!

More info can be found on the DIMTS website!

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  • Mumbai Terror and the role of new media

    Mumbai suffered one of its worst terror nightmares these last 3 days when armed terrorists took over strategic spots in Mumbai, leading to a bloodshed yet unparalleled in its gruesomeness.

    While the terror attacks received worldwide media coverage, it was no less covered extensively by citizen journalists and common people who used a host of digital mediums to add to the story. Internet, and new media tools, came on the forefront as reliable tools to track the terror drama.

    wiki_mumbaiA wikipedia page was constantly updated by vigilant users, providing a single point of reference.

    Many twitter feeds contributed to real-time reporting & status update, which were utilzed heavily by the administration, media as well as citizens to get regular updates as well as channelize real-time help.

    image

    Twitter feed for Mumbai

    Twitter-fed list of useful local numbers

    Post the attacks, these feeds have become the buzz-ground for discussions, opinions and to plan next steps to solve the problem at its roots.

    image A google maps page also became a ready reference guide, especially for people outside India to get a real-life perspective of where and how things were happening.

    image Vinu’s photostream was picked up by Fox News & CNN as well as multiple channels to provide real-time updates on all that was happening.

    image Over 2000 videos have flooded youtube post the attacks.

    image The MumbaiHelp blog has updated lists of all relevant helpline numbers as well.

    30% of Leisure time being spent Online: TNS

    via audiencematters

    A TNS global survey entitled Digital
    World, Digital Life, probing online behaviours and perspectives shows
    that, on average, people across the 16 countries surveyed are spending
    close to a third (30%) of their leisure time online.

    It appears we like our 30% digital time regardless of how much free
    time we have.

    Digital World, Digital Life found that respondents with
    up to 2 hours leisure time each week day, spent the same proportion of
    their leisure time online as respondents who had between 7 and 8 hours
    of leisure time on a week day.  This means there is no direct link
    between the amount of leisure time we have and how much of it we spend
    online.

    What are the top 5 activities that people undertake while online?
    TNS asked people to identify a range of activities in the month before
    they took the survey.

    A total of 81% had used a search engine to find
    information; 76% had looked up the news; 74% had used online banking;
    65% had looked up the weather; and 63% had researched a product or
    service before buying it. These activities are all inherently very
    practical.

    The highest ranking classic leisure activity – “watching a
    video clip” – only came in at number 8, with half (51%) saying they had
    done this in the past month. Another leisure activity – “listening to
    an audio clip” – came in at number 10 (44%).

    Arno Hummerston, Managing Director, TNS Global Interactive, said:
    “If our leisure time is so precious, then why do we on average spend
    almost a third of it using the internet? We believe it is because we
    are making more efficient use of our valuable time, specifically by
    using the internet – thereby allowing us to fit more into our lives.
    Being online helps people fulfil certain tasks and activities quickly
    and efficiently. By spending productive time online, we are actually
    making more time for leisure. With more social and entertainment
    activities available online, it is also easy to understand why our
    lives are becoming more digital.”

    Who and where are the most avid onliners in the world? Younger
    people under 25, as might be expected, are seriously engaged with
    online life. The under 25s surveyed in the report say they spend well
    over a third (36%) of their time online. On average, Chinese
    respondents under 25 spend half (50%) of their leisure time online.

    If the world is to take its lead from Japan and Korea – countries
    that are seen as being innovative and pioneering in the online world –
    then we can expect to spend even more time online. In those countries,
    respondents say they currently spend on average around two-fifths of
    their leisure time online.

    There are particular groups of people that are more avid users of
    the internet than others. For example, across the 16 countries
    surveyed:

    students spend 39% of their time online.

    US Housewives spend 38% of
    their leisure time online while in the UK, this was even more pronounced
    with almost half (47%) of housewives spending their leisure
    time online.This might be explained by the rapid expansion of online
    food shopping, particularly in the UK where online shopping expenditure
    in general now tops £1 billion per month (Source: Mintel 2008).

    The Digital World, Digital Life survey also underlined that mobile
    handsets are frequently used to connect to the internet.

    Worldwide, 1
    in 10 respondents surveyed say they connect to the internet once a day
    via mobile handsets. But Asia’s adoption trends imply significant
    growth prospects. Among the Japanese and Chinese respondents to the
    survey, for example, over a quarter of people access the internet over
    mobile connections at this once-a-day frequency.

    Search goes 2.0: All-new google search

     

    Courtesy: googlesystem blog

    Google’s new experiment that lets you reorder and annotate search results is now live. Google SearchWiki should be available automatically if you are logged in to a Google account and it can be recognized by the visual clutter added to the search results.

    Next to each result, you should see three new options: a way to promote a web page at the top of the results, an option to remove results from the page (they’re still visible at the bottom of the page) and a feature that lets you share public comments about a result. After promoting a result, Google shows some unnecessary information about the other people who promoted the result.

    It’s important to remember that all the changes are saved to your Google account and they won’t affect the search results for everyone, at least not directly. If you want to see an aggregation of all promotions, demotions and comments, go to the bottom of the page and click on "See all notes for this SearchWiki". This is the real wiki built by Google and it’s easy to access by adding &swm=2 to the URL of a search results page: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=google&swm=2.

    Comments are not very useful, although you could find insights for some obscure queries. The absolute number of people who promoted a search result is not very useful either, especially when you’ll see big numbers like 314,159,265.

    SearchWiki’s main idea is to give users the opportunity to manually customize the search results and make them more predictable. Since many people repeat common searches like [mail], [weather], [news] and Google’s results are constantly changing, it’s nice to pick your favorite results and display them at the top. If you can’t find a site you like, click on "Add a result" and manually add a page in the list of top results.

    Good things about SearchWiki:

    – you can now adjust Google’s results for your typical queries and save time when repeating the searches

    – use Google instead of bookmarking web pages

    – for unfamiliar queries, check the wiki to find a different ranking and potentially useful comments. Try to avoid the wiki for queries that are likely to be spammed.

    Bad things about SearchWiki:

    – visual clutter. The only way to remove the additional icons displayed next to each search result is to log out.

    – your changes are available only when you repeat the query and, in some cases, for similar queries (e.g.: [google.com] in addition to [google]). That means you can’t remove a web page or a domain from all search results

    – comments are public and there’s no option to write private notes (Google removed the option to annotate results in Google Notebook)

    – an obvious feature would be to get a permalink for your edited results, but Google doesn’t offer this yet

    – there’s no option to toggle between your edited results and the standard results (you’ll have to log out)

    – it’s difficult to reorder results, since the only action allowed is to place a web page at the top, after all the other promoted pages. If you promote the page again, it will become the first result.

    Google has always used people’s clicks to improve the quality of search results, so the new options could influence the ranking algorithms in different ways. "At this time we aren’t using SearchWiki to influence ranking but it is easy to see how that could happen in the future," said Marissa Mayer. "Search is adapting to the Internet as it becomes a more participatory medium. Now you have people telling us specific things about how they’d like to see their search results. You could imagine if we do see a particular site (about which) people have a unanimous opinion, that might trigger external things. Like maybe we should check out our spam control," suggested Cedric Dupont, product manager for SearchWiki and Google Knol.

    Gharkamai: Yet another Indian dot-com startup!

    All boys & men working from home rejoice…and welcome aboard Gharkamai!

    Gharkamai Logo

    Started by a couple of Delhi dotcommers, Gharkamai is in beta as we speak, and aims at connecting businesses with business professionals as per need.

    So if you are looking at home-based work, have an unexplored expertise, need extra income, then log on & create a profile. Similarly, if you need freelancers and project-centric professionals, it makes sense to look some people up over here.

    2 reasons why the resource pool should be good here:

    1. Home-based workers strive to deliver better, as a sense of entrepreneurship comes in, leading to better results

    2. In these recession-led times, pink slipped folks can find solace here!

    The only glitch – registration process is a bit long, and you need to submit a CV…painful. Hope the owners do something about that!

    Check it out & do post a comment upon your experience…

    3G vs VoIP?

    Just a thought – if India keeps waiting for 3G…next auction date for spectrums is in Jan sometime it seems…will VoIP take over video calls, the prize 3G candidate for business?

    Telcos have long looked at video calls as the prime motivator for expensive 3G subscriptions, and handset manufacturers have kept pace with ensuring availability of video-call enabled handsets.

    So probably they wont pull out, but does it make sense for telcos to pay such huge spectrum fees when available 2.5G/EDGE Internet is good enough for video & voice VoIP?

    Gmail goes video

    Here’s the deal as I see it with Google..

    These guys have taken the idea of “disruption” to an all-time high…having turned it now into a web-statement of sorts.

    First it was gmail…launched in a market where hotmail & yahoo were kings, usa.net had gone paid, rediffs of the world were trying hard to get attention….basically a very crowded & highly competitive market. So google walks in & “disrupts” the proceedings – 1GB mailbox, by invite only.

    2 propositions that turned cult in 5 minutes…EVERYONE wanted one, EVERYONE wanted to have those invites to give out..

    So email was great, beating IM was next to impossible, with nearly ALL of us active on either Hotmail or Yahoo messengers. The solution – Disruption again.

    Suddenly IM was on email…made sense, didn’t it? You logged in to check mail and logged in your IM around the same time..by combining the two, gmail made Internet communication one seamless experience, and NOBODY has been able to replicate that! And then they even went voice – along with the two other biggies, but essentially kept up with the user experience expectations.

    Oh and then there are these 1000s of other benefits – POP access (yahoo pay attention..msn burnt their hands), easy UI..all that & more, that basically started settings standards.

    Finally, they have probably put a huge big nail in everyone else’s coffin (not the last one I presume) by going video (MSN/Skype had it)…within Gmail..disruption all over again. And great timing too, considering webcams cave become standard pre-installed accessories only recently!

    It makes sense to visit the church of google, I say!

    Google’s 10^100 Project

    As Google turns 10 they celebrate with an attempt to make a difference.They have officially announced the launch of the Google Project 10^100, on the Google blog.

    Here is what they have to say:

    To mark our 10th birthday and celebrate the spirit of our users and the web, we’re launching Project 10^100 (that’s “ten to the hundredth”) a call for ideas that could help as many people as possible, and a program to bring the best of those ideas to life. CNN will be covering this project, including profiles of ideas and the people who submit them from around the world. For a deeper look, follow along at Impact Your World.

    During the next three months, the Internet search company will solicit world-changing ideas from anyone, anywhere, no matter the size or scope and will reward the top five ideas with $10 million to see their projects come to life. Google will select the 100 best ideas before having the public vote for the top 20 semifinalists in late January. Five finalists will split the $10 million, which Google will give to them to help get their projects off the ground.

    Watch the video:

    The categories for entry seem to be primarily humanitarian aid innovations, including things like water solutions for rural villages in developing countries, and solutions for bringing wireless internet to disconnected rural areas.

    If you have ideas that you feel can help make a difference to the world, now is your time to act.

    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.