Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Posts Tagged ‘social+networking

Disclaimer: These are just rumours. Tell me if they are true.

1. I’m hearing reports that a social networking site, one of the investments of Sequoia and ,the SN offering of reliance (Note: Update below) are both finding it hard to scale up and might face the inevitable very soon.

Is it true? if it is, then does this mark the fact that Social networking is a big No-no in India and whatever mass we had that was buying into that story have already sold their souls to orkut and facebook? How many users does Fropper have?

2. How are sites like techtribe doing?

3. Do you realize that the largest possible userbase is possibly the job sites like Naukri.com, and matrimonial sites like BharatMatrimony and Shaadi.com?

4. Given that in India, we have a fixed number of users who are perenially online, and do have the mindset and the bandwidth to “socially network”, wouldnt it be better to perhaps create an OpenID system, perhaps like the one that yahoo has created (openid.yahoo.com) to login into all of these sites, which would possibly also benefit all of these sites? Or is that something OpenSocial has to solve?

Do pitch in your thoughts.

Update:

It does seem that the Rs.100 crore that has gone into Bigadda and the marketing that it is undergoing, is essentially driving a lot of traffic. A quick alexa search with comparison to the other contenders show some pretty interesting trends.

Bits and pennies, (Thanks Sabah Kazi) has an interesting graph that shows the trend (using alexa)

So its quite apparent that there is a quite a bit of traffic being driven towards the site – actually some tens of millions.

I’d like to see a analysis on the conversion rates that are going on, the total traffic, the new user sign ups, and the breakup of active versus passive users.

One thing is clear, with the sheer amount of money pumping in, Bigadda.com might stick around for a while.

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Yesterday friend and blogger Kiruba and I, met to discuss about some stuff that we have been mulling over. Eventually the conversation drifted over some of the “empires” people have built simply by using blogging as a platform. While on one end there are folks who are individual silos and building their own brand/authority, there are others who’ve taken simple concepts and just built an entire network – one example would be metroblogging itself.

If you think about it, its a fabulous and ridiculously simple concept. A group of guys come together and start writing about the city. Why? Because they are passionate about it. This is the crucial aspect. Its not because they want to get paid, but because they want to talk about whats happening in the city – as a perspective through their own eyes. I guess you could call it biased citizen journalism, but thats upto you. In any case, they become hugely successful and then figure if they can start other city chapters and eventually what becomes is what Metroblogging is right now. Huge, lots of bloggers, spanning across cities and across the world and the beauty of it all – no one gets paid. Talk about that!

It’s a very powerful concept if you look at it. People write because they are passionate about it. There is a limit on the number of writers per city (which i understand is because of a licensing term), and its a win win situation for everyone. The end result is a network that spans as wide as the globe.

One has gotta do something as big as that, even if its dreaming.

Now while we were discussing this, I was wondering if this can be replicated into something else. I have been lately keeping an eye on a few blogs that are written by college students and most of them are quite popular. I remember catching up with the blogs and site of my fellow classmates during university days, but we barely get time to say hello anymore. That’s another story. The truth is that, most college students do have an exciting and buzzing life and this is the moment in time when the same event usually goes through different perspectives.

Fact #1: College Student blogs are popular. Most of them.
Fact #2: There seems to be a definite demand and pull for narrations of what is happening in different colleges.

Now, put these two together and take the model of Metroblogging. Lets not go global, but focus on a city. I believe there are quite a few colleges in this city of Chennai itself. If we do get two bloggers from each of these colleges (a guy and a girl – both of them do see very different variations of the same thing) and eventually grow the team to about five or six per college with some rules (no usage of names, and no back biting another author), this could possibly become a nice and community platform to start with.

If you ask me if there is a business model to this, there definitely is one. But you are gonna have to meet me in person if you want to know that part.


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