Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mar.Com - website for Marketing communication professionals

Just came across a website called Mar.com; Reviews suggest that it's not a well maintained site! I haven't gone deeper in to it but thought to share it with you.....
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Search engine for twitter

Second authority based search engine for twitter is out now. Some developers at Tsavo have created it... New product to try out; if you are twitter crazy!!

I don't know market  will respond to this. However, it is clear that with success of twitter, there is now opportunity for many entrepreneurs to develop new applications. Carry on developers..... good times for you!!
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Media Roundup - Top news from Media last week

New York Times to sell stake in Red Sox — The Times is planning to sell its 17.5 percent stake in the Boston Red Sox in an effort to raise $150 million to $200 million in cash. The company may also sell The Boston Globe and About.com to gain additional breathing room. [Source: Silicon Alley Insider]

Post and Sun to share content — Longtime rivals, The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun, have inked an agreement to exchange some news and sports stories. The deal doesn’t include some news topics, such as University of Maryland athletic coverage. [Source: Editor and Publisher]

USA Today to be sold on Kindle — USA Today will join The Washington Post, The New Tork Times and other large newspapers on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader device. While the final monthly subscription price has not been released, similar papers sell for $10-$15 a month. [Source: paidContent]

Pew Survey: TV still #1 source for news, Web catching up — As a news source, the Web has surpassed newspapers for the first time in the survey’s history to become America’s second most popular source of news behind television. The survey asked 1,489 adults about their news habits and also ranked the top news stories of 2008. [Source: Pew Research]

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WPP to cut 50+ management level Jobs

Another in the list of Layoffs!!

WPP - one of world's largest media conglomerate, is planning to lay off 50+ management level positions. Read full article here: WPP to cut 50+ jobs

In my last post, I talked about layoff and recession. As time passes by, panic effects of recession is hitting common man! Hope for the best....
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Chanel to Layoff hundreds of people

Chanel to layoff hundreds of people.

Chanel, one of the most high end French fashion names, is to lay off 200 Paris based staff. When global brands like Chanel are firing people right and left whereas at the same time Five and Dime stores are doing the same, it states that clear across the board people are feeling the effects of the depression.

People are frustrated and worried about their debts as recession effect is so bad that people who were millionaire before six months, are now struggling to pay their outstanding debts...

Corporates run for profits. I don't feel shocking when I hear of people being laid off from whatever organization. Money is prime necessity and motto of any corporate. So, this is completely justified for them to lay off people if it increases profits. However, Something should be done for those who are jobless. I think corporates in consultation with government should take some steps.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Here is something important if you've got new PC

If you've been good this year, you may have gotten a new computer for the holidays. While you probably just want to start using it immediately, here are a few things you should think about now that will save you a lot of trouble sometime in the future:

Make sure you have restore disks. These are disks that will restore your computer to its original state, just in case something bad happens to the configuration. Many computers come with restore disks, others with a "restore partition" on the hard disk, and still others with software that lets you make a restore disk. Don't forget about this - take or make the disks now, and put them in a safe place where you'll know where to find them. Then when and if you need them, you'll know where to find them. I like to do this almost immediately on a new computer, right after plugging everything together, turning it on, and connecting to my home network.

Update your computer Whether its Windows or Mac, it doesn't matter: there always seems to be new patches to download. Since these often impact the security of the machine, it's downloading and installing these options is probably one of the first things you should do. It's a pain, but often worthwhile.

Set up your antivirus programs. Almost every new Windows machine comes with at least a trial version of an antivirus program or security suite. You should either enable it immediately, or completely remove it from your computer and install another one. Just an importantly, make a note of when that security suite is going to expire, so you can then either renew it, or buy a different one. (Typically most security suites are licensed for multiple computers, so if you have a license for another machine, it may be as simple as just entering the code.) Of this year's crop, my favorite has been Norton Internet Security 2009, which seems much less intrusive than earlier versions.

I wish security programs weren't necessary, but they are, at least on Windows. Mac users typically skip this step, and so far, have been mostly ok, though I'm starting to see more reports of Mac security issues.

Put your files and settings on the new machine. In this era of local networks and inexpensive external hard disks, it's relatively easy to copy your data files from one machine to another. In some cases, it's as simple as copying your My Documents folder to an external hard disk (typically look under "documents and settings" or "users" in your root or C:\ directory) and then copying them to the appropriate place on your new machine. But moving settings for other programs isn't nearly as easy. Windows has a built-in program for moving things like internet favorites and mail settings; alternatively programs like PC Mover do the job quite well.

One thing to watch for: some programs are only licensed to a small number of machines and have tools for de-authorizing them. So if you're moving to a replacement machine, rather than just an additional PC, you'll want to de-authorize the older machine. You need to be particularly careful with DRM licenses, an issue in iTunes, Rhapsody, Windows Media, and similar programs, though that's not an issue if you only have MP3 or other unprotected content. But the concept of an "authorized machine" is often an issue with higher-end programs, like Adobe's Creative Suite.

One thing to note: many new computers come with a 60-day trial of Microsoft Office. Note that the relatively inexpensive Home and Student version of Office includes a three-machine license, so again, if you have it for an older machine, you may not need to buy a new copy.

Develop a backup strategy. This is the part that most computer users put off, or implement only sporadically. But remember - eventually, all computers fail. Personally, I'm a fan of external hard drives with an automated backup program (Time Machine on Macs; most external drives come with one for Windows), supplemented with either a second external drive you create periodically and store in another location, or an online service such as Mozy for critical files. Or both. Sure it's a pain, but eventually every computer user I know is either thankful they have a backup or regretful that they don't.

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Mobile Marketing campaign for your super bowl advertisement

Game’s On For SuperBowl Ad

Blumo, a mobile marketing agency that serves leading consumer brands and advertising agencies, is offering a free mobile marketing campaign to advertisers in the 2009 Super Bowl.

All advertisers airing a national commercial during the game are eligible and will receive free campaign development and execution services, only being responsible for messaging costs.

“In our current economic climate, marketing accountability is of utmost importance and there is no better way to quantify marketing activities in real-time than by a mobile interaction,” said Sean Bartlett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Blumo.

Self serving elements side, adding a mobile marketing element to Super Bowl ads is a great opportunity for this firm as well as the winning company to “connect with consumers from all demographics” and to take a broadcast message and make it truly engaging.”

The Blumo team will select one recipient of the free mobile marketing campaign based on eligible inquiries and will lead the advertiser and their agency through the complete development and execution of the campaign. The advertiser will be able to choose from mobile marketing services including; auto response, digital collateral, mobile coupons, ringtones, wallpapers, trivia, voting, text to win, store locators, or any custom mobile deliverable.

Advertisers and agencies can submit their inquiry to superbowl@blumo.com.

Submissions must be received by January 7, 2009 and all eligible entries will receive a response with 24 hours.

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Motorola Blocking RIM from Hiring Its Castoffs?

A report from Bloomberg says that Research in Motion is trying to lure laid-off workers to its workforce, a practice blocked by a previous agreement between the two companies. RIM says Motorola is trying to expand the agreement; otherwise, the deal would have expired in August.

Dec 24 (Reuters) - BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd sued Motorola Inc over claims the mobile-phone maker is improperly blocking it from offering jobs to laid-off Motorola workers, Bloomberg said.

RIM, in a complaint filed in state court in Chicago, asked for an order invalidating an agreement the companies reached this year not to solicit each other's employees, the agency said.

The agreement expired in August and is no longer enforceable, the agency said, citing the complaint.

Motorola is improperly trying to expand the agreement "to prevent the RIM entities from hiring any Motorola employees, including the thousands of employees Motorola has already fired or will fire," RIM was quoted as saying in the complaint by the agency.

The lawsuit comes three months after Motorola sued RIM in Chicago in violation of the agreement, according to the agency.

In that case, Motorola asked a judge to bar RIM from using Motorola's confidential information or soliciting or hiring any Motorola employees, the agency said.

The agreement is part of a February nondisclosure accord under which the companies agreed to exchange information about a confidential matter, the agency said, citing the complaint.

RIM and Motorola could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Sharon Lindores)

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Social Gaming Network - Gaming on mobile

SGN Launching Live Versions Of iPhone Apps. Challenge Others To Bowl Against You.
by Michael Arrington on December 24, 2008

Social Gaming Network is launching new versions of its Wii-like iPhone sports games that let users play against others who’ve installed the apps.

In August I was disappointed that so few iPhone applications leveraged the network effect to spread virally. I used the chess apps as an example - there were lots of them, but none at the time that let you play against other people.

The chess problem has since been solved. But I am still amazed at how few applications let iPhone users interact with each other (other than the nascent mobile social networks, which continue to gain users quickly).

But SGN, which launched a bunch of sports-themed games that turn the iPhone into a Wii-like controller (and are experimenting with the iPhone as a PC game controller, too), is starting to experiment with multi-user games where players can compete against others who have the application installed.

First up is iBasketball (iTunes link). The app launched in November, but an update this morning lets players compete with others. So far it isn’t that great - you shoot free throws for a period of time while someone else does the same, but you don’t see them. At the end the scores are compared. (In the next update, SGN says you’ll be able to watch your foe take his/her shots real time, too).

But they have something much grander planned for the next version of iBowl, which originally launched in October. The new iBowl Live will let you play against three other players, and watch their swings (or whatever its called when you roll a bowling ball).

Any Xbox user knows how quickly games get stale. Going online and playing against others on Xbox Live is what keeps people playing the same titles for months or years. I think many iPhone apps, especially games, will follow a similar path. SGN seems to be taking the lead in innovating in this space.


Social networking is surely gonna be next hit in world of internet. Facebook gaming applications are recent examples. With SGN allowing people to play games on their mobile, that too within their social networking, I would say that this is clearly the big move. Kudos SGN, Gamerzz, get ready for action packed mobile gaming experience.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Vodafone launches Pocket Life - Location based social networking application

Vodafone has partnered with Pocketlife - a location based social network. This application does something which is beyond current services available. This GPS friendly application allows you to update your location updates automatically to social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace.

Full Story...

This, I would say is a new era of communication. Telecom business is not just about providing Voice / Data services. It actually means to enabling people to CONNECT. As we all know, social networking is latest buzz and powerful tool for social animals, such efforts would surely pay for Vodafone. A brilliant step for telecom industry, a new wave of revolution for telecom operators. Especially in India, Internet and Telecom industries are about to gain its presence in exponential way. Initiatives like Pocket wave, would surely encourage Indian operators to think over their role in upcoming 3G network rollout.
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Adult Friend Finder - Case study for management students

Adult friend finder registers to go public. This means, Adult Friend Finder - world's largest network for sex and swingers as it calls itself, will be open for people to invest in to it. What a great success story. This proves that Porn is a Big industry....

Full story...

No doubt Porn is a big Industry. Consumption of porn content and services is increasing. Also with current market scenario, frustration leads people to consume such content. We have heard companies shutting down and registering losses during trouble market scenario.... however, I believe such services which caters to people's Physical, Social and Personal needs - which are foundation of Maslow's Hierarchy - will succeed. Another reason for success could be its innovative and unique concept!

Porn Industry is now a good option for entrepreneurs to do business. After Playboy, AFF is becoming BIG brand on Internet. Should become case study for Management students!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New age mobile experience - Telecom moving ahead

Today morning, I read several news items about recession and slowdown. 'Toyota motors expected to register loss this year', 'layoffs' etc were major news items, I thought recession is banging on our head and everyone is gonna suffer in one way or other! However, some news items which took me by surprise were found on internet. Surprisingly, telecom and internet sector are moving ahead in these bad times and several new developments are talk of the town.

Here are some news items which everyone in mobile and internet industry would like to know...

Nokia launches public beta version of its worldwide mail services. These services will be available to all series 40 phones. They call it 'Ovi' mail services. This is major development as industry is moving towards defining new standards of digital communications. See the full report here...

ScrollMotion partners with major publishers to make reading experience enjoyable on iPhone. They have tied up with many publishers to make books available on iPhone as applications. Of course, this will provide a new experience of reading, while opening doors for apple to target readers as their target customers. Great development I would say as there is no such initiative taken in such a large platform. See the article here...

Japan's third largest social network GREE launched IPO on wednesday. Mobile version of this social networking site is very popular and as company's report says, it is expected to grow. So, another good news for industry going through recession. Go through this for more...

Surely, Tech industry is moving ahead!! Marketers and brand managers, think of using this as your platform for branding and marketing as this is cost effective and potential medium!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Smart Move by Reliance: selling 20-26% stake to foreigh partner

Reliance Communications is set to sell up to 26% stake to foreign partner, says ET report. Report also says that this money will be utilized for auctions for 3G spectrum allocations. Reliance communications is India's second largest telecom operator by number of subscribers.

I would say that this is smart move by reliance. Reliance is the only operator which doesn't have any foreign partner. Also, with strong optical fibre backbone network and presence across the country makes it capable of distributing 3G services easily and efficiently. RCom would be utilizing these money for 3G auctions. Also, by collaborating with foreign partner, they will gain access to knowledge asset of their foreign counter part and develop skills necessary for 3G implementation. So, local reach and global expertise will result in to efficient 3G distribution for Reliance. Apart from this, they will get some cash in hand to bid for 3G spectrum.

I would say, this is right choice at right time. Perfectly targeted strategy - something to learn for business strategy makers.
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Online News, political sites and blogs: Where are we heading to?

Last year, we have seen lots of websites offering news in various forms. Blogs, Political websites, News portals and Print media's online ventures are few of them. Of course, news has become commodity when it is to be consumed over internet. Majority news websites offer news and also provide access to add comments on news items. Bloggers put forward their point of view in very subtle way that you cant differentiate whether it is news or something which blogger says. Apart from this, forums are where people discuss ideas and create something out of it which creates mass movement.

As a News marketer on Internet media, I would say that Online media lacks authenticity and integrity. Small websites and private bloggers provide information which is either copied  from somewhere or it is not conveyed by authenticated source. In case of news paper's websites, yes, they are trying to communicate authenticated information. However, I would say that people don't find it easily accessible and it caters to very small geogrophic area. Also, it lacks some sort of interactivity, which an internet user always expects. In case of small websites and local news portals, there is lack of traffic which get them larger ad revenues... So, what would be probable system of distributing authenticated, user friendly and customized news over internet??

Given such a scenario, it is challenge for marketer to make his / her news website preffered choice for people. Can you suggest anything?
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Google reaches new heights... challenge for competitors

Search engine market share data for the month of November shows Google on top as usual. Important thing is that, Google has reached new heights and garnered highest market share till today! With more then 63% search queries on internet, Google is dominating US market. Check this out for more info: Google Reaches new Heights

Well, the dominance of Google is quite obvious and I don't see anything extra ordinary in this news. Also, this will not make any change in the way SEO specialists and Marketers optimize their page. Yes, they will continue optimize their page for Google as usual.

The point I want to make out is: what would be impacts of Google's dominance over the Internet search engine market? Will this make any impact on the way other search engines work? How would Microsoft and Yahoo develop their strategy to challenge the competitor? 63% market share is not a joke. Also as economics suggests, gaining majority market share will result in monopoly. Guys, if this trend continues, days are not far when Google will enjoy monopoly in the market and.... and.... I don't know what Google can do if it monopolizes market. Do we have any other option?? Is there better way to optimize information on the web and make it available in user friendly manner??
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Friday, December 19, 2008

Social Networking: New way of recruiting people

What do you think is the future of recruitment agencies? More and more companies are using social networking and Web 2.0 for their recruitment needs. Recruitment Agencies aka 'Headhunters' have observed downward trend and they are keen on future of their business.

It is also evident that people of so called "Digital Generation" does not communicate in same way as our seniors are doing. We love online space and it is becoming a tool to follow our interests, passion and career goals. There are plenty of groups, newsletters and communities available for one to stay in touch with latest happenings in the industry. Also, professional networking and personal referrals are becoming buzz for new age job applications. News reports says that twitter is playing roll of headhunter for many recruiters.
Follow this news for more details: http://cli.gs/H9a26y

My question is that if this is going to be the case for next generation job recruitment, what will be the scenario like? Is there any chance of people faking their profiles and pretending to be someone what they are actually not!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Paradox of Internet!

Internet makes your life easy. Internet makes plethora of information on tour fingertips. Internet is boon for us. Internet has changed our lives.....

These are most common statements we come across frequently. Well, I would like to share my experience with you.... You will have to decide what would you call this.

2 days ago, I went to check out a place for accommodation in Lower Parel area of Mumbai. I walked down there from my office, checked the place and went back. On the next day, I told my boss about the place and asked his opinion about locality and area. He asked me to explain exact location of the flats. I tried for atleast 3 times to explain the location verbally. No Success! Gosh, I forgot the way to the place I visited just one day ago!! Suddenly I thought of using google maps. I opened browser and traced my office. I traced the road by which I went to the place. I found exact location and area of that apartment. All these in just 3 minutes!!! I was surprised. I can not recollect physical places I go to; rather I can relocate them on my laptop screen! Isn't this a paradox???

Guys, tell me is this good or bad?
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Media RoundUp: Yahoo!'s open strategy, Facebook devalued, ESPN Relaunching website...

Yahoo! announces “open” strategy — In an effort to tie all of its services together under the same technology, Yahoo! has announced its new “Open” strategy. As a result, services like Yahoo! Mail will now feature applications from companies like the blogging system Wordpress, and the photo sharing site Flickr. Yahoo! also plans on adding social networking capabilities across services, which notify users of their friends’ actions. [Source: TechCrunch]

Facebook devalued — Once valued as high a $15 billion, Facebook now has a more realistic valuation of $2 billion. The social networking’s new valuation is based on the current trading of the social networking site’s common stock. Facebook has also struggled to fully monetize its massive user base. [Source: Silicon Valley Insider]

Layoffs at New York magazine — Reports place cuts at New York Magazine at around half a dozen. The cuts were done in an effort to reduce redundancy as the magazine shifts more resources to digital production. [Source: Portfolio]

AP writers and photographers on byline freeze — In order to protest management’s stance during contract talks, AP workers will withhold their bylines. The two sides are at odds over a proposed wage freeze. [Source: Editor and Publisher]

ESPN to relaunch site — In an effort to simplify its homepage, and include more advertising space, ESPN.com is unveiling a substantial redesign. The site is due to launch today, with a “formal introduction” planned for January 5th. [Source: New York Times]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Google Promote and Remove feature

While surfing, I saw this feature on Google. Using this feature, you can actually promote or remove any result appearing on your screen. You can also comment on any of search result.

You need to log in to your Google account in order to use this service. Every time you perform search on Google, your preferences will be considered and you will only those results which are your preferred one. We all have experienced the pain of going through irrelevant search results and bogus websites which attracts traffic using bogus links and lots of keywords. This feature is alarm for those. Also, you can optimize your experience according to your own requirements and preferences.

promote and search

Well, personalized and user friendly search experience will surely bring quality in search results. However, what are its implications on SEO? Surely, CONTENT IS THE KEY. You can't just fool people with plethora of Keywords and adwords which doesn't add any actual value to your content. You must have good content and relevant keywords that suit people's demands. However, is there any scope to play around this feature??? Well, some reports says some SEO agencies outsourcing to China lets people search specific keywords and generating clicks for their websites. What would be next step? Person has to have his / her Google account, he / she must be signed in and his / her vote would be registered from specific IP address. How would people play around this feature. I'm sure Google will surely identify a person promoting / demoting specific website from same IP address.

Do you have any idea what would this result in to?? Looking forward for your ideas....

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mobile: Potential tool for marketing during recession

As I expected, ray of hope is there! I am talking about an industry which is performing well in these hard times. Can you guess, what I am talking about?? Yes, Telecommunication. Telecom industry is the only industry performing well and expected to register progressive graph during recession. Rapid development on technology front and increasing demand of mobility are drivers of growth for this industry. And yes, in 2009-10 due to launch of 3G and WiMax services experts are optimistic about growth of telecommunication sector in India.

India's mobile-phone demand is expected to rise
to 136 million units in 2009, up 23.9 percent from 110 million in 2008,
compared to 16.8 percent growth in 2008.

Cellular subscribers in the nation will grow to
319.9 million by the end of 2008, up 36.9 percent from 233.6 million at
the conclusion of 2007.

See this article for more details.

Surely, Telecom operators and service providers are passionately looking forward to ride on wave of 3G and WiMax. And of course, as it happens in any case, various para industries will also grow due to increasing demand. Marketers and Brand managers should also look forward to use these media tools as vehicle for Marketing and Branding of their products. Challenge for marketers here is to design campaigns focussing on Mobile as core media. Also, mobile offers dual advantage to marketers. It has personal nature of Print Media and Intrusive nature of Television media. So, if used strategically, this media can do wonders for your brands.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Fighter Brand - Hope for marketers during tough times.

Well, it is tough time for marketers. Recession has hit each segment of economy and businesses are suffering. Biggest challenge for marketers is to keep the customer interested in his product. Now when customer does hot have enough credit and cash, how would one devise strategy to keep the brand alive? Also, with reducing profits, companies are cutting their budgets for marketing exercises. One strategy is to cut the prices - however, when you brand has been doing well since years and if you are lowering prices, it will surely dilute your brand image. Marketer has to take a call on this decision. Also, when economy will regain, marketer cannot raise prices. So, this strategy can prove dangerous because it can dilute overall brand image of company. Mohammad Rafi - author of The art of Pricing also suggests the same thing. He says: "keep lowering the price you'll sell more units, but you'll also devalue the product. For the sake of the short term, you can wreck the long-term value of your brand." And price cuts can be hard to rescind when economic conditions improve.

So, how can marketer keep the profits up with declining economy?? Answer is to introduce "fighter brand". Fighter Brand is low priced version of successful brand. It offers same features and advantages. However, at low price. Fighter Brand will easily influence price conscious customer - which indeed are customers largely affected by recession. Fighter brand needs to achieve delicate balance i.e. to identify itself with premium brand without cannibalizing it. This is another challenge for marketers! We have seen many fighter brands which have been successfully performed in the market. Sony (Aiwa), Jet Airways (JetLite) and P&G (Luv) are such examples. Fighter Brands not only preserves Brand Image, it also helps marketer to keep brand's market share unaffected from competitor brands.

Though there is no sureshot formulae for creating successful brand, and preserving brand value for years, fuighter brands might do well. Also, you have freedom to pull fighter brand back from market whenever you feel to do so. I believe, this strategy should work in today's tough times.
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Monday, December 08, 2008

Media industry shocked as Corporate Giants are announcing layoffs

I was shocked when I saw news items saying layoffs in various media companies. I knew that recession will affect digital media industry as it's revenue model largely depends on conventional media industry. However, recent news coming from various sources about layoffs is alarm for this growing industry.
real logoNBC logoat&t logoviacom

Real media is laying off 7.5% of its staff. More important is: company communicated this news through its blog. Company did not event felt to communicate it through official mail. Anyways, another news came from Giant NBC Universal.

Reports say that NBC Universal is laying off 500 employees. Of course, this is effect of global recession which we are going through. Well, telecom, only segment of industry which was expecting to register growth this year is facing problems.

Telecom giant AT&T is laying off whopping 12000 jobs as a part of reducing capital expenditures. I don't know where this will end but one thing is sure that so called globalization and open economy has failed to create sustainable ecosystem.

Viacom, another in the list has also announced 850 job cuts through official mail. Of course, all these news are coming from global headquarters and regional operations would suffer more or less due to this.

We are lucky enough that still our economy has not been affected. However, I am not sure how long we would be sustaining. Weak political structure and dependence on foreign economy are major forces which will afect Indian economy and I don't think we can stay out of this for longer period. Lets hope for good...
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Friday, December 05, 2008

Twitter's Revenue model: something is wrong!

Digital media is IN thing; however, complexities attached with business related to internet based business are much different from those with conventional business models. Those, who are developing their business around DIgital Media, must have strong business model as well as revenue model. Twitter is an example of a business having good business yet weak revenue model. Still, its struggling with its revenue model and trying out new formulas.

Twitter fedup

Check out this article for more info.

Marketers and Brand managers striving to create brand on Digital media should also work on revenue. After all, everybody is not Google who can reach to almost every internet user and simultaneously generate revenues. I personally believe, opportunities are unlimited! Things that one can do on Digital Media are endless..... challenge is to transform the idea in to successful business model.

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Apple Vs Microsoft: New lessons of Branding

It's not just about hardware. Apple is leveraging on Mac OS to compete with rival Microsoft. Few lessons on marketing and branding can also be learned by going through this case. Negative branding is used to take advantage and create superior brand for Apple. It is also important to learn how these kind of campaigns can be tackled up. Just check out what Microsoft did!! Taking advantage of negative brand image created by Apple. I don't know how much it helped Microsoft to leverage brand, but strategy is quite impressive. Surely, in near future this war would be one to watch out for. Go through this article to find out more.

Article: Merketing and Branding lesson: Negative advertising being used by Apple.

Here are some pics:
Apple Vs PCApple Vs PC
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Saturday, October 04, 2008


I am sitting in my room here at 2100 and thinking something about everything. Though, Irony of the situation is that I am thinking about nothing. My Desktop is fucked up.... and I am hopelessly trying to fix it up. I am afraid my data will be lost. Its whopping 75 GB of data which needs to backed up. One will wonder what this 75 GB of data could be? Well, its nothing but all shit!! You know, what kinda things we all pile up on our Hard drive. Well, let it be as it is.... Let me talk to you about my lappie. Only thing which I am using since more then one year and which has never let me down is my laptop Was thinking of jerking off my laptop after MICA... I'll have to rethink about it. This is uncertainty.

I had chat with my Chuddie Buddies just an hour ago. This is when I was thinking about uncertainty. We expect something out of life and life drives us somewhere else. I remember those school days when me and my friends were together. Days are different today. Leave it, its a long story. Main theme of this article is 'uncertainty'!!! Thanks to microsoft for making windows media player. My media player is playing some good shit from Pink Floyd. I had never thought I will listen to Pink Floyd and would feel like intoxicated. Its really weired for guy like me to hear such music. Thats uncertainty.... Definitely!!! Otherwise, I am known for my 'Govinda' like attitude. Well, I wont talk much about it... I know what I am talking about is like Garbage (In one of my friend - Pallav's words). Leave it.... I also feel bored to write all these nonsense. Let me tell you about something which is very uncertain about me. Its my mood. My mood swings a lot. I dont know why.... but I feel very confused, unsure and bored a lot of times... that too without any reason. Sometimes... I am full of energy like anything. Thats me... very uncertain. But thats not something to talk about... I wanted to share something... its about placements. Its gonna take place in next month. Guess what I am gonna say.... yes, u are true. Placements are also uncertain. Its not just about placements... Everything is uncertain.

The thing is why should we worry about it! If everything is uncertain, why the hell people keep working about something day and night. They call it hard work and zeal to get something. Something which would satisfy their ego... their need of fame or money. Well, that is where I am also unsure about. What is it that drives my life?? No clues. Sometimes, I feel that I am living for money. Sometimes, its relationship. Sometimes, its fame. However, I am definitely sure that nothing of these have made me really happy. When I look back, I see myself most happy when I actually learned something. Something about complexity of life. Something about uncertainty. Something about what drives this uncertainty. And I am quite sure that understanding complexity of life and simplifying it would lead to maximum satisfaction.

Well, enough of bakwasss....... Signing off!!!!
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Karma, Jnana and Bhakti: Three paths of Vedas

In the Vedas there are three processes for elevating one to the platform of spiritual consciousness. These processes are called karma, jnana and bhakti. Karma deals mainly with the field of ritualistic performances, and jnana deals with the field of speculative processes. In contrast, bhakti, the devotional service of the Lord, need have nothing to do with karma or jnana. Pure devotional service by definition is without any tinge of karma or jnana.

The goal of all auspicious activities - karma, jnana, yoga and bhakti - is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Generally, people are working to get some desired result for sense gratification. Everyone is working to get some money, and money is used to satisfy the senses. This is called karma. But, out of many millions of such karmis, or fruitive workers, one may become a jnani, or a man in knowledge. When a man becomes frustrated by working hard and tasting all the results of karma, and when he is still not satisfied, then he comes to the platform of knowledge.

Knowledge is characterized by inquiry - "Who am I? Why am I frustrated? Why am I confused? What is my real position?" That is the platform of knowledge. Out of many thousands of such persons who have attained to this platform of knowledge, one who has actually understood what is the position of the living entities is called liberated, brahma-bhuta. And out of many thousands of such liberated persons, hardly one can understand who is Krishna.

Pure devotional activities are of one variety only. And how these devotional activities can be coordinated with our daily, active life has been explained in Bhagavad-gita. Coordinating such devotional activities with our daily activities is technically known as karma-yoga. The same devotional activities when mixed with the culture of knowledge are technically called jnana-yoga. But when such devotional activities transcend the limits of all such work or mental knowledge, this state of affairs is called pure transcendental devotion, or bhakti-yoga.

Three paths are enunciated in the Gita: karma-yoga, jnana-yoga and bhakti-yoga. Those who are too addicted to fruitive activities are advised to perform actions which will bring them to bhakti. Those who are addicted to the frustration of empiric philosophy are also advised to act in such a way that they will realize bhakti. Karma-yoga is different from ordinary karma, and jnana-yoga is different from ordinary jnana. Ultimately, as stated by the Lord in the Bhagavad-gita, bhaktya mam abhijanati: only through execution of devotional service can one understand Krishna.

It therefore follows that the culmination of all yogas lies in bhakti-yoga, the rendering of devotional service unto Krishna. Actually, all of the yogas delineated in Bhagavad-gita end on this note, for Krishna is the ultimate destination of all the yoga systems. from the beginning of karma-yoga to the end of bhakti-yoga is a long way to self-realization. Karma-yoga, without fruitive results, is the beginning of this path. When karma-yoga increases in knowledge and renunciation, the stage is called jnana-yoga, or the yoga of knowledge. When jnana-yoga increases in meditation on the Supersoul by different physical processes, and the mind is on Him, it is called astanga-yoga. And, when one surpasses astanga-yoga and comes to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, that is called bhakti-yoga, the culmination. Factually, bhakti-yoga is the ultimate goal, but to analyze bhakti-yoga minutely one has to understand the other processes. In the Chaitanya-caritamrita it is stated:

krishna-bhakti haya abhidheya-pradhana
bhakti-mukha-niriksaka karma-yoga-jnana

"Devotional service to Krishna is the chief function of the living entity. There are different methods for the liberation of the conditioned soul - karma, jnana, and bhakti yoga - but all are dependent on bhakti."

The system of bhakti-yoga makes one eligible to enter Hari-dhama, the system of jnana-yoga makes one eligible to enter the impersonal Brahmajyoti, and the system of karma-yoga obliges one to remain in Devi-dhama and repeatedly be born and die, changing his material covering according to the standard of karma he performs. For those grossly engaged in identifying the body as the self, pious activity, or karma-yoga, is recommended. For those who identify the mind with the self, philosophical speculation, or jnana-yoga, is recommended. But devotees standing on the spiritual platform have no need of such material conceptions of adulterated devotion. By karma-yoga we attempt to get out of the gross body, and by jnana-yoga we attempt to get out of the subtle body, but by bhakti-yoga we can directly transcend both the subtle body (mind, intelligence and ego) and the gross material body.

For any idea, program, plan or device, there is first of all the contemplation of the plan, and that is called bija, or the seed. The methods, rules and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija, or seed of devotional service. This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. Other seeds are called anyabhilasa-bija, karma-bija and jnana-bija. If one is not fortunate enough to receive the bhakti-lata-bija from the spiritual master, he instead cultivates the seeds of karma-bija, jnana-bija, or political and social or philanthropic bija. However, bhakti-lata-bija is different from these other bijas. Bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get bhakti-lata-bija (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah). Bhakti-lata-bija is the origin of devotional service. Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bija, or root cause, of karma, jnana and yoga without the benefit of devotional service. However, one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata-bija. This bhakti-lata-bija is received when one is initiated by the bona fide spiritual master.

By karma-misra-bhakti (bhakti mixed with fruitive inclination) one is elevated to the celestial kingdom, by jnana-misra-bhakti (bhakti mixed with mental speculation) one is able to merge in the Brahman effulgence, and by yoga-misra-bhakti (bhakti mixed with the desire for mystic perfections) one is able to realize the omnipotency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But pure bhakti does not depend on karma, jnana or yoga, for it simply consists of loving affairs. The liberation of the bhakta, therefore, which is called not just mukti but vimukti, surpasses the five other kinds of liberation - sayujya, sarupya, salokya, sarsti and samipya. A pure devotee always engages in pure service (anukulyena krishnanu silanam bhaktir uttama). Taking birth in the upper planetary system as a demigod is a chance to become a further purified devotee and go back home, back to Godhead. Ultimately there is only one way to attain the true liberation known as vimukti, and that is by satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

jnana-karma-yoga-dharme nahe krishna vasa
krishna-vasa-hetu eka - prema-bhakti-rasa

"By following the Paths of speculative philosophical knowledge, fruitive activity or mystic yoga to control the senses, one cannot satisfy Krishna, the Supreme Lord. Unalloyed devotional love for Krishna is the only cause for the Lord's satisfaction."

Krishna is only interested in one's devotion. As such He is not attracted by karmis, jnanis or yogis. Therefore Krishna advises in the Bhagavad-gita for everyone to take to bhakti and attain instant peace from the material world:

bhoktaram yajna tapasam
sarva-loka mahesvaram
suhridam sarva bhutanam
jnatva mam shantim ricchati

"A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all the planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries."

Why such a person attains peace from all miseries? If one understands bhotaaram yajna tapasaam, that Krishna is the supreme enjoyer of everything, then naturally one will not try to enjoy the fruits of his work. Hence one will not attempt to be a karmi. If one understands sarva-loka maheshvaram, that the Lord is the supreme proprietor of everything, one will not foolishly think he himself could become the supreme proprietor, Absolute Truth. Hence he would never attempt to be a jnani. And if one knows suhridam sarva bhutaanaam, that the Lord is the supreme well-wisher of all living entities, then naturally one will not try to take the post of well-wishing friend by displaying some cheap siddhis to the ignorant. As such, one will not attempt to become a yogi. Thus one who knows Krishna, as explained by Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad-gita, will surrender to Krishna in full devotion, bhakti, and give up all futile endeavours for karma, jnana, and yoga.

With Thanks from: http://www.indiadivine.org

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