Saturday, March 28, 2009

Top 10 media predictions for 2009: Deloitte

Deloitte recently came out with its TMT (telecom, media and technology) predictions for 2009. Here are some bits from the media predictions for 2009. May I also take this opportunity to thank V. Srikumar, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, for sharing this study.

1. Putting the print out of peril may require stopping the presses.
Obviously, the print media industry would be required to accelerate steps and re-establish profitable business models again in 2009. Also, those print titles that have gone online, but whose Internet revenues are not balancing falls from print, need to evaluate why this is happening. Are salespeople actively promoting online? The advertising support model, in its current form, does not appear to be working. M&As may not be a major source of liquidity or capital in 2009.

2. Television rediscovers its self belief.
The year 2009 could well prove to be a renaissance for the small screen. Viewing hours is likely to increase -- by as much as 30 minutes per week per viewer. The TV sector should also ensure its advertising impact is given due credit. An example could be a unique URL for those guided to the website via an advertising spot. UGC could get fundamentally challenged in 2009. Online sites specializing in UGC may look at offering viewers regular TV programming as it could attract more advertising.

3. 3D becomes an obligation, not an option, at the movies.
To convince movie goers on spending this year, 3D could well turn out to be a key differentiator. The industry may have to decide between 3D or higher resolution, and which one would have a higher impact on the consumer. Makers of 3D technology should also look at other areas, besides entertainment, such as peer-to-peer communications, medicine and teaching.

4. The growing cost of free online content.
We all know that the days of free lunches are over or will soon be over! Those sites hosting UGC would need to re-evaluate how best to increase the monetization of their offerings. One way could be to charge consumers for making their content available online. Online content companies also need to be realistic about charging consumers. Those who really wish to put up their content online, are very likely to pay, and could also pay more for premium services.

5. Rising stars take on the megastars.
This aspect is quite frightening! For example, blogs wielding more influence than say, news sites or even portals. It is already happening! However, this study from Deloitte, looks at the entertainment. Best bands may prefer reducing capacity, rather than reduce prices. Megastars may have to be part of a longer bill, playing longer sets, or offering additional acts -- to provide value for money. For record companies, creating a deep pool of indie bands may lead to riches. Live theater, emerging bands and folk music could all benefit.

6. "Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, listeners": the dawn of WiFi radio.
The Internet radio never really took off the way I thought it would. Adding Wi-Fi to the Internet radio may help. Nevertheless, this Deloitte study feels that Internet radio, particularly, in the form of WiFi based portable radio sets, may take off in 2009 -- in terms of audience and revenues. People at work also represent a growing audience for the Internet radio. A growing installed base of smartphones, with WiFi, that can act as Internet radio sets, could help. Internet radios definitely promise a powerful platform for advertisers, if tapped well!

7. Mobile advertising finds its meaning.
The potential of mobile advertising can be realized once the industry takes note of its strengths and accepts its limitations. I do find folks trying to push PC-type ads into mobile phones, but that's not the game! Deloitte advises advertisers to create campaigns targeted for mobile and work within its limitations. Campaigns based on text messaging can still be highly effective. The mantra: An advertising that can be sent to the entire mobile community with a single click, will be successful!

8. The markets get anti-social with social networks.
We are all aware of how social networks tend to get abused or misused. However, this is not the point Deloitte is making. A harsh 2009 and contracting online advertising could likely see this free ride come to an end. Profitable social networks should ensure that they differentiate themselves. Social networks should also evaluate how the elements of their technology can be applied in the enterprise context. Social networks and enterprises -- heard that line several times. Concrete action -- yet to be seen!

9. Re-inventing mobile television (mobile TV).
Every year, we hear that mobile TV will take off! It hasn't happened yet, has it? Deloitte calls on content companies to adopt a wider view of the mobile phone. The mobile phone could be used, for instance, to control DVRs remotely. Or, it could be used for order-and-pay programming. Or, for providing CRM. For instance, mini trailers could be sent to smartphone users. The mobile phone could be enable more to measure TV viewing.

10. The rise of malvertising and its threats to brands.
As Deloitte says: "Anything that makes large numbers of Internet users decide that clicking on online advertisements could be a bad or dangerous thing, threatens the current business model of almost every company that does business online." It calls upon website publishers to educate employees of the malware threat. Detecting malware and remedies are key! Similarly, website administrators also need to have better control over their third-party suppliers. The Internet advertising community should come together to combat this growing menace of malware.

For more information, do contact Deloitte.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Looking for jobs? Try TwitterJobSearch! Where jobs meet Twitter!

I haven't written any of this really! It is from a wonderful press release sent to me! What happens when jobs meet Twitter? Read below to find out nore!

OK, I also tried this out! Wow! I am really overwhelmed! This has to be the MOST efficient job search engine! OnTwitterJobSearch my first search was "Jobs in Semiconductors." Hey, TwitterJobSearch threw up a whopping 14,221 results found in 0.047 seconds!

My next test was "Jobs in Embedded"! Well, no surprises!! It threw up 14224 results found in 0.062 seconds! And "IT jobs in Bangalore" returned 6,548 results found in 0.062 seconds!

The release on TwitterJobSearch
Rounding off the buzz at this year’s SXSWi is the launch of TwitterJobSearch, the first ‘smart’ search engine that extracts meaning from Twitter content to create a real-time, global online resource of all jobs posted onto the platform.

Using relevancy algorithms developed by Workhound, the UK's largest job search engine, the technology will build out into further social media channels and topics, providing semantic intelligence capabilities for social media platforms, business and consumers.

“ TwitterJobSearch is an early example of how social media search needs to evolve and signals how solid business models can be built;” commented Howard Lee, CEO of Workhound. "The pronounced shift into social media and cloud computing is already changing the Internet landscape and evolving consumers’ expectations. Search and social network providers are in real danger of losing their relevance and traction unless they can get this right.”

Twitter now attracts more visitors than Digg, with traffic increasing over 974 percent through 2008 (Hitwise) suggesting it will soon become a mainstream, mass market proposition.

According to the GigaTweet counter, there have been over 1.3 billion tweets posted on Twitter, yet this wealth of raw data has previously only been searchable via keywords, trends or popularity. Hashtags are useful for the categorisation and searching of subjects but there is no way of controlling the number of tags created or used per topic, while popular tags such as #jobs have quickly turned into
catch-alls for anything vaguely ‘job’ related.

“If the value of Twitter is going to extend beyond one's social graph, better search tools are required;" added William Fischer, Director of Workhound. “By applying contextual search to billions of really quite random tweets, we're helping social networks to evolve from communication tools to become powerful publishing platforms."

TwitterJobSearch looks at the content of every tweet in context to determine its intent and break out filterable data. Getting beyond the 140-character limit of Twitter by going beyond the tweet, the technology also looks at biography information and crawls the destination URLs to find additional information and context.

The real-time relevancy engine and algorithms determine everything from whether the source of the post was a feed, retweet or original message, what language was used, whether the tweeter has previously posted job vacancies and how the words used categorize the content. Additional context is added wherever possible to ensure the tweet appears in search results if it is missing vital data such as location.

A couple of example searches show the difference in results attainable if contextual search is incorporated. “Sales director London job” on brings back four results, while the same search on TwitterJobSearch provides 6,202 opportunities, while “Marketing manager New York job” provides 19 and 4,122 respectively.

This initial launch means that anyone online can now access the wealth of job opportunities posted onto Twitter, regardless of whether they are a member. There were 26,090 unique English language vacancies posted onto Twitter over the last seven-day period, which equates to around 3 percent of live vacancies.

Due to the immediacy and ease of use of the platform, Twitter is often used as the primary communications channel, meaning that vacancies posted can be found and applied for before they even reach blogs, job boards or other online resources. In light of the increasingly alarming global unemployment figures, which could rise from 179 million in 2007 to 230 million by the end of 2009 (International Labour Organisation), any tool that supports re-employment and recruitment will become of greater importance as the recession bites harder.

TwitterJobSearch requires no registration, is free to use and automatically incorporates all unique vacancies posted onto Twitter at no charge. A range of low cost, premium positioning features will be added in the future to provide an opportunity for recruiters and employers to ensure extra exposure on the service.

Based on Workhound’s search technology, the suite of recruitment services will evolve to incorporate iPhone-specific applications and further highly-trafficked networks such as Facebook and FriendFeed. The company is also using its core infrastructure to create intelligent semantic services in a number of other popular search categories which will be brought to market over the course of the year.

For those of you looking for jobs, best of luck! And, if you find one, using TwitterJobSearch, please do remember to share your experience with me! And well, hats off to TwitterJobSearch! You just made searching for jobs so much easier!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Technorati Attention Index: Top 50 media sites bloggers link!

This is actually taken from Technorati, and isn't an original post.

Technorati recently tried to determine the influence of mainstream media sites in the blogosphere. The result: the Technorati Attention Index. Given below are the top sites with highest number of blogs linking to them in the past 30 days. These will be updated every month by Technorati.

1. YouTube
2. New York Times
3. BBC News
5. MSN
7. Washington Post
8. Yahoo! News
9. Reuters
10. Los Angeles Times
13. The Wall Street Journal
14. Time
15. Wired
16. USA Today
18. FOX News
19. Daily Mail
20. ESPN
21. CBS News
22. Financial Times
23. Forbes
24. San Francisco Chronicle
25. Chicago Tribune
26. The White House
27. New York Post
28. New York Daily News
29. International Herald Tribune
30. PBS
32. BusinessWeek
33. Slate
34. Newsweek
35. New York Magazine
38. San Francisco Examiner
39. MarketWatch
40. Chicago Sun-Times
41. US News & World Report
42. Houston Chronicle
43. Yahoo! Sports
44. Entertainment Weekly
45. Seattle Times
46. E! Online
47. People
48. Science Daily
50. The Christian Science Monitor

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Celebrating International Women's Day... celebrating some of my colleagues and friends!

Today happens to be the International Women's Day. It is the day to celebrate the success of women in all walks of life. Ladies, I take my hat off to you! As a mother, wife, friend, teacher, professional, IT professional, and so on, I don't think you have any parallel!

I have been very lucky to have several female bosses and also interacted with them during my career. The first name that comes to my mind is that of Ms Sarah Benecke at Global Sources, Hong Kong. According to a Forbes' listing she has been a director since April 2000, and, since 1993, was a director of Trade Media. Sarah was principal executive officer from Jan. 1994 through Aug. 1999.

I do remember the tenure when Global Sources went from strength to strength under her leadership. I had the opportunity of rolling out online specification tables for Telecom Products during 1998-99, an exercise that was also conducted by Electronic Components. I did interact very briefly with Sarah, for a project, Reverse Auction, probably shelved later. Nevertheless, it was an experience where I learned a lot!

I had a set of great colleagues as well, notably, Cindy Fung, Helen Lam, Denice Lai, Pauley Wong, Joyce Wong, Jex Balde, Lou Corpuz, Jo Kent, Vanessa, Sue Pace, Mick Lee-Pollack, Len Sangalang, Jen Tuason, Christo Leung, Jesse Ng, Kitty Wong, Phyllis Ng, Gal Roma, Sylvia Gilkes, Jen Calubad, Reche Cuyco, Georgina, Kennis Kwok, Sylvia, Georgia Zhuang, Catherine Yu, Canis Ho, Camelia So, Bertha, Kennis Kwok, Karmei Tse, Michelle Beck, Pamela Yu, to name a few! Of all the editors, Len is still around at Global Sources, and going great guns.

During my later stint at Global Sources, I again worked with several top-notch journalists and other colleagues -- notably, Melanie Victoriano, Doris Yu, Yuri Chon, Amber Ip, Emper Mendoza, Evelyn Berdera, Marianne Carandang, Esther, Jo Kuo, Sofy Weng, Sammy Lee, Allyn Baldemor, Cecile De Veyra, Nina Villena, Lynn Cacha, Rech Tangcangco and Rose Raguindin -- 'murderers' of my beauty sleep ;).

Janice Poon, co-proprietor, Sharper-I, Hong Kong, remains a good friend till date! Holly Au at Fook Tin, is another great manager that comes to mind!

Among other great colleagues at Global Sources, there's Frances Tai, Rosa Chan, Zoe Lam, Agnes Yim, Agatha Chan, Mayo Leung, Elsa Zheng, Deepa Paul, Jacy, Lillian, Maggie Luo, Melinda Hui, etc. I am in touch with all these great folks and cherish their friendship.

Moving on to Singapore, for Wireless Week, US, brought me in contact with Debbie Denton, and Judith Lockwood Purcell, besides my immediate boss, Margeret Liu. Again, it was a delight to work with them. I had several outstanding colleagues too -- Monica Alleven, who is now Editor-in-Chief, Wireless Week, as well as Peggy Albright, Sue Marek, Heidi Jeter -- all outstanding journalists. Am still in touch with Monica, Judy and Debbie after all these years!

At Reed, I cultivated close ties with a lot of women professionals, notably, Selina Teo, Rajika Mitra, Iris Kwan, Serene Teo, Joy Lee, Geraldine Lek, June Tan, Grace Wong, Pauline, Cynthia, etc.

Interestingly, most of these women were/have been in leadership positions! And, what a great job they all did and continue to do!

Closer to home, a talented journalist, who I think can go a long way, is Geetanjali. Keep up the good work! Priya Ramachandran was another great colleague, and remains a friend till today!

At CIOL, I've had the pleasure of working with great folks such as Latha Chandradeep, Sigi Achappa, Priya Padhmanabhan, Usha Prasad, Radhika Nallayam, Ambika Prakash, Deepa Damodaran, to name a few. All hugely talented, with the capability of doing really great in their careers, should they choose to pursue it.

Last year, I came in touch with Aude Borliataux, who is now Chef de Project at Webdesign International Festival, Limousin, France. I've seen the great work she has done and is capable of! Kaye Lim, formerly of Infineon, Shih-ying Tan of Siemens, Genevieve Haldeman of Symantec and Mohd Sidi Norazah at Dumex, Malaysia would fall in the same category.

I interact regularly with India Semiconductor Association's president, Poornima Shenoy! Then, there's Michelle Prunty at SEMICO and Debra Jaramilla at iSuppli, USA.

In the PR community in India and elsewhere, there are lots of names, especially, Pravin Rikhy, Tarana Uthayya, Poornima Chikkananjaiah, Lakeri Raut, Saswati Panigrahi, Shaili Jani, Sharmita, Bipasha, Shakambari, Sanjana, Aditi, Priyanka Kalia, Edna, Iwin, Farah, Gargi, Suhana Basu (the BBS), Deepa I. and Kauser, and so on and so forth! This list is endless! There are so many names I haven't even added!!

There's Puja Bhattacharya at TI, and Angela and Pooja Bhalla at ST, who interact closely with me. Karen Bartleson from Synonpsys, US, is another great friend and a leader. Can't forget Caan Chui from Hong Kong, either!

In fact, when people tell me, hey, women don't make good managers, or when I find them not getting pushed up to leadership positions, I just look back on my career and find all of these names staring right back at me! If only others could know or see these people, and their potential along with the achievements, they'd be compelled to eat their words!

Well done ladies! It has indeed been a pleasure working with and knowing you! Hope you too feel the same.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This is a test blog for live coverage!

Hope you like it! Thanks to

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Don't focus on beauty, focus on function: Adam Lasnik, Google

The Google India Searchmasters 2009, held today at RMZ Infinity on Old Madras Road presented an excellent opportunity to interact with Googlers and learn more their work.

The gathering of webmasters, bloggers, and other search engine optimization (SEO) specialists made the event memorable. It is rare to find so many Googlers in India interacting with this community, but then, this conference aimed to change that! And it did!!

Presenters ranged from Adam Lasnik, Google's first Search Evangelist, Koti Ivaturi, Strategist in Google's Search Quality Team, Dr. Rajat Mukherjee, Group Product Manager who is working on Google's Custom Search platform, Ankit Gupta, who is working on making mobile products discoverable and accessible, to Deepak Kumar from the Google Analytics team, who also works on Google's Website Optimizer.

The photo shows Google's Adam Lasnik making his presentation!

Of course, there were Vivaik Bharadwaaj, manager of Google's Search Quality Evaluation team in India and Korea, and product manager, Alok Goel. Both were responsible for putting together this event in India, for the first time ever! Kudos, guys!

Bharadwaaj set the tone, stating Google's desire to build a strong relationship with the Indian webmasters' community. He touched upon some of Google's India specific initiatives, such as Orkut, India Corporate Blog, Google Bus (which has just been launched in Tamil Nadu), Transliteration Tool, Mobile Search, Onscreen Keyboard, Webmasters' Forum, and now, Searchmasters!

Speaking on Webmaster Central and Best Practices, Adam Lasnik highlighted three areas for best practices: discovery, accessibility and promotion. Google's guiding principles are fairness, effectiveness and stability. Google's tools and blogs are its two key resources.

How to get good links?
Commenting on good links, he said those were essentially from trustworthy, relevant and from choosy resources. These links are similar to votes that are given consciously.

There are ways your website can get good links. First, create a notable site with original and compelling content. [Wow, I just did a check on Google for my other blog, and received a whopping 4,950 results! Hope I am on the right track!] Next, participate thoughtfully in communities. Also, make your page easy to share and link to.

"Don't focus on beauty, focus on function," Lasnik advised. "Content is really the foundation." Be original, by having your own information and commentary. Make that content compelling, especially the kind that people would be willing to share with others. Also, make that content accessible.

Website accessibility tips and tricks
First, make sure that your web page or website is accessible to both users and to Google. Ensure that all of the pages load and that users can navigate the site successfully. There is a need to ensure that everyone can see what's available on each page. Most importantly, everyone should be able to understand the content provided.

It helps when users are able to bookmark their favorite pages and also share pages with others. They should also be able to transact appropriately on the website as well. "The most important thing here is TEXT," stressed Lasnik. "Your core content and navigation should be in text," he advised.

Lasnik further provided some tips for testing accessibility. One, access your site with different browsers -- a golden tip, most webmasters generally overlook! Next, make sure that you not only browse the website but also transact! Also, have your colleagues explore and complete specific tasks on your website. "Ensure that people and search engines understand what your web pages are all about," he added.

Moving on to page titles, he advised the webmasters to create title tags that are brief, descriptive and compelling. Good titles are specific to the page. You can also consider adding the organization's name. However, care should be taken that the title tags are phrase based, and not a sentence!

Those of you who aren't doing it yet: make the most of your website's images! "Use Alt text, and use descriptive filenames," said Lasnik. Describe the image appropriately in plain text as well. A key note: be kind to other web users and optimize your images!

Some next steps
It is important that searchmasters and webmasters make their web pages discoverable. "Ensure that your site has an HTML sitemap. Add an XML sitemap as well," advised Lasnik.

Next, help users to access and understand your content. Create descriptive and distinct title tags. Annote all images with appropriate Alt text, and all media, with thoughtful surrounding text.

Touching on keyword density, he said that was not something Google really looked at! He added that keyword stuffing actually violated webmaster guidelines. According to Wikipedia, keyword stuffing is considered to be an unethical search engine optimization (SEO) technique. It occurs when a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in content.

Tackling copied content from your sites
Most bloggers and leading Web sites are plagued with their content being copied by others on to other web sites or even blogs. In fact, I myself spend some time on the Web searching for copied content from my blogs. Well, there's really nothing much I can do about that!

When posed this question, Lasnik referred to bloggers and web sites making use of the DMCA or The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

As per Wikipedia, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures (commonly known as Digital Rights Management or DRM) that control access to copyrighted works and it also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet.

Google Webmaster tools -- see your site like Google sees it!
Koti Ivaturi drew everyone's attention to Google's Webmaster Help Forum. He urged Webmasters to use these tools so that they can see their own sites as Google does!

He referred to the sitemap tools as well, which provide links to tools and code snippets that allow you to generate sitemap files. Google has recently added the Webmaster Help Forum, a new platform.

In the next post, I will discuss the salient points needed to design your site for mobile phones. In fact, Google seems to have a great solution, using the GWT (Google Web transcoder!