Thursday, February 26, 2009
I'm off to Delhi for BarCamp Delhi 6. Very excited to meet new people and for traveling. Haven't done that since, let's see... December! That's a long time. I hope I get to compare marketing notes with @jayantabanerjee. He's one of the unsung heroes of online marketing in India. He's not that "known" because he's always putting the company or project before himself. I can't fit everything about him on this post but I'll tell you more about him later, promise.
If you can't come to, BarCamp Delhi, you can still write a blog post about it. In fact, you can win pretty nifty prizes from Media Redefined. Click here for contest details.
I'm sticking to my sorta resolution of traveling more often in 2009. I think I'm doing good so far, I plan to hop over to Dhaka, Bangladesh in late April and get to Myanmar. Yes, I'm very very very happy. ^_^!
Monday, February 23, 2009
For those of you who don't know: I don't own a TV. I used to make films and documentaries, radio shows and taught girls younger than me about media and using it to tell their own stories. After all that dissection of the media, I really don't feel like watching TV, instead, I'm on the Internet most of my waking moments during the day. (Incidentally, my mentor's name is News Dissector.) But I like movies, and ya, I miss shows like CSI, Brothers and Sisters, and stuff on HBO. With Twitter, you don't really feel you're missing the action. I wrote about Twitter citizen journalism a while ago about the Mumbai blasts.
Case in point: Oscars. The word "Oscar" started trending since Friday but at the bottom. Now, we've tried this before, it doesn't take much for a word to start trending in Twitter. You need about 10 to 15 tweeple tweeting constantly with the same hash tag or specified keyword. You can check out the trending 10 topics on twitter by going to: http://search.twitter.com/ (I can't wait until the search is improved.) It's a pretty useful nifty tool if you like tracking trends. Keeping the word in the top 10 list however require a bit of critical mass. You need a lot of folks to be talking about the topic with that keyword as a hash tag or with the word in the tweet. You can't have a big time lag between tweets either. Sure enough, Oscar slowly rose the top 10 list and became #1 when the real red carpet action started. It's because everyone's watching and they're tweeting about it.
Best thing about twitter trends? It's real time, it taps into the collective stream of conscious of tweeple. It's a pretty good sample/focus group if you believe what Pew Internet research said, that one in ten Americans tweet. It happens in the now, it's not like Google Trends, or Yahoo Buzz, even those have time lag. If you want an overview analysis of trends over a period of time, check out Word Tracker.
With all said and done though, if you're thinking of Internet marketing or viral marketing don't forget to keep Twitter in your marketing plan(s). Twitter has the potential to become a great viral marketing vehicle -- if you know what you're doing.
Update: If you like tracking trends make sure you check out http://surchur.com/ It gives you all the trending topics on one page. Neat site, I just found it.
Photo by videocrab
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Twitter's 140 characters just won't do when I have to explain why I follow certain people and not others. When someone follows me on Twitter, I don't usually follow blindly back. In that sense I'm pretty much a twitter snob. But those who I do follow, I check them out, their profiles, landing pages, LinkedIn if I'm really interested and so on. So here's ten tweeple that I follow and why I follow them for this week:
Calvin Lee posts the most interesting links for designers. You should check out his blog and read up on how to set up a design business. There's a wealth of information there. He's also #5 of Twitter Elite in LA.
I've been following Paula Thornton for a couple of months now. She's very engaging and interactive, she'll usually respond to your tweets if you engage her. You should check out her blog at FastForward where she blogs about business 2.0 and how design integrates with marketing.
Chris Garrett needs no introductions. I started following him because well, I work in the social media and Internet marketing field. I think he's one of the best new media gurus out there. Recently, he's been tweeting a lot about green stuff and renewable energy -- which is what I'm getting into, too. So I'm totally psyched to read more of this tweets.
Graham Smith is the director at the JustCreative Group, they develop brands and brand identity. I always believed that branding is the first step to marketing -- holla me if you agree or disagree. If you're a designer, or just starting out you should totally be following him.
Laura Fitton is funny and insightful. You can't just enjoy 140 characters of her tweets, you need to check out her blog, too. Frankly, I don't know how she keep track of her 19K+ followers.
I started following Jeanette Fisher because of her profile. I was curious on what a "design psychology expert" does. What she does is really interesting, and I'm not into the whole Martha Stewart thing. If you're into interior design and stuff you should totally check out her profile. Remember, to check out Bamboo Women too. It will definitely inspire you.
Jack Bastide started following me a week or so ago. At first I thought he was one of those MLM spammers. Then, I read his twitter bio and I got hooked. That's what a good marketer should do right? He's funny, and he kicks major ass.
Besides tweeting and blogging from my favorite corner of the world, Brooklyn, Damien weaves in how social media fits into business, life and music. He's one of the rising stars of social media. While you're at it, make sure you check out his background pic on the twitter profile. It's really funny. ^_^
I got to Dr. Mark Drapeau via some retweet. I was curious to know what the Department of Defense is going to do with social media. Of course, revolution is possible through twitter given the right elements. In fact, even years before twitter came online techies have been discussing about social change using technology like P2P networks and shared servers etc. No, I'm not going into politics here but yes, we need some changes. And yes, I believe stuff like getting the Berlin Wall to come down or stopping Apartheid can happen with tools like Twitter. Federal, state, and governments officials are already using twitter here's a comprehensive list of government tweeple. We can apply the technology for disaster relief, early epidemic detection, tsumami warning etc. Let me stop here cause I can go on and on about this... Check out Cheeky Geeky's recent interview about Twitter here and you'll learn more.
If you haven't followed MrTweet you should totally start NOW! Well, what are you waiting for? I've been following MrTweet since it launched and I love following the changes and evolutions that it's going through. It's perfect for twitter newbies because he'll suggest whom to follow on this vast network of tweeple. He'll give you insights to who your followers are and who the influencers are in your network. MrTweet is developed by @mingyeow and @ambivalence.
Graphic by jmilles.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Suffice to say that I'm a tweet addict. I'm an official member of Twitters Anonymous and they have a word for it: ADTD (Attention Deficit Twitter Disorder). I spend most of my time on Twitter -- it's usually for research, networking, and monitor trends. Today when I wanted to reply to someone's post, instead of the Twitter Fail Whale, I got this:
Now, what are we going to call these two? The "Twitter Ice-Cream and Twitter Caterpillar"? The editor inside me snickers:"P shouldn't be capitalized." The cool thing is Twitter Fox tells me that it's going to be back up in an hour. I guess I can control my jitters better that way.
Incidentally, (if you don't know) there's a Fail Whale Fan Club. There's a great article on LA Times on the Origins of Twitter, all of a sudden it's weaving into the social fabric and pop-culture of our lives. I'm really looking forward to how it's going to develop over the rest of 2009.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I was invited to speak at Mukti '09 -- A National Level Technical Symposium on on GNU/Linux and Free Software, organized by Linux Users' Group NIT Durgapur. It was a great conference and I really wished I could stay longer but I had to go back home to Kolkata. I loved being out in a smaller city which is Durgapur. The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Durgapur campus was great. It was a quieter town than Kolkata, less people, less traffic, and less pollution. I felt like I was on a weekend getaway out in Woodstock from New York City.
The crowd consisted of undergrad students so I spoke mostly about how to market yourself online and offline. There was a great discussion on whether one should have a blog, and if writing too many personal things is a bad thing, and what do you do when someone uploads a picture of you that is not appropriate online. We spoke about Google's Orkut -- the largest social network in India, Facebook and how to use LinkedIn to get your profile out there.
One thing I didn't cover that @indradg managed to pick up was on marketing yourself as a coder or programmer. As an employer he Googles people and checks forums, IRC, and change logs for coding. They're all available online and they can be traced back to you as a programmer. Of course, the more active you are the better. There was a lot of things going on campus so there were those who wanted to attend but missed out so I'm uploading my presentation here.
I'm having formatting issues with Scribd and Star Office. You can always follow me on Twitter: @yuyudin or connect with me on LinkedIn if you have questions etc.
On top of that, check out the following links on marketing yourself online:
How Dan Zarrella found a job using Internet marketing in a recession.
10 Ways to use LinkedIn to find a job by Guy Kawasaki
How to find, network with and influence people using social media this last one is a super list so it'll give you plenty of stuff to do.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I did. I know, I'm a bit crazy but I've been wanting to do it for a long time. Right now I'm on day 8 of my notice period. The stipulated period is 60 days. I'm traveling in between to speak at conferences so it's going to be 70 or 80 days before I actually leave the office.
There's been a lot of rumors and people interested in what I'll be doing next so I hope this answers your questions:
Do I have a job? Where will I join?
No, I don't have another job lined up. I'm not joining anywhere but you can hire me as a freelance writer, editor, and/or Internet marketer. If you want to build software or manage or IT stuff, you can talk to my soon-to-be colleague/partner. There's a couple of things I'll be doing. Most of it is writing, traveling and fund raising. I want to use my skills to change things in a big way. Read on.
Am I going to Delhi?
No, I'm not. So stop asking but I have to go speak at an event and meet an editor.
Why did I quit?
I'm doing my own thing. My mission is to get solar panels into Myanmar. I got the inspiration when I visited in May 2008 right after Cyclone Nargis hit. My plane literally landed when the storm cleared. First thing my mom said after she cleared off her tears was, "No water, no electricity. Food is there because we have leftovers." My parent's house had only two parts of the roof broken. One on the veranda so it didn't matter, the other one for the bathroom, which they had already fixed with a spare plastic roof we had around the house. That part of the house was the brightest in the whole house because the plastic was clear. I had to go to my aunt's place to have a shower because they had a well. I had to go see my 94 year old grandma as well. She didn't know what was going on but she asked, "Why did they stop the trains?" She can't see anymore and she's mostly bedridden.
The next day, I looked up in the bathroom and it was almost like divine inspiration that struck me, "Why don't we install solar panels dad?" I said. So my dad said, "Ya, that's possible." I've been wanting to get into solar panels for a long time since I know that West Bengal produces them but I've been too busy with work to think about other stuff. That was the moment when I connected the dots and knew that this is possible. It's renewable energy, it's clean, and it's going to benefit the people.
I stayed there for only a little over a week but stuff I saw changed me completely. When I landed, the city I knew in my childhood had completely changed. The big huge trees I used to see on my way to school everyday had all fallen with their roots in the air. There were long lines of cars at the natural gas pumps and other gas stations even though gas prices where USD$10.00 a gallon. It was like a war zone. My dad called it, "the end of the world" or "apocalypse." My aunt's neighbors did not have a house to live in so my aunt had to attend to them. Neighbors poured out to help each other, cleared the streets. Our church raised USD$10,000 (that's a lot of money in Myanmar) in relief funds within a Sunday service. Whole villages had disappeared. 100,000 people were declared missing or dead.
Our country prides itself in exporting rice to other countries, but because of the cyclone, for the first time in history we are importing rice. I heard horror stories of merchants jacking up prices. We heard on the radio, sitting in the dark after dinner that the food prices around the world had gone up yet again. It felt literally like the end of the world. I want to go back there and change all that.
So come May 2009, a year after the cyclone, I'm launching the Spirit of Light Myanmar. We already have a name and a logo. I can't help it, I'm a marketer, I think like a marketer. It's also awesome having partners like Jeanne, who is a kick ass Internet marketer and graphic designer and Indranil, who is a power networker and change agent among other things he does. We have a couple of partner organizations in West Bengal and Myanmar and a couple of big wigs who will eventually form the advisory board for the project.
This is just one of the major projects that I'll be launching and handling. Ya, there's more so you're gonna have to stay tuned!
Photo by Windy Sydney
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Haven't been able to post much here because I've been busy with my job. Do you know about 123Greetings.com? We have a great Facebook group and fan page and the numbers are growing!
Anyway, I'm off to Durgapur speaking at a conference called Mukti '09 which is basically a geek conference on Free Open Source Software (FOSS). ^_^
Before I head out, as a sign of appreciation to my followers, I wanted to show off my twitter following:
Thank you all! And thanks Jeanne, ya I snooped around your blog. :-)