Friday, February 18, 2011

Why orkut lost out to facebook??

Only last February, i didn't have a facebook account. But i did have an orkut account and all my friends(at least most of them) were pretty active on it.
And today,most of my friends quite like me, wont even check their orkut accounts and thats certainly not because there was a sudden realization they should be spending more time with their friends in person rather than 'scrapping' them. Its just that they decide write on their 'walls' instead.

Social networking quite clearly, is here to stay. I read a statistic somewhere that if facebook where a nation, it would be the second largest. Kids from primary schools to old -retired -grandpas have facebook account today.

It also now holds the credit for lending out a helping shoulder to the Egypt revolution. After all, it was all triggered by a 26 year old lady who shared a video of herself asking people to come to Tahrir square. What happened since is history.

So why did orkut loose out to facebook?? Quite clearly orkut had an early lead. The same thing happened when gmail was launched. Most of the people who had yahoo mails then switched to gmail and this was despite of the fact that gmail then really have any extra features to cause such mass migration.It was the brand effect. However in this case, brand effect was just one of the many reasons

Lets analyze some of the reasons why facebook overshot orkut in terms  user popularity.

1. Psychological factor:

Any human would want to be noticed. Thats human nature.
The only way you would be noticed in orkut is putting up your snaps. If that be removed, orkut is just about saying hello to your friends.
Facebook on the other hand presents you with ample of opportunities to be noticed. You write on your wall, which is liked or commented upon. The comments and like tempts similar people to do the same. And we being humans, its always nice to be noticed.

2. Games:

I joined facebook just to play Mafia wars. It was the same with lot of my friends. Like with anything monotonous, i gradually lost interest and so did most of my friends, but now i had a facebook account and as such i started logging in once in while, untill i became a daily user.
The whole point is that though you wouldn't have the same interest in those online games after a while, it serves its job of bringing more users. And once they join, the other features of facebook ensures that they stay.

3. Better brand:

I am not aware of a single celebrity who has a orkut account. On the other hand, there were many tv anchors, actors both big and small had facebook accounts. And as such, it has come to define a class in itself. Today  its  fashionable to say 'i am not on orkut, but am there on facebook'.  And who would mind if you get a better brand for without having to pay anything.

4. Better product:

Facebook is a far more quality product than orkut is. Many of the users who aren't active commentators on facebook just login to see the videos shared by other users. And once you share a video, it appears as news-feed so you don't have to each of your friend's wall to see what they have done. And that's just one of the feature. Facebook has got plenty of them and  that is perhaps the most important reason why its way ahead of orkut today. You can have all the above mentioned things in your favor, yet if you don't have genuinely good product, it will eventually not sell.

5. Regular Upgrades

Even the mightiest fort wouldn't survive if they don't adopt to changing trends and keep itself repairing. Not that Orkut didn't do, it was just that facebook was far better foresighted than them. They kept fixing their privacy issues, bought better games, better interface and they still continue to do it at a faster pace than their counterparts.

The above mentioned factors would pretty easily be the reason for any company's success over its counterpart. Kodak lost out to its peers because they were able to foresee the changes in the field of photography. Not just they didn't foresee, they refused to accept the changes even as its peers were busy spending millions of dollars on the new technology.

I read somewhere, that there is a lot of room at the top, yet no place to sit down. Orkut sat down for a moment and it lost out.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Traffic rules not just for people on wheels!

Its sad that in our country pedestrians tend to get away with all the traffic rules that they violate. They never care to think twice as they cross the roads even  when the signal is green, happily talking in to their handsets. They seem too busy to be bothered by deafening sound your horns would make. They just don't care. Even if its highway with no signal, they just raise their hand in an indication to stop, and cross the road.

Its high time traffic rules accommodate a few provisions for such kind of unruly behavior by  all those people who tend to think that these rules are just for people on wheels. A drunk pedestrian is as dangerous as a drunk driver. You might be driving in your top gear when this fellow collapses in front of you.

How many times does it happen that a someone waiting at the side of the road jumps in-front of your vehicle in an attempt to cross the road and then with a sudden realization, return back to where he was,leaving you completely guessing on what his next actions would be.

Not that all pedestrians are careless and all people on vehicle, traffic rules obeying citizens. But its very fair to have same yardstick people breaking the law irrespective of whether he is on a vehicle or not.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mr. Ponting, you need a break!

Just heard about Ricky Ponting's spat with the empire which is one of his many incidents of unruly behaviour on the filed. And the question asked was 'Is Mr. Ponting cricket's Mr.Shame?' which is of course, a very valid and reasonable question.

Was just wondering, that  a majority of the veteran cricketers and game experts agree that in the foreseeable future if there is anyone who has the slightest chance of  getting close to Sachin's record of maximum tons, its Ponting. And yet so much difference in the way people see these two cricketers who are undoubtedly the best in their business.

Some people are able to keep their feet on the ground despite their huge success, and may be thats what separates the greatest from the pack of greats. And the fact that Sachin was able to do it from an age of 16 is quite a remarkable thing and truly beyond words.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Confusing argument

Binayak Sen's life sentence has raised a quite a lot of eye brows. Some term it as pretty harsh and some, as complete failure of Indian judicial system.

I really don't know whether he is guilty, but the charge on him was of sedition which if proved right has to have a harsh statement. One can debate over the authenticity of the evidences and logic of the prosecution's argument, but once proved guilty, i don't think one has to expect any mercy for that serious charge.

And the argument that i get to hear repeatedly, is that why is he given such a cruel statement, when the rich and the powerful are getting away with their crimes.

Two things are to be noted here.

One, just because some people with influence are getting away, it makes no sense to let loose the less powerful people to what they want. No system is completely fool proof. We can work to improve it to catch the rich, powerful and the influential. But that doesn't mean we can turn our back on the smaller criminals till then. We need to keep filtering with filter that we have till we get a better one.

Two, the charge here was for sedition which is by far a very serious crime compared all the scandals the we ve had in the most scandalous year in the history of Independent India. The judgment has to be just and also act as deterrent for other people from joining enemy forces to conspire against the nation.

I only hope that if Binayak Sen innocent, he be freed with an apology. And if he is not, his sentence be upheld.

Monday, December 13, 2010

After dreaming for almost 8 years, I have finally my own bike. And trust me, it’s a wonderful feeling.
I finally have my Pulsar 180. Certainly not the most happening bike around, but definitely the most happening I could get in my budget!!
And also, once you own a bike, it’s like getting married. You have to love it no matter what. 

Though am not allowed to go above 55 kmph, am still loving it.

There were so many thoughts before I got the key in my hands. To buy or not to buy, 180 or 150, blue or red, but now with the key in my hands, am a happy man.

I remember it all started when Bajaj fellows aired the ‘Definitely male’ ad.  Those days, Plusar was by far the most stylish bike around with round headlight and a ‘raging bull’ look.

As a school going kid who had just learnt to drive a bike, I was completely fascinated by what this bike had to offer. And not just me, I guess it was on the wish list of all the guys in the neighborhood. 

8 years of waiting and I finally own one. Pulsar has come a long way since then. So have I.

Another stage of life completed. One more on the list of things to do before I die, accomplished.

I stand by you, Sir

I completely agree with Chidambaram’s statement about migrants in Delhi. Ignoring the facts completely to be politically correct is what Chidambaram refused to do and in my opinion, rightfully so.

I never saw any visual where he pointed to any particular community, yet Lalu comes up and says that his comments were an insult to Biharis is not just worth a ridicule but also very amusing. 

Chidambaram is by far the most elegant and well mannered minister India has ever had. He has shown his class in any portfolio he has handled, be it the Finance ministry or the Home ministry.

People like Sitaram Yechury and Lalu Prasad who have done basically nothing except giving ‘bhaaashans’  all their life ,don’t have any moral responsibility to point a finger on Mr. Chidambaram.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I d never to Manipal again, i would prefer Apollo

I am one of those guys to whom visting doctors is as tempting as it is for atheists to go to temple. But then at times, you are really left with no option. It was one such occasion and to minimize trauma, I chose to go to a hospital which claimed that ‘they care’. They had put posters everywhere outside the fences, just in case anyone didn’t know that some monthly had put them in the list of the best hospitals in India.

Yes am talking the famous Manipal Hospital, near Domlur in Bangalore. 

As I entered the hospital, it was quite evident that there was nothing good about this place, and unlike to their motto they really ‘didn’t care’.

Queues at the reception were empty though the main hall looked similar to a scene from HAL market. The lady at the counter, without even asking for my preference for the mode of payment, generated cash bills. When I said that I would have preferred payment through card, she said a loud and unapologetic ‘sorry’ as if she was telling me ‘get the hell of here and don’t teach me my job!’.

The file was given to me and I was supposed to carry this to the doctor. They also gave me card like one of those ATM cards. Till now I couldn’t figure out what purpose it served. For if it was just a proof of registration and nothing else, they could have done better with a plain bill. Those electronic cards can do a lot more than just use as registration card. May be the self proclaimed ‘India’s one of the best hospitals’ didn’t know that!

The experiences with the doc were no good either. Despite poking down my throat all the metal things that they had at their disposal, they couldn’t really find out what actually is my causing me discomfort. I wish they had only let me say it. They held my tongue with a cloth and asked me to say ‘eeeeeeeeeeeee’. 

How can u say ‘eeeeeeeee’ if your tongue is held by some one? And when I was almost on the verge of throwing up, she quiet efficiently transferred the blame of her inability to diagnose my problem on to my not being able to say ‘eeeeeeeee’ when my tongue was held by someone else!!  Its like Ashish Nehra saying that he couldn’t hit a century because somebody was walking by the side screen!

It cost me almost 890 bucks for the whole thing including blood tests which I had already done outside. And what did I gain in the end, nothing!

They send me home with a bunch of paper (Yes they kept the file with them). They could have at the least put all the reports in an envelope so that everything stays together.

Compare this to Apollo Hospitals (Not the Sagar Apollo)

You register; the file is taken by the secretary of the doc whom you want to see to them. You wait  for your turn in a very clean and neatly maintained lounge. When you are done with the doc, you file automatically reaches where you might have to conduct your tests. You don’t really have to know anything. At the end of visit, they hand you over a very neatly filed diagnosis report for the next follow-up.

Not just about the process they follow, they have excellent doctors. I went to Apollo for almost the same reason I visited Manipal.  For lesser cost, Apollo gave me quality service and what’s even more important, a lot more better treatment!

I swore that day, if I have to I would never ever go to Manipal again.