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Is an ambitious, dare-devil, high-flier youth breed a figment of our imaginations? Or a hope we harbor to console ourselves that the world will be handed over safely into better, more able hands? The conditions are all facilitating and the opportunities galore! The world is our oyster and together we can….or can we?!

MTV roadies umennetIf the latest shown through Reality TV was to offer us a window into what the next generations have in store for us, I believe we could be in for a rude shock! Either  channels look for the kind who should not be permitted to breed, let alone be aided in the process of getting them together and finding perfect matches! Or then… THIS IS IT!!! This is what the crux of India’s youth consists of…. Badly brought-up, selfish brats of low intellect who have zero sense of loyalty or integrity.

To begin with, I strongly feel that INDIANS CANNOT DO REALITY. It just doesn’t fit the frame. We’re too conscious, with no wit and atrocious senses of humour. That’s a fact. When a camera is put in front of us, all these qualities assume gigantic proportions and due to insecurity woven into the very fabric of our beings, the result is anything but candid. To further develop on the idea, Reality shows involving typical Indian youth is even more unbearable… I have nothing against any TV channel but the fact that shows such as Splitsvilla and Roadies originate from the similar shed, is hard to miss. Yes, it’s the same TG…agreed. But what are we trying to project to the  impressionable lot?

  • That’s it’s quite alright to live your life oblivious of any social or civic responsibilities?
  • That I can cheat and lie as long as no one finds out. Even if they do, it’s their bad luck?
  • That I can get fame and money by being a total B*&^% ?!
  • I don’t need to have respect for ANYONE, let alone any elders. When I’m rich and famous, none of this will matter in any case!!
  • That abusive language sounds cool and peer pressure is to be bowed down to?
  • I have no family that matter.  The friends I make because of this show are those who will be by my side throughout!
You get the drift, I’m sure.

The dismay according to me however is manifold. Primarily, I worry about the motivation that lures the youth into aspiring to be associated with these programs. I have managed to sit through a few episodes in which starry eyed juveniles claim that it is their dream to be on “so and so…” program. How does a platform where you will be subjected to embarrassing and aggravating situations appear as a dream to you? Where are those ambitions that aim to lead with innovative yet honest ways? 
This reminds me of one episode which I must mention here, no names, no references but more real than reality itself… The teams were offered laxatives after a heavy loaded meal. Post consumption, anyone who could not ‘hold it in’, would get out and let his/her team down. The rest is up to you to imagine… I know that the brainstorming department of this particular episode, must have been mighty pleased with itself, but how is this of interest or entertainment to anyone….I fail to understand. And what is it a test of? The most constipated bowels?? I don’t get it! Maybe I am getting too old…
Another aspect is that of the viewer – It’s the youth who watch of course (right on target with the TG) but why? Some think that they’re so much better that the idiots on TV and so are highly amused! Others are just like them and so can identify totally. The shows, mind you, don’t really require any qualifications except a good face and or body for camera. They also tend to make special efforts to select those who possess the power to aggravate the viewer the most!

mtv-spitsvilla-umennetOverall, my worry however is the tendency of our society to take part in and then watch these shows, week after week. According to me, they encourage ‘wrong’ and validate it. As Indians, we are known to put one another down and revel in another’s defeat but the behavior being displayed in these programs takes disgust to the next level. I’m sure the families of the participants cannot be watching and encouraging their children, and if they are, God help us all! As such are the families from which those that can go to the extent of murder in the name of ragging originate. 

With a youth potential of almost 50% of our total population, there are some important questions we should be asking apart from which of Satan’s creations will win this week’s episode!
It’s not the show concepts that are faulty, it’s more the bi-products and after effects that need to be given due attention to….as the TRP’s keep rising….!!! 
Note: This write-up has been authored by Barkha Prabhakar, who is a Guest Author at Umennet.wordpress.com.

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Recently got a mail from twitter saying:  Shahrukh Khan is now following you!!! It may be a real one, but chances are more that it is fake one. Whatever, but it really seems that Bollywood is turning towards Social Media. And that too in a big way. Its giving Bollywood a whole new platform to interact directly with the audience.

bollywood1

Blogs- umennet

Blogging: Blogging bieng the simplest and a direct medium to reach the fans, Bollywood fraternity is turning towards Blogging. It all started with Amitabh Bachchan. With his blog He has found a direct way to reach his fans, by sharinghis stories, his experiances, even the pics clicked by him with his mobile. He also Microblogs thru his mobile. Aamir Khan Also has blog & many others have followed, Karan Johar, Shilpa Shetty, Farhan Akhtar and many more. It has always been a question whether these celebrities post themselves or some other person/agency has been given the task to write on their behalf. Whatever may be the actual story, but Star bloggers are getting a Overwhelming response. Many of them are not as regular as Mr. Bachchan. No wonder his blogs get as many as 16000 hits per day, with 700+ Comments on an average for a single post!!!

sn_logos1Social Networking: Bollywood biggies are also present on social media. Though many are fake profiles, but some like, Farhan Akhtar, Abhishek Kapoor are original ones. Many Bollywood technicians are also present on Social medianetwork. Sites such as Facebook & Orkut are the next midium to promote movies. Many Production Houses are on these sites. Major ones being  UTV, PVR Pictures, Eros Multimedia etc. Some of the recent films which have been promoted thru Social Networking are: Drona, Rock On, Dostana, Luck By Chance, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Delhi 6, Dev D etc. The Promotional Materials such as posters, Movie stills, Audio/Video Clips etc are shared with the members. Drona even released the promotional Videos first on Facebook then on other TV Channels!! Some Groups/communities have more than 3000 members. And even the Biggies related with the movie interact with the members!!

Videos: You tube is the biggest social medium for bollywood to reach to audience. Its being exploited in a big scale. Companies such as Rajshri, Eros etc have set up their own channels through which they release Videos. Although the same videos are uploaded by numerous other users but these original channels have a upper hand in releasing the videos first and so have more views.

Websites: The movie websites are now being made web 2.0 compatible. The Movie’s social presence is being shared in the websites. Recent example being Dev D. It has mentioned its presence on Facebook, Orkut and even in Perfspot, whcih is not so popular in India!! Even Farhan Akhtar’s Show Oye, Its Friday has a website in which Farhan Hosts his blog.

And last but not least . . . Saawariya was the fisrt in Bollywood to start twitterring and after noticing it, Twitter team started short code for India!!!

Got something more interesting to share, which i missed out… Do share…..

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At some point or other we have always been inolved in Social Media. We are in all leading Social Networking Sites, Interacting with others, Discussing, Posting, Sharing etc……

Some of us are in to serious business of taking Social Media as a career.  So before applying for any Social media job, get to know what is expected from a Social Media Professional. Here’s a list. . .

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1. In love with Social Media – You should be in love with Social Media. You should be active in Social networking sites like -Facebook, My Space, Orkut etc. Being Active means, Rather than Number of friends, Interaction Matters. Linkedin, Plaxo etc also count but not so much.

You  may have to: Build Strategies and Implement them for the company/Client on these platforms. 

2. Writing Skills – You should have a blog. You should be possesing good writing skills. Optimize the articles, for Search engines, with keywords. 

You may have to: Blog, Prepare presentations, write for Podcasts, Communicate with others, write weekly/monthly columns

3. Knowledge – you should be possessing knowledge about Internet marketing. PPC, SEO, SEM, Keywords should not be new to you. Knowledge of HTML, RSS, PHP, Flash is a plus.

You may have to: Prepare marketing strategies for company/client, Optimize the Site, Articles, Content as the requirement arises.

4.  Hardworker –  Social Media is a 24 Hours active profession. your target audience are scattered allover the world. If you are dealing with news, Updates etc. you need to be active. very Active.  Should be high in energy!! So, dont expect a 9-5 job.

You may have to: Post updates as and when required, be online for maximum, skip your holidays.

5.  Know how of Conferences/Podcasting/Webinars – You may not be practising but a knowhow would be useful. 

You may have to:  Podcast on regular basis, conduct Webinars, Conferences.

6.  Searching Ability – You may not be a Sherlock Holmes or Byomkesh Bakshi, but certainly you need to have a flair for search engines/tools. 

You may have to: Do an extensive search & research on Company/brand/product or its compitition. 

7. Hunger for Knowledge updation – Social Media is ever growing and ever changing. You need to keep yourself updated. 

You may have to: Adapt to new technologies/ideas, think out of the box to utilise fully.

8. Interaction – Earlier internet was used as a tool to hide ur identity and interact. But Social media is compltly opposite. You need to Interact, share, gain.

You may have to: Engage, Interact, and find new ways to do the same.

 

These are the basic requirement for any Social Media Job. Besides these your experiance with Brands/ Clients also count a lot. 

Any more requirement you can think of??

Image:  Courtesy – Imagesbazaar.com

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social-media-start

I have had many opportunities to interact with clients on social media.  Some are quite aware and excited for it, some are confused, and some have thoughts that its not here to stay. 

I feel nearly 50% – 60% of middle level to upper lever organizations, Industries have social media presence.  But whats going wrong. Why they are not so popular as others in social media.

reasons for such an result is:

1. We dont need Social media:

Wake up!! its 2009! Twitter is getting older, Facebook even more, and orkut was centuries ago!!! If you still dont understand the power and impact of social media. only magic can save you. Atleast get registered yourself, to ensure someone else is not using your brand.

2. Starting Problem:

You heard abt Social media. WOW!! Sounds cool. and you created your shiny profiles on every possible social media site. Posted some comments, images and in few days you forgot. You never ever again bothered to update, discuss, interact with users/members. Less or no interactions indicate that you are their just for showing your face. So, for a start, rather than being on all platforms, signup 1-2 major social media services, and be regular on them.

3.  Plagiarism

Ok, so you needed some content for you presence, just googled, copied and pasted. there are several forums, discussions boards, having same topic and sometimes even same discussion also. Social media gives everyone a great chance to be original, new an cosntructive. Be original, authentic, then only your presence will be worth.

4. Experimentation

You say, we are experimenting social media. Great!! you must. But experimenting means, lack of seriousness, which can’t give convincing results. Experimenting is necessary but target, goal should be pretty clear, without loosing anything.

5. My young intern is handeling social media.

Social media is most well understood by youngsters. True. Do they handle the press releases or other big tasks. No. then why social media. Does your intern as know about/serious about your brand as you are? And even if he knows everything, what when he leaves? He takes away all the contacts, friends, insights and you will have to start all over again.

So what actually is the solution???

Just 4 simple steps:

  • Start doing it
  • Moniter/Track it
  • Learn from it / Plan new strategies
  • Repeat the above steps

So the bottom line is – If you want to participate in social media you have to see the value. And the value is your participation.

Got some points to add??

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skd181668sdcIn one of my earlier posts, I someone had asked a question regarding self branding. Is social media useful only for established brands/products? Can it be utilised for individuals? Here are some steps to establish yourself as a brand, or if not as a brand, but as a individual, then also these steps hold true!!!

1. Create a user friendly Id. 

Your id is a part of your brand. Id should be plain and simple. Your first coice should be your name. Its the strongest step for your personal brand. But if your name is already taken all over othe net, go fora a little tweaking, but be as close as possible. You want choose a entirly different word?? Dont worry, Go ahead, most of the social media sites take it as your login id, and your name will be along with it too!! For eg. My name is Sudhindra Rao, but I use umennet, and Sudhindra Rao follows umennet and vice versa!!

Whatever you use, keep it simple. No numbers and underscores. Cos, when your community grows, it will be difficult to remember your id. and number and special characters make it even more difficult. This will ultimatly reduce your interactions.

2. Make yourself being everywhere so that people cant avoid you

Starting with Networking sites, Microblogging, Blogging just spread yourself, to many other social media platforms. Comment on blogs, reply, Ask, Post in forums, Facebook. Join groups, communities of your interest and take part in discussions.

Keep your Bio Constant, with links to your online presence. Use email signatures. For eg my email signature is: 

Sudhindra Rao 
+91 98677 69061 
     

Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and STUPID.
I am incredibly slow, inaccurate and BRILLIANT.
Together WE are powerful beyond imagination.
  

 

 umennet  umennet  umennet2002
Contact Me: Linkedin  Facebook  Friendfeed  Twitter
3.  Say Something Please!!

No one likes people who dont tinteract and watch social media conversations. Social media is just like a Party, where you are surrounded more by unknown people than known ones. You need to go ahead and introduce yourself. Sometimes a  simple “Good Morning!!” can do wonders!!  or if you are more desparate try: “Anyone there to respond??”.

4.  Raise your Karma. Get  Spiritual!! 

Social media is all about Karma. Give the best, you will recieve the best. Got some great information? Share it with your community. you’ll be surprised to see the results. And in way you will be promoted by your friends in thier community.

 

5.  Be a content producer, not consumer.
Social media is a sharing platform. But nothing is better than sharing your own content.  If you can write, share your articles, if you click pictures, share the pics, if you can comment, comment on the blogs. Do something original. If you have ideas share it with like minded people. If you can sing, share your songs online.  Do something you are really passionate about. People will begin to notice and be drawn to your brand. Being a producer is much more rewarding, and it causes your network to flourish, thus positioning your brand for career success.

 

6.  Be distinct. Let strangers talk about you.
If you can say aloud on a topic, news, event, you can be spoken about by the people even you dont know. Once it starts, it will build your brand.  Stand for a cause, discuss, any current topic, raise questions, give ideas, all this will increase your followers.

 

I hope these points are enough as a start for establishing yourself as a brand. There are many examples supporting the steps mentioned. Just Google and you will find. 
Did you liked the post? Do comment if you have some questions, queries or ideas.


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I recieved a mail from my HR, marked to all, requesting to use papers responsibly and using the print command carefully. I work for a PR agency. And they need to track all the media, traditional and electronic. Traditional media is carefully cut from newspapers and stored but online stories has to be printed for Dossiers.

Sometimes, when the prints are given, the prints contain all the ads, other links, other stories, as well as the logos of the website, colourful Backgrounds etc. Even if we select and print the text, it some times takes unnecessary spaces in the text and prints bundles and bundles of pages, with just 2-3 lines per page!!

So, i tried to find a solution for the same and came across Http://www.printwhatyoulike.com

As the name suggests, PrintWhatYouLike is a free web page editor that gives you control of how web pages look when printed.

Once you enter the URL of the page you wish to print, it opens the page in a window, where you can select and delete the unwanted ads, text, images, scrolls, animations etc. Just keep what you want to print.

Some of the features are:

  • Remove all the images with a single click.
  • Remove the Background.
  • The Fonts can be changed, Even the text size can be adjusted.
  • Narrow/widen the selcected area.
  • Combine mutiple pages together.

Limitations:

  • Only Public pages can be printed A Firefox plugin/bookmarklet to let you edit private/password protected pages is in the works.

Conclusion: A simple and free tool for saving pages,money and trees.The logo of the website reflects it appropriately.Very useful for people who have a lot of pages to print.

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Initializing SEO

So, you have a business. You are doing quite OK and want to expand more. Someone suggested- “Why dont you go online?” Are you online?

“Yeah” you say. “I have a web site and the address is included in all of our advertising. But . . . Why wouldn’t people be able to find it?”

Your existing customers or people knowing your web address can surely find you online. Are you sure your advertising reaches to every potential customer of yours? What about people who dont read newspapers/ magazines having your ads. Are they tuning the right radio station. and what about the TV show you are sponsoring? Are they getting the thousands of mailers/brochures u mailed?

Here comes Search Engines. where people could just enter few words (called Keywords), click a button and it shows the link to Your Website!!! Isnt it greatt??

Yes, it is possible but need to do some work. Here SEO plays its role. SEO ensures that your website is “Search Engine Friendly”.

Q: Is it very complicated ?
A: Not really. some basic steps are easy and you can go for it. read the step by step procedures.

So, Now you are ready for SEO of your Website.

Ok, lets start from start.

Step 1: Have a list of target Keywords ready. You need to Insert/Embed them in your pages.

Keywords, keyterms, and keyphrases

Keywords, keyterms, and keyphrases are the words you want your Web site to rank well for in the search engine results pages(SERP). Depending on your audience, yours can be one word, a combination of words, or an entire phrase.

Finding Keywords: Many online tools are available which can help you get your keywords. Just Google the term: online keywords tool

Tip: A common mistake is keeping your business name as keyword. Eg: If your Business is “ABC Furniture Ltd” and if you use this as keyword, It will be helpful for those who know you. But other users will not search for “ABC Furniture Ltd”. They will search for more common terms as “Consultant”. Instead of targeting the keywords you would use to find your own website, find the keywords your potential customer will search for. (reference)

Step 2: Page Title – The title of the HTML page should be short, describing the page content accurately. Wherever possible, try to include keywords (without losing the true purpose of the title). For example:

<title>ABC Furniture Ltd.</title>

Step 3: Metatags – Use the description and keywords metatags in the head of each web page. Make these tags different on each web page.

<meta name=”description” content=”Suppliers of quality furniture and accessories at discount prices.”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”furniture, office, store, shop, retail, discount”>

Step 4:
Heading Tags – Use heading tags. Search Engines place more emphasis on text within heading tags, so make sure they use keywords. Using one <h1> tag per page with the most important keywords is a good practice. Use other head tags also(<h2>, <h3>, etc) to provide variations and support to the main heading.

<h1>Tables</h1>
<h2>Office Tables</h2>
<p>… information about large Office Tables…</p>
<h2>Dining Tables</h2>
<p>… information about Dining Tables, etc etc…</p>

Step 5: Page Text – The text of your web pages must contain keywords, common phrases which users will search. Frequency of your keywords is also important – they should occur at least a few times, but should not be repeated so much that the copy becomes unnatural. The idea is to evenly spread keywords around without making it obvious.

<p>Buy office furniture at affordable prices from any of our retail stores.</p>

Remember that text contained within images won’t be picked up by search engines. Only actual text on the page will be indexed.

These are very basic steps towards SEO.

More articles to follow on SEO. .

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