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Posts from — May 2009

Twitter – Should you tweet with responsibility?

Twitter today is ‘the’ place to be; it’s where everyone seems to hang out. With more than a million users signing up every month, it’s seeing phenomenal growth. When using twitter you can talk about anything, air your views & opinions, promote a product or service, give breaking news… you get the picture right… As long as your message is within the 140 character limit you can say anything.

A lot of companies and people are using twitter to promote themselves; maybe not directly but yeah, twitter helps them track people’s opinions, get feedback, keep in touch, etc. This has become so important that companies have started to hire people with a job role that just requires them to be on twitter. Celebrities are taking to twitter too. It’s a way for them to interact with their fans, build a relationship and if they aren’t doing it already soon they will be promoting their brands.

I find twitter a brilliant tool for me to keep in touch with my friends, send them messages (all in one go), promote myself & my work and network with the right people. However I think this has to be done with a certain sense of responsibility since the world can see that I said and I am influencing people. Of course you may say I am entitled to my opinion and if someone wants to believe me or follow me blindly, that’s their problem. True! No doubt but it still is my social responsibility to not give people the wrong notions.

Let me give you an example – Gul Panag, an Indian actress who I quite admire as she doesn’t fit the typical actress mould (Links below)is quite active on twitter. Yesterday Gul tweeted about her bullet (bike) being delivered at the set after being serviced and how she was looking forward to riding home at 2 am. Am sure she was bombarded by her fans with questions on which model, how she rode, what speed and what not. One reply to a question I did notice was about the type of helmet. Let me paste the messages for you here…

gulpanag – @pleomorphous sort of.. It’s a hybrid actually, full face visor , bomber pilot type
pleomorphous – @gulpanag Thats what I meant by “fancy half-face helmet” :-)
gulpanag – @pleomorphous it’s ok I am a safe rider. What’s good for a fighter jet pilot is certainly good for me:)

Now like I was saying before tweeting with responsibility is important and even more so for a celeb as there are a lot of people listening and celebs can influence them quite a bit. Celebs are also trendsetters. To me this attitude of Gul was not acceptable, she was telling her 2,664 followers that it was ok to wear a helmet that makes you look cool, no matter that it doesn’t protect your head. I’m not sure what others had to say but my reply and another in my timeline are below.

pleomorphous – @gulpanag I applaud your optimism, all the best. :-)
freya3377 – @gulpanag @pleomorphous Ofcourse Gul, the bullet open to the elements is as safe as a jet and comes with a parachute :)
gulpanag – @freya3377 you ride one I assume, from your knowledge;)
freya3377 – @gulpanag Ofcourse :) think it might be a good idea 4 u to promote safely when riding. :)

Surprisingly Gul says on her site “the single greatest contribution every celebrity- film sport or any other kind can make is to lead by example” – Read more

So the gist of my post is that tweeple should tweet but with responsibility. What do you think?

Please leave a comment or tweet me.

Gul’s Official Site
Gul on Wikipedia

May 30, 2009   1 Comment

An interesting book marketing technique

Last week I came across a blog by Tony Eldridge the author of ‘The Samson Effect’ (link to blog given below). Through this blog Tony was trying something new, something I haven’t seen very often in book marketing – He was giving the book away for everyone to read. That doesn’t make sense, does it? An author would want people to buy his/her book, that’s the way to make money.

But what if you gave the book away slowly, chapter by chapter; just one chapter every week. Now that changes the game a bit…

People start to read the blog and follow it regularly; that’s you first benefit, you’ve got increased viewership. Now as people read the blog slowly the story gets gripping and they don’t want to wait another week to read what happens next, so they buy the book. And that increases sales.

Of course there are other benefits, media coverage, twitter exposure, people talking and telling other people about the book…

It will be interesting to see how Tony’s experiment works… In the meantime I have only one complaint; its Monday morning here in India much before the US and I have a long wait before I see that next chapter…

The Samson Effect Blog

May 18, 2009   No Comments

A multi-purpose tool for Book Marketing

Ok I know again I haven’t posted in a bit but am trying… ok ok… will try harder… Now onto today’s topic…

Let me tell you a little about this product or tool – BookBuzzr, I am marketing right now. (which will also explain why am so interested in Internet Marketing – this is fun! :) )

BookBuzzr can be found at www.freado.com and is targeted mainly for authors and readers. Authors can upload either their entire book or just an excerpt in PDF format for people to view. The excerpt or book can be viewed in a reader (BookBuzzr) that feels like a book as you can flip pages, zoom in and out and read on a full screen. (See below) But it isn’t just so simple and neither does it end here.

Authors can use the BookBuzzr widget on their sites which includes websites, blogs, social sites like facebook, myspace, bebo, etc.(60 different sites) and just about anywhere on the internet. They can even email it. Now that sounds cool right! Authors can paint the town red with their books and that’s a lot of marketing and publicity. But it doesn’t even end here…

What most authors don’t realise is that this tool can be used by anyone; hence fans, readers, friends, etc. can also help by posting the book widget on their sites. Now just think how much the book’s publicity and marketing has increased by just involving the people around you. This is the real key…

And to top it all – BookBuzzr is free… That just increases the reasons why it should be used to its maximum potential…

Oh and fReado and Phyllis Zimbler Miller are currently running a Memorial Day contest. Do check it out – http://www.freado.com/offer.php

A few Examples of the widget –

Mrs. Lieutenant – Phyllis Zimbler Miller

The Samson Effect – Tony Eldridge

Too Many Visitors For One Little House – Susan Chodakiewitz

May 15, 2009   No Comments

Seesmic vs. Twirl vs. TweetDeck

Chenthil recommended Seesmic to me yesterday as I use twitter alot for work lately.
Hence I installed Seesmic to try it. Am already using Twirl and Tweetdeck. So let me tell u what I think of each. (***Disclaimer – This is being written by a non-techie :) )

Seesmic
This particular app seems nice. It lets you have multiple columns, a left bar that lets you select different types of tweets, accounts and searches. It also works with multiple accounts. However it lacks look and feel and even help prompts. It should be made more user friendly. One thing I noticed was it doesn’t let me mark tweets as read or clear select tweets. In Seesmic either I keep all tweets (and hence the list gets too long) or I have to remove all tweets. This is the biggest drawback I see. Hopefully it’ll get better and they’ll build in these tools. However its definitely better than Twirl and is a wanna be Tweetdeck.


Twirl

Now Twirl is nice for those who just use twitter to keep up with friends but there are better tools to do that too (read about Tweetdeck). The only plus I see is its stupidly simple, allows multiple accounts and feels like a chat window (but twitter is not chat). What it doesn’t have is multiple columns hence all tweets, replies, DM’s; everything just falls into one verrry long list. And if you follow someone who tweets regularly through the day your doomed with an exceptionally long list and you may lose out on some other important tweets. Its a pain to scroll. Here tweets can be marked as read but again I either clear all or nothing. Ok I definitely don’t recommend it.

TweetDeck
You can see I saved this for last coz I think its the best right now; and except for letting me schedule tweets for later and handle multiple accounts I can do everything else with this App. Whether personal or work this App is great. It has a great look and feel, has multiple columns for replies, DM’s & All Friends. You can also make groups of people from your friends and each group’s tweets will show in a different column. The same way different searches can also be set up.
Tweets can be marked as read and only read tweets cleared or all tweets can be marked as read and cleared. Filters can be set, columns moved about, and you can even make it show only one column and hence get the chat window feel.
It has a vast set of settings and gives you twitterscoop, stock twits and 12 seconds video post at the click of a mouse.
The only major draw back is that it is a bit bulky on the system.

So final summary use TweetDeck as your main twitter app and for other accounts use Seesmic. Avoid Twirl.

Happy Tweeting – Follow me on twitter

May 12, 2009   2 Comments

Alternate Blog

I know I have been away for a while… and I have a lot of blog posts to be made and travelogues to be written.

But for now am trying to get back to blogging again and you can catch me at http://musafirfreya.blogspot.com/

Cheers
Freya

*** Update 25th February 2010:- This was a while back and after that I have now got my own domain and blog page – http://blog.fatema.in

May 8, 2009   No Comments

Zoozoo…


Ya, ya… I know I missed yesterday…

But my learning today is that the characters in Vodafone’s latest ads are called Zoozoo. So cool… And ofcourse the ads are neat… Short, sweet and with loads of variety… They keep you wondering whats going to come next…

So now, today am gonna put together info on them :)

BTW these ads are not animated but performed by ballet dancers. Way to go O&M – Good job…

Links –



Official site

ZooZoo Story

Official Wallpapers & Screensaver

A few Zoozoo ads in one

70,000 fans on Facebook

May 8, 2009   2 Comments

Different Look…


May 6, 2009   4 Comments

Everest 1996

Have just started reading ‘Into Thin Air’ by Jon Krakauer and his first chapter had a lot of people disappearing on Everest in 1996. So I googled it :) and here’s what I learnt…

Everest has been a huge thing since it was found to the highest mountain in the world by a begali babu who calculated its height to be 29,002 ft. in 1852. To give due credit, it was the British survey boys who did the initial measurement. Today after some major calculations using GPS, satellites and other fancy equipment the height is found to be 29,029 ft.

Since then it became a British obsession to be the first on top of it. An odd thing the British have to be the first everywhere on earth but anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

BTW Mount Everest was named after George Everest, a Surveyor General of India but it has other local names – Sagarmatha in Nepal, Chomolungma or Qomolangma in Tibet and Zhumulangma in China. All of which mean Mother of Earth or Holy Mother.

It was in 1885 that the Alpine Club in England suggested climbing Everest but it was only in 1921 that George Mallory found a possible route. There are main routes to the top but the SouthEast Ridge route and NorthEast Ridge route are climbed the most. Mallory and Irvine perished in 1924 on Mallory’s third attempt and the world will maybe never know if they made it to the top. Mallory’s body was found in 1999 and even though the clues indicate they didn’t make it; no one knows for sure yet.

After this a lot of attempts were made but it wasn’t until 29 years later on 29 May 1953 that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Mount Everest via the South route. (Mallory had climbed the North Route). 8 May 1978 saw Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler made the first ascent without supplemental oxygen again from the South.

Moving on… There were a lot of attempts and a lot of people summited after this. Everest started to become a tourist attraction. If you had the time and the money agencies would get you to the top. A lot of travel agencies for the Everest sprung up. This of course got its flak from people like Sir Edmund and others who thought it was disrespectful to nature and the Everest as people who were incapable but could pay were taken to the top.

I agree with this point as it seems at some point people forgot that the Everest and nature are still all powerful and have some tricks up their sleeves. You could pay all you want but if she wants to stop you, you’ll never get to the top.

1996 was a disaster year in Everest history. In the year 15 people died and 8 of those died on May 11. A lot of reasons for this and the book ‘Into Thin Air’ is all about it. But some are that there were too many people on the mountain that day, people didn’t follow rules, they refused to bow to the power of Everest and didn’t back at the first sign of trouble.
Of course there are different view points to this debacle and many books and documentaries have been written and made.

This is the gist but am providing links below if you want to read more…

Then in 2006 40-odd people passed a climber but no one helped. David Sharp died there on May 15, 2006. This has caused huge controversies about ethics. In the same year 10 days later after the Sharp incident a team found David Mazur and managed to save him.

And so the saga goes on… hundreds of people summit the Everest every year but more than 200 people have lost their lives over the years too. Most of these bodies are still on the mountain and can be seen from the routes – bodies claimed by Everest.

Further Reading –

Mount Everest

British Mount Everest Expedition 1924

1996 Everest disaster

The Everest Decade: 1996-2007 – National Geographic

(2006) 12 Dead: What is going on with Everest?

May 5, 2009   1 Comment

Back Online…

It’s been a while since I’ve been active on the internet. Guess being away from the city initially broke the thread for me and I never rejoined it. Not that am complaining, its been a good life these last 3-4 years. But now that am constantly in connect to the internet I guess I should keep all those people who are always looking out for me more updated.

So, the plan is that I will learn something new everyday and will blog about it. That way you can expect something new and interesting everyday. And I will put in details of my life too so you’ll know what’s happening in my life too :)

Oh by the way u can follow me on twitter too… – http://twitter.com/freya3377 I intend to put 1 piece of trivia and 1 quote everyday along with other stuff… so if it’s your thing, follow me :)

PS – Hold me down to this promise please… at least while am still grounded 😉

May 5, 2009   No Comments