Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Watch: Five Apps You Wouldn't Want to Delete

This weekend, we decided to put together a list of apps that are surprisingly simple in concept, amazingly addictive, and very clever. You won’t be removing any of these at any time from your phone. Check them out!

1.      Paper Toss
Yep, this iPhone, Android app is exactly like it sounds. Crumple a piece of paper, toss it in the waste bin and compare scores with your friends. On your phone. This classic game to pass time at work is just as addictive as the real experience.  Especially with the extra features that recreate the office environment-  verbal abuse from co-workers, various office-like sounds and also a fan with varying speeds to affect the paper toss.  Once you start, it’ll be hard to stop.

 2.The Imppossible Game
The fact that this is perhaps one of the hardest games ever, makes it all the more addictive. Guide a bright orange square along a series of barriers and hurdles to get to the next level. A small mistake and you can find yourself back at the starting line. An Xbox Live Indie Game and a popular app for iPhone, The Impossible Game is also available for Android users.

3.     Path
It’s a journal that functions like a regular social networking site.  Share the music you’re listening to, where you’re at, who’s with you, when you go to sleep, the time you wake up…Path lets you share it on your journal page and also has the option to share it on Facebook, Twitter and the like.

4.       Dragon Dictation
We love this one! Feel too bored to text? Get the Dragon Dictation app and save plenty of typing time. It’s a voice recognition application that allows you to dictate your message, status update or memo and the text instantly shows up on screen. You can then email your message, or submit it to your Facebook or Twitter page. It’s fast and simple and supported by plenty of global languages.

5.    Red Laser
A must-have app for every shopaholic! Scan the bar code of the item you’d like to purchase and it throws up a list of stores where it’s available. You can compare prices and also find online and offline retailers who stock the item of your choice. Definitely makes shopping quicker and smarter. Take a look!

Know of any other interesting apps. Give us a shout! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why We May No Longer Need Substitute Teachers

Digital education is constantly reinventing itself to create more practical learning experiences. Distance doesn't seem to be a hindrance anymore. With interactive new additions such as Google Hangouts in the field of education, a teacher can be personally involved with a student, conduct Q&A sessions and monitor a student's progress, without being physically present in the classroom. If used intelligently Google Hangouts has the power to do away with the substitute teacher!

Throw in features from Hangouts with Extras, and you can also integrate Google Docs, Notes and Sketchpad. With Hangouts on Air, you can also record a hangout for later viewing. Such social learning tools are a welcome phenomena that creates a rich learning atmosphere. What do you say? Do you know of such other tools that can enhance classroom learning?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Founder Speak

The Battle for BranchOut- Can LinkedIn Cut In Before Facebook?

Acquiring BranchOut has to be the most logical acquisition for LinkedIn today. An option that needs to be considered seriously or it shall lose out to Facebook that anyway appears to be on a major buying out spree (Instagram for US$ 1Bn and Microsoft’s AOL patents for US$ 500Mn).

Two years and 25 million registered users later, Facebook’s professional network is the biggest competitor for LinkedIn. What’s more it provides features similar to LinkedIn right on the Facebook platform. This means that not only can users see which of their friends (or friends of friends) work at specific companies but also doesn't require users to build a network one person at a time. Something that works in its favour given the slow time-consuming network building process on LinkedIn.

From a business perspective, BranchOut would be a lucrative addition both for Facebook as well as LinkedIn. Especially considering that it is a start up with 45 employees, 13 million unique visitors per month, is the 31st most popular app on Facebook, has a business model just like LinkedIn and has now recently launched its own mobile app which accounts for 45% of all its visits.

This means that if Facebook acquires BranchOut it can easily enter the space of business and professional networking, an arena currently dominated by LinkedIn and hence affecting its market share quite significantly.

Now if LinkedIn were to acquire Branchout before Facebook gets around to it, not only will it weed out the competition but will also have a readymade social network on a Facebook platform, increasing its number of subscribers.

It’s a wait and watch situation- does LinkedIn manage to win over BranchOut or will Facebook cut in, proving to be a fatal threat to the professional networking site? What are your thoughts on the subject?

- By Viral Thaker, Founder & Director | TheSocialPeople
A seasoned HR & Marketing professional, Viral was one of the early adopters of social media. With over a decade of industry experience under his belt, his skills span corporate strategy, delivery management, customer relationship management, business development and operations management. Viral is a voracious reader, a travel enthusiast and enjoys adventure sports. Follow Viral on Twitter @vrlthaker

Founder Speak is our weekly column by the founders of TheSocialPeople- Viral Thaker & Dr.Vikram Venkateswaran.

Weekend Watch

Here's what we stumbled upon this weekend:

A clever little cross between Pinterest and Evernote. What do you think? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Getting to Know Our Fan of the Week

Hello world, meet Kaustubh Bhake our witty Fan of the Week!

An Electronics and Telecommunications Engineer from Nagpur, studying at SIBM Bangalore and pursuing Marketing as his area of specialization (phew!), Kaustubh isn’t as serious as these labels suggest.

The man likes his regular dose of theatre, street plays included. And when he is not working or answering questions for a certain Fan of the Week post, Kaustubh loves to groove to rock music or lives up to his serious image by watching documentaries.

So how active is he on social media? Kaustubh prefers Facebook and maintains an on and off relationship with LinkedIn. “Facebook gives you almost everything that you want,” says Kaustubh, “You can interact with friends, share views, and news about your latest travels and of course know what everyone else is up to.” LinkedIn he admits is just for professional reasons and he still hasn’t quite bothered much about it.

Being a student he pretty much lives online. At least two hours a day, is what he says. And he can’t help but notice the growing number of people today who access Facebook through their cellphones.

So does this marketing and theatre enthusiast have any interesting idea he’d love for a social networking site to incorporate? Kaustubh would like to see if a site can play music via the radio while we search and surf. Erm, kinda like the background score you need while driving. And it would be interesting, he says, if we could have super entrance themes when we enter a community just like WWE!

Is Facebook listening?

The rock lover in him can’t do without the Tune Wiki App, which plays songs from his playlist and automatically find the lyrics for the same over the internet. And then of course, there’s a app to stay updated on the news.

Kaustubh can’t help but notice how connected people are to their social network. “When earthquake tremors were felt in some parts of India last week, Facebook got the first whiff!  Weird na?” he says.
And what does he think about TheSocialPeople? Of course, he really loves it. Especially the posts on Facebook that he finds both informative and funny. The people, too, he thinks are quite talented. *humbly bow*

“All my hearty best wishes to team TSP,” he signs off. And best wishes to you too!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Babies with Blogs!

Equipped with their own individual accounts, Celina Jaitley’s twins are the latest celebrity babies to join the Twitter bandwagon.  The kids are less than a month old.

While celebs posting pictures of their children is a fairly common practice and accounts for new born babies is also laced with generous amounts of cute, one can’t help but wonder if it’s not a little too soon.  More and more parents today are taking to baby blogging to chronicle every little discovery and development of their new born child.

Not only Twitter, but sites such as Totspot, Wee Web, Baveo or Kidmondo allow you to showcase everything special about your child- from weight to awards.  With several useful features to share photos and videos, and beautiful designs, these online journals enjoy a fair share of following and have turned out to be out- and- out social networks for babies.  Share news, views, and stay connected with our parents and their babies. For example, if you've tried out a product from say, The Honest Company, you can always share the news within your network and other parents are sure to pick up on it. 

Take Wee Web for instance. The site (now with a special app for iPhone) has a timeline for updates which are limited to 140 characters each. No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind the idea. Sharing content however, happens on an ‘invite only’ basis, letting you have the complete control over who gets to access your child’s information. 

It’s an interesting idea, if you want to record and share a child’s every move with family spread all over the world or with close friends. And perhaps is a very logical extension of the concept of the social network in today’s digitized world too. But one can’t help but still wonder if such sites are secure enough to protect such precious details about your baby.

And what would the infants themselves have to say about this, that is, if they could speak?  Having the world peep into their life from the time they were born, means that a sizeable chunk of privacy has already been compromised. Something that the children might not appreciate as they grow older.

What do you think about this trend? Cute or crazy? 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Facebook Interview - [Social Media Comic of the Week]

Ha ha ha ha.. now this did tickle my ribs and cramped my tummy ROFL!! Touche indeed!! :D
[Social Media Comic of the Week]

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Founder Speak

You probably should not be on social media. And I will give you my reasons. 

Reason 1
You have nothing to say. By that I mean you have nothing meaningful to add to the conversation. All you have is noise, jargon or a sales pitch. You probably have updates like “Come visit us on this day at so so venue” or “come experience the new product”. So you are adding to the confusion and have nothing new to add. Please stay away from social media.

Reason 2
Your company does not allow you to say anything meaningful. You have an archaic policy which forbids you to even send an exclamation mark on Twitter. Not only you the only person who is allowed to tweet is your CEO and his admin uses his id to send a very safe tweet like “Cloud computing is the future of technology”. It’s better to give social media a miss and spend time on something more useful like cold calling.

Reason 3
You believe in only responding to celebrities and other famous people, your customers don’t mean much to you. You don’t believe in understanding the customer needs. Your focus is firmly on the celebrity and things like baby names for celebrity kids.

Reason 4
You believe in letting the marketing department create your content. What is written on your channels is carefully orchestrated marketing spiel. Not the genuine conversation from your experts.

If these four or any of the four reasons are present in your social media strategy then I think you need to  move on and leave social media to the experts.

- By Dr.Vikram Venkateswaran, Founder & Director | TheSocialPeople

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran is a marketing professional with almost 10 years of experience. He is passionate about public health, blogging, writing, public speaking and lawn tennis. He can be followed on his twitter handle @drvikram. Visit his blog at Docter Soccer.

Founder Speak is our weekly column by the founders of TheSocialPeople- Viral Thaker & Dr.Vikram Venkateswaran.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Watch

Here's what we mulled over this weekend:

Facebook Acquires Instagram 

The news garnered mixed response from across the world. Several rooted in favour of the acquisition  while many others feared it might dilute the very reason that made this photo sharing app popular. Facebook seemed to be touted as the big bad wolf and Instagram, the poor helpless lamb.

It certainly is hot news, but one wonders if Instagram was ever big enough to pose as competition to Facebook? Did Facebook need to fear this app so much as to buy it out? And is the acquisition as much of a bad news as it is made out to be?

Mark Zuckerberg has stated that he’d be working with the team more closely and help it grow independently as well. This seems to be a smarter move than integrating all the features of the app to the social networking site. And can also prove to be good news for Instagram users. Face it, it was a simple app that grabbed attention mainly for being the first of its kind. With the experience, infrastructure and engineering available with Facebook, there could be a lot more to look forward to than rebel against.

What do you think about this?

Google+ Has a New Look

Oodles of white space to create a “simpler, more beautiful Google”, a ribbon of apps on the left that can be dragged to arrange in the order you want, and live video on Hangouts are some of the new features that are grabbing eyeballs.  Another interesting addition is the Explore page that shows what’s trending across the network.

It’s clean and simplistic with a host of interesting new features. Check out the video posted on the official blog.

Like the new look? Let us know. 

Spotted any other interesting development over the week? Give us a shout.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gastro Entices - how social media has managed to woo the food industry

Picture this: you’re at the newest Italian joint in town. You have a camera phone and presumably a Twitter app installed. You’ve ordered lasagna and when it arrives, the first few seconds are as intense for the owner, as it is for you. You take a picture of your scrumptious plate, tag yourself, pin the location and all this while the new kid on the food block is twiddling his thumbs wondering if that was a 140 word appreciation or a stinking review that will be picked up by nearly 500 of your online friends. That’s the power of social media over your local restaurant.

While blogging about recipes, reviews, restaurants etc. has been popular for quite a while, social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and a plethora of innovative mobile apps have created a mini storm in the food and beverage industry. In India, sites such as have a platform on all iPhone Operating Systems, Windows phones, Android supported devices, Blackberry, and Nokia phones. With more than 20,000 menus to boast of from 10 cities across the country, restaurant guides and user reviews, it has turned into a food lovers’ hub.

And the sharing business gets more creative. Around 2009, when The New York Times discovered that people were tweeting complete recipes in 140 characters, it was posed as a challenge to their readers. And of course, received a thumping response.

However, social media doesn’t restrict itself to sharing recipes and reviewing eateries alone. Take for instance, apps like Cookbook that throws up recipes based on ingredients you have in stock in your kitchen. Or The Photo Cookbook which is a collection of various recipes with high resolution photos, that take less than 30 minutes to prepare.

From locating the nearest restaurant based on your current craving to a selection of recipes based on the occasion; vegetarian specific restaurants and even apps that help you track your calorie intake- the relationship between social media and food is certainly ‘app’etizing.

More and more restaurateurs today prefer to market their business through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. It’s a wonderful way to build a loyal customer base through fans and a great platform to announce food festivals, promotions and events. Foursquare promotions are a great tool to promote your business too. Check-in to Foursquare from a restaurant that runs the offer a specific number of times, or walk in with a certain number of friends and you can tuck in a free appetizer.

What interesting food related apps or promotions have you come across lately?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Employers Aren’t Interested in Your Resumé

Resumés today are just an old school formality that provides little insight into the person’s past records and true personality.  Most employers today spend less time sifting through clichéd applications and more time surfing profiles of job seekers online.  
Stats show that today most recruiters find that sourcing candidates on social networks saves money. They prefer approaching candidates through online referrals and it also helps them reach out to people who may otherwise have not applied for the position. So be prepared for the inspection. Unfair or not, this is a practice one has to deal with.
Recently there were several incidents across the United States wherein employers demanded that applicants provide them with their Facebook username and password or that they log on to their network during the interview itself. Kind of like handing over your house keys to a burglar holding a gun to your head! The more polite practice is going through only the candidate’s public profile respecting his or her right to withhold any information they deem sensitive enough to keep private.
So, what can you do to be ready for the Facebook interview? 
  1. First impressions matter, so make sure your profile picture doesn't show you drinking or acting too crazy.
  2. Ensure that all your details across all your social network profiles, match. Fill out the description about yourself in a clear, crisp and clean manner.
  3. Use the privacy settings. If you haven’t yet bothered about it, it’s time you started. Personal photos, or any other information that you would rather share with a select group of people, should not be made available on your public profile. After all, you wouldn't want your employer finding old pictures of you at a wild party, especially when if you’ve claimed your hobby is yoga.  
  4. Watch what you post and tweet. Be casual but polite. Language does count. So learn to show a little restraint.
  5. If someone posts something objectionable on your wall, be sure to leave a calm comment making your stand clear on the subject. Or delete the post altogether.
  6. Your profile page isn’t just about keeping information private, but also a great platform to show off your achievements. As long as you keep it subtle. For instance, a photo of you receiving an award without tom-toming about it helps you come across as capable, ambitious and yet, balanced.
  7. And if you’ve already landed the job, be smart enough not to openly vent your frustrations against your boss or leak confidential company details on your wall!
So now that you’ve set your profile in order, you can gear up for the personal interview. And this time you can carry that resumé along…for old times’ sake!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Social Media ROI - Gag!


1. 26% of B2B Marketers don’t know how to measure their social media success.

2. 63% of B2B Marketers are either vaguely aware or not aware what is being said about their companies online.

Do you think any of these represent the social media adoption situation at your B2B company?