Tag Archives: youtube

What I figured out last year

6 Jan

a-tale-of-two-cities

To borrow from my favorite Charles Dickens novel, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
Most bloggers probably write posts revisiting 2013, making resolutions for 2014. I thought I’d do my version of the same, but instead list out stuff that was eye opening/ confirmation of previously mildly held hypotheses/ new learnings/ breaking down of myths for me…So, here goes:

I learnt:

(On Retirement):

That it is possible to be busy without “achieving” anything
(Look at my previous blog post of outlay vs. outcome). So, being recently retired, I learnt how to make activities expand such that it fills time available.

This is by no means a phenomenon that affects homemakers (aah! I luuuvvv it when I apply this description to myself!) only – don’t we all know those colleagues/ subordinates/ even managers who procrastinate all day long doing gawd-only-knows-what, and then in the evening start looking/ being really busy, and/or calling meetings! I bet only 10ish percent of them are really overloaded – most are suffering from a time management issue.

I read a recent article in the same vein – about how an ad that goes viral doesn’t necessarily give great sales results! Click on this link for Mashable’s take on effective vs. viral ads (and a look at some of them).

A corollary of the above is the learning,

That lethargy is addictive.
(Look at another old post on habits, and hiatuses). So, not only does one have the ability to “feel busy” all the time, one can apparently do it over and over again! A tad dangerous, that!

And, finally on this topic of learnings from retirement,

That while workaholism is fun; retirement is funner.
For those gawking at me in disbelief/ or thinking wistfully “If only I could….”, here’s a good take on “giving yourself time for leisure”

(On Parenting) – since that’s the job I did do consistently both before and after retirement:

momhood

That parenting is the toughest job in the world
That u can manage thousands of people at your workplace, but, however phlegmatic you are, your pre teen/ teen WILL be able to draw out a screaming/ hysterical monster from inside you

That your children don’t really appreciate your “so called sacrifices”. Both my kids now feel it was better for them when I was at work than when I am home!

That battling the “sense of entitlement” modern day kids of reasonably-well-to-do-parents have, is a universal and perennial dilemma for the parents. I didn’t get to any answers about how to solve this – but just now read a nice take on it..may it help others like me!

That DNA is a real thing! – and really messes with lots of things.
I see kids of my friends – all bright/ super achiever type people – excelling in their chosen fields – makes me feel proud. In general, strangely, it is in inherited areas of skill – Namita writes well, Sharan paints and bakes well, Arjun and Gowri sing and play all instruments, Antara is a public speaker/ debater, Dhanya is a super sportsperson, Neel tops class in all subjects…

I also similarly see the lack of drive/ casual attitude in my kids – guess who I have to blame for it?..:(

(On modern communication/ technology etc):

That facebook newsfeed is different on phone than on PC.
Ofcourse we all know that FB has – just from a legacy perspective – been slower on mobile. But, thank god for that! I really truly don’t like the new newsfeed optimisations they are doing – where they try and show you content that is “more important/ customized” rather than new/ just being posted. So, I have a good way of getting the best of both worlds – my phone newsfeed still mainly populates newsfeed based on chronology, and that on PC, based on relevance – I just log onto both at the same time!

That Big Data is more talked about than used
But, to be fair to it, this is true of a lot of things ahead of time. Nevertheless, for all the share of mind it gets on tech related content nowadays, the actual implementation/ results are abysmal – at < 2% of all servers.

That there is no accounting for what takes peoples’ fantasies
Have any of you looked at the list of the top 10 youtube videos in 2013? (I have been making discreet enquiries amongst my kids since then about whether they have seen Miley’s wrecking ball video!)

That there is NO end to the number of things you want to read nowadays
My list of “Things to read in the day” just seems never ending – no wonder, with, even back in 2012, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced every day! Sometimes, I feel its better to stick to trashy romance πŸ™‚

(On body, mind, and mind over body):

That your body does have a mind of its own
If you've abused yr body for upwards of 40 yrs, it WILL show u attitude when u start working out. Hence, the slooowwww rate of weight loss that my husband Manoj and I see despite an infinite order of multiple increase in workout time (well, when the base is zero, any increase makes it infinity!)

That alcoholism is a real disease.
I always thought it was a simple case of willpower (or lack of it) – but learnt this year that it is a real, physiological disease!

That if u have the conviction, you CAN turn around things.
Even a largely apathetic nation – look at the wonders a very very new political party, the Aam Aadmi Party in India has done already – rising from nothingness to actually form the government in the capital city in a year and a half, arousing the largely apathetic middle class intellengtsia to vote in unprecedented numbers, forcing political stalwarts to “learn from them”, and giving hope to a billion plus population!

I see similar examples in the smaller scale but still significant good deeds that our community undertakes on many levels – schools in the neighbourhood, domestic worker camps, help for the aged…

It really needs a few people to say “I want to/ I can/ I will”

That you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
I started music and guitar classes this year – and made some inroads into both. I guess it’s a question of wanting to do something badly enough, and then having no excuse to not do it πŸ™‚ (no time/ no money/ no teacher…)

inscrutable americans

Also, unlike in Inscrutable Americans, one of my all time favourite books, people now CAN haggle in shops in America, specially in response to showrooming.

Oh btw, this article indicates that you know you’ve fully integrated your new skill when you dream about it! I HAVE to now start somehow getting myself to dream of a trim runner’s body! Kekule anyone?

Again, I think examples of this in work life abound – e.g., flexibility seen in cross functional assignments – some companies really excel in developing this value in their people by posting folks in all kinds of functions irrespective of core skill.

That left brain and right brain are real things.
I see all around me the creative/ right brain types of people – and, this creativity is really truly multifaceted. Most of these folks cook, paint, sew, design, sing-play-dance, write with consummate ease. It unfortunately doesn’t seem so for the left brain types (I may be a good case in point 😦 ).

However, recent research shows that certain things are processed across both hemispheres.

(On New Words in the English language):

That Indulgence has a new nameself gifting.
So has second thoughts: self censorship (its also called spying when done by Facebook. But, also see facebook’s denial of this!)

And, very topically, a Drynuary doesn’t really help – it’s better to have a few “off days” every week!

(On startups):

That startups can always use help
It’s just that all don’t know when/ how to ask for it. Interestingly also, help is always available to those who truly want it, ask for it and deserve it (ask Harry Potter/ Dumbledore)!

In this last year, I have met maybe a start-up a week – ranging from tech/ services/ drama/ NGO/ sports – all topics. Each and every one of them has a set of bright, passionate, talented people – desperately trying to make it big. Each and every one of them is struggling with time/ money/ people/ clients/ content/ tips whatever. Some are good at reaching out and asking for help, others have to be pretty much be forced into it. Most agree that help is always welcome πŸ™‚

Interestingly, what I also learnt as a corollary is

That, if you’ve sold one company, you kind of are perceived as having the magic formula to crack it!.
The sad truth is that in many cases, it really is trial and error that leads to success – but ofcourse, atleast selling one company qualifies you to advise others in the field of “what not to do!”

(On life/ death and the in between):

That the world continues to be a male oriented one, with heinous crimes being committed against women on and on and on – and that I have done/ am doing nothing about it, despite now having time/ money 😦

That erstwhile people on pedestals are more bound to come crashing down than not – we’ve had so many scams – but I think the ones that personally bothered me most were, in chronological order: Satyam/ Ramalingam Raju; Shashi Tharoor, Rajat Gupta, and now Tarun Tejpal. (Sounds a bit elitist, but as I think about it – the take-aways are probably that I expect politicians to be corrupt, but not so much corporate folks 😦 – clearly not so true)

That, Marc Anthony/ Ceaser/ Brutus notwithstanding, ambition is not an endless/ infinte thing – atleast not for everyone.

(Ofcourse, I chose the Charlton Heston version πŸ™‚ (RIP), but for those who prefer the other one, here it is..)

I am NOT saying ambition is bad – it is, after all, probably a big driver for most of our deeds and achievements. What I meant is, that I discovered, that mine has an end goal – it reminds me of my cousin Anupam telling me years ago – “I only want enough money such that I don’t have to think about it”. I realised that I am now happy with my house/ car/ friends/ and many material things – and so am not looking for the bigger/ better…I AM however ambitious for kids and family – I want them to be happy, my body – I want it to be slimmer….so, maybe, it IS infinite – only, changes direction?

That happiness is truly a state of mind

That whatever u do, death is final

(not “new learnings”, but re-inforced as never before this year), and, finally:

That it IS possible to have a place look better than its picture postcards

(The Mughal Emperor Jehangeer is said to have once written about Kashmir: Agar firdaus bar rue zamin ast hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast! – meaning if there is paradise on earth, it is here…I think New Zealand could very easily have made the cut, and far better!)

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So, Happy New Year All – may the odds be in your favour πŸ™‚

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Social Media Rank of India’s Most Desirable Brands

29 Jan

Today’s is a lazy blog. a) It’s a follow up to another that I’d posted a few days ago – where I’d said I’d run some analysis on this subject. Lazy therefore because I didn’t have to think of a new topic. b) Its lazy because it’s more information – that I just needed to collate from various sites – and not so much opinions – for which I have to think a bit, organise my thoughts, maybe run some parallel research, and then write. Interesting paradox – in sheer physical effort of the research, these kinds of blogs actually require more hard labour – so, let me say this is a mentally lazy blog – though its a physically active one.

The above also upfronts a rather interesting debate (actually nowadays not so much debate as positioning/ messaging) on “data” vs. “information”..”knowledge” vs. “intelligence”. At one time, we contemplated using a tagline for our company that said – “data tells a story” (then junked it on grounds that it was too commonplace). So, in this post, I’ve collated some figures and will comment on it – rather than the other way around – have an opinion and then build a story around it.

Well, to finally get down to the actual post – just as I had promised, I attempted to rank India’s most Desirable Brands on their Social Media Presence. Here’s how they stack up:

Indian Ranking For Desired Brands

Findings therefore:

a) Both Desirable and Trusted Brands don’t really care about Social Media presence – obviously, their status on trust and desirability has far preceded the social media phenomenon – so, yes maybe it’s arrogance.

b) There isn’t really a pattern in these findings – some have made fair amounts of effort to create social media presence, and some haven’t (again shows the lack of correlation between status and marketing atleast in new media for these brands)

c) The car brands, being in the consumer space, are obviously the most active – with adoption of even Pinterest – the most visual/ sensory channel – this is logic, and contrary to my findings in the Trusted list – where even the food brands didn’t have a Pinterest presence (maybe this underlines the difference between Trust (read higher arrogance) and Desire – far more sensory, and therefore also maybe ephemeral.

d) EVERYONE, but everyone has youtube channels – not a surprise again, but clearly shows the importance of the audio-visual/ animated rather than static medium

e) At first I was surprised when I didn’t see facebook page for Google – realised later they wouldn’t promote competition πŸ™‚ – they do have G+ account linked from their page. The same is kind of true for Apple/ iPad.

f) Many brands use sub properties/ brands that are more powerful – again, makes sense from overall marketing strategy perspective – Adidas is one such – has Social Media sites devoted to various sports – adidascricket for example. Interestingly, clearly has a country specific strategy for this as well – so while the cricket site is India specific, the golf one is not (shows status of cricket in India – where it’s not a sport but a religion)

g) Most brands use common global Linkedin sites – again, given this is a recruiting medium primarily, it kind of makes sense. Interestingly here however, was the fact that IBM’s status in the “most desirable” list was really only as a recruiter (India is a large base for IBM) – and YET they don’t have an India specific site. A little contrary to my expectation, Microsoft’s status was NOT only as a recruiter – it got there because of products as well – and YET they DO have a Linkedin page dedicated to India – with the largest no. of subscribers in this list, and a link on their home page (Microsoft also has a large base in India)

What this really tells me is that
a) There is no accounting for people’s perceptions (hence we should all abandon marketing – just kidding)
b) Looks like the ivy league companies in India are resting on their laurels – Doomsday warning – This will come back to bite you – stay ahead of the curve! (more on that another time)
and finally,
c) Trust and Desire are probably opposite ends of the spectrum.

For a detailed look at what went in to the renaming, here you are:

Most Desired Brands

Trust and Social Media Presence: No Correlation for Indian Brands

22 Jan

In my inbox this morning was a nice infograph of Top U.S. Retail Brands‘ presence on Social Media (Wal-Mart topped the fb list with some 26 mil odd Facebook Likes).

I thought i’d checked what this looked like for top Indian brands. There were a few lists (with , surprisingly, Blackberry having 23 mil odd likes on Facebook), but I thought I’d flip the screen, and see how salient the top Indian brands were on Social Media.

The Brand Equity Top Trusted Brands List struck me as an interesting one to check for — we keep reading about the Trust Barometer, and how it correlates (well actually mostly doesn’t) with what brands have to say for themselves. Looks like Indian brands agree wholeheartedly!

So, here it is – how the top Indian most trusted brands stack up on Social Media presence (I mean marketing, NOT chatter):

Indian Trusted Brands on Social Media

With the stark exception of Nokia India, which, hello, is a “tech” brand almost, atleast deals with tech, and selling mobiles, SHOULD have active social media presence, very few of our trusted brands actually are doing much on these channels – youtube and facebook in some cases being the only exception. Even fewer actually link to their digital pages from their home page. Even the leader Nokia, has some 5 mil plus likes on facebook (as compared to the 23 mil odd for Blackberry)

It’s a surprise, because many of them are food brands, and i would have thought that atleast food would use Pinterest (they do have recipes on their home pages).

What do you think this is – arrogance? Or just legacy (which is one reason why these brands are “trusted”).

What would the picture be however if I were to choose the list of the “most desired”, not the most trusted? Wait till tomorrow to find out!…:)