Simplifying Web Classifieds

The New York Times writes: “A new breed of Web sites aims to simplify the process. The sites offer templates and step-by-step instructions for creating classified ads and then post the ads, sometimes free, on all the major listings services. Two sites that offer this service already are vFlyer and Postlets; a third, Mpire, which plans to charge a small fee for the service, will join the fray soon. The sites rely primarily on outside advertising for their revenue.”

Orkut and Dodgeball

Richard MacManus thinks Google will merge both of them:

1) Social networking has been the biggest thing going in 2006 (MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, etc). And it looks like mobile will be big next year. So SNS + Mobile seems the logical sequel.

2) There is also the trend of meta-social networks, like Marc Canter’s PeopleAggregator. It was actually the latest New Scientist magazine which rang a little bell in my mind about this. An article called Living Online: This is your space (full article not online yet unfortunately) concluded by saying that an individual’s identity will be managed by a meta-network, which we will carry with us “in small wireless devices so that our virtual identities become seamlessly integrated with the real world.” That online/offline balance is one of the main things mobile Web has going for it. So meta-SNS + Mobile is another trend I think we’ll see emerge…

Guy Kawasaki in Mumbai

Sometimes, it is good to get a different perspective of the city one lives in. Guy Kawasaki offers his observations:

The contrast in living conditions for the very rich and the very poor is eye-openingand I didnt see the absolute extremes of either.

Ive never seen such vivid colors in all aspects of dress, decor, etc.even the money is pretty.

Traffic safety is an oxymoron. Luggage isnt tied down on roof racks. People ride on top of trucks. I saw a family of four on a motorcycle. Having said this, I saw no accidents.

I loved Indian pricing strategy: for example, 10 rupees for residents and 300 rupees for tourists at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum.

Reinvented TV

Jeff Jarvis writes:

All the old definitions of TV are in shambles. Television need not be broadcast. It neednt be produced by studios and networks. It no longer depends on big numbers and blockbusters. It doesnt have to fit 30- and 60-minute moulds. It isnt scheduled. It isnt mass. The limits of television – of distribution, of tools, of economics, of scarcity – are gone. So now, at last, we can ask not what TV is, but what it can be.

I envision TV that is interactive when it wants to be. I imagine TV that is live, with news from the scene thanks to a hundred video camera-phones. I look forward to the day when I can watch not what Hollywood recommends, but what my friends endorse. I am dying to see the advertising industry figure out that mass media were inefficient and ineffective ; when they start supporting the new TV with their money, huge things will happen. Television has already exploded. So now lets build the new TV.

Entrepreneur Advice

ContentSutra has an interview with Rahul Khanna of Clearstone Venture Partners. Rahul’s advice for entrepreneurs: “Know who your customer is. Why would he come back to you for a repeat purchase? Have milestones set where do you see yourself in 12 months or 18 months. Have a good team in place with a good background. List out the challenges you expect to face.”

TECH TALK: Gandhigiri: LRM Reviews

Lage Raho Munnabhai (LRM) is directed by Raju Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. It is the second in the Munnabhai series. It stars Sanjay Dutt as Munnabhai and Arshard Warsi as Circuit, Munnabhais sidekick. Here is the essence of the story (via Wikipedia):

Munna Bhai (Sanjay Dutt) falls in love with the voice of the Radio Jockey Jhanvi (Vidya Balan). He is finally given the chance to meet her when the radio station announces a trivia contest concerning the life and beliefs of Mahatma Gandhi. With the help of his friend Circuit, Munna Bhai formulates a clever scheme and wins the contest. In the process, however, Jhanvi is led to believe that Munna Bhai is a professor of history and subsequently asks him to present a lecture on Gandhi to a community of senior citizens which she takes care of at her home, Second Innings.

Munna decides that the only way out of this situation is to use the days prior to the lecture to learn as much as he can about Gandhi. He puts himself through an intensive period of study in a library devoted to the life and works of Gandhi. It is during this period of study that the image of Gandhi begins to appear to Munna Bhai. With Gandhi on his side, Munna not only wins Jhanvi’s heart, but through a radio show also teaches others how to solve their problems using Gandhi’s principles. Soon, however, Munna finds his own life falling apart until he learns to practice what he preaches. The problems he faces lead him to cultivate a new life based upon Gandhism, particularly non-violence and truth, which he calls Gandhigiri.

This is what Rediff had to say: The film is about finding the Gandhi in all of us, but never sounds didactic or preachy. Rather, it makes you laugh and cry through the whole journey during which it touches various issues of parental neglect, stagnation of the older generation, corruption, evil builders, bad manners, superstitions… the works! We live in a cynical world, but even in such times, sometimes a person, book or film comes along and shows you a tiny crack in the wall behind which there is a lot of light, and suddenly your heart is full of happiness. Lage Raho Munnabhai is one such film that makes you laugh, makes you cry, and also makes you feel good to be a human being.

Here is what CNN-IBN wrote: You know some movies just strike a chord from the word go, and Lage Raho Munnabhai is exactly that kind of film. It engages you not because it’s got the most imaginative plot – which it doesn’t actually – but because the intention of the film is clear and sincere. It’s one of those films that encourages you to laugh out loud, to embrace its characters and to make the journey with them. It’s evident that the film’s main motive is to give you a good time, but it’s commendable that writer-director Rajkumar Hirani chose to weave a message into the story. In many ways, in fact, Lage Raho Munnabhai is like those fables we read in our schoolbooks when we were little. Those simple stories that came with a moral at the end.

The last word from a review on BBC: It’s rare to see a film that bounces between humour and sentiment so seamlessly. And it is rarer still to see characters become etched in the memory so enduringly that audiences become almost protective of them. It’s testimony both to the quality of the writing and the performances, that Munna and Circuit have taken on a life of their own. Lage Raho Munna Bhai is the ultimate in feel-good cinema that leaves you feeling like anything is possible.

Tomorrow: Mass Appeal

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