Online Journalism in India, and IndiaMirror
Pradyuman Maheshwari of Mediaah interviewed me via email on the state of Internet journalism in India.
I also added some thoughts on a concept I call “IndiaMirror”:
Build a MirrorWorld by geographical area, categorised by ZIP (pincode everybody knows the pincode of where they live and work). Think of it as an About.com for the physical world only it is managed in a distributed manner. Our goals in doing IndiaMirror are the following:
1. Provide a revenue model from the local small buyers and sellers a MicroGoogle
2. Be a utility in the lives of people used daily
3. Create a platform which can be used to discuss and solve local issues and problems
4. Build an Information Marketplace platform
5. Enable people to create their own blogs and RSS feeds (via DIY forms). People can do their own updates – publishing
6. Create a weblog/wiki/RSS for every ZIP in India. Everything goes into a backend database
7. The RSS Aggregator delivers RSS feeds to peoples mailboxes. People can subscribe for specific events – which are delivered to their computer or cellphone
8. Imagine if each physical object has a virtual presence (for example, a theatre could provide updates on movies and bookings; local shops can provide updates on whats new in terms of sales, etc.)
9. People can also create a directory of local resources and landmarks. During elections this can be used to discuss the candidates contesting.
This is an innovative grassroots exercise in getting person-to-person publishing and syndication. It bridges information gaps. Think of it as an “information marketplace”.
What is required is a mix of seeing the new technologies that are coming up, and applying them to fulfill needs of today’s non-consumers.
Pradyuman’s take: “Mediaah! believes that Rajesh Jain’s model of an ‘IndiaMirror’ is workable, and must be implemented. We suggest you start small: make it city-specific and look at just a Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta or wherever else Mirror. Mediaah! will be happy to have you kickstart this.”