Tag Archives: Blogs

If I were Cafe Coffee Day today; Follow through on #ccdsucks episode on Twitter

UPDATE: 11 February 2010, 8.50 am – Rajika, Amita and I were out for a meeting a 2 minute discussion about the “CCD Sucks” episode got us to conclude that Cafe Coffee Day could have saved itself the embarrassment from use of #ccdsucks tag itself, necessitated by the need to participate in ongoing conversations, simply by adding #ccdresponds to #ccdsucks – this would have given the necessary context and positioning to the brand.

I spent the afternoon yesterday working out of the Cafe Coffee Day, Adchini next to our office even as the #ccdsucks thread unfolded on Twitter, after a shop manager at a Chennai outlet, allegedly, asked for a cover charge from some guests who’d gathered for a tweet-up.
Here are 10 tips for the #ccd team to take a look at that I just posted as Tweets. I will write more about this later, if I get the time. Please add yours:

  1. Pause: Take a deep breath. Something happened, don’t just react
  2. Take a step back: Find out what really happened? Get to the facts, quickly
  3. What’s the stated policy: Is there a stated policy on the matter? Ensure that the team follows the policy across
  4. Communicate: action and any changes you ‘might’ have decided to bring, if needed
  5. Support: don’t isolate the individual, your team is a key stakeholder too
  6. or number #1 track the conversations-separate key topics – see feedback; identify known issues; which are by choice?
  7. Don’t over do it: know your promise, don’t try or promise to be who you are not – under pressure
  8. Identify high impact issues, address them
  9. Communicate change – bring change, then communicate
  10. Seize the opportunity – engage afresh, find your supporters and work upon regaining lost ground

Focus on the ground issues; communicate change (Update: or as some put it – make better coffee and have better service and then all is well 🙂 )
All the best @cafecoffeeday.

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IndiaSocial™Case Challenge is now live – time to see the depth of social media work in India.

It’s amazing how much time working out details of ‘seemingly’ easy things can take. Finally, after a couple of weeks of ‘in-the-making’ the IndiaSocial™Case Challenge that we’ve been busy coordinating is now ‘live’. My sincere thanks to exchange4media and impact Weekly for partnering with the initiative.
Open from 3 February 2010, through 28 February 2010 (IST), the IndiaSocial™ Case Challenge invites submissions of their social media work in India, from brands, private and government organisations, not-for-profits, media bodies, celebrity brands…

  1. Top 3 cases, as selected by the judging panel, will get featured in impact Weekly and also get an opportunity to present their case at a future event hosted by IndiaSocial
  2. Top 10 case-studies will be featured on IndiaSocial.in under a special Gold Class section
  3. Both short-term projects and longer term strategic work can be submitted to win under respective categories

On the judging panel are some of the most credible names in social media and journalism:
1. Dina Mehta, Co-Founder & Head of Research, Mosoci
2. George Skaria, Founder, ThoughtSpring and Former Editor, Indian Management
3. Kiruba Shankar, CEO, Business Blogging
4. Peter Griffin, Editor, Caferati; co-founder SEA-EAT and the World Wide Help Group
5. Pradyuman Maheshwari, Group Editor, exchange4media Group
6. Yours truly.
To ensure complete transparency and freedom from bias, any judge/judges will not rate an entry basis there/ their organisations involvement in a submitted case-study.
While we will share judging criteria along with declaration of winners, some of the factors that judges would be looking for consist:

  1. Clarity of objectives
  2. Alignment of results with goals
  3. Rigour in measurement
  4. RoI
  5. Stakeholder engagement
  6. Innovation & differentiation
  7. Delight factors

More about the initiative here.
I am hoping to see some great case-studies in the @IndiaSocial Case Challenge that will convince me that there is more to all the social media talk than mere hype.

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Sapling's growing up – Blogworks completed 3 years.

It’s interesting to read updates on Blogworks‘ anniversaries, one, two years ago, as I sit down down to write another about us turning three. Blogworks turned 3 ‘formally’ on 26 December 2009 and, this post should have been up on 28th, but the previous post will summarize why I couldn’t write it until now :).
Year 2010 has started on a promising note. Last year, this time, the world was a different place – the slowdown had started to impact everyone. We too felt direct impact for about 2 months, which in turn cost us many more to get our cash flows back into order. Looking back however, it worked out well for us – the work that we started December ’08, started to pay-off towards September-October 2009.

  1. Becoming an organisation: small, but an organisation for sure. My colleagues are going out and ‘winning business’; submitting thought leadership articles; participating in crucial decisions about the company’s future; we formally articulated our Values; collaborative working is pretty much a norm.
    We’ve been leveraging technology – internal wikis and chat systems are just some manifestations, and are going to hold us in good stead, as we add more people.
    We moved into a new office in May ’09 – everyone who has visited us since has simply said, “what a lovely office”. Yesterday, with new colleagues, and guests, we realised that we might need to add more space. Amen.
    We’ve been very selective in our choice of people, that isn’t going to change.
  2. Evolution and Rigour: we worked non-stop through the year to add large multinational brands, as well as overseas start-ups – delivering strategic value to their social media programmes, even looking at every tactical initiative from a larger perspective; some great experiments that delivered valve – Samsung Corby Colour Wars, for example, took about 15 days of background work.
    RoI is our promised focus, from week reports to monthly and quarterly reviews, we believe you can measure anything, if you know the goals.
    Last couple of months have also seen frenzied activity in terms of evolving new practices – an Enterprise practice is in the works; the current marketing practice is likely to get split into 2.
    We’ve silently been incubating a few new initiatives, nothing to report on them right now :).
  3. Thought Leadership: the contribution we started over the last 4 years, continues. 2009, saw the launch of:
    India Social Media Survey Report – Edition 1 with exchange4media
    Exchange4Media made us a partner on the India Social Media Summit, in March 2009
    – Significantly, we seeded India Social™ recently with an aim to bring together stakeholders in the Indian social media eco-system for engagement, sharing, learning and collaboration in a vibrant space – physical and virtual.

Last few years have taught me that it’s sometimes difficult to ‘predict’? what future holds, best to just keep our heads down and focus on what we need to do. However, with a clear understanding that “either we can wait, or we can create,” we are not going to wait for sure. Expect more from us.
Thank you, all, for being there with your support and good wishes – grateful.

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IndiaSocial™- Social Media Open

IndiaSocial™ – social media open, a new initiative seeded by the team at Blogworks, got off with a soft launch a couple of days ago.
It’s been a few months in the making, when in the course of a discussion we realised that while there is a lot of great work happening on the social media scene in India, it is dispersed – it needed to be aggregated, showcased. Also, with the revolution well set in, the space needed to evolve – sharing, learning and collaboration were tasks at hand.
Intuitively I wanted to call it IndiaSocial, nothing else seemed to fit = my colleagues loved it too – so we went and acquired the domain name at a premium. Several rounds of discussions later, we agreed to that IndiaSocial will:
…aim to bring together stakeholders in the Indian social media eco-system for engagement, sharing, learning and collaboration in a vibrant space – physical and virtual.
There were elaborate discussions on concepts like ‘bringing together under an umbrella’ versus ‘open-ness’ and we agreed that the promise of IndiaSocial was going to be ‘Social Media Open’ with open embodying openness – embracing all stakeholders; open discussions; akin to a sport field ‘open’ showcases team spirit and a level play field.
To begin with there are 3-4 initiatives that are planned:

  1. Case-study Series: Will share, on an ongoing basis, the best Indian case-studies of social media usage and impact across sectors – government and policy, not-for-profits, media, enterprise, human resource and marketing.
    We are keen to put together a panel of credible leaders from the space, with a reputation for transparency, to help us structure guidelines for what should make it on the IndiaSocial Case-study series. I have spoken with a few friends and will be speaking with more…
    If you have a case with real impact, please share it here
  2. IndiaSocial Wiki : Will aim to dynamically capture the social media journey and resources from an India perspective. We’re hoping to tie-up with institutions and individuals to ensure that accurate content and learnings are shared. If you are interested in contributing, write to us at open@indiasocial.in
  3. IndiaSocial-2010: We are planning a large format social media event, in 2010, to showcase the social media landscape and opportunities in India. In the interim, we expect to bring some other events in collaboration – will keep you informed about that soon.

We have also been speaking with a few others to come on board as ‘Friends and Supporters’ and will be adding a few shortly.
Our approach to building IndiaSocial is clear. We want to adopt what I like to call the ‘Restaurant approach’ – soft launch, work on issues, take feedback into account, better-better- better, word-of-mouth to build the brand – against a ‘Pub Night Club approach’ – goes up quickly, comes down soon enough.
If you’d like to collaborate, do reach with your thoughts.

  1. Follow IndiaSocial on Twitter: http://twitter.com/indiasocial or add @indiasocial
  2. Follow IndiaSocial on Facebook :http://facebook.com/indiasocial
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Recent Podcast interview with Kamla Bhatt featuring yours truly and Anurag Batra

Driving to work this work morning, I was listening to this recent podcast by my friend Kamla Bhatt “Social Media in India, what’s missing” where she interviewed me and Anurag Batra, Managing Director, exchange4media. I thought I should share it here…
Some of the points we discussed:

  1. Social Media environment in India
  2. How do Indian marketers see Social Media, is there a disconnect at the top
  3. Will corporate blogging takeoff in India?
  4. RoI of Social Media
  5. Are marketers lazy?
  6. Misplaced focus on tools
  7. Social Media and Bollywood
  8. Much more…but why don’t I just let you listen in to the discussion 🙂 – here you go.

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