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Marketing:Buying your own brandname keywords- A trick by HootSuite

I have always been intrigued with why a company would buy keywords for it’s own Brand Name, eg: If someone is searching for Maruti, you know they want a Maruti and as per me Maruti stands to gain nothing by buying the keyword “Maruti”. There are various explanations such as

1. Preventing Competition from buying it:

Unless you have a very generic name such as Shaadi , your competitors may not stand to gain much . Yes, agreed that you may not want a customer to showcase their results when someone searches for your name , but it may not justify the high cost of buying a keyword of your own name. Do companies do a cost analysis to see if the Return of investment for buying those ads is justified? A simple test would be to see the CTR with and without your Ad for your Brand name .It may not make economic sense many times

If you have a distinguished brand name, you anyways should be the number 1 results in search. If you are not , it is an SEO problem, much more important to fix than a marketing problem. You are then wasting your money on ads

2. Display specific information:

Some advertisers may contend that they can display some specific information such as a coupon code to the user or point out the most relevant information. My point is ,that  it should be on your website and not search. Assume I am searching for makemytrip , why do I want to see makemytrip cupon as an Ad? I should be seeing it on makemytrip itself.I am anyways going to navigate there most probably  MakeMyTrip may be better off buying keywords such as “cheap flights”. How many customers could be lured by a competitor such as yatra.com when the user is specifically searching for makemytrip?

My point here is that advertisers tend to sometimes forget the intent of search and try to carpet bomb the user with ads. Intent is much more stronger than distraction(Ads are distractions at the end of the day) .

But finally ,very recently ,I accidentally stumbled upon a legitimate use of buying your own brand name  by looking at ads by  HootSuite .

HootSuite is a social media management website and it buys the keyword hootsuite. Why you may ask?

Well , this is my theory:

HootSuite knows that the user searching for HootSuite is genuinely interested in the product and possibly is a customer. Hootsuite now has 3 kinds of plans

  • Free
  • Pro – Available with 30 day free trial
  • Enterprise-30 day free trial.

It knows that a person who takes a free trial of Pro and Enterprise is most likely to buy the plan ,but most free customers may not necessarily convert .

It needs the free plan to hook the un-interested customers , but it would rather want the interested  customers to simply jump to pro or enterprise. If someone is interested in hootsuite and simply goes for a free account, it is a loss for hootsuite.

Hence , it uses it’s ad to direct users searching for hootsuite to the version of the site that ONLY has pro and Enterprise version but NOT free version.

Is it a good practice? I leave the user to decide about it. Is it a successful practice? Seems so.

Interestingly Hootsuite is using the same trick for other keywords as well, such as people searching for social media management tool. So my assumption that it might only be for people searching for hootsuite is incorrect .I am not even sure if they had this theory in mind? .

I have a hunch that hootsuite is possibly directing users to the free plan for certain keywords that do not display user intent of buying a Social media management tool,but till now I have not been able to find any. I find it ridiculous that when people search for free tool also, HootSuite ads directs them to it’s pro account creation page and not free. The free account is visible only if you go to their website via search results.

Nevertheless, I find this interesting, and this maybe a legitimate reason to buy keywords of your own brandname and still make good economic sense.

 

HootSuite ads

 

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Inspirations Simply Random

Paint a little more

A moment before Void-Painting
A moment before Void-Acrylic Painting made using fingers–No brush

 

Pain--Acrylic Abstract PaintingPain--Acrylic Abstract Painting
Pain–Acrylic Abstract Painting
Soul Trees- Acrylic painting
Soul Trees- Acrylic painting

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WeChat–Let’s Talk

So we have been asked to name 5 or more  living or dead real or fictional  people in a we chat group.To be frank I was confused, there are SO MANY possibilities . I could connect Socrates and Hitler and make them talk about sanctity of human life as per them  or maybe Tom and Jerry to see how they fight on chat, or maybe the road runner and Wile E. Coyote and see more Coyote’s plans fail. How about dexter(Cartoon) and Transformer along with didi ..Man that would be fun, the little dexter would freak out .

Anyways after much thought I decided on these people apart from me in the group

But first

What will we talk about?

We will play the game of werwolf( also called Mob) where participants are divided into villagers and Mob members (Villagers do not know who the mobsters are) and they have to verbally fight out and convince each other of their innocence and vote out one person at a time. Basically the game relies on mind games, lies and deception(by mobster) and ends up in LOT of arguing, groupism and friendly fights :P. We will take this to a new level by playing it over WeChat. Think about it, multiple parallel conversations going on between people and the main stuff going on in this group

My List:

Dolly BindraDolly Bindra: Oh yes the BIG BOSS fame one.Would be fun to have her there, and you know what?  We will target her for elimination very early and she will have to fight to not get eliminated .I know , I know some of  you hate her , so , Just for the fun: she will not be allowed to use Voice messages on wechat :D..She can ONLY use TEXT…No Emoticons or pictures for her too :D. Now that would be cruel. She has to express her anger by typing with CAPSLOCK whenever she is angry…Oh wait, That would mean ..ALL THE TIME

 

Kristen StewartKristen Stewart: Oh yes the twilight actress, oh she is HOT. But before you guess what she is doing there, let me tell you the rules of chat for her. NO TEXT …ONLY PICTURES. SO basically , she will have to express her feelings by sending pictures of her face :D. I mean so many people around the world are waiting to see her second expression, think about the possibilities when she has to converse with just her face.

 

Sheldon CooperSheldon Cooper:  Oh man, I am sure he will not understand why it is funny to not let Dolly speak and to make Kristen act and this would be hilarious to see. I am sorry I sound cruel 😛 but the group would be super fun with somebody so obnoxious yet so lovable in the group(I am talking about Sheldon Cooper). And yes let me see how he applies logic to the randomness of the game MOB

 

 

spong bob square pantsSponge Bob Square pants: Come on people, we need some cheer around here. I mean this guy can simply lift you up when you are down. He will be positive every single time

 

 

Amitabh BachhanAmitabh Bachhan:  And behold the one who will speak the most. He will be like a narrator, moderator  and even translator cum voice for all people not speaking(Dolly and Kristen). I mean who better than him.He will take the game to the next level

 

And if you thought this was great, let me surprise you a little. The last but not the least person in the group would be

 

 

 

Morgan FreemanMorgan Freeman: Oh Man, this would be awesome, can you believe Morgan Freeman along with Amitabh Bachhan speaking. How much more epic can it get?I mean you would actually feel like listening to what Dolly might have to say(In Freeman’s voice obviously), that awesome. And why Morgan Freeman?

” Because he announced his own birth” .

Ok jokes aside, read the following line in Morgan Freeman’s Voice and you will know

Morgan freeman doesn’t listen to  no for an answer, you know why? Because he is the one speaking. And when he speaks, HE SPEAKS

These two people can take a normal chat to an artistic level, a chat that can inspire people to do the impossible, to change the world…Ok I am just blabbering now

 

SO this is my group, the decision was difficult I must say. Other strong contenders that I considered but could not add to the list were

  • The Great annoying Orange: He can annoy ANYONE, he is the fruit version of Sheldon Cooper
  • Poonam Pandey
  • Kamal R Khan
  • Manmohan Singh: I would have forced him to ONLY SPEAK
  • Lady Gaga
  • Peter Griffin

And let me end with a nerdy joke

“List to apani honi chahiye, Linked to Linkedin bi hai”…

Ok I am bad at it,only computer engineers might understand it..and still not laugh :(…. No more jokes and all the best 😀

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This post is an entry to wechat contest at indiblogger.in
http://www.youtube.com/user/WeChatIndia

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3 positive trends in modern Healthcare

“Modern day healthcare
Before I start talking about modern day healthcare, I must say that the proof of the pudding lies  in the data
In year 1980 average life expectancy in India was 52.2 but by 2010 it rose to 65.71

As we can see that modern healthcare has had a defining influence on the way the humanity is shaping up. People are living longer and more and more diseases are being cured/eradicated

There are many aspects of Modern medicine that are worth while such as

  1. Robotics
  2. Possibility of Nanobots that can cure every thing at cell leve
  3. Innovations in drug formulations and trials
  4. Non invasive/minimum invasive surgeries
  5. And yes  pathbreaking surgeries such as heart transplant

But in this post i want to talk about 3 trends that are revolutionizing healthcare and bringing healthcare to all

Healthcare: Part of Life:Invisible:Non Intrusive

My belief is that medicine and medical care should become so non-intrusive and so embedded in our lives that it becomes second nature. One of the technologies helping us today in this regard is tele-health devices.Now the patient does not need to travel to the hospital , hospital travels to the patient. Basic devices such as ECG, Sugar and blood pressure have already made their mark and are helping detect problems even before they arise . Many more such devices will soon make a debut and revolutionize how patients themselves can monitor and take care of their health. Slowly health monitors would be embedded in our everyday objects such as T shirts cellphones and will make frequent monitoring and quick detection of health issues a reality

Affordability

Another aspect of modern-day medicine is affordability. No society can move forward by leaving more than 90% of it’s population behind.Sadly as medical care started growing by leaps and bounds, it also started becoming extremely expensive and affordable to only a select few

Now the trend has stared reversing slowly. More and more companies are targeting affordable healthcare without compromise of quality. With changing patent laws and the speed of generic replication, medicine is also becoming much more affordable. Innovations such as PBS systems would also help lower costs by bringing in economies of scale

Reverse Innovation

Local problems, Local solutions: When we look at rural india , we see that many of the modern-day healthcare cannot work there for various reasons such as lack of infrastructure, cost and training of professionals. This is what drove many companies  such as GE to look for alternative solutions . One such solution was the portable ECG machine

And ECG machine costs 5000$ or more, can be operated by only a trained technician and every ECG costs 20$

In rural india, there are no proper hospitals, trained technicians are not available,cost per ECG is way too high and electricity is either non-existent or unreliable.

Take for example ECG that GE redesigned the entire thing ground up.

They removed the screen,changed printing to paper rolls used in busses and made it damn simple to use. Result : The no frills ECG machine can run on battery,can be operated with minimum training and each ECG costs only pennies

Similarly there are examples of Jaipur foot which provides prosthetic limbs ,free of cost to needy .

Thus we see that modern healthcare is slowly but surely moving towards a more inclusive growth. Sure there are issues such as Patents on life threatening disease cures, patents on human genome but, things are moving . A true developed society would be the one where Healthcare is affordable , accessible and available to all

***this post is a submission to Indiblogger contest by Apollo Hospitals http://www.apollohospitals.com/cutting-edge.php*****

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Because Ideas Can strike anywhere

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This is my entry for a blogging contest organized by Indiblogger and Microsoft Office for Office 365

 http://www.office365.in

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I am a lover of words, words that can spark ground breaking ideas and strong emotions, words that can sooth and words that can bring about revolutions.

I am also a lover of collaboration, collaboration not just for Projects, but ideas. When two people get together to think together, it is always better than the sum of them individually.

I had this idea to get authors and writers together to write collaborative books, not science and course books but novels and stories. Think about how a story can go when not one but multiple authors give it shape. Thin about how many layers a character can have if multiple authors add one.

So yes my dream business would be collaborative books, a place where I can pair up young upcoming authors with new ideas and enthusiasm with the mosre experienced, who have the capability and experience to add nuances to the character of a story subtly .

Collaborative book writing

How can Office 365  help

Collaboration for Ideas:

Brainstorming

A small brainstorming website (Subsite) will be setup under the main site for every story project ,and will be accessible to only the authors collaborating on the story

The authors can initially start by brainstorming on Ideas on the built in discussion boards , this will also help in keeping record of all ideas.(Could be an Idea factory) Many authors use white boards for brainstorming. LYNC provides this facility and collaborators would be able to do that sitting anywhere in the world.

Idea factory could also help spawn off new story ideas for different novels and stories, hence making the idea machine perpetual 😀

Document Libraries:

Brainstorming screenshots and even things such as cover art etc could be stored in the document libraries. This will help authors see everything in one place.

For an artists it is extremely essential to see everything, Like you cannot write with conviction without actually experiencing it, every illustration in the book should be visible to the author as he/she writes, it can inspire him/her. Also many a times authors can simply convey ideas to each others as pictures rather than words. Picture libraries of SharePoint can come in real handy here

Story Writing

The best part would be writing the story, since now parallel editing is possible, both authors would be able to work on the same copy of the story. This will make sure that in the end the story created is consistent. All authors will be able to see the work of other authors and hence the issue of communication gap would not arise. The story board would also be versioned so that anytime the authors wish, they can go back to the original version.

Editing:

The storyboard, once done ,would be locked and only the editor would be able to edit it. Though the authors can always view the changes being made and also refer to the older versions . This will give the process of editing a whole lot of transparency and the authors will not feel like compromising with their creative expression. Authors can also stop an editor when they feel there is a  discrepancy.

Mobility :

As suggested in the title of this post “Ideas can strike anywhere“. This is very true especially in creative pursuits. What we need is access to the shared storyboard, anywhere and everywhere. Authors can get ideas sitting on a beach in Goa or maybe backpacking through the mountains or even driving though a desert. The main objective is to not lose that idea. I have personally lost a lot of ideas because I either do not write them or simply lost the envelope on which I noted it down. Cloud based Office 365 can help save this loss 🙂

Story readings:

After every book publishing how can we not have story readings by the authors. Lync conference calls can be used for that. Not only can we have multipel authors reading a part but also get selected audience to dial in and listen(They do not need to be users of Lync). The selected audience could also be other publishers in other countries to whom we might want to license these books.

Shareopoint Solution

So in the end let me present a short scenario, “The author sits on a beach, thinks that the hero of his story should be a Hippie  trying to find spirituality in Goa, while the author’s partner eating a hotdog in new york is thinking that the Girlfriend should be an ambitious young lady working as an investment banker…”

Here is a small diagrammatic depiction

SharePoint Collaboration

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Abstract Paintings: Riot of Colors and Monochrome

It seems all my posts are now about Paintings :). To a first time visitor this might look like a website dedicated to paintings by an Indian painter or maybe something to do with abstract paintings.

Let me assure you , this site is and will be dedicated to first and foremost Poetry , Voice over and audio recordings of poetry and then to anything else.

Ok , Back to paintings, so inspired by the appreciation I received for my abstract work Tejimala, I decided to get that painting framed and may I dare say, I love it :). It has turned out to be beautiful. at least to my own eyes . Have a look

Abstract Painting Tejimala FramedMoving on to the next set of two abstract paintings I made

Abstract Painting:  (Suggest a title)–Thoughtless

I can well imagine what some of you are saying, what the hell is this :). This is an abstract painting and I have tried some interesting techniques in it, click on the pic and again on the pic on media page ,it will take you directly to the pic, enlarge it and look closely 🙂

Anyways, I invite you to help me name it, if you hate it, you can say Garbage :P. I currently call it “Thoughtless”

Abstract Painting Nameless

 

Abstract Painting: MonoChrome Shadows

The title was suggested by a reader Rucheka Chaudhry.This is again an abstract painting using Just 1 color black

Abstract Painting Shadows and Trees

 

 

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Paintings By Poet

As some of you might know, I have been experimenting with colors lately , acrylic colors on canvas to be precise. I posted a few of my paintings earlier, wanted to share two more that I painted recently.

Tejimala : Abstract Canvas painting in One color

This is an abstract painting using just one color Black. The story of the title is interesting, I showed this painting to one of my friends Nivedita and the first thing she said was that it reminded her of Tejimala. Tejimala is a story found in some books of 1,2nd  standard, something we all might have read as kids. A quick google search of the complete story and 5 mins of reading convinced me that this painting had to be dedicated to Tejimala. Google the name, you will get the story. Simple and nostalgic

Tejimala - Acrylic Abstract Painting in One color

 

ISB benches: Canvas Painting

Worried with me always painting things with a black or depressing blue undertone, my mom wanted me to paint something bright..so here it is…It reminds them of ISB benches …hence the name:)

Indian School of Business Painting

 

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Moon and waterfall –canvas painting

As you must have seen in my earlier posts, I am trying to learn a new skill-Painting :).

Not sure how long will I continue but it sure is fun at this time. Both the paintings presented below have moon in them, I guess I just love painting the night sky, it has a certain charm about itself.

Also I figured out that I was using substandard brushes, I  had initially bought the cheapest brushes available and I believe that was a mistake. It is so much better to paint with good quality brushes. A word of advice to all starters ..”Buy good Brushes” .

I also have bought some special brushes such as a Fan Brush(By far the best brush) and a painting knife(Awesome for mixing paint and also painting mountains).I am also now graduating to a slightly bigger 12″x16″ canvas pad. Hoping to start on new canvas soon 🙂

 

Moon acrylic painting
Moon Stairs
Water fall acrylic painting
A scene I would love to see in real life

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Painting Trial: When you cannot stop

Kids like painting, getting their hands dirty, mixing colors and creating a scene they imagine. Once in a while when we pick up the paint we also can get into that zone, just relax, not think of anything and just paint.

This is what happened to me this weekend, i have been painting since morning and made 3 paintings, yes they are no where wear professionals and probably a school kid can paint better but still, it’s fun. Maybe the kid in me came out to frolic for a while

Sun behind the trees canvas painting
A sunny sunset
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Colors on Canvas-My Painting Trials

It is all about how you express yourself. I sure am biased towards poetry and words to express an Idea but overall , I find it hard to differentiate between any form of expression.Be it dance, words,melodies or a painting ,they all can be used to express an idea or evoke an emotions
Once a while I try my hand at painting. No I am not a painter and can hardly paint, I cannot draw to save my life but still painting feels good, feels refreshing and extremely relaxing.
I have never learned painting and all my knowledge source is YouTube and a few friends who sometimes give me tips..
I wish I could paint:)
But here are some basic paintings I did recently on canvas. I have tried Poster colors but Acrylic colors on canvas is something I love

Canvas painting of planets
I am afraid to sleep ..because i might miss the magic..
Planets
Canvas painting
Canvas painting of lonely tree in sunset
Sunset,Take me away with you, I want to ride the rays

 

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