From the time we first saw the internet in India, I’ve been obsessive about it. I watched the Rediff.com launch closely, I got excited about Sharekhan.com, about Indya.com, about the launches of Hungama.com and others of the ilk.
I got myself a Yahoo.com id, firstname.lastname@example.org, an id I use till today. I started a blog when blogging was the rage, on, naturally, Blogspot. I’ve since stopped blogging there as I blog here.
When Campaign India launched, I wanted to know more and more about digital – and disseminate more and more.
So it wasn’t a big surprise that our first supplement was called “Let’s get Digital,” where we asked those who were seeped in digital to share their learnings with our readers. In.com sponsored the supplement as a support to their own launch efforts. It’s interesting, as, today, they are in the top ten sites from India.
In the set up to why we chose digital as our first supplement (in September 2008), I wrote in the editorial: “The net is their library, their museum, their mall, their entertainment centre, their advisor, their teacher, their friend and confidante,” in the context of youth. “Would they have spent the same amount of time on the activities that I have described in the non-virtual world?,” I asked.
In the supplement, Kevin Swanepoel of The One Show wrote: “Killer applications and tech are changing consumer behaviour,”
But if you thought everything was about tech, think again: “Big ideas will be central and still needed to engage customers hearts and emotions,” wrote W+K’s Renny Gleeson.
Neville Taraporewalla said that significant revenues were available if publishers learnt from those higher up the learning curve.
How could you have a digital supplement without mention of Google? Federico Gross of Blinkx said, “With AdSense, Google earned its success by effectively tying banner ads to pagesof the textual Web. Now a new approach is needed for the Rich Media Web in order to accomplish a similar feat for video.”
Scott Goodson was at his cynical best when he said, “People don’t need more crap out there on the net. A big expensive website isn’t going to get people coming back.”
And how can a supplement on digital be complete with digital – or without Bob Greenberg? “ We are seeing just the beginning of mobile’s potential. As brands continue to respond to the needs and wants of consumers, they will propel the evolution of the mobile category.
And all this was written almost two years ago.
Tomorrow, we host the Campaign India Digital Media Awards presented by BBC.com – an award which recognizes the best communication solutions made in India.
BBC.com is a personal favourite – it’s a site I visit multiple times in a day. I use it most, funnily, for football. Often, I watch the matches on TV with my laptop next to me following the live text commentary on the beeb’s dotcom.
So it’s a personal delight that they sponsor this. It’s important that the sponsor has reason to be involved in an event – and none can but celebrate the fact that BBC.com is, with Campaign India, honouring all who excel in digital.
In the last few weeks, I’ve got a new obsession – the iPad. I’ve got one now, waiting for my keyboard and my dock, then I’m raring to go.
For me, it’s not a toy. For me, it’s something I need to understand to stay relevant. More and more brands are using digital in some form to communicate to their consumers and the tribe will increase.
Yesterday, I was at the W+K office in Delhi – and there was a team developing an iPad app for one of their clients.
We’ll hear of more such each passing day.
And the Digital Media Awards may prove to be badly named. “Thinking of digital as the Web is simply too narrow; words like the Internet and web are so 2007,” said Scott Goodson of StrawberryFrog in our digital supplement.
We’ve had a great start to the DMA. Tomorrow sees the event at the Comedy Store, Mumbai. Unfortunately, we have to restrict invitees as the hall seats just 325. The way things are going, when Campaign India and BBC.com sit and discuss next year, we’ll have to think of a venue that can hold thousands, not hundreds.