Blog Archives

Lists on Twitter – India Related Lists

[tweetmeme source=”gautamghosh”]

Ever since Twitter introduced the lists feature (if you don’t know what Twitter lists are check more about it here) opening up the ability for every user to curate and publish lists, there has been a explosion in the number of lists that people have made.

This post is on some of the twitter lists I have encountered that focus on Indians on Twitter.

If you know more such lists – feel free to add them in the comments: – following 496 people – following 475 people – follows 493 people


5 ways to use Twitter effectively

Ever since I joined Twitter, I noticed the barriers to being a card carrying A-list member of the social media club just got lower. Twitter is flattening the rules of the game. 

So how do you become a power twitter user?

  1. Timing is everything. The earlier you were on Twitter, the earlier will your avatar show on your follower list. That means your avatar is important on Twitter. It should pique interest for people to visit your twitter page.
  2. Have a purposeful bio: When you follow someone and they view you on their follower page, a mouse-hover on the name shows your short bio. Make it persuasive for people to follow you. In a lot of cases I don’t follow people because that bio does not tell me anything meaningful about why I should follow them
  3. Reply to all your @ replies: I believe Twitter is a conversation medium more than anything else, and therefore when people @ reply to you, use not just the reply feature on twitter but also tools like TwitterFox (a Firefox plugin) or TweetDeck to track replies to you that don’t begin with @example username.
  4. Don’t indiscriminately follow people in the hope they follow you back. Use for figuring out who shares your interests and then follow them. To enable people to find you make sure your tweets are relevant. 
  5. If you have a blog, resist the temptation of using twitter solely as a medium to broadcast your updated content. If you do want to do it, create a separate account for it, like this.

What are some of the ways you have found twitter useful?

50 most influential Twitter users in India

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

[tweetmeme source=”gautamghosh”]

Ok, I know Twitter is the next big thing or already is the big thing in the social media scene.

Mani Karthik’s put together a list of the 50 most influential Twitter users in India, and yours truly gets ranked there at number 16!

Now there’s another list maintained by the Twitter Grader folks which enables you to list geographically the “twitter elite” of India, where again I get ranked as number 16.

However, the point in social media is not to get swayed by the big hits or big guys, but to find the most relevant for your needs in The Long Tail of blogs/twitterers/networks etc.

So forget the Elite of all India, who all are your most prefered twitter users? That’s important!

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The 3 vertices of your social media presence

If you are looking at branding your strengths, competencies, skills and talents in these times of economic slowdown here are the three vertices on which your personal branding strategy has to rest:


1. Blogging: The fact that you are reading this means you get it. However, mere hobby or political or movie blogging (unless you plan to make a career in anything related to politics/movies) is not going to help. Even in India people are getting googled for the traces of their digital past. So blog about your professional passions.

Love to write code? Blog about the cool stuff you’re doing – but be careful not to reveal any company secrets.

Love to sell ? Blog about the latest sales method you employed and how it’s benefiting you.

Blogging as a cornerstone is useful in skills which can be showcased. Linking to news items or commenting your opinion is not enough. Your thinking and skills should be able to come through on your blog.

Love painting? Photography? Then you probably need to use flickr as a blog.

Respond to comments. Write passionately. Keep a deadline for yourself. Connect with other bloggers in your niche and build a community that grows. Participate in the blogging community events. Like this.

2. Social Networks: Depending on who you’re trying to reach out you could try to brand yourself on social networks like Orkut and Facebook. However, you could also choose to keep yourself private. However, if like me you choose to use social networks like a platform, then you’ve got to make sure you take every step by thinking about it – twice! You could also use a page on Facebook to brand yourself. Profiles on Facebook and Linkedin – are searchable by Google. Here are ten ways to use Linkedin (via the Linkedin Blog)

3. Twitter: Slowly but surely Twitter in India is becoming as much a way to increase one’s reach and connect with other passionate people. In a way twitter enables me to connect with people on a more personal level than a blog and have a mix of personal and professional conversations.

Try not to spam people on twitter, so things like Twitterfeed (which publishes my blogs’ feeds) are posted through a different twitter account. There are a lot of bloggers outside my niche with whom I would never have connected if it wasn’t for twitter.

According to my experience Microblogging services like Twitter help one build a breadth of networks while blogging help people build a greater depth in network. Or maybe that’s simplistic. The truth is somewhere in-between.

Twitter also has helped me shorten my earlier long winded statements – 140 characters only forces you to edit yourself ruthlessly.

On the Delhi Tweetup

On Saturday evening I was faced with a little dilemma. The Delhi Tweetup organized by the Delhi Bloggers’ Bloc was scheduled at the same time as Abhijit’s book release function. While the former was at Nehru Place, the latter was scheduled at Select Citywalk Mall, Saket.

Like the naive DALHIite I assumed I could get to the Tweetup and then drive down to Saket. 

How could I have been such a fool. Apologies Mr. Bhaduri, but the devilish Delhi traffic put paid to rest any such plans I had.

However, the tweetup was great ! 

It was the second such occasion for me (the previous one being in Mumbai) when I got to meet people who are online friends.

So there were people like prolificd, twilightfairy, mojosanjay, arjunghosh, vimoh who I’ve been interacting with for some time and others like jeetblog, mayankdhingra, simplyarun and kumar_rahul whom I got to know also.

There were quite a few other people, and interestingly they were still not on Twitter. 

Was asked to kick off the session , and I guess I rambled a bit about social media, conversations and how the quality of conversations is most important for any social media enthusiast. I took the creativity model of “divergence and then convergence” to draw a parallel that any information overload has to be funneled the same way, diverging to get a diversity of opinions and then converging – according to each user’s capacity to filter and get value from those conversations. Of course, the name of Scoble cropped up and I also talked about Gauravonomics as people who can monitor immense social media ‘rivers of feeds’ and also to keep engaging in real conversations also. 

I guess it’s a skill that some people develop over time. 

My invitation for the group was to be sure what is the value they are looking for from Social Media. Whether they are looking to be at the edges of their own chosen areas. And we talked of cool web 2.0 jobs as well, like Editors for Tweeting, as Penelope Trunk blogged recently she can’t tweet about investing and sex in 140 characters without an editor! Of course Monetization came up too – and stumped me. Only one person tweeted that the talk was cool… so I really don’t know if I did well at all 😀

Mayank Dhingra talked about the startup he’s co-founded, Kwippy and how it looks at microblogging from a conversational perspective, and the things they have done to build a community there. I got myself an account today and it seems promising. 

Priyanka a.ka. Twlightfairy talked about her personal experience of having her Flickr picture being plagiarised and used by Times of India and their refusal to believe that they had done anything wrong! The discussion evolved into the complex definition of copyright laws and the power of big media houses and of course the Indian judicial system’s non-enabling role. The story had a kind of happy ending with Times of India agreeing to compensate her for the commercial use of the picture and also printing a corrigendum yesterday.

Rahul then talked about copyright and the linkage with early times of the web and where we are headed now.

It was becoming a little late for me and I had to leave his talk midway.

It was a great experience and am already looking for the next occasion I can get to meet the gang again.