Group's Fropper.com business head Navin
Mittal said, "Online relationships
can be built in a more mature manner if
the right tools are available. Without user
generated content (UGC), Web 2.0 is just
a piece of software. Hence we introduced
'easy-blogs' and albums where people can
upload photos. In India, its only a matter
of time that people will get click-happy."
founder Rehan Yar Khan however insisted
on content-innovation. Citing that users
already had an array of networking sites
to choose from, he said, "We've realised
that marketing of your product is crucial.
Its so damn expensive to make customers
aware of your product, that user-to-user
customer acquisition remains to be used
as a tool that can work better than viral
marketing. I think content differentiation
will drive traffic in this space."
another session, Windows Live MSN India
country manager Jaspreet Bindra moderated
a panel discussion discussing the marketing
perspective in Web 2.0. Whilst eliciting
some laughs with his tongue-in-cheek humor,
he sought views on how the advertisers viewed
Web 2.0 as a marketing tool.
artfully set the forum open, saying, "I've
realised that a user in Web 2.0 is like
a horse. You can lead it to the water, but
not force it to drink it. And yes, you get
to hear it straight from the horse's mouth."
IP Asia head Pushkar Sane however, considered
Web 2.0 as mere jargon. "Web 2.0 is
a term coined by the industry; users are
accepting the web in a seamless manner.
An identity shift is taking place as users
have become much more embracing to the virtual
world, writing and communicating with strangers,"
India MD Shailesh Rao said, "Mobile
and PC penetration is resulting into the
reality of a network. It is the power of
networks that's helping Google to float
content. Technology is getting cheaper and
any kind of marketing activity today has
to involve user participation."
to represent the blogger community, Chennai
blogger and F5ive technologies director
Kiruba Shankar tried clearing myths about
blogging, which today is a hotly debated
topic under Web 2.0. "Blogging is generating
money, of course. But it is wrong for advertisers
to look at blogs as page views. Blogging
and podcasting are mediums of expression.
The arrival Yahoo and MSN will make the
revenue model more competitive for blogs
provider for sites like Indiatimes, Sify,
MSN, Fropper amongst others, Akamai technologies
product marketing head Tarun Bangari asserted
that promotions have the best impact in
Web 2.0. Reacting to Shankar's example where
marketers went on overdrive to capture blogger
attention, he said, "You could set
up your own company sponsored community
on the networking sites. However, marketing
should not interrupt the spirit of discussion
on these sites."
India eAlliances head Garima Chaudhary however,
chose to adopt a cautious approach to Web
2.0. "Web 2.0 is a journey for us and
we're using it as a part of our conversational
marketing strategy with customers, wherein
we can receive better feedback from them.
However, it is tough to track the cost per
lead generated and hence we still need to
measure the returns on the same." She
however, rejected blogs as a medium for
the sessions however agreed on the fact
that although Web 2.0 is still in its nascent
stages in India, there is a lot of optimism
about the potential for growth. According
to estimates, even at the current internet
penetration, India has roughly 40 million
web users which is fourth highest in the