Aiming to grow their user base, portals in India are increasingly talking in vernacular languages. A few months after Yahoo! launched a co-branded news portal with Jagran Prakashan, Network18’s online arm Web18 has added a new media property called Josh18.com, a Hindi language portal that will provide news, information and a blog feature dubbed ‘Garam Chai’.
The ‘Garam Chai’ blogging section of Josh18.com has been categorised into specialised forums such as ‘Bahas’ to encourage debate on current issues, ‘Aapki Baat’ to express one’s view by setting up a blog, and ‘Global Chai’ for blogging on international topics. The bloggers will be able to type in Hindi through QuillPad, a new service by Tachyon Technologies that enables vernacular typing through a qwerty keyboard.
Betting on the power of Hindi, Neeraj Sanan, marketing head, Web 18, told agencyfaqs!, “If one goes purely by numbers, we are talking Hindi everywhere. Be it print, TV or movies, Hindi is the top medium to communicate in ... and communicating through one’s own language increases the likelihood of success.”
On the revenue model, Sanan said the monetisation strategy includes offering particular sections on Josh18.com for sponsorships to advertisers, but for the time being, the focus is on a good user-experience.