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Web18 thinks Hindi with Josh18.com

Aiming to grow their user base, portals in India are increasingly talking in vernacular languages

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, Network18s 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 ones 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.

Josh18.com claims to have the largest library of videos produced by its television arms CNBC Awaaz and IBN7. The news content on the site will be powered not only by Network18s in-house content but also through news agencies.

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 ones 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.

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