Cellstrat Digital Media Conclave: The social media takeover

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 24, 2010
During the third session of the conference, some interesting mobile social media products related to voice blogging and social networking were discussed

During the third session of Digital Media Conclave -- a conference organised by Cellstrat in New Delhi on Friday, May 21 -- some interesting social media products were talked about.

Cellstrat is a consultancy firm, which provides services related to mobile, telecom, media and retail and financial services sectors.

The session, titled 'Let's get social: The social media takeover', was moderated by Prashant Singh, developer evangelist, Spice Labs. The panellists comprised Thomas Clayton, chief executive officer, Bubble Motion; Mohit Gundecha, head, India operations and director, business development, Mig33.com (a mobile virtual community); Arvind Mohan, chief strategy officer, Rediffusion Y&R; Rajeev Dhingra, founder and chief executive officer, WAT Media and Rahul Razdan, president, products and operations, Ibibo Web.

Clayton shared Bubble Motion's recently launched voice blogging service, 'Bubbly', which he described as Twitter for voice. Bubbly is a fusion of micro-blogging in the voice format and social networking on mobile. Clayton explained that mobile phone subscribers can use Bubbly to set up their profile, follow other members and send voice messages or posts to each other.

The company has tied up with few mobile operators such as Airtel to offer voice blogging. BBC News has also adopted the service to broadcast to mobile users in India.

Clayton further explained, "To sign in and record messages, users will be required to press *7*. To listen to voice messages posted by Bubbly members, users have to press *2* on their mobile phones. Users can also invite and follow friends, or create their network on voice blogging." The duration of the messages is restricted to one minute each. Users can forward a voice message to their network of friends, and receive an SMS alert whenever someone posts a voice message in their network.

On the business model, Clayton said that posting messages and following friends on the Bubbly network would be free of cost; but users would be charged for listening to the message, on the basis of the duration of the message. Bubble Motion would share the revenue with the mobile operator.

Speaking about Mig33, Gundecha said that it is a social media platform for mobile-first audiences, who are looking for entertainment. Mig33's online presence is actually an extension of the mobile version of the site.

Mig33 enables users to create virtual identities, add or create a network of friends across the globe, engage in mobile chat, play games, and upload and share photos.

Gundecha claimed that the mobile social network has about 40 million users across the world, which, he feels, is a huge number for a mobile social network. The network has about 2 million users in India and about 2 million non-resident Indians (NRIs). The mobile site has users from tier 2 and 3 cities in India as well.

Dhingra used an interesting method to talk about social media. He came up with a PowerPoint presentation with blank slides; and asked the audience to participate in the discussion, so that he could source the content of his presentation.

He asked the audience to list the four Cs, which an organisation will require to remain in business. The audience replied -- 'Connect', 'Converse', 'Collaborate' and 'Co-create'. Dhingra briefly explained the relevance of these from the social media point of view. He ended his presentation by saying, "Social media is nothing but just another communication channel."

Mohan talked about how advertisers should look at the social media space. He pointed out, "Brands should understand that young people like those media, with which they can interact or do something. Brands should provide its audience the invisible platform; or opt for subtle branding and allow users to do things on their own with the platform." He added that though brands know what they want to talk about; they do not know what users want to talk about.

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