Manorama Online@25: A Celebration of Digital Diversity

It has been a quarter of a century since Manorama Online ingrained itself as the beacon of Keralites across the globe. On the Silver Jubilee of Manorama Online’s gracious presence in the illuminated psyche of the Malayali populace, Kerala’s premier portal is seeking out fresh digital pastures. After the era of reading the news, and later watching it, Manorama Online, which was launched by tapping the endless possibilities of the Internet, has been taking each step forward by safeguarding the credibility and lofty standards of the ‘Malayala Manorama’ brand.

Along with this, Manorama Online acquired a new identity beyond that of being the online version of the largest circulated vernacular newspaper in India. It was Prince Philip of Britain who lit the lamp in Kochi on October 17, 1997, to signal the start of Manorama Online. The English version began its operations in 1998. On June 20, 2002, K.M. Mathew, the then chief editor of Malayala Manorama, dedicated the redesigned Manorama Online to its readers, which factored in space for entertainment, in addition to news. Manorama Online grew into a multi-media platform by synergising the astounding progress in the field of technology. From its initial presence on computers, it extended its reach to mobile phones, tablets, and smartphones. It unveiled a mobile application and took to the readers the idea of “news and entertainment at one’s fingertips”.

Smart before smart phones

It was Manorama Online that utilized the possibilities of the mobile phone to reach readers even before the era of smartphones. Facilities to listen to interviews with prominent persons, cricket scores, astrology, cinema reviews, and to download ring tones were offered through services such as the Interactive Voice Recorder (IVR). Making Manorama Online available on Nokia phones by joining hands with the company, which was the world’s biggest manufacturer of mobile phones then, was a sweeping innovation.

Manorama Online, the first Malayalam news portal to offer podcasting, also launched 'My Manorama' for readers to share news and photographs, and “Manorama Mail” for sending e-mails and chatting online.

Animated videos and games were rolled out for children.The “Learn Malayalam” programme, introduced to help expatriate Keralite children who did not know Malayalam, received wide acceptance. “Manorama Online E-mart” for online shopping and a travel map with details about the key tourist centres and cities of Kerala were the next steps.

The establishment of kiosks in airports for accessing the Malayala Manorama's extensive range of offerings drew wide attention.

(We got this information in a press release).

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