Saturday, May 19, 2012

This country is becoming a bore

My crazy nation - India - is the one I am talking about. It is getting really boring day by day.

Zero sense of humour among the ruling class

They do not get a joke. Sometime back an enterprising guy created a video called Manmohansingham - it was very funny and if I was Manmohan Singh I would have sent him a free iPad.  Instead that poor kid got a threatening letter and a take down notice was issued to all the sites hosting it.

The list goes on and on - the Prince / PM in waiting does not joke at all. He is so young ( mid 40s I believe ) and he is going to be in play for the next 40 or so years - and I am getting choked thinking how I will spend the second half of my life - in utter boredom.

Recently the center that spends our tax money - was busy enacting drama on a funny cartoon from 1950s.. now this puts all the cartoonists in self doubt.

To be honest - I am only being partly true - I am getting good entertainment from the ladies - Selvi Jayalalitha ( 1 year = 100 years equivalent of achievements ), Mamta Di ( jailed a poor professor for a cartoon ), Mayawati ji & Election commissioner ( pink elephants ).

Would request the men folks to open up and have fun.  Else I will start campaigning for the above said ladies in the next election - Seriously.

On a related note - I stumbled upon - and Mrs.Hillary Clinton joined the fun herself - how cool is that. My vote is for her - if she ever runs for a post in India. Lucky Americans.

Cricket and IPL

The first one was novel. Second one was ok. Then it became disgusting multiplied by the number of Sixes being hit in each episode. Staged controversies, team owners soap opera, the fixed nail biting finishes. The good game is being hurried to death like a diabetic patient eating in a Sri Krishna Sweets Buffet.

Then there is the God of cricket. Hits his 100th 100 on a flat pitch against a minnow and the team loses - not only the match but the tournament as we didnt qualify for the finals because of this important match. And yet he celebrates. And declares he is a commercial artiste to avoid Tax. Yuk.

Sun Control Films

A Honorable Supreme Court Judge orders all sun control films to be removed from all cars except a) the Z class - the rich and famous. b) the ones that came tinted with the glass from manufacturer.

What appalls me is no one seems to be bothered about the consequences. For a tropical country like us we are now going to burn more fossil fuels ( yep - this is a high blood pressure patient eating an all you can eat Pickles buffet ), zero privacy at signals, cell phones/laptops no more safe if left in the car - a new can- crate of worms - are being opened as we are speaking.

It is suffocating, hot, boring.. like watching Doordarshan's shehnai program they usually play when an ex-PM dies - on a Sunday afternoon.

Yours truly
A Depressed Indian Citizen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Games Businesses play on Facebook and Twitter

I am not going into SEO and other games. This is about the new-age social media games companies are playing now.

Facebook Games

I used to drop my jaw in awe when I see some businesses having thousands of "likes". I still remember the early days when there was a bet in our team when ApartmentADDA will reach 50 likes. We are yet to reach the 1000 like mark. We let it grow organically and don't game on the likes.

However recently one of our "neighbours" in this domain, "just" jumped from 900 or so likes to - hold your breath - 9000+ likes overnight. I could not believe my eyes when I saw it.  They must have  bought these likes from some company which sells "likes" -  these are the 'work from home and earn money' shops.  If you look at Timeline then you will find where this abnormal jump happened - in May alone there were 5k likes - and may is not over yet. They had a similar jump in April. This is for a fan page which had tanked at 900 for almost a year.

Why will they do such a thing? What do they gain by doing it? Beats me.

The real "likes" on the other hand talk to you, answer your polls, get upset with you, pat you on the back - Facebook is a great platform to interact with your customers and also put a face to their names.

Twitter Games

Recently I went to change my residential address in ICICI Bank. The clerk/asst manager whoever introduced me to a lady sitting in a cabin - must be the branch manager. She pulls out a paper and details on a new investment plan called GSIP. After 20 minutes of explaining how it works she summarizes 5 benefits and the last one being oh - you also get insurance for this. It did not register in me that time but I got back and did a google search on GSIP.

First hit - it says Prudential Life Insurance. Damn - she was all along selling a life insurance product morphed as an investment plan. We had decided to keep insurance and investment separate - that way you get maximum returns on both. This was not my idea - it was Sangeeta's philosophy and a good one.

I tweet my frustration and @ICICIBank Cares picks it up. Asks me what your issue is and send me your contact information. I instead explain why I am not amused at the "mismarketing" of a product. I did not provide my contact details. Thought will do so after I see a sensible reply tweet and also wanted to know I am interacting with a bot or not. They go quiet and after a couple of days I see this tweet.

@venkat2 We have noted your contact details, we'll assist you soon.

If you go and looks at the ‏ @ICICIBank_Care tweets they seem to be interacting with their customers and solving their issues. Someone reading this would have thought - good they took care of @venkat2's issues.

Actually they have pulled a fast one on me - twice. First the manager who sold me an Insurance Product as an Investment Product and now this handle - probably run by a "social media expert".

Probably the customer support handle exists because in the new age you are supposed to have this one too - along with the traditional call support lines.

I hope these support handles are used effectively as this is a great way to cause customer delight.