Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is often credited with ushering in IT revolution in the country, but the policy which provided a head start in software exports was actually brought in by his mother Indira Gandhi weeks before her assassination, a new book on Indian IT says.
The 1984 policy providing the provision for software exports through satellite links was approved by Indira Gandhi's Cabinet but was announced by the Government headed by Rajiv Gandhi on November 19,1984, the book titled 'The Long Revolution: The Birth and Growth of India's IT Industry' says.
It was the provision of exports via satellite which attracted American firms like Texas Instruments (TI) and opened up new gateway for software exports from India.
Two other companies were licensed along with TI to set up software units with satellite links but only TI took off, says the book written by science journalist and author Dinesh C Sharma.
In fact, a number of policy initiatives including liberalisation of policies for computer and electronics sector, rural digital telephone exchange, software technology parks and computerisation of railways, which are linked with Rajiv's era, were set in motion by Indira after she came to power in 1980, it said.
"Post-1980, Indira Gandhi was a changed person. It was almost as if she was repenting for the excessive socialist policies unleashed under her rule in 1970s," Sharma told PTI.
Yahoo Inc said on Monday it has revamped its search to compete against Microsoft Corp's Bing, even as it relies on the Redmond giant to power its queries.
The announcement of plans to put a new face on Yahoo Messenger and Mail and add functions to its search engine came after news that Google and Yahoo each lost a fraction of a point of US search share to Microsoft last month.
"We are not a version of Bing," Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president of Yahoo, said to reporters at the company's headquarters.
"We are Yahoo and that will continue...We collaborate on the back-end but we are competitors on the front-end," he said,
At a press event held at their headquarters, the company gave more details of its complex relationship with Microsoft.
At the end of July, Microsoft and Yahoo signed a 10-year deal under which search on Yahoo's websites will be generated by Microsoft's new Bing search engine. The companies hope the deal will take effect early next year.
Microsoft will license Yahoo's search technology, allowing it to integrate certain aspects of it into Bing. Microsoft's advertising search product, AdCenter, will also replace Yahoo's equivalent product, Panama.
Raghavan said that when Microsoft sends ads along with its answers to queries, Yahoo may or may not use all of them, depending on a complex formula.
A new series of boxes to the left of search results and ads will give users more ways to make use of what they have found, said Larry Cornett, Yahoo vice president of search products.
A box powered by Internet security company McAfee Inc, will filter dangerous links. Videos will play without leaving the search page.
A box to sites like Yelp, which provides user feedback on stores and restaurants, can be clicked to check out the quality of a sushi restaurant without leaving the search page.
Cornett, who demonstrated the new approach, said it was undergoing testing and will be available some time this year.
Comscore reported Microsoft gained 0.5 per cent in July, but still only holds 8.9 per cent of the search market, compared to 64.7 per cent for Google and 19.3 per cent for Yahoo.
Yahoo shares closed up 20 cents, or 1.35 per cent, to end the day at $14.99 on the Nasdaq.
Social media may be for narcissists, but it’s also proving to be a business utility. Retailers are shifting their marketing dollars such that social media budgets are swelling, and creative contests are popping up all over the web. In case you haven’t noticed, social media marketing is big business.
Should you find yourself in a social media marketing lull, we think you can take inspiration from these five innovative and fresh ideas currently making their mark on both the online and offline worlds. The important thing to keep in mind is that whether you’re trying to engage a unique audience, tailor deals using location, advertise in new ways, go bold, or tackle your Twitter fear head on, you’re likely to find the most success if you can shake things up a bit.
1. Engage a Unique Audience with Themes
With marketer Chris Brogan’s guidance, Sony created the DigiDads program to specifically target influential dads with a series of different projects where their unique take on gadgets and life could really add a little social media magic to the brand’s new products. The three-month campaign, launched in mid-August, provides dads with Sony products — televisions, PCs, DSLRs — on loan (they’re not being paid) that they will use to capture and share family experiences as part of their current social media use.
The campaign is so creative that it captured the attention of AdvertisingAge, and is likely to continue to make waves as the daddy bloggers produce their digital content. Sony took a now common practice of utilizing bloggers and put a fresh spin on it by crafting their initiative with an untapped audience in mind. It is certainly an interesting way to get consumers excited about electronics.
2. Deals for the New Generation
The marriage between 8coupons and Foursquare served up some innovative deals to New Yorkers during the limited promotion period. Foursquare users received automatic notifications with discounts when they were within a 3 block radius of an 8coupon deal. The result is that deals were delivered to people when they could actually benefit from them, no clipping required.
As more phones become location-aware, the opportunity for location-based deals are endless. The ingenuity of the Foursquare and 8coupons partnership demonstrates that concepts considered old-fashioned can be refreshed and re-presented to captive audiences.
3. Advertise In a Whole New Space
With more demand than ever, Jason Sadler’s IWearYourShirt initiative is flipping the advertising world upside down. In a nutshell, you pay for any day of the calendar year, send Sadler your swag, and the entrepreneur and his business partner will wear your shirt and chat up your brand via various social distribution channels like Twitter, Ustream, and YouTube.
The best part about IWearYourShirt is that it’s the cheapest ad buy you’ll ever make, with prices starting at $2 for January 1st and going up by $2 p/day. Of course, you’ll have to act fast for the best deals because the first half of 2010 is pretty much completely sold out.
4. Be Extreme
Normally we’d never advocate sending dead grasshoppers or death notices in the mail, but two very different businesses found great success and immediate buzz by doing exactly those things.
In a rebranding effort Grasshopper, an 800 phone number provider, spent months putting together a list of the 5,000 most influential people in the US. They sent each of them a care package with realchocolate covered grasshoppers. The end result was a barrage of mainstream media coverage and social media mentions.
In a similarly bizarre ploy, the Discovery Channel freaked out influential new media types with a large package that practically appeared to be a death notice. The Frenzied Waters campaign was launched in preparation for the cable network’s highly anticipated annual Shark Week, and recipients received a jar with a note in it that read, “This jar holds a story – the story of a single tragic incident that needs to be unlocked. Dive in, investigate the evidence and discover what lies beneath the surface of frenziedwaters.com.”
Among other things, the jar also included included a large warning sign, shredded swim trunks (presumably from a deadly shark bite), and a detailed obituary dated for July 9th (a future date at the time of the campaign). Because the focus was on the Frenzied Waters website and the ominous date, recipients were initially at a loss as to what the mysterious package was all about. So, they were forced to do a little online digging before they discovered that the Discovery Channel was behind the whole thing. The Frenzied Waters campaign was a clever, if a bit creepy, way to get the right people talking and build up anticipation.
5. Embrace the Twitter Effect
Twitter can be a scary place if you’re in a business where breaking news could make or break your bottom line. Regardless of whether or not you believe that Twitter sunk Bruno, Hollywood has already accepted the reality of the “Twitter Effect.” Instead of cowering in a corner as Twitter ruins their box office, they’ve decided to give Twitter the full red carpet treatment and embrace it.
Stephen Bruno of the Weinstein Co. recently told the Baltimore Sun that, “I think Twitter can’t be stopped.” So he’s going to do something about it by taking a proactive stance. “Now you have to see it as an addition to the campaign of any movie … People want real-time news and suddenly a studio can give it to them in a first-person way.”
Eaamon Bowles, president of Magnolia Pictures, went on the record in the same piece to say that, “people will be twittering during the opening credits – and leaving when they don’t like them … the next step [for the Twitter Effect] is for studio marketing to manipulate it.”
Facebook users enthusing about an upcoming holiday or a recently purchased high-tech gadget may not just be telling their friends but also potential burglars, warns an insurance company.
A survey of 2,092 social media users by British-based Legal & General found nearly four in ten, or 38 per cent, of people using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter post details about holiday plans and 33 per cent details of a weekend away.
"Coupled with the finding that an alarmingly high proportion of users are prepared to be 'friends' online with people they don't really know, this presents a serious risk to the security of people's home and contents," said the insurer.
In a report called "The Digital Criminal," Legal & General said people used social media sites to connect with people who were essentially strangers, which could provide potential thieves with vital, personal information.
To test how readily people accepted 'friends' online, Legal & General's survey, conducted by European market researcher Opinion Matters, involved sending out 100 'friend' or 'follow' requests to strangers selected at random.
Of those 13 percent were accepted on Facebook and 92 percent on Twitter -- without any checks.
But despite these new 'friends,' the survey found that nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of 16-24 year olds shared their holiday plans, with younger users the most likely to give away information about their whereabouts.
Men were found to be quite relaxed about giving personal information online, with 13 percent including their mobile number on their profile compared with 7 percent of women. Nine percent of men also posted their address compared to 4 percent of women.
This reaction could result in a complete stranger potentially being able to learn about a person's interests, location and movements in and out of their home," said Legal & General.
Reformed burglar Michael Fraser, who appears in BBC's "Beat The Burglar" series and helped Legal & General prepare the report, said this kind of information was being used by professional burglars to establish a list of targets.
As well as information about trips away, people were posting party photos showing the interiors of homes and also chatting about their cool new purchases and presents.
"I call it "Internet shopping for burglars." It is incredibly easy to use social networking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home ... all from the comfort of the sofa," said Fraser in a statement.
"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that burglars are using social networks to develop relationships with people to identify likely targets.