What is the world doing online this Diwali?

by Shveta Singh13. October 2009 07:54       Bookmark and Share

It’s that festive time of the year again. So what’s on your mind besides the obvious shopping, sweets, firecrackers and gifts? Well, did you say spending time online? Don’t worry; you are not the only one. The world is online this Diwali.

Wonder what they are doing. Let’s just take a look:

Shopping

Indians love to shop for Diwali and now more than ever this trend is moving online. According to a recent PayPal Survey Indians are expected to spend more this Diwali than they did last year despite a weakened economy. Further, 75% of the respondents intend to shop online during this festive period. This switch is primarily motivated by reasons such as availability of time, to avoid crowds and for an access to a wider range of products.

The trend towards online Diwali shopping is also very evident if one were to check the shopping category for India on Google Insights. Diwali cards, greetings, and Diwali gifts are some of the keywords building up.

 

Fireworks

Those of us who detest jostling their way through the huge Diwali rush and bargaining to buy fireworks, can now actually order fireworks online. A Hyderabad based fireworks supplier Megastar Fireworks has recently launched this facility and is receiving a good response already. http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/now-order-fireworks-online-this-diwali/372958/

Further, with heightened consciousness about celebrating Diwali the green and peaceful way virtual fireworks could turn out to be a big hit this Diwali.

Gifting

With Diwali going hi tech, how can virtual gifting be far behind. Facebook, with its 7.5 million net savvy Indian population is leading the way in virtual gifting this year.  Take a look at some of the Diwali centric Facebook applications available, most notably the recently launched “Happy Diwali” by Cadbury’s.

Diwali Special Editions

Besides lining up the usual offers and promotions, companies are now viewing Diwali as an excellent opportunity to initiate a dialogue and build relationship with its customers online. We have recently executed one such Diwali special for Family Nestlé, where visitors can get Diwali recipes, Diwali related tips, send e-cards and participate in contests (http://www.nestle.in/nestle_kitchen/home.aspx).

Now that you know what the world is doing this Diwali, it’s time to log on and celebrate a green, noiseless and eco-friendly Diwali online.

Kosmix goes beyond Google ‘Search’; it lets you ‘Explore’

by Shveta Singh16. March 2009 07:23       Bookmark and Share

Here comes Kosmix.

 

That’s the news doing rounds everywhere on the World Wide Web and even outside the web.

 

So what is Kosmix?

 

Kosmix is a newest kid on the search block. However, it would be wrong to call it just another search engine. Founded by Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, Kosmix is not a traditional search engine. In words of Chris Shipley, from the consulting firm Guidewire, “It is Wikipedia meets Google search meets Answers.com”. In short, it’s a well-crafted magazine on topics searched. 

 

Unlike Google, Kosmix is not about finding the most relevant single piece of information; it's about organizing the Web so that one can discover relevant pieces of information. Infact, Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopaedia entry for any keyword.

 

We did our own bit of research to test Kosmix. Here are the takeaways:

  • Kosmix has a pleasant user interface. It shows text, images and videos in a magazine style layout.
  • The results are a mix of web search results, blogs, news, videos, images, audios, conversations, tweets, community results, reviews, how-tos, shopping results and other related topics.  
  • It might not be as effective for long tail keywords where one is looking for a specific document, as it is for topics where one would want to browse information.
  • The time Kosmix takes to throw back relevant results is much higher than Google. This is an area where improvement is required.

We did a simultaneous search on Kosmix and Google for the term Food Pyramid. Here’s a snapshot of how different the results looked.

 

All in all, pretty impressive. Let’s see how well it is accepted by the loyal Google users. 

 
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