It looks like Gizmodo.in and Lifehacker.co.in, the Indian edition of Gawker Media’s technology focused sites Gizmodo and Lifehacker has gone live, in beta, with content that appears to have been added and compiled over a period of time. (h/t Abhimanyu Radhakrishnan)
Content: At the time of writing this post, Gizmodo India offers a mixture of International content sourced from its parent site and local content, however we noticed that the local content is pretty low at the moment. On the other hand, Lifehacker India currently offers only International content sourced from its parent site. That being said, its quite possible that both the sites will feature higher local content once these sites come out of beta. Update: Times Internet has informed that these sites will be officially launched next week and they are currently populating local content on the site.
Gizmodo India currently offers news across various categories like Gadgets, Apps, Design and Software among others. Similar to its parent site, the site also has quirky categories like WTF & Watch This on its portal. However, we noticed that many of the category links on the site are linked to single stories. For instance, Gadgets category is linked to a story on an iPhone Charger while the Apps category has been linked to a story on Pizza Compass app. However, its possible these are just initial glitches and it will be fixed when the site is officially launched.
Opportunity: What’s particularly interesting is that the site also has stories on relatively unexplored areas like Science and Music technology among others, although all of them are International stories. If the site is able to create local stories on these topics, we believe this could be an opportunity for Gizmodo India to set them apart from the plethora of competing gadget sites in the country.
Remember that, while handsets and devices segment brings in significant traffic to site, the problem with this segment is that it is too much commoditized in India, with the pricing of a specific handset launched five to six months ago elsewhere being the major news for gadget sites and gadget reviews and news are sometimes written just to garner the extra pageviews through search. Judging by the content currently, they currently don’t seem to take the pageviews-based approach but we wonder if the site changes its course later to compete with sites that take this approach.
Format: Format-wise, Gizmodo India and Lifehacker India seems to have adopted a magazine design. There is a cover story section with related stories in sub-text, followed by other featured stories from the portal. There is also a sidebar widget which showcases the top stories, most read stories and most commented stories on the portal and a footer widget which offer article suggestions to readers. Expectedly, there is also a keyword based search box which allows users to search for any specific story. Update: The site also seems to sport a responsive web design, which resizes the website based on the device on which the reader is viewing the article.
One can register for the service through their Facebook and Twitter credentials or via their email. However, we are not sure if the company has anything planned for these user accounts besides allowing users to comment on stories and share this comment on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. There also seems to be a social reader in the works, as suggested by an annoying popup when one visits the site.
The site also links out their respective parent sites Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com, however the parent sites doesn’t seem to have linked back these India versions at the time of writing this article. In January 2013, Times Internet* CEO Satyan Gajwani had informed Medianama that the US versions will redirect to Indian URLs when traffic is visiting from India and that Times Internet will monetize what’s already a strong existing base, while investing efforts into growing the audience base and brand relevance locally.
What About Technoholik? Times Internet also owned another tech focused property, Technoholik which was launched in 2010. During the partnership announcement with Gawker Media, Gajwani had claimed that Technoholik will co-exist with Gizmodo India since its an independent property and the company believes that multiple brands brings in multiple voices.
However, as anticipated, it looks like Technoholik has now been shelved, with the last update on the site posted on December 30, 2012.
We have contacted Times Internet on the status of Technoholik and will update the story once we get a response. Update: Gajwani has informed Medianama that Technoholik will be shortly redirecting to the tech section of Times Of India website.
P.s: We wonder why Times Internet didn’t follow consistency in setting up domains for Gizmodo India and Lifehacker India. While Gizmodo India is Gizmodo.in, Lifehacker India is Lifehacker.co.in not Lifehacker.in.
Disclosure: Times Internet is an advertiser with Medianama. Also, in terms of content, there may be areas of overlap (and hence competition) between Gizmodo India and MediaNama.