For once, I’m advocating a spash-screen for a website: Chandamama, the childrens magazine which was acquired by Geodesic last year, has launched Tamil, Telugu and Hindi versions of its site; I think it would simplify issues for the site to have a page which allows users to choose the language of their choice in the beginning itself, instead of a drop-down menu in the tab bar. The Telugu site went live in Feb.

Issues With Archiving
Chandamama also intends to launch sites in Marathi and Oriya (Orissa); going through the site, I noticed that they already have archives of content available in multiple languages – Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and English. To me, the archives are almost inaccessible. They are just image scans of the magazines, converted into PDF format. Consequently, the file I downloaded is 49 MB in size, and took 30 days to download (mild exaggeration…I gave up after trying to download for 20 minutes). The status of the archiving, so far:

English – from 1955 to 1985
Hindi- from 1949 to 1961
Kannada – from 1949 to 1958
Malayalam – 1942
Tamil – from 1947 to 1965
Telugu – from 1947 to 1959

Advertising – Then and Now
I couldn’t help but notice an ad in this editition of Chandamama (Hindi, July 1954) – for Veer Bachcha: A Tonic for Children, with an advertisement for Kateli Champa Kesh Tel (Hair Oil), both advertisements targeting the mother. Compare that do the current advertisement at Chandamama – Candyman, Bubbaloo and Bubba (Chewing Gum), targeting the child, though there is one advert targeting the parent – SIP Academy (apparently a training academy for kids)