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Weekly Digest (2-5 Dec)

Date: 2nd to 5th December 2008

Editors Picks

— Audience Measurement & Internet Users: The number of Internet users in India (or the lack thereof) is a signficant cause for concern is India. Komli Media launched the Vizisense Audience Measurement System, providing open and free access to site specific data. They currently have a panel of over 10,000 users, but intend to expand that beyond 50,000. Alongwith site statistics, they also disclose demographic information, which we feel is the primary differentiator for Vizisense. The launch sparked off a debate on the efficacy of the data, and whether an agency should collect facts directly via a tracker on Vizisense. Note that IMRB International is planning to launch an Audience Measurement System as well, but that will be paid.

— Do Indian Users Want Content In Indic Languages? at the Internet Governance Forum, Rediff CEO Ajit Balakrishnan said that he hasn’t seen much demand for Indic languages; the company, however, has invested in local language search and email. During the discussion, a significant was made on the requirement of multilingual standards – for the creation of a common set of semantics and terminologies, and the need for a framework and a common structure for script and language-based solutions. Some interesting comments here, and B.G Mahesh, CEO of OneIndia has responded on his blog, differentiating between reading and writing content, saying that the time has not arrived for the usage of Indian language in email, and shared some data on local language content usage.

— OTAs, Travel Agencies Boycott Jet Airlines; Not Expedia And Travelocity
Traven Agents and Airlines in India are at loggerheads – travel agents, including most (though not all) online travel agents (OTA), have blocked market leader Jet Airways. Over the past six months, given the rise in fuel prices and hence Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), Airlines had switched to a zero percent commission regime, forcing some OTAs to charge consumers a booking fee. Now with a reduction in fuel prices, there’s a demand for the commission to be re-instated. Remember that OTAs were among the more significant online advertisers, and a decline in their ad-spends has impacted online advertising in India.

Your Picks

— 81 Million Internet Users? The Internet Governance Forum threw up yet another statistic for the number of Internet uses in India – this time, it’s as high as 81milion. We don’t recommend that you base your business plans on seemingly high number as this. 

— Economic Times Portfolio Manager: BCCL publication has launched a portfolio manager, which allows users to track investments in Equity, Mutual Funds, Real Estate, IPO and even ESOPs. Users can import data from various brokerages, and there is a tax wizard  to help with tax filings. But is it too complex a product? More here.

Other Industry News

— BigFlix Claims 80,000 Users; Break Even By Q3 Of FY10
PayMate Powers PayBill Mobile Payments Services In Nepal; Why Not Direct?
— OneIndia.in launches Orkut App in Indian languages
— Sify Communications To Merge With Sify Technologies, Combining ISP With NLD/ILD Licenses
— I&B Ministry May Allow Cable Operators Right Of Way For IPTV
— Rajeev Chandrasekhar In Talks To Buy Stake In INX News
— Opera Mini 4.2 Launched In 12 Indic Languages
Mauj Takes FHM Mobile
— AOL.in launches Interactive Election Maps
— Amway India launches its e-commerce portal Amway.in
Ibibo launches iVideostar

Industry Moves
— Vineet Mathur joins UTV New Media as EVP
— P Gopalakrishnan, CMO of Bharatmatrimony, Quits

India Telecom 2008
Startup Saturday

To post jobs at MediaNama, contact nikhil@ medianama .com

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