NDTV has launched NDTV Social, a community around its news anchors and shows, WATBlog has reported. You can use either profile (or your Google account) to join NDTV Social but your comment can not be shared directly as an update on social sites. The Info page for anchors is limited to the shows they host.
The features are starkly similar to Facebook – with a wall, status message, posts, links, photos, videos and even a small blue thumbs up for a “Like”. Followers of the anchors are called “Friends” – and you can also befriend a show, apparently.
And already the feedback is pouring in – the text boxes are too small – take a look at this status message by Gadget Guru anchor Rajiv Makhni – the sentence runs into 4 unique “status message”s, and since you see the latest first, the flow does not come across. The lack of a time stamp is also very obvious. NDTV Social may also have a live chat interface that has not yet been launched.
Nikhil adds: For a channel that has been, of late, been open and “social” enough to integrate almost-live moderated twitter responses to news in case of some shows (for example: The Big Fight and The Buck Stops Here), I find NDTV Social’s focus on only its anchors and TV shows inward-looking and narcissistic. The product looks great with links, videos, status messages, making NDTV anchors more accessible by enabling status updates and comments, but I doubt if this elaborate collection of fanpages will grow without two things: the integration of news (not just snippets in anchor-profiles) as a part of NDTV Social, and an integration of NDTV Social with the rest of NDTV.com.
NDTV Convergence, the digital arm of media group NDTV that handles the flagship portal NDTV.com, short-codes and WAP portal NDTV Active, has tied up with IT firm Hewlett-Packard India and IndiaMART, a B2B (business to business) marketplace, to set up a website – NDTV SME, targeted at small and medium business owners in the country.
The confluence of the three companies in setting up this portal attempts to offer a fully loaded site, with content from NDTV Profit, industry information from IndiaMART and (sponsored, but not obviously so) IT solutions by HP. Yet it stops short of being worthy of a bookmark or a home page for the businessman.
What it has: news, information on latest tenders issued, trade leads and catalogues of products and services offered by various SMEs on IndiaMART are available on this portal, as well as videos, blogs and an event list of trade shows, and HP’s range of products including PCs, workstations and office accessories. HP’s contribution to the portal includes whitepapers on energy efficiency and green datacentres, case studies of its products, a filtered list of IT tenders and an Ask An Expert form where users can interact with the HP India team.
What it does not have: If a businessman is planning to place an order for printers, for example, would he rather not have a full set of options presented to him from all the vendors? The website might result in lead generations for HP but from the user’s point of view, the site would have ranked higher without its alliance with just one manufacturer.
Content Is King
The site needs to create content that is relevant to the Indian SME: more in-depth news and reports of announcements, partnerships, statistics and updates from associations, sections on how to solve common business problems, top Software as a Service applications – content which will make the site more sticky. It may need to take a leaf out of portals such as BizTech2, CXO Today and CIOL by Cybermedia books. NDTV SME also allows users to search for flights and takes them to NDTV Travel, which it instituted last year with travel aggregator Ixigo. This is a smart addition, and it could do with a few more additions such as links to job openings, passport services, cab rentals etc.