IndiBlogger – Lets suggest something for you!

Posted on March 5, 2008. Filed under: Free tips, Review | Tags: , |

When I started this blog, with my first post, I hardly had any visitors. I was thinking of ways to promote this blog (Apart from spamming :)). A google search for Indian Startups Blog at that time mentioned IndiBlogger.in. For readers, new to this site, IndiBlogger is a directory listing of all Indian Blogs. They were mentioned in the press for a few times. They also have search only version (For some Google money?) here. This post is based on their personal request.

As usual I am writing the post in points.

Please upgrade!

Frankly speaking, your site appears like a traditional telephone directory or a classifieds listing where people have to search to find anything. While this might be good for starters like me to get their blogs listed and gain some traffic, what is in it for bloggers who are already established like Arun and Aasish?

My two cents for making your site more useful than it is.

Forget Search

Forget it. Nobody wants to search any more. How about suggest? Lets take my profile page for instance. I have mentioned the tags for my blog. How about suggesting blogs with the same tag in the simplest case? You can also email me when a new blog is getting listed with the simillar tag. And thus make me repeat visits and hence more traffic! I could say Orkut suggesting communities to be a good example for this. Not to mention, we are not expecting something very algorithmic like Orkut’s.

Better Search

How about showing last 3 posts title along with search result? How about some Web 2.0 + AJAX stuff on that?

Automatically populate “My network” tab.

When I login to your site, I can see three tabs under “My network”

  • My blog’s readers – If I am using wordpress, parse my comments feed url, extract my readers blog address and populate here. Well I understand that this would require significant investment, but I started with “Please upgrade” right. It also means invest!
  • Blogs I read – Ask for my Google Reader password and store all the blogs I read! Check out Blogbard and see how they are doing this.

Better RSS feed

How about RSS feeds of blogs from my directory? See if you can utilize pipes for this.

Readers, can you think of any other points? Please add it to the comments section.

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Lets criticize criticat!

Posted on February 25, 2008. Filed under: Free tips, Review | Tags: , |

Shweta’s Life has become more beautiful with criticat, her first venture. Having played with sites like jobvent in the past, I am starting this post with the assumption that this might be a desi-version of that.

The first thing I liked is the timing. We all know that one of the reason for fuckedcompany’s success was that it started right during the dot-com burst. Same way, with the recession in the US, the Indian Services Companies are slowly starting to pinch the heat; Hence there could have been no better timing than this!

Lets start with the actual review process.

(more…)

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SadakMap – Is their SadakMap right?

Posted on January 5, 2008. Filed under: Indian Startups, Review | Tags: , |

Off-late unmesh’s team at SadakMap are making a significant progress which has made desistartups to spend a sleepless night in reviewing their product. Before starting with the actual bashings, I am going to list some of the plus points in this product.

  • Map! I desperately wanted some map that can tell me something about the place. People like Sulekha and Burrp, didn’t make me happy.
  • Cool UI for Review and Adding new place. Hats off to you guys!

Some Screenshots: review_small.jpgreview_small.jpgplace_small.jpgplace_small.jpgreview_small.jpgplace_small.jpg

  • Facebook integration – for some traffic may be.
  • SpotMeUrl – Might be used in the future to show some listings near my house. I suppose it should be there in their SadakMap (I mean Road Map :))

Now this review is made with the following things in mind.

  • How easy is it to add a listing?
  • How easy is it to locate a listing?
  • Missing Features

Adding a Listing:

For an Individual:

The other day, I went to a restaurant in Besant Nagar. I ordered couple of items and liked them both. Now, I want to write a review about that. Since I don’t know the exact street, I choose some spot near “Besant Nagar” in the Map, choose the type as “Restaurants” and type something in the details. Thanks to the assistance given in the details section, I give the “Cuisine Type“, “Timings“. I am very sure, everyone else would clear the text and start typing their comment. Ok, the point conveyed here is it is very easy for an Individual to add a place. There is a minor issue here. I cant give a rating at the time of adding. Have to write a review to give my rating. This is fine for now.

For a Small Business Owner:

Again same steps to add my listing to this. I can show my company logo etc, which is really cool.

For an enterprise with many branches:

Now here comes the problem. From your blog, I understand that you are trying to pitch enterprise customers to list their branches. Lets take a company with 50 branches. Where are the tools to upload my information in a excel sheet and your product automatically marking them in the map? You cant expect an enterprise user to sit and mark the places right. So have this feature as your priority. I am sure you can convince more enterprises with such a tool.

Locating a Listing:

Hmm, search feature is completely missing. I can understand that it is a matter of time to get this feature ready. But I can see a significant problem here. Chances are that your search feature may not be ideal unless you build some text analytics code also.

Let me elaborate this a little. I want to search for good bike service shops that is open till 9 pm near my office. Lets assume you have sufficient number of markings. While adding a listing, you are accepting timing as part of the details textbox. Like I mentioned, people have tendency to clear away any default text before typing their own. Which means chances are – the listing may not have timing information at all. Even if it is available, it will be in a form that cannot be easily extracted unless you have some Natural Language Processing (nlp) code. Getting what I mean?

To fix this, you should get each of the information like “Timing”, “Makes”, “Telephone” as a separate text box, that dynamically appears based on the “Listing type”. Once you can get these information separately, it should solve most of the problem!

Missing Features:

  • Import/Export
  • Editing a previously marked place
  • Search functionality
  • Community aspects like Rating for an individual, Tags, Emailing a listing, Send by sms
  • How about kml exports for viewing with Google Earth?
  • Where is the marker for your own startup? I can see the marker of only the founder!

Again these are not quite complex and is a matter of time and money.

Hoping to see an upgraded version of your product. Wishes from our end.

P.S: The easiest way to get more listings is to scrap webpages from other sites like Sulekha, Burrp, … Think about that too.

-Prabhu

Update: Unmesh’s response below.

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