I like to move it, move it

The blog, I mean.

Pliss to updates your links and RSS feeds if you're linking/using RSS readers

- I'm now at www.mixedbag.in and, yes, on Dreamhost.
- The RSS Feed is at http://www.mixedbag.in/feed/, for now.

May install all those Feedburner, Digg etc things, though I think they mess up the design.

The design of the new blog will evolve, but, as always, will be minimalist. This is the fifth host (after buildpage, brinkster, blogger, wordpress) and once it's finished - will be the sixth original design, not taking into account the two I'd done for Motif.

The shift to wordpress was attempted earlier, but http://nikhil.wordpress.com just didn't have the designing flexibility I want. This blogspot blog will remain because I don't want the URL to be hijacked (like what happened with Rahul at http://rhymebawd.blogspot.com).

Would like to thank Viv for helping out after the payment confusion, pencilled faxes and what not...I'm expecting lots of Wordpress tips and tricks from you guys - either in the comments of this post, or (preferably) here.

Also - what kind of content would you like to read...not that I'm out of things to write about. :D

"Ducks are female" says Aishwarya

Aishwarya has completed two years of blogging at Kaleidoglide, where she blogs about random feminist stuff. Mixedbag.in caught up with Aishwarya and spoke to her about stardom, exposing and ducks:
In pic- Aishwarya, woman of mystery. Behind park bench: mystery.

Nikhil: So, how does it feel to have completed two years of blogging?
bluelullaby: amazing. I never thought I could do it! I thought it would be so hard to expose my inner thoughts and fillings
Nikhil: And do you feel sufficiently exposed after two years of doing this?
bluelullaby: yes, I an now very comfortable with exposing myself.
Nikhil: How have people reacted to it?
bluelullaby: the response from my juniors in college has been fantastic!
Nikhil: Have you been emulated? Is a full college planning to expose themselves online?
bluelullaby: only a few people. The rest prefer to watch
Nikhil: And those who do not know you personally...those who know you only via your blog - how have they reacted?
bluelullaby: their response has been very encouraging. sometimes people are abusive, but I realise that's only jealousy
Nikhil: Do you think their reaction is representative of society in general - that people aren't quite ready for this sort of a thing?
bluelullaby: possibly. we live in a very conservative society, but if you think about it indian culture gives an important place to women!
Nikhil: Metaphorically speaking, why did you paint that duck pink?
bluelullaby: *giggles *
Nikhil: No really. The world needs to know...
bluelullaby: a girl has to have SOME secrets!
Nikhil: You're just ducking the issue. We've already tried our level best to find out... but the duck just wont quack.
bluelullaby: ...well.Pink is such a feminist colour, no?
Nikhil: I wouldn't know..but go on.
bluelullaby: and ducks are female
Nikhil: But not all ducks are female
bluelullaby: yes they are. You see, male duck are called drakes
Nikhil: rumour has it that the duck promised to make you a muwi star, and hasn't delivered yet
bluelullaby: *gasp * who told you?
Nikhil: we have our sources.
bluelullaby: All lies, I tell you! The tabloids will say anything. Just because I am willing to expose myself they want to ruin me
Nikhil: Also, have you recently received any emails telling you that you've won the Euro Clubs Promo Org prize?
bluelullaby: none, why?
Nikhil: Because I just did. Just checking...anyway, back to you. How does it feel to have completed three years of blogging?
bluelullaby: two, but
Nikhil: Oh yes. And we've already covered this question, haven't we. That's about it, then. Thanks for talking to MixedBag.

Aishwarya also mentioned that she has curly hair. Next, we shall try to get Jai Arjun Singh to talk about Aishwarya's fillings because, as she puts it "everything must be about MEEEE!"

Jazz Utsav 2006 (Woohoo!)

Well, I'd been wondering about the Jazz Utsav... had a wonderful time last year, and even if I did rant about some of the performances (here, here and here)- I remember it fondly; it was, by far, the best experience of live music I had last year...and I went for some 34 gigs in all. No such luck this year, even though the number of live events has increased.

Over the past week or so, I've been pestering both gupta_anuj (:P) and Prakash Thadani of Silkworks for details of the Jazz Utsav. While this years line-up doesn't seem as kickass as last years was, and the tickets/passes for Delhi are much more expensive (no students tickets at Rs.50?) - it still should be a memorable experience...but, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Though I wish I was in Bombay - the venue looks awesome, unlike stuffy Sai Audi in Delhi. I've only heard Jazz in a closed environment, and the acoustics at Kamani last year were awful. The consolidated details of the Jazz Utsav 2006 are as follows:

Venue: Sai International Centre, Lodhi Road.
Time: 6 pm to 10 pm
1st Dec: HFT (Delhi), Kirsti Huke Quartet(Norway), Martin Dhanukar (Swiss)
2nd Dec: Wolfgang Haffner (Germany), Maria Sadowska (Poland)
3rd Dec: Pierre Favre (Switzerland), Sidewinders (India), Amit Heri Group (Bangalore, Mumbai)

Tickets: Rs. 500 and Rs.300, available at The Music Shop – Khan Market; Steakhouse – Jorbagh; Turquoise Cottage – Adchini; Haze Blues & Jazz Bar – Vasant Vihar; RSJ Office – Shahpurjat (Ph: 26497945). Available tomorrow, and at least Khan market can be expected to be sold out by the afternoon.

- Get your tickets ASAP. People tend to hoard them...last year, Shivangi and Sam of RSJ had kept several passes for me (and some of you).
- Only 4 passes per person allowed, so I can't pick 'em up for you like last year. Anyone care to join me?
- Parking space around Sai Auditorium is at a premium, unlike Kamani Auditorium last year

Venue: Amphitheatre at Landsend, Bandra
Time: 6:30pm to 10pm
1st Dec: Gary Lawyer (Mumbai), Emanon (India)
2nd Dec: Sidewinder (Denmark/Australia/India), Pierre Favre (Switzerland), Kirsti Hukke (Norway)
3rd Dec: Martin Dhanukar's Blood System (Switzerland), Maria Sadowska (Poland), Wolfgang Haffner (Germany)
Tickets: Thadani House, 329/A. Worli Village, Worli Sea Face End. Next To Naval Coast Guard Headquarters, Mumbai- 400 025. ph: 24373385, 24379841, 24229986 and Time: 12 noon to 4pm. Available from 27th November Till 30th November, 2006.

- Also, in case you're wondering why the name Wolfgang Haffner sounds familiar (I did) - it's because 'Hafner' is a symphony by Wolfgang Mozart.
- If this sounds like a plug...it is. I'm not being paid for this, or getting free passes (should I?)...but I like to, as they say, evangelize live music. :)
- A ppt I received about the event refers to Gary Lawyer as the Frank Sinatra of India. *grin*
- Pls don't tell too many people until Monday...I should have my tickets with me by then.

Bangalore Divides Them

Hu is the President of China

- Who is the President of China?
- Yeah.
- Who?
- Yes. Hu.
- Thats what I asked. Who is the President of China?
- Yeah. Hu.
- I don't know. Thats why I asked...Who?
- Exactly, it's Hu.
- Who?

...and so on.
(With apologies to Monty Python and President Hu of China)

Also possible: Watt is the unit is Power

On User Generated Content

Laughter, like yawning, is infectious. I'm not sure of when this was rolled out, but I recently noticed a potent YouTube feature that allows users to post video responses to videos at YouTube. At present, there are 783,938 views and 27 video responses to the above video (some reponses in the sidebar here). Once this becomes popular, I suppose YouTube will start listing posts with max responses as well. I've written, in the past, about the Coke & Mentos viral, which I came across on Arun Katiyar's blog. At MIPCOM this year, it was said that the viral got an estimated $10 mil worth of free advertising for Mentos. Also see this.

Different people define Web 2.0 in their own way, but I tend to think of it as the participatory business model. The aforementioned feature takes participation to a whole new level and it will be interesting to see how it develops. The Coke & Mentos viral and its success is a sure sign of things to come because it forces its way through the clutter like nothing else. How many advertising agencies could have thought this up?

I think User Generated Content (UGC) is going to give large movie studios sleepless nights (if it isn't already), much like what Wikipedia, Dictionary.com and wordweb must have done to publishers. UGC is going to beat the crap out of 'created for new media' initiatives by studios; two in India that I am aware of are by Kaleidoscope Entertainment and, more recently, by Rajshri Media. I've seen a preview of Seedhe Siddhu Se by Kaleidoscope, and I found it boring and amateurish. Rajshri's mobile content plans are still in the works, though. While I agree with the assessment that all media will exist simultaneously, I do believe that digital content will take over the world simply because of lower distribution costs and instant gratification. When advertising is going to be spread across all available channels, it will be spread thin and therefore the weaker players will struggle and probably be bought over.
Update: Hungama Mobile and Dev Benegal's 24x7 Making Movies held a contest last month. They gave 35 selected contestants a video camera, and 24 hours to shoot a movie. That content is intended to be sold online and made available for download on the mobile. Benegal acts as the filter for UGC, and Hungama the distributor. Interesting way of monetizing UGC...

UGC isn't constrained by budgets and issues of scripts, and there's a greater creative pool in case of UGC; isn't Reality TV bigger than anything else on TV right now? And what about Bus Uncle (the angry old man?):

(Note: abusive language)

"The famous quotes of Bus Uncle are now frequently used, mimicked, and parodied in Hong Kong, particularly by teenagers. The catchphrases also appear on Internet forums, posters, and radio programmes. Various "remixes" and parodies have been created, including versions tuned to Cantonese pop songs, "reenactments" of the incident with video game characters, composite pictures, and movie posters." - [Wikipedia]

Aggregators of quality UGC will probably do better than hosts of such content themselves. You might actually find studios scouting for quality UGC and buying rights to show on TV. Cause that's one medium that has sold out (mostly) and people accept that and still watch it. Who's game for creating a marketplace for such content?

Credibility of the medium is a big issue, though - the reality being reflected in this content is what catches peoples attention. If someone makes an ass of himself because it's in a script, people might not buy it anymore. But if an ass (not what you're thinking) is on screen, it's a lot more amusing. But if tries to fool all the people, it won't last long and the condemnation is swift and vicious. That will keep people honest, I think, but the A-listers will have to be careful about their slants. Some useful links:

WOMMA Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines, via Verbum. More importantly, read about the Edelman-Walmart controversy (I've not been able to track it)

For mobile content in India, the floodgates opened with the infamous MMS that was passed around from phone to phone via Bluetooth - I'm sure it created a huge market for mobile phones with cameras, and people began exchanging photos and videos. The mobile is more potent because one can post immediately, but there are issues of access availability and cost. A convergent device and a device independent network with mobile access will solve that problem eventually. The real problem, and I'm sure there are lots of people trying to figure this out - is how long can this last? Why? Because:

- The system is (mostly) unmoderated and completely unpredictable
- Any marketing gimmick that tries to hoodwink the masses will eventually be spotted by a merciless audience
- Push wont be as effective, but can survive if it is obvious as a push initiative.
- A pull, if not a viral but a search-dependent pull, will be painstakingly slow (but often worth it)
- Defining context that sells for contextual advertising for video content is going to be difficult

Anyhoo, more on UGC when I think of something else.

A disclaimer: I've linked to posts at paidContent and ContentSutra, which are owned by Content Next Media; I write for Content Next Media.