Archive for January, 2008

VAKOW is not international; good it is social !!

Written by: Vivek Garg

On Jan 8th, 2008

I wrote about VAKOW earlier and how much I liked their interface; but I could never use it to forward these awesome jokes to my friends in India. This new year I wanted to wish family/friends in India through SMS. I wanted to do the same thing around Diwali. Every time I want to do so, VAKOW comes to mind but being in USA I cannot register on their site. So far you can only register on VAKOW if you have a (+91) number. RG, one of the founder tells me that it is on horizon. Here is why they haven’t done it so far

“mostly because of higher pricing and seemingly less demand in certain geographies/economies. We believe that SMS Forwarding is a very developing economies phenomenon where other means of entertainment are few”

I can understand the high price concern, but I am not sure SMS forwarding being only in developing economies. I do know people out here in USA who are constantly texting. Maybe not as much as being in India, but VAKOW can bridge that gap for the Indians residing outside.

Good news is they are going social. They have Orkut integration where one can forward SMS to their friends scrapbook. Not exactly SMS to SMS but this is SMS to social networking. And it seems to work. Yesterday, VAKOW took this social integration one step further. They have launched VAKOWAPP. VAKOW’s facebook application that I can use to forward SMS to my friends in my network.

RG tells me that this should solve half of my problem before they launch international registration. And he is right. I am loving this integration.



I would like to think of this as their second step

1. First step was to launch a great interface around a simple idea (SMS-> SMS)

2. Second step is to provide SMS -> social networks (Orkut/Facebook/Opensocial)

3. What is third? May be this is the time they should start thinking of mobile advertisements? What do you think are different ways of making money around VAKOW?

Let VAKOW know what you think of their facebook app !!

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Interesting comments @ older posts !!

Written by: Vivek Garg

On Jan 6th, 2008

I have been approving some interesting comments on our earlier posts. But I have seen that they do not usually stir interesting conversation. If the comment is a direct question to the company/people mention in the post or some earlier comment, they usually don’t get replies. We do show the latest comments in the sidebar but the shelf life of that is less. Also people who are using RSS subscriptions cannot take a note. This question is for all the bloggers out there. Do you see the same problem ? How do you solve it ? Are there applications out there that addresses this problem ?

Here is my stab at it. I would publish interesting orphaned comments (verbatim) in a single post as roundups. Here are some interesting ones that I think deserve attention.

  1. Just read this post, I think it is a great idea specially the new feature described in the comments of store & sget. Also i guess these kind of features can be paid to monetize the site. I am sure you had thought of that :)Great work guys

     View Comment in Post ” Vakow – it is all about execution !! “

  2. i felt that in rural areas people are sufferinf from due to lack of mandatory facilities also. so that definetely we have to target the rural area for the marketing of companies and to enhance the facilities to fulfil the needs of the people and to aware of all the society. View Comment in Post “Opportunities in rural India?”
  3. I just got to know about ZoomIn via FaceBook and the fact that it’s an Indiancompany got me interested, all right. I’d, any day, opt for an indian company for my solutions than any other. Anyway, after I got myself registered, I realized I could copy my galleries from Picasa and flickr into ZoomIn and since the very reason of leaving Flickr (best photo sharing service I’ve personally used) was that the number of my pics had grown well over 200, I’d decided to look elsewhere. However, it’s been almost 15 minutes now that ZoomIn has been shifting photos from Flickr and it’s still at it. I hope the rest of the experience happens to be satisfactory!View Comment in Post “Is there room for another photo site?”
  4. It is bewildering why ecommerce pundits do not concentrate on the cultural issues associated with eCommerce in India. Though it is true we Indians have tendency of blaming cultural subtleties for every business which does not work here, but eCommerce has a strong cultural angle to it. Indians still consider shopping to an event which needs to be “celebrated” than something which is just a necessity. However with changing demographies eCommerce would fine critical mass of consumers who are willing to buy eCommerce arguments. Despite all the hoopla the eRetailers are not doing any good by providing flawed service. For example purchasing books online, the retailer would quite any damn book on its website (i.e. with the back end retailer) however the database would not have been updated for long. Then when the order is processed it is realized that the book is not physically present with the supplier. The reverse logistics of credit card payment being reversed is equally shabby. Its a vicious circle, to begin with the consumers do not believe in eRetail and hence retailers do not feel pressing need to develop viable online business model, and when they offer substandard services online, they alineate the consumers further.View Comment in Post “”We are sitting at the verge of a perfect storm” – Darpan Munjal on ecommerce in India”
  5. I think penetration of internet may not have the intended local language impact. Indian’s colonial mindset considers English speaking to be elite and people would like to use English language search engines and portals as soon as they can (though they might be handicapped by it). Even if large crowd uses local language content it would try to “graduate” to the “higher language” engine. In China, people are comfortable using their language without having any inferiority complex. Moreover in India local content needs to be converted into too many languages unlike China where Mandarin works for everyone. Therefore comparing Baidu with Indian language internet initiatives is not correct.View Comment in Post “India Internet – status check”


I would like to thank all you curious souls who like to be a part of conversation and learn from each other. People who are commenting around blog posts are the ones making blogosphere so interesting.

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