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Introducing “Sponsored Saturdays” – paid articles on the PuneTech blog & twitter account

(Update: This article was a PuneTech April Fools Prank. For a full apologyexplanation, see our article on 2 April.)

At PuneTech, one of the things that gives us pleasure is coming up with new ways in which this site can help the tech community in Pune. To quote Dhananjay Nene, we display a “willingness to experiment, learn and retry.” With this in mind, we are introducing a new feature that will help local small businesses, our readers, and us, all at the same time – Sponsored Posts on PuneTech – a win-win-win situation.

Of the 2 years we’ve been in existence, for 1-1/2 of them we’ve been refusing offers for paid advertisements and paid job postings on PuneTech because we don’t want to commercialize PuneTech. However, after receiving many impassioned pleas from small local startups, we have reached the conclusion that we have hit upon a major pain point, a desperate need that needs to be filled. Small startups cannot afford the normal PR and job posting channels and the future of Pune is suffering because of that. There is no good channel for small local companies to market themselves and get much needed visibility. Mainstream media is too big, too broad, and too expensive – and most importantly, generates very little long-term impact (or conversions).

After thinking over this problem for a long time, we have decided to allow commercial postings on PuneTech. We believe this is not really a reversal of our “not commercial” policy – is more of a social service.

With this in mind, we are introducing Sponsored Saturdays. Every Saturday, the PuneTech blog and front page will feature a paid article, which will either be a company profile written by the company itself, or a set of job postings by the company. The article will be clearly marked as a “Sponsored Post”. A flat price of Rs. 10,000 entitles a sponsor to post an article on the PuneTech blog on the next available Saturday slot. This will also be cross posted to twitter, the PuneTech linked-in group, and will go out in the PuneTech RSS Feed and to the e-mail subscribers. There will be no other posts on PuneTech for the next 48 hours – i.e. the sponsored post will stay on the front page until Monday morning. Single tweet postings may be purchased at Rs. 500 per tweet. We will consider special discounted rates for small and deserving companies who are not yet funded.

We are very pleased with the reactions we are getting from our early sponsors. Anup Tapadia, founder of of TouchMagix, who bought the first sponsored slot this Saturday, has high hopes from this program:

Through the normal channels, it is really difficult to find high quality programmers for the kind of cutting edge work we are doing in Pune. For example, a post on the standard job sites brings us hundreds of resumes, but not one of the candidates can answer basic computer science questions. Given the kind of readership PuneTech has, we are expecting to get some very good resumes.

Amit Kumar Singh, who plans on using this service to find customers for his software, says:

Finding the first few customers for a new product is the most difficult. And a sale to local customers will be much easier because the trust factor will be higher. All I’m expecting is 10 signups, and I’m sure word-of-mouth will take care of the rest.

Arun Prabhudesai of Trak.in commented:

All bloggers and mainstream media are doing this, either publicly or secretly. I don’t understand why you guys waited so long. But I’m glad you are finally doing it. Count me in.

For sponsoring a post, and for a copy of the detailed terms and conditions, please write to: sponsor@punetech.com. We do have some legal fine print, but the basic terms are these – the sponsored posts must be related to Pune, must be relevant to readers of PuneTech, and must adhere to the standards of quality of the rest of the PuneTech website. PuneTech reserves the right to refuse any sponsored post for any reason whatsoever, and the decision of the PuneTech editors if final.

We hope that many local companies take advantage of this opportunity.

Note: A majority of the PuneTech advisory board are in full support of our decision, and completely agree with us that this move will be welcomed by the tech community in Pune. In the interest of full transparency, we would like to disclose that two of our advisors who did not agree with this decision have resigned from the board. However, we are confident that after a few months of successfully running this program, we will be able to convince them to re-join.

We will continue to tweak and fine tune this program based on the response and feedback we receive. So please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks.


2nd April Update: As noted at the top, this article was an April Fools Day prank. To ensure that comments on this post did not give away the prank too early, all comments that mentioned “April Fools Day” were held in moderation until the end of the day. All these comments have now been approved, but we have prefixed these comments with a [***]. When reading the comments below, please note that all comments beginning with the [***] were not visible to anybody on 1st April.

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Comments

86 responses to Introducing “Sponsored Saturdays” – paid articles on the PuneTech blog & twitter account

  1. shardul says:

    [***]
    Wait a Minute ! Today is 1st April !

  2. Heytal says:

    I saw this coming when I got to know that recession had nearly no impact in Pune. With that kind of an environment, people ready to pay money, monetization/corporitization of public sector units was bound to happen sooner or later. Good luck with this initiative, and I’d really love to take this opportunity to participate in this unique program of yours.

    One suggestion would be to extend this to continue till Tuesday, since most folks have Sunday as a holiday. I have seen that reading PuneTech is the first thing that a big chunk of Pune Techies do on Monday morning. They feel that reading about a new startup, or a possible job opening in Pune will give a very good start to their work week.

  3. An Angry Person says:

    What the hell is going on here ? I am sure this post of mine will not ever be moderated and seen, but I’ll still write my experience here. I am just trying to banto some gyaan that I have acquired over the last 20 minutes.

    This is an awesome proposition, and I immediately jumped at it and sent an email to sponsor@punetech.com to list myself as one of the sponsors and book an early slot in the queue. I did receive a reply (automated one) thanking me for the interest and also letting me know that all slots till 19th of August were booked, and I will have a chance to appear only after that. This did sound very similar to all tatkal railway reservations being full at 8:01 AM. I seriously believe that there are some gotchas in the implementation of this beautiful scheme. Not sure if I can trust the people behind this..

    Wow.. While I was drafting this response, I received a call on my cell from an unknown number saying that I could get the slot on 17th April for 40,000 Rs. I will have to pay 10k in cheque and 30k in cash.. So yes, my apprehensions were true. Let this act as a warning to all..

    Moderators: Please let this pass through, or I will write an explanation on http://techpune.spaces.live.com and publicize that URL.

    • navin says:

      @Angry Person, Please don’t make up stuff. While it is true that we are booked until August, we are certainly not calling people and upselling them slots.

  4. Unmesh says:

    I strongly detest this policy. Please unsubscribe me. wink-wink :)

  5. Shashikant says:

    After tackling the last year’s recession much better than any other IT city, Pune is now riding the wave of resurgence. So, obviously, the companies felt the need to have a platform like PuneTech to promote themselves. Glad to hear that PuneTech has opened its doors for the companies.

    Good luck!

  6. Manish says:

    [***]
    After going through the post, and the initial couple of comments, I am getting a feeling this is another April Fools prank being played by the PuneTech team specially considering the timing of this post, the Note regarding the Advisory Board members, and the User responses…

  7. Vishwajeet Singh says:

    It’s all about money honey this point is yet again proved, you get user base saying you are free and doing charity, and once you have some decent user base you hit the bulls eye giving some crappy explanation.
    >>future of Pune is suffering because of that
    I loved this line, It seems punetech is now playing very big role in shaping future of Pune :)
    If you want to monetanize this thing I don’t see any issues in that but don’t try to portray that you are doing some favor to startup ecosystem by doing so.

    • navin says:

      @Vishwajeet, What we really meant is this: “The future of Pune is suffering because of the lack of avenues for small players to be heard above the noise. We at PuneTech would like to contribute in our small way to fix that problem.” We did not mean to imply that the future of Pune is in PuneTech’s hands. We’re also hoping that people will come up with other ways of bridging this gap.

      @Chetan, Display advertisements are likely to result in ads for matrimonial sites (some of them quite shady). That would be a disservice to the readers of PuneTech. With this service, we’re hoping to strike a balance between monetization and providing content that readers might actually be interested in.

      And yes, we’d certainly love to see a whole bunch of new sites pop up on the tech scene in Pune. That would be awesome.

  8. asuph says:

    [***]
    Nice date of inception for the scheme :D

  9. Chetan says:

    Guess this is one way to monetize the blog. If you cannot make money by using display advertisement, why not use sponsored articles? Most newspapers in the country see this form of advertisment.

    I think this also opens up opportunities and encourages other hobbyists/enthusiasts to take up the space created as Pune Tech ‘grows up’.

  10. asuph says:

    [***]
    And Navin, you’re taking this too far. Even fake “angry” commentors! Nice job.

  11. Whatever happened to your policy as once declared in another post comment thread below :

    PuneTech does not accept any payments or favors (monetary or of any other kind) from any body for any reason. All content on PuneTech is there because we (the editors) feel that it needs to be there and is in keeping with the purpose and the spirit of the site.

    The last words in that statement are important – spirit of the site. Thats what at stake here. I am not sure if it is spirits which induced the change or a change which will influence the spirit but this just sucks. You can be commercial or you can be social – but its better to be a commercial company attempting to have a social agenda rather than being a social group playing around with a commercial one. Having said that changing the policy on a fiscal year end is great since it allows you to implement a new accounting policy in the beginning of the new year.

    • navin says:

      @Dhananjay,
      1. Sorry, we forgot to update the policy. We will be adding the phrase “except for clearly marked ‘sponsored posts’” to that sentence, so it will all be within the spirit of the site.
      2. Also, I guess after your comment, it is OK to reveal that you are one of the PuneTech advisors who resigned because of disagreement over this direction. We hope that 2 or 3 months of this initiative will convince you that this is in the best interests of the community.

  12. Amit says:

    @Dhananjay, Understand your points/concerns. As a long-term, loyal PuneTech reader, what other monetization strategies would you consider?

    Thanks
    Amit

  13. Where are we headed with this. First to fall was Wikipedia and now PuneTech.

  14. idrish says:

    I like the fact that there would be job listings. This would certainly help. Have been following up punetech since the beginning. Thanks

  15. idrish says:

    [***]
    Ohh wait, i think i know what’s cooking around. It’s april fool’s day. I remember the last one being that there was a TV interview where you guys said that pune was less hit by recession compared to blore and hyderabad.

    LOL..You guys are true techies and would never ever share knowledge for money.

  16. I am planning to fork PuneTech and a looking for support from the community!

    • navin says:

      @AdvisorWhoLeft, We will be one of the first to support you (just as we support all groups that are helping the tech ecosystem in Pune). In fact, we’ll be happy to put an introductory post on PuneTech about your new site once it has been operational for 3 months. (Free, of course!! Not one of these paid posts!)

      But I think you need to come up with a better website name. Define yourself in terms of what you want to be, not in terms of what you don’t want to be. That never works.

  17. An Angry Person says:

    @AdvisorWhoLeft

    I am willing to help you. Let us evolve http://techpune.spaces.live.com as the alternative to punetech.com. I think many people here will agree to that as well. Please let me know your contact details and let’s meet up sometime to further plan this out. Let’s make that the best damn tech site in Pune.

  18. Vishwajeet Singh says:

    [***]
    @navin: thanks for the clarification.
    It seems you have taken an appropriate day for announcing this, if it does not goes well among the community than you can take it back as April fool’s day prank :) way to go.
    or who knows it’s just a prank as someone pointed.
    Either ways best of luck in what ever you guys are planning and may startups and Pune win.

  19. Abhishek Pradhan says:

    Man this rocks. For ppl who crib about this initiative, there is only SO MUCH that social media can do for you and your business / ideas, but this initiative takes it to a whole new level.

    I’m game, just talked with Amit and am committed to invest big time in this for the greater good of all :-)

  20. Chetan says:

    [***]
    Wait a minute. Its that time of the year. Damn!

  21. How much are you charging for a video content?Interview or a tour of a product or services?

    And is there any commission structure?i can get you lot of clients.

    -Nikhil

    • navin says:

      Nikhil, Since this is such a new initiative, we are keeping the same flat rate for any content. Over time we can revisit this.

      Also, yes, we can definitely talk offline about a commission structure.

  22. @AdvisorWhoLeft

    I think you should fork punetech.com and request Navin to retain the domain name. The current punetech.com management can continue with a site called punetake.com (Note take in hindi is ??) which can stand for both ???? ?? and ???? ?? ?? ??

    • navin says:

      I’m sorry we had to blank out part of @Dhananjay’s comment, but we couldn’t leave them in there, since there are some school children who follow PuneTech too, and we have to worry about Indian indecency laws.

  23. asuph says:

    This is getting seriously weird! I mean, people, stop being so sanctimonious. Forget Navin’s sales pitch about social service and all, and just look at the bare facts!

    1. It’s helping needy small companies to reach target audience

    2. It’s not done in a clandestine way.

    3. It’s earning revenue for the site, thus helping long term sustainability.

    4. It will give expand user-base as with job related info and all, more techies will read the site, and get enriched by the wisdom here. Collateral profits …

    5. It will take content quality ‘higher’, as paid writing will make other writing look amateurish, and anyone writing here will end up double checking theretheir language.

    Dhananjay, of all people, I find you are over-reacting here. I mean finally, it’s reach and visibility that one writes for. And a greater reader base that’s interested in technology sector is what Pune Tech must be aiming for. When writing is not paid writing but just a bunch of people who have time on their hands publishing blogs, people don’t take it seriously. This will actually make people take notice of punetaketech. I find your decision to leave Punetech childish to say the least. Sorry to be blunt.

    Enuf said,
    asuph

  24. Abhishek Pradhan says:

    @ An Angry Person

    Dude, DUHHHH Big time. If you think Live Spaces is a good platform, think again. If you are considering as making the Live Spaces link “the best damn tech site in Pune” best of luck to you.

    I’m sticking with Pune Tech. They Rock!!!!! :)

  25. Mukul Kumar says:

    I think this is a great idea. Perhaps you can donate some of the funds collected to some charity, or to some Pune angel fund. That will sweeten this whole proposition. It’s a win-win situation for everybody, thanks for thinking of this idea. I would also suggest that you come-up with a fair bidding process, and run some deals (like 20% off for the 2nd appearance, or something like that).

    Thanks,
    Mukul.

  26. Amit Naik says:

    [***]
    This has all the feel of a fool-ish policy.
    I am thinking of forking this site and setting up http://PuneriTantra.com

    -Amit

  27. [***]
    Nah, should have been more subtle ;)

  28. sushrut says:

    You sold out! You sold out! You sold out!! Shame :)

  29. Anil Paranjape says:

    I take the negative reactions to your monetization scheme very positively. The reason is quite simple: here’s an independent island that was non-commercial at all in an otherwise-commercialized-to-the-hilt media ocean and people really appreciate(d) it. I think the negative reactions just prove that. That’s a good thing.

    The angst is quite understandable but i think PuneTech does deserve at least a benefit of doubt that this will not in any way compromise its quality and free-spiritedness. In the semiconductor world (my professional ex-world), we used to take The Register very seriously (http://www.theregister.co.uk/). They have a full-force marketing engine that monetizes their millions of readers (and growing) including ads, white-papers, sponsorships, lead generation etc etc. What continues to bring people to it (and the industry to take it seriously) is literally millions of readers!

    The Register has developed a very tongue-in-cheek and sometimes non-politically-correct-humor-laced style to write their content. In general, it’s very easy to distinguish between the paid and un-paid content, just by the style it’s written. In general, the fierce independence, hard-hitting content, absolute control over the content and well -developed website helps The Register keep its independence and originality inspite of tremendous commercialization. There are other examples of AnandTech, TomsHardware who are more or less similar and have a huge following.

    What is PuneTech eventually? Isn’t it a voice for all Tech things in Pune? Why does it matter whether certain voices want to pay them? As long as your voice gets heard, does not get hidden in some obscure corner just because it’s uncomfortable (assuming its printable), and you get to comment on anything (paid or otherwise) without having to pay, why should you care?

    In summary, i’d take a wait and watch attitude. Often times, when we hear a new initiative, we fear our most far-out ‘what-ifs…’ might come true. Time and again, i have seen perfectly good initiatives get completely trashed in the ensuing debate. The world is too dynamic to not let change take its course, see what happens and change ‘the change’ if necessary.

    Why fear crass commercialization of PuneTech before it actually happens? We’re smart enough to know if it’s happening. It has become too big a platform to keep such things hidden even if the founders/editors get corrupted later.

    So, i say let it happen… see what happens… continue to reward what you like… and punish what you don’t… That’s what PuneTech’s broader ‘market’ is going to do anyways. That’s what all markets do. Maybe (like ToI), PuneTech will become crassly commercialized but still have a growing readership. If we see value in it (I buy ToI for reasons other than independent news and analysis) we will still subscribe. If not, we will look for (or build) alternatives.

    anil

    • navin says:

      @Anil, thanks for very clearly articulating all this. This is pretty much what we’ve had in our head while rolling out this initiative, but you’ve put it down clearly and beautifully.

  30. Amit says:

    @Asuph, Thanks for your support! Would you consider joining PuneTech’s advisory board? We need a replacement for @AdvisorWhoLeft.

  31. Arun says:

    Seriously guys, I really dont understand all the fuss here…
    I have told this earlier (in my quote) and I am telling again – Navin should have done this long back.

    And when a post is clearly marked as “sponsored post”, where does the question arise? We will all know that reviewed company has paid the money.
    Although Navin, I think 10,000 per post if on the higher side, especially now that you are giving only weekend exposure when people are not really interested in reading much tech stuff :P
    anyways, best of luck with this initiative !

  32. Unmesh says:

    I cant believe all the support you are getting for this *new* policy. What about all the folks that whole-heartedly supported you because of your “not-for-profit” stand. *Now* I understand the “.com” in the domain name. Should have seen it coming.

    But why am I even here. Adios.

  33. sameer says:

    With the current tough times and even more coming ahead everybody is required to find his/her own monetization strategy. Some strategies in the past like internet, web ads etc. as we already know have given birth to new ways in which we do business. Let me wish luck to PuneTech in this one paving a similar path into the future. Make sure you patent it (in case not already :)

  34. Anil,

    While I understand your analogy with other media, in most cases such channels employ a consistent policy.

    What the current punetech.com management have missed in this process is that even though the “sponsored” articles will be labeled as such, it will be the credibility of of the “unsponsored” articles. To corrupt Arun’s words in the body – media has been mixing up “sponsored” and “unsponsored” either publicly or secretly. So it will be the unsponsored articles which will pay the price, and it will be the unsponsored news about pune and its technology that will be treated as suspect.

    This is a slippery slope, and as some have suggested I am behaving childishly, I suspect I am really living upto child is the father of man.

  35. atul says:

    I’ve always been concerned about PuneTech’s sustainability, and it would be great if this solution works. Perhaps you can build enough revenue that you can hire full-time writers and editors!

    I’m all for this as long as the commercial content is clearly separated from the non-commercial one.

  36. Manas Garg says:

    This is hilarious!! I am watching this thread with interest to see how the “future of Pune” is shaping :)

    @Shashikant I fully agree with you :)

  37. atul says:

    [***]
    OK. I get it now… It’s an April fool’s prank…

  38. asuph says:

    Thanks Amit. I would have taken up on the offer. But I believe AdvisorWhoLeft will see the light soon, and I don’t want to be sitting in his chair when he comes back.

    cheers,
    asuph

  39. Anil Paranjape says:

    @Dhananjay
    I am not sure i understand your fear that unsponsored articles will pay the price. Again, giving The Register example, the unsponsored articles are written by Register staff and editors. If they write in support of a product/company or opposed to it, one could similarly assume that they’re sold out. But readers typically don’t. That’s because from the content of their articles/commentaries, it’s clear that they call a spade a spade. Somehow, they have managed to build that objectivity and convinced the readership of it. By allowing ‘commercial’ content on PuneTech, the management/editors have definitely opened themselves to a much higher set of standards and scrutiny. People are going to ‘read’ between the lines much more than what’d be ever intended (besides white space). They need to be much more careful now and the level and objectivity of ‘unsponsored’ content will need to be much higher. As someone said, this will be a blessing in disguise! Why should we complain against that? If they fail to deliver on this higher level of expectation/scrutiny, then they will pay the price by losing our support. Let them pay that price if they fail rather than just because we fear they ‘might’ fail. That’s giving them a benefit of doubt and that’s fair.

    anil

  40. cuteaditi111 says:

    I am not fully convinced that this monetization is just for sustainability of this supposed to be ‘community site’. Someone commented that the fund money can be given to charity or to Angel funds and Navin appluaded the idea. But you forgot from where this money is going to come. Its going to come from those needy small start-ups. These startups already run on very small to none funds available so why take money from them and give to ‘charity’ (I know Mukul’s idea is in good meaning but if the sponsoring startup wants to give to charity let them directly do it) And why at all give to Angel funds ?

    I am not completely against the idea of monetization, but at the very first step, you guys are stretching it. If you need money for sustainability, why ads and donations can not be worked out ? Is it so hard to run a community web site ?

  41. Neeran says:

    Wonderful change, thanks PuneTech. I hope to see a whole monetization ecosystem spring up around this. Let me get that started myself:

    For those intending to make use of PuneTech’s new policy… I’d like to offer my services for “ghost-writing” your sponsored articles. I’m rather good at hagiography, even if I do say so myself. References will be provided on request.

    My charges are Rs. 5 per word, with discounted rates for articles, conjunctions and prepositions. However each mention of your organization’s name, woven naturally and seamlessly into the narrative, shall be priced at Rs. 25.

  42. @Anil,

    By allowing ‘commercial’ content on PuneTech, the management/editors have definitely opened themselves to a much higher set of standards and scrutiny. People are going to ‘read’ between the lines much more than what’d be ever intended (besides white space). They need to be much more careful now and the level and objectivity of ‘unsponsored’ content will need to be much higher.

    Having readers own up to the burden of reading between the lines is completely not required. (Sometimes the act of reading the lines itself can be a challenge in this time crunched world).

    If they fail to deliver on this higher level of expectation/scrutiny, then they will pay the price by losing our support.

    No .. we the readers will pay the price of being unable to place the same degree of faith we have so far invested into punetech (and punetech has so admirably earnt). This loss of faith leads to lesser ability to quickly leverage the possibilities created by punetech’s otherwise admirable record of capturing, analysing and disseminating information about the tech scene in pune.

  43. Ravindra says:

    Hello everyone.

    I have booked 5 slots (Saturdays) until May. Please contact me directly if you are looking for publishing your sponsored post. I plan to auction off atleast 3 of these slots. Contact me at r82214sdr@gemplaiers.net.co.in

  44. Amit says:

    Just a minor clarification. The published rates in this post are for Indian Companies. Rates will be different for international companies. Please contact PuneTech for further details.

  45. Parag Shah says:

    [***]
    Hmmm what’s the date today ? :-)

  46. Aseem says:

    [***]
    Wishing u a lovely and happy April Fool’s day :-P

  47. Arun says:

    @Ravindra,

    How much premium you are charging…Yaar ye to black market ho gayaa…only a little sophisticated…

    Navin, I really worry that the actual startup companies are going to suffer due to this…
    I mean, you have already kept 10k and then we have to also pay a premium to black marketeers..WTF

    • navin says:

      @Arun, You’re right. What @Ravindra is doing is improper.

      @Ravindra, we hadn’t realized that you were going to do this. We were under the impression that you would be using the slots for yourself. I don’t think that this kind of reselling is in the spirit of the site. We’ll probably have to cancel your allotment. Let’s discuss offline…

  48. Topeka says:

    Another one bites the dust :)

    First Topeka, then Punetech !!!

  49. Anil Paranjape says:

    @Dhananjay
    I don’t remember ever reading anything where i just took the material as ‘Gospel’. Every writer, however objective they claim to be, have an agenda and a point of view. The whole fun about reading is not the reading itself but the thinking it provokes. I’d read trashy fiction otherwise.

    From now on, i don’t think i need to be extra vigilant to ‘sniff’ around PuneTech articles. I already do that with everything i read. And i am sure you do too. That’s why you were the first to sniff ‘impropriety’ in the Anand Deshpande article. I had actually missed the IPO timing angle and kicked myself for missing it (when you mentioned it). All this commercialization is going to do is to add another dimension to my thinking. In future, if i read anything on PuneTech, i am still going to think the exact same way as before: why is the writer saying what he/she is saying? What are his/her incentives behind their POV? (this last part was taught to me by Freakanomics!). Until now, i did not consider ‘because they are getting paid for it’ as a possible motive. Now, i will consider that too.

    In short, i will still question everything i read, just like i did before. Not doing so, would be just idle read and a moronic waste of time :-)

  50. Ravindra says:

    Hi Navin,

    (Posting here for the benefit of everyone, since I sincerely believe we have a valid point here.)
    As per our discussion, this slot is for start-ups in Pune to have a launchpad for themselves. I believe PunetTech is doing a great job, and would give Pune startups a great place to reach out to the world.

    But very frankly, we believe that in this age, Rs. 10000 is too little, and it can be easily confirmed that people do not think much of such an amount given that you are already booked until the end of this year! On our part, we wish to filter out those startups which are not necessarily high value/impact. If a startup strongly believes that it has a great idea, it would be ready to cough up more, no!?

    Plus, we are a startup too (see, only 3 slots on offer). If you really feel your startup is worth it, do talk to us. We can offer some concessions if we are convinced about your business plan (you will need to submit a copy.)

    Thanks, and best wishes,
    Ravindra (r82214sdr@gemplaiers.net.co.in)

  51. Mukul Kumar says:

    I think this is a reality everybody has to learn. A publisher who produces good content needs resources and motivation to support his publication and his team. The publisher can use that money in whichever way he pleases. But, we have seen so far that the intentions have been very good. I think this is very much required, and will bring goodness to whole publication. Most publications charge money. I have heard that Techcrunch charges $85,000 per month for sponsored content.

    @amit @naveen Let me know if you need help from me. I will be happy to.

  52. Ravindra says:

    @All,

    For some reason, my email address isn’t being pasted properly. Has happened twice! If you need to get in touch with me, do let me know on this forum, and we can discuss how to get in touch offline.

  53. Arun says:

    @Ravindra,
    I think you are taking it a bit too far, a startup should submit a business plan to you to be vetted to make the decision whether it is worth coming on Punetech…Thats just WOW !!! and then I also have to give you premium?

    @Navin, I suggest you change the model of charging a bit… please put up an auction / bid model. Every week bidding will happen – who ever wins the bid will get the sponsored post…

    What do you think…I think that will work out better…I prefer giving premium to you instead of handing it to Ravindra…what say ??

  54. Sridhar says:

    Once bitten, twice shy :)

  55. I don’t see what the problem is. This is a fairly standard industry practice. All trade rags and sites use ad $$ to support un-sponsored, or editor written articles (yes, PuneTech is a trade rag). In addition, all major publications and websites in the world support articles written by sponsoring companies. There are certain guidelines that need to be followed, such as the articles need to be technical, about technology and cannot be blatant product pitches. The PuneTech editorial team can most certainly enforce this.

    PuneTech is a very popular portal and people will keep flocking to it as long as it provides rich content. A popular site can much easily enforce publishing guidelines for placed articles than a site that is not popular, perhaps a punetake.com :-))

    I would say kudos to PuneTech management for taking this step as someone mentioned, the sustainability can be guaranteed. Ultimately, since you are paying for the domain, hosting, maintenance and quite possibly other things, it is 100% your call; you don’t need to build consensus.

  56. I suspect I shall have to “adjust” myself to a commercially driven punetech.com. May I offer a few suggestions ;

    Start a new section for rumours and gossip (to get more readers) called “Indiscreet Pune Log (IPL)”. Use part of the sponsorship revenues to Sponsor “Karbon Kamaal Komment”. Also pay the author (usually Navin) everytime his post crosses a certain amount of readership a “City Payment of Success”. Have an advt after every three paragraphs, and after the 9th and 16th paragraphs, force an ad that the reader must view for sometime and click on before being able to view the remainder (Micromax lethargic timeout).

  57. asuph says:

    Ravindra,

    I like your startup. You should call it deen-daylaal.com. It’s a novel idea, in the context. I think you should patent it.

    I find this bunch of sanctimonious guys really irritating. I mean which world are they leaving in? Half of them work for companies which are doing worse things, and no one seems to be bothered taking out a fat paycheck that’s result of all those dirty business deals done under the table — killing some of these same startups systematically, for one! But one, open business deal by you and everyone is spouting morality.

    Hypocrites, I say.

    -asuph

  58. Abhishek Pradhan says:

    [***]
    Sets me wondering…..after all the abuses (if any), aggravation, et all….has anyone bothered checking the calendar? o__O

  59. Amit Singh says:

    Well, everyone is worried about Post.. as it is priced bit high I will give it a skip. I think I am going to buy tweets, but i need bit more clarification.. how many tweets can one buy.. and is it also only for a Saturdays??

  60. Rohit says:

    [***]
    Hang On Guys!
    Why this post is on 1st of April!!!

    Ya I know & still remember that Pune has no effect of Recessions

  61. Shashikant says:

    Dear Mr Dhananjay,

    We are shocked to see your suggestion of naming a PuneTake section “Indiscreet Pune Log.” This name is a rip-off of our company name “Discrete Log”, the company that created Bandhan.com – Matrimony Search Engine. Incidentally, the company’s global HQ happens to Pune. Please see : http://www.bandhan.com/about.jsp

    We will appreciate if you please refrain from using our company’s name in future.

    Thank you,

  62. Shrinand says:

    [***]
    HAFD … Enjoy!!

  63. Dear Mr. Shashikant,

    In this days of crass commercialization and washing dirty linen in public its the indiscreet who hog the headlines. (please check with Mr. T. Woods, Mr. J. James who have garnered enormous headlines and thus avoided themselves the necessity of having to pay PuneTech or equivalent Rs. 10000 per article to otherwise garner similar levels of publicity). While discrete log focuses on matrimony, the indiscreet go exactly the other way. This is no rip-off – just a complete contra-model.

  64. Anil Paranjape says:

    OK, it’s now past 12 midnight. I hope this April Fool’s prank is over now and we all return to sanity tomorrow :-)

    anil

  65. Bagdu says:

    i wonder why this news did not make headline in Pune Mirror today or did it?Or will it be tomorrow. They should have learnt from last year’s Aaj Tak experience. I hope PuneTech will find sponsors for those who cannot sponsor their own articles :D

  66. Unmesh says:

    75 comments on a “truant” post and 0 comments on a previous days post on Green Tech. I am loving it.

  67. navin says:

    @Bagdu, funny you should mention the Pune Mirror, because apparently, they did notice!

    In this (unrelated) article that Vishal Gangawane wrote about TechMarathi, he apparently did his homework, and then dutifully reported:

    [PuneTech] was until recently a non-profit venture. They have just introduced a paid content section for one day of the week.

    Oh well…

  68. "A player" says:

    Navin,

    Be aware – Now there is a separate market on the web where your sponsored Saturday slots are being traded feverishly and they have taken a life of their own, with bookies coming in, and what not.

    Even after your announcement that this was April Fool’s, the hot activity in this market shows no sign of slowing.

  69. AdvisorWhoLeft says:

    Please consider taking me back!

    Regretfully,
    ex-PuneTech Advisor

  70. Vasudev Ram says:

    Heh. Nice AFD joke, I must say. I wonder if any one else noticed that even some of the comments that were NOT marked “***”, seemed to be in the same spirit as those that were – i.e. they guessed that it was a joke and were playing along ???

  71. navin says:

    @Rohit, No I did not miss the Topeka reference. But throughout the day I was only disallowing comments that directly mentioned April Fools Day. Comments with hints and indirect references were all ok.

    @Vasudev, Yes, there are a bunch of folks who got the joke and were just having fun throughout the day.

  72. asuph says:

    See! I’m so glad I did not take that Advisor position. I knew how fickle minded some people are ;-)

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