Tag Archives: social networking

Will foursquare be the next big thing after Twitter in Pune Social Media?

There is absolutely no question that first Facebook, and then Twitter had a huge impact on the Pune Tech community. Thousands of Pune techies use these on a daily (in fact, hourly) basis to stay in touch with each other, and with the world at large. I’m sure you’re all on Facebook. And, if you’re not on twitter, you should join now. See the PuneTech Why Twitter? presentation for reasons. And follow @punetech on twitter

foursquare is a new location-based social networking site.

Now, it appears that location-based social networking site foursquare is generating similar levels of excitement amongst a section of the community.

If you want to feel that enthusiasm first-hand, then you should head over to the Pune foursquare day meeting (or “swarm” in 4sq terminilogy) which is happening today (Friday, 16 April), at “1 – The Lounge”, Koregaon Park, from 7:30pm until 10pm. One Lounge is a little ahead of ABC farms on North Main Road annex. The event is technically free, but there’s a Rs. 300 cover charge (which can be redeemed for food or drinks, and there’s a complimentary shot for foursquare users).

Check out the Pune 2010 foursquare day event page on Facebook. And RSVP there.

So… what is foursquare?

foursquare makes a game out of exploring your city, and while at it helps you make friends with other like-minded, super-cool people! You can use it to find the new interesting places in the city, like restaurants, or museums, or whatever else your friends are interested in; and you can use it to get reviews of any place that you want to know more about.

Doesn’t seem very exciting? Well, that’s the same reaction Twitter used to get from people when it was new, and yet, Twitter has now taken over the world, including Bollywood, Indian politics, and IPL too. So, I’m predicting, foursquare will be similarly big. And this time, you can get in on the ground floor. Join now.

What makes it most intersting, is that foursquare is primarily a technology to be used on your mobile phone. The exploding use of mobile internet in India is another reason to think that foursquare can be big in India.

And… why is today important?

Because it allows Pune another chance to point out to the world that we are always at the cutting edge of anything new.

In consumer marketing circles, it is well established that Pune is one of the first cities where companies try out their new products, or new campaigns, or pilot programs. This is because Pune has a young, hip crowd that is willing to experiment.

Today, 16 April is International foursquare day, and cities all over the world hare having foursquare parties. But the point really is this – this event gives Pune a chance to cement its early adopter reputation by being the first city in India to get a foursquare swarm badge. A swarm badge is given when 50 or more foursquare users are check into the same location at the same time. This is a coveted badge, and signals to the world that this location has a very active and social online/offline community.

Just to make things more interesting, the city of Bellefontaine, in Ohio, USA has challenged Pune to a competition on the number of party attendees on the 16th. As of now, Pune has a lead on the number of attendees, but we’re still short of the 50 mark needed to officially make a swarm.

See http://pune4sqday.teemac.in/ for details.

But… isn’t this all silly kidstuff & not for serious people like me?

That’s what they said about Facebook, initially. And that’s what they said about Twitter, initially. But nobody is saying that about either now. Same story with foursquare.

I think you’re maybe confusing this with Orkut. Feel free to stay away from Orkut. But ignore Facebook/Twitter/foursquare at your own risk.

And those of you who are too busy to be on twitter, let me tell you this – if Anand Mahindra has time to be on twitter, you can stop your self-important whining.

Uh… What do I have to do, again?


Start using foursquare.

RSVP at the Pune foursquare day facebook page.

Show up at One Lounge tonight and check-in.

And end up meeting a whole lot of people who are more interesting than your colleagues at work, and in some cases, more intersting than your existing friends.


Proto.in Facebook Developer Garage is free & open to all (not just proto.in attendees)

Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles about proto.in
Click on the logo to see all PuneTech articles about proto.in

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you should be aware that Proto.in, India’s premier startup event, is happening in Pune this weekend. Around the end of proto.in, there’s an event for Facebook application developers, which is actually open to all developers, not just those registered to attend proto.in. So all Pune facebook app developers, or potential facebook app developers should make a beeline for this event – a great place to meet a lot of experienced facebook developers from not just Pune, but the whole country.

Proto.in will be partnering with Facebook to organize the Facebook Developer Garage. It will have Ruchi Sanghvi, senior product manager at Facebook participating as the speaker. She will talk about how developers can create web applications on Facebook with social utility and business potential targeted towards the rapidly growing Indian market on Facebook. According to Pune Mirror Ruchi is:

a Fergusson College pass-out now settled in San Francisco. Ruchi, the product manager for Facebook News Feeds, is one of the brain’s behind Facebook’s current look.

The Garage should be useful for web developers who are interested in the Facebook developer contest (which has a total cash prize worth US$14,000. For more details on the Facebook Developer contest, please visit http://www.facebook.com/developercontestindia.)

As a passionate web developer trying to make an impact, you certainly cant miss this opportunity.

It will be at 5pm on Saturday 25th July, in the Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent, S.B. Road. Just show up. It’s free, and no registration is required.

Can Orkut/Facebook kill Flickr?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

(Vibhushan Waghmare co-founder of Pune-based marketing analytics startup, MQuotient, wrote this post, titled “Orkut – Facebook as Photo Sharing Sites” on his blog, and is reproduced here with permission.)

Orkut and Facebook are the most popular social networking sites in India. Photo sharing has been a prime feature for both these socio-nets. Often we find friends uploading albums with photos from their recent trip/vacation to some place or some events in their life. These updates are actively tracked among the friends’ network and commenting and tagging of photos is quite common.

Image representing Orkut as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Given this, I am surprised that neither of these two socio-nets has a feature of image search among the friends’ network and public photos on these sites.

Often when we are planning a trip or vacation to some place, we try to search online about the destination. I would always love to know if any of my connection on either Orkut or Facebook has been there and has put up any photos of the place. A friend’s word would always carry more credibility than the most authentic commercial profile page/wiki for the place. In fact, a few days back Orkut themselves had run an online ad campaign wherein they showed one animated user talking about the great trip/vacation he had and other asking him to upload photos from this trip/vacation on Orkut. So I am quite sure that photo sharing (especially of specific locations) is a big traffic booster for Orkut and Facebook.

Image representing Flickr as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

However right now there are no means to find out if there are any photos of interest available on these socio-nets to which I have access. I have to turn to proper photo-sharing networks like Flickr.com and try my luck with photos from some stranger with whom I might never be able to connect (Yahoo! sucks in all its social network efforts :) ). This one application can overnight convert Orkut and Facebook into a serious competitor for all photo-sharing sites like Flickr.

This image search facility should allow me to search for photos to which I have access on these socio-nets, i.e. photos from my friends or photos which have been made public purposefully by their owners. This search can be based on tags/album name or whichever image search technology is best suited. I am sure Google with its best search technologies will not have much of an issue in developing an image search for Orkut. Besides, Google maps/Google world should be integrated with Orkut and geo-tagging of photos should be allowed. It will only make image search more accurate when searching for photos of a specific location.

While privacy has always been a key concern for these socio-nets, and more so with photos, this search facility needs to be very particular in searching only among those photos to which the searcher’s account have access to. Facebook has the famous privacy bug still unresolved wherein if any of your friend comments on a photo from a Facebook user who is not your friend, you still get to see the entire album of photos of that person. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor’s private photos from Facebook had leaked out once because of this bug, however still it remains unresolved. Wonder if it is now an intentional bug that Facebook wants to be alive to drive more page-views.

As a plain user of these socio-nets, I sense a need here for an application which can provide this image search facility. I hope some Product Manager from either Google of Facebook listens to this and evaluates the opportunity. But before that, what do you guys think of it? Is there an opportunity for building such an application for Orkut or Facebook?

About the author – Vibhushan Waghmare

Vibhushan is a co-founder of MQuotient, a Pune-based startup that uses cutting-edge quantitative analytics and mathematical modeling to build software products for marketing analytics, and in general deliver solutions for enterprise marketing challenges. Before co-founding MQuotient, Vibhushan was managing the Search product at Yahoo! India. He is an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and an Electrical Engineer from REC, Nagpur. He has also held positions with Amdocs & Cognizant Technology Solutions. Check out his blog, his linked-in page, or his twitter page for more about him.

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POSTPONED: Getting Started with OpenSocial, PuneGTUG Seminar is now on 18 April

Rohit Ghatol, who was supposed to give the “Getting started with OpenSocial” presentation tomorrow is down with viral fever, and hence this event is postponed to next Saturday, 18th April. Other details remain the same. See the updated post for other details.

Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
Vishwesh Jigrale, Pune GTUG Manager

Getting started with OpenSocial: Pune GTUG meet 18 April

OpenSocial logo
Update: This event was earlier scheduled for 11 April. Rohit Ghatol, the presenter is down with viral fever, hence this event is postponed to 18th April
What:Pune Google Technology Users Group (Pune GTUG) presents a seminar “Getting started with OpenSocial
When: Saturday, 18th April. 3pm onwards
Where: Synerzip. Dnyanvatsal Commercial Complex, Survey No. 23, Plot No. 189, Near Mirch Masala Restaurant , Opp Vandevi Temple, Karve Nagar (Map).
Registration and Fees: The event is free for all, no registration required.
Agenda for this meet is as follows
1. General overview of OpenSocial (But participates are expected to read about OpenSocial)
2. Getting started with a simple Gadget
3. Getting started with a simple OpenSocial Application
4. Overview of RestFul APIs for Server side OpenSocial Applications

For more information about PuneGTUG, see the PuneTech wiki profile of PuneGTUG. For other tech events happening in Pune, see the PuneTech calendar.

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Recession, Linked-In, OpenSocial, Grails and more at IndicThreads Java Conference

Note: Most of the presentations are online at the conference homepage.

The IndicThreads conference on Java technologies, which is an annual occurrence in Pune happened over the course of 3 days last week, and IndicThreads were gracious enough to invite me to attend the conference (sort of a press pass, so to speak), and although I wasn’t able to attend the whole conference, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of hours each day, and was very glad that I did, because I ended up with some really enriching sessions.

On the first day of the conference, the two big names of the tech industry in Pune, Ganesh Natarajan and Anand Deshpande gave keynote addresses. Ganesh, who is CEO of Zensar, and President of NASSCOM gave the NASSCOM view of the coming recession. His main thrust was that the Indian software / BPO industry will not be as badly affected by the recession as the rest of the world. He had a large number of graphs and figures to make the following points:

  • We had already been tightening the belt for almost an year now, so we are in much better shape to handle the recession than those who weren’t being so prudent
  • We are creating new products, tackling new verticals, and focusing on end-to-end service (and these claims were all backed by facts and figures), and this diversification and added value makes us resilient

And he spent a lot of time pointing out that to do even better, or primary focus needs to be the tier 2 / tier 3 cities, 43 of which have been identified by NASSCOM and whose developement will get some attention. Also, our tier 2 / tier 3 colleges are sub-par and a lot of work is needed to improve the quality of students graduating from there. NASSCOM has started a number of initiatives to tackle this problem.

Since this was a conference for Java techies, Anand Desphande, CEO of Persistent, presented his view of the broader context in which the Java programmers exist, and what are the things they need to think about (other than their code) to have a better long term view. Basically:

  1. Multicore chips, and why programmers need to worry about them
  2. Mobile Telephony: the desktop/laptop is no longer the primary target device for programmers. Think about the mobile users, and how what they want is different from the traditional PC users
  3. Cloud and SaaS: is coming in a big way, and will change the way people use software. Also, it makes life easier for users, but much more difficult for programmers. So need to improve skills in these areas
  4. Web 2.0 and Social Networking: these are exciting new fields with a lot of growth. They require a different kind of programming mindset.
  5. Rich Internet Applications: Similar to above
  6. Large Volumes of Diverse Data (including BI and analytics)
  7. Open source is on the rise. As programmers, you must have a good understanding of various open source licenses
  8. Gaming and Entertainment boom: Too many programmers think of only corporate world & green monitors etc. Think different. E.g. Gaming and entertainment are large markets and require a different mindset to come up with new ideas in these fields.
  9. Green IT: Instead of worrying about speed and efficiency, for the first time, worrying about power consumption has started affecting programmers
  10. Be a part of the community. Give back. Do open source. Join CSI ACM. IEEE. (and I would like to add contribute to PuneTech)

Anand also predicted that in the next 6 months, the Industry will see serious job cuts and salary cuts, and he things it is unavoidable. But pointed out that those who take trouble to keep themselves updated in their area of expertise, and go deep (instead of just doing “enough”) will not have a problem, and in fact will be best positioned to take advantage of the situation when the financial situation starts recovering after 6 to 9 months.

I missed the rest of day 1, but it has been covered in great detail by Dhananjay Nene. on his blog, as well as Varun Arora on the IndicThreads blog (part 1, part 2).

The highlight of day 2, and in fact the highlight of the whole week for me, was the presentation by DJ Patil, Chief Scientist of Linked-in. DJ Patil is in charge of all the data analysis that happens at Linked-in – basically the advanced guess they make like: “people who viewed this profile also viewed these other profiles”, and “people whom you might know” etc. He was not listed on the conference schedule – and was just passing through, and got invited to talk. He gave a great talk on an overview of how linked in works, their strategy for linked-in apps (the third-party apps that are integrated into the linked-in website). Again Dhananjay has already captured most of DJ’s important points on his blog, so I will not repeat those here. But I did have a very detailed conversation with DJ afterwards, and one of the things that came through was that they are looking seriously at India and wondering what they can / should do to get more Indians on linked-in. India already has about 4.8% of linked-in’s users. He was very open about trying to find out what are the things about linked-in that we don’t like, what are the things in linked-in that we would like to change, and what are the features we would like to see. If you have suggestions, send them over to him – he is dpatil on twitter.

The third day had a session on Grails by Harshad Oak, and if you are not familiar with Rails, or any of the other “programming by convention” schools of software, it is definitely something you should check out. It can reduce development times by orders of magnitude on things like building web applications and other things that are done over and over by programmers all over the world.

For other talks that happened, but which I missed, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any reports or blog posts giving details, but you can see the conference schedule to get an idea of what went on.