10 Simple Things to Plan for Successful TweetChat

1. #Hashtag

– Choose wisely. Register Hashtags on http://www.twubs.com  Or http://www.tweetchat.com  and share the link for participants to register. Use it in all your  online communications materials be it graphic or text.

 

2. Duration, Time & Day

-Select date &  time carefully. Choose after  traditional  working hours  of 10am-6pm.  Tweet chat  works well on Weekends. If it is an official chat for an organisation/brand it can be very well be accommodated into working hours.  The  duration can be of minimum 30 minutes and max an hour.

 

Tweetchat by Lawtoons

 

3. Topic

– Find a topical issues based on your brand/cause/organisation need & requirement.  The topic should evince interest among the social media users & participants.

 

4. Confirm Participants Or Panelists in Advance

-Make a list of invited participants or panelists in advance( twitter handle & 14 0 characters intro.). Get prior confirmation of their presence.  Look for subject experts  who has good social media presence.  If they are regular user of Twitter, then it is icing on the cake. Share the questions in advance with them so, they are better prepared.

 

5. Promotion of Tweet Chat  Through FB/Twitter/Web

-Design  Facebook event page with graphics with 5w and 1h (Why, What, Where, When, Who and How) . Also,  design  cover page of twitter in advance. Invite your friends & colleges. Schedule regular tweets in run up to the tweet chat through official twitter handle.  Identify twitter handles relevant to topic and DM them or mention them in your tweets and request for RT. If the panelists are on Facebook, tag them on event graphic with relevant information.  The website can create a separate page  with full information and relevant links.Create e-mailers for participation and sharing the news.

 

Tweet Chat - TheMeruki

 

 

6. Tweet Chat Moderator

– The role of tweet chat moderator is  just like  a virtual anchor who facilities the tweet chat conversation. Appreciate comments and add inputs to make the chat engaging. RT interesting Tweets. Also, share relevant facts & figure during the session. He /She must be social media savvy.

 

7. Tools to be Used

– Tweet Deck (www.tweetdeck.com) is must use for Tweet chat session. Moderator can handle multiple accounts on a single go. It gives you flexibility to have a separate column for Hashtags. You can easily monitor what participants are saying. It  also helpful in scheduling tweets in advance.

 

8. Thank You Shout for Supporters !

– Do not miss thanking each & everyone who participated in the tweet chat. Design a lovely graphics or publicly  acknowledge their support.  It does add positive value and long time engagement with the social media users.

 

9. Documentation

– Storify it. (www.storify.com)  Create an account on storify and make a tweet chat storyboard like Q1 and selected  answers from different panelists on Q1.

– use www.tweetbinder.com Or www.tweetreach.com to analysis the impact of tweet chat on analysis.

– It can be converted into a PDF and can be shared on official website.  Share it with all the participants.

Examples, Check : http://www.meruki.com/blog-general-elections-2014-litmus-test-for-social-media-twitter-chat

 

 10. Enjoy.

– Makes good connection, lot of insights and it does amplify & spread your reach online.

 

9 Gujarat Brands that jumped on Election Bandwagon

Brands leverage #socvialmedia to encourage voting in Gujarat !

The whole of India is currently gripped by the Election fever which has caught the attention of everyone concerned including individuals and companies alike.

Even as political parties are enthusiastically turning their candidates into brands, the actual brand owners from Gujarat are also joining the poll pitch too by offering discounts on food, apparel, accessories, spa treatments to creating campaigns asking people to vote responsibly on 30th April.

Here is a compilation of 9 such election based campaigns by brands of Gujarat

1. Sahi Chuno by Wagh Bakri Tea

waghbakri

2. Ink with Infibeam

infibeam

3. Dabaa Ke Bajaa by Red FM

RedFM

4. Vote for tummy party – discounts offered by TGB

TGB

5. Ungli Uthao Discount Pao by Sheth Opticals

shethopticals

6. Discount offered by Deepkala Silk Heritage

deepkala

7.  50% discount by Starz Club

Starzclub

8. Vote 4 Win by Uninor Gujarat

uninor

9.  Vote for Fit India by Fitness Point

FitnessPoint

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Can Modi Do a Barack Obama in General Elections 2014 ?

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES .

A comparative analysis of USA President Barack Obama and BJP Prime Minister candidate, Narendra Modi in General Elections 2014

 

General Elections 2014 in India, A Litmus Test for Social Media

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES .

Communicate Karo

This  General Elections 2014  in India is going to be a litmus test for Social Media too, other than the traditional political rhetoric .  The expansion  & reach of social media platforms have grown phenomenally in last five years in India.  In  General Elections, held in year  2009,  social media has no influence & reach . In  General Election in 2014, social media is buzzword among politicians and electorate alike.  For many of the electoral battle in urban  India,  Face book likes and Tweets  will be a deciding factor in winning or losing of a candidate.

General Elections 2014- A social Media Litmus test

According to a report published in April 2013 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Mumbai-based Iris Knowledge Foundation, Face book users will “wield a tremendous influence” over the results of the polls in 160 social media sensitive constituencies of India’s 543 parliamentary  constituencies.

 The two popular social…

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General Elections 2014 in India, A Litmus Test for Social Media

This  General Elections 2014  in India is going to be a litmus test for Social Media too, other than the traditional political rhetoric .  The expansion  & reach of social media platforms have grown phenomenally in last five years in India.  In  General Elections, held in year  2009,  social media has no influence & reach . In  General Election in 2014, social media is buzzword among politicians and electorate alike.  For many of the electoral battle in urban  India,  Face book likes and Tweets  will be a deciding factor in winning or losing of a candidate.

General Elections 2014- A social Media Litmus test

According to a report published in April 2013 by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and the Mumbai-based Iris Knowledge Foundation, Face book users will “wield a tremendous influence” over the results of the polls in 160 social media sensitive constituencies of India’s 543 parliamentary  constituencies.

 The two popular social media platforms, Face book, with over 90 million users  and twitter, a micro blogging site, has over 33 million  users in India. With less than two day to  go for General Elections 2014,  one of the big question remains how much social media  will influence the outcome of  elections in India ?

 Young & social media active voters in India 

General elections in India are BIG but this time it is also YOUNG.  According to Election  Commission of India,  the total electorate  is approx.  814.5 million compared to 713 million in 2009. This  marks an increase of more than 100 million electorate.

There has been a remarkable increase in the enrollment of electors in the age group of 18 to 19  years. Over 23 million electors are in this age group. Electors in the age group of 18 to 19 years now constitute 2.88% of total electors, against 0.75% in 2009.

So, there is major push from political parties to “Catch them Young”  voters,  and what better place than social media platforms.  According to  We are Social, over 213 million  Indians  are using the internet,  17  per cent of total population and approx 94  percent of these are on Face book, 78 per cent on Google plus,  and 67 per cent on Twitter. The Mobile internet penetration  has reached  to 11  per cent. The  young populace  are spending over 2 hours and 26 minutes  on an average on social media.

Political Parties Hitching to Social Media Bandwagon

The main two political parties- Bharitya Janta Party(BJP), the first mover on social media platform,  &  Congress  have invested highly in social media promotions & outreach in a bid to capture  the mind space of the voters. Also, Aam Aadmi Party with its unique social media strategy is making inroads to garner online attention. They are making the best use of social media platforms to woo urban & young voters active on social media platforms  from innovative  online promotion, to tweet chat, Google + hangouts, Facebook live, dedicated You Tube channels  to  WhatsApp, a mobile messenger service.

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate  Narendra Modi’s (NaMo  on social Media)  takes the lead in social media popularity chart, followed by former union minister Shashi Tharoor,  who was among the first to be active on social media platforms.   Now, there is a mad rush among  politicians to hitch the bandwagon of social media before it is too late.  Even, veteran leaders   Mulayam Singh Yadav  of Samajwadi Party and Lalu Prasad Yadav  of  Rashtriya Janta Dal , who once detested “Computer” and “English Language”  have bitten by the social media bug.

Today, young voters are social media active. They  are  voicing their opinion and canvassing for their popular leaders on social media platforms and influencing decisions within  their contacts,  household with a close reach to information on their laptops or on mobile handsets.

 Election Comission of India Gearing Up For Social Media 

Election Commission of India sensing the power  & impact of social media has already  issued  strict guidelines for using social media platforms  by political parties.  This is for the  first time, Election commission will keeping a close eye on the expenditure incurred on social media promotion.Mobile and internet technology is changing the face of election observation, too. ECI will also be live streaming the voting from selected polling stations in the country.

 

Social media in India is an evolving trend, and this general elections result might start a new discourse  for elections to come. However, it will be interesting to wait and watch, whether the popular  online sentiments, and the millions likes, thousands of share and  million tweets can translates into REAL VOTES  .

 

-Kumar Manish (@kumarmanish9)

** The article can be republished with due credit to  its original author.

 

The River and the “I”

…it was one of those innocuous moments in life when one wakes up in state of disbelief oblivious of beauty which unfolds in its transient presence.

One fine morning, I found myself standing on the edge of a flowing river, a river which was tempting and oozing with cornucopia of love, her scintillating beauty splashing on her crystal clear ambrosia.ImageStanding close to the river I can only admire her beauty. I started walking along the bank to grasp every drop of her beauty. The two captivating green eyes, calm & caring, from the depth of river started following my soul.

As i walked along her, I felt the sensation of her curves meandering in her bloom through rocky and terrain surface. Her supple arms opened up, a deep urge from inside urged me to quench my thirst from her ambrosia of love.

It was difficult choice for me to whether just walk along the bank grasping her innate beauty or should take a deep plunge for her womb. Suddenly, a whiff of fresh air brought the tiny droplets of her which touched my carnal desires.

I saw her unblemished bosom opening up like an oyster with a milky pearl lying inside it, radiant and throbbing with life. Captivated, I sat there dangling my feets touching her. A tinkling sensation invited me to have a bathe in her pristine beauty.

Got one step closer, I spread up my arms, closed my eyes and took a final plunge in a world of uncertainties. I was there inside her. Feeling every single droplets of her absorbing me into her. My own naked self got reflected in her serene flow of water. My animal instincts started battling with her, but she undeterred holded herself as I crossed all the barriers. Her green eyes lit with wild desires and in a moment it vanished. Now, I was there into her thrusting, crushing and battling. I slipped into her nectar, sipping the burning sensation.

Immersed in her tranquilizing beauty. I went deep and deep to search “me” and i lost the “I”.

India Experiments with Car Free Sunday Streets & Bus Day to reclaim streets back for people

Get creative on the streets to get heard and noticed. A new wave of people-centric innovative campaigns has reignited the concept of “cities for its people” in India. These new initiatives are supported by citizen groups & nonprofit organizations with able support from media and local government bodies to capture the hearts of the people.

Car free Sunday Streets in Gurgaon

Ciclovia (Car-free Sunday Street) in Bogotá, Colombia, is a hit and a trendsetter in the transformation of that city from a car-centric to people-centric. The Green Living Blog of The Guardian mentions   “Ciclovía a weekly, city-wide, car-free day in Bogotá that puts 76 miles of roads, including La Septima – the city’s main commercial centre – off-limits to cars. It’s been running since 1974”.

In an earnest effort, cities in India are trying to replicate this phenomenon in various forms and styles to bring people, communities and other stakeholders together to witness streets free of speeding private vehicles, no blaring horns and a cleaner environment.

People-level advocacy and indigenous campaigns can help a lot in convincing decision-makers to create infrastructure that encourages the idea of people-centric cities. The three important criteria to make these campaigns succeed are:

  1. engagement (online and offline);
  2. people network;
  3. momentum.

There is a strategic need to embolden policy-level advocacy with strong people-level advocacy on ground level. People need to be the champions of this street renaissance.

Cities in India are bursting at their seams. They are choked with traffic jams, engulfed into toxic air pollutants (like winter smog in Delhi, capital city of India) with ever-increasing numbers of private vehicles on the roads, an insatiable demand for parking spaces, and a rising number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.

The mushrooming giant serpentine flyovers are making the cities’ skylines uglier day by day.

According to the Ministry of Road Traffic and Transport, (press release for Road Safety Week January 1- January 7, 2014) “over 100,000 people are killed in traffic in India annually”. This staggering figure translates into 275 people dying an unnatural death on roads in India every day of the year.

The Times of India report suggests there are now 200 times as many motor vehicles (including two-wheelers) as there were 50 years ago (from 0.7 million in 1961 to 142 million in 2011). The worst affected are children who are slowly losing their neighbourhood parks to these cobwebs of car parks.

The 2006 National Urban Transport Policy, a national level policy made by the Ministry of Urban Development, was formulated to address an onslaught of private vehicle dependence and maddening traffic with an emphasis on “moving people and not just vehicles”.

But it has failed miserably in the way it has been envisioned.

Read the Full Article Here : http://bit.ly/18XN993

India fairs poor in Internet Freedom, says Transparency Report of Google

India, second country in the globe  to lead in the top 10 countries requesting user information from January to June 2013 from search engine giant, Google. However, USA tops the list with 10,981 requests followed by India with 2,691 requests  to Google. This  was revealed by  Transparency Report published by  search engine giant Google.

According to the Google, out of the total request, 64 per cent requests were provided with desired information.

 google1

According to  the report since 2010, “requests from governments for user information have increased by more than 100 percent. This comes as usage of our services continues to grow, but also as more governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we’re allowed to publish.”

This very much highlights Government of India steps to curtail the Internet freedom with draconian law and also keeping a watch over internet to monitor users in India. However,  the nature of requests from the government of India to Google has not been categorized whether the requests are  political in nature, regarding national security or for any other issues.

By year 2014, India will have 243 million internet users, surpassing  USA which has the second largest internet base in the world, according to the I-Cube 2013 report, released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International

At present, China leads with more than 300 million internet users while the US has an estimated 207 million internet users. (Source: TOI)

The  “draconian”  section 69 of the 2008 Information Technology (Amendment) Act, empowers the Indian government to direct any Internet service to block, intercept, monitor, or decrypt “any information through any computer resource.”

In April 2011 the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India,  issued new guidelines for “intermediaries” (such as internet service providers, website hosting service providers, search engines and online payment sites), under which Internet companies are expected to remove content that regulators deem “grossly harmful,” ”harassing,” or “ethnically objectionable” within 36 hours. Failure to comply could land companies with fines or possible jail time.

 

 

 

Dial “*325#” on Mobile to access free of cost Political Candidate history

Now,  access political candidate fighting election with push of a call on your mobile phone free of cost.  In run up to upcoming general elections in India, New Delhi based Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and  Facebook, social media giant have joined hands to provide citizens up-to-date candidates’ information on the mobile phone in an easy and an accessible way. 

The information will be available on upcoming state assembly elections and Parliamentary (Lok Sabha) Elections to help  voters make an informed choice.Voters In India will now be able to access election candidates’ criminal, financial, educational, professional etc. information directly on their mobile via Facebook using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). USSD is a technology that helps people access facebook on phones without Internet. USSD is a technology that all GSM phones (over 90% of all phones today) across prices and complexity are equipped with. USSD allows text experiences on phones that are richer than SMS and cheaper for the user than mobile Internet.

How to access the information on election candidates for free-

Access to information has never been simpler, faster and cheaper — all users have to do is dial *325# from their mobile to access Facebook and select the election menu (option 6) or directly dial *325*35# to access the election menu for no charge.

According to a press release issued by ADR, Voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates — their educational, criminal and financial information — at their fingertips and choose wisely. Simply voting in an uninformed manner is not enough, citizens need to make an informed choice.

The great Indian Tamasha of Politics

The press release quotes Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India, said, “Over 82 million Indian citizens access Facebook regularly, and an increasing number of users access the platform on mobile. Our goal is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance. We are delighted to collaborate with ADR on this important initiative.”

The USSD election feature will allow citizens to access information more easily and will enable them to make an informed choice. 

-with inputs from ADR press release.

Visiting Heaven on Earth in Italy

Verbania located in idyllic environs of north Italy is quite different from busy city life of Rome and Venice, the popular tourist destinations in Italy. It was a chance visit to see something different from ideal streets, tourists hotspots and architectural marvels of Italy to the art of nature in Lago(in English, it means Lake) Maggiore in Verbania, close to Stresa which is two hour train journey from Venice in Italy.

Top view of Logo Maggiore from Majestic, a heritage hotel built in 1870.Top view of Logo Maggiore from Majestic, a heritage hotel built in 1870.

Walking along the shores of giant Lago Maggiore with gentle breeze caressing you, one has this blissful feeling that the real artist remains Nature. Crossing through historic town centres, 19th century villas, bustling & quiet streets, one can only gush about  Verbania being an ideal destination for pure relaxation amidst the beauty of Mother Nature.

The lakefront in red pebble stones has so much life to it; you can sit comfortably along the shores and watch the sun setting down in the mountains, you can go for water sports, fishing, or walk along it or get yourself soaked in motherly warmth of Sunrays on the beach.

Scintillating beauty of Lago Maggiore.Scintillating beauty of Lago Maggiore.

Lago Maggiore, popularly called “heaven on earth” is a lovely concoction of natural beauty, history and art. Call it luck or mere chance, I had the privilege to meet in person one of the Italy’s famous installation artist, Velasco Vitali, who had displayed his work ‘’Forrest Rossa (Red Forest)’, inspired by ghost cities & places abandoned by man but that are still there. The artworks were strategically placed at the lakeside, majestic heritage hotel and Madre Island.

Nicely laid out boulevard at the lakefront in Verbania.Nicely laid out boulevard at the lakefront in Verbania.

The place  unwittingly captures the imagination of traveller with its scenic beauty of water and mountains surrounding it. If you are lover of landscapes & gardens, Gardens of Villa Taranto set up by a Scottish gentleman in Verbania is a must visit.  It houses more than 20,000 varieties of plants and provides a panoramic view of the natural landscapes cuddled up by mountains and lakes.

An art installation of dogs, sculpted with discorded irons at Isola Madre in Verbania.An art installation of dogs, sculpted with discorded irons at Isola Madre in Verbania.

If you are literature aficionado, you will be surprised to know that the majestic lakes of the Verbania were favourite travelling jaunt for eminent artists and writers like English poet Lord Byron (one of my personal favourite), French writer Marie-Henri Beyle, popularly known as Stendhal, classic English novelist Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway. It also houses historic buildings, which are now run as heritage hotels and as arts museum. The city, close to Swiss Alps, was an ethereal & mesmerizing travelling experience. It is still not known much in tourist circuit especially among Indian travellers, but it does offer the real delight of living with nature. So, next time you may explore the bounty of nature tucked in the corner ofd the world.

– Written this piece after my visit to Verbania in Italy in Year, 2012. Special  gratitude & thanks to Mariangela Nieddu.

For more details, click here  : Grand Hotel Majestic   !

(Pics by Kumar Manish)