Reading Bytes for May 4 – Education, Social Publishing, Mobiles and Marketing

by Dina on May 4, 2010 · 0 comments

in Market Insights,Mobile,My delicious,Social Media,Voices of the World

Daily updates on what I’m reading. Links with my notes. I also just tweet links and things that interest me @dina

“Our strategy has relied upon being part of a larger mission, providing meaningful and valuable content, curating information and content for the community, using a legal framework that allows for a participatory culture and lastly, in time, providing a space for the community to assist in the mission by creating content themselves. The last part, a community publishing platform, is something we are working on with the Connexions Project and a brief video about it is here. It’s still a journey we are on and we’ve had many success till date  – Skype reading sessions across countries, helping us get books to children across the country, audio books created for the blindiPad apps being made of our content and so much more.  Here’s some details about some of social tactics:

Skype reading sessions: This project started after a few tweets were exchanged between a librarian from Central Manor, Pennsylvania. We started off by people from our organization having Skype reading sessions with a few children and then moved onto having sessions with entire classes. On 20th March, 2009, we managed to hold a Skype storytelling session between kids from Akshara Foundation’s community library and a class from Central Manor.The purpose is to go beyond being just a publisher. Through these activities we are encouraging reading, learning and connecting children from different communities and backgrounds. Channels used: Twitter, Skype, Blog

Inviting people to remix/repurpose our content: As a publisher, we have a lot of content available which we want people to access as easily as possible. In our attempt to do so, we have managed to license some of our books under Creative Commons licenses. Now, if we can’t publish a book in Assamese, but a teacher in Assam wants to do so, she doesn’t have to worry about copyright infringement. We have also put up some of the illustrations of our books so that people can remix or repurpose them. Channels used : Scribd, Blog, Flickr

Facilitators/connecting organisations and people: @Anorakmagazine found us on Twitter and asked if they could send us some back issues of their magazines to share with kids in India. Once the books arrived, they were sent to the community libraries run by Akshara Foundation. We also helped coordinate a drawing project that Anorak Magazine wanted to involve the children with. Now, some of the kids have their work published in an international children’s magazine.Channels used: Twitter

Audio books for the National Association of Blind : This project started off because of another blog post (on the Helen Keller Talking Library project) that got automatically updated to our Twitter account. @owos then messaged us to tell us about a similar intiative Radio Mirchi had started. Then another tweep (@barkhad) told us that she had registered with Radio Mirchi but they didn’t get back to her. So, we got in touch with Radio Mirchi to talk about a blog post and while we were talking, she asked if we would be interested in having our books recorded by Radio Mirchi for the National Association of the Blind. We also requested if @barkhad could record one of our books and they agreed. So, our Twitter friend went offline and recorded a book in their Delhi studio! Channels used: Blog, Twitter

Passing it on – the book edition: We read about about a bunch of kids in Kolkata who went around with a van full of books to reach kids who didn’t have access to books and even went on to teach the kids how to read. After reading about this initiative, one of our trustees volunteered to sponsor some Bengali books if we could find these kids. We mailed the news bureau which published the article, but were unable to get a response. So, we decided to see if the Twitter community could help us. Within half an hour of sending out a tweet, we had a volunteer who said he would get us the information and by the next day we had an address and contact number. Within a few days, Bengali books were sent by us to these kids.From this story, we decided to start an initiative which would allow our online community to participate…to help these kids as well as other kids. Channels used: Twitter, Blog, Facebook

What we’ve found is that honestly, transparency and accountability are the three most important elements of any social media strategy.   A longer case study that we had written up is available on the IndiaSocial site.

CLIPs: “Nokia is still a market leader in the lower end handsets. But there too companies like Micromax are coming in aggressively with high end features at very competitive rates.” It’s time for Nokia to go back into the laboratory and come up with something that make you want to chuck what you have and buy a new one. Imagine a stunningly good-looking girl with an IQ of 180 – but in the form of a phone.”

“… Just a few crazy ideas. I am sure there are designers and engineers out there can come up with much better. Because product lifecycles are getting shorter and shorter. If you’re not dreaming ‘what next’, ‘what more’, your brand is one step closer to the grave. Nokia still enjoys tremendous goodwill, and marketshare. But it needs some stardust to sprinkle on consumers. To work its magic spell, to mesmerise us into saying “lena to Nokia hi hai, question is ‘which model’!”


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