What makes an Indian Digg tick?

Bollywood is known for *inspiration* it derives from Hollywood. Ask any musician/director on why do they copy Hollywood stuff, and the standard answer is – “I was inspired by the…

Bollywood is known for *inspiration* it derives from Hollywood. Ask any musician/director on why do they copy Hollywood stuff, and the standard answer is – “I was inspired by the movie/song. Everything else is my original composition !!”

And the same *inspiration* has reached Indian Internet story too, which has suddenly witnessed plethora of desi versions of firangi successful sites.

For e.g. you have Goog clones (Guruji/OnYoMo..and more), Digg clones (Indianpad, IndianRadar, Newscola..etc..) Netflix/Flickr clones etc. And the saddest part is that most of these desi clones are just trying to ape the US story – without adding any pinch of originality.
As I said earlier, they are *just inspired* and not perspired.

Starting a series of what can make these clones successful, here is the first installment.

i.e. What can make a Desi Digg successful? Here are a few thoughts.

  • Ease of making it to the front page
    One of the most significant reasons why the world needs multiple clones of Digg is to promote their blog/site (at multiple places, multiple geographies..as many ways as one can).
    News aggregators, at the end of the day are a great tool to bring traffic to one’s blog (and that’s why people keep submitting their posts to Digg!).
    But Digg is a smart ass (uses algorithms to monitor any foul play, too strict with the voting process etc. ), and that makes way for competition.
    And that’s where Desi Diggs can capitalize on (given the Blogging rage in India) – i.e. bring down the front-page barrier. For e.g. to make it to the front page in Indianpad, all you need is 5 votes!
    Quality, of course takes a hit – but should be monitored for the long term success.

    [Well, the moment a site achieves some decent success, it will start monitoring the content; and the world will again look for an alternative – a vicious cycle, you see!]
  • Content Disaggregation/Distribution
    If I were to start a desi Digg clone, I will have people subscribe to vertical feeds (of the front page news) – using tags [For e.g. you can subscribe to all posts related to ‘mallika sherawat’!].
    And I will deliver the content to their mobile too (will use a toll free number for sms subscription and make sure that feeds work even on Nokia 1100 kinda phone).
  • Local Content
    I don’t understand why desi Digg clones show up the US-centric news? There is no reason why I will ever use a desi Digg to read US-based stories.
    Where is the Indian content? The Indian news? And why not bring the local language content too, i.e. Hindi/Kannada/etc?
    Infact, why not allow people to read *their* i.e. local content on *their* mobile?
    There are a few aggregators who are working towards this [MyToday], but ideally, a news aggregator has more appeal than MyToday sort of aggregator [who bring their own content or license it from third parties]
  • Apna Sapna Money Money!
    Like it or not, the whole world is running after money and any opportunity to make even a small dough gets a huge traction. See how YouTube has delivered a knock-out punch to it’s competitors by sharing ad revenues.Similarly, one of the smartest feature that Indianpad has implemented is ability for the site user to make money using their Adsense account.
    To me, that’s the best way to award your users for their participation [really wonder why Digg/other news aggregators don’t do this?].
  • Sex sells and so does sleazy stories and videos
    “Esteemed” Mallika Sherawat once said, “Only Sex and SRK sells in India “.
    Leaving the SRK factor aside, I strongly believe that there is a BIIIG room for soft-porn-stuff in Indian market.Infact, Indianpad has been very smart with it’s 18+ sections and if you look at the evergrowing number of porn blogs/sites that keep mushrooming, I will definitely tap the market (atleast to create a buzz! and maybe moderate the videos later).If you say that’s unethical, ask the Juhi Chawlas/Madhuri Dixits of the world – Why they did what they did (i.e. exposure) and why they stopped doing it once they achieved stardom (‘oh! I want role with substance’)?Same applies to wannabe YouTubes, Diggs & Orkuts of the world too – i.e. be a little soft with porno stuff in the beginning, and once you have a substantial traffic/loyal user base/ – wake up the moral kid within the self.
    It’s an unsaid strategy which everybody follows.

Desi Digg sites (that I know) : Yahoo My Web 2.0 , Indiagram, PutVote, HumDigg (wow! how original?), ForumsofIndia, NewsCola (acquired by MIH), IndianPad, IndiaMarks, IndianRadar, Rambhai , IndianBytes, Jhanki.

If you are wondering why I have talked a lot about Indianpad, it’s for the simple reason that they are better amongst the worst. They have the right feature set and are most eligible (given the current competition) to make it big.

What do you guys think would make a Desi Digg successful?


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