Why Pluggd.in rebranded to NextBigWhat? Why we disrupted ourselves?

With time, our ambition has grown and it spans beyond the current setup. That is, a Pluggd.in++ (rather, ++n). We don’t look at ourselves as a media company (legally we are), but a team which is curious about technology and super passionate about technology startups and digital space.

Pluggd.in has rebranded to NextBigWhat and on behalf of the team, I’d like to share some of our thoughts behind the rebranding exercise.

1. Why? Were you forced to change?

Some of you asked if there was any legal angle to the rebranding and let me share that there was none as such. In fact, we were not forced or under any pressure to rebrand.

It was a conscious decision to grow into different segments, engage deeper with the audience and in the whole process, bring more awesomeness to the community . We could have taken incremental steps, but there was no point in doing that.

‘If you change nothing, nothing changes’. 

2. Does the focus change?

NO. We are still red-eyed passionate about startups. While we will totally retain our current focus, we want to dig deeper and like I said earlier, expand into different segments.

3. How does it work? What about earlier posts?

All of them have been redirected to the new site (technically speaking, 301 redirect). All earlier posts will work as-is. Nothing breaks.

4. What’s NextBigWhat?

It’s a statement.

A thirst to really dig the nextbigwhat in different technologies/business domain. Right now, if you look at the whole (startup) media space, it’s a lot about reporting/rePRing/sucking up – and we aren’t interested in that.

When I started Pluggd.in, the idea was to create a great platform for startups to get product feedback and also to connect with each other. We did and to a large extent, we can surely boast that we did it very successfully without creating a pure-play media game in the process (media=BS, FYI).

With time, our ambition has grown and it spans beyond the current setup. That is, a Pluggd.in++ (rather, ++n). We don’t look at ourselves as a media company (legally we are 🙁 ), but a team which is curious about technology and super passionate about technology startups and digital space.

The biggest change you will see will be around the focus areas and we are certainly hopeful that you are gonna like it!

5. What about site traffic? Didn’t you guys just screwed yourself? You just lost all traffic!

Fact: Day 1 traffic report of NextBigWhat = 75% of Pluggd.in’s normal traffic! That ain’t bad, right!

Yes – alexa ranking etc will be impacted badly but here is the BIG deal about us – we don’t sell advertisements on traffic numbers. That’s not the right metrics for us. If you want us to compare with competitors on traffic numbers, feel free to do that. But for us, it’s a lot about impact, though the good news is that it will take maximum of 4-5 days to get back to normal traffic.

6. Isn’t this damn risky? What about SEO impact?

Yes – it’s damn risky!

Unless you are totally forced by external situations, you won’t rebrand a high traffic site like Pluggd.in (fact: we had more traffic than a few mainstream media companies and a lot of people think that we are 50+ people team).

We never looked at traffic as a stand-alone metrics. As far as SEO etc is concerned, we have left that for lord Google to decipher 🙂

7. Answering concerns from readers (questions copy/pasted from emails):

7.1 : Pluggd.in for me always stood for giving visibility to new startups. I still remember that you wrote about us even before we had a proper product even though you knew that the reaction of readers is not going to be positive. Hope there is no change to that philosophy or are you going to cover only the guys who are more likely to grow really bigConsidering that it is one of the most drastic rebranding in Indian internet space.

Not really! We will still keep profiling early stage/beta products and will profile more of them.

7.2 : What about social media impact/changes? Site design? I still see bits and pieces of PI in the new brand.

We are taking it a bit slow. We will migrate to new brand experience over the next 15 days. You will still notice a bit of Pluggd.in in the NextBigWhat current design/social media and that’s part of the migration process.

For a reader, nothing changes (except the URL and logo)!!

7.3 : What about UnPluggd?

We aren’t disrupting that brand for now.

7.4: Aren’t you guys emotional about this whole thing? You could have done it phase-wise?

Personally speaking, yes! Pluggd.in was a side-project with no sense of ‘where are we going’ and the real growth happened after I jumped into it full-time.

It has been a fun journey over the last few years and we are now working harder to take things to the next level.

We could have done a different branding (more connected with Pluggd.in), could have done it slow etc etc. but the truth is that a change like this needs to happen in one shot. Having said that, we want to keep reader experience as-is (during migration phase) and switch to the new avatar over the next few days.

We have a great team and it’s time for us to drive the change! Exciting time for us.

Thanks for being there and providing all the support/feedback. We certainly look forward to more of it from now onwards!!

On behalf of Team NextBigWhat.

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