Thursday, December 20, 2012

Another trendy Twitter Sri Lanka night #TweetLikeX

many people who start Twitter and do not continue complain that they really dont get Twitter sometimes. Its simple like public SMSing(Only what you want public to know). And the most fun is when everyone starts tweeting to one awesome topic - We call it a "hashtag". A hashtag collects all the tweets to a specific subject. For e.g. If it is Australia vs Sri Lanka match we all tweet using #AUSvSL so all Australians and all Sri Lankans & whoever is on the same page.

Following is a different type of a hashtag we had last Monday called TweetLikeX. What we had to do was to tweet the styles of the person "X". It all started with one @LyricistHeshan tweet - I RTed tagging Kawudaboy imagining all the U2-Bono-Tattoo tweets we can tweet about Heshan.

I thought it will work for a specific tweep but soon the timeline was flooded with TweetLikeX tweets replacing different names in Sri Lankan twittersphere. Few good ones given below

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hootsuite launches conversation - Internal communications tool

Ive been a loyal Hootsuite user for a long time for managing Twitter and Facebook, both on PC and Mobile. Its pretty simple to use and faster. Not having a great look and feel but does the work.

I was delighted to check out their latest add-on "Hootsuite conversations". Being a heavy user of social media - I think this is a feature that can go a long way. Check out the feature from the video below

Primary need for this type of a feature is the need for internal communication in social media management(In a commercial level). Currently couple of social media management tools offer the same feature but charge a premium. Hope Hootsuite will be able to leverage on this need and add more commercial users. Ideal situation is if they can build on this concept and come up with a fully fledged social media tool.

What tool, Twitter client do you use? And please feel free to share your experience so that others will be able to find out the best twitter client on Mobile on PC.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Zotye Nomad price increase by Gov taxes - My first tailor made Meme

Lots of buzz around memes these days - But what i personally think is that memes are appealing to a very niche target group and is not recommended for mass appeal.  Request was made by Friend and scouting legend - Charitha Ayya by a tweet

For the first time i made a meme for a request. Here is it depicting the result of govt vehicle tax increase this year that jeopardized the vehicle market in Sri Lanka

Monday, September 10, 2012

Twitter Direct Message Spam Virus - "tapping you"

Twitter malware are rare but we have seen many such as "True Twit validation" but this one im going to blog about it is something new on the block. There was this spam that went viral in Sri Lankan tweeps account last few weeks. Basically what happens is you get a DM saying "Did you see them tapping you <link>". The line makes it very much likely to click. Few sample DMs i got given below

When you click on the link you are directed to a "Page not found" in FB -

Or is it running a script and spamming through my DM? IT experts tell me...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Blackberry subtle advertising effectiveness

Its the talk of the town - well at least in Sri Lankan twittersphere. She was the pioneer in driving the hype for the book in Twitter and i was given  a chance to glance through the pages.

Following is the part about Blackberry - Dont know if the author E.L.James(Female) got paid for it or just added to show prestige of Grey using a Blackberry.

In a time where RIM is going down the drain, having doubts about aquisition and this "Blackberry going down" news is all over the media, she tweeted this
And i asked her whether it was because of the book, following is the tweet and thats enough for me to prove the effectiveness of advertising. Period.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sudden increase of questions/polls in Facebook Sri Lanka

Just a quick posting to get an idea about the trend - Were you active enough to notice sudden burst of questions on your newsfeed last few days? You can see up to 4-5 questions at any given time in the newsfeed ranging from "Best school", "Best telco" to "Best Country" questions.

Some of the questions are like (Updated)
Vote for your country?
To which relign do u belong?
Whats the best mobile operator in Sri Lanka?
Whats your operating system?
What place do you prefer for shopping for work wear?

This surge in questions were even noticed and highlighted by users.

Pls post other questions as you see in Facebook Sri Lanka...

Facebook questions has been there for a long time and such a sudden increase is surprising. What caused this? Facebook themselves pushing this feature? Any idea?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Facebook groups new "Seen by" feature

Last week Facebook announced the new "seen by" feature on groups - pretty useful when you are using Facebook groups for day to day communication. It is basically a record of how many saw your posts in a Facebook group like given below.

This is similar to the "seen at" feature in Facebook chat. This feature makes groups more compatible for day to day communication needs. Like the example given where you want to communicate football practices to the whole team and the post indicates how many saw the notice. This also makes Facebook more consistent for communication. (Can be annoying for some - tough life :P )

This and the recent feature "voice" (Will explain in a seperate post - Enables you to comment as an admin or a fan in Facebook page easily) are targeted at power users who are active on Facebook. But the normal users Facebook activity decline (as explained by "Photo/Video sharing kills Facebook & grows Twitter") continues and hope they come up with features targeting them. 

Do you think "Seen by" is useful? Feel free to comment below with your thoughts...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Facebook promoting "Close friends" to increase activity

Did you see Facebook asking you to star your closest friends to one list called "Close friends" recently? Did you add your close friends and got loads of notifications of all their activity? And then switched off notifications on closest friends? If NO - you are gonna go thru the whole thing soon - so read on

As i explained in few of my previous posts - "Photo/Video sharing kills Facebook & grows Twitter", Facebook is losing activity due to the popularity of micro blogging platforms like Twitter where there is hyper activity. Another reason for this is the old Facebook users are now having considerable amount of friends&share pages and they no longer find the news feed relevant. In order to increase momentum and to make the news feed more relevant Facebook has started pushing "Friends lists" recently.

You will see a window on top asking you to star your closest friends. Facebook suggests close family and friends, giving you the option to select like given below.

Once selected - they go to the friend list "Close friends". Only pain is that by default Facebook starts sending you notifications for every action they do on Facebook (Like,comment,photo upload.etc). Worse if you are on mobile and much worse if you are on notifications via SMS like below.

How to remove Facebook close friends notifications?
  1. Go to your Facebook home
  2. See on your left side - There's a set of pages you admin, followed by groups and followed by friends' lists. Under the friends list should be "Close friends" category. Click on that
  3. On your rights side you will see a button called "Notifications" - tick that off.
Now you will get notified without being a pain as mobile notifications or SMS

Do you think this can make Facebook survive? Did you go thru the same "Close friends" add and remove notifications drama? Feel free to share your experiences...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to hard reset Samsung Galaxy Tab & Vendor hypocicy

Few weeks back,my Samsung Galaxy Tab started showing this error message "app.calendar is not responding".etc. It keeps coming,you cant even go to settings. I searched for the error in the net, there was not much help. So thought of going to the official Samsung repair centre in Bambalapitiya. I had already gone there to replace my battery so i knew the place.

They said there is a software jam and quoted Rs.4000 to do the following.

1. With the device off, press and hold Volume Up and Power buttons.

2. Release the Power button when you see the Samsung logo, but continue to hold Volume Up until the recovery screen appears.

3. Use the Volume buttons to navigate the menu and select wipe data / factory reset. Press Home to choose the selection

4. Press volume up to continue - Tab will continue its resetting process. You just need to wait for about 3-5 minutes.

End of the process, I had my tab just as when it was purchased. The process took maximum 5 minutes and few pressing of button, for which the Samsung dealer in Sri Lanka charges Rs.4000. To make things uglier its not Samsung but a local agent of Samsung that is running the repair centre who charges unreasonable prices like this knowing the users are ignorant and have no other place to go.

My advice to all Samsung users in Sri Lanka - double check if you are getting some repair done, if you are not on warranty period - pls do a Google search about the fault or show it to someone you know - If you know about gadgets please contact me. Lets not let hardware vendors to spoil innocent customers.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photo/Video sharing kills Facebook & grows Twitter

In one of my posts in last October titled  "Facebook "Share" button is going to be the next big thing" I explained how Facebook strategically gave more prominence to Photo&video shares through the timeline view. In a recent post titled "Is engagement higher for Facebook photos?" i proved with stats how this has made sharing of a photo or a video get higher engagement than a text update.

Outcome of this strategy was heavy sharing of images which resulted in the emergence of photo sharing Facebook pages such as "Trust me,Im an Engineer", "Ads of the world", "Kajuwaththa eksath"(Local) , "Loweth ne" (Local) and the culture of edited photo sharing in the form of memes.

This has also made the data consumption higher for Facebook usage and the requirement of certain minimum speeds to access Facebook (Some android phones will need long Facebook app load times). But the most important and a vital result of highlighting photos is the negligence to text based updates.  As given in the post "Is engagement higher for Facebook photos?", Facebook users are three times less likely to respond to a text only update now.

We have passed the era of text status updates of good and bad moments of life and getting dozens of comments from Friends and Family. Now a text status update in Facebook receives very low attention. This outcome is killing Facebook by driving users to microblogging platforms like Twitter where even a text based update can make a lot of impact. Do you think this can kill Facebook? Will Facebook understand the consequences and try to rectify it? Please feel free to comment your opinion below...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Why Yoshitha Rajapakshe on FB SLmemes page is so significant?

Whole Sri Lankan online community was talking about one thing yesterday. President's son and his girl friend commenting on a meme in Sri Lankan Memes Facebook page about them.

The meme was about an astrologist predicting the president that his about to become a grandfather, MR saying his kids dont even have girlfriends & then showing pics of Yoshitha,his girlfriend, some baby. Its a superb meme anyways. (If anyone wants to see the meme,pls comment below i will send the link)

Within few minutes President's sons girlfriend has commented phrasing the meme (in the meme language), followed by Presidnets son himself commenting saying "HILARIOUS". This was a first time that we noticed a highlevel VIP personally commenting on a public forum. Both of them commented in a very light way, showing the PR qualities of the President.

This isn't something that we have seen in Sri Lanka so far. But is a common phenomenon in other matured internet markets like India or even US where celebrities & VIPs comment, tweet like normal people in the communities. I assume one of the reasons why India has a huge followership in Twitter than Sri Lanka is because their celebrities are actively on Twitter. I know certain Sri Lankan girls who have joined twitter,just to follow their bollywood celebrities in India and some of them have even got replies from the likes of Shah Rukh Khan on Twitter (Do you see the pas coming out? #IfYouKnowWhatIMeanMeme)

This kind of celebrity/VIP participation on social networks can lead to increase in community members for Sri Lanka - my point is that after hearing the news

  • More people will want to join Facebook and 
  • More people will want to be active on this pages to interact with their celebrities
  • Will encourage more celebrities/VIPs to come on board social media and interact with their fans

for e.g.Increase in Facebook and specially an increase in Twitter users since celebrities in Twitter are easily reached than in Facebook.  Such an increase would mean better internet atmosphere with much more local content around the web. Will Yoshitha commenting on Facebook meme be the turning point of Sri Lankan celebrities/VIPs in social communities?

Next up : "Cold war between popular Sri Lankan Facebook 'share' pages"

Friday, May 4, 2012

Is engagement higher for Facebook photos?

I was so curious about this after my only text status update today morning only drew 9-10 likes. Whereas one of the photos i uploaded got 200+ likes few days back. I gave some serious research in to what gets more activity on Facebook.

Here's data i extracted from three different studies done by three digital marketing agencies.

Type/Study Web Liquid Momentus Media Jon Loomer Digital
Photos 0.37% 0.21% 0.76%
Text only 0.21% 0.09% 0.29%
Videos 0.31% 0.11% 0.30%
Link 0.15% 0.07% 0.35%

As clearly shown, photos gets more attention. But

what can be the possible reasons for this?

Facebook timeline
FB timeline gives more prominence to photos because of its boxy layout.

Facebook share button/link
As i predicted in October 2011, after making the "SHARE" link prominent Facebook images became very popular. Viral image formats like memes became massive trends. Viral groups like "Kajuwaththa Eksath" became a hit among FB users.

Increasing internet usage(speeds&data)
Specially in countries like Sri Lanka,those who surfed Facebook through mobiles are now getting in to high speed connections. Only text status updates were popular during those days but now everyone can afford data for images and its faster.

How will it effect me?

Individual users - Think before you update your status,If you have resources & time,get in to a photo update. 

Brands - More emphasis on photos & other interesting content is needed. Brands should focus on giving a graphical picture of all they want to communicate on Facebook.

What do you think? Do you think Facebook will try to do something to save text only status update because micro blogging services like Twitter will build upon this advantage? 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Does Google remember your search history?

Yes. I know its scary.

Only exception is if you are not logged in to Gmail or any other service. Came across the topic while going through SL memes,there was this one "If someone remember everything we search in Google - we are screwed". And i enlightened them finally giving a link to see what they have searched.

When you are logged in to Gmail (Part of Google) or any other Google service (For eg.Google docs,Google drive, youtube or even Google reader) all your Google searches are recorded. 

When you sign up to a Google service you give in your consent for all your searches to be remembered.
But this cant do major harm - As i know it helps advertisers target their Google ads better - showing you ads you will be interested in. Like one of the Google adwords promotion said "best ads can be a search result).

Another plus point is that you are able to go back to your searches. For e.g. one day while travelling i listened to this awesome song and googled the lyrics through my Android phone, But totally forgot about it afterwards. About 2 days later when i was infront of the PC i wanted to download the song - And Google search history came to my rescue.

How to view my Google web history - Log in to Gmail. Click on my account button below Google+ profile. Click on products. Click on Google web history - DAMN!

What do you think? Is it good or bad? Feel free to comment below with your opinion.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rockmelt Browser Facebook message SPAM

Previously i warned Facebookers of the Rihanna & Kim Kardarshian links - This time it's about a very subtle spamming by the Facebook dedicated browser called "Rockmelt".

As i heard Rockmelt is not a bad browser. It's a modern, Facebook dedicated browser which is getting popular. It's unbelievable to see such a good product using bad promotional methods like below.

Once you use Rockmelt through Facebook, they take authentication and sends a message to your Facebook friends like the one below.

And if you don't accept they send you a reminder in two days like below.

I personally do not use Rockmelt but got a lot of messaged like the above. Feel free to share whether Rockmelt is as good as they promote it...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Meme's used in Sri Lankan protests against UNHRC

It's amazing to see how online world influences the physical world since it is expected the other way around. Recently Sri Lankan protestors against UN human rights commission has used  meme's as slogan boards. See below


I predict pretty soon we see them in Lipton square, In Cricket matches and in every other demonstration in Sri Lanka held for different reasons. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Meme culture hits Sri Lanka

With the likes of 9GAG meme's had been the talk of the day in other online markets. Usually all trends come to Sri Lanka late but meme's have really been faster - probably because of faster internet growth these days. I would also blame the Sri Lankan expats for accelerating meme arrival in Sri Lanka ( @Binku xD)

An internet meme is an idea that is virally propogated through the internet. It can be a hyperlink, picture, video or even a small word or phrase. The spread is through social networking sites, blogs, email.etc,.Most popular being photo memes since they are easily shareable. Currently there are many meme generators with commonly used memes to which you can put a caption. One is

One of the most popular memes this days are "LOTR Boromirs - One does not simply", "Success baby meme", "Obama - Not bad meme", "Facebook girl meme", "Barney Stinson - True story meme" .etc. Some of them are directly taken from famous movie,TV shows. For .e.g. Boromir saying "One does not simply walk in to Morodor" in Council of Elrond in Lord of the Rings.

Internationally meme sites of likes of 9GAG are very popular. Locally we have only the "Sri Lankan memes" FB page but its growing quite fast. 6000 fans in mere 3 weeks is quite astonishing without any kind of commercial advertising. A barrier i see for Sri Lankan memes to reach mass internet population in Sri Lanka is that certain movie & TV show memes' are better enjoyed when one has actually seen the feature. For e.g. If you assume 20% of internet users in Sri Lanka have seen Lord of the Rings, its less than 1% who have seen How i met your mother - so memes of that origin might not be enjoyed by many.

Despite all that, Sri Lankan meme FB page is really happening these days, specially on Cricket match days. Admins are doing a great job with all the filtering & coordination. Hats-off to anyone doing the page.

So - start memeing if you haven't already! Feel free to share your thoughts on meme culture in Sri Lanka by commenting below....

Thursday, March 8, 2012

CB Series : Lessons for Business & Life

Kohli screamed "Im the future of India", Chandimal whispered the same about Sri Lanka (via Cricinfo), Dilshan,Mahela & Australia prevailed - After a long time Sri Lankan cricket fans have something to be happy about even though we screwed the 3rd final. Well - even losing is ok if you learn lessons from it. below are some of the things i take back from Cricket -

Mahela : Leadership is key
See what a drastic change captaincy did to the side. In business it's the same - You need to take out bad leaders and find the best person who can drive results. Good teams can perform under bad leaders is a misconception.

Dilshan : Right man doing the right job
Dilshan last ODI series before becoming captain: 500 runs. First series after stepping down: 503 runs. In between: 440 runs in 21 matches

Numbers above says it all - If you give wrong responsibilities in business to the wrong, he not only screw new work, But also what he was doing best. Dilshan used to be one of the most lethal openers & see what wrong responsibilities did to him. Glad he's back.

Kohli & Team India : Performing under pressure 

T 668 - Virat Kohli, you have played the innings of your life .. back against the wall, pressure of loss and elimination, and you win !!

Some might argue it's productive but i think if India played in the same aggression through out the series they would have even won the cup. In business also - there are guys who perform really well with deadlines but are very unproductive otherwise. I think someone has to be consistent in performance whether there is pressure or not.

Sri Lankan team losing easy matches : Perfectionism
As @amisampath pointed out in a conversation - We lost the first final because we were bowling very lethargically when Australia was batting in the first innings. Same with the 3rd final in which we could have "all out" Australia for 180-190 & scored even 230 easily. The team wasn't just perfecting performance. Same way you need to be perfect when closing jobs assigned in business very importantly sales.

Feel free to share your thoughts...