May 12, 2006,
I have been following desipundit.com right from its inception. To cut short, you are doing a great job, still, there is always room for improvement.
Here are my 10 steps to stardom.
1) Feedback mechanism: Right now desipundit is doing the job of displaying talent. Good. But what you need to do, is create a community. You guys are not doing it. Well, the community is there, but they dont have a role to play, to participate, to feel significant or to feel part of.
Good news is, you dont have to re-invent the wheel. Right from amazon.com to businessweek.com have done it. Let the user rate a post. Let users rate an author. (True, this will result in lot of isms and group politics, but, whatever, whatever ism, as long as it takes place at desipundit.com is good.
2) Choose the right template: Simply put, the template of desipundit.com is not up to the mark. You are displaying Indian talent. Not Scottish. We Indians need color. We Indians need a lot to happen on the screen.
More color. More joy. More brightness. Thats what we Indians need.
3) Create Personolities : What desipundit could have hit and totally (abysmally) missed is creating 'personalities'. Desipundit is not a 'team of editors'. Desipundit is 'Patrix'. Desipundit is 'Ash'. Etc.
Come forward. Talk to people. Be open about your tastes. Your likes, dislikes. Your backgrouds. Your dreams. Your tastes. Create your personolities. Share the vision you have for desipundit.com with people. Share the values you have for desipundit.com with people.
4) Market yourself: Good ideas dont run on good will alone.
Make yourself the benchmark of talent display.
Create "Featured on desipundit.com" button. Authors whose post gets featured would love to show it off.
Create "Rated **** on desipundit.com" button. If my post gets five star rated on desipundit.com I would brag about it for the rest of my life. Let me brag. I am creating free publicity for you guys.
Occassionally invite other group bloggers to do an editorial on desipundit.com
Well, you get the idea right? Possibilities are endless.
5) More stats: Remember, this is not a book. This is net. People need stats. Give them stats.
Most featured blogs
Most read posts
Top rated posts
Top rated authors.
Stats are sureway of making users 'connect' to your idea. Stats make people stay longer. Stats make people compete. Stats at the end, reward and tell you the truth.
6) Get rid of the language posts: Honestly speaking, an occassional Hindi, Telugu or Tamil post might satisfy that particular community, but its an irritation for others. It breaks the harmony of the display.
It may make you 'feel good' that you are behind a good cause of giving a chance to 'languages', but its not practical. Just because you have given Tamil a chance, you also need to give Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati a chance. Bah.
Blog community is English.
7) Make desipundit.com "The Best Of The Indian Talent": Expand the scope to include
8) Never Side: Well, its good to stand behind Earth Quake relief funds and Tsunami funds. But its not good to side on an issue like IIPM, for a 'generic talent display area' like desipundit.com
Issues are endless. Fanaa, Aamir, Reservations, Immigration, War, Poverty etc. If someone wants to side, they should side in their editorial. Not desipundit.com
Remember the thumb rule. Always try to stand 'for' something. Not 'against'.
'Against' soon tires you mentally and emotionally. Same thing applies to your readers. Make them feel good.
9) Rock this place: I am surpised to see the lack of 'Event Management' at desipundit.com
Select Best of the bests
Select monthly bests
Create themes and invite people to write.
Ok, you get the idea.
At any given point of time, make sure, something is 'happening' at this place.
Dudes, where is the joie?
Where is the joie of participation?
Joie of winning?
10) Create an official directory: There is no directory for Indian talent. Invite guest editors dmoz style who are specialist in their channels. Create directory yahoo style.
Be the 'Official directory of Indian Talent'.
P.S: I wrote this post as a personal mail to Patrix around two weeks back. I held back, because I had a business interest in desipundit (on which I am still working). I also doubted that desipundit is bigger than the team that started it. I saw desipundit.com this morning. I thought, heck, these guys are doing it right and doing it good. :-)
Its easy to type letters like these 10 steps to stardom. It is very difficult to execute. Ideas are everywhere. I am pretty sure all the suggestions I gave must have crossed the minds of editors atleast 100 times. What desipundit should do is firm up their vision. It should share its vision. Right vision leads to prioritized goals lead to execution. :-)
I am interested to see how desipundit is going to shape up.
If someone doesnt stop me from preaching, soon I am going to write my next letter
"How to make VCs go crazy for desipundit.com" :-)