Archive for 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012

Is It The Social Web That Gave The Verdict In Oscars Vs Baron Cohen?


The independence of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and of the United States of America is admirable. The sheen on its prestigious Oscar awards night, as the second most watched event in the US, has only got brighter in recent times. However, it looks like the social web can now influence how the Oscar award ceremony is conducted and will continue to do so in the future.

Every year the controversies around the award night, which surface both before and after the gala event, generate more interest and discussion than the event itself.
This year it was the turn of Sacha Baron Cohen to kick up the storm and grab his share of attention by intending to appear in the outfit of his role in his upcoming movie "The Dictator" with an urn of the 'ashes' of his friend, the real world dictator Kim Jong-il, even as many people felt that it was too much self serving and the Academy threatened to refuse him admission
Proving how the academy worried about the disruption to the biggest event in the industry and the fall out in its reputation, the Academy President Tom Sherak has issued a statement dismissing the speculation that the Academy was somehow in on the whole stunt of Baron Cohen.
"I'm telling you the truth, this is not a stunt that we were involved in at all. We can have another conversation about how things happened and whether we overreacted - but trust me, it was not like we helped make this up."
That raises the question why did the Academy object to the request of Sacha Baron Cohen to appear in his now famous uniform in the first place? Judging from his contribution to the motion picture industry and the record of box office success of his films, the Academy had only reason to welcome him as an honoured guest, especially as a cast member of Hugo, which received several recommendations and was considered a front runner for the top award.
It seems his reputation as a 'Controversy's child' and his Jewish origin have more to do with the reticence of the Academy than a mere intention to let his pranks annoy the guests and ruin their show. As mentioned in a piece on the Wiki about Baron Cohen:
"Aside from the comic elements of his characters, Baron Cohen's performances are interpreted by some as reflecting uncomfortable truths about his audience. He juxtaposes his own Jewish lineage with the anti-Semitism of his character Borat."
No doubt, the character of Admiral General Aladeen could have had unpredictable reactions in a world unsure about the gentle breeze of the Arab spring, which the Academy was in no position to judge and perhaps causing nightmares to its members who were trying to foresee the repercussions.
The Academy also has failed to reckon the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen, who perhaps unintentionally, has blunted any adverse reaction by releasing his famous clip but certainly meant to underscore his main theme of ridiculing dictatorship by the act of spreading the ashes of Kim Jong-il on the famous red carpet and thus send his real message to the whole world.
However the 'viral' and positive reaction to his clip of objection released on the web two days before the Oscar night must have given as much relief to the Academy members as the pressure of negative world opinion, if he were to be banned from the event for his prank which more and more people were ready to accept as such.
It appears that, after all the showing up of a "Dictator" for the Oscars could be a funny prank and nothing objectionable, thanks to the collective wisdom of the social web, which has the sea change in attitude towards dictatorship the Arab world has recently witnessed to its credit.
Baron Cohen was not alone to get an admission to the Oscar 2012 night thanks to the power of the social web. Uggie, the ten year old dog who was refused an entrance to the event on grounds many people will consider frivolous on the part of the Academy, finally got to share the Oscar and the stage with his co actor Jean Dujardin. The appearance of Uggie on various shows like the TMZ live before the night prompting public appeal on TV and the public outcry on and off the web has earned Uggie the fame and place in history he so well deserved.
With sentiment analysis tools like Wisewindow, which can listen in on the 'chatter' on the social web and analyse with natural language algorithms, is now possible to gauge what the world thinks and how it intends to act on various issues.
Applying such sophisticated tools on the social web allows you to anticipate the winners, taking some of the surprise and excitement from the award night gala. But, more importantly, the social web is also silently changing the politics and morals of the Oscars.
There are in fact plenty of reasons why the Academy should listen to the voice of the world.
Article first published in The Huffington Post as  Has the Social Web Tamed the Oscars if Not Sacha Baron Cohen?
Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Baron Cohen Has Made His Point, But Will "The Dictator" be There?


Will Sacha Baron Cohen upset the 2012 Oscar gala and the celebrities? That seems to be the question on everyone’s mind this weekend rather than who will be taking the prestigious award home in the prime categories.
Though Sacha was assured to be declared as a person non-grata, if he turned up in the costume of Admiral General Aladeen of Wadiya from his movie The Dictator, which resulted in strong protest from Sacha who released a clip on the internet to register his protest, apparently the organizers have sensed the public mood and sent him the entry passes.
Though the objection to Sacha Cohen’s appearance in the now famous costume was officially declared as being “promotional” for his yet to be released film, it is not difficult to see the huge global political fall out and the repercussions in an already strained and thinly balanced international relations, and the embarrassment the organizers are desperately trying to avoid.
Whether Sacha will decide that his immediate aim has been met in terms of gaining publicity and that taking things too far will only eventually hurt his cause, is a matter to wait and see till the award night.
Apparently Sacha Cohen is not the only thorn in the famous celebrity feet which will grace the famous red carpet tonight.
There is a widespread feeling that the Oscars, the biggest and most anticipated and prestigious of awards, and the most watched award ceremony itself are somehow ignoring the very aspects of the movies which endear them to millions of viewers.
The case in question is how Uggie, a ten year old sweet doggy, who has stepped in to make “The Artist”, a silent movie and hot contestant for the award in the best movie category, so much more lovable to viewers around the world, is refused an attendance at the prestigious night.

Apparently, more famous and privileged invitees of a different species objected to the presence of Uggie and the potential loss of camera focus on themselves due to the angle they will be at to catch Uggie who will be closer to the floor level than they are!

However TMZ Live has taken upon them the cause of Haggy and gave Uggie and his trainer and Owner a touching slot on the show. The host Harvey Levin even made an appeal to the Oscar hosts on behalf of Uggie.

A lot of people may not miss Sacha if he didn’t turn up for the Oscar Night, but millions more will be disappointed if they won’t be seeing Uggie steal the whole show.



Did Whitney And The World Love ‘Whitney Houston Going Home.’?


‘Whitney Houston Going Home.’ Did Whitney And The World Loved It?

Judging from the paltry coverage of her funeral service by the world media at large, except by celebrity sites like TMZ, it looks like much has been already said and written about the ‘Going Home’ ceremony of another of 20th century Icons, the much loved pop singer Whitney Houston. So what more is there to say?
There are many events and occasions which have left indelible marks on human memory for the visuals and voices they carried and in some cases for profound changes in world opinion and attitude.

However, certain occasions like the Kennedy assassination and the death of Princess Diana spring to mind as events which left the world shocked out of wits and saddest at the time but somehow despatched the real grief home only during the funerals, which were grimmest of affairs in grandest of settings.

The funeral service of Whitney Houston turned out be an ordinary affair in an ordinary church, yet caught the attention of the world and evoked feelings of loss and bonding of a different kind, which has made Whitney more endearing and human to millions of viewers who have turned more sympathetic.

Like thousands of others, Whitney Houston probably died of a quiet heart attack, after eating a ham burger with some satisfaction. An ordinary event in the life of a celebrity, which shot out of proportion and shocked the world thanks to the aura of negativity given by the media and the instant technology at its disposal today.

The bottom line is, Whitney actually belonged to a station in life which is home for a large majority of the people in the world. Like in the case of Lady Diana, it was the   special corner of love and sympathy Whitney somehow managed to secure in the hearts of millions which sent the pain around in huge dollops rather than the heights she could carry her music with her wonderful melisma.

That is why, the ‘Going Home’ ceremony so affectionately and caringly organised by her mother and relatives turned out to be something the world could watch and relate to and something which would have made Whitney Houston enormously happy.

It was in fact a Home Coming celebration for some one who completed a very successful journey in life which Whitney Houston, accomplished diva and singer was denied by her untimely death. It was entirely in order to give her a send off where everyone could have thanked her and she could have thanked everyone who helped her along and the right thing to do.

More than anything else, the speeches and the songs sung in her praise by other famous performers like by Kevin Costner and Stevie wonder have put on some wonderful colour and shades to the caricature, perhaps somewhat distorted, the world had in its mind.  At the end of that entire protracted event, the diva of Newark had certainly come out in shining armour as a sweet darling of the entire world, ready to be carried off by the angels for the only performance Whitney Houston ever had to give. Certainly Whitney Houston couldn’t have gone home happier!

Perhaps one of the biggest rewards of living in the 20th century and carrying on in to the 21st is the enormous shock, grief, despair, anger, excitement or joy one get to share with the whole world simultaneously from events defining our times around the world, which wouldn’t have been possible without the marvellous 20th century inventions in communication.

What On Web Has Changed For President Obama This Election?


Twitter is no longer enough to win an election.
Move over Google, Twitter and Facebook. Enter WiseWindow, Arktan and Percolate. Search, tweet and like are out. Sentiment analysis, taxonomy, social stream, passive curation and second screen conversation, are a few of the new buzzwords President Obama and anyone else aspiring to win the US election needs to master in a hurry!

These innovative technologies, with amazing data collection, filtering, analysis, curation and interaction capabilities, can tell what people are thinking right now and their intentions before they become action, enabling you to curate and chose what you tell them and how you interact with them so that you can shape the world and the market place the way you need, all in real time. That is why who wins the next US election is going to badly need them!
WiseWindow, which specialise in sentiment analysis, is in fact ahead of the presidential candidates. Partnering with The Daily Beast (now a part of Newsweek), they have created the "Election Oracle," which scans 40,000 social media sites, listening to millions of daily comments, and creating a 10-day moving average that is mixed with traditional polls to create their predictions.

Apart from President Obama and artists like Lady Gaga who has a fan base of about 20 million, who will need these new, mind boggling technology products of branding and influencing human race? Well, in the words of WiseWindow, anyone with management responsibility that belongs to the C-suite:

• CEO - Chief, Chief
COO - Go-to-Guy
• CIO - No.1 Nerd
CMO - Brand Boss
• CFO - Money Mogul
• Consumer Researchers
• Customer Support Personnel
• Common people, that's you and everyone else!

In reality you, the consumer, are most benefited by the new collective power derived from the application of these technologies, to influence like never before in the history, what the media, politicians, entertainers and the Industry at large will deliver.
Any organization, politician or brand  aiming to stay ahead of the market and fickle consumers and supporters, whose tastes change seemingly overnight, will need to heed to this collective power, which is already flexing its muscle in the media and entertainment industry.
Reuters recently launched 'Social Pulse', a new social media hub designed to show you the most talked-about news, companies and influencers across the Web, which features, with technology and service provided by WiseWindow, a revolutionary stock sentiment module, based on opinions from hundreds of thousands of sources captured and curated, clearly demonstrating the predictive abilities offered by the technology.
Using Percolate, Reuters has created Counterparties, a way to build more engagement with two of their finest journalists, Felix Salmon and Ryan McCarthy. A combination of algorithmic filtering of most interesting content which they react to allows an audience to follow along and engage with these editors all day.
Universal Music Group, who manage Mindless Behavior, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Dr.Dre, Justin Bieber, and their official websites is using Arktan's Life stream to deliver aggregated and curated content on the official websites of the artists. With the ability to add comments and reply to posts, the social influence of the artist sites has grown dramatically.

WiseWindow, a sentiment analysis/measuring company, turns the chaos of online chatter, what people are saying online now in blogs, tweets, status updates, and reviews, in to a database which illuminates consumer sentiment across hundreds of dimensions and then provide a stream of consumer sentiment and intention data that can be integrated with business intelligence systems so that organizations can become more agile and responsive.
Arktan on the other hand is primarily about building "interactive" curated social experiences. Arktan provides very deep interaction capabilities, like the ones on the websites of Lady Gaga, with the ability to respond to comments, likes, social sharing, aggregated conversation, etc in real time. These much richer curation capabilities, which give brands the control they want and sentiment analysis capabilities including Natural Language Processing as well as analytics, set Arktan's technology apart from passive curation tools.
Percolate which is primarily about letting a brand build passive curation experiences, scrapes five million sources daily, turning a brand's strategy into the interest engine and using proprietary algorithms to sort and bubble up only the most relevant and interesting content for a brand editor to comment on and publish to social platforms and websites.
If you are excited and want to have a quick look at how these breaking technologies can affect you, check out TweetSentiments.com which provides Sentiment Analysis on tweets using Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning technologies and Storify where you can have a go at curation and create your own article with content from the web.

Do You Want The Guys At TMZ To Serve Up Hot News Even Hotter? They Can!


Technology is changing how celebrities like Lady Gaga build up a fan base of 20 million and then interact with them to keep them hooked to her magic.  Now the guys who follow the celebrities and serve up the news they make like TMZ.com are learning a thing or two about the ways celebrities use social media.

Taking a leaf out of the new book of how to get the hook swallowed even deeper, TMZ has added a much greater and innovative punch to their delivery. The TMZ live is a terrific example of how you can spice up what you serve with what is available on the social media right now and create an ever increasing fan base of loyal followers.

The show which is presented as a talk show actually cuts in to the studio workplace and gets everyone else to chip in making it wider and give it an ambiance of an office. Everyone can relate to this as this is very real and what happens in every day life in any office where people work together.

The show is brisk, informal, and chatty and dwells on the hottest topics for just enough time to keep them hot.

4:30) Did Whitney know she was going to die? Mike reads the eerie Bible verse she quoted before her death.
(
13:50) Whitney's death sparks a serious debate -- would you rather live fast and die young ... or boring and die old?
(
21:04) Kobe was caught smooching Vanessa last night -- people rightly shocked she'd take him back.
(
22:50) Evan says Kobe "loves" Vanessa so much ... that he constantly cheats on her (allegedly).
(26:30) The Heart Attack Grill -- which sells an 8,000 cal. burger -- had a diner literally have a heart attack there this week.
(28:45) The owner of the restaurant calls in -- defends his gut busting menu to an inch of his life.
(32:12) Our fatty good loving staffers totally have the owner's back on this one. Shocker.
(34:30) Is Kate Upton too big for
Victoria's Secret?
(38:00) Another argument to wrap up the show -- is buying $100,000 handbags the biggest waste of money ever?

The hosts take in live calls and get the callers to participate in live discussion.

A simultaneous twitter stream lets anyone farther away, even on other continents, like the UK where I watched the live show, send in their take by tweets which scroll up on a side box for everyone to see.

A live stream of comments gives you an in depth feels of what those who are eager but can’t jump in and speak their mind have to say.

To boot it all, a live survey with related questions, sort of gives you a chance to put a line under, say a last word on the topic.

Overall, the entire combination has turned TMZ, which has started as a blog, to a totally new category of media, yet to be christened but sure to be imitated.

For millions of people, celebrity gossip and news is addictive like drugs. Their life depends on a sizable doze of it which was being served by tabloids before the internet and social media. Now they are hooked to it even more because modern technology can provide the experience of being with the news makers where the news happens in real time and even interact with them as on the website of Lady Gaga, where her ardent followers even have a backstage entrance to interact with her.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Did Whitney Houston Plan The Grandest Of Her Exits?


The world is in shock of loosing yet another music prodigy of modern times!
It may be too soon to speak without being disrespectful to the departed, but whether the diva, famous for her sensational concert exits often with her signature piece “I will always love you” wished it to be or not, her death in reality has turned in to her grandest of exits!


According to reports her body was removed only around midnight from her hotel room. Has this given her a chance to share an exceptional honour even in death?  Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, spoke to her on the telephone half an hour before she died and Miss Houston was said to have been looking forward to the party.

“A surreal scene unfolded at the hotel as the party continued while Miss Houston's body remained in her room on the fourth floor, which was sealed off with yellow police tape.”

No one in history, except Julius Caesar, perhaps had his or her praise sung to the world and immortalised, while the soul which was separated from the body must have been looking down on it and smiling in greatest of joy at the fulfilment of the life just ended.

"Whitney Houston, simply put, had the greatest voice in the world. She was a gift of God. Hearing her sing was like listening to magic. If it wasn't for Clive Davis, the world may not have known about this miracle voice," Combs

It must sound cruel and uncaring to think of still holding a party when an invited has just departed, especially if it happened in the next room. But in the case of Whitney, who has been honoured with six Grammy awards, it was not just a party she was supposed to attend that evening, it was her mentor and music producer Clive Davis's customary pre-Grammy party, typically one of the most fun-filled highlights of the week leading to the music industry's top awards ceremony

For Whitney, it would have been a party held by her mentor who made her the Whitney Houston the whole world pines for, where she would have found herself the happiest. How could Whitney have asked it to be stopped, if her soul could, it would have sung “I will always love you” for all in the party hall to hear!

"Simply put, Whitney would have wanted the music to go on and her family asked that we carry on,"

Though some statements have been issued by the coroner about the cause of Whitney’s tragic death, and we may never ever know exactly, one thing seems to be true. Whitney Houston may not have asked for it but God has granted her the best stage she could have wished for a final performance.

Article first published as Did Whitney Houston Plan The Grandest Of Her Exits? on Technorati

What On Web Will President Obama Need To Win The Next Election?


Move over Google, Twitter and Facebook. EnterWiseWindow, Arktan, Percolate and Klout. Search, tweet and like are out. Sentiment analysis, taxonomy, social stream, passive curation, second screen conversation, are a few of the new buzzwords President Obama and anyone else aspiring to win the US election needs to master in a hurry.

Whoever wins the election, one thing the 45th US president can be sure about is the unprecedented power the country has gained to shape the future of the world, thanks to the internet giants and new technologies of upstarts like WiseWindow and Arktan.

These innovative technologies, with amazing data collection, filtering, analysis, curation and interaction capabilities, can tell you what people are thinking right now and their intentions before they become action, enabling you to curate and chose what you tell them and how you interact with them so that you can shape the world and the market place the way you need, all in real time. That is also why who wins the next US election is also crucial to the world than ever!

"You can think of social media as a hole that has opened into the collective consciousness and we're tapping into it." Sid Mohasseb, CEO WiseWindow

Apart from President Obama and artists like Lady Gaga who has a fan base of about 20 million, who will need these new, mind boggling technology products of branding and influencing human race? Well, in the words of WiseWindow, anyone with management responsibility that belongs to the C-suite:

• CEO - Chief, Chief
• COO - Go-to-Guy
• CIO - No.1 Nerd
• CMO - Brand Boss
• CFO - Money Mogul
• Consumer Researchers
• Customer Support Personnel
• Common people, that's you and everyone else!

In reality you, the consumer, are most benefited by the new collective power derived from the application of these technologies, to influence like never before in the history, what the media, politicians, entertainers and the Industry at large will deliver. Any organization aiming to stay ahead of the market and fickle consumers, whose tastes change seemingly overnight, will need to heed to this collective power, which is already flexing its muscle in the media and entertainment industry.

Reuters recently launched 'Social Pulse', a new social media hub designed to show you the most talked-about news, companies and influencers across the Web, which features,with technology and service provided by WiseWindow, a revolutionary stock sentiment module, based on opinions from hundreds of thousands of sources captured and curated, clearly demonstrating the predictive abilities offered by the technology.

Is a Local Language Essential to Preserve Cultural Identity on the Social Web?



"If music be the language of love, sing on in English" will be how Shakespeare would have framed his famous quote if he were alive today! In the age of globalisation and social web, English seems to have acquired the status of a global currency, in which you can trade your emotions without losing your identity.

Jayalalitha, the chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, whose delirium tremens and tantrums have become a part of the new X factor politics destroying India, has issued in true Taliban style, a diktat that all children in her state must learn Tamil!

You can't blame her! The poor soul, despite her 65 years on earth probably has never heard of Shakespeare let alone realise how the world has changed with globalisation, and social web, how regional language no more is an essential element of regional culture.



For Jayalalitha, a film actress of yester years whose mother tongue is not Tamil but Kannada of the neighbouring state of Karnataka where she was borne and brought up, evoking chauvinistic emotions has nothing but political expediency.

For millions of Tamil speaking people, who have wasted hours staring at Jayalalitha on the silver screen, movie after movie, because of a complex and weakness they have for her fair skin, however, "Kolaveri Di" is the new sound of Tamil music which makes them proud rather than her sermon on the virtue of Tamil.

“Kolaveri Di” is a Tamil song video created in English, which went viral on the social web scoring 150 million hits and was parodied in numerous languages, all because people everywhere could relate to its real music content and simple lyrics about the throngs of love as they were penned in English of a sort.


In fact the song dominated the media for better part of past three months since its release, invoking such universal enthusiasm which provoked the youth from Tokyo to The Hague to burst out in spontaneous song and dance sequences of Kolaveri Di in public and private venues.

Doing the whole video in a universal language has no way taken away anything ‘Tamil’ from the wonderful production which is nothing but an expression of genuine creativity. If anything, it has only helped to introduce Tamil along with its creator Dhanush and his team to the whole world.

This is not the only example why language shouldn’t matter for true understanding and harmony between cultures. A similar video production created a few months earlier by the popular American artist Akon with a team from Mumbai also bear proof that power of music as food of love has not changed from the days when the Bard of Avon proclaimed it.


Through a song titled “Chammak Challo” created for an Indian film of Sharukh Khan, a famous Indian screen actor, the American singer and rapper Akon has proved the point.

Akon, with very little effort and time, managed to muster the few Hindi words in the lyrics written in English and managed to sing the song to music composed of elements from the middle east, all to enchant and capture the hearts of an Indian audience.


As it turned out, the song and its video recording turned a viral hit on the internet proving yet again that, when it comes to music as food for love, cultural assimilation happen pretty fast and the social web is the modern platform where it happens.

It is really amazing that two productions which as music or artistic expressions of young artists have nothing much to write about, have become phenomenal success with an international audience in such a short time. Then isn't that the case with most of the hits with pop music?

One can hope that this is a trend which will catch up and bring more of such unifying efforts from all languages and culture on to the social web.

It looks like at least on the social web no one really cares what language people communicate with as long as it is English. As in the real world, real talent not ethnicity or cultural background which matters. As far as the language of love is concerned, it looks like the easiest way to some one’s    heart is just saying ‘I love you’ rather than ‘Je t'aime’ or ‘Ya tebya lyublyu’

 Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose



If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Google and Facebook.


The office of the prime minister (PMO) of India,  the biggest democratic country, with a population of 1.3 billion people, has at last opened an account on Twitter and  announced its decision today to join Facebook, following the old saying if you can’t beat them join them.

Dr Man Mohan Singh, a renowned economist and India’s Prime Minister believes in relentless handwork and action aimed at India’s economic growth despite its obstructive political environment and is a man of few words. He was subjected to severe criticism for the silence he maintains on controversial issues, especially the scams which have rocked his party’s second tenure in the governance of India.

Fed up with the abusive posts, morphed pictures and all sorts of twisted and contorted facts and false accusation which appear in the social web in the name of democratic freedom and criticism, Man Mohan Singh seems to have given up and taken the bold step to take the bull by the horns and use the social web to communicate and set things straight.

The timing of the move by the PMO is interesting. A junior court in India, where petitions were filed against Google, Facebook and twenty odd social media companies for breech of infringement of a law only enacted last year, making companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, had warned of a crackdown "like China" if they did not take steps to protect religious sensibilities.

Last month, the companies said it was not possible for them to block content.
However, Google and Facebook removed content from some Indian domain websites today, following a court directive warning them severe restrictive action if not complied.

Though no one really thinks that India, with its democratic credentials will go to any extent its neighbour China has gone to restrict the functioning of the social web, it looks like the carrot and stick policy of the government is at last paying off.

By joining the networks, the Prime Minister and his government is clearly showing that the Social web in India is here to stay and will be an integral part of the democratic environment likes the developed countries.

At the same time India has also sent the right signals, through its administration and judicial system that it is in no mood to tolerate and live with excessive and irresponsible use of the social web and will look forward to exerting the same level of control over the regular media, as a country with religious sensitivities and prone to violence.

In fairness to Dr Man Mohan Singh and his office, whose priority was to fire fight various political and other crisis over the last two years, having the fun of tweeting and posting updates like many other world leaders and millions of ordinary citizens is a reward long over due. 

Article first published as If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Google and Facebook. on Technorati.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

Guess Who Lady Gaga Is Eavesdropping On?


While the world waits with ears preened and eyes glued to social media sites to lap up juicy snippets of celebrity life, it’s the celebrities like Lady Gaga who are having the last laugh!

Before you get carried away, this has nothing to do with the phone hacking scandal that has rocked the British and world media. Lady Gaga is only resorting to the latest technology to realise her ambition to make her music truly global and yet satisfy her desire to connect and interact with her fans around the world.

The problem of Interscope, who manages her website, was that while Lady Gaga’s site could hold all her own content, the posts, comments, and blogs of millions of her fans were all spread across different social media and a large number of fan sites, making it almost impossible to pursue her dream.

Interscope and Lady Gaga needed a way to centralize the promotion of Lady Gaga’s content, music and merchandise on a single platform, and still allow her to remain close to her fans, which had been a big part of her success, in spite of the enormous size her fan base has grown in to.

What Arktan, a U.S. based start up, has managed to do is to enable Interscope to search across a huge array of sites like Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, blogs and fan websites to find everything being said by people and then pull out that is important right onto Lady Gaga’s website in real-time, allowing her fans to interact with her and feel close to her.

The addition of social streams and the ability to add comments and reply to posts enhance the social influence of the site dramatically. The site’s usability and attraction is further enhanced with rich inline media, comprising of photos and videos from social media sites, which is integrated into each post in real-time and with social interaction around each product in the online store.

If her desire is to get and keep her fans closest to her, Lady Gaga is amazingly succeeding in her efforts with the technology from Arktan, which has enriched her brilliant website with real-time feeds of what her worldwide fans are talking about her and by providing them something like a “back stage” access to directly interact with her, all in real time!

The Technology

Recognising the leveraging they benefit from, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter already provide dynamic and real time comment and activity streams which websites can include in their content with very little or no programming knowledge. Such streams help to engage the visitors who are members of the media to interact with the websites as well as others and also attract new members. However these widgets are limited to single membership and cannot engage multitude of fans or friends simultaneously.

‘Turn your website into a highly engaging real-time social site’ is the motto of companies like Arktan who provides an Enterprise class solution to capture data from any source on the Web including sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, etc. and stream to your existing Content Management System in real-time, enriching the data in multiple ways by including photos, videos, maps and visually engaging snippets.

Arktan technology is built on a real-time Social Operating System, developed in-house. In addition to in-house technology that does a great amount of real-time and social web curation heavy lifting, Arktan SocialOS uses Amazon EC2 for a scalable server infrastruc­ture and Echo stream server for a scalable cloud database. This enables Arktan to build products like the life stream product focussing on the real-time end-user experience and innovation leaving the server and database infrastruc­ture to proven cloud building blocks.

The technology package is also based on their Social TV and Live Blogging application in which posts by journalists to different social media sites are aggregated into a real-time embedded stream on their site encouraging conversation letting users to like, reply or share and driving engagement and increasing time spent. 

Leading brands  who are using life stream providers like Arktan to bring real-time conversation and content from the social web back to their websites feel that the technology offers “a sweet spot between just enough technology to make it easy and t a finished product that can’t be improved up on.”

Social web is exploding and blowing away advertising!

Lady Gaga is not alone to recognise that the social web is exploding and the rules of engagement with potential customers are being rewritten with breath taking speed.

The role of social media in changing the way human beings behave socially and react to advertisement and its all engulfing grip is evident from several reports which estimates the membership of Facebook has reached above 800 million and is fast approaching the billion mark, with Google+ and Twitter giving a tight chase.

This explosion has seen a host of social media monitoring tools sprouting up faster than mushrooms on a damp corner. Some like Klout specialise in calibrating and measuring people’s influence across the social media, which appear to replace the advertising sponsorship clout of stars and celebrities.

That is why a direct engagement and interaction with your fans is vital for artists like Lady Gaga.

 Article originally published in the Huffington Post as 

Saturday, February 04, 2012
Posted by Sreedhar Pillai

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