Friday, October 2, 2009

My tuppence for Google Finance and Google AdSense

I was just submerged into my weekly dose of new info on my portfolio of stocks on Goggle Finance when I noted a few things:

1. When I am watching trend or reading info on my airlines stocks Google AdSense is displaying advertisement of online travel ticket portal. Obviously if someone is interested in airlines stock that doesn’t mean that he is interested in traveling. This space can be use for more effective Ads.

2. When I am on Portfolio-related news page, Google finance shows me my portfolio stocks by their stock exchange numbers (like 530073) and not stock names (like xyz Ltd). This is not user friendly. I can’t map any company news to action on that company’s stock as they are just numbers and like many other mortals am bad at remembering so many 6 digits company stock exchange numbers. If I have some news about company xyz then I have to go to my portfolio and check what happened to company xyz stock post that news. Instead on these vanilla numbers Google should display company names here.

3. The info displayed on Portfolio-related news page is redundant. ‘Recent quotes’ and ‘my portfolio’ section is showing same quotes as I just visited my portfolio. As people generally focus on their portfolio only, the info shown in these 2 sections will nearly always be redundant. Of-course Google can check if info for both these sections is same it can eliminate info from ‘Recent quotes’ section and use that space for something more fruitful, may be some more space for one more ad.

Am sure that Google folks are intelligent enough to mine web for feedback\ideas related to their products and soon they will give consideration to my tuppence as well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

101 blog templates that are not for me

As soon as I started writing blog I realised that blog presentation must be reader friendly. No doubt, content of blog is the king but along with content if blog is presentable enough to read then it’s like you can have your cake and eat it too. By presentable blog I mean that blog should not be very flashy, must have good font and colour combination, and soothing background settings. (I am not writing about how to make blog presentable so I won’t delve further into it. Google already shows millions of site on this topic). So to make my blog presentable I started looking for a suitable template.

Google nearly have answer to all my queries (or at least direct me to the right answer). ‘Blog template’ search gave me millions of results back. I scanned through 8-10 websites to find the template I was looking for but all the templates that I saw were like commodity/goods and presented no customisation to me. The blog template that I want should be according to my needs and not according to anyone else’s whims and fancies. I feel blog template is highly subjective to individual’s needs and desires. You just can’t pick and use some flowery/sunset/green/historical/random-coloured template for your blog. If you are serious blogger then you blog is your signature and you can’t design your signature on someone else’s wish. So I discarded hundreds of templates as they didn't suit my style. So here comes this idea.

Why can’t we make a web based 'blog template creator' application. Any blog template basically is some flavour or permutation of font, colour, columns, boxes, background and image (please point out in case I missed something). Application will give people freedom to arrange these flavours according to their wish. Seems like a very simple thing but this can lead to customer delight and give people's blog a unique identity. Currently some people are charging 100s of dollars just to make a blog template that suits your persona. Once this 'blog template creator' application is launched people will throng to try it out. This application will be amongst the best example of tailor made service given to customer.

Image: wordle

Monday, February 2, 2009

Listen Marketers: I am all yours!!

I go to gym quite often, though not as often as I wish. This idea popped up when I was running on a treadmill. I run for nearly half an hour on an average and don’t have anything to do that entire duration but to stare at increasing LED number on a black background screen. Advertiser and marketers struggle for audience attention for few seconds on various media. They have got customers in gym for hours but they have not exploited this avenue.

Ok, gist is machines in gym has to be made more intelligent (more technically advanced) so that they can understand who is working out on them and what he is interested in and show them that very thing.
Current version 15 inches LED screen in gym can be turned into more advanced display like computer screens, better if they are touch screens so that interaction can be better. These machines can be connected to web where an online application can monitor which user is currently working out so that it can display user specific advertisements. Machines can get to know about user info either through users’ memory stick or by extracting info from users’ mobile phones. These days most of the folks have GPRS/3G phones so it won’t be very difficult for machines to interact with phone to get the info. Once this connection is established then it’s like any other media, but with better attention span, where user is yours and you can engage him by various measures.

So marketers/gym equipment makers there lies an unexplored opportunity where First-mover advantage will surely be a huge business opportunity.

**this is just a high level idea. Implementation details like which economical computer screen (plus processor) need to be put on machines that can withstand gym’s environment, how to connect machines to mobile phone, which medium (cable, WiFi, WiMax) can be used by machines to connect with application, how the application will look like and what all features it will have, etc can be easily handled with an meticulous plan. Nearly all of these feature are already implemented in parts in various places they just need to be mashed to cater to our need.

Photo credit Chris Makarsky

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Trustworthy doctors/dentists

‘Writing more frequently on blog’ is now officially my New Year resolution for 2009. When something becomes your resolution it means that you desperately want to do that but couldn’t do that as diligently as you wish. New Year brings new hope and new vows to do new things or same things in better way.

Okie, to cut the crap I will be blogging more often in 2009. Till date Idea used to work under ‘push-mechanism’ i.e. they are wild and untamed and used to come whenever they wish. This is really good for me but apart from that I will also try to implement ‘pull-mechanism’ for ideas means I will try to churn my mind for more ideas. I am sure I can do that so let’s try it out. I have already jotted down few ideas as my notes that I never got time to blog so I would be posting them in next few days. So here I go:

Trust Indicator of doctors and dentist in India

When somebody needs to consult a doctor/dentist they always wonder who the best one in their locality is. This is a dilemma faced by nearly everybody sometimes. People generally ask for references from their relative and friends but that doesn’t always lead them to the best option. Your friend/relative might be visiting a doctor/dentist since eternity and they didn’t explore other better options in neighbourhood because their existing doctor/dentist serve their needs and people really don’t want to try anything new especially when it comes to doctor/dentist. So a Database of all the doctors and dentist can be maintained. People can rate doctors on the basis of their experiences. Other people can search for doctors on the basis of their trust indicators and other parameters.


To begin with portal can enlist all private practitioners, hospitals, clinic and other health industry associated firms. Portal will give people access to rate doctors and write comments as well against their webpage. Moderators will surely be required for every city/town as people may misuse this site.

Various options like consultation fees, mail ids and contacts info of doctors can also be published on specific doctor web pages.


Ad Revenue from health industry would surely be the first option. A part from that other revenue models can be looked at as the model emerge. Currently there is no such portal in India and first entrant in this space can surely make a big dent.

**This is just is demand supply gap study so prior to implementation a proper business case needs to made.

PS: After writing this idea, as some folks have said that you have to keep thinking on it and polish it continuously, I came across few health industry initiatives online. Google Health, Microsoft HealthVault and WebMD are among the best or popular ones. None of these 3 websites contain much info on Indian health industry (however Google Health contains a lot of info on doctor addresses etc because of sheer fact that Google is storehouse of world data) so a good India specific health web portal should surely find its rightful place in customer’s mind.