itimes.com – Indiatimes Tries To Launch A Social Network..YAWN..

If you are like me who seems to have reached the fatigue level when it comes to identical featured social networks then you will surely identify with the YAWN at the end of the title. If not then please ignore the YAWN.. :) But there is one more reason for the YAWN than just the boredom aspect of seeing one more social network with nothing phenomenally new launch.. Well CS reported last night about itimes soft launch. itimes has been in the works for ages and as far as I am concerned the outcome isn’t pretty. That is why the title “tries to launch”!

itimes

So Indiatimes finally jumps on to the social bandwagon with a badly designed and haphazardly launched social network. Why do I call it haphazardly launched? Well I tried signing up twice but I just couldn’t (It gave me an Ooops error twice). Even when I got lucky the third time they made me verify my email address twice! Also they didn’t let me login with rajiv@itimes.com which is the email id I created.. But then i realised this platform still lives in the era where username doesn’t mean email address!! Too bad I guess gmail has spoilt my habits!

 

Ok once inside the platform I am a bit relieved to see good use of AJAX to do things in a faster way also the use of third party content in games and applications by which you can add third party content. So its quite a shift from the older mentality of I-own-my-content-and-we-wont-allow-other-publishers-to-even-get-a-mention (think rediff!). Also there is an entire itimes email account inside your account for you to manage your mails. It seems like itimes is Indiatimes’ attempt to create a Facebook for India (features like moods, marketplace etc are ripped off directly from Facebook) where a user can network, share, play games and use email as well. This probably would explain the need to open API from day one.

 

Overall itimes does seem like a product which tries very hard to be a “Cool” web 2.0 product but in its current avatar it falls flat on its face. CS pointed out that the differentiator for this social network would be the user traction provided Indiatimes gives a media push but that would happen even if my Grandmom would create a social network and Indiatimes were to back it! If just spending money on offline/online publicity was a differentiator then every media company with a listed stock and extra cash would pump money into a social network and make it big. Though some are trying hard I’m very circumspect about the outcome.

 

In conclusion it does seem that media companies fail miserably when trying their hand at technology. Even internationally most of the web successes have been powered by tech graduates or companies be it MYSpace, Facebook, flickr, Orkut etc. The media companies came in later to buy out or be a part of the action. In India the scene has been on the contrary as content portals which are typically media publishers are trying to build technology, features and applications.

 

14 Responses to “itimes.com – Indiatimes Tries To Launch A Social Network..YAWN..”

  1. Pankaj
    April 9, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    why don’t Indian media companies buyout tech companies rather than creating tech site of their own. See what HT did .. bought Desimartini.

  2. divine
    April 9, 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    Tries To Launch A Social Network..

    good title

  3. Dhruv
    April 9, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    I just tried to get myself ‘invited’ to itimes, and as soon as I entered my email and name, I get this huge server error page!
    Looks like another one of Indiatimes’ extremely successful launches.

  4. Anshu
    April 9, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    i had faced the same problem too last evening, but i tried signing in today and its working well… must have been some tec snag. Contrary to what i was expecting, at least its fast once you are signed in.

  5. April 9, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    Indiatimes is somewhat strange. They still spend money in running outdoor ads promoting their spam ridden mail service. In some ways therefore, they like to do all things yawn. Frankly, this does not surprise me.

  6. Jack
    April 10, 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    Frankly, don’t whip Indiatimes for everything it does! The product itself is good – at least they’ve had the guts to go live and try something different. The email is useful. Facebook is way too complicated… I like this.

  7. you try harder
    April 12, 2008 at 6:35 am #

    how long have you been trying to write a decent article? actually, never mind.
    your English sucks.. your facts are not up to date. the alignment of your article is haphazard and you are so apologetic about your title that you try to explain why you put that in in the first place.
    and use your head.. if you use email ids instead of a usernames inside a social network it will raise privacy issues when you have to post messages or something.
    Good going so far mister.. try harder!!!

  8. April 12, 2008 at 11:09 am #

    Hey..that was a nice post. I specially liked your take on Facebook

    applications. Applications on Facebook have been gaining a lot of

    grounds recently. But very less achieve that “viral” status.

    This one, featuring the Bollywood hearthrob Shahrukh Khan has that

    “sticky” quality about it.
    http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=18614975589

    It is based on the recent game show going by the name of “Paannchvi

    Pass” (I don’t remember the exact name. . . Shahrukh is God enough for

    me :P )

    Really liked the way they have designed the application.

    Would like to know your thoughts on this one.
    Will come back to this post soon.

  9. Rohit
    April 12, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    @you try harderHow long have YOU been trying to write a decent comment ?The English sucks, did you say? Well, thousands of us who read articles on WATBlog everyday don’t think so.And alignment…formatting…English…huh….the typical “old-world” newspaper stuff. I can see which “Times ” are you from.And use YOUR head. LinkedIn, Facebook Orkut, all gladly accept email addresses as login IDs. Are you trying to tell us that iTimes have thought of things which Facebook hasn’t !!! Grow up, oldie.

  10. mekky
    April 21, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    oh well itimes is a relatively new site and is having its share of ups and downs…which i guess is natural…i mean most of us in india got to know about orkut and facebook when it was like a couple of years old here!guess we sould give it some more time to evolve and see where its heading towards before giving our final verdict on it.

    psst…i personally find the idea of blogging,gaming,email and social networking in one platform really hassle free.orkut is way too cluttered now,facebook very uni dimensional and myspace,bigadda & ibibo..well lets not even get there!!

  11. Rohit's dad
    September 19, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    Hey Rohit,

    “Grow up, oldie”? asking an old man to grow up, dunghead?

  12. ds
    December 28, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    its total crap site. i created an account and wanted to delete after 10 mins only. why? unlike Facebook this one imposes everything from a daily email to x, y, z, applications that will send notifications to your email. Yes, you can edit it all out in settings, but by the time you do so, your email is full of crap and tons of third parties have your email. If that want bad enough, unlike other networking sites, this does not give a clear indication on how to delete the damn account. i have clicked on every link, and dropped email to their team a few times. still no reply, but the spam keeps on coming. stay away from this nonsense.

  13. J.S.
    November 4, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    itimes still sucks.

    -cannot delete your profile
    -lots of fake ids/multiple profiles
    -itimes employees have lots of profiles too as well as actively participating in the network by blogs, groups etc..what other social network gets their employees to actively use the system?

    Must be doing all this to get their numbers up.

  14. natasfonos
    December 8, 2010 at 4:03 am #

    seriously! i couldn’t even delete an account once created. They claim that you can terminate your own account(in the terms and conditions page) but that can’t be done. i hope one of you who has an id can report me for abuse as whatever n get my account deleted,for reason tell em that i want my account deleted,i can do that back for u as a favour n both r accounts will be deleted…getting to read such mails from users should be a big enough insult for em to put a “delete account” button in the accounts page.

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