Indian mainstream media has discovered blogs. Thats the topic of my latest post in Technology Walla.

The touted goal of these media blog sites is – “Citizen Journalism”. But for that to spread in India, mobile has to be the device of choice for blogging and not PC.

With cameras and Internet-enabled mobiles becoming ubiquitous, portable devices are bound to play a pivotal role in new media and citizen journalism. Lets see how new media influences the Indian mainstream media.


With Motorola scoring big on looks of its models like V3 and PEBL, its time for Nokia to become fashionable. Nokia has always concentrated on the quality and feature-richness of its phones. But with looks reviving Motorola’s fortunes, Nokia was forced to sit up and take notice.

Nokia sponsored Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in Delhi and tied up with designer Ashish Soni – for him to create a collection inspired by an upcoming luxury handset from Nokia.

Nokia has also launched a mobile photography contest – “Eye on Fashion”. The theme of the contest is “What’s your fashion statement” and its aim is to strengthen Nokia s association with style and fashion.

The contest will be open till September 22, 2006 and is open for Indian nationals above 18 years of age. The lucky winner stands to receive one of Nokia’s upcoming luxury handsets, whereas the runner-up will win an Ashish Soni designer outfit.

How to participate:

  • Keep your eye out for fashion and click your style statement with your Nokia camera phone
  • Transfer your entries to a computer via Bluetooth / Data Cable / Infrared.
  • Visit and upload your entries
  • A maximum of three entries, per contestant are allowed
  • Shared photos can be viewed and rated by the public
  • Only Nokia phones are to be used to click photos


Priya Saini writes in Economic Times on moblogging.

What’s more, moblogging complements traditional blogging perfectly. Traditionally blogging, done from a PC, is mostly text-based and requires more time to create. It is usually used for publishing thoughts and opinions, while moblogging is much more spontaneous and usually visual-based.

The article quotes me:

Says Veerchand Bothra, of, India’s first portal on blogs, “Since mobloggers are not tied to a desktop, mobile blogging is contextual in nature and can be done as and when the idea strikes or an event takes place.

You don’t have to wait to go back to the desktop. For most people, writing does not come naturally. But everyone can take a photo or record a video with a mobile.

Many bloggers are maintaining moblogs using sites like, etc. But the uptake of mobile blogging is not linked with the popularity of blogs. In countries like India, where the PC base is not large, there will be more moblogs than blogs,


Riya Photo Search, a Silicon Valley startup developing digital search technology for images, said it has received a $15 million in second round of funding from Bay Partners. The company received a $4 million initial funding in venture capital from LeapFrog and BlueRun Ventures.

Riya, which works on facial recognition technology, sorts and tags customer’s snapshot. The technology allows photos to be automatically tagged when it recognises whose photos they are. The service will be launched next month. This will help customers who want to sort their huge personal albums.

The customer first uploads his album to the Riya website which “recognises


EFY Times reports that Google is supposedly eyeing Munjal Shah’s company Riya, for an acquisition valued at around $40 million.

Riya is an online photo service which can recognise human face and tag it with names. The reason why Google could go desperate to get the deal, as arch rival Yahoo! has recently bought Flicker, a photosharing service, and is also better than Google’s Picasa.

Riya is so advance that it can distinguish between twins, despite extreme resemblance. And that’s not all, Riya can even recognise, from the myrid of images, if persons are from the same family. These features are going to make it a popular service among users from any group, as is the case with Google Earth.

Munjal Shah posts a correction on his blog regarding the workings of his company’s Bangalore team.

Our India team does not just fix bugs. In fact 70% of our core application software was written by our India team. Most of our engineering team is in Bangalore and our team is made up of some of the best engineers. Engineers like Sandeep, Nikhil, Krishna, Vineet, Nitin, and Piyush are the backbone of our engineering team.


“You are more likely to MMS a photo in Asia if you are an Indian, male, aged 25 to 36 and on a post-paid contract,


Tagit mobile image recognition technology consists of a system of visual tags with digitized codes which can be attached to any physical space, advertised product or media channel, enabling anyone with a camera-phone to make an immediate connection for “pulling


Discovery Networks Asia and Nokia have partnered to launch the ‘Mobile First Time Filmmakers Contest 2005′, which will give consumers the opportunity to try their hand at mobile filmmaking and qualify to win a grand prize of $10,000.

To participate in the contest, individuals must send in a photo or a video that’s no longer than nine seconds and a brief description of a symbol that best defines their community, and how this will be presented in the mobile film.

Fifteen applicants will be short-listed and flown to Singapore in September to attend a special workshop organized by Discovery Networks Asia, where they will have the opportunity to learn more about mobile filmmaking techniques. In addition, the fifteen selected filmmakers will each receive a Nokia N90, which they will use to shoot and submit their final entries towards their bid to win the grand prize of US$10,000.

The contest, which started on August 1, is open to individuals aged 18+. The closing date for submissions is September 4. For more information visit


Rashmi Bansal, Editor and Publisher of a youth magazine called JAM – Just Another Magazine blogs about how mobile phone technology can change the business of film-making.

Nokia is airing a commercial which focuses on how mobile technologies can potentially change film-making. The url appears at the bottom of the screen.

Take a look at JAM TV

At JAM, we use a 2 megapixel camera phone to make short films which are hosted on our website. The section is called JAM TV. We’ve even had a ‘hit’ – our Rabbi Shergill film has been downloaded over 7000 times.

She has some neat ideas too

Today phone providers offer restaurant listings. What if u could actually view a 1 minute video of the restaurant – see what it’s like? You might pay 5 bucks to see such a film, before spending 500 bucks there.

The possibilities, really, are endless. ‘Interestingly shot’ and ‘nominally priced’ would be the two key factors in success.


Call centers became contact centers once email entered the equation. Some people answer phones, others answer email. The next challenge may be to integrate cameraphones into the process.

Some people, however, are beginning to think about ways to redesign contact centers in the age of cameraphones. It’s not hard to see how this could be very useful. As the old joke goes, in the digital age, a picture is worth 1024 words. Sometimes it’s difficult to explain what’s happening in words, when a picture would make it clear immediately. If you’re having a problem with something, and you can add a visual aid that can be immensely helpful. This also goes two ways. If the contact center can send out graphical information back to the caller, that could save a lot of time talking.

Source: How Contact Centers Need To Change In The Age Of The Cameraphone