Sleeping through the launch of SlideShare mobile app

Last night we went out for St Patrick’s day and I completely forgot that our mobile app was being launched. I woke up this morning to check my feeds and realized that the app had been launched, was generating a bit of enthusiasm, and had been TechCrunched – all while I was sleeping!

This is the day every startup founder lives for – when smart, capable folks are taking the ownership for the app. I am lucky that we have such an awesome team! As you might have read the SlideShare mobile app was a skunkworks project – some of SlideShare team members decided to build a mobile app for Yahoo hackday. They started building it, rest of team pitched in as needed, and pretty soon it was ready to launch.

Thanks Kapil, Prasanna, Mani, Bhups, Cju, Ashwan, Arun and the entire team!

No one uses voicemail in India and the concept of missed calls

As you might have read, cell phones are being adopted at an incredible pace in India. Everyone has a cell phone and is always using it. One thing I realized very soon after getting to India was that no one has voice mail for their cell phone. And people don’t even get the concept of voicemail and its advantages. After vigorously evangelizing voicemail for a few days, I started getting used to not having voicemail, and even appreciating the advantages of not having voicemail.

Gleaned from my various discussions about voicemail, the Indian point of view seems to be:
-You can always send a SMS instead of a voicemail.
-SMS is less intrusive, people can respond if and when they want to. Or not respond.
-When people make a call, they want to talk to you directly – they are looking for synchronous voice communication. Voicemail does not help with that – even a long, chatty message does not. You might as well SMS and set up a time to talk.

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Of gender differences in text messaging

text message length Last night’s BayCHI had three fascinating talks on mobile phone usage. Here are my notes from the first talk which was an entertaining discussion of findings from a research project on mobile phones and culture (I hope to post notes from the other talks shortly). SImeon Yates from the Sheffield Hallam University (I reveal my geographic ignorance by mentioning that I had to look up the UK map to find out where that is) described a study on gender differences in text messaging.

The most interesting finding was the length and content of messages based on gender of sender and recipient. This graph (showing number of characters in text messages) about sums it up (graph and example messages are shamelessly borrowed from Simeon’s talk).

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No one uses voicemail in India and the concept of missed calls

As you might have read, cell phones are being adopted at an incredible pace in India. My own observation: everyone has a cell phone and is always using it. One thing I realized very soon after getting to India was that no one has voice mail for their cell phone. And people don’t even get the concept of voicemail and its advantages. After vigorously evangelizing voicemail for a few days, I started getting used to not having voicemail, and even appreciating the advantages of not having voicemail.

Gleaned from my various discussions about voicemail, the Indian point of view seems to be:

-You can always send a SMS instead of a voicemail.
-SMS is less intrusive, people can respond if and when they want to. Or not respond.
-When people make a call, they want to talk to you directly – they are looking for synchronous voice communication. Voicemail does not help with that – even a long, chatty message does not. You might as well SMS and set up a time to talk.

Continue reading