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Very Virtual
Where you live has a lot to do with who you are, and tells people where you are coming from when you've barely got a toe in the door. And when a well defined address also happens to be connected to an event - which will bring viewers, and therefore advertisers, in droves - the guy who runs it stands to make a killing...

Only one Indian operator has had the imagination to take out a site pegged to the celebrations for the 50th year of Independence. MediaWeb based in NOIDA, near Delhi, has registerd India50 (http://www.india50.com). Apparently the idea had been in the pipeline for a year and a half, when the company was formed. Thats foresight for you. Features include "The Indian Emigre", a virtual photo-essay spanning the globe, "Contact India", for people who have drifted apart and would like to get back together, a forum for children, and a live audio-feed from Freedom Music Yatra II at the Taj. The mainstream celebrations, will naturally, be covered as well. Later, the freedom motif will be sustained by discussions on civil and human rights, and free speech online.

 


Going by the interest generated by the celebrations in the traditional media overseas, India50.com ought to be getting a fair number of hits in August. Most of the events are sponsored and should be attractive for corporates, who can have their own home pages on the site at a 50% reduction.

MediaWeb already serves a decent basket of companies including ICI, HCL Corp, and Bharti Enterprises and should have no trouble attracting customers. Pages will be up until 15th August 1998, when the official celebrations close, and then they can be converted to stand-alone web sites.

Other Indian operators, too, are running celebration pages, but no one seems to have an event based address. Rediff on the Net, for instance, has excellent stuff on everyone from Baba Amte to Sam Maneckshaw to Mridula Sarabhai, but its all under the Rediff hierarchy. Not a very mnemonic address, and therefore much more difficult and irritating to find or get back to. Other sites, like www.allindia.com/india50 suffer from the same drawback.

The Indian Express
Editorial
July 28, 1997

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