Twitter / Balaji Sowmyanarayan

Monday, October 29, 2007

Chennai Photo Snapshot 03 Nov, 3:11pm

Idea: Take a photo samples of a city at a specified time(3 Nov 3:11pm), consolidate in one pool, make snapshot of city life forever.
Execution: Ask a anyone and everyone to take a photo and submit it to a photo pool in flickr. Pre and post moment support garnering through every communication channel including blogs, news item, sms, etc. Coordinated by website
Profit: Snapshot for posterity. Community bonding.

Update: Now, remote participation via SecondLife is possible.
From Remote participation via SecondLife:
Not in Chennai on Nov 3, 03:11pm?

Not to worry, SecondLife and Avatar Voodo to the rescue. Labsji has setup this amazing facility to help you participate in 03:11 PM campaign virtually via SecondLife. Visit SecondLife Sim Treepu. While there, launch a virtual balloon with your request for a photo shoot at a particular location, as if you are taking it! Some kind natured 03:11 PM enthusiast might take your request seriously and shoot a snap exactly as you requested. Your requests are actually queued as Human Intelligence Task request in Amazon Mturk.

Want to help someone wanting to participate from afar?

Log on to and search of HITs titled AVooDo. Fulfill the HIT as requested and make someone’s day! As a token of appreciation your good natured gesture, there will be small inconsequential (yet fun!) rewards that you will be able to claim against your successful HIT completion.

Help spill the fun from Virtual to Real and vice versa.

More details can be found here:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Extending SecondLife Avatar Action to Real Life with Mturk

Idea: Avatar Voodo: Extending Avatar Action from SecondLife to Real Life
Execution: Avatar Voodo, Avoodo for short, is a mashup of SecondLife with Amazon Mturk. Avoodo is a way to extend/spill Avatar action to real world. The way it is done is, Avatar action is set to trigger posting of Human Intelligence Task(HIT) in Mturk market through Linden Scripting Language(LSL) scripts. The Linden dollar based micropayment mechanism is bridged to the Mturk based micropayment to make the HIT enticing enough for Mturk worker to complete. The HIT can be geographically targeted so that the SecondLife as geography barrier basher can be further enhanced.
Profit: One of the biggest complaint about SecondLife as a marketing medium is that it is just toyland and activities there and transactions there cannot be linked to real world and revenue generating commerce. With Avoodo, it is possible to engage the user in mixed reality play which can be a very effective marketing tool. For the seocndlife developers, they don't need to huge budget to create a mixed media experience like the CBS CSI:Virtual that involves huge hype and fanfare to work. As an illustrative case of the profit,

Teepu is an use case that uses Avoodo to give opportunity Avatars to participate in mass tree planting movement despite geographic barriers. In short, Avoodo, Treepu makes (digital/real) tree a social object for participation and conversation!.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Cartoon: Getting Drowned in Search Engine Alphabet Soup!

Hat Tip to Hugh MacLeod of for inspiring me and making me try cartooning.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dawnkey's MyFridj: Cartoons as Social Objects

Idea: Cartoons as longtail tradable social objects. Dawn Douglas through MyFridj is adding a new twist to User Generated Content. She is creating scarcity mechanism for the content( cartoons and animations) through the virtual goods route. An interesting aspect of the idea is that the virtual goods are user tradable.
Execution: Just like people are ok with the idea of buying songs, people will get used to buying cartoons and animations to enhance their online presence. Slowly saying it with a cartoon will be easy and fun way to express yourself - Just as saying it with flowers or saying it with your dress. Slowly when the supply and demand equations work out, this long tail syndication mechanism will gain momentum as investment opportunity. Yet the success of MyFridj depends largely on the scale of execution, choice of platforms that will make the micro-payment frictionless and more importantly how mashable and developer friendly it emerges.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wisdom of Crowd Weather Prediction

Idea:Weather as a source of profit! Much of economic activity in some form or another is a response to Weather and its cycle. With economy becoming more and more knowledge centric, weather information and weather related prediction( knowledge) becomes source of profit. Hackshaven Harford of NOAA build in Secondlife has an interesting idea for the complex compute intensive weather prediction biz. He is proposing to simply ask the crowd. Let the wisdom of the crowd work for the prediction!
Execution:Amazon Mturk with automated script that rewards bonuses based on accuracy of prediction post fact. The script could be coupled weather derivative market through a mashup with WeatherBill like service.
Profit: Predicting weather( or the lack of it) is a big biz. Weather is something where everyone participates already. Market linking it and wisdom of crowd linking it will widen the market and thereby widen the opportunities.

This could be a good way to widen the base of Mturk Workers on a world wide basis. This will engage the workers on a daily basis. The variable reward makes it very sticky.