Silicon vs Carbon – Comparing Facebook Advertising with Organic Outreach

Keyshav Mor from Pune asked us how to leverage Facebook to market an event he was recently promoting. We suggested a comparison between Facebook’s paid publicity feature and organic outreach (i.e. silicon vs carbon). Here’s what he found –

How often does one get an amazing idea for a business but gets stuck in the marketing and advertising part of it? Then comes the idea of running the advertising campaign through Facebook and other social media websites. Even I got the idea at one point out of sheer curiosity and why not? You pay Facebook a certain amount amount of money for a fixed time period and get to sit back and relax without worrying much about advertising and the struggles involved with it. But sorry my friends, that is not how it works and it definitely isn’t productive. So Arjun Venkatraman of Mojolab and I decided to partner up for the experiment to prove how Organic Marketing trumps social media advertising.

Organic marketing is marketing through a chain of friends whom you explain the concept and product you are looking to promote. So the basic need for organic marketing is to make friends. You make sure that you are useful in someway to your friends so that they are willing to help you in return. Initially, this takes time. But as you practice it over a period of time, organic marketing gets easier. On the other hand social media advertising is simple. For example on Facebook, you decide the product you want to promote, you choose the target audience, you choose the currency and the budget along with the duration and then you are set.

The Product/Event :

personal healingposter

To conduct the experiment, we chose the “Personal Healing Workshop” conducted by Personal Healing Institute, Pune under the Guidance of Ashwin Mohan and Anomit Ghosh of Forge Mixed Martial Arts, Pune. Ashwin and Anomit carried out the organic marketing part while I was involved in the Facebook advertising campaign. Lets look at the quantitative aspects of both the approaches .

Organic Marketing :

The 3 important resources in any marketing are : Time, Money and Friends. So these resources remain constant in this experiment too . Anomit and Ashwin approached the organic marketing part in two different ways. Anomit approached people and explained them the concept over telephone calls and by meeting them whereas Ashwin demonstrated the actual healing demo. We will quantify these efforts in terms of time and money spent while keeping in mind that time is also money.

Anomit had concentrated efforts of about 10 hours spread over a week. These included calling up people as mentioned earlier along with preparing content. Now when we talk of organic marketing, it doesn’t mean offline marketing alone. It also includes Facebook posts and the subsequent sharing of the post by the friends and followers of Forge MMA Facebook page. As a result this Facebook activity is also included in the 10 hours of efforts put into marketing the event.

Ashwin on the other hand promoted the event on Facebook and also by demonstrating healing in a demo class of two hours attended by around 30 people. Both didn’t travel anywhere to promote the event so travel time and expenses are not included. On a safer side we assume that a total of 24 hours of efforts were put in.

Anomit put in a recharge of Rs. 400 in his Vodafone cellular prepaid connection. Along with this we assume additional expenses of Rs. 600 on Internet,Power and refreshments offered to prospective participants. Mind you these expenses are spread over a time period of 7 days. So in all Rs. 1000 are assumed to be spent along with combined efforts spanning 24 hours.

Now lets get down to actual number of people reached through this campaign. A research by TechCrunch has found out that an average Facebook post reaches only 12 % of your friends. For simplicity we assume a reach of 10 % . This too when your posts are visible to “Friends of your Friends”. Anomit and Ashwin have a total of around 1000 friends on Facebook. Forge MMA which served as a platform for promotion had around 350 followers before the start of workshop. Thus it is safe to assume Anomit and Ashwin reached around 100 people through their posting about the workshop. Average number of Friends people have on Facebook is 338. As a result by the 10 % rule, number of people reached by the 100 people who saw Anomit and Ashwins post totals up to 3380. Following this rule, it is quite logical to assume the post can reach around 114244 people if the 10 percent rule is followed. But since not everyone’s profile and posts are exciting enough to repost the updates, it is safe to assume that along with the 3480 people reached, some 6000 people also see the promotional poster of the healing workshop over a period of 1 week. Assuming a standard 5 min conversation call at 2 p/ sec through Vodafone prepaid around 66 people were reached by Anomit through calling them on cellphone. These people were requested to suggest the workshop to 20 more of their friends. Assuming half of the people did their work sincerely, around 660 people were made aware of the workshop. Thus in all its safe to assume that around 10000 people across Pune city and even the state and the country were reached through the organic marketing campaign at the cost of Rs 1000 and a 24 hour timeline spread over a week.

Out of the number of people reached 12 decided to participate in the current workshop while 12 others decided to join the workshop which would be conducted in future. Thus out of the 10000 people reached 24 people signed up. That is a conversion rate of 0.024 %. If we reduce the value of people reached the percentage obviously increases. But a Facebook advertise with Pune as its defined area of promotion and customised interests pertaining to Yoga, Fitness and Arts with a budget of Rs 1000 spanned over a week fetches you a reach of around 15000 . Thus 10000 is still a safe value to work with. The conversion rate might seem dismal, but when you consider a course fees of Rs 12000 per head and 24 interested participants, the organic campaign fetches a total of Rs 288000 against an investment of Rs 1000. Even though the returns are spread out over a period of 6 months, the profit percentage is a magical 28800 %. Now you may think this is exaggeration. So lets put in some additional expenses. In the second scenario, lets say that the teachers invested Rs 12000 learning these techniques themselves before teaching. That results in a total investment of Rs 13000 in planning and marketing the course over a period of time. Even this scenario results in a profit percentage of 2215 %. Mind you the place where the workshop was conducted was free from rent .( That is where friends come into play .)

Facebook Ad Campaign :

Running a Facebook ad campaign is fairly simple as stated earlier. You decide the product type you are looking to promote, in this case an event. You give a suitable name and title to the ad campaign to monitor it from your own Facebook account. Later on you set the desired radius area, which was set as “Pune+ 10 miles”. The interests varied from sports to arts to fitness and well being to healing and yoga. All possible categories were included keeping in mind the target audience which was : Urban corporate,artistic , sporting and student population. The budget was set at Rs 300 for 48 hours. The bid was set at Rs 5 per click on the advertising campaign. The following picture gives an overall result of the campaign :

keyshav report

After first 24 hours , the bids were changed at regular intervals of 8 hrs each from Rs 5 to Rs 10 to Rs 15 in order to increase the reach. Finally the number of people reached were 2720 with no online response although one participant came to attend the workshop after seeing the Facebook ad. That is a conversion rate of 0.00036 % spanning 48 hours. Way less compared to 0.024 % conversion rate through organic marketing. Talking in monetary terms, considering the first scenario the Facebook ad campaign reports profit percentage of 4000 % and through the second scenario the campaign reports a loss of 2.5 %. So if Rs 1000 were invested in Facebook ad campaign, a total of 15000 would have been reached with 5 people attending the workshop considering the conversion rate. That is a profit percentage of 6000 % in first scenario and the second scenario results in profit percentage of 461 %.

Thus looking at above stats, it is concluded that Organic marketing wins hands on against Facebook advertising on every front for an equivalent reach and investment. In the event of organic marketing having lesser reach, it only results in better conversion rate and better profit percentage per person reached. So these are the stats which support our theory that Facebook advertising doesn’t work. So how does this happen?

Simple. Facebook has a lot of fake profiles. These profiles increase at an alarming rate daily. By fake profiles, I don’t mean that the people are fake in profiles, the people are real but they are paid by agencies contracted by Facebook to click and share on the advertises commissioned the Facebook. Thus Facebook gets the work done for cheap and makes its profits anyway and you have no way of questioning the modus operandi since you got your likes,shares , clicks and the estimated reach, never mind the fact that it didn’t result into anything of importance.

Solution? Make friends. How to make friends ? Helping people out and sharing or renting out stuff you don’t really need on daily basis. That is how organic marketing works. That is how organic marketing triumphs !

COWMesh Demo At Servelots – Pics and Audio

Last week we did a first cut of the mobile COWMesh  demo at Servelots in Bangalore. Audios of the first half of the demo and pictures below. More audio to follow as it gets edited!

Continue reading “COWMesh Demo At Servelots – Pics and Audio”

स्वतंत्र लोग, मजबूत नेटवर्क


सामाजिक कार्य करने वाले लोगों एवं सन्स्थाओं की दुनिया में अधिकतर व्यक्तिगत असहमतियों और मनमुटाव की स्थितियों का तांता बन्धा रहता है। कई बार हम इन असहमतियों और मनमुटावों के बीच सामजिक कार्य के मूलभूत सिद्धान्तों से इतने दूर हो जाते हैं कि सामाजिक कार्य भी हमें असामाजिक सा बना देता है।


फिर भी किसी किसी दिन कोइ ऐसी खबर सुनने को मिलती है कि मन प्रसन्न होने के साथ साथ सामजिक होने की इच्छा फिर प्रबल हो जाती है और हमे सामजिक कार्य में जुटे रहने के लिये नई स्फ़ूर्ति और ऊर्जा मिल जाती है।


ऐसा ही कुछ पिछले हफ़्ते हुआ. हम ऐन्टहिलहैक्स की तैयारी आरम्भ ही कर रहे थे कि भोपाल से हमारे पुराने साथी अनुराग दुबे का फोन आया और उन्होने बताया कि वे हाल ही में डाल्टनगंज, झारखण्ड स्थित सन्स्था “मज़दूर हूं मजबूर नहीं” के लिये एक मोजो बोल सर्वर लगा के आये हैं, जिसका उपयोग सन्स्था अपने साथ जुडे जन समुदाय से सम्पर्क बढाने के लिये करेगी. “मज़दूर हूं, मजबूर नहीं” मुख्य रूप से मनरेगा को सही रूप से लागू किये जाने मे आने वाली बाधाओं का निवारण करने एवं मज़दूरों को उनके पूरे अधिकार दिलाने के लिये कार्य करती है।


संस्था का कार्य तो सराहनीय है ही, पर हमारे लिये खास बात यह रही कि सर्वर लगाने का निमन्त्रण अनुराग को श्री राजू राणा से मिला, जो कि सी जी नेट स्वर से लम्बे समय तक जुडे रह चुके हैं. राजू ने ही अनुराग का सम्पर्क मजदूर हूं… के मिथिलेश जी से करवाया. गत वर्ष तक मोजोलैब और सी जी नेट साथ मिल कर कार्य कर रहे थे, पर पिछ्ले कुछ महीनों मे दोनो ही समूह अपने अपने कार्य में अधिक व्यस्त हो जाने के कारण एक दूसरे से सम्पर्क बना कर नहीं रख पाए हैं.


राजू सी जी नेट द्वारा प्रशीक्षित जन पत्रकार हैं और अनुराग मोजोलैब द्वारा प्रशीक्षित जन अभियान्त्रिक। राजू और अनुराग, दोनो ही ने प्रशीक्षण हैकरग्राम भोपाल में लिया। दोनो को बिना सन्स्थाओं पर निर्भर हुए एक साथ कार्य करता देख सचमुच लगता है कि हमने पिछ्ले कुछ साल व्यर्थ नहीं गवाये। मोजोलैब और सी जी नेट, दोनो ही की प्रबल इच्छा रही है कि हम कार्यकर्ता प्रशीक्षित करें, कर्मचारी नही। आज राजू और अनुराग ने यह कार्य कर के हमें आश्वासन दिया है कि हम सही दिशा में बढ रहे हैं। हम राजू और अनुराग के आभारी हैं और उनसे निवेदन करते हैं कि इसी प्रकार कार्यरत रहें। हमारी शुभकामनायें और सहयोग हमेशा आप के साथ हैं।


PiFiTV – Combining New Media Models

Wi-Fi Mesh

Wi-Fi, (802.11b/g) is a dStarTopologyeregulated medium in most countries. Most internet users are familiar with Wi-Fi networks and most mobile devices today come equipped with an inbuilt Wi-Fi adapter. Typically Wi-Fi is set up in a hub-and-spoke configuration, where one Wi-Fi hub provides connectivity to many clients. The hub acts as a gateway to process all traffic on the network and in order to communicate with peers on the network a user must go through the gateway. This is analogous to the service provider model of communications and Wi-Fi has a strong use case as a means to share a single internet connection between multiple users.

While Wi-Fi has predominantly been used as a means of last mile connectivity to service providers, most Wi-Fi enabled devices can also be used in peer to peer mode, i.e. to communicate directly with other devices, without the intervention of a service provider or gateway. This ability can be used to build a peer to peer based network topology called a mesh. A mesh network is different from a hub-and-spoke network in that there can be many paths between two points on the network. As a result, members of a mesh network share a peer or peer-like relationship.Mesh
The Internet itself is a mesh of meshes as it does not depend on any single service provider and service providers become peers from the point of view of the internet. Reducing costs of Wi-Fi equipment and new developments in networking software have made it possible to build low cost, community owned and operated mesh networks and lately this form of network is becoming a popular alternative to the cloud, particularly for low income and rural communities Multiple meshes can be connected to each other and to the internet in innovative ways such as physical transfer of bulk data (Data Muling) and by pooling low bandwidth connections available on the mesh.


The RaspberryPi is a USD35 single board computer. The Pi comes with 512 MB of RAM and a 1GHz processor, making it comparable in performance to a netbook or a cheap desktop computer.
The Pi is more than adequate forPiImage

  • Basic web browsing
  • Multimedia Access
  • Basic Knowledge processing tasks

The Pi can use an HDMI or S-Video interface for a display, meaning that it can even be connected to old CRT based TV sets, which are quite popular in rural and urban low income households. With a USB Wi-Fi adapter and a keyboard, the Pi can convert any TV into a PiFiTV

Components and interactions on the PiFiTV network

The following components and interactions are possible in a community owned wireless mesh scenario











PiFiTV Features

The PiFiTV model holds the possibility of putting even rural and low income user groups at par with users of high end interactive television. PiFiTV can use even basic CRT based television sets over the S-Video channel besides supporting newer high definition TVs via HDMI. Moreover, the RaspberryPi is a low power device (5V, 1A) and can even be powered with a cheap solar panel, adding almost no extra cost to the household’s power budget. The addition of a simple wireless mouse makes the Pi a two way interaction device, where users can not only select the program they want to watch but also interact with it if the content is so designed. With a battery operated speaker, can be used as a Wi-Fi radio during power cuts. We are currently exploring the feasibility of using low power display devices such as pico projectors as well. From a provider standpoint, the PiFiTV model is similar to the local cable operator model recently phased out by digital cable, combined with the possibility of multiple content providers on the same network. This means significantly lower content hosting and dissemination costs for providers since the underlying network is relatively small scale, community owned and entails a lower over-all cost of operation. In fact any provider can join the network as a peer and host content by simply operating or sponsoring the operation of some member devices.


We are very keen to partner with content providers such as independent artists, writers, bloggers, performers and other interested parties who are keen to acquire a user segment in areas beyond the pale of connectivity Partners are welcome to engage with us by

  • Wholly or partly supporting community Wi-Fi network build outs in low/no connectivity areas
  • Providing content for delivery on Wi-Fi networks that we are already setting up through one of our existing partners
  • Visiting the deployment zone and conducting agenda/content specific workshops that have a clear follow on the network
  • We are also open to other interesting ideas for collaboration

Proof of Concept

We are working on a project in collaboration with Janastu हैकरgram to build and test a Community Owned Wi-Fi mesh network connecting 5 villages in the Devarayanadurga area in Karnataka. The project is called COWDev and is supported by the Open Technology Fund. The region is interesting as it has a large underserved population in terms of connectivity, owing to its position inside a forest reserve where getting permissions to set up cell phone towers is hard. We are keen to focus on women and young people as primary users and operators of this network PiFiTV is one of the key services we will be piloting on this network.

The initial PiFiTV demo system is set up at the residence of Renu and Mukunda Rao ji of Janastu, who have been living among the community in Hale Kote (one of the villages in the region) for a number of years. Janastu is the host organization and community connect partner for हैकरgram at Hale Kote.

साइबर स्वराज – ट्राइ को जवाब देने में हमारी मदद करें!

पिछ्ले हफ़्ते हमने ट्राइ एवं टेलिकाम कम्पनियों द्वारा साइबर स्वराज पर किये जा रहे आक्रमण के सन्दर्भ में लिखा था.

विदीशा से सुर्य प्रताप सिंह चौहान नें हमें उस पोस्ट का हिन्दी अनुवाद भेजा है| कृपया इसे सभी के साथ साझा कर ट्राइ को करारा जवाब देने में इन्टरनेट समुदाय की सहायता करें! –

27 मार्च 2015 को, भारतीय दूरसंचार नियामक प्राधिकरण ओवरटॉप ( टी टी) सेवाओं के लिए नियामक ढांचाशीर्षक से एक परामर्श पत्र प्रकाशित हुआ था। ट्राई के अनुसार, “ टी टी का सबसे अच्छा ज्ञात उदाहरण हैं, स्नैपचैट, इंस्टाग्राम, किक, गूगल टॉक, हाईक, लाइन, वीचैट, टैंगो, स्काइप, वाइबर, व्हाट्सप्प, चैट ओन ईकॉमर्स साइटों (अमेज़न, फ्लिपकार्ट आदि), ओला , फेसबुक मैसेंजर, ब्लैक बेरी मैसेंजर, आईमैसेज, ऑनलाइन वीडियो गेम और फिल्मों (नेटफ्लिक्स, पैंडोरा)

जैसा की आप समझ सकते हैं, इन सेवाओं को विनियमित करना लोकप्रिय इंटरनेट के सबसे बड़े हिस्से को विनियमित करने के समान है।

ट्राई के परामर्श के लिए निम्नलिखित सवाल उठाया गया है। हम उन्हें सहर्ष अपने दोस्तों के विचारों का प्रतिनिधित्व करने वाली प्रतिक्रिया देने के लिए तैयार हैं। इसलिए हम हर किसी को आमंत्रित कर रहे हैं कि

1. यहाँ खबर पढ़ें – टी टी -CP-27032015.pdf या यहाँ MediaNama द्वारा एक सरलीकृत संस्करण पढ़ें –

2. सवाल पूछें। आप पर अर्जुन को लिख सकते हैं एवं फेसबुक या ट्विटर या किसी अन्य माध्यम द्वारा हम तक पहुँच सकते हैं। आप भी इस पोस्ट या Medianama पर टिप्पणी कर सकते हैं हम अपनी तरफ से सबसे अच्छा जवाब देने कि कोशिश करते हैं।

3.विचार विमर्श करने के बाद आप निम्नलिखित प्रश्नो पर अपनी प्रतिक्रियाएं संक्षेप में दें। हम आपकी प्रतिक्रिया साँझा करते हुए कोशिश करेंगे कि एक मुख्या प्रतिक्रिया ट्राई के पास ले जाएं। हम भी ऐसे दोस्त खोज रहे हैं जो हमें वापस प्रतिक्रिया पाने में मदद करेंगे। यह वेब्साइट जवाब भेजने में मदद कर सकती है

और ये सब हमे 25 अप्रैल से पहले ही करना है क्यूंकि उसके बाद वो हमारी प्रतिक्रिया पर ध्यान देना बंद कर देंगे!

प्रश्न 1: क्या ये ओ टी टी सेवाओं के लिए नियामक ढांचा स्थापित करने के लिए ज्यादा जल्दी है, क्यूंकि इंटरनेट पैठ अभी भी विकसित हो रहा है, एक्सेस स्पीड आमतौर पर काम ही आ रही है और उच्च गति ब्रॉडबैंड की देश में सीमित कवरेज है? या फिर, शुरुआत करनी चाहिए विनियामक ढांचे के साथ जो की भविष्य में परिवर्तन करने के लिए अनुकूलित किया जा सकता है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 2: क्या ओ टी टी उपभोगता के संचार की पेशकश के अनुप्रयोगों (निवासी या तो देश में या बाहर) के माध्यम से सेवाओं (आवाज, मैसेजिंग और वीडियो कॉल सेवाएं) को लायसेंसिंग शासन के तहत लाया जाए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 3: क्या ओ टी टी की वृद्धि TSPs के पारंपरिक राजस्व स्ट्रीम को प्रभावित कर रही है? यदि हां, तो क्या TSPs के डाटा राजस्व में वृद्धि इस प्रभाव के लिए क्षतिपूर्ति करने के लिए पर्याप्त है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 4: क्या टी टी चलाने वालों को TSPs नेटवर्क का प्रयोग करने के लिए डेटा शुल्क से अधिक एवं अतिरिक्त भुगतान करना चाहिए ? यदि हाँ तो क्या शुल्क दर निर्धारित की जानी चाहिए? क्या इस तरह के विकल्पों में बैंडविड्थ खपत का शुल्क जोड़ा जाना चाहिए? क्या शुल्क दरों को उत्पाद/सेवा में पृथक करने का माध्यम बनाया जा सकता है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 5: क्या आप मानते हैं किन ओ टी टी चलाने वालों के विनियामक पर्यावरण में अंतर है? यदि हां, तो क्या किया जाना चाहिए इन मुद्दों का समाधान करने के लिए? प्रचिलित कानूनो एवं विनियमों को ओ टी टी चलाने वालों (जो 114 आभासी दुनिया में सञ्चालन करते हैं) के ऊपर किस प्रकार लागु किया जाये एवं अनुपालन कराया जायेइसका अर्थव्यवस्था पर क्या प्रभाव हो सकता है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 6 : संचार सेवाएं प्रदान करते हुए ओ टी टी चलाने वालों के सम्बन्ध में सुरक्षा चिंताओं को कैसे सम्भोदित किया जाना चाहिए? ओ टी टी चलाने वालों को, डेटा रिकॉर्ड बनाये रखना एवं लॉग्स आदि जैसी कौनसी सुरक्षा की स्थिति अनिवार्य की जानी चाहिए? और किस प्रकार इन परिश्थितियों का अनुपालन किया जा सकता है यदि इस प्रकार के ओत्त चलाने वालों की गतिविधियाँ देश के बाहर हैं? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 7: ओ टी टी चलाने वालों द्वारा प्रस्तुत की जाने वाली एप्लीकेशन सेवाओं की सुरक्षा, देखरेख एवं गोपनीयता उपभोगताओं के लिए किस प्रकार सुनिश्चित की जाये? वे उपभोगता हिट की सुरक्षा को कैसे सुनिश्चित करें? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 8: पद 4.23 से सम्बंधित अथवा पद 4.29 में संछिप्त सर्वोत्तम कार्य प्रणाली, भारत में ओ टी टी के लिए विनियामक ढांचे के लिए ETNO से किस प्रकार प्रस्ताव लाया जा सकता है? और क्या प्रथाएं नियामक फिएट द्वारा निषिद्ध की जानी चाहिए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 9: भारतीय प्रसंग में नेट टतस्थता पर आपके क्या विचार हैं? पद 5.47 में विचार विमर्श किये गए विभिन्न सिद्धांतो से कैसे निपटा जा सकता है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 10: किस प्रकार के भेदभाव या यातायात प्रबंधन व्यावहारिक दृष्टिकोण के साथ मेल खाती एवं उचित है? किस कार्य की आज्ञा दी जा सकती है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 11: क्या TSPs को विभिन्न टी टी ऍप्लिकेशन्स के लिए प्रयोग होने वाली विभिन्न यातायात प्रबंधन तकनीक का प्रकाशन अनिवार्य कर देना चाहिए? क्या यह पारदर्शिता और निष्पक्ष विनियामन सुनिश्चित करने के लिए पर्याप्त परिस्थिति है?

प्रश्न 12: कैसे अनुकूल और संतुलित पर्यावरण बनाया जाये ताकि त्स्प्स नेटवर्क बुनियादी ढांचे में निवेश करने में सक्षम हो एवं कैप्स नया ढंग निकलने एवं विकसित होने में सक्षम हो सके? नेटवर्क उन्नयन लागत किसे वहां करनी चाहिए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 13: क्या TSPs को सेवाओं के गैर दर आधारित भेदभाव को लागु करने की अनुमति देनी चाहिए? यदि हाँ तो किन हालत के तहत इस प्रकार के व्यवहार स्वीकार्य हैं? क्या प्रतिबंध, यदि कोई हो, करने की आवश्यकता है यदि इस तरह के उपायों के साथ दुर्व्यवहार रोकना हो? क्या उपाय

उपभोक्ताओं के लिए पारदर्शिता सुनिश्चित करने के लिए अपनाया जाना चाहिए? कृपया

औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 14: क्या डेटा एक्सेस एवं टी टी संचार सेवाओं की भिन्न दरों को अनुमति देने का औचित्त्य है ? यदि हाँ, तो क्या परिवर्तन वर्तमान टैरिफ एवं देश की दूरसंचार सेवाओं के लिए नियामक ढांचे में लाने की जरुरत है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 15: क्या ओ टी टी संचार सेवा चलाने वालों को दूरसंचार सेवा के बल्क उपयोगकर्ता के रूप में देखा जाना चाहिए? रूपरेखा को किसी भेदभाव को रोकने और हितधारक की रक्षा के लिए किस प्रकार संरचित किया जाना चाहिए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी दें।

प्रश्न 16: भारत विशिष्ट टी टी एप्लीकेशन प्रोत्साहित करने के लिए क्या रूपरेखा अपनायी जानी चाहिए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 17: यदि ओ टी टी संचार सेवा चलाने वालों को लाइसेंस धारक बनाया जाये तो उन्हें ASP वर्गीकृत किया जाये अथवा CSP? यदि ऐसा है तो क्या ढांचा होना चाहिए? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 18क्या टी टी संचार सेवाओं के लिए सदस्यता शुल्क को विनियमित करने की जरूरत है? औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 19: गैरसंचार ओ टी टी चलाने वालों के नियमन के लिए सरकार को क्या कदम उठाने चाहिए? कृपया औचित्य के साथ टिप्पणी करें।

प्रश्न 20: क्या अन्य मुद्दे हैं जिनका चर्चा किये गए विषय पर प्रभाव है?

NetNeutrality – Help us write a response to TRAI!

On 27th March 2015, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India came out with a consultation paper titled “Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services”. According to TRAI, “The best known examples of OTT are Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, Chat On, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, Google Talk, Hike, Line, WeChat, Tango, ecommerce sites (Amazon, Flipkart etc.),Ola, Facebook messenger, Black Berry Messenger, iMessage, online video games and movies (Netflix, Pandora). ”

As you can understand, considering regulating these services is tantamount to regulating most of the popular Internet.

TRAI has raised the following questions for consultation. We would love to give them a response that represents the views of our friends. We are therefore inviting everyone to

1. Read the paper here – or a simplified version by MediaNama here –

2. Ask questions – you can write to arjun at mojolab dot org or reach us via Facebook or Twitter or any other way you like to ask questions. You can also comment on this post or Medianama’s. We will try and answer as best as we can.

3. After you’re done thinking, give us your responses on the following questions as briefly as you can. We will share your responses and try and get a representative response back to TRAI. We’re also looking to find friends who will help get responses back .

And we have to do all this before April 25th, because that’s when they stop listening!


Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for
OTT services, since internet penetration is still evolving, access
speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed
broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now
with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the
future? Please comment with justifications.

Question 2: Should the OTT players offering communication
services (voice, messaging and video call services) through
applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought
under the licensing regime? Please comment with justifications.

Question 3: Is the growth of OTT impacting the traditional revenue
stream of TSPs? If so, is the increase in data revenues of the TSPs
sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with

Question 4: Should the OTT players pay for use of the TSPs network
over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing
options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based on
bandwidth consumption? Can prices be used as a means of
product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.

Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory
environment in the operation of OTT players? If so, what should be
the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws
and regulations be applied to OTT players (who operate in the 114
virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact
on the economy? Please comment with justifications.

Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with
regard to OTT players providing communication services? What
security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need
to be mandated for such OTT players? And, how can compliance
with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such OTT
players reside outside the country? Please comment with

Question 7: How should the OTT players offering app services
ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer? How should
they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with

Question 8: In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory
framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO, referred to in
para 4.23 or the best practices summarised in para 4.29? And, what
practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment
with justifications.

Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian
context? How should the various principles discussed in para 5.47
be dealt with? Please comment with justifications.

Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management
practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach?
What should or can be permitted? Please comment with

Question 11: Should the TSPs be mandated to publish various traffic
management techniques used for different OTT applications? Is this
a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory

Question 12: How should the conducive and balanced environment
be created such that TSPs are able to invest in network
infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should
bear the network upgradation costs? Please comment with

Question 13: Should TSPs be allowed to implement non-price based
discrimination of services? If so, under what circumstances are
such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be
placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures
should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers? Please
comment with justifications.

Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing
for data access and OTT communication services? If so, what
changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and
regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the
country? Please comment with justifications.

Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated
as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)? How should the framework
be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder
interest? Please comment with justification.

Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage Indiaspecific
OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.

Question 17: If the OTT communication service players are to be
licensed, should they be categorised as ASP or CSP? If so, what
should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.

Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for
OTT communication services? Please comment with justifications.

Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for
regulation of non-communication OTT players? Please comment
with justifications.

Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the
subject discussed?

Death of the Alpha Entrepreneur

The days of the single alpha-social entrepreneur are over. The lone wolf standing on the edge of the cliff, surveying the world below, strategizing in their lonesome mind how to solve its myriad problems- is dead.

More and more, we find collaborative teams, cofounders with complimentary skill sets starting social enterprises. The Trust Fund kid and the Gandhian activist on a hunger strike stereotype is being replaced by a gang of college friends who went on a mission trip together, colleagues who quit their corporate desk jobs together to solve a social problem they are obsessed to find a solution to.

One of them is the visionary and strategist, the other builds all the operational systems, the extrovert is in charge of communications, and the introvert deals with the lawyers and accountants. The New Age social entrepreneurs recognize that each of these talents and jobs are equally important in building a successful social enterprise.

The Generation Z Social Entrepreneur does not try to own their idea for social change, but is handing it out for free at street corners to whoever will take it, and converting the non-takers, too! And so, the fastest growing trend in social entrepreneurship is to create platforms that allow everyone to engage with social change.

Crowd-funding platforms like Global Giving, Citizen Journalism sites like Global Voices Online, global online campaigning sites like, are all enabling everyone, irrespective of how much money they have or how much time, where they are geographically based, to participate in social change. One can donate from as less as $10, or spend just 10 minutes uploading a video of a corrupt traffic police taking a bribe.

There is one organization in particular, I am a big fan of, Mojolabs, that enables rural communities to report information, news and grievances through their mobile phones, and takes action on addressing problems faced by these communities.

Mojolab develops communications systems and tools to help communities set them up to build effective communication models and networks. Simultaeoulsy they help build capacity by providing training programs and project management support to communities using these communication tools, so they can better report news from their communities.

All Mojolab research, development and testing happens at innovation centers called “Hackergrams” (“I am because I do” Village), which function out of unused spaces set up to be workspaces with reused materials.

Mojolab has found that the most effective impact generating actions are taken by people NOT engaged in full time impact generation activity. And so, Mojolab works through a large network of volunteers, whose days jobs are lawyers, accountants, NGO professionals, content writers, because they have found that these volunteers are likely to be more efficient at generating impact if its NOT their primary responsibility or source of earning. To engage the volunteers further, Mojolab provides them with non-tangible incentives, like mastery of a new skill or recognition. So, a web designer learns to file a Right to Information Act to investigate why a village doesn’t have a tubewell, an entitlement under the Indian Constitution, and in turn generates impact of bringing a tubewell to the village.

Mojolab is a tribe, functioning on a tribal economy of barter, engaged in the equal exchange of new skills and recognition for social impact. And so, rather than looking for the ‘leader’, the time has come for all of us to look for our ‘tribe’, not for someone we can follow, but for a movement we can be part of.




Top 10 Reasons why TRAI should allow telcos to charge more for OTT services like Skype

Since last November, we’ve been hearing buzzing noises about “OTT services” being “preferentially charged” by telcos. What this means in plainspeak is that if you make a call using Skype, believing that it’s “free“, you could actually end up being charged more by your telecom provider than if you had made the call by phone. This move by the telcos comes as no surprise, at least to people who understand that someone is as likely to give you free communication as they are to give you free beer or a free lunch.

From the telecom providers point of view, revenues that were earlier available through international calling are now being eaten into by services like Skype and they are simply trying their best to put up a fight.

Continue reading “Top 10 Reasons why TRAI should allow telcos to charge more for OTT services like Skype”

PeopleTech Internships

arjuntcpp11The Mojolab Foundation is very happy to announce the PeopleTech Internships in  partnership  with ह��रgram, Janastu and Servelots. These internships are intended to provide students enrolled in professional courses such as engineering and management with an opportunity to apply their learning to social change and impact challenges in the real world. We are seeking applications from interested students both in groups as well as individuals. A descriptive document is attached . Interested students may also apply by filling out the embedded form below.

People Tech Internships

Continue reading “PeopleTech Internships”