Just to bring everyone up to speed, on what is happening in the back end, to bring TGDC Drive off to you, as live as it can possibly get. Also maybe you can appreciate, why it is challenging for contestants to grapple with all the new stuff. On a personal level I think they are ALL doing amazing - albeit in their own individual style.
a) TGDC gives users the unique opportunity to blog, photo-blog, video-blog and tweet live from their drive. They are equipped with laptops and high-speed data-cards, GPRS enabled N71 phones, and cameras. The laptops are loaded with popular photo-editing software such as Picasa and also Movie Maker software. The blog interface is via EE.
b) Users have option to blog using SMS. The text message they send is parsed as a blog post and feeds in automatically to the home page. So we have literally built a twitter (or tumbler) look alike, to help people send updates from remote regions where they don’t have GPRS connectivity.
c) Photos and Videos from mobile are one-click upload to Flickr. TGDC site keeps polling this service and fetches any new content and re-purposes the same into a blog-post. So if you see some pictures come in rotated by 90%, it is because the contestants have no control on the photo orientation while uploading to flickr from mobile - and since they dont stop en-route to post-process, the pictures come in as is.
d) The contestants also upload distance covered (reflected on home page) using TEXT SMS. If they don’t update every 2-3 hours, it means they are enjoying their ride. Catch them live anyway on the Google map or click on link below (the map) to get infinite details of their trip and distance covered. You can even check when they overspeed, cruise, stop etc. This functionality is brought to you by AutoTrack.
e) The crew that follows these teams, captures footage but only gets chance to create a clip 3 times a day and they have started uploading on the TGDC channel on YouTube. Follow all the clips on CediaCam or on the YoutTube page.
And for those who think they could have done better than this, we would really appreciate your inputs and help - maybe show us a few examples (from around the world); and please don’t give us examples of those multi-million dollar/month gas guzzling VC funded behemoth, a la Twitter
Next time we can certainly try and do better, if you give us some constructive ideas and suggestions.
P.S. @the tech experts, who are wondering why we are not live video web-casting from moving cars, all I can say is amen. Maybe they need to get a taste of the real indian internet outside their plush cubicles.