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.
Its never late !! I wish .....this post should have come earlier !! it would have taken care of all these unpleasant questionable comments !! ...including few from my end !!
The tech support sounds robust but I ‘m not sure how many of them are using the gadgets TGDC has provided them.
Apparently , they r using their own high-end SLRs for the perfect picture quality and that quite explains why those posts are rolling in at snail pace.
Nevertheless, they r doing a fine job so far..hope to see the updates from them more often in coming days.
Posted by Anamika on 08/08 at 08:47 AM
hey blogger whatever efforts u r putting in to keep us
update is not a small thing
v actually feel that v r with u always
v’hv never missed a single moment on the journey
so ROCK ON ppl
Posted by deepak on 08/08 at 09:06 AM
can u plz tell me how will the winner b decided
just by the number of fans - no i don’t think so
so can u b more transperant about deciding the winner
Posted by deepak on 08/08 at 09:20 AM
Well well… they say attack is the best defense…
I think contestants must be doing their bit but this entire drive off has not been upto the kind of expectations that were built. I’m not blaming anyone for this but it is futile to cover up after you failed to organize it as per the expectations.
From this post the meaning that comes out is that this is all you will get because this is the best we can do. I’m sure you guys can do better and hope that TGDC will bounce back to it’s glorious days again. Hope all three teams are reading this comment and will try harder to live up to the expectations of their fan followings…
Posted by Rajat on 08/08 at 09:36 AM
> we would really appreciate your inputs and help
A fair question to ask, of critics. OK, so let’s see.
1) Leave most of the tech gizmos at home. They are no substitute for simple, vivid commentary and pix.
2) Leave out the sms-style blog posts. They too are no substitute for simple, vivid commentary and pix.
3) Don’t make your teams feel the pressure of a given number of posts/pix/videos every day. When they feel that, we naturally get mediocrity and the sms-stuff—and that certainly isn’t their fault.
4) So what does produce vivid commentary? Equip the teams with pad and pencil. Encourage them to observe and notice. Let them take notes if they want. Give them time to compile their notes into a diary on their laptops, and use that diary as material for the blog posts. For me, at any rate, once a day is fine for such posts—done like this, they will be interesting and compelling.
Examples, you wanted?
Well I think at least one of your teams, and possibly two, have given us examples already.
But from elsewhere ... if I may be allowed to blow a trumpet, I followed just this scheme for three long roadtrips in the USA. My tools: pad and pencil for immediate notes, notebook for interviews, laptop for diary and blogging. Camera too, but on these trips I concentrated only on the writing for my blogs (tho’ some of my pix are on my flickr page, http://tinyurl.com/dilipsFotos).
Here are the results:
1) http://u.nu/6s9s: 4000 miles over 4 weeks, Feb-Mar ‘07.
2) http://u.nu/7s9s: 6000 miles over 4 weeks, Dec ‘07-Jan ‘08.
3) http://u.nu/2t9s: 10000 miles over 8 weeks, July-Sep ‘08.
Posted by Dilip D'Souza on 08/08 at 10:13 AM
@Dilip - Hope the teams are reading this comment trail. These are really useful suggestions, but do not meet expectations of a different group of fans who need update by the hour and live webcast. For a generation weaned on text and twitter, end-of-the-day blog posts are too late.
@Rajat - We did not fail to organize anything. We are not even supposed to be organizing anything. It is TGDC participants who have run the site for past 6 weeks. First it was few hundred applicants, then twelve couples and now TOP 3 who are doing all the blogging. So if the content is not up to your expectation, you really need to get the attention of the TOP 3. They need to satiate the appetite of their fans.
@Deepak - I wish I knew how winner will be decided. I was not a part of the Jury (ever), or the TOP 3 selection process. I think Jury did a fair bit of explanation/grilling on video, and that explains the TOP 3 results. For TOP 1, I really have no clue, but I will find out and ask the Jury to post something.
@Anamika - even a 5MB picture takes seconds to transfer to computer and a minute to compress and upload. They are all recommended to use Picasa. I would guess the reasons are different. They are all watching each other and figuring out a strategy.
These guys all want to WIN this contest - and being smart cookies they must be working to a plan.
P.S. The Tech Talk post was published only to demystify the process. Technology cannot be an excuse ever, for lack of engaging content. I hear you Dilip.
Posted by Sandip on 08/08 at 10:36 AM
@Sir Dilip D’Souza,
A Maruthi 800 can be a better car in the hands of a experienced driver than a Merc in in-experienced hands !
You can quote never ending examples !!
> For a generation weaned on text and twitter, end-of-the-day blog posts are too late.
Venturing out on a limb, I’d say that even for such a generation, the “engaging content” you mention would trump hourly updates by sms.
It’s been my experience, anyway.
You can always find a way to make it twice a day blog posts, too. Perhaps the most important thing is, don’t make the teams feel that pressure.
3 Million people are following this engaging content everyday Rgds Sandip.
Posted by Dilip D'Souza on 08/08 at 11:27 AM
Dr Anand, hamein “Sir” kyon, boss?
You can’t get those links because this particular comment server apparently decided that the “:” is part of the URL in each case! (The wonders of technology! ... and I say this as a trained tech guy and gadget freak myself).
So, let me try again, and I’m sending this to you by email too in case it happens again.
Here are the results:
1) http://u.nu/6s9s—4000 miles over 4 weeks, Feb-Mar ‘07.
2) http://u.nu/7s9s—6000 miles over 4 weeks, Dec ‘07-Jan ‘08.
3) http://u.nu/2t9s—10000 miles over 8 weeks, July-Sep ‘08.
Of course it is! Isn’t he getting engaged pretty much every day? 3M folks with inquiring minds wanna know!
Posted by Dilip D'Souza on 08/08 at 12:11 PM
Why are all of us being so chauvinistic and naive?
Demanding that our expectations be met is a sure fire recipe for a miserable experience. This is an online event that a set of couples are participating in to satiate their thirst of traveling and exploring places. Let them go about this in their own fashion. Let them enjoy their journey. After all, like they say *the journey is the reward*.
As they go into this journey, but obviously they’ll shoot, describe, share and spread their experiences in their own unique way. Why keep throwing tantrums obsessively? Lets give the teams some time. Lets be a little patient. Let us not intrude our way by forcing the teams to do what *we* want.
Posted by Aadil Bandukwala on 08/08 at 12:44 PM
I think it should be declared a weekend for TGDC…..... we’ll come back on monday to see wats on…....why waste our time bros.
hmmm…Ya we understand sandip…and we do appreciate your team’s efforts. But what I think as a follower is that this all isn’t enough entertaining for me. I had expected alot more entertainment and exitement. Day two is also came to the end and nothing much happening till now. most of the team is busy tiring I guess. N ofcourse they need rest after a 8 to 10 hr drive..
So being a host you guys need to find out how u can make this show most entertaining…
From my personal point of view, only a good number of quality photos will do. and I think that can be managed easily who knows photography well…. or may be some audio comentry by the teams that is more frequent can also help..
Hey I also suggest you to put on a thread, (if possible), where atleast the followers can talk to each other at real time (ya of course you put an adult filter to it).. I guess this would make a bit more interactive… In the current scenario, people need to comment first then have to wait for hours patiently to check if their comment has been uploaded. C’on guys people here are matured enough. You don’t need to filter them. Though there will definately be some antisocial elements there. SO you can directly ban them to comment that’s it.
I think I m in love with this show that’s why M still here writing a this big comment.. Otherwise I would have left this show after wasting my 10 hours yesterday!!
So guys keep up the good work…Our wishes are with you…I know you can do it!!
I understand your point sir..but now the show is not about the teams doing this journey. It’s now about the followers. See the TRP of this show is now dependent on the number of followers they will get..if it doesn’t increase each passing day that means the event is flop..So obviously the teams should know what we want. Otherwise who will see their event..
It’s only a 10 days event and 2 days are already passed..So I think the teams should act fast…
But it’s not the fault of the teams. What they will do… Some are strugling to find the USB ports in their music systems and others don’t know how to use the GPS device… I mean the people here in teams doesn’t seems to be tech savvy… In the time they’ll be familier with the gadgets, till that time the show will be at it’s end ...
But still my hopes are high… I’ll be here till the end. The time will come when the teams will be familier with their gadgets…:) may be we can see some great post at that time…..
In the age of “live” cricket matches that people can watch on web, TV, mobile, PDAs and what not, when TGDC says the event would be ‘live”, they better mean it. And mean it at the same intensity.
If it cannot be lived, do not promise! Think twice, speak once. :o)
Am I expecting too much?
Posted by Ram on 08/08 at 09:55 PM
One question remains, how does TGDC decide an hourly and daily winner?
The teams are not even approving our comments. They are all positive comments btw. Do we just come on this TGDC blog and post our views? Does facebook count?
There are no objective rules in place.
Some suggestions Sandip, for season 2 (ignore them as you like). Just my 0.01
1. Be transparent and true. No clause of changing the rules mid way please. If absolutely required, allow a chance for a poll from followers at least. After all the event is about the fan following, not just dictatorship.
I still remember the first roadies season when just riding the bike was enough to earn it. I could not make it owing to unapproved leaves though, but now it has taken the shape of a great competition where people have to deserve the prize before they desire it.
And about examples:
Check out any reality show from anywhere in the world. The jury always explains why they like or dislike something or someone. The jury always explains or publicly publishes the questions asked to contestants before they shortlisted/rejected someone.
TGDC even has taken the shape of almost a reality show. Even if not, at least a momentum of the similar proportion. Keep up the faith of audience.
Posted by Ram on 08/08 at 10:15 PM
@ Ram - For the Final 3 from 12 - The Jury has been extremely observant with all 11 participating teams. I am told that some just ‘failed’ their driving tests, some on their route plan and some missed the ‘car and drive’ element in the ‘content creation’ segment. I cannot write on behalf of Jury, but will certainly request them for a post.
There are several posts (on this blog) on how the TOP 12 were selected, and I hope there is no confusion on that one.
The name of winners (lucky draw) are being conducted by an off-site CRM team. We email them a DB from the log files we collect, and they in turn email us back the winners list. We have received the first batch of names already and they shall be published later today.
Regarding testing of technology, hope you will appreciate that TGDC website has withstood all challenges over time. It has rarely, if ever, gone down. In an age when even Twitter/Facebook grind to a halt over an entire day, are you not setting your expectations too high for a puny digital agency working on a marketing budget that leaves little room to imagine or maneuver?
Posted by Sandip on 08/09 at 12:04 AM
@ Ajay Khatri
Please refer to the new post by Sandip on the blog entitled ‘Real is Boring’. I think Sandip has wonderfully articulated whatever needs to be said.
Nonetheless, isn’t it amazing to see such a lot of passion from fans about TGDC? We keep coming back oh so very often. TGDC certainly has got me hooked.
Posted by Aadil & Saniya Bandukwala on 08/09 at 01:30 AM
i i think u got my msg wrong
i just want 2 know on what points the final will b decided
i know they have 2 cover a distance of 3000 km in 12 days so its not abt speed driving
so how will they earn points to b selected as the final winner
its just 4 my knowledge yar
Posted by deepak on 08/09 at 12:54 PM