Social Media in Sri Lanka

Author Archives: Indulekha Nanayakkara

Google Business Group – Colombo (better known as GBG Colombo) is organizing something really interesting! They are planning on a series of Google training workshops in Sri Lanka. But for now, they are looking for “trainers” and they are calling out for those who are good at public speaking and in general training others.

Trainer_flyer 1

Basically GBG Colombo will train these “trainers” and those people will then help GBG Colombo to help train their members and the rest of the public on Google products. This will be done free of charge in all aspects and will definitely be a great opportunity for those who love to learn more about Google products!

Here’s the official flyer for more details. And remember, the deadline is Sunday, 23rd Feb – just 2 days more! If you need further information you can email gbgcolombo@gmail.com

1964515_10152195492717435_140736356_n (1)

 

To receive the latest updates and future event details, follow the official GBG Srilanka Pages:
Google+ : http://goo.gl/BB0H0q
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/GBGsrilanka

To join the GBG Colombo community and meet like-minded people, go here:
Google+ Community: http://goo.gl/HXapxD
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GBGcolombo

Follow GBG Colombo Twitter: http://twitter.com/GBGcolombo


Hi Everyone!

This is my first blog post for 2014 and this one is going to be a little different :)

I was really busy as the new year began and renewing this website completely slipped my mind, despite the fact that I had set reminder alarms at 1-week, 3-days and 1-day prior to expiration. About a week after expiration I realized the site had expired! Since I don’t use a credit card (let’s not discuss my reservations here! lol), I asked my ever-so-helpful boss if he could renew the site for me. After attempting to pay several times, he told me the site kept giving him an error message every time. So the next day while in office, I asked 2 colleagues to help me make the payment with 2 different credit cards and the site kept giving me an error message that I’m trying to make a payment from an unsupported country!

I was completely distressed and asked a few others who came back with the same issue. With no where else to turn, I resorted to WordPress support and raised a private ticket on the issue. They replied and we conversed back and forth a few days with no clear solution. Then today, I saw the site had been renewed. The funny thing was that no one I knew were able to make a payment. Curious, I checked the support message thread and saw a reply from the WordPress staff member I was corresponding with, that they had not only paid the $18 site renewal fee but also the $80 redemption penalty – because they knew I had been having difficulty to make the transaction and during which the website had already gone into redemption. So they’ve decided to save it for me!

I’m still in complete surprise and almost in tears with happiness! And decided to dedicate my first blog post for 2014 to WordPress. Thank you guys! Your support rocks!! <3


facebook home

I was waiting to download Facebook Home on 12th April as was announced by Mark Zuckerberg but was disappointed when it said ‘not available in your region’ on Google Play. However, this morning my boss said it was finally available on Google Play so I quickly downloaded it to try it out. At first I was a bit confused as to how I was supposed to get out of the Cover Feed and get to my apps. After playing around it for a few minutes I figured it out and quickly fell in love with it.

I love the big images that slide over my screen. I like this better than live wallpapers or other image based wallpapers because these are not just images, they are images from my friends or form the brands I like and follow and each image has a story or a message for me to follow up with.

I also like the fact that I can easily interact with notifications. For the past few months I’ve neglected so many notifications – literary hundreds of them because I don’t want to distract my work-time with Facebook (ironically, thought I HAVE TO BE ON Facebook almost all the time when I’m at work). So this app gives me an easier way to access Facebook on-the-go when I have small pockets of time to ‘waste’ on Facebook.

So yes, so far I’m in love with Facebook Home and I wrote this other post on the Loops Solutions blog – check it out. Maybe some of you are indifferent towards it altogether and couldn’t care less. But don’t judge until you download and try it for yourself. Unfortunately this app is only available on certain mobile phones such as Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and HTC One X+. If you have one of them, lucky you!

I’m curious to know how many of you love this app and how many hate – and of course WHY? So, try it out and let me know what you think. Post a comment here or on Loops blog.


Google Business Group SrilankaGBG Colombo’s first meetup for 2013 is today. The theme for this evening is ‘Innovation‘. The special guest for the evening is Julian Persaud who will be speaking on ‘Innovation at Google’.

Julian Persaud

Google_Julian_Persaud
Julian Persaud  is the Managing Director of Southeast Asia Sales and Operations for Google Inc., overseeing sales, marketing and partnership development in the region.
Prior to moving to Singapore, Mr. Persaud was based in Google’s Sydney office as the Head of Online for Google Australia, managing Google’s efforts to help small and medium sized Australian businesses take advantage of online advertising.
He was previously Head of Business Development at Google Australia, and has spent his entire career working in online businesses, including roles at Yahoo! Search Marketing and UK auction house QXL.
Here are the details of the GBG Colombo – March meetup:
Date   : Thursday, 21st March 2013
Time    : 6.30 PM
Venue : APIIT City Campus

Agenda:

➡ “Innovation at Google” by Julian Persaud, Managing Director of Southeast Asia, Google Inc.
➡ “Building an ecosystem to foster innovation” by Sanath Fernando
➡ “Using Innovative strategies in Eco Biz” by Sivahar Muthuramalingam
➡ “Innovating Marketing Solutions in the Digital Age” by Shehan Selvanayagam
➡ Refreshments & Networking session with Julian Persaud

You can register for today’s GBG Colombo event here – http://bit.ly/WGJi9s.

Networking With Speakers

GBG Colombo team is keen on having a longer networking session this time so the attendees can meet Julian Presaud as well as the other speakers of the evening, one-on-one. GBG Colombo team also encourages participants to network and make the most of the evening. For this event, APIIT Sri Lanka has been a generous venue provider as well as coming forward in providing the crowd with refreshments for the networking session. Free WiFi is provided courtesy Etisalat Sri Lanka.

Sanath Fernando

There are three other speakers who will be speaking at the event. First speaker Sanath Fernando has 20 years of industry experience and is currently Founder/CEO of Ridgecrest Asia (Pvt) Ltd., a company providing solutions in Global Capital Markets and Online Consumer Services. Prior to founding Ridgecrest, Mr. Fernando served as Managing Director of Charles Schwab’s Capital Markets division. He is also a Director at SLASSCOM and Co-Founder & Director of Lankan Angel Network.

Sivahar Muthuramalingam

Second speaker Sivahar Muthuramalingam is JCI TOYP 2012 Environment leadership award winner and is the Founder & Head of Marketing of Think Green (Pvt) Limited. He has 6 years experience on international trade and on environment management. Sivahar is a graduate from Edith Cowan Perth (Australia) and holds an MBA from University of Southern Queensland (Australia) He also received the prestigious Deans award for outstanding academic performances from University of Southern Queensland (Australia). Sivahar is been involved in Providing Electronic recycling & Eco friendly solutions since 2006 and formally set up ” Think Green” company in 2011 June. He is passionate about leading Think Green in providing innovative solutions to make Sri Lanka an environmentally sustainable destination of Asia.

Shehan Selvanayagam

The final speaker of the evening Shehan Selvanayagam is the CEO of Loops Solutions which is the leading Digital Marketing company in Sri Lanka currently providing digital media solutions for over 35 brands ranging from Small Business, Local Industry Leaders and Multinational Companies. He has over 10 years of experience in the E-Commerce Industry in Sri Lanka with an educational background of B.Sc in Business Management, Chartered Marketer as well as an MSc in Information Technology

RSVP

Registration and attendance for GBG Colombo is Free. You can also RSVP the official G+ event page and keep tabs of the details and any changes with regard to the event, which GBG Colombo will be making available on this space. This event will be broadcast live via Hangout On Air for those who are not in Colombo, Sri Lanka. HOA link will be posted on the G+ event page when the event commences.

Today is my birthday. Yes, yes, Happy Birthday to me! I was up since very early this morning and was preparing some documents for work. At one point I wanted to Google something and I visited google.com and what do I see? A special Google Doodle for my birthday! I was so thrilled, I couldn’t stop smiling :D

Google wishing me happy birthdayHow is it that this image is ‘personalised’? Notice when I had put the cursor on top of the image, it had said “Happy Birthday Indulekha!” Now isn’t that just awesome? :D

The obvious question now is, exactly how and why does this happen? Well, as I’ve read via a couple of blog articles such as this one on Mashable and this other blog post here, this is probably Google’s way of rewarding you for filling up your profile. Cute huh?

So how would you like to see a personalised doodle on your birthday from Google too? Just follow the instructions on this article and wait for that little surprise on you birthday!

How many of you have already seen your birthday Google doodle?


Hello my readers, today I would like to let you know that I will be doing a full day conference on Social Media Marketing on Tuesday, 12th February 2013 (that’s just a couple of days from now) from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM at the Galadari Hotel.

For whom

I would like to recommend this for beginners to intermediate level Social Media marketers or sometimes who we call ‘account managers’ and Page admins. Maybe this would not go down too well with absolute beginners who are clueless about SMM but I guess one could still learn a thing or two. I would also not recommend this to the ‘pros’ who’ve been in the industry for the past 2-3 years. Nope, you would find this pretty boring :)

How to participate

This conference is organised by McQuire Rens & Jones, the people who conduct all sorts of exclusive corporate training programs. You can find more details on how to participate, on their website HERE or you can check out the e-flyer below. For registrations and more details, call them on 0727-002002, 0115-833100 or 0115-836888.

If you want to know more about this from me, Tweet me @InduNan and I’ll be happy to help! :)

Social-Media_new

Feedback

If any of you are hoping to attend this conference, let me know in comments below and don’t forget to come say ‘Hi’ to me at the conference. Also, after attending the conference, I would love to hear your thoughts on it so go ahead and comment below when you come back – or you could always Tweet me :)

- Update -

If you’re at The Social Media Marketing Conference, you’re most welcome to live-tweet with the hashtag #SMMconSL13 and even G+ update if you like!

 


Google Hangouts OnAir

Google Sri Lanka has been very active during the past few months. I’ve already blogged about a couple of such initiatives HERE and HERE. The latest activity they’re working on is Google Music Hangouts On-Air under the hashtag #RipplesOfMusic.

A small group of Bloggers, Social Media activists and Tweeps were invited to CIOCONAT lounge, Colombo 07 last Friday (11th January 2013) to officially introduce the concept. Music Hangouts On-Air is a collaborative effort among Google Srilanka, Music.lk and Neo@Ogilvy, the agency partner for the project. One aim of the organizers is that #RipplesOfMusic will showcase the use of Hangouts as well as Hangouts On-Air to the local public. But even more than this, they hope that through the use of Hangouts, which is a free service offered by Google, the up-coming and not so popular musicians will have an equal opportunity platform to reach the public.

Speaking at the gathering, Google Sri Lanka – Country Consultant, Rohan Jayaweera said that he hopes the public will take the cue from #RipplesOfMusic and create a variety of spin-offs such as tech and other subject discussion hangouts, sports discussions, dance performances etc. He said he also hopes #RipplesOfMusic will not be the only music related hangout. When asked what #RipplesOfMusic hashtag stands for, he said with a quick grin; “Google+ Circles!“. Of course!

What’s Cool About Google Hangouts

The beauty of these hangouts would be that the content delivered via them would be Srilanka specific. This would not only reach the talent of local musicians to a vast public who are spread out through the island and connected only via an internet connection; but also to the international community.

#RipplesOfMusic

So when and how does all this begin? Wednesday, 16th January from 9.00PM to 9.30PM via Google Hangouts On-Air feature. The first guest will be popular singer Lahiru Perera and the discussion will be moderated or hosted by another popular singer and television personality Devashrie De Silva. The link to the Hangout will be available on the Music.lk website. I’ll be updating this post when the link becomes available.

Things won’t stop there, nope! #RipplesOfMusic will be held every Wednesday from 9.00PM – 9.30PM via Hangouts On-Air with a new music personality each week. The first few episodes will be held with known musicians. However, the organizers invite all budding musicians to come onboard. If that’s not cool enough, every week, a selected few will be able to participate in the Q & A session. However, your will be required to send in your questions via Music.lk’s dedicated page. In addition, anyone and everyone will be able to view the Hangout On-Air, live over their computer, because, well – this is not just a Hangout – It’s a Hangouts On-Air; which means anyone will be able to watch it online. Plus, it will be available to watch on YouTube later.

Music.lk

Meanwhile, Music.lk folks said they wanted to go with the whole concept of Hangouts On-Air due to several reasons. The biggest one being that, as opposed to conventional meetups with a musicians where one needs a number of high-end and expensive resources for recording purposes, Hangouts only require a couple of laptops, webcams and additional microphones. Well, technically speaking they could just use a laptop but for a slightly better viewing pleasure they decided to use additional webcams and mics. In addition, they could just conduct the discussion right from the musician and the host’s home and the viewers too can watch from the comfort of their home. Most of all, it’s the direct interaction with the musician and the virality of the entire event.

First time in Asia-Pacific

It was interesting to note that according to Rohan, this is the first time Google is initiating something of this magnitude, related to Hangouts in Asia-Pacific region. This means the entire region would be basically watching how this takes of in Sri Lanka. Pretty exciting huh? Rohan also said that their next aim would be to have people join the #RipplesOfMusic Hangouts On-Air via their smartphones, even on the go.

Upcoming Google Activities

Google is also conducting a series of seminars this week, starting from today. These are completely FREE of charge and are conducted by Googlers from Singapore. Here are the details:

Monetizing Apps with AdMob
Tuesday 15th January, 6:30 PM at Dialog Axiata G+
Go to G+ Event page

Introduction to AdSense & Google Display Network (GDN)
Wednesday 16th January, 9:30 AM at Dialog Telekom
Go to G+ Event page

Advanced session on AdSense & Google Display Network (GDN)
Thursday 17th January, 9:30 AM at Dialog Telekom
Go to G+ Event page

To attend or register for these events, all you have to do is follow the link to any of the G+ Event pages and RSVP “Yes”.  I hope those who are interested in these topics would take this rare opportunity. So, who’s attending what? Hope to see some of you there!


The latest activity of Google in Sri Lanka took place today, with Google Srilanka conducting a training program for Agencies on “Google Campaigns“.

Google’s email invitation that was communicated to agencies said that they were committed to developing the agency capacity of Sri Lanka and this they believe would be the catalyst for developing the online market and industry.

Today’s training – Foundation & Intermediary level session on Google Campaigns – was the first of a two-day program. The training session was targeted at new members and beginners to developing campaigns with Google and was held at the Dialog Future World auditorium this morning.

Srinidhi Srinath, Agency consultant for Google South East Asia conducted the training session. First he explained the two different processes that take place when someone types in a search query and hits the “Google Search” button; pointing out that the two different processes; Google search results, which appear on the left side and Google AdWords, which appear on the right side of the page were completely independent of each other. Then he got the crowd to take a closer look at the ad auction in determining the ad position. According to him, Ad rank is equal to the Quality score (or relevance) combined with Maximum cost per click (or the willingness to pay). He also discussed some of the interesting Google projects such as Project Re:Brief and Google Display Network.

The second part of the program – Advanced level training – will be held tomorrow (15th November 2012) for team members of local agencies with experience in developing campaigns with Google.

Meanwhile, Srinidhi Srinath will also speak at another Google related event, GBG Colombo. Also known as Google Business Group in Colombo, the third meetup of GBG Colombo will take place this Friday (16th November 2012) 6.00PM at the Srilanka Foundation Institute on Independence Square. If any of you who are reading, is interested in attending this event, FOLLOW THIS LINK to register and RSVP the event.


Google Business Group Srilanka

Those who have heard of the GBG Colombo, also known as Google Business Group in Colombo and those who have been eagerly awaiting the next GBG Colombo event, you would be interested to learn that the next GBG Colombo meetup will be held on the 16th of November. Here are the details and how to register to attend this event.

Date – Friday, 16th November 2012

Time – 6.00pm

Venue – Srilanka Foundation Institute, #100, Independence Square, Colombo 7

Agenda:

Welcome + Introduction
1. Digital Landscape Overview by Jana Levene – Emerging Markets Programs Manager, Google
2. Improving Your Google Search Rankings by Shamelle Perera – Senior Project Manager, Creative Solutions
3. EndIgnornace.com by Taha Bawa – Founder, endignorance.com
4. TedExYouth by Dilumi Dissanayake – Head Curator, TEDxYouth@Colombo
5. Google+ Workshop by Hadi Mohd Mini – Outreach Program Manager, Google (bring your laptops would definitely help!)
Vote of thanks by Rohan Jayaweera – Country Consultant, Google Srilanka
Refreshments + Networking Session

Click HERE to Register and RSVP the event.

If you’d like to email or notify your friends the ‘Registration + RSVP form’  or  invite them to GBG Colombo, use this link: http://bit.ly/UAhOfm

Third GBG Colombo Meetup

This time, the GBG Colombo has great timing since some Google folks are in town. There will be two speakers from Google Inc. scheduled to speak at the November GBG. Jana Levene – Emerging Markets Programs Manager, Google will be speaking about Digital Landscape Overview. The second speaker, Hadi Mohd Mini – Outreach Program Manager, Google will conduct a mini workshop on Google+ which is what I personally can’t wait for! And of course, bringing your laptop for the G+ workshop would definitely help.

What is GBG Colombo

For those who haven’t heard of GBG Colombo yet or what’s Google doing in Srilanka, go read the post I wrote  in view of the second GBG meetup in Colombo. They had their first ever meetup back in May this year.

If you’re on Google+ don’t forget to RSVP and invite your friends who might be interested in attending – by going to the official G+ event link HERE:

How can you connect with GBG Colombo

The official page is on Google+
GBG Colombo has a Facebook group, LinkedIn group and are also on Twitter.

More updates to come, stay tuned :)


Disclaimer: I'm part of the organizing committee at GBG Colombo

The annual BIG DAY of the Srilankan Twittersphere takes place tomorrow. Twitter is abuzz and the Tweeps are excited! This time, the meet-up is expected to be the biggest so far! So what exactly is TweetupSL? – wait, there are STILL people who don’t know what it is..? :D

Date: Saturday, 1st September 2012

Time: 3.00 PM

Venue: The Warehouse Project, Tripoli Road (Orabi Pasha Mawatha), Maradana, Colombo.

Registration:  http://tweetupsl.org

First TweetupSL

As history has been re-told several times over on many many blog posts and tweets, the first ever TweetupSL took place two years ago, that’s on the 26th of August 2010 at Coco Veranda. The event was inspired by a meet-up plan between two tweeps, @Moshanthi and @Udaraumd and this is the historic istoric tweet that record this incident. Later that month, TweetupSL was held with the participation of over 100 Twitter users. Here are a list of blog articles I Googled up for your reading pleasure:

TweetupSL. The First Ever Public Tweetup in Sri Lanka

TweetupSL a Major Success (With Over 100 Tweeple Participating)

Sri Lanka: TweetupSL a Major Success

TweetupSL Photos 1

TweetupSL Photos 2

It must be mentioned that the activity give-aways, venue, food and beverage – sponsors deserve a huge thank from the organizers of this event, without whom this very first TweetupSL that gave rise to the next, would not have been possible.

TweetupSL 2

After much talk over TweetupSL and many tweets later, the second TweetupSL was held almost exactly a year later – on the 27th of August, due to the overwhelming requests from the ever increasing Srilankan Twitter population. This time, Dialog took a huge step forward to providing the venue along with a lot of other facilities; and just like at the first TweetupSL, a unique TweetupSL T-shirt was given away to almost all participants. The event was a huge success with over twice as much participation as the first. Here’s a collection of articles written on this event:

GEEK WEEK PART 2: TWEETUP SL2

TweetUpSL 2. Pack the gear before you come

TweetupSL 2 – Yin Yang today!

The epic Trail of TweetupSL 2 comes to an end

Sri Lankan Tweeps Gather for TweetupSL 2

TweetUp SL 2, Today

#TweetUpSL Part Deux

Lets Trend #TweetupSL worldwide

And here’s what I wrote,

TweetupSL is happening today! For the second time in Sri Lanka

Documentation of Tweets sent for TweetupSL 2 with #TweetupSL hashtag:

Twitter Report on #TweetupSL – Part II

500 Tweets on #TweetupSL

TweetupSL 2 attendees were given food vouchers from @PereraAndSons and this inspired another, smaller-scale tweetup called TweetupSL 2.5 where those with the food vouchers were invited to come over to a Perera And Sons outlet to make use of those vouchers. This took place on 1st September 2011. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend this!

So what about TweetupSL 3

That’s tomorrow! And all attendees were expected to register and RSVP at the official TweetupSL website http://tweetupsl.org. Dialog is giving away a Tshirt to all those who have marked their T-shirt size on the site and also introducing a Loyalty Scheme for the tweeps who are subscribers of Dialog. Food will be provided by Coco Veranda and Drinks will be courtesy of Elephant House.

The very generous sponsors have made it possible to organize this year’s TweetupSL successfully. A special ‘thank you’ goes out to Dialog and Coco Veranda for their undying support and being part of the organizing team from the start!

And if you’ve been curious to find out who are the Tweeps behind TweetupSL… They are (in no particular order), Udara, Amitha, Chamara, Himal, Shazly, Mili, Muhammad, Nazly, Lasantha, Sarath, Uditha and yes, Moi :) You can find their details on the Contact page on TweetupSL website.

So here’s what I’d like to know – are YOU planning on attending TweetupSL 3 tomorrow? And WHY (what are you expectations)? If you’re not going to come, why not?

Image credits: geordiearmani.comblog.gremln.comtweetupsl.org

This Blog post is dedicated to @moshanthi & @udara



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