India Uncut

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Making connections

Devangshu Datta writes in Business Standard:
Orkut has designed a neat feature that replaces the common friend. It’s called “Crush” and it creates a market in matching concealed intentions. On Orkut, if you fancy somebody, you confide in Crush. Your attraction is secret. It is only revealed if the object of your crush also tells Orkut that he or she is attracted to you. Then both parties are informed.
Joyful. Now I know why the kids hang out there. Anyway, Devangshu then muses on how this mechanism could be used in other fields:
In a discussion I read on the personal blog of one of the world’s best CIOs, a media-planner outlined a common situation where Crush might help.

An ad falls through at the last moment. The media host scrambles to find a replacement ad, offering huge discounts. What if “replacement advertisers” could each bid the rate at which they were prepared to place last-minute ads? Those bids would be accessed by a media host only if its primary advertisers cancelled. The media industry would see a major drop in stress levels and the market for discounted ads would clear.

It may work in high-level headhunting also. A CEO or CIO is reluctant to place his CV on an open site like for fear that his current employer will get wind of it. The meatspace headhunter is the “common friend”. Suppose instead that a high-level exec could list alternative employers of choice on a closed site? These would only be revealed if one of those specific employers made a specific request to hire him, perhaps after putting down a substantial surety.
And so on. Great possibilities open, as the internet's power to enable connections finds yet another extension. Orgasmic cacophony explodes surreptitiously.

Update (November 18): Devangshu writes in to mention that his article was based on this post by Anant Rangaswami. Should have updated this earlier, but have been madly busy, and am just trying to skim through a few hundred unopened mails now. Sigh.
amit varma, 5:42 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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