Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More interactive home pages

India’s Internet user-base is growing at a rapid clip. With 35 million users, India is the fourth largest in Net usage – the first three being the US (205 million), China (111 million) and Japan (86 million).

Though no authentic data is available, there seems to be a sea change in the needs of Net users in recent times. The accent is now on interactivity.

Mirroring the change are initiatives of top sites likes rediff.com and Yahoo!

Last month rediff.com overhauled its home page. This month it is the turn of Yahoo! to carry out the ‘most significant’ redesign of the site since its launch in 1994.

“Today’s Internet users are passionate about expressing themselves and contributing to the online conversation that is occurring every day among the estimated 500 million users of Yahoo! branded Web properties around the world,” Cammie Dunaway, Chief Marketing Officer, Yahoo! Inc, has told exchange4media. “We encourage these talented people to join us in celebrating the new Yahoo! home page with their own personal videos.”

In a media interview earlier this month, George Zacharias, Managing Director, Yahoo! India, said, "By using innovative technology, we were able to redefine what a home page could and should be. With an increased focus on search, content and community, we have built a home page that adds value and excitement for our users and advertisers."

Zacharias was earlier President and Chief Operating Officer of Sify.
Sify too is in the news. Raju Vegesna, Chairman, Sify, has taken over as the company’s Managing Director & CEO. R Ramaraj resigned from the posts of MD & CEO on Tuesday.

With these changes at the top, Sify might not lag behind in the revamp race, considering the rapid changes in the Net-user profile.

Explaining the reasons for the changes on the homepage and the inside pages, Ajit Balakrishnan, Founder and CEO, rediff.com, has said, “The Internet is first, and foremost, about helping you connect with the world. The joy of being online is all about the interesting people you encounter and the opportunity to exchange views through the various tools we provide: Blogs (ILand), Social Networking (Connexions), Instant Messaging (Bol), Matchmaking (Matchmaker). We have gathered all these community services together under 'Featured Users' and hope this will make it easier for you to participate in our community.”

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