The Gray Hair Speaketh

Advice that is largely Unsolicited.. – A Social Network for the cricket addicts

Brajeshwar presented his new venture,, at the Startup Saturday event.

What is it about?

oCricket is supposed to be a Social Network, specifically dedicated to cricket fans. With the typical features of social networks, including friends, sharing, commenting, etc. A genuine Web 2.0 product.

What more?

One of the key features that Brajeshwar showcased was a way to link any media content from anywhere on the net, quickly to one’s account on oCricket. The ease of this linking, and then the content showing up on oCricket, along with the necessary copyright disclaimers, is a neat feature. Using this, the property can get a lot of good images, videos very quickly, once the users start using these features.

Other obervations:

The site is strong on technical aspect. Features appear to be quite rugged and well coded. The site also presents a very professional, international look and feel. The site is hosted on Amazon cloud computing, enabling cost efficiency on hosting costs. As Brajeshwar mentioned, many other useful tools are also bought on a small monthly fee basis, keeping the overall running costs low. At this time, there were no revenue options visible, and Brajeshwar mentioned that several plans were there, but these would be coming up in time, once usage traction is found.

Wisdom Nuggets:

1. It appeared that the entire content was user generated. Which is perfectly fine. But which means that the key input from the site owners is the technology input, which allows the social network to flourish. Then, in reality, there is not a lot of investment done by the team, on the vertical per se. Cricket has been chosen for its popularity, but beyond that, it is incidental. Then, it could very well make sense to quickly scale up the project by creating a whole bunch of similar properties, and port the same features there as well. Be it say, for all sports (oFootball, oTennis, oF1Racing, etc. etc.) to carry the sports theme through, or say, pick India’s biggest engagement verticals, other than cricket, viz. oBollywood and oPolitics. In doing so, there is enough traction that could come, without additional costs, and for a user, there may be multiple interests, and a higher level of engagement, after having acquired him.

2. If this is not done, there needs to be a very serious compelling reason for a user to come to this site, specially for cricket alone. Would one not expect such neat groups to be found on one’s own existing social network, be it Facebook or Orkut or whatever? oCricket will be well served then, to quickly come up with Facebook apps for their offering.

3. There are no apparent entry barriers. Having said that, I buy Brajeshwar’s point on the same. No one has done it before, and they can grab the piece, if there is one. Others will have to fight and catch up, once oCricket gets some critical mass.

4. There is a serious doubt about the copyright factor. At least in my mind. Is it right to pick up content from FlickR or other sites, and just put it up here, and acknowledge the source? I am not sure how other content owners will feel about this?

5. There is also the Google search engine factor, with respect to the same point. Will it not be duplicate content, when it is showing up at the multiple locations? Google does not really like that from a search engine positioning point of view. This could work against oCricket.

6. The revenue model is again a challenge. How long can the site continue to work without revenues? There is a hope to be able to raise venture funding. In today’s investment climate, if it does not happen soon, where does that put oCricket? Without some brand building budgets, growing registered users may become a challenge. And lack of revenue options will put pressures on the finances, I suspect.

7. There is also the challenge of easily differentiating in a congested space. There are tons of cricket sites on the Internet. Is oCricket very different? Will it appeal to users significantly more than others? Why? And does that ‘why’ get answered intuitively when you reach the site?

8. Cricket has not been a vertical to draw a lot of advertising. The demography of a cricket lover is quite diverse, and not a highly targeted one, from an advertiser’s point of view. So will there be money to be made on a cricket vertical? That is a challenge.

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    February 22, 2009 - Posted by | cricket, Social Networking, Startup | , ,


    1. […] Euro News 24 | Top news headlines on current events – Euro News 24 wrote an interesting post today on – A Social Network for the cricket addictsHere’s a quick excerptCricket has not been a vertical to draw a lot of advertising. The demography of a cricket lover is quite diverse, and not a highly targeted one… […]

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