Yes, we have it. 🙂

But internet service is terrible and unreliable. I live in Bombay (Mumbai), which you’d think is pretty up there in being the most technologically advanced city in the country and should have awesome internet services. Nopes. During the monsoons, you’re bound to lose service for a few weeks. My personal favorite excuse from Sify (our old internet provider) was that someone had CUT THE WIRES or that the lines were down because they were working on IMPROVING the system for us. At one point my entire family had memorized their hotline number.

ISPs in Bombay also don’t deliver the bandwidth you signed up for. Say you have a 56K connection, you’d actually get a 28K.  So you have to go for plan above yours.  (Found a funny blog post/rant on this, click here). According to internettrafficreport.com, Asia has the worst internet with the longest response time and highest packet loss).

Anyhow! Here are some numbers I found that compare internet in India and Asia to the rest of ze world.

% of internet users around the world
Asia: 39.5%
Europe: 26.3%
N. America: 17%

China: 17.2%
USA: 15%
India: 4.1%

Apparently there are 1.463 billion people who use the internet. (that’s a LOT)

number of internet users
Asia: 578 million users
China: 253 million
USA: 220 million
India: 60 million

penetration rates (% of the country that’s online)
Asia:  15.3%
India:  5.2%
China: 19.0%
USA:   72.5%

fun facts about India
India’s population (2008 est): 1.147 billion
# of internet users in 2000: 5 million
# of internet users now: 60 million
user growth: 1,100%

(according to internetworldstats.com)

India is a huge country and while there’s millions of people in the cities, there’s a huge population that lives in villages in the middle of the country and don’t even know what computers are. Yes, there are cities like Bangalore which are famous worldwide for being IT help desks, but internet in India has a long way to go. And it definitely affects the online social scene. Try facebook stalking someone when it sometimes takes a minute to load each page. Or up to 20 minutes to load a video on YouTube. Of course the speed isn’t always that bad, and it doesn’t stop people from logging on 24/7. But it’s something to keep in mind, especially after being used to Internet and social media in the US. And with big companies like Reliance entering the ISP market, it’ll be interesting to see how the internet there will grow.

One of the hardest things about blogging: knowing where to start.

I guess I should start by saying that this part of my blog will be dedicated to the social media scene in India.

I was introduced to the world of social media through my marketing extra curriculars at Emerson College. I worked on an AIM campaign for the National Student Advertising Competition 2008 (sponsored by the American Advertising Federation). I was part of Emerson’s McMahon & Tate team. (We came 5th in nationals btw!) That whole experience led to me taking up a social media internship at Schneider Associates, a PR agency in Boston. And now I plan to start and maintain a blog for my Honors Thesis (due Dec. 12 at 5pm!).

Back to the topic of this blog, as an Indian studying abroad, I’m always curious as to what’s going on back home.  I know from personal experience that hi5 was huge there a couple of years ago. And now facebook is huge (seriously, everyone sends me a million superpokes and application invites!!).

So that’s me. If you come across this blog, happy reading, and I hope you find my future posts helpful/insightful/entertaining… I hope you like them enough to come back!

Nidhi Makhija

p.s. googled “Social Media India” and got 9,260,000  results.  this should be fun 🙂