Monday, February 18, 2008

D(eoxyribo)N(ucleic) A(cid)

A lot of people have been asking us with curious eyes: "Does 'We are India' imply that you're only a platform for Indians?"
It's now been asked enough times for it to go down as a blog post, and in due course, on our website.

I'm tempted to discuss the etymology of We are India- but it's going to bore you to death, so I'm going to shy away from the usual speak on democratization (heck...even Reliance talks about democratization these days...) and empowerment.

Instead, I'm going to ask myself some questions.
And I'll answer them myself, too.

// Q:
Are you only a platform for Indians?
A: No. We are a platform by Indians....not an exclusive platform for Indians.
Yes, our current focus is to be able to hunt down Indian film-makers, wherever they are. And that's purely a resource issue- we want to focus our efforts so that we make the most of each region we touch.

// Q: Why "We are India"??!!
A: We are today's India that cares precious little about geography, boundaries, and differences. We look, we listen, we reach out, we diversify, we imbibe, we exude, we aspire, we perspire, we shake hands, we rub shoulders, and we participate actively in the globalization of the world.
So, we wanted to build up a platform that is reflective of who we are today, and how we see ourselves tomorrow.

// Q: I'm X-stani or Y-deshi. I feel weird about putting my work up on a platform that claims: "We are India".
A: Go away.

// Q: I'm X-stani or Y-deshi. Can I put up my work on your platform?
A: Of course! You're very welcome to do so. In fact, if we get enough folks from your stan or desh, we'll even help you build your own WeareXstan.TV or WeareYdesh.TV....
Point is, we're totally cool about who publishes on our platform. Remember that we are business folk, artists and technologists. No politicians or nationalists among us. We like big...biiiigggg parties, and the more of you on our platform, the louder we can be.

// Q: So, who's the audience for WeareIndia.TV?
A: 3 answers to this, all of which hold true.

- The exciting answer: folks like the 25 researchers hanging out at Maitri, in Antarctica, who go into convulsions when people tell them about the "March of the Penguins".
(All due respect, but they need some quality entertainment that keeps them in touch with their home. We're not sure if Zee TV reaches them. )

- The boring answer, adapted from our business plan: "...
the platform is an avenue for publishers to showcase their content to niche audiences in broadband-equipped global markets, including the Indian diaspora abroad."
(Zee TV reaches them, but it's really bad content...the stuff you saw on TV in India, last year. Plus, they need satellite TV subscriptions, which is no good if you're at work on your lunch break. And there are some really good online platforms as well, like Rajshri, Tinselvision, etc. but what if you don't want to watch a full-length song-and-dance Bollywood flick?)

- The realistic answer: anyone on the Internet.
(which is why we're saying......ALL ARE WELCOME.)

// Q: Why shouldn't I go to YouTube?
A: You should. They are an awesome platform too. However, be forewarned of the needle(your video) in the haystack(72 million videos on YouTube) problem.

// Q: How do you differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other video sharing websites out there?
A: First off, we're not creating a "video sharing website". We're building an Internet TV network. It takes some effort to tell the difference, so let's just keep it at that for now.
Second, we aren't going to let you take a funky clip on your camera phone(no matter how mind-blowing-ly awesome it is, dude...) and upload it here. We have some general rules of the thumb: your content has to be professionally produced(with a real camera), it has to have narrative value(Coke + Mentos doesn't count), and it needs to be work that you have ownership of(or work that you are permitted to distribute/showcase, even for monetary gains).

There's a lot more. Our technology platform includes stuff you've rarely seen, and we're going to keep improving/enhancing it as we go along to make the user experience unsurpassed.

At some point, you're going to start seeing publisher tools that give you more control over what you can do with your films, beyond just publish.
I have to be hush-hush on this, but the idea here is to give you the freedom to create your own Internet TV platform.

And your platform would be a part of our Internet TV network.
Get it? :)