November 01, 2006

Taking Stock.

Will Asia's leadership in WAP usage be overshadowed by Africa ?

In early October 2006, we recorded 1 million registered users and it felt a good time to take stock of things.

Males dominate our membership at 69%, and the bulk of users (72%) were from Asia. While this trend continues and Asian registrations increase - with growing usage from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan - there were notable exceptions from South Africa (15%) , Nigeria and Romania. South Africa in particular, surged in usage in the 7 months since launch in February 06.

While Asian countries countinue to lead usage of the service, the rapid rise of African usage suggests a voracious appetite for WAP. Even as we tallied our users, new prospects appeared - from East Africa.
Across all markets, young adults aged 20-35 are active members of the community, making up some 82% of the population of myGamma users.

In a 2005 survey of users from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand we found some 40% of the users have a diploma or higher. Among these early users, 70% were single while 20% were married.

Even as we take stock of the new markets we are in, these profiles seem to be repeated as new users make their presence felt in chat, blogs and photo contributions.

South Africa's top moblogs on myGamma

Only 29% of EU Internet users access the web on mobile devices

July 01, 2006

Who Uses myGamma Anyway ?

Marketers targetting only teenagers or Web surfers may be missing other opportunities !

We added a new function to myGamma today. It's called C-Mail (for cell mail), and it lets members send & receive e-mails to and from their WAP phones. All members will now have a email address; one that they retain even when they change their phone numbers.

Yes, this is just another free email service; but, chances are, this is the first email account for a mobile internet user. You see, most who access the internet via the mobile almost never, or rarely, use a PC to surf. ( Mobile marketers take note, mobiles aren't just a teenage thing! Mobile internet users and Internet users aren't neccessarily the same people.)

Then there are those who just simply can't get to a PC.

Diviya, a diet consultant from Kolkata, India, was recuperating from hip surgery when she found myGamma through friends. Immobility can be a tough prison to break from, but Diviya found escape through her gamma buddies. She’d spend about 10 hours each day online and soon became their agony aunt, dispensing advice on marriage, children and food. One of her pearls of wisdom is Fruit Mondays, “just fruits & no cooked food on Mondays. Helps to purge the system of carbohydrates”, she advised.

Like Diviya, 95% of mygamma users access the service via mobile phones; it is their primary, perhaps even their only, access to the Internet. The new email addition means that users like Diviya can now exchange photos and videos as attachments to their emails.

This is a big step - our members can now enjoy the mobility and simplicity of webmail on their phones too. C-mails do not require a special email client, set-ups or scynchronisation as with Blackberry or Treo.

myGamma members include tea merchants from Assam, stuntmen from Hydrabadi film studios, real estate agents, butchers, etc. And the pattern is repeated across many different countries. In Thailand they are farmers from Ayuthya and Kanchanaburi. In the metropolitan areas, they are food shop owners, market stall holders, waiters and waitresses.

Active users like Daviya generate some 2mil pageviews per day whether through their blogs, chat , member votes or the various activities on myGamma.

More on our Members
More on C-mail

February 19, 2006

Spreading the Word

WAP does resemble the Web and the hyperlink proves mighty again !

The service has been operational some 18 months now and has grown into a full fledged mobile community, with offerings in most of Asia, USA, South Africa and United Kingdom. The bloggers are blogging and..... the chatters are chatting. But what do I call people who ask for testimonials with “I testi u, u testi me?”

We though, are often asked how we market myGamma throughout, what can only be described as, an incongruous mix of markets - like, Thailand, South Africa, Brunei …huh? Short answer – WAP links; hyperlinks on other mobile sites! It’s little surprise that links work; this, after all, is still the internet.

But what has come as a surprise to many is the number of Wap sites out there. We draw our membership by pooling traffic with sites from many countries. To date we have partnered with more than 6,000 sites globally to gain an international distribution. Of course, not all of them become ‘major distributors’ and only the good few remain as distribution partners. Europe, in particular, is home to services that are widely used by mobile surfers from all over the world.

The strength of our distribution network is supported by our own network of member pages or ‘Mobile Homes’. Members create Wap sites with entries that invariably include links to other members or to other sites. Links are invariably exchanged, traffic circulated and more get to find out about mygamma. It’s a simple but sustainable member-get-member programme; one that keeps new members asking “If I testi you, will you testi me?”

Do you collect testimonials ?
What can you do with Mobile Homes ?
Our network of Publishers