I'm a Social Media Entrepreneur, Professor of Digital Marketing, Author of 5 books, Podcaster and an Organic Farmer.



A visit to KofiBar in Auroville

Ever since I got to know Seed Snehal, I had always wanted to visit his Sapney Farms and his KofiBar cafe. Yesterday, I did both during our visit to Pondy. At KofiBar, we had the highly recommended Cold Coffee, which this place has become famous for. Here are some pics of the place.

The front facade of the cafe. Notice how the door has been converted into a social notice board.

The place is made up of my favorite materials, granite pillars and coconut keeths.

Notice the menu boards. The Cold Cofee is such a speciality that it earned itself a whole board for itself.

We particularly loved the pebbles. Walking on them was like getting free foot massage. Definitely getting these pebbles for our farm too.

How to Have your Lawn Mowed for Free!!

Village life is wonderfully symbiotic. People beautifully coexist and help each other. In this case, grass in our field was overgrown and had to be trimmed. On the other hand, the neighbours’ cows had to be fed. It was an easy solution. We let the cows graze. They do such a good job.

Notice how they keep a leash on the cows. Its important to not let the cows enter the cultivated areas. The owners of the cows are also into agriculture and they clearly know their boundaries of freedom. — at Vaksana Farms.

My kids playing with a calf. They love baby animals. Until we get our own livestock, they will have to make do with our neighbours’. — at Vaksana Farms.

That’s Rajendran, the talented village carpenter. — at Vaksana Farms.

Cows grazing at the entrance of our farm. — at Vaksana Farms.

At our Farm

Scene at our farm yesterday. This is what happens when you try to plough the field when its still slushy.

Social media not necessarily a great sales medium

As I was about to leave the Retail Summit, Murali De whipped out his trademark Sony video recorder and asked me an innocuous question. Little did I realize that it would end up as a full fledged story. Here it is in all honesty, speaking from experience.

Original Link: http://goo.gl/KHw6MQ

Original Article:

The retail summit of Jessie Paul had just concluded, and Kiruba Shankar was gathering his podcast gear, when I asked him about a question that kept coming up during the panel discussions – the relevance of social media to selling.

“I am a big believer in social media. There is no doubt about it. But I think it is also important for us to realise the shortcomings of social media itself. I personally believe that social media is an excellent interaction engagement tool but not necessarily a great sales medium,” began Kiruba.

Sales medium

When I say sales medium, imagine if a bunch of us are sitting across in a coffee shop, and suddenly a guy from an insurance company comes right in and says,‘Would you like to buy my insurance?’That’s the equivalent of how advertisers go and advertise on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Because we are all on these platforms not to see ads but to really engage with our friends. At the same time it is a fantastic opportunity forbrands to give useful information to the audiences. It is a good way for them to get their brand on the top-of-mind recall. And, eventually, sales will happen.

So, there is no doubting the fact that it’s a great influencing tool, but it’s not a sales fulfilment platform.The sooner the brands realise this, the better it is for them.

Online, offline

Great sales or great leads happen when there is a combination of offline and online. Take, for example, any conference that happens. It really needs physical speakers to come out there and speak, and physical people or the audience,to hear it straight from the speaker and have a post-conference discussion. Eventually, business happens. Similarly, for brands, I think offline presence does wonders, and helps with the conversation online, and thus engagement happens.

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