Is Rediff playing to its strengths?3 min read

Or is it trying too hard and spreading itself thin?

Being a regular to Rediff.com, for over 8 years now, I have seen the site evolve into many things. But my main interest even today, is to catch up on news and articles…Rediff is only one C to me, which is content. When it comes to other Cs(Communication,Collaboration and Commerce), I go elsewhere.

Same is the case with many of my friends both in India and USA. Most of us use google, yahoo, hotmail and specific sites for other services. My friends in USA like the entertainment section the best, while the guys in India devour it like a complete newspaper. Infact, the loyalty is so strong that often our discussions end when someone points to what has been said in rediff, and it is taken as the final word. I feel the closest Rediff comes to interms of brand is ‘The Hindu’. But Rediff also enjoys the attribute of being contemporary and changing with times.

I would have liked to see the new design taking the inspiration from this point of strength and guide/lure users to other services. I would have liked a content-centric strategy compared to a services-centric strategy.

Let me explain.

In the new home page now, the point where my eyes meet instantly, I see a host of services and a top bar, both of which are static. My stuff is below and appears hidden with no proper color differentiation. Instead I would like to see the news/articles in a prominent place on the home page. This way someone like me who visits frequently gets to know the change right away. I would have liked to see ways to attract my attention to the articles/news on the home page. These are just the ones I could think of immediately, there could be many more, if we subscribe to a content-centric strategy.

I am for Rediff offering more services in the other 3Cs space. But I would like to see them happening thru the doors of content…specially when the users log on rediff.com. For instance, I would like to see the related articles/adverts working much better. Today I saw an article on petrol price and the advert displayed was for ‘best-price-camcorder’. It could have been a fuel efficient car, or an engine oil that claims to improve efficiency, which has a better chance of a attracting click to buy route. Similarly, if the headline is about Jaya Bachchan’s suspension from Rajya Sabha, a book by PV Narasimha Rao or a book by Jaya Bachchan herself could feature under shopping.

Even a service like messenger/BOL could be centered on content. For instance, you could allow exchange of exclusive pictures of movie stars or you could let users create their own emoticons from news articles etc. And when I am reading an article on a movie business/financial services I could see a link to an expert in ‘connexions’. So, any and all of the services can be routed through or based on the content.

Is Rediff listening?

Related links
Rediff.com
Why the change