THE BUZZ CREATORS
By Subhojit Panda
While most of us stay hooked to Facebook all day long to stay updated about our friends whereabouts, there is no denying the fact that there’re a few Facebook pages that we religiously follow. They provide us with the most quintessential updates that can make or break our day. Be it a concert or a restaurant opening, these pages never fail to surprise and update us with their round-the-clock posts. Back home, a few Facebook pages related to Bhubaneswar and Odisha have of late risen on the popularity charts. In some cases, they are even faster than electronic and print media in terms of providing updates. And the admins at the helm of these pages have a huge task cut out to provide authentic and reliable updates to keep their pages lively and ‘buzzing’. Coffee Bytes looks at a few popular Facebook pages and interacts with their admins to know more about their pages.
The Eureka Moment : In 2014, I came across My Chennai, an FB page that heavily promoted Chennai. Inspired by the page, I thought of starting an online forum on FaceBook to glorify Berhampur and its culture and tradition. Hence I began Discover Brahmapur on 25th December 2015. I remember posting pictures of Gopalpur Beach Festival ’15 that got a good response. In 2016, I went to Hyderabad to work for an IT company but a few months into the profession, I felt creatively starved and thought I was at the wrong place. I quit the job and returned to Berhampur by the end of 2016 to solely focus on Discover Brahmapur.
Initial Challenges : Initially my friends thought I was wasting my time and should focus on something else. I had no investment so I was struggling to build a team as none were willing to work for free. So I had to click pictures, collect original information and post them on the page all by myself.
Strategy behind Posting Content : The focus is to post only those information which are high on content and quality. We do not encourage brand promotions as it would mar the objective of Discover Brahmapur.
Reason behind the Popularity : Since the beginning of 2017, we’ve extensively organized events or social campaigns every month that has given us good mileage. In January, we began a blanket donation drive ‘Sardi Ka Tohfa’ and distributed over 10,000 warm clothes and blankets to the homeless. A traffic awareness campaign was conducted in February along with a flashmob on the busy streets of Old Bus Stand Chowk (Berhampur). We had organized an ecofriendly Holi event to promote use of natural colors during Holi in March followed by Polythene free Day celebrations in April. We started ‘Beat The Heat’ campaign and donated unused bottles, towels or umbrellas to street vendors and rickshaw-pullers in May. This was followed by ‘Ethara Khaaiba saha Khatti’, a food review-cum-exploration campaign of different food joints in and around Berhampur. These events have been of great help for us and today Discover Brahmapur has over 58k proud followers.
Plans ahead : The second season of ‘Sardi Ka Tohfa’ is well on cards. We have started an e-magazine recently and hope to promote it vigorously. We wish to start live celebrity interactions on our page soon.
The Eureka Moment : While working in IT sector outside Odisha, I was surprised how people never knew about my state and its rich history. Many a times, I had to cite examples of Puri and Jagannath Temple to explain Odisha. These incidents had a deep impact on me and I decided to start eodisha.org (eorissa.com then) on 10th October, 2009 to promote Odisha at an online platform.
Initial Challenges : With God’s blessings, we never encountered any such major challenge. But initially it was tough to find proper content from all the districts of Odisha like Koraput, Kandhamal, etc. We had a small team then so the work pressure was more.
Strategy behind Posting Content : A lot of research goes behind posting a particular content. Attention is paid to post original and authentic content to reach out to the masses.
Reason behind the Popularity: We have always believed in portraying Odisha in its true color. This has probably helped us in getting closer with the online users. For instance, we had taken the lead to start Pakhaala Diwas campaign in 2012 that gained widespread patronage and support. I’m also thankful to eminent writers Late Jagdish Mohanty and Sarojini Sahu and wife Gaayatree Naik who contributed a lot towards eodisha.
Plans ahead : Plans are afoot to come up with an Android app of eodisha.org soon. We’re also planning to felicitate student scientists from the rural pockets of Odisha and groom them for the future.
The Eureka Moment : Though I was from Kolkatta, I had spent two years in Cuttack. I was so much influenced by the diversity and history of silver city that when I went back to Kolkatta in 2012, I started missing the city very much. I thought there was a need to do something for the city that gave me some of the best memories in life. I was startled to see so many Facebook pages centered on Bhubaneswar but none on the city that had such a historical importance. I insisted my husband Prateek to start a dedicated page on Cuttack and we named it MOCuttack. Though just two years old, I’m happy that MOCuttack has been well received by the online readers.
Initial Challenges : When we started off, the challenge was to attract the right kind of readers. There were a few other online pages that did heavy promotions and publicity . But we were never in a hurry. That’s why he had some thousand followers in the initial two months. It took us time to strike the connect as a lot of research had to be done on popular temples and historical places and also the forgotten ones.
Strategy behind Posting Content : We have a small team in Cuttack who work day in and day out to collect raw and authentic information that can catch the pulse of the online readers. The target is to portray Cuttack not just as a historical city but a city full of life, vibrancy and diversity.
Reason behind the Popularity : We try to post less and keep quality over quantity every time. We believe in posting only those content which are worth reading and help us generate more traffic. I remember our posts on various facets of ‘Rajo festival’ was an instant hit and we got overwhelming response for our work.
Plans ahead : We’re planning to post interesting articles on hangout points and food joints in Cuttack. There’re plans to expand the team if things fall into place as per expectations.