Addas for talking cricket now go digital thanks to social media experts like OMLogic.
When cricket comes calling in India, even Bollywood hibernates to non-action for half a quarter. No big ticket releases are expected to come up for the duration of the Cricket World Cup 2011 which is being held in the subcontinent this time.
That Indians are vocally passionate about cricket is a truism and an understatement at the same time. We know that cricket has always been a “social” game. Paanwallahs see their business rise when any match that is to do with the “C” word is on; not to mention especially when the teams of the world descend on the subcontinent! If like everything else, most of our activities are moving digital, then it is a natural progression for even these addas to move online.
As they indeed have! Addas have come online, on Facebook now!
That cricket will need and be a successful conversation builder on Facebook and other social media platforms was something that OMLogic expected early on and thus took the lead in building the communities “Cricket World Cup 2011” and “Commonwealth Games 2010” way back in 2009 on Facebook.
The success of this community (it has close to 1.2 Lac members) can be attributed to not just the early lead but also because of the constant flow of conversation kept on building in it which kept the members hooked coming back for more.
The thumb rule to measure any conversation online, wise guys so say, has been to see when it degenerates into a slurring match between Nazis and Jews internationally and India and Pakistan in the subcontinent no matter what the piece is about. And this community passes that test very easily 🙂
And this is a community in true sense. People do not just respond to just what the given status message has to say at that point of time but also build up their own conversation. The members respond not only during nail-biting moments in the match but continue to have conversations all the time about the match. Conversations are no longer just about “Sehwag got out” or “x runs needed from y balls”, but about anything and everything that has to do with cricket. This really drives home the point how the online platform has supplemented addas in the real world.
As an example: India played against England in its second match of the World Cup on Sunday, 27 February 2011. The match started at 2 IST. The “Cricket World Cup 2011” community on Facebook sent out its first update at 2:45 PM saying “Good afternoon guys. India is on flyer. India 20/0 in 3.1 overs.” This received 187 comments and 117 people “liked” it. Nineteen minutes later the community received the update that Sehwag had been dismissed and it communicated it thus: “Sehwag Gone. Oh Dear!” resulting in 146 comments. Updates like these continued for the duration of the match till 11:30 in the evening till which time the community updated 35 times receiving a total of more than 5000 comments and 3500 “likes” on the page status updates at the end of the day.
Interestingly for a community that is seen to be neutral, the highest no. of comments were those that supported Team India. The community received a whole lot of comments when they congratulated Strauss on his century and a strong support when asked for their opinion on how India could regain the plot of the game that it seemed to be losing. (Even more interestingly, many of these conversations turned into Ind-Pak slurring match faster than you could say “Rediff forums”!)
This demonstrates the power and reach of social media, especially as it comes about as an alternative to real-life conversations which people may find dearth of living in cities.
Building up on this assumption and expectation that cricket will be a huge conversation builder on social media during the World Cup, OMLogic along with Yatra.com developed the game Yatra Cricket Manager.
The game is about managing the Team India XI for the duration of the world cup, taking care of their travel, accommodation and other minute needs. A considerable interest for the game has been generated already and it also has its own dedicated social media channels on Facebook and Twitter. What will be interesting to see is how these will fare and how Yatra.com is able to leverage cricket to its advantage.