Monday, June 02, 2008

Why the Western Invasion?

Monday, June 02, 2008

I was going through Indianroomates.in, a website quite similar to its American counterpart Roomates.com which aims to help and connect (mostly) the youth seeking accommodation. One thing that really caught my attention was the picture of Indian youth on the homepage. As bizarre as it may sound, when was the last time you saw a non-NGO Indian website which had Indian faces? At the most it might have the token Indian or Black person to show diversity, but I think it’s quite rare to find only Indian people. In the beginning I felt maybe such a strategy is employed to show that that company is global (or at least aspiring to be global) but now it just seems like everyone is following the crowd. But then what about those companies which are purely based in India and don’t seem to be expanding outside India in the likely future. I say this because couple of the web based start ups that launched from my college and had noting to do with foreign clients had picture of Caucasian women playing with their Caucasian kids. It just doesn’t make sense. Why should a premier IIT-JEE (Not too tough to guess which one now) coaching institute which receives over a crore hits every year need to put a header picture of some American university students on its website? I don’t know where the problem lies. Is it that the companies ask the web designing team to put in those pictures (in case the work is being outsourced) or the company itself feels its needs such a picture. The whole point being that if your pictures don’t gel with your venture, you end up looking really stupid.

By the way it was really disappointing to see that the moment I clicked on a page at Indianroomates, it took me to another page. And this one had phirangs on it, smiling.

Here’s one solution. The issue of portraying yourself as something doesn’t need faces. It can be done through symbols as well. If you’re ashamed of putting in Indian people shaking hands (though I don’t know why that would be the case), then might as well show only the shaking of hands on your webpage rather than show a Chinese and a Kenyan doing so, especially if you’re a start up based in a small town whose main market is the nearby city.


Cross posted on WATBlog and Desicritics


2 comments:

Shwetank

Nice. Well I think it is due our fascination with everything American. It surely is quite dumb.

rishabh

That being one point, though another point being our laziness. As pointed out by some other people(since this was crossposted), one reason could be the shortage of relevant desi pictures available for free use. This could actually be a brilliant start up idea

 
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