It’s been a while since I have been thinking about putting down my thoughts with regard to digital advertising and social media in India. And I think the time has arrived or rather I have arrived in time to make “little sense” of this growing medium. The reason I mentioned “little sense” is (a) I am not a social media guru (b) Nor am I an expert with a certificate. This is just an humble attempt from being a social media observer to commentator (for lack of a better word). The views and opinions expressed here are purely personal.

WTF WAS #princesssheeba?

Yes it was a trending topic from India on twitter. A lot of tweeps asked this question and I think this would be one of the least important / foolish topics that has ever trended from India. Before I jump on to the reason why I am writing this post, I would like to capture what #princesssheeba was all about. (And correct me if I am wrong). Someone found this website very funny and started tweeting about it. A few people joined in and slowly it started creating a buzz. Another few joined and started comparing #princesssheeba to famous celebrities… funny tweets started pouring in my timeline and within no time it became a trending topic. Someone even went on to create a ‘fake princess sheeba’ profile on twitter (surprisingly this page doesn’t exist now!). While some of us may not find the site funny, the fact is that few of us did find it funny. That’s it! She must have been an ordinary woman from South India having a website of her own.


#princesssheeba proves that:

(1) Twitter as a medium is still very very very nascent in India. A few people can make any mundane topic to trend on twitter

(2) From an impact perspective, if experts define twitter as a medium of movement and if trending topics are seen as benchmarks of creating a buzz – most of the time topics like these keep trending  and not every topic is as big & serious as #iran09


(1) It is  all the more important for a brand to (a) build a connect with an audience so that it becomes a talking point in itself and (b) thus create a genuinely  ‘BIG’ impact.

No Indian brand has done this yet. It would be interesting to see who does it first. #princesssheeba managed to do it for a while. But lost out.

Comments and criticisms are welcome.

P.S.: Supposedly #princesssheeba is dead. We found it on her Facebook page. So does it make it her the first dead person from India to trend on twitter?


~ by rb on March 24, 2010.

6 Responses to “#princesssheeba”

  1. I as a consumer of the web and its services and have never seen a trend as a measurement of anything–let alone market value or publicity.This wasn’t a forced trend like IconicIndianAds(where the trend was repetitive and ppl joined in to ‘trend’ it). So why the worry?
    The intelligent influencer knows that a trending topic may not result in a buying decision. That is what companies must realize.

    • @Re Totally agree with u! Influencing a purchase decision is what companies/brands should aim for. And I guess that’s the best this medium can do as of now, except in certain exceptional cases like Dell. With regard to IconicIndianAds, did u mean “planned” trending topics?

  2. All points noted. My points here:

    a) From her FB page, one learns that there were rumours about her being dead and she herself made a post enquiring about these rumors. So no one really knows whether she’s dead or alive.

    b) If trending topics can be #threewordsaftersex and #dearfuturewife, and if we can bash Justin Beiber for being on the trending topics list, having #princesssheeba there doesn’t seem out of the ordinary at all. The way tweeps put #modernprovers to trend, #princesssheeba was taken there too. Currently the topics that are trending are: Syphilis, #getittogether #sometimesiwonder #ItsreallyAnnoying and #veryBadSituation. Well I guess #princesssheeba fits perfectly well within these.

    c) People found her site funny, because it had really bad grammar and english (there are zillions of such sites surely, but probably they haven’t come under the radar like this). The way one finds #grammargandu posts funny and laugh-worthy, this was done in the same vein, albeit on a very large scale.

    d) If a bunch of people took such a topic and made it trend, then doesn’t it just prove that they can take better topics and do the same? If you’re questioning the choice of people in using their “power” to get such a topic to trend, then well, I guess we have a long way to go before civilization grows up.

    • @Alpana Whoaaaa!! (a) was news to me …agree with you on (b) & (c) …with regard to (d) I would like to ask you a question? Do we see scope for any brand / company being talked abt (apart from big ones Apple, Google and MS) especially in India?

      • But which brands/company have any great presence on the web apart from online brands like google, ms, apple, yahoo, facebook etc? Of the top 10 listed here: http://interbrand.com/best_global_brands.aspx, how do you get coca cola, GE, toyota, McDonalds, Disney to trend? Wait, you can and there must have been some instances where they would have been trending, for a few minutes or so. Forget trending, am sure these are being talked about by the millions of twitter users, but in small clusters in just 140 characters. For all that we know, a bunch of tweeps might be talking about Indian brands (hey,i like to do the ocassional reliance bashing) but beyond that no one cares. Question here is: Is twitter really the place to get brands talked about? In 140 characters?

  3. @Alpana yes it the place to talk about anything and everything… how brands can be a part of this ‘conversation’ (not mere ‘mentions’) is the challenge!

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