Attack from the ‘Like’ Farms – Social Media

Social media has become a sea of opportunity. Opportunity does not comes alone, it comes with competition.  Especially when all the information you want can be found in the internet, it’s not uncommon that you find a competitor, a site or a person who mimics you or your work.

But don’t worry ‘Early Bird catches the Worm’ so you are always going to have a chance of having the head start.

But keeping up the head start is never easy if you are not already a renowned brand or a social icon already. So that’s where marketing comes in, and then with the current era it is always the digital media marketing that stands out.

When it comes to social media, a post’s or a site’s , page’s success is judged based on the ‘Like’ and the ‘Followers’ counts it has. It’s will not be an overnight success for a new company, person or a brand to get a lot of likes and followers. It needs a dedicated social media plan to be executed with good contend for months, sometimes year.

But do you know there are sites where you can actually pay and buy ‘likes’ and ‘followers’? Yes you can, can give a boost to a post or your site.  But most of the times they are static, so if you post something the the static followers will not interact with your posts, so it will create a small suspicious look among your real followers or even the new people who sees the numbers. For example, you have bought 2 million followers but you only get 45 likes for a new post, sure it will create a suspicion. But you still can buy more likes for that new post if you like. So basically if you have money even a newcomer can have a visibility in the social media.

But wait….! Do you remember once upon a time when there is only a ‘Like’ button available in facebook, you guys asked for a ‘Dislike’ button??? And facebook actually has introduced something called ‘Reaction’ with an ‘Angry’ and ‘Sad’ reaction included in it? Here is where your competitor have a upper hand on you 😀
What if he decides to pay one of those ‘Likes for Money’ to add angry on your latest post?

This is a threat to both new and the existing or even a well established accounts. You can get an Angry or a 1 Star rating attack on your site, page or a post. So its always be careful  that you don’t trigger a fight with your  competitor.

Ok, so how can you fight this problem? There is something called Influencer marketing which is the best counter against this kind of attacks. That we will see in the next Post…!

Case Study Analysis on Album Beyoncé

I normally don’t post marketing stuff in this blog but thought of sharing as there are a lot of interesting things happened in the launch of this Album. This is kind of a background and a SWOT analysis on the Album based on a case study by Anita Elbers,Stacie Smith: Harvard Business School : August 28th 2014.


Beyonce is an Album by Beyonce launched in 2013 and became a hit. A lot of things happened behind a surprise launch. This case gives us a lot of information that we can use to analyse and study about the US music market.


Music industry in the U.S

In USA there used to be a time when people buy the whole Album as everything comes in a single tape or a Disk. So earlier days Music events TV shows to promote the whole Album. Beyonce explains this saying how she misses her old days and how she and her family used to watch the Michael Jackson Event in TV.

These days it’s all about singles, a song from an Album gets popular and people only buy that specific song, Thanks to the latest technology Advancement. Sites like iTunes and Spotify have made agreement with the Artists and Music industries to make sure that the audio is released from their sites and they will make sure that the songs reach maximum people. They do early access promotions and provide the facility of buying singles online and download. So people don’t bother to buy a whole album they only buy the ones that are trending.

By some estimate, the total music market in the United States, covering both live and recorded music sales, was worth $15 billion in 2013 Already the largest segment at close to 60% of revenues, live music revenues were expected to grow. As far as recorded music was concerned, revenues from physical sales had been declining steadily in recent years, and only accounted for 15% of total music revenues in 2013, with digital sales making up the remaining 25% (Reference 1).


You can see how the trend is changing from the above data provided. If you see the Physical album sales(Blue Arrow), it is declining with the year where the Digital Album sales(Red Arrow) increasing with the Year.


Beyonce as an artist, a manager and a brand

From here onwards we will be analysing the context of Beyonce using the SWOT analysis. This section explains about the talents and her potential Strengths she got as an Artist and a Manager.

Born in an upper middle class family, she had the luxury of learning dance in the age of 7. Its one of her dancing instructor who found her talent of singing. Her career as a real artist started with Dancing. Performing in talent show, joined into a dance group.

Her family also supported her well including fashion and style and a place to rehearse for events.

But she got professional coaching after she has signed up with Columbia Records in 1996. Destiny’s Child the debut album with many popular singles has brought up the fame to the Beyonce as well her group.

Then later beyonce came up with several studio albums coming out in the period between 2003 – 2013 and became very successful. B’Day is one of the special albums released on her birthday.

She debuted in Hollywood with a film called ‘Dream Girls’ which tells the story of R&B in the period of 1960 – 1970s. Not only singing she is a Stage performer too. She has performed in more than 350 stages by 2013 with more than 10 million fans. Her tours are described as a marathon where she has done more than 100 shows in 11 months in her 5th world tour.

Despite being a woman taking it as a challenge within the society that talk has the common view of there must be a man who is managing all the programs and her company, she actually sits in her offices and work when she does not have any recordings.

Her company Parkwood Entertainment is formed in 2008 and she became the CEO of it. She is always productive and have bigger dreams, all the employees in the ParkWood are encouraged to voice their opinion rather than blindly following the instructions.There is time she has worked 18 hours per day encouraging the employees in the company.

Leadership has to be observed differently in the case of Beyonce. She is a performing artist, performing and managing a company specially the deals and the marketing strategies is not a joke.

Along with her fame with the songs and the song industry the Brand name ‘Beyonce’ also started to Gain popularity. She was endorsing some brands like L’Oreal, Tommy Hilfiger and Giorgio. But then by 2013 she started having things specifically made in her name on some popular Brands, like a whole new series of Items in her names in popular shops. And one of the partnership she had with is Pepsi, where they had a Super Bowl commercial with her and bottles printed with her face. So the brand ‘Beyonce’ really has grown into a powerful lure.

Launching Strategy

An album release was planned and now 8 months passed the expected date and the Album is still not out, media was becoming nosey on what is happening in the newly rented house. Fans are starting to get impatient. was not able to finish it. But still Beyonce does not want to rush it.

Beyonce came up with 3 criterias for the release

  1. Launch all songs at once
  2. Avoid any leaks
  3. Make it a Visual album

Releasing an Album is that she wants to bring the taste/experience of the old style Album to be fans.

Avoiding leak is an important issue as there is already many incidents of many popular artist’s albums have leaked causing the albums to appear in the online stores even before the release. This is a Great Threat, this need a lot of trust and great management skill to avoid this.

Releasing all the songs with visuals, turned out to be an expensive decisions but, Beyonce was certain that she will not change her decisions as she has planned to create the experience that she was having when she wrote the song.

These are some rare motives from an artist, to care about giving the fans a traditional experience and the feel unlike the other artists who write a song and sell as singles rather than bothering to create an album.

But selling the songs as Album with visuals can be taken as weakness. The fact that she wanted her fans to have a full album experience than Singles. And all the songs with Visuals. She is wasting a lot of resources, time and money here.
This weakness again can be turned into Opportunity If she can sell the songs individually without Video she can earn more and she don’t have to waste a lot of money too. This in future can be thought back where she can turn it into strength.

After creating the main criteria, the first step is to find a secure and popular partner who can handle the world wide distribution of the song at the exact same time. And they decided to go with apple as one of their main goal is the security and the power to handle heavy load. Apple also was in charge of converting the itunes home page to spread the surprise after the launch.

Then to spread the news they have to find a media that can penetrate a large number of Music loving generation and they ended up with Facebook. Facebook is excited to help Beyonce. The plan is to spread the news from the facebook music page and a promoted post to all who uses fb. And it’s all done in the cost of facebook as they encourage the professional services from the celebrities to the fans. And Also based on their suggestion Phase 2 is to do an online session on Instagram, a Ask Beyonce Session to Answer fans of questions.

17 Songs selected out of the 70 Cuts she made and the launch date November 13th is postponed to December 13th which is the last possible date so that they can print the cover and disks for the Physical Album before all the shops close before the Christmas holidays. During the Christmas holidays, specially the last 2 weeks,  nothing comes into a store and all the manufacturing companies will be shut down.


Summary of SWOT Analysis(Reference 4)


The Strategies used and not Used(Reference 4)

Success of the Beyonce Album

“Beyoncé Uses Only Word Of Mouth To Market Surprise New Album”(Reference 2)

“The Decisions to release an unexpected album in an unexpected way paid off fans went into meltdown and Beyonce shifted 430 000 copies in one day, in America alone” (Reference 3)


Sale Statistics for the next 3 Weeks from the launch(Reference 4)

The Comparison of Beyonce’s all the Major Albums with her Beyonce Album(Reference 4)

The above Quotes and the statistics will explains the success of the Album Beyonce. If you see the 3 weeks sales, the Peak is on the launch day, it explains that the Surprise strategy has reached like a wildfire with the help of facebook ads and the itunes alone. And if you compared to the Album Sales Beyonce has reached a record sales. 617k Downloads in the 1st 3 Days and 1.2 Million Downloads in the 1st 3 Months.

Recommendations to Parkwood Entertainment
The strategy that that Beyonce wanted to experiment or the experience she wanted to provided to the fans really worked. In a way it has saved a lot of time wasted on the marketing and spendings on Marketing and it returned to be still a Big Success. But continuing on this strategy may not work in future as the fans now will be on lookout.

For the future I would recommend them to follow with the traditional way. There are a lot of things that can be avoided. Launching a single from the album early will give a feedback on how the rest of the songs of the albums can be created. Analysing the market on what the current trend is and what people really need will always give you a step ahead. In the Album Beyonce, she was kind of stressed out as she wanted to finish this Album somehow and with visuals with very less time could have caused them to make a lot of mistakes, luckily the album is liked by the fans. What would have happened if they did not do a proper analysis and the album launch is failed? It would have affected the trust and the good positive relationship that they had with Sony entertainment. So it’s Good in a while to take a risk and Give the fans once in a lifetime Treat, but also it is important to avoid mistakes to stay afloat in the market and to be a challenge to the other artists.

1. Beyonc’e: Anita Elbers,Stacie Smith: Harvard Business School : August 28th 2014

2.Zack O’malley Greenburg (17 Dec. 2013.). Breaking Down Beyonce’s Record-Breaking Album Launch. Forbes. Retrieved from

3.Robinson, Peter (1 Jan. 2014.). Beyoncé has reinvented how to release an album. Over to you, Adele. the Guardian. Retrieved from

4.Patrick Cines : Beyonce Case Study: Hitting Replay on Success :  May 1, 2016:

Coaching and Mentoring – Grow Model

Recently I went through a training on Coaching and Mentoring. Since then I never thought them as two different things. So thought of sharing the knowledge i got from it with you all here.

Both are typically 2 things, coaching is more like a guided tour towards the problem’s solution, while mentoring is shedding light and making aware of the problem and making the person figure out the solution to his own problems.

Coaching is more like, the Coach gets some part of the ownership of the process of a task in which he is coaching. For example, in the context of Software engineering, coaching is in which the coach may join in a pair programing session to help solve the problem or provide expert advice on where to look into or suggests an architecture to apply.

In the case of mentoring, the mentor more often does not involve in finding the solution for the problem arisen. He will help you to untangle a problem and to focus on the problem and helps you make your own decisions. For example in the context of software engineering, a mentor will ask a series of questions which will reduce the complexity of the exact problem you need to fix. And also he may refer you to look into similar module areas to find a solution yourself.

In the sense coaching kind of drains the coach’s time, and its not productive compared to the mentor ship. In mentor ship the mentor clears the confusion and gives the basic information on what can help which saves the mentor’s time which he can work on something else and the person who is being mentored will also gets encouraged to solve the problem based on the information provided, more of self learning which is productive.

Encouraging mentor ship over coaching, for knowledge sharing will result in productive towards the new employee and saves time for the mentor, and all results in business profit.

So some of you may be still confused or unclear of what I was talking about above. Mentors use a model called Grow Model for the purpose of mentoring, I’ll explain how we can use it to mentor and you may have a better idea of what is mentor ship afterwards.

Grow Model is basically a set of targets you achieve by asking a series of questions

G – Goal
R – Reality
O – Options
W – When and Where

Goal is where you figure out what exactly your problem is and whats your exact focus is on for example “Keeping the Meeting stick to the Agenda”

Reality is the module where you identify the facts that may make the Goal complex, but as long as you know what they are, its not recommended you spend much time on this section.
For example “Albert always comes late to the meeting and he always finds a way to deviate the meeting from the agenda”

Park is an unofficial element in the GROW Model which I would like to mention here, where you put things that are making your main goal complex in. May be in future you can take them and define a GROW model for each of them later.

Options is the module where you come up with the options on how to achieve your goals and select one of them to be executed. For example “People who come late to the meetings are not allowed to join in, whenever the topic deviates, stop and bring it back to the point instantly”

Where and When is where you decide where and when the selected option will be executed and usually ends up with a follow up with the mentor on what happened.

So this GROW model does not has to be used only with mentoring, in the above scenario it is just another day to day meeting which I have applied. So feel free to try out this model and let me know how it worked.

Pokemon Go – Start of the Next Generation Gaming

Within past 2 weeks you may have somehow came across a name, topic, Game saying ‘PokemonGo’. It is Niantic’s first ever client Project. If you have no Idea on who is Niantic, its a company that has spun out of Google in October 2015, and they are already popular among many for creating Ingress a real world map based augmented reality game.

If you are already into PokemoGo, you may have already come across some people who were trying to say, PokemonGo players must thank the Ingress Community, but no one ever care about that guy.


The truth is Niantic made Ingress as their Portfolio Game to prove the world and the Gaming community that the Next Generation Gaming should be close to reality. So made this Game Niantic, the time they created the Game they have no data on Portals/PokeStops(in PokemonGo), then they tried to find some individuals in each country and encouraged them to play the game and submit Portals. This may look easy but if you are an Ingress Player Playing it for 3 years, you may see it as how tiresome and how much distance people have walked to make it to the number it has now. We can also say that Niantic has tricked the People in collecting data for them to use for it’s own other Products like PokemonGo in future.

Ok so this Game PokemonGo makes people stand up go out side and play?  Yes it does, you cant stay inside your house and expect a Pokemon to come in, You have to go near lakes sea to catch water Pokemon near mountains and rocky areas to catch Rock Pokemon, you some times have to chase after rare Pokemon that goes in front of your eyes. People who are fans of Pokemon Cartoons and Console Games know how exciting is to really go out and catch your Own Pikachu, the Pokemon’s Idol. But some people say how convincing is this game or is there a future to games like this.

Yes you may remember once upon a time there came a game called Farm Villa, first of it’s type game. No if you open the App Store it is filled thousands of Similar Game. In Farm Villa it only uses real time and people are really excited to see their plants grow in certain hours. But here it is real time, environment, people will really get excited, but again people always gets bored. So for now Pokemon Go will still arise high despite it’s battery draining issues and bugs. Its already so popular and not launched in Asia yet, when they launch it world wide its going to be Crazy.

In the economical ankle, PokemonGo has send up the stock prices of Nintendo by a a Great leap. Can get more info on that news at Forbes


Based on the current popularity and the regular server downs. You can have an idea on how many people are playing this game at the Moment.  Niantic has also revealed the plan to use Pokestops as a paid Ad spot so that the Business’s can have a great visibility. So it also going to work as the next Generation marketing tool.  You can check out the following Graph on how it is penetrating in to the user base


Some people worry about incidents like accidents and kidnaps that involves Pokemon. Yes its true and it’s a Dangerous fact. But the world is growing fast technology is advancing we cannot stick to the same old thing. People have to learn to adopt to this new behavior. And some people are trying to force in the fact that this is stupid. But if you can think a bit into the future, your kids or their kids are going to live in more advanced era than us, so its a fact that they will play these kinds of Games, they may get into the same trouble. So without staying a step behind from technologies like Real World Gaming, why don’t you try it at least to understand the idea behind it, how it works and  the possible problems that can arise. So that you can be prepared for any trouble when it happens.

The world is changing fast, you wanted a Augmented reality world like you see in Iron man, here it is, its there now in front of your eyes, don’t stay away from it. Get into it and learn to adopt it. And be happy for the fact that your children in future will not always be glued to the Console Games and PC like they did till 2 weeks before.

RoundedImageView – Android


This is a library which consist of a RoundedImageView. This is a hassle free light weight ImageView that you can use for user profiles and other needs.

This can be integrated in your Android Studio project using this Gradle integration

compile 'com.pathofacoder.roundedimageview:roundedimageview:0.1.0'

Library can be found here –

This project is made Open Source under the Apache 2.0 license, so you can help improve the library by contributing here

A small sample will be added soon…

Pocket Signature View for Android

Android Signature View

This is a library which consist of a Signature View. This can be used as a Signature Pad
Main intention to develop this view is to avoid using bitmaps to use device memory efficiently.

-The drawn image can be out put as SVG(Vector Image), which is very much small in size. -Also the drawing data can be saved as String and that String can again be loaded in to this view.

This can be integrated inside your Android Studio using the Gradle

compile 'com.batzeesappstudio.pocketsignatureview:pocketsignatureview:0.1.6'

Library can be found here –

This project is made Open Source under the Apache 2.0 license, so you can help improve the library by contributing here

A small sample will be added soon…

New Permission Model in Android

Hi Folks, today we will be seeing the new permission model in action and how to handle it. You know that we define the system permissions that we need to run the app like Camera and “READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” and “WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” permissions in the manifest file. But this is not enough for the from the API level 23 , Android 6.0, the new model is introduced that is getting the permission from the user on the run time.

So we will see how we can do it. For this I am using the latest Build Tools 23.0.2
And the Compiled SDK Version is API 23

Always make sure you are using the latest build tools as Google always improve the backward compatibility through it.

Ok the the first thing you have to understand is, we will be checking this permission availability exactly before the place where we access the permission related operation. Adding this code will have no special effect on the phones that are running versions less than Android 6.0

And we have to add the regular permission as usual in the Manifest too. Else again the app will crash.

We will be doing a sample on getting a screen shot and saving it to the SD Card so here we need the “WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” permission

Step 1
At the place where we have to invoke the screenshot function we check if the permission is already available. If the permission is already available we proceed with the taking screen shot, else we call another methods which will invoke the  new permission request procedure.

if(PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED== ActivityCompat.checkSelfPermission(MainActivity.this, Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE)){

Step 2
the method requestWritePermission(context) will check if the permission is already requested and if already requested and rejected it shows another Custom Dialog which explains why the permission is needed and when the Allow button is click it shows the Permission request again. Meanwhile if this is the first time the request permission procedure will automatically fired.
While we invoke the ‘ActivityCompat.requestPermissions’ method we pass a request code, in our case it is “REQUEST_WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE” so that we can track back the result on the onRequestPermissionResult() override method and respond to it appropriately.

private static void requestWritePermission(final Context context){
    if(ActivityCompat.shouldShowRequestPermissionRationale((Activity)context,Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE)) {
        new AlertDialog.Builder(context)
                .setMessage("This app needs permission to write data to the phone so that the Screenshot can be saved")
                .setPositiveButton("Allow", new DialogInterface.OnClickListener() {
                    public void onClick(DialogInterface dialog, int which) {
                        ActivityCompat.requestPermissions((Activity) context, new String[]{Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE},REQUEST_WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE);

    }else {
        ActivityCompat.requestPermissions((Activity) context, new String[]{Manifest.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE}, REQUEST_WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE);

Step 3
In the onRequestPermissionResult() we catch the reult from the permission dialog and decide whether to go for the screenshot procedure or not

public void onRequestPermissionsResult(int requestCode, String[] permissions, int[] grantResults) {
    switch (requestCode) {

            if (grantResults.length == 1 && grantResults[0] == PackageManager.PERMISSION_GRANTED) {
            } else {
                super.onRequestPermissionsResult(requestCode, permissions, grantResults);

So here is the order in it work, these are taken from one of my other app, and its done for reading from the SD card
step1    Step 2   Step 3

So that’s it guys hope you guys understood and will implement in your own application
Sample app can be found at the GitHub gitHub-download-button

You can get more info from the official documentation here :