LiveJournal has launched it’s first dedicated project for India. They have partnered with Caferati, a literary community, for a Flash-Fiction contest (users have to submit stories of 500 words or less). Caferati has previous experience doing events for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival as well as a community base of talented writers, we have covered them previously here. The mutual benefits are spelled out explicitly in this post here, suffice to say LJ gives Caferati a global reach for its brand and Caferati gives it access to a local talent pool and an established community. The prizes are a combination of cash (in multiples of 4, starting from Rs 4,000 to Rs 20,000) and paid LJ accounts. LJ and Caferati also plan to publish a special edition book titled Quick Tales featuring top 100 stories gleaned from the contest.
The idea seems slightly jaded, have a contest, give prizes, drive traffic. Where have I heard that before? While this may probably get users to try out the LJ platform, what it lacks is an organic base of Indian users. In this post, Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, Director of Corporate Development, states LJ get’s an average 100,000 unique monthly visitors and 1,000 regular contributors. That’s a 1% conversion of visitors to writers. They seem to have a choke on the content end of it and are looking at Caferati to drive both content and the community base. Their stated plans in India include localization, so expect language support to be rolled out sometime soon. As an aside, Andrew Paulson has been promoted to chairman of the SUP board. He has been succeeded by Annelies van den Belt, who was previously the Managing Director of ITV.com in London.We had previously covered LJ’s plans for India here.