A look at new Indian social networks on music, football

  • Deeksha Gautam, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 18, 2014 16:35 IST

Too many Modi debates, cat photos or viral videos on your newsfeed? Log on to a range of new Indian social networks dedicated to a particular subject or hobby. If you are a football fan, for instance, there's a social network where you can connect with other Indian football fans, with live discussions, updates and talent-scouting. If you are interested in science, or music, click through other websites to share your passion with a willing audience.

Already a popular concept in the West - the US has social networking websites for pet-dating, dreams and one just for very wealthy people - the trend is catching up in Indian tech circles. "I follow top Google executives on a science social network, and my updates are valued there!" says MSc student Sonali Verma, 23.

Chennai-based label production house EarthSync launched IndiEarth in 2012 to create a database of independent artistes.

"We realised there is no infrastructure to bring artistes to the notice of the media," says Sonya Mazumder, 50, CEO and founder, Earthsync. IndiEarth houses profiles of over 1,500 rock, folk, jazz and other musicians, and independent filmmakers, that mediapersons can browse through. They can also hear or watch samples of their work and contact them for bookings or enquiries directly.

If you're always posting intelligent football analysis and getting no real response on Facebook, five month-old FootballMind may give you the kick you need. Founded by two Pune-based consultants to promote Indian football, FootballMind allows players, coaches, clubs, academies and fans from across the country can make profiles. Mumbai FC, for instance, has its own page here.

"The football sector in India is so fragmented. The website aims to connect coaches to players, players to clubs and clubs to fans, to benefit Indian football at large," says Pranesh Krishnamurthy, 29, cofounder, The FootballMind.com.

To give your geeky side an outlet, visit Function Space, a social network for science and math enthusiasts. Run out of Pune, Function Space was launched in April last year and currently has almost 30,000 registered users, and gets 1 lakh unique visitors per month.

On the network, registered users can make profiles and post questions in the form of text, diagrams or multimedia, and get solutions from their followers.

"We wanted to create a one-stop destination to learn, discuss and solve science and maths problems," says Adit Gupta, 28, who founded Function Space with his wife, Sakshi, 26. Sumit Maniyar, 29, joined the team as a partner later.

The website also has a discussion forum, a section for challenges designed by an in-house content team, and a 'Learn' section with videos, ebooks and articles, also curated by the content team. "Many users are from top US universities such as MIT, Princeton and Caltech," says Gupta.

"I find the discussion and debate sections particularly interesting," says user Pranesh Muddebihal, 23, an MSc student at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. "I have also used the website to learn about modern physics and number theories in mathematics."

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