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Govind Tiwari - India's Rebecca Black

by Nishad Ramachandran

If you have been keeping an eye on what’s trending on Twitter, you would have probably noticed a strange buildup yesterday afternoon. Govind Tiwari. The man was No 1 in India's Twitter's trending topics and No 5 worldwide.

Why? This blog. A funky, retro site that is struggling to keep up with the traffic that’s landing on the page, complete with coloured animation and blinking graphics. But who is Govind Tiwari? (From Allahadbad as his blog proudly tells us) He is either a brilliant marketing idea or some white hat spoof (I had a few warnings pop up on my anti virus, as I clicked on some links) designed to show off the power of social media.

Image from govindtiwari.blogspot.com

The event had all the elements of a wonderfully worked new media campaign. Like with Twitter, the man’s images had taken the pole position on Google Images. A Facebook page (half a dozen gold diggers too) is nicely curated. A Linkedin profile that says he is an engineering student (a new one that came up a few hours later gives him more credibility.) A YouTube page, Govind Tiwari 11, created 4 months ago. And of course an Orkut page, Orkutiya as he calls it, where he wants you to be fraands.

The social media world has recognized his genius though. With the buzz the topic is getting, experts are chipping in. He could have made over $ 35,000 in Google ad revenues yesterday with the traffic he got on his page says this tweet. Someone advises him to join Apple or Microsoft. Plugged.in talks about SEO lessons from Govind Tiwari. His blog is the top result on Google at the moment.

Brands are lining up to make hay. Kingfisher promised him a month’s supply of beer. AXE Angels want to help him. MTV is chipping in with some smart ones too.
To me Govind Tiwari is truly a well worked experiment in Transmedia story telling. Perhaps the best we have seen from India, or done by an Indian somewhere. Create a well worked character. Build in some quirks and traits that get talked about. Use every media channel uniquely to further the story. This chipmunk video of Sheela Ki Jawani on his YouTube channel is just in line with character in the campaign, yet not the same thing.

So who is Govind Tiwari? An 18 year old having fun from his home somewhere? A hacker who managed to game the Twitter trending engine? A marketer who has managed to capture the collective imagination of people trawling social media channels? Rather than say WTF?, I say genius, Hats off sir Govind Tiwari Allahabadwalle!