Mumbai Bloggers meet today, 6pm – Bandra (W)

Akshay, or lecercle as I knew him from Flickr before, has called for a bloggers meet today tuesday 31st January 6pm! I am excited & I hope to make it there. Will be slightly delayed but will try my best :) The destination :

Cafe Coffee Day

Shop No. 14/15, Gagangiri Premises Building, Ground Floor,
Carter Road
Bandra WEST, Mumbai-52

I don’t know the route but I should be able to find it thanks to this lovely link from Akshay again – Mumbai Navigator – check it out, its awesome! I found out I can travel from my house to workplace by Bus route 70!! Nice job IITB folks :-) Now wouldn’t it be a lot easy to just overlay that onto the map of bombay and get a rough visual overlook? something like a google maps! Rather – overlay it on top of a WAP browser i.e mobile and bang! .. wow thats some service I would pay for!!
Other folks who have given links to spread the word:

Dina Mehta (whom i met at Digital Summit!)
Indsight
Saket
(name thru Trivial Matters)
DesiPundit

Meet called by Scott, Winksite and of course do look at the metrobloggin Mumbai website. I think Mumbai or Bombay I still call it is the 40th metro on the list! folks, correct me if I am wrong. Lets get more pro-active and put Bombay on the bloggin map. And yeah, if possible, a Indian BloggerCon !! next year this time?
ps: most of the info from Akshay’s site Trivial Matters. He does a lovely photo documentary type bloggin of mumbai! I am sure, he should try for a national geographic position or something. Atleast, he is developing a lovely portfolio!

And lastly, I took this photo at the Digital Summit – can you guess who are sitting there??

IMG_4555.JPG

Its Dina Mehta with her laptop (onto the right) and Kiruba (left) – the topmost A-list blogger in India??! Here is a list of top 100 India Bloggers for your help if you want to digg more! Anyway, I didn’t realise that it was kiruba when i clicked. I was just taking a snap of Dina (live blogging here in this photo) whom I had met the day before.

And yeah, I of course had the pleasure of meeting Kiruba the next day in my office thanks to Veer – Mobilepundit and Rajesh – Emergic (and I hope to be meeting Atanu soon too!). Kiruba and I exchanged ideas of making a podcast – it has not materialised yet but any takers kindly join the bandwagon :-) (comment to this post).

Enough of blabbering … hope to meet you all there. I shall be to grab a cappuchino around 6:30 to 7pm. Anyway do call me at 9867-980887 if you wanna have a chat anytime. Hope to see ya all. Sayonara for the night!!!

Live sports 24by7!

This week has been simply amazing in terms of “live” sports. All the TV networks in India have done an amazing J.O.B!! Literally one could watch L.I.V.E at almost all hours of the day and night! And the variety … wow don’t ask! Unlike the US its not just football, basketball or baseball!! And yeah, I am talking of content from all over the world!
Cricket:
early morning (via ESPN courtesy channel 9)- live ODIs in Australia of the tri-series between South Africa, SriLanka and Australia
late morning to evening (Ten sports) – live Test Match: India vs Pakistan

Tennis:
Grand Slam: Australian Open (Star Sports)
Some amazing LIVE matches, to name a few:

  • Baghdatis vs Nalbadian
  • Mens doubles Final – unfortuantely Paes and his partner lost!
  • Mixed doubles Final – Bhupathi and Hingis won!! yupee!

Of course, Federer won today! He one level above everybody currently. But it was nice to see some competitive matches! Unfortunate that Mauresmo couldn’t really get the satisfaction of beating her opponents in the semis and final. But hey, she was all prepared.

Hockey:
Live hockey league on ESPN

Soccer : Live European and English Premier league late night on ESPN

Given that I am working now, I was able to enjoy live matches only on Thursday, Saturday and Today!! But hey that was cool. Just watching the highlights at the end of the day was more than satisfying.

Checking the content out on Indian TV in general, I somehow feel social media is atleast a nice decade away (atleast in India)! any takers on this debate?? Does anyone think, mass of people having other things to do also can take up this entire media empire??

online stats check

I have been collecting articles to answer “Why do people blog? or Why should people blog?” Before the blogpost materializes (hopefully by somtime next weekend) I thought I shall make a quick stat check of my clout ‘online’ :D! and guess what I ain’t that bad!! This blog is currently not doing that well :) I know there are two readers atleast on bloglines who have them on their blogroll. And somehow on a average I get 15 views per day! which is not bad. But one look at the graph and its pretty disappointing :-). Onto some graphics:

Here is my online ego meter reading :-) not bad uh?? I come up on the first page of a google search for my name twice – not at all bad for starters!
vinu_ego

Looking further into my wordpress stats (figure below) – the spike in the middle is when I circulated my post regarding mobile industry in India. But then, the bumps on the curve are everytime I write a post! Otherwise i do get hits from search engines. My engineering background says that – the top points of the graph look like an exponential decay! And the half life is around 10 days ;-) … in short if I want a good sustainable audience, I should come up with good articles atleast once in 10 days with a bit of general writing here and there and yeah, some amount of self circulation!

wordpress_stats

Next, is my flickr status. Many people, rather bloggers, discount flickr as a blog platform! Its has been a strong and easy Photoblogging experience for me. I wonder why photo blogging is sidelined a lot by people. The ‘writing’ blogosphere considers themselves an elite group! Believe me most of the times a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are the best form of expression. Flickr is addictive and the members in flickr are really cool! Damn, I am paying money for using flickr and I am also an evangelist for the service. Its one of the coolest apps I have used in my life. Close to 20 people I know are using flickr due to me! (ps: I do a good job at convincing! I have influenced two people to buy macs last year ha ha…)

Coming back here are my flickr stats:

flickr_views

I have had close to 21,500 views this year which I feel is amazing. I am just using flickr to experiment. I am treating my flickr account as a way of making a photo diary, so that I can come back later sometime this year or in my life to – say or see or feel – this day last year or that year kind of thing. I started out using flickr for mobile picture blogging. I loved it. I have a small groups 2.0 idea using mobile picture blogging + flickr + yahoogroups in my mind. Will share the idea soon. Meanwhile check my tags on flickr by clicking on the following tag cloud. I haven’t tagged lot of pics on my flickr account due to privacy reasons. In a way, my pictures are public but difficult to ‘digg’ :). Ahem, remember difficult not impossible!!

flickr_tags

posts to read!

I have decided to have atleast one post every week that will be a list of links that are a must read.

I am doing so that personally I can come back to it later sometime. But I am sure its going to help some of “the very few valued” readers too! Nice posts to read for the week – I am doing the hard work! Also a nice place to get rss feeds if you like the blog post. All of them will be in the ‘link‘ category and finally yeah, it will also increase my google rankings … he he trying not to be evil uh?? ;-0

This week I can classify the links into the these buckets

Blogosphere and Media

Old media – king Content
Why Blogging vs. Traditional Media Has Been Oversold

Ultimately, it comes down to this: In the very near future, there are only going to be two types of media people: those who can reliably work and publish (or broadcast) incredibly fast, and those … who can’t.

What is Blogging not about??
Analyzing the Blogosphere
Deccan herald on Indian Blogosphere
Teen, schools n blogs!

Design

Logo
Design Satisfaction

Technology

TIME’s article on whether triple play can pay??
Ajax – explained!

After finance, Math’s new industry – advertising :)
Job trends
Web 2.0 index

colouring hair!

I coloured my hair on sunday night. It was something I had wanted to do for the last one month! But I really didn’t want to psyche my new ‘indian’ employers. So, I was ‘black’ for two and bang starting of the third week I went “multistriped“! I bought garnier’s multihighlight (cost Rs 175) and randomly applied somehow forming stripes here and there. Asked for my mom’s help she started to help but then later I took over the coloring on my own. It was getting messier and if she was the only person doing it I would blamed her all the while!

If anyone is reading this – I have coloured my hair multiple times. Experimented a lot last year. Compare these two pics: this is me at a Mardigras Grad party in Feb 2005 -
GSC_MG_020Followed by your truly in March 2005 (pic taken by my close friend Vijay – direction by me! ;-o):

Legally BlondeNot bad uh?? well the colouring isn’t as cool this time. I shall get a picture up and blog about it soon the questions and reactions I got from people around. Mind you this is India! colouring your hair is NEW. And even more new in the WORKPLACE esp for a Business Analyst and part Product Manager. And even more NEW for a GUY!!

Mobiles and usability!!

Just read a great review by Harshad of his new Samsung SGH C210. My company has also given me a samsung cellphone too (I was previously using a cool LG one) will drop in a line on my experiences once I start using it for a month or so … BUT I would like to highlight the final paragraph by Harshad:

“So I’ll try to learn the foolish ways of this foolish phone… maybe even get my fingers damaged in the daily excercise for sending messages and making calls. Till I save up for a better device… I will have to deal with a bad bad bad choice. This is perhaps the worst user interface I have ever seen. Even UNIX is better – it allows fairly intelligent people to change things as they want – here I am supposed to be just as stupid as any other Joe user. *sigh*”

ALL usability and Mobile manufacturers read the above sentences again and keep re-reading it! There is so much to learn in this paragraph. Harshad has done a great job of simplifying the trouble and problems with the current cell phones! Both industrial design and the software design.

I shall be sharing the blogroll for mobiles soon but gotomobile – a mobile usability and user experience blog is doing a decent job at looking into this space!
Coming back to his comment, he is a geek and feels the need of more control and ability to program stuff. And I don’t think the companies should pay heed to that. But what you have to understand is even a non-geek feels the need of non-customizing at some level!

And yeah, all the cribs are on the software front. Hardware he is ready to put up with :) and common how difficult is it to have multiple builds?? how the same hardware!

Another thing lacking in the mobile handset industry is STANDARDS!!! The list is endless – power chords, usb chords, buttons, talk button, end button .. god damn it I agree you need more IQ to operate these phones than operate windows ;-) But guess what even illiterates manage to do that. So, designers – go understand the common man – they have lot to say.

Finally, this is a picture of my old cell phone in the US, LG-PM 325 with google Local running on it. I was very happy and satisfied with it! I just couldn’t get it working in India as its CDMA i.e Sprint contract. Neither Reliance nor Tata indicom were ready to help me out on that!!

LG PM325

Relaxing at Home

Home, sweet home

I am still getting used to these 6 day weeks in India. There are three modes of working in India on weekends:

1. Like, my current company and as most companies. Either have 2 alternate saturdays in a month OFF and have the other two saturdays WORKING!
2. Have all saturdays as half days!
3. Have all saturdays OFF - some you lucky ones!! :)

I have been used to having only FIVE day weeks right from my school days, my IIT days and then Berkeley and even my job in the US. Now coming back after more than 10 years and working two full days out of the four saturdays in a month is really tiring!

Personally, the two sundays (which come in between the 6 + 5 day weeks) are used up in sleeping and recharging your batteries for the rest of the week! Now, how do you find time for relaxing, personal hobbies, those weekend trips?, meeting friends, spending time with family (common if all you are doing is sleeping, blogging etc .. during a Sunday), my volunteering efforts!

I feel the need for these extra two days to ‘spice’ up my life! I love my new job. But somehow, I just need my saturdays :D Next week is a short week – Jan 26th republic day and then saturday and sunday are off. I am going to catch up with the blog readings, take my mom and sis out, do some video editing, blow up some pics for my living room, try some podcasts …. wow I have my handful already!! Have a good week folks …