Harshad Leaves Facebook

I got this from Harshad today on Facebook. Interesting :-)

Hey friends!

I’m just quickly emailing you from my facebook account before I delete it. I’m still available on orkut, just that I can’t stand facebook anymore.

I’m leaving facebook because
– I don’t use it much
– I don’t like the complicated user interface
– I don’t like giving applications access to my personal information just to view one message from a friend.
– My friends have emails, and its easier for me to contact them that way.
– Facebook doesn’t allow me to simply delete my account – I SUSPECT FOUL INTENTIONS. FACEBOOK IS NOT TRANSPARENT.
– Copyright grab issue… as a person creating content, I cannot stand this.
– Gut feeling – I never wanted to join, but friends forced me to… and now I’m realizing I was right… need to quit ASAP.

Hope you understand, kindly email me whenever you feel like talking.


Domain and Hosting options?

Someone in the BCB thread asked for people’s recommendation for domain and hosting solutions. Folks in the group responded with list of urls to contact and all they had to qualify was its good. From my experience, I bought a domain for myself six months back and I am playing around in it in kind of stealth mode.

Domain from http://www.net4domains.com/ and hosting at http://dreamhost.com/ (got a free url for a year there). Touch wood my experience has been good in terms of there has been no downtime and everything works. Things I have played around with this online are:

  • Got google for office account to work
  • Get command prompt access to install drupal, wordpress etc.
  • Try Facebook apps
  • Try hacking general code whenever I get time

Basically a space to hack around when i get time and interest in the internet world!! rapid protyping you see :D

But I think there are somethings to think about before going to a specific vendor and buying domain& hosting solution. To name a few:

  • Support from the Vendor
  • What purpose you want to use the hosting for
  • Uptime through customer
  • Cost (this is not much of a differentiator)
  • Payment Options … ;P (matters if you are in India!)

The list of Urls provided in the mail thread from people were:


What are your thoughts? I would like more options here … :-)

Love and Communities

Lovely post by Dave on Chemistry of Love.

Short of it:

That’s all we seem to know so far. But it’s enough to suggest that we can’t help ourselves — love is not something our minds have any control over. That’s both delicious and terrifying, … And when we lose it, like an addict going through withdrawal cold turkey, there is no greater agony.

Long of it:

There is still a lot of controversy about what happens in our bodies when we love, or fall in love, and to what extent the chemical soup of love determines what and how we feel. But there seems to be a consensus emerging.

What we are learning is that the chemistry of erotic love is different from that of the intellectual, emotional and sensual aspects of love. Erotic love also seems to be quite different in men than in women: in women it is less provoked by visual stimuli, and takes longer to arise in the first place and then longer to be slaked. Other aspects of love, from the intellectual love of ideas and of imaginings and of learning, to the emotional love of friends and partners and children and nature, to the sensual, aesthetic love of beauty, art and music, tend to me closely interwoven, less ‘separable’ from each other than from erotic love.

love is a consequence of a veritable cocktail of at least four different chemicals being released by the body, in an astonishing number of locations.

Phenylethylamine gives us the feeling of unbounded euphoria and energy we feel, especially when we first ‘fall’ in love.
Dopamine and neopinephrine give us the less ecstatic feeling of well-being and bliss, that wonderful mellow feeling that all’s right with the world.
Oxytocin is often called the ‘cuddling’ hormone — it is what makes us want to touch, caress, embrace and protect the one we love. It also increases the nurturing urge, and lowers our trust threshold, sometimes with disastrous results when we find that trust betrayed.

The cuddling and caresses in turn increase the production of phenylethylamine, dopamine and neopinephrine, so the self-reinforcing overdose of these hormones can be overwhelming, transformational.

Cruelly, over time, our bodies build up resistance to these four chemicals, and, except for those so addicted they abandon those they love to seek new thrills that start the cocktail over again, we begin to go through a slow withdrawal. We re-become our old selves.

Nature, and our bodies, having hooked us with the mind-blowing cocktail, now keep us hooked with a more enduring, low-key, matter-of-fact addictive drug. Testosterone and estrogen add the spice to reinforce that attachment, to keep us connected to the same people instead of wandering. Sometimes, anyway.

And my comments on Dave’s post about Communities based on Love:

Nice Concept but some of the points made in the comments are valid.

A Community with a purpose – would fall into something I call ‘complexity science’ domain.

One should have a few basic rules and others guidelines. Things I would list would be around 3 or 4 things say:
1. Love (if defined in a broader way it would include Trust, Honesty, responsibility, sensitivity and expressiveness)
2. Curiosity (same way lots of them when coupled with Love and Curiosity are derivative in nature i.e Intelligence, Passion, Imagination, Creativity)
3. Strength (ability to Deal with the unexpected, loss, randomness)

I think self-sufficiency will be something that will evolve. But its should absent for the community to grow initially. There needs to be constant activity – either CONSUME and CREATE

Would like to know your thoughts over email … Keep writing on this line of thought :-) I am curious :P

link burrp!

Facebook + iPhone = UltraCool
Airtel ties up with Affle for improved SMS-Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
FrontlineSMS: The complete entry-level SMS text messaging system for NGOs and charities
SMS your ECG to ER
m-learning – 2 years28082007 Alexander Hayes » SlideShare
“If it doesn’t work on a billion phones, don’t bother” » SlideShare

Starting up …
blog.pmarca.com: Luck and the entrepreneur, part 1: The four kinds of luck
Innovation Forum
Talking with the Receptionist, Pausing When You Speak (Leadership Success) – Knowledge@Wharton
The Flip Side of Entrepreneurship by Glenn Kelman
Bruceclay.com – How to Bounce Back From a PR Blunder
The Official Palm Blog: A Message to Palm Customers, Partners and Developers
On a day of market turmoil;words of wisdom from Warren Buffett
Management Methods | Management Models | Management Theories
Startup Weekend
Media – Photo and Film
Announcing PFCOne : The Online Film Festival for One Minute Movies : PassionForCinema
FlashFlavor » Blog Archive » i’ve got a hotstick
gemma & justin barkhuff » about us
Whazzup Mumbai !!! (Bombay): Film Clubs in Mumbai
Benji’s Studio Lighting and Posing Tutorial
The Morning News – Still Life

General Fun
Learning by living: dare to buy
AlterNet: Are Men Threatened by Funny Women?

RhymeZone rhyming dictionary and thesaurus
Nano City
AdMob – AdMonitor
NAMI | “A Day in the Life” Contest

Social Networking and Communities

Unit Structures: New Essay: The Vibrancy of Online Social Space
White Label Social Networking Solutions Chart, Part II
My Social Media Toolkit : [chrisbrogan.com]
How to Save the World
Brad’s Thoughts on the Social Graph
PR 2.0 – Silicon Valley
Main Page – Facebook Developers Wiki

Personal Productivity

Get Off Your Butt: 16 Ways to Get Motivated When You’re in a Slump | zen habits
Peaceful Simplicity: How to Live a Life of Contentment | zen habits
Web Worker Daily » Your Information Manifesto: 21 Tips to Deal with Info Overload
100 Mile Diet: Local Eating for Global Change » Getting Started guide

BCB rock starts …

I am going to convey the feel just with help of pics!


What is Barcamp? 70% people are first – timers => thats cool!

Intro sessions …


V.I.Ps – who needs them => put them in a corner!


Engrossed Barcampers …

Audience – theres no audience – everyone is participating!!



spirit of Barcamp

I have telling people about attending the upcoming Bangalore Barcamp this weekend and obviously the question is – what is it? Also by chance I happened to read Mark Cuba’s interview in IEEE Spectrum on ‘YouTube is doomed‘ (one of the coolest tech magazines according to me!) in which he says:

Just have fun and be good at what you do. Most people don’t make the effort to be the best at it, you know? They just try to make sure everybody thinks they’re the best. But most people don’t do the work. That’s what I tell people: if you’re going to do something, be the best at it. Take chances and learn from your mistakes. Put yourself out there to let people criticize you, and then learn from it. That is a never-ending process. You gotta keep on learning, always be learning. And most people don’t do that.

It’s like sports. If you can’t shoot with your left hand, you’d better practice. Business is no different; if you want to get better you practice. You want to get better at coding, you read more code, you write more code. You let people pick at your code, and you compare your code. You argue with people. You put yourself out there. You say, “Here’s where I stand.” It’s one thing to put it in a bar conversation; it’s a whole other thing to tell the world, “This is exactly what I think: you are a moron if you buy YouTube.” I could be proven wrong. Worst case is that I learn something.

The concept of Barcamp is on very similar lines. The Bangalore Barcamp Wiki kind of almost nails it for starting (but you gotta come for one to get the hang of it!):

Barcamp is an ad-hoc gathering born out of the desire for people to meet up, share, exchange ideas and possibilities in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from participants.

Barcamps turn around the notion of a formal conference by eliminating the distinction between speakers and delegates. Everyone is a participant, and is equally welcome to propose a discussion, speak up or add to on a topic they are familiar with. Barcamps are organized and evangelized largely through the web by a community driven, collective organizational process using a wiki as a tool. A Barcamp consists of sessions proposed and scheduled each day by attendees, mostly on-site and “on the fly”, typically using white boards or paper taped to the wall. While Barcamps are loosely structured, there are rules. All attendees are encouraged to present, facilitate or contribute to a session. Everyone is also asked to share information and experiences of the event, both live and after the event, via blogging, photo sharing, social bookmarking, wiki-ing, and IRC. Anyone can initiate a BarCamp, using the BarCamp wiki. Attendance is monetarily free and generally restricted only by space constraints.

I would also like thank the core group and organizers & volunteers to put the effort for bringing everyone together. Read Shourya’s take on why BCB 4 is bound to rock.

There are close to 1000+ registrant this time and I think it might just turnout to be one of the largest ‘conference’ forget ‘unconference’. What I think you can definitely expect is:

  • Excitement
  • Enthusiastic, open-mind people
  • Load of Randomness
  • People fighting to get some structure ;-)
  • Interesting intense discussions on Lots of things
  • Network, Network, Network ….
  • Starts Ups blooming
  • Points of view to make to think out of the Box

My advice – Come, Explore, Participate and if you like Camp (and sponsor the Bar ;-) if you want :D )!

Organic Sustainable Communities …

Had to specifically blog two articles I read lately and the upcoming Barcamp bangalore (more than 1000+ registrants!). Smart Mobs had some news about Omidyar.net closing up, but the write up highlights very keenly the same philosophy or thought I had written about in a post called the 4Cs (I wrote that Commerce is not a very important spoke), quoting from there:

One of the things we’ve learned over the last three years is that self-managed communities can work. Given the tools and the space in which to use them, the community can and will manage itself and keep things running with little to no oversight. We’ve also learned that communities are all about the people, not the platform, and that’s informed our decision for moving forward.

And then Brian highlights the importance of environment / ecosystem in his post “Its not the features … its the environment!” at Social Degree

Do features, design and UI help create the environment? Absolutely. But the community’s environment make features valuable, the features don’t make the community valuable.

This is evident in many of the online communities that I use as regular examples in my posts. For example, Sermo is nothing more than a forum. But they have created a high quality environment for doctors to interact. Such a high quality that they are able to charge hedge funds and big pharma companies $150,000 for access to the content that is being created by the community.

There is no formula to building a great environment, and therefore a community. Much of it is like entrepreneurship. It takes persistence, dedication, creativity, and a healthy dose of luck.

Luck is a key part, because you never know what member or action might be the tipping point. But as Bo Peabody (founder of Tripod) explains in his book “Lucky or Smart”, while you can’t force luck, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of being lucky.

So what does this mean in the world of the Facebook Platform and Ning? It means that nothing, especially those two items, are the be all, end all of online communities. Facebook has a pre-existing, established environment and Ning is for the most part an environment out of the box.

And David (Genuine VC), says

What really matters is Brand.

In the end, each media property means something different to a
different set of people. It’s the brand that’s important, not the

Take an analog analog here… a magazine. Readers of a magazine like
Time could care less about the printing press used to make the
publication, whether it was inked with the latest technology or an
antiquated one.

When I explore a potential VC investment in a consumer-facing online
media startup opportunity, one of the questions I ask is: “what is the
long-term potential to build a long-term brand?” With any
media property, it either needs to have wide mass appeal with an
adequate monetization rate or a niche appeal with a very high
monetization rate
. Whether or not it has a social element to
it depends on the audience. But in reality, from here on out, I suspect
almost all of new online media will be some type social media.

From my personal experience, same holds true for Flickr and the Indian MBA entrant community Pagalguy. Both the brands have garnered a very high following and its very cult like.

Flickr leveraged it in terms of a buyout and thankfully Yahoo phasing out it Y! Photos product (talk about power of the community! BTW its just forums and comments …). Else there might have been a big backlash and they couldn’t sustain having two development teams essentially trying to serve the same need.

Thankfully, Pagalguy also realizes this is working towards monetising and spinning out products utilizing its brand value.

Leaving behind with some questions in my mind. If you think a bit:

The Brand is what customer thinks of You. The customer / consumer own the BRAND! yes, you can influence them and try to manage their reactions but its beyond your control! So, the question is: How can you grow the Brand? How can sustain it? How can you monetize it?

Note: Brand can either be a huge company, community or can be just YOU.

Guess, to me more experience and reading will let me answer it :-) awaiting your comments