‘ Diary ’ category archive

Conferences, Meetings and Training

August 19, 10 by Bharani

Early this month, there was a 3-day SEO Training programme conducted by Bruce Clay (One of the Prominent thought leaders in Search Engine optimization industry) in Gurgaon. I decided to attend the training to crystallize my learnings, to learn new techniques and tips and to meet people with Similar Interest. It was quite useful and comprehensive. I would say the 3-day training gave me a structure and discipline towards how we approach SEO. And Bruce Clay did warn everyone of us about the brutally tough SEO world! As he put it, “every monday it’s (SEO) a new industry” (Google apparently makes 500 changes every month and on good day it might make 20 changes!). It’s like solving a 200 variable non-linear equation, which changes every day! It’s like chasing a moving target! Get the drift? Add to this, the new search result pages which google is experimenting with. The new SERPS (Search engine result pages) apparently show more of google content (google maps, google local, google news, google real-time, youtube, images and what not?) than external content. Alright, I am making myself nervous again 🙂

There is a Open source conference coming up in chennai next month. If you are interested in open source, PHP, Mysql, web development trends, mobile computing, cloud computing etc., you should try and make it to the event! Checkout more details at www.osidays.com. I am sending my developers to attend the event at company’s expense. Needless to say, they are mighty-excited and looking forward to learn some new things! If they learn, its good for company too 🙂

I always wanted to attend a TED Event. But being an super-expensive event and going by the difficulty to get ‘invited’, I was giving up on it. Then came along the concept of TEDX (local TED Clubs). TEDX Chennai is the chennai local chapter for TEDX. I am attending the event and have booked my tickets. Hoping to hear from some great speakers and gather some insight into their minds. Not to forget the opportunity to meet some really interesting attendees!

Updates.

July 30, 10 by Bharani

Looks like the art of blogging is slowly eroding! Nevertheless, this is yet another attempt to break the shackles. After spending 3.5 years in Gurgaon – a city where I discovered my new self – I have moved back permanently to Chennai. Infact, I am moving to chennai – my hometown – after roaming around for 8 years.

I have been busy consolidating things at my end. I launched 91mobiles.com – A comprehensive mobile phone portal. I do have high ambitions with the scope and reach of the site. The start has been pretty good. We have been working silently on the background to enrich and structure the database. Loads of interesting features being developed in the background. The coming months will witness a slew of updates from 91mobiles.com. Right now we offer Specifications, Price comparison, Videos, News, Answers, Product Comparison, Upcoming mobiles, Reviews and Dealer information on the site. Mobile Apps Directory, Mobile Classifieds, Mobile Knowledge base are to be rolled out. 91mobiles is clocking around 30,000 page views and 12,000 visitors per day currently. Not bad for a 6 month old site!

I am also trying to relaunch antya.com with a professional and cleaner look. The most important task at my hand right now is to build the team. I have hired two developers and a designer and looking for another top-notch and passionate web programmer. Hoping to find someone soon. Needless to say, hiring IS a BIG challenge. I am willing to persist than to compromise! The content team is also growing alongside – both on the in-house side and on the freelancing side. Since I have a heavy dependence on Content writers, planning to tap on to freelancing communities and may be build my own writers community! Will be trying out Amazon Mechanical Turk shortly. It has potential to satisfy few of my requirements.

Since I am keeping the costs down, I am progressing in a phased manner. Right now, the main focus is on product development and promotion. The objective is to build and promote few online properties, say by spending 2 years. Somewhere in the middle of the journey, will be spreading out to build sales and marketing team. Since advertising and Lead generation being the main revenue streams, it is important to have a good products that can scale, target and convert well.

I would be very interested in meeting with Entrepreneurs in chennai region. Nothing beats stepping out of office and meeting a new person with similar outlook towards life. Just ping me for a coffee 🙂 Hoping to blog within a week…Otherwise, the shackles would be secured again!

2007: The Year that was!

January 01, 08 by Bharani

Well, it feels like a short while ago when I re-capped 2006, but another year has passed in a jiffy…

Highs: (In chronological order)
– Starting a new job (Senior Product Manager @ ibibo Web Pvt Ltd) at new location (Gurgaon). First taste of internet industry.
– Being part of the core team that launched (DWAAR), India-focussed search engine.
– Getting Married. Varalakshmi is an extremely understanding and very caring wife. Lucky to have her as a life-partner…
– Learning Driving and getting my licence!!
– Buying my first car. Hyundai Santro Xing (Space Silver).
– Visiting Maldives (Heavenly place in earth).
– Visiting Taj Mahal with my wife. Being an Indian, too late to visit the Indian wonder that is part of the seven wonders. What a structure! What a symbol!
– Visiting quite a few religious places (Shirdi, Mathura, Gokul, Sripuram, Sholingur, Tirupati, Akshardham).
– Taking the entrepreneurial plunge & forming my own company called Antya Web Private Limited. Sunny Saurabh is my partner in this journey.
– Getting the seed funding for Antya. The seed fund has given us more confidence to continue the journey than anything else.
– Launching our own product, Antya. A site to find or discover websites across various topics.
– Featuring in Statesman Delhi for Antya- A full page article comprising 2400 words!
– Featuring in Indian Express, Technology edition for Antya.
– Interviewed for “Tech 4 U” section in Hindustan Times.
– Rise of the Antya in Alexa. Currently it is ranked 1764 in India. When launched the rank was 16905. It took just 20 days to reach under 2000! Antya is improving well in US too. Promising start for a long journey ahead.
– Getting my hands on Apple iMac Desktop (20″) loaded with Mac OS X Leopard edition. Interacting with Apple Mac is a Larger-than-life experience!
– Getting to know Bruno, a Labrodar, an extremely loveable and intelligent pet of my friend sunny. It’s amazing to see how fast he has grown from a small pup in May to a big boy now. Wonder how big he will be in another year 🙂

Lows:
– Death of a close cousin. She died of cancer.

Overall, Year 2007 has been pretty eventful for me. Year 2008 is a critical year for me in many aspects. Entering 2008 with loads of hope, courage, confidence, dreams and determination.

A quote to remember for me this year:
“…It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change…” – Charles Darwin

Shifting to new place…

August 26, 06 by Bharani

It is official…I have moved.

Visit me at http://www.way2top.org or http://way2top.org.

This blog will remain as an archive, as a memory…and I will try to update this blog with ISB related news…

Please update your blogrolls with the new URL. I will do the same…Thanks for your continued support and I need them aplenty….

Bowled over…

August 17, 06 by Bharani

It’s painful and highly discomforting…Realization strikes only when things happen to self…Chikungunya is troubling me high time since Monday…Hoping to recover before Sunday…lots of work waiting me at work…

A steel tear.

August 11, 06 by Bharani

I have been pondering over this question for a while…”I am living in a rented house. When will I own a land, own a house?”

If you are thinking that I am referring the real estate in the real world, then you are wrong! I am referring to the real estate in the virtual world….

Researched quite a few Domain and hosting providers. Am fixated on one particular offering. It’s going to cost me quite some bucks…But I have made up my mind to purchase. Now, I am waiting for the right occasion and an opportune time..!

Though I was busy with work for last one week, I actually had some time to blog. But decided not to…Am kind of giving a break…

Lemme get my own real estate first…

PS: Ofcourse “A steel tear” is an anagram of “Real Estate” :)

A Personal missive…

August 03, 06 by Bharani

My dear blog,

The decreased frequency and lack of focus/theme should be fairly concerning to you by now…! Sorry, I am not able to give enough attention to you…

1. Something more important is keeping me busy now-a-days…sucking up the energy and leaving me half-dead by the time I come back home. Work of course!

2. Incidentally, I have also acquired interest in ‘reading’ more and more blogs that are landing up in blogosphere. So decided to give some time to enjoy reading other blogs with the free time I have than writing stuff on my own. I will gather more ideas and make you strong soon…

3. The very thoughts of ‘not-making-posts’, ‘oh-no-the-traffic-is-dying’ and the associated guilt and pressure are least wanted by me for the next few weeks…

So, I just wanted to say that “I will be around, but cannot give attention to you as I did before…”

As is the nature of life, I will get free time soon and then I will completely revamp you, decorate you with stunning page designs, make you sparkle with insights, connect you with influential-interesting-insightful blogs and ofcourse will devote you my attention…aplenty..!

And yeah, you are nearing your 100,000th Visitor count…So just hang in there…I will treat you..!

Bear with your undisciplined friend for some time…but, I will give surprise visits to you sporadically…

Your’s truly,
Truly yours.

PS: I have tagged you correctly atlast, under ‘Diary’!

Compressed Knowledge?

July 23, 06 by Bharani

Business Summaries, Compressed Knowledge, Book Abstracts, Executive Book summaries…These are all names given to the ‘concept’ of providing a brief summary of the book. This business mainly preys on the need to “Save time yet manage to get the fundamentals behind the book”. There are two ways in which these summaries can be useful. First, you can read through the concepts and if you are only really interested you can buy the book to read in detail. Second, you can use the summaries as a form of ‘key notes from the book’ to revise the concepts of the book. Either way you save time. If the summary does not excite you, you don’t have to buy the book. Well, there are prefaces/book reviews/excerpts available in the market. But they are either ‘opinions of others’ or simply ‘a slice of the book’. The Business summary on the other hand is a condensed version of the book lacking the ‘judgement of the reviewers’ and ‘a peek into the best portion of the book’.

The market for Business summary is quite niche [Executives and Business people]. But it is slowly gathering popularity among student community too.

I perceive this Business summary as a way of uploading the knowledge of a “600 page book” into your brain by reading just 5-6 pages! Somewhat similar to how Neo learns to ride helicopters, fight jujitsu, kung-fu etc in the movie Matrix :) Just kidding.

Websites:
http://www.getabstract.com/ [Get Abstract]
http://www.bizsum.com/ [Business Summaries]
http://www.summary.com
http://www.elementk.com
http://www.execubooks.com

Get Abstract is offering Freakonomics here.

If you come across any more good Business summary websites or free downloads of Business summaries, please let me know.

‘Web-logs’ or ‘Web-slog’?

July 19, 06 by Bharani

Blogging has finally received the much needed attention in Television Media. Now more and more common people will be interested in knowing about blogs. The issue about blogs being blocked by ISPs will be resolved in days, weeks or at the most months time. But in the end, the real beneficiaries will be blogs and bloggers. Just imagine an entire 30 minutes being dedicated by a leading News channel to debate about this issue. All the time, some of the prominent blogs in India were constantly shown in the background. “India Uncut” being the prominent!

Since Blogsome was immune from these bans and blocks, I could not feel the discomfort faced by other fellow bloggers. But I could empathize their position. For me, blogging has become a part of my life. I cannot imagine life without it.

There are days during which I did not publish any post. But it can be attribued mainly to lack of ideas/content than to laziness. I think I have been a fairly regular blogger. In my opinion, consistent and frequently updated ‘web-logs’ are the result of ‘web-slog’ (Yet another new term and is an anagram by the way!)

During the Leadership Development program @ ISB, there was an exercise to deliver presentations about any topic. I chose the topic, “Blogging and ISB” when there were so many other topics to chose from. There was a blogging competition held by IIM Indore, where one needs to write about “Blogging and Viral marketing”. My article fetched first prize! Then, there was the “Torch-bearer award” which was given mainly for my blogging efforts than for other form of contributions. There were few more occasions when ‘blogging’ influenced my thought process. I started blogging as a hobby, then it became a habit, then it became an addiction…and I just hope it does not become an obsession.

Given this frame of mind, no wonder I was enraged about the blogs being blocked by ISPs. Thank god, my blog was not blocked. Otherwise, I think I would have participated even in the street-demonstrations…!

Federated PPT!

July 18, 06 by Bharani

Today afternoon around 1 p.m., my superior approached me and asked, “Bharani, can you give a talk about our initiative to the India Leadership Team @ 4 p.m?”. I had to agree. I was excited about the fact of meeting 13 wise gentlemen who form the India Leadership Team (Managing Director and Directors of Business units, HR, admin etc.,) for the first time. I was also excited at the prospect of talking about the progress that we have made so far. It is an opportunity to gain visibility for my BU and self. I conjured up a PPT out of 4 different sources that existed at that point of time. I should call the final product a “Federated PPT” (new fancy term :) )

The big board room environment reminded me of the Apprentice Show! I did not know the names of some people in ILT. So I introduced myself and then asked each one of them to introduced themselves. I was expecting someone to introduce each person officially. But that did not happen. So took the initiative myself. (That was pretty bold when I reflect in the hindsight). I think the talk and the demo went on well. I made a note of few areas which needs cover up and few items which needs a touch of polish. The talk was more of a chance to get more buy-ins for the initiative. One thing is becoming more clear. That we have a very long way to go…

When there is an opportunity to enhance your visibility/position, give your best.