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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Hoping to blog within a week…Otherwise, the shackles would be secured again!

Now Godaddy pulls out of China!

March 26, 10 by Bharani

Western companies pulling their business roots out of china is becoming a hot trend these days. Just few days after Google officially pulls out of china, Godaddy follows suit and closes down its operations in china. Citing the new regulations which requires domain registrars to gather relevant document proofs such as photographs, residence proof, email address, telephone numbers and signed forms (!), godaddy stops offering “.cn” registrations.

The world’s largest registrar of internet domain names said Wednesday that it was pulling out of China in the wake of strict new laws that allegedly will increase government surveillance of web sites…

Jones [Christine Jones, general counsel for Go Daddy] said the new Chinese policies required every website owner to submit photographs, business information and individually signed forms, as well as their physical address, email address and telephone numbers.

‘We didn’t want to act as an agent of the Chinese government,’ Jones said. ‘We can’t let them be strong and us be weak all the time. We just have to stop it, and then we’ll start offering .CN domain names again.’

link

Is china trying to enforce the closed economy even on the internet turf? I guess so..They are not doing directly, but they are doing it through indirect means such as regulations, strict guidelines, tight web monitoring etc., For now, we will have just observe the cyber-war between the western supremacy (read US) and the new rising power China. Who is next in-line to close the operations? Dell (they are already showing some signs)?

Google Adsense serves multiple ad-networks now!

March 17, 10 by Bharani

It’s been 3 months since Google announced that it would be serving ads from third party ad networks through its own publisher network called adsense. Today, Google has rolled out the feature to all adsense accounts. Currently, Google is accepting ads only from third party adnetworks from North America and Europe. Publishers can opt-out of select adnetworks or can decide to opt-out of all adnetworks completely. I am going to test this by turning on and off adnetworks and see how this impacts my bottomline. As of now, there are 92 ad-networks certified by google adsense. Shown below are the list of 92 ad-networks.

Adchemy
http://adchemy.com/
Adchemy: Technology for Relevant Digital Advertising
Adchemy enables marketers to compose, deliver, and optimize millions of highly relevant ads from a single platform at massive scale.

Invite Media
http://www.invitemedia.com/
Invite Media – Next generation platform for display media trading

Specific Media
http://www.specificmedia.com/
Home – Specific Media
Specific Media provides advertisers, marketers, and agencies with multiple distribution channels to reach consumers on the Web.

Turn
http://www.turn.com/
Turn – The Smart Platform for Digital Advertising
Turn’s advanced platform combines predictive targeting, custom behavioral modeling, and powerful analytics to deliver exceptional performance to global agencies, publishers and premium advertisers.

Read the rest of this entry »

3 Idiots and Chetan

January 07, 10 by Bharani

3 Idiots was a much awaited movie and it definitely lived up to its expectation with such a wonderful screeplay, message and performances. As soon as I came out of the cinema hall after watching the movie, I asked my wife, “Shall we go for the next show too..?”. I eventually didnt, but that was the impact of the movie on me..The Movie is a definite crowd-puller.

I read the book “Five Point someone” around 2005-06. The book was fun-read. Quite liked it and have read all 4 books written by Chetan bhagat since then. 3 Idiots is based on that book! Everyone who have read the book can connect with some scenes in the movie. The movie also gave credit to the author as per the contract, which goes like this:

It shall be obligatory on the part of producer to accord credit to the Author in the rolling credits of any audio-visual moving image software (of any form in any media or medium) produced by the Producer in terms of the exercise and execution of the Rights granted as under:

Based on the novel
FIVE POINT SOMEONE
by
Chetan Bhagat

True to the contract, I guess the movie had the rolling credits for the author. All is well ๐Ÿ™‚ So, going by the success of the movie, Chetan wants to grab the limelight. I dont think he has been cheated. He claims that 75% of the movie is based on FPS. But I found lot of new stuff in the movie which was not there in FPS. Most of the comedy scenes which gave life to the movie was not there in the book. The screenplay was very well adapted for the movie.

I personally think Chetan Bhagat is trying to cry foul here and wants to promote his name alongside the movie and clearly making hay while the sun is shining. His name is now known to a larger audience than before! I wonder even if his name was shown in a much highlighted fashion in the beginning of the movie, he would have got the popularity that he has achieved now!! What’s more annoying is the fact that he made couple of posts in his blog stating that he has been cheated and that he is going to fight for the truth and that he is Arjuna and blah…blah…Within few days, he wants to make truce and says he is going to move on and close the issue once for all…What happened to the holy battle of dharma that he said he will wage over these bollywood folks?? Well, I think he lost quite a few fans with those conflicting behaviours exhibited through his blog posts…Bad show Mr. Chetan Bhagat! I will be fan of your books but I lost that ‘good’ impression I had on you…

BTW, do checkout the following link and the video.

25 Reasons why 3 Iditos is not FPS

While this controversy dies down slowly, the power of social media has proven its might in broadening the stage for discussion and debate with everyone chipping in with their views! Just see the site http://www.thefourthidiot.com/ to see for yourself!

New Feature from Twitter

November 11, 09 by Bharani

Twitter is rolling out features one after the other in a very subtle manner. I like the way this particular feature was rolled out! and ofcourse, I like this feature…It was long missing…Now, you can see a snapshot of who “retweeted” your “tweets” along with your original tweet ๐Ÿ™‚

Internet Report 2009 from JP Morgan

November 03, 09 by Bharani

JPMorgan Internet Report 2009

Google Compare Ads – Hunt for best offers!

October 31, 09 by Bharani

Google launched yet another important feature today – this time in adwords – called as “Compare ads” which allows users to compare multiple offers from various advertisers and choose the best. This goes one step beyond the current structure where ads compete with one another for users attention through ad title, ad description etc., Now users can compare interest rates for mortgage loans as shown below:

https://www.google.com/comparisonads/mortgages

This feature is currently available for mortgages only in US (in select cities). But it’s just a question of time before Google rolls this out across various industry segments and geography. All those comparison shopping engines in travel, loans, insurance, books, products will be definitely affected. The middlemen will be eventually eliminated and Google will become the central hub between sellers and consumers. The users will definitely be happy about this feature. Google is beginning to deliver more and more content from within its site. I am having a bad feeling about this trend…

What’s your take on this…?

Great Interviews with Google Folks!

October 09, 09 by Bharani

Recently Businessweek came up with a very interesting story on Google and how it is planning to stay ahead of the competition and whether it can stay on top of the web. Anyone interested in Search and Google should definitely read these articles. It throws lot of light on how google takes things seriously and why Search is still an unsolved problem and the challenges associated with Search. Worth Reading…

Can Google Stay on Top of the Web?
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_41/b4150044749206_page_2.htm

Interviews with Google Folks
Google’s Udi Manber: Search Is About People, Not Just Data – BusinessWeek

…Udi Manber, Google’s vice-president of technology for core search, joined the company almost four years ago after stints running Amazon.comโ€™s A9 search project and serving as chief scientist at Yahoo. He, like some other leaders on the search quality team,……

Google Search Guru Singhal: We Will Try Outlandish Ideas – BusinessWeek

…Inside Googleโ€™s search quality group, Amit Singhal runs the core ranking team, which is responsible for those algorithms you hear so much about. The team ran some 6,000 experiments last year that tried tweaking those mathematical formulas, ultimately producing between……

Matt Cutts: How Google Deals With Web Spam – BusinessWeek

…Itโ€™s up to Matt Cutts and his team at Google to keep search results as free as possible from Web spam, those pages full of Viagra ads or even malware. A 10-year veteran of the company, he got into this……

Google’s Scott Huffman: Many More Search Features Coming – BusinessWeek

…Scott Huffman runs one of the least-known units at Google: the evaluation team that measures the impact of every little proposed change to the leading search engine. And with some 6,000 experiments run annually, he’s pretty busy. Not to mention,……

Bing Visual Search Rocks!

September 15, 09 by Bharani

The Visual Search feature offered by Microsoft’s Bing Search Engine is fantabulous! I couldn’t check it out before as I was getting 404 error. But, once I changed the country setting by visiting http://www.bing.com/worldwide.aspx to United States, I was able to play around with Visual search by visiting http://www.bing.com/visualsearch. I love the way the images are presented visually. The ability to sort, re-shuffle and narrow-by is also done nicely. But one has to install microsoft Silverlight to experience the visual search. I would say it’s worth it…go try it!