Sunday, May 25, 2008

Power of blogging - Legends

The power of blogging is really too much, and i keep on hearing more and more blogger success stories..

Meenaxi Madhavan, who blogs at The Compulsive Confessor, seems to have a pretty popular blog going. She was recently invited to some talk show to talk on blogging apparently. Now, it seems she has been invited to author a book. The publisher apparently invited her after reading her blog!

Crystal Blur, who writes excellent spoof-fantasy at, is another excellent blogger. She has a laaaarge fan following,. Do read the Mahabharata Series and the Rishyashringa series by her, they're sure to have you rolling on the floor laughing your asses out. One of her comments is from a film producer, who claims to have liked the blog and invites her to write a script for a animation movie he's taking. Talk about making money for something you like!

Kiruba Shankar's stories on the power of blogging are awesome. He talked at FOSSMeet '07 about how he blogged about Trisha's bathing video, and how he was finally contacted and then intimidated by Perk, the Chocolate company brand, because his blog was threatening Trisha's image. Trisha was apparently Perk's brand ambassador! And when people googled Trisha Bathing Video, the first link they hit was Kiruba's Post on Trisha!! No wonder people go for paid blog sites.

Another story from Kiruba is how a blog by another blogger brought about a fall in the sales graph of Club Mahindra's Kodaikanal tour trip package sales. Atul Chitnis was telling us how a blog entry by him, and subsequent follow ups from other readers, led to an improvement in Yahoo's yahoogroups, which was showing a number of technical problems at the time.

How much true these are I cannot say, but nevertheless, the stories floating around are a real encouragement to keep typing are'nt they?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Those were the best days of my life...

The link on top to this blog, says college-memories. Thats what this blog was meant to be. And it hurts me to say this might be the last blog on college memories that I'm putting up.

So here it is, the last few days of my life at NITC, probably the last memories I'll have of the place. And this is the end to the college-senti Trilogy of posts i guess. I shall try to avoid emotions in this post as much as possible, simply because if i started doing that, this post would never end.

Curse of the Project Presentation :

The worst part about the last days, more than the fact that my friends were leaving, was that I couldnt even wish them farewell cos I was caught up in my project presentation. It got over on 30th, and I'm really sorry about this bad technical standard shown in such a class institute, but not a soul came to investigate our project to see whether it was working or not. I was secretly happy that they dint see what we dint do. My project mates were pissed, they dint even appreciate what we did. That was a lot. Our project was 'Solar Powered Electric Vehicle'.

The Closest go First :

My roommate for 4 years, K.V.Varun called me up at the end and said he had already left for his hometown. At first, I felt no emotion, and said the usual 'take care, see you in Chennai ' etc stuff. My other roomie, Subrat was about to leave too.

The First Tears:

It was 10 min later in the MC, that it struck me that the closest 2 guys in my life were about to leave me. Forever. It struck me hard like a pile of books. I put down the Cold Coffee and started crying. I couldnt control it, so i ran to my room and wept for another half an hour.

The Nanyang treat :

Then 8 of us tricals went to the Sea queen as My and Narens treat for getting into Nanyang University. The food was good, the cocktails were awesome. The beach was really beautiful and so was the star filled nightsky. We sang antakshari all the way till there and back too.Came back and listened to senti music and rock, and burnt newspapers just for the sake of it. For fun. We made 'E's out of fire (See pic on the right) to represent EEE, our branch. Our friends. Our whole life at NITC

Formalities headache :
May 1 was a day full of formalities and headaches, like getting the no dues and trying to clear the red tape at the AB. All of us started early morning, and by evening we were all exhausted. All done and clear.

One down:

In the night, Shambu was about to leave. We had dinner with him in Kattangal and a treat from Rituraj for IIM-B admission. Around 30 NITCians left that night in a bus, including Shambu.

In the night, we all got together and played cards. 9 of us. We listened to 'Confusion theerkaname..' a mallu song in memory of Shambu (mallus- got the pun in the song wrt Shambu?) Then I went back as I had to pack up to go home next day.


It came. 3 of us were leaving today. I had finished packing up. G-man, me and Naren. We had booked Sumos. It reached around noon. I loaded the luggage, then got in after all the goodbyes waved and farewell hugs given to all the rest, including Warrier, VVS, Vasu and Britto. We went to LH to collect Laxmi.

The girls were crying there. So I couldnt hold back. It started. My crying spree.

And as I left my college, the last scene I saw, that of the road (called Rajpath by us) beyond the gate, with fallen leaves and the royal MB at the other end, was one that would be embedded into my mind for eternity. No exaggerations.

We had a final lunch together in Mezban - me, Laxmi, Naren and Nithin. Then Laxmi broke into crying again. I followed. And finally Naren broke up too.

The Kochiites, me and Laxmi got into the Sumo. I sent my Nanyang application hardcopy by courier, and then me and Laxmi had some arbit conversations. Then we both fell silent, both left to our thoughts, senti music playing in the background catalysing our emotions.

Cry Cry Crying all the way...

The rest of the trip was crying. Pure unadulterated sincere crying. I think that day I have beaten all the girls at their forte. None of the male ego or 'must-be-strong' attitude worked. As aptly put by Naren in his blog. How many gallons of salt water I dont know. But it took me all the way till Ernakulam from Calicut to finish up my crying.

And I dont think that even now when I think of those days, I cant hold back my tears... Like Naren said, I wonder if Ive reached home now or left it.

Blog Publicity

So here it is.. I will pen (keyboard) down whatever turned up at Kiruba's talk on Blog Publicity at FOSSMeet '08 held in NITC..

We were made into groups, and it was a sort of group activity to come up with ideas.. here are some that turned up..

1. Blog regularly. This point's importance can never be stressed enough. It was told to us by Kiran Jace too at last years FOSSMeet. People will only visit your blog if they know theyll have something new to read.

2. Make maximum use of blog-linking through another's blog. This is particularly useful in finding readers that you havent met in any other way or have no contact with.

3. Write on really controversial topics, you just might end up a hit in a search.

4. Similar to the above, upload videos, pics or audio that u know people are searching for.

5. Add your blog link as your signature when you mail or sms so that people know. Many of my friends have now started off this one.

6. Make your own domain name, say, Kiruba has been stressing this point over and over again from last year's FOSS also, though i dont completely agree with him. Getting a personal domain is pretty cheap, though, as Vatsil explored.

7. Specify interests, books, location etc in Blogger.. people who use blogger search to find people from similar interests etc will find you.

8. Publicise! Publicise! Publicise! Use word of mouth, mailing or any other brute force method if you're so desperate for readership! :-)

9. Comment on other blogs. Especially on blogs of popular bloggers >-))) (evil grin creeps onto face)

10. You can upload or comment stuff on other sites(not necessarily blogs) and link them to your blog.

There were more, I just dont remember them all. Anybody want to add some suggestions?.. I can edit this post to include more suggestions..

Kiruba's talk was also about the power of blogging. How blogging changed the fate of a whole company.. or a product.. or that of the actress Trisha.. (lol), and how he and his company would use online web publicity tools like blogging to help companies. A really interesting talk that was I must say. Audio will be uploaded on FOSSMeet site soon, hopefully.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Coming up next : Blog on Blog Publicity!

Kiruba Shankar, the famous blogger, had recently come to our NITC campus as part of FOSSMeet '08, to talk on the power of blogging and blog publicity.. The talk was really awesome, it was more of a group activity like, where everyone got to give their ideas.. and some of the points and ideas on blog publicity set me thinking..

I'll post the conclusions from his talk soon..

Before that, Please Vote on the poll on the right sidebar, on

"How did u come by my blog?".. (I think I already know what gets the majority :-) )

PS : Was surprised to find a poll among the other things available here.. Blogger Rocks!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Cutting the Red Tape

This is the curse of the NITC Administrative Block, otherwise called lovingly: AB, by us. When we were admitted to NIT, this was the building that inspired us the most by its beauty. Today this is the only one that shames us in NITC by its virtually Govt. Institution style functioning.

Story start : We poor final years at NITC have to finish some formalities called 'clearing the no dues', for which we have to go through the cursed system that prevails at the place mentioned above. It is like a kick-in-the-ass for the final years who are leaving the college, to force them out of college in case they ever had some love towards the college and wanted to stay.
At the head of it all is the worst processing bottleneck in NITC history, the deputy registrar, the laziest guy in such a high position I've seen. The finance section is equally bad.

I and Narendar went to the Academic section (hereforth called AS) to get our transcripts, which we would have to send to Singapore for our application. So here starts ther story :

Lady in the AS : You have to go to the DR, he has to make a decision
We go to DR
DR : You have to come with an application letter, a bill for 520 rs paid in Finance, and ur grade cards

We make a letter then go to finance

Finance : Its 3 :35 now, we are closed for the day (closing time is 3:30)

None of our 'pleases' and 'ayyo chechy's work. Next day, me and naren go to finance early, pay the bill, go to AS

AS : Give the letter and bill to DR, the grade cards here

We go to DR

DR : Give everything to AS

We go to AS

AS : You need to get these cards attested, go to your department and get them attested, or from some faculty here.

We go to the Registrar who is from our department and hence can actually attest for us

Registrar : Im too busy: Go to department.

We go to deparment, get it attested by HOD, run back. AS tells us the transripts will be ready in a day. We went the next day, and the next and they still werent. We had to push them all the way to get it done. Finally we did get it 2 days later.

Similar thing happened for our grade cards. You should understand how important these green pieces of paper called 'grade cards' are. 65 guys in our class cant go to their jobs without their grade cards. We've been bugging AS for 1.5 years now asking for the grade cards. And this was the last day for many of them. So we went there, asking them the status.

Came to know they were printed, but not verified. We pushed the AS to verify.

AS pushed the matter to DR.

We bugged DR sooo much that he pushed it back to AS, as an order.

Time : 5 pm, AB about to close.

Helpful lady in AS starts verifying. 5 of us (me, naren, donna, joseph, laxmi) are determined to break the red tape of 1 year no matter wat, so we also sit and verify. In the middle some cards have a problem which can only be corrected in Computer Centre, so Naren runs off to do it.

After verification, we cross check it with the details in AS's records. Some cards are yet to return ,and DR is about to leave. Luckily we made it just in time for Dr to sign on them.

Time : 5:50 pm, record timing for AB.

This way, we did in 45 minutes what they were waiting for 1.5 years to do. And thus secured the future of around 65 guys. We 5 were reall satisfied, and also our minds pretty much made up on lodging a complaint to someone about the system at the AB.

The only problem is, whoever we can complain to would also be part of the AB system himself :-)..