General ramblings

To Information “Over-loaders”

It’s OK.The world understands. It’s so busy with information overload that it won’t notice. Not that you’re forgettable, but your connections will be there when you come back.Really. Take care of yourself first.

Source: Couldn’t Tweet Today? Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over it, NY Times, 02/04/2010

You’re welcome.

General ramblings

A to Z of Movies

Lallopallo tagged me for a movie meme a couple of days back. I started off by writing a blog post, only to realize that I am wasting my time. No, not wasting my time doing the meme, but wasting my time re-listing all movies that I’ve mentioned in the Cinema page of my blog. But thanks to this meme, I’ve made a couple of adjustments: I have removed the categories (Action, Drama, Foreign, Documentaries etc.). Categories restrict the art of movie making. At least that’s what I feel. A movie is so much more than just drama or action. Instead, I’ve re-arranged the movies that I like based on their first names (A, B, C, D…etc).

Lallo, I know you wanted me to add why I liked each movie. I’m sorry I haven’t done that because it’s difficult for me to sum it up in a couple of sentences. I have linked each movie to the IMDB page, which gives ample information (the movie outline, main characters, quotes etc.). In any case, IMDB does a better job that I will ever do. Some of these movies have been previously reviewed on my blog and I’ve inserted the links next to the names of the movies.

Like I mentioned to Arjun on Twitter:


I’m not tagging anyone particularly. Anyone who wants to take up this meme is free to do so.

General ramblings

Media’s Role in Mumbai’s Terrorist Attacks

I’m getting a little sick in the stomach, seeing Mumbai terror attacks coverage on CNN. Most of the times, their news is “stale”, in comparison to the news posted on Twitter.(Just search for #Mumbai). Citizen journalism is turning out to be more comprehensive, well-timed and exhaustive compared to traditional media. Lots of articles on the net that are talking about the power of twitter and bloggers. Lots of bloggers like Arun Shanbag, Vinu etc. have come into limelight because of their responsible journalism- they care for you and me. News channels cover these events only for their own good, to increase their TRP ratings etc.

I have only been a moderate user of Twitter- a couple of tweets here and there. Nothing more. This incident, however, has changed the way I feel about Twitter. It has the potential of becoming a stronger force to reckon with. A force fueled by ordinary people like you and me.

I came across a nicely put Google spreadsheet that has the list of people who are either injured/dead. My eyes welled up with tears. Two of my friend’s friends at Leopold Cafe and another friend of my friend’s younger brother, who was interning as a chef at Taj Mahal Hotel, were shot dead. I was speechless.

Of course, there are haters who talk about the side effects of Twitter and how lots of Tweets were only rumors. I have only one response to these haters- don’t news channels run their business based on rumors too? What’s new?

People have issued statements saying that “people need to tweet responsibly and stop airing all important news on Twitter; this can be used as a weapon etc”. I understand how this can be dangerous, but complainers need to find a way to deal with it! Restricting the use of social networking sites is tantamount to taking away our freedom of speech.

How many citizens sitting in the comforts of their homes and tweeting away to glory have actually done something (donated blood, tried to find information for people who are yet to hear from their loved ones etc.) is questionable. And I’m sure there are others who think this is a great party and a trendy topic to talk about. Leaving such people aside, I do hope that some good comes out of it.

Related Reading: In Mumbai, Bloggers and Twitter Offer Help to Relatives

Shefaly’s take

General ramblings

The Reason

Of my absence is this darling tumblelog that I made sometime back. I’m not being able to control my new found obsession. It’s so easy to post pictures, quotes, video, audio (yes, you can upload everything to their servers free of cost), and many other things in a couple of seconds with the help of a bookmarklet. It might very well bring around the death of blogging of one day. Okay, so I’m going over board. Not death, but Twitter, Tumblr, Pownce, Soup and other micro blogging platforms are here to stay, which is apparent from the number of posts that people make in their tumblelogs, compared to their blogs. And I seem to be one of them.

As much as I love blogging, there are times when I don’t blog about stuff (that I would really love to), because of the need to tailor my post to a particular length, or to include links etc. and all of this is very time consuming. I’m finding my tumblelog to be quite liberating in this way, in that there is no pressure. It’s more personal by nature and I’ve already made an awesome set of “followers” there. 🙂

Consider getting yourself one of these, if you like writing shorts posts. And we can be neighbors and follow each other.

Here’s a donut for you people- Take a look at all the lovely pictures/funny stuff that I’ve collected so far on this interactive page.

Blogging, Technology, Tumblr, Wordpress

Get Yourself a Tumblelog Today!

Let’s move away from Twitter and make space for the new kid in the block, Tumblr! I’ve never really been fascinated by Twitter/Jaiku/Pownce because they lack the power of customization and are very restricted in their usage. Tumblr is a tumblelog that “slightly more structured blogs that make it easier, faster, and more fun to post and share stuff you find or create.” It’s a Twitter-meets-WordPress kind of thing, if you will. Most of you often find links, photos, videos or quotes that we would like to share and in case you don’t want to make it into a blog post, you can just post it to your tumblelog. So, technically, these are shorter than traditional blog posts, but longer than your Twitter updates. The sign up process is really simple and easy. All that you’ve got to do is enter an e-mail address, user name and password and you’re done! This is my Tumblr page, if you’re interested.

Tumblr has a number of amazing features that will make you want to get an account ASAP!

  1. Free domain mapping- How cool is that? Especially for users who pay $10 per year to get the same service.
  2. You can upload one MP3 song, less than 5 MB in size, every day! Yay!
  3. Embed videos directly from the internet or upload your own videos.
  4. You can also make a link post, that shares only a web page link.
  5. You can also share “chat conversations”. I haven’t tried this…but apparently, you can post chat transcripts from MSN/Gtalk/Yahoo/AOL etc.
  6. There are some really cool themes to choose from. Most of these themes are only single columned. This is the one of the major differences between having a full blown blog at and having a tumblelog at Tumblr. But I did see a couple of two column themes (including A Bus Full of Hippies) too.
  7. Most of the themes are totally customizable. You can edit the CSS/HTML and add Java scripts.
  8. You can also “Follow”people, like you do in Twitter. Others can also follow you.
  9. Fully functional RSS feeds.
  10. Amazing “Archives” system- The way Tumblr archives all your posts is such a beauty. Just take a look at the Archives of any of the tumblelogs that have been featured on the Front Page.
  11. Upload your personalized avatar, which also doubles up as your tumblelog’s favicon.

Basically, there are no restrictions to what you can do. Feel free to write just a line updating your status or talking about something else, if you want to.

However, I did find some restrictions:

  1. As of now, there is no in-built comment system, but Tumblr does plan to introduce this very soon. But you can use a third party comment service provider, such as Haloscan or Disqus.
  2. I couldn’t find any way by which I can check the “Stats”. This is not really a drawback, because we need to understand that a tumblelog is different from a blog. So, we can’t really expect all the features. But yes, you can see the number of people who are following you. On second thoughts, I’m sure you can use Sitemeter or Google Analytics or a similar stats service easily, by adding the HTML code to the sidebar (in case you use a two column theme).

If you would like to know about Tumblr, then take a look at the Help page. I signed up for their service two weeks back, but didn’t start using it until today. I’ll be regularly adding lots of things to it.

Edit: Just found an interview by Tech Confidential  where David Karp says that 40% of the traffic comes from referrals.

General ramblings, Social Networking, Technology, Thoughts, Yahoo! Mash

Yahoo Mash- No Splash Here

Raphy sent me an invitation for Yahoo! Mash a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to him, I got in within 48 hours of its opening 🙂 I have been meaning to do a post on it since quite some time, but haven’t been able to. Mash is still in Beta and is available by invitations only. So leave me a comment if you want an invite!

Customization- There is a lot of customization that you can do to your profile AND to your friend’s profiles, if they allow it. I think this is a new idea and can become a hit. However, I wouldn’t like someone editing my profile and writing stupid stuff all the time. You can restrict it to “Only Me”, Some of my friends (Best friends only, family only ), Any of my friends, or to Everyone (meaning even someone who is not on your friend list can edit it)

Profile Creation- Very easy process. Just click on any area and edit. You can also customize your wallpaper, fonts etc. By default, your display picture is the same as your Yahoo! Messenger (or Yahoo! Mail) display picture.

My Pet- You get to have your own pet and name it to. You can feed it, kill it (like I did), lick, mash it etc.

Blurb- This section reminds me of Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and all those sites that keep your friends updated of your current status.

My Stuff- Add videos, songs, any other links etc.

Modules- Just like Facebook has Applications, Yahoo! Mash has Modules. Some of the most popular ones are- Flickr RSS Gallery (what is it with people posting every damn photo in their digital camera on Flickr and then showing off? I find it to be highly irritating and repulsive. I know Scoble does it all the time. He’s very happy that he’s already clicked about 36 GB worth of pictures of his new baby boy Milan), PimpMyPet (customize your pet), EgoBoost ( Is self loathing getting you down?), Astrology, Asteroids (Shoot the asteroids before they destroy you), Yahoo Weather, Gift for Friends (something like Free Gift on Facebook).

There is a lot going on there, but Yahoo! Mash faces stiff competition from Facebook, MySpace and Orkut (even though I’ve deleted my profile here. Can’t stand this social networking site. It sucks!). Not to forget, it’s only in Beta testing mode right now. The later it hits the general public, the more difficult it will get to play catch up. I don’t find any reason to become active on Mash in addition to Facebook.

Check out the screen shots in this blog.

You can read the Official Mash Blog to remain updated!

Rating: 6.5/10

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