Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Spain - Majorca
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS
1. Spain - Majorca
2. France - Paris
3. USA - Florida and New York
4. Italy - Lido De Jesolo and Rome
5. Greece - Corfu
MOST POPULAR GOOGLE SEARCHES
Posted by pala hanmi reddy at 5:40 PM
Sunday, March 28, 2010
"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's party!'" ~ Robin Williams
The Power of Love
... of boys and girls are able to conceive, nature is very clear that it wants these mere babies to go about making babies of their own, and so it makes the impulse almost irresistible. There's a reason for the fabled sexual stamina of teens: the more frequent the pairings, the more likely the offspring. What's more, the pleasure of sex can often lead to long-term bonding, something else nature wants if babies and children--with their long years of dependency--are going to survive into adulthood.
But even at this unsophisticated stage of sexual maturation, there's more going on in kids than simply developing an exquisite reproductive itch and learning the wonderful ways it can be scratched. "More and more in our field, we don't even talk about sex anymore," says anthropologist Gil Herdt, director of the Program in Human Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University. "We talk about sexuality. It's something that involves the entire person, the whole life course, not just the sexual acts."
Marrow agrees and takes the notion even further with the belief that human sexuality is a form of communication as much as it is of procreation. Nearly all creative acts are at least in part communicative. Songs are written to be sung to somebody else; pictures are painted to be hung for somebody else. Is it any surprise that sex--an act infinitely more intimate than any type of art--is also a creative way of communicating complex ideas and deep feelings? "The biologists think the biology comes first," Marrow says. "I think consciousness is the first part of sex, and exploring that consciousness with another person is one of its purposes." If Marrow is right, it's no wonder that poetry and music are often included in the business of romance, if only to make that message richer.
Of course, artistry--even something as small as a well-chosen greeting card or a romantic setting for dinner--may open the sexual door, but something else must keep it from closing again. What sustains a physical relationship after the early romantic rounds end is something more nuanced than seduction and more enduring than passion. Often it's something as wonderfully ordinary as stability. Partners who maintain a robust sex life are simply more likely to remain partners than those who don't, something almost any couple knew long before the sex researchers thought to quantify it. If it is hard to be physical with a mate you've stopped loving, it can be equally hard to get to that cold point with a person with whom you still share the intimacy, exclusivity and, especially, vulnerability of sex. This is particularly true as the intoxication of a new relationship begins to fade and partners start to notice flaws they were too romantically tipsy to see before.
Not only does the relationship benefit from a steady sex life, but so can the physical and emotional health of the partners themselves. Research suggests that married people may live longer than singles, that happily marrieds do best of all, and that couples who remain at least somewhat sexual, even into their dotage, report a better level of satisfaction both with their relationships and with their lives as a whole. Certainly, it's hard to say if people who start off happy and satisfied simply have more sex or if it's the sex that makes them happy and satisfied. Whatever the answer, it's clear that human beings would not be fully Homo sapiens--at least not as we've come to understand ourselves--without the great, mysterious, preposterous pageant of our sexuality.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Earning money through blogging; How to Build a Successful News Blog: 10 Information Sources You Can Use
Make a decision to be successful right now. Most people never decide to be wealthy; that is why they retire poor." - Brian Tracy
How to Build a Successful News Blog: 10 Information Sources You Can Use
News blogs are fast-paced blogs which track, aggregate and disseminate current news on a set range of topics. Their main selling points are comprehensiveness and timeliness: a good news blog must cover the field throughly and speedily by pointing readers to new information or developments.
Content for news blogs is published regularly on a daily basis and sometimes multiple times throughout the day. Apart from the value of the actual opinions offered by news bloggers: people subscribe to or follow these news blog largely because they help them to stay on top of current issues, innovations or ideas concerning a industry.
News blogs are also profitable if they are monetized because they publish a very high volume of content, which continuously attracts both search and referral traffic. If you’re an entrepreneur or webmaster looking to generate some online income, a news blog is a good foundation to start with because you’ll never run out of content: the consistent news flow drives you to publish regularly.
If you’re interested in a specific field, publishing a news blog forces you to keep up with what other people are talking about. It’s different from just reading other blogs because you’ll participate by contributing your own ideas or opinions. This is a good way for you to build a strong online reputation.
This article and others to come in this mini-series will examine what you need to create a successful and popular news blog.
Determining Your Information Sources: An Essential First Step
You’ve picked a domain name/brand, bought web hosting, installed a blogging platform, chose a blog design and optimized your site. What’s the next step? You need something to write about and picking the right informational sources will make sure that your news blog is not only relevant but timely and unique.
Let’s look at how you can create a list of news sources. I’ve broken the entire process in 10 points: you can choose to only use some of these sources although I would recommend exploring all of them if you have the time.
The only essential tool you really need as a news blogger is a robust RSS feed reader. It is very time consuming to check multiple websites several times a day for new content and the easiest way to go about it is to pull all the content into one cohesive location, which is your feed reader.
Whenever possible, you should always subscribe to news source’s web feed and categorize it accordingly in your feed reader. If you don’t use a feed reader, I recommend Google Reader or Feed Demon for Windows and NetNewsWire or other online feed readers for Mac.
Here are the 10 information sources you can use for your news blog.
1. Other Blogs in the Same Niche
Image Credit: the journalist’s blogroll
One of the best ways to find interesting news is to subscribe to other blogs in your niche. This includes both other news blogs and non-news blogs and I suggest that you pay extra attention to blogs which specialize in a sub-niche because they are usually the ones who publish unique content worth mentioning.
There are several ways to find other blogs in your niche:
* Search Engines: Do a search for topic + ‘blog’ using Google.com or try their blog search engine, which allows you to do an advanced search so you can only look for blogs with the topic keyword (‘cars’ ‘food’ etc) in the blog title.
This increases the relevance of the search results. Other blog search engines you can use include Ask.com, which allows you to sort results according to popularity. Technorati’s search also allows you to sort results according to authority, which is the number of links pointing to each blog.
* Blogrolls: Some of the blogs in your niche will have blogrolls or a links page with links to other relevant blogs or news sources. This is an excellent to surf around and find other relevant blogs which cover the same topic.
* Blog directories: A simple Google search for ‘blog directory’ will give you a good amount of sites to look through. Technorati has a blog directory which includes each blog’s authority score so you’ll have a rough gauge of popularity for each blog. Blog Catalog, Google Directory and Best of the Web are also good places to check out.
If you’re using a directory, the most important thing is to make sure that the blog is still active. Don’t be surprised if you find lots of dormant sites sitting in blog directories.
* Personal Recommendations: Sometimes the easiest way is to ask your friends or members of a forum for recommendations on sites you should check out. The benefit of personal recommendations is that you’ll almost always come across good weblogs. It’s a good way to weed out most of the junk.
2. Social News and Bookmarking Websites
Social news communities like Digg, Reddit and Mixx are great places to find a good source of both news and non time-sensitive content. Some niche social news websites will also allow you to network with other bloggers or webmasters in the same field and is quite useful for you to develop some useful connections.
Check out each social news website and subscribe to the frontpage or the appropriate category of news. Here is a list of social news sites to use.
You can also use unique sites like StumbleUpon to channel-surf specific tags that relate to your website. Personally, I feel that StumbleUpon is not an efficient method of accessing news because its slow and the content is often dated. However, it is useful for getting quirky or offbeat information not found elsewhere.
I highly recommend subscribing to the RSS feeds of active stumblers, instead of using the toolbar to stumble pages yourself. This is much more efficient way of accessing news via StumbleUpon. Make use of influencers who share content.
Social bookmarking websites will display what their users bookmark online and all these links are organized by tags. Content on social bookmarking sites is not always current but it’s a good place to find some obscure gems. The best way to process this information is to subscribe to these tags and put them in your feed reader.
When it comes to social bookmarking websites, don’t waste time surfing around and actively looking for content. Let your subscribed tag feeds collect in your feed reader and peruse them periodically. There are many social bookmarking sites out and you don’t need to use them all. I recommend using del.icio.us, furl and ma.gnolia.
3. Keyword Watchlists
This refers to the monitoring of specific keyphrases or keywords related to your blog in order to pick up on relevant news. Technorati has a Watchlist feature which allows you to monitor several keyphrases when they are used by blogs.
Google Alerts is watchlist tool I like a lot because it can email you with links quite frequently on a as-it-happens basis. You can also subscribe via RSS for keyword watchlists on sites like Twitter through Tweetscan or Twemes.
Some RSS feed readers like Feed Demon allow you to set up watchlists to monitor specific keywords that appear in all your feeds. This is very useful if you subscribe to a lot of web feeds as you may often miss out on relevant content.
4. Meme Trackers
Meme trackers are websites which organize blog posts on specific topics according to an automatic algorithm that determines which articles are cited or discussed the most. They give you a general overview of what’s being discussed in a specific niche at the moment
These meme trackers usually include a list of blog posts linking or related to the news story in question. This is useful when you want to write a quick news post and want to reference other blogs talked about it. Examples of meme trackers include Techmeme, TailRank, Megite and Technorati.
Meme trackers also exist for social media services like Twitter in the form of Tweetmeme and Twemes, which loosely organize conversations and links passed around by Twitter users. Not always an excellent source for breaking news but still useful to capture some off-the-radar information.
As always, subscribe to the RSS feed for each meme-trackers and monitor them a few times a day. They are an convenient source of content ideas and news.
5. News Aggregators
news aggregators popurls
News aggregators are somewhat similar to meme trackers and social news sites except that they do not use any algorithm to determine story visibility. They are simply webpages which pull in RSS feeds to centralize them in one location online.
For example, here’s a short list of SEO News Aggregators, which focus on aggregating the web feeds of selected blogs writing about SEO. Other general online aggregators include Alltop and Popurls. I think aggregators can be useful if you don’t like to use web feeds or when you need a quick overview of what’s happening in a niche.
Personally, I don’t really fancy using them because I always tend to overlook news items because of their format. I prefer archiving my news through the feed reader because it allows me to search through and categorize content more easily.
6. Online Newspapers and Magazines
Online newspapers and magazines will provide you with a lot of news on your chosen topic and its a good complement to blogs and social news websites, which may sometimes overlook a particular piece of news.
Online newspapers also has the advantage of offering localized news on either a national or city-basis. This is useful if you run a news blog that is divided in country or region-based coverage. Start first by subscribing to the major news outlets like the BBC, CNN and New York Times.
After which, subscribe to sources which focus more on specific angles of interest. For example, if you’re running a celebrity gossip website, you should subscribe to the Daily Mail and People.com, both of which are sites with a strong emphasis on celebrity and other tabloid-style news.
Always subscribe to online magazine/newspaper feeds according to the specific news category. You don’t need to subscribe to a entire news-site because most of the news will be irrelevant to your interests. You don’t want to overload your attention with stories you cannot use for your blog.
7. Academic Journals and Trade Publications
Image Credit: little
Academic journals and trade publications often publish reports which you can highlight on your blog in the form of news. This usually includes polls, statistical analysis of a specific phenomenon or reports on the performance of an industry. Not all of these publications are free and some do require a paid subscription.
It’s possible to obtain complimentary copies of these academic journals regularly, if you’re a blogger with a certain degree of clout. In some scenarios, publishing houses will be willing to send you new books or journals in return for a mention on your website. It is also possible to obtain these journals by being a contributing member of a scholarly society or educational institute.
The content published in these journals is not news per se but not many bloggers pick up on these info sources so it’s an easy means for you to inject new ideas or content into the industry. This is a terrific way to position yourself as a thought-leader or maven.
8. Press Releases and Media Contacts
PR News Wire press releases
When you are starting out as a relatively unknown blogger, you need to take the initiative to accumulate media contacts. Email companies and web services which are relevant to your site’s topical focus and inform them that you are open to receiving email press releases from their marketing/PR department.
You’ll usually be put on an email list and you can take this chance to initiate better relationships with the specific PR manager/executive. Ideally, you want to be invited to launch parties and networking events as a member of the press.
You can also monitor Press Release sites like PR News Wire, which offers well categorized RSS feeds for specific industries. Press releases are great sources of direct information from both large companies and small businesses. Sometimes they can be a effective way for you to get the scoop on a big news story.
9. Insider Information
Image Credit: the scoop
This involves establishing inside sources within organizations or companies who will be willing to leak information for a big story. How do you develop these inside sources? Networking in the right places with the right people would be a strategy or you can simply offer to publicly offer to pay for scoops from people in the know.
In any case, ‘inside sources’ are often made up by bloggers and online journalists, in order to get attention and pageviews. For instance, this is very common amongst celebrity blogs because they are in the gossip manufacturing business: readers don’t mind too much if they hear another rumor that may be proven false at a later stage.
Just note that repeatedly offering false information may detract from your credibility so use inside sources only when you are very confident of their authenticity.
10. Reader Tips
Last but not least, your blog readers are great source of information. Set up a tips email account and publicize it on your website. You might not get many tips in the beginning when your site is new but this will change as your news site grows.
Several large blogs like Lifehacker and Boing Boing receive a good amount of reader tips daily and some of them are worthy enough to be transformed into a blog post. Personally, I really like this idea because this is a passive way of receiving news. Instead of actively searching for content, you’ll getting them sent to you.
Make sure your tips hotline is clearly visible from the site. Here’s a good example of a story suggestion page you can use for your site.
And this concludes the list of information sources you can use. In the next article in this series, I’ll talk more about the specific tools you can use to increase your blogging efficiency as a news blogger.
Earning money through blogging
Once just an option to voice your opinion, blogs have come a long way and
are proving to be the only source of income for some people, finds out
Opinion, views and suggestions are always free! No one asks for them but
we are wise enough to pass them on. But, what if one has to tell you that
giving your opinion can help you earn hefty amounts of money? Sounds
bizarre? Blogging has been in the picture for quiet some time and people
are generating money from it. And it’s not small money that we are talking
about! Meet three individuals who can very well live on to the earnings
from their respective blogs for a relatively longer period!
THE PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER
Amit Agarwal, a technology analyst and professional blogger who holds an
Engineering degree in Computer Science from IIT and has worked with clients
like ADP Inc., Goldman Sachs, and Merrill Lynch says, “I was still in the
job but was very active on Internet forums like the ‘Experts Exchange’
trying to help people solve their tech related issues. Blogging was a
natural extension to that hobby,” says Agarwal. In 2004, Amit quit his job
to become a professional blogger. He jumped on to the blogging bandwagon
some five years ago but the commercial benefits were evident only after a
year. “I left my job because I wanted to try something on my own and felt
that blogging would help me get freelance projects. And since I had some
five years of work experiences and a CS degree from IIT, I always had this
satisfaction in mind that if things don’t materialise as per my plan, I
could always switch back to pursuing IT,” he says. Agarwal says that today
blogs are well accessed across the globe and hence he is able to live a
comfortable life with the income generated through the blog. His blog,
which started in late 2004, is now the 40th most-favourite blog on the
Internet, according to Technorati, out of an estimated total of 100+
million blogs. His blog also won the ‘Best Technology Blog’ award at
Indibloggies 2006. It is also included in the prestigious “Blogs of Note”
list compiled by the Blogger team at Google. He concludes by advising
budding bloggers, “Blogging requires a lot of effort and you will not see
results overnight. Be consistent and keep writing stuff that you enjoy -
you will slowly have a community around your blog and everything else will
fall in place automatically.”
THE FUN BLOGGER
Ekalavya, a Brand Manager at Contests2win.com is a fun blogger. “My first
taste of blogging was when I read trip-logs of bikers on blogs. I then
handled an official blog at my first company PaGaLGuY.com. The second
company where I worked at - which was a Web 2.0 consulting company - we had
a blog where we used to publish our thoughts and views about advertising
and technology. I seriously gave a thought to blogging when I realised that
it was pretty easy to make money from blogs!” he says. Ekalavya says that
he blogs on football, cricket, biking, advertising, technology, among many
others and has made a decent amount of money. His blog during the Twenty20
World Cup fetched him around Rs 60,000 in just 10 days. “I blog for about
an hour a day on an average and at least 2 hours a day, I spend on reading
other blogs,” he says. He concludes, “One thing one needs to remember that
it is easier to monetise topics than monetise content. Great articles - but
all on different topics might not work for a single blog.”
THE BOLLYWOOD BLOGGER
Sakshi Juneja, a bachelor in Business Marketing has been part of her family
business for the past three years. She started blogging in 2005 and has a
funny story behind her motivation to be a serious blogger! “One of my
friends wrote an anti Salman Khan blog, and I, being an ardent Khan fan
couldn’t bear the unflattering remarks made and wrote a big comment on his
post. He then suggested me to write a blog of my own! “And hence, I begun,”
says Juneja. Juneja, being a hardcore Bollywood fan blogs mostly on films,
music, theatre, etc. She started to make money by blogging at around the
beginning of last year. “My blog was attracting good traffic and a couple
of NRI magazines also approached me to write columns for them. A few movie
producers too approached me to promote their films through my blog,” she
says. “Channel V also approached me during the same time and I wrote blogs
for them and set up blog consultation for their project. All this helped me
in building traffic to my site,” she adds.
Juneja says that although she earns quiet a good sum every month by
blogging, she doesn’t see it as a full-time career option as India is still
at a very nascent stage for bloggers. “I blog because I enjoy it and the
day I stop enjoying it, I may stop,” she says. She concludes, “The most
important point to be taken care of while blogging is that one must blog
often. One can’t afford not to blog for days together as it will make the
readers shy away from your blog.” Blogging is a fun way to voice your
opinion on the Internet. Few people keep it to that and some create
business opportunities out of it. The above people have shown that the
possibilities are immense; one just needs to hit the right key!
Web giants you didn't know about
Launched in December 2002 by a French radio station, Skyrock was the largest social network in France, according to comScore World Metrix report in 2007. In fact, the radio broadcaster today earns more than 50 per cent of its revenues through online platform, thanks to SkyRock.
The online social network with over 22 million members is the no. 1 site in Belgium, No. 2 in France and among the top 5 sites in Quebec, Switzerland and Morocco. The site is the world's 17th largest site globally in page views, has more than 20.2 million monthly unique visitors, and counts a whopping 1.8 billion comments, 22.5 million videos and 400 million pictures.
The first French-speaking social network, the site's popularity has been attributed to its focus on the French language. Skyblog, the SkyRock's blogging platform is one of the most popular blogging sites in Europe. The service evolved into a social network since the beginning of 2007, adding friends and personal profiles.
The website is available in French, English, German, Dutch and Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Danish and Finnish languages.
US-based Friendster is the single largest social network in Asia. Its top five countries are the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States (legacy members who never left, plus new growth among Asians here), and Singapore.
Friendster has kept its growth going by launching fan profile pages for Asian pop singers, launching four new languages since September 2007 (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish), and letting developers create apps for its site.
With more than 60 million members worldwide, Friendster connects friends, family, school, groups, activities and interests.
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures and individual investors. In 2003, Google offered $30 million to buy Friendster, however the offer was turned down.
Xanga is one of the world's biggest blogging platforms. The New York-based company launched in 1999 with a service that allowed users to share book and movie reviews has evolved into the Hong Kong's most popular blogging and social networking platform. The site is also popular in Singapore, Macao and UK. However, the site has lost large marketshare in US, where it used to be in the top 10 till 2006.
As of March 29, 2007, Xanga stood as the 60th most visited site, according to Alexa Internet ratings. Xanga has more than 40 million users. Popularly known as Xangans, these users write blogs, share photos and videos and meet new friends on the site.
Presently, Xanga is available in Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean languages. Last year, Xanga introduced "Pulse".
A mini-blog it lets users post messages of up to 140 characters. The company claims that it is designed to make blog posting less daunting as well as cellphone-friendly. Users can send updates, musings and life commentary via a text message and have it appear on Pulse.
Taiwan's Wretch recently dethroned Yahoo in the country's top-100 list tabulated by Business Next, a local magazine, and Taiwan's Access Rating Online (ARO).
Wretch has been the top site by hits and unique visitors in Taiwan since its $146 million all-stock purchase of Kimo.com in December of 2000, the most popular portal on the island at the time.
Despite Yahoo's best attempts to keep up with new features such as blogs, Wretch continued to grow and gain popularity. It proved such a difficult battle that Yahoo Taiwan finally used cash to end the battle, buying Wretch.cc for an undisclosed sum.
Yahoo Taiwan came in second in the ranking overall. Google though ranked first among search engines, ranked 14th overall.
Bush's Alternative to Kyoto Pact On Warming Gets a Cool Response (wsj)
Ban Sought on Cold Medicine for Very Young (nytimes)
A.P. plans to revive Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme (Hindu)
Cost of UK's gambling habit: £10bn (guardian)
Ekalavya's selection for Oscar looks biased: Bombay HC (rediff)
'Citizen Journalists'Evade BlackoutOn Myanmar News- wsj
Tough test for Dhoni against Australia in first ODI - Hindustan Times
Stop more admissions under Muslims quota, SC to AP govt - The New Indian Express
Shots fired in Myanmar protests - CNN.com
India's first moon mission to take off next April - Reuters
Microsoft's Halo 3 Busts Games Record (wsj)
Myanmar Raids Monasteries Before Dawn (nytimes)
Dinnertime tale lands Fox pundit in race row (guardian)
Ash, Ben Kingsley team up for Taj Mahal (Hinudstan Times)
Aussies to target big three of India (DNA)
WTO Inquiry to ExamineCounterfeiting in China (wsj)
Pakistan greats rue India jinx after Twenty20 loss (Dawn)
Triumphant parade of Twenty20 champions through Mumbai (Hindustan Times)
Sensex hits 17k, holds firm (NDTV Profit)
India on top of the world after Gambhir snuffs out Pakistan attack (Guardian)
Facebook’s $10 Billion Conundrum (wsj)
Outsourcing Works So Well, India Is Exporting Jobs (nytimes)
Indians pak a punch (Deccan Chronicle)
Facebook goes from zero to $10bn in three years (guardian)
Fearless Young India hold nerve to strangle Pakistan (Hindustan Times)
Microsoft Goes Behind the Scenes (wsj)
Bloomberg Visits Flight 93 Crash Site on 9/11 Trip (nytimes)
Nuns join monks in Burma's Saffron Revolution (Times)
Poor pay, no rights: UK's new workforce (guardian)
Rahul Gandhi is now Congress General Secretary (DNA)
Google in Talks With Group Over High-Speed Pacific Cable (wsj)
Immigrants’ Emergency Care Is Limited by U.S. Rule (nytimes)
Four Indian Americans make it to Forbes list (Indian Express)
Rapeseed biofuel ‘produces more greenhouse gas than oil or petrol’ (Times)
Sunita Williams visits her ancestral village in Gujarat (Times of India)
As Oil Hits High,Mideast BuyersGo on a Spree (wsj)
Value of Dollar Falls to New Low Against the Euro (nytimes)
Google plans move into UK mobile and broadband market (guardian)
Four Mid-Day scribes get 4 months' imprisonment (Hindustan Times)
Inspired India evict South Africa (cricinfo.com)
NBC to Offer Downloads of Its Shows (nytimes)
Zillow RaisesAdditional$30 Million (wsj)
Yuvraj Singh rubs salt in England's wounds (Times)
Date set for Pakistan to elect president (guardian)
Laden to declare war on Pak in new tape: Report (Times of India)
L.A. has worst traffic; drivers lose 72 hrs a year (yahoo)
Shares, Currencies Strongly Higher As Fed Cut Renews Risk Appetite (wsj)
Murdoch making the case for free WSJ online (Reuters)
Sensex scales 16K level in 52 trading sessions (businessline)
In Olympics Success, Romney Found New Edge (nytimes)
Free IBM Software Is Bid to Challenge Microsoft Office (wsj)
Times to Stop Charging for Parts of Its Web Site (nytimes)
Shakira to do Mumaith Khan's song! (Telugu cinema.com)
Dhoni named captain for ODIs (rediff)
Musharraf to 'give up army post' (bbc)
EU Court Rejects Microsoft Appeal (wsj)
Parting Gift: ‘Sopranos’ Wins Emmy for Drama (nytimes.com)
South Africa beat England by 19 runs (Hindustan Times)
'India to host first Formula One race in 2010' (Economic Times)
75-year-old Roy completes 80th marathon (DNA)
Greenspan BookCriticizes BushAnd Republicans (wsj)
Ian Chappell backs Laxman as Test captain, Dhoni in ODI (Hindustan Times)
Democrats Push a Tactic to Shift Iraq Plan (nytimes.com)
Fake sting: Aspiring woman journalist gets bail (Times of India)
Japan leads Asia’s race to the Moon (Times)
President Sees 'Enduring' Role For U.S. in Iraq (wsj)
Putin Nominee for Premier Confirmed (nytimes)
Hindus up in arms as god clashes with government (Times)
Google urges UN to set global internet privacy rules (guardian)
Dhoni, Sachin likely to be captain (DNA)
Likelihood of a Recession Is Given Better Odds (wsj)
Google Founders’ Ultimate Perk: A NASA Runway (nytimes)
Divorce and dismissal loom amid scandal for the naked civil servant (Times)
Iran accused over attack on US Iraq base (guardian)
Bangladesh knock Windies out of T20 WC(ibnlive)
Kamal Hasan, Rajnikanth to come together for Mani Ratnam film (Hindustan Times)
Japanese Prime Minister Steps Down After Less Than One Year in Office (wsj)
Traditional media fights back in the battle to attract advertising (Times)
Estrada given life sentence for corruption(Guardian)
Earmark Gone, Indian Project Is One-Winged (nytimes.com)
Petraeus PledgesModest Pullout,But Little More (wsj)
Bloomberg Tries to Move the City Beyond 9/11 Grief (nytimes.com)
Al-Qaeda releases video will of 9/11 hijacker on anniversary (Times)
Sharif mounts court challenge to deportation (guardian)
MTV exploited Britney and me: Kanye West (DNA)
Ex-Premier Arrested Upon Return to Pakistan (nytimes)
'3:10 to Yuma' Outguns Competition (wsj)
Federer storms to 12th grand slam in style (guardian)
US bribe insurgents to fight Al-Qaeda (Times)
2 killed, many injured as fly-over scaffolding crashes in Hyderabad (Hindu)
At Street Level, Unmet Goals of Troop Buildup (nytimes)
Father of Madeleine McCann makes emotional denial on return to UK (times)
Pregnant women to get cash for good diet (guardian)
Hyderabad blasts: two suspects identified, photos released(hindustan times)
India beat Korea 7-2 (times of india)
Hyd blasts female suspect had 'affair' with BSF man (ibnlive.com)
Bin Laden Appears in New Video (wsj)
Web rivals plot the answer to Wikipedia (Times)
Arrests, injuries during APEC march (The Australian)
Fake sting reporter sent to judicial custody (Times of India)
Former Andhra CM escapes unhurt in Maoist attack (newsonair.com)
Jobs Abroad Support ‘Model’ State in India (nytimes)
Steve Jobs OffersRare Apology,Credit for iPhone (wsj)
Hardline takeover of British mosques (times)
Website claims Bin Laden will release message to mark 9/11 (guardian)
Countrywide Financial Cuts 900 More Jobs (wsj)
Despite DNA Test, Prosecutor Is Retrying Case (nytimes.com)
Food additives make children behave badly (times)
Danger to children from food and drink additives is exposed (guardian)
12 Indian cos in 3rd Forbes Asia Fabulous 50 List (Economic Times)
Countrywide Finds No. 1 Spot Isn't Easy (wsj)
Hard Times Help Leaders in Iran Tighten Their Grip (nytimes.com)
Paris courts 'lose' Diana death files (times)
Germany arrests three over 'US airbase bomb plot'(guardian)
IT couple's son abducted in Hyderabad (Hindustan Times)
Bosnia claims world kissing record (Yahoo news)
Two-for-One Deal, Take Two (wsj)
Human-animal embryo study wins approval (guardian)
Bush, in Iraq, Says Troop Reduction Is Possible (nytimes.com)
At least 35 killed in two bomb blasts in Pakistan (Hindustan Times)
Australian Police Tighten Security Ahead of APEC Summit (wsj)
On Two Fronts, One Nuclear, Iran Is Defiant (nytimes.com)
Clinton wheels out her biggest gun - and prays he will stay on target (times)
North Korea 'to be taken off US terrorism list' (guardian)
Poverty is the issue, not nuclear deal (Deccan Chronicle)
Apple to Pull NBC Shows From iTunes In Spat Over Pricing of TV Programs (wsj)
Afghan Police Are Set Back as Taliban Adapt (nytimes.com)
Religion causes harm, says poll (times)
Official: obesity risk to half of all children (guardian)
It's all about the thrills and spills of advertising in Asia (DNA)
Toyota's Goal: First to Sell 10 Million (wsj)
Hey, Who’s He? With Gwyneth? The Google Guy (nytimes.com)
S&P boss quits amid row over sub-prime role(Times)
The children drinking five pints a week (guardian)
Tendulkar is Warne's greatest (Hindustan Times)
Posted by pala hanmi reddy at 9:01 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Animals do not need your pity. They need you to take them seriously." ~ Paola Aldana
San Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands
Never leave till tomorrow that which you can do today.” Ben Franklin
Senglea Velette, Malta
"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted" ~John Lennon
Katrina Bowden hot
"Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do." - Michael Korda
Posted by pala hanmi reddy at 9:05 PM
The great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." Emerson
Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke. -Benjamin Disraeli
Zebra shark and Crevalle jacks at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia
The HAPPIEST LIFE is that which constantly exercises and educates... what is best in us." ~Hamerton
From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2008 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after Iceland.Denmark was also ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand. In 2008, the capital and largest city, Copenhagen, was ranked the most livable city in the world by Monocle magazine.
According to a new report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, a Paris-based group of 30 countries with democratic governments that provides economic and social statistics and data, happiness levels are highest in northern European countries.
The top three countries are Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. Outside Europe, New Zealand and Canada landed at Nos. 8 and 6, respectively. Switzerland placed seventh and Belgium placed tenth.
Posted by pala hanmi reddy at 9:03 PM
Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes. - Henry J. Kaiser
Rainbow Bridge and Tokyo Skyline, Japan
It is easier to BUILD a boy... then to MEND a man." ~Mahatma Gandhi
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
Inspiration is that state in which Mind and Heart are Connected.” ~deepak_chopra
Mt. Shuksan , North Cascades, National Park, Washington
It is the supreme art of the TEACHER... to awaken joy in creative expression & knowledge." ~Einstein
What you are comes to you” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
'Work for the sake of your passion, not a paycheck'
Thirty three-year-old Faisal Farooqui packed his bags one day and sneaked out of the USA to return to India and start up a business here. That was nine years ago -- and today he is the CEO of website MouthShut.com. Though originally from Mumbai he moved to the USA to obtain his bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Finance from the State University of New York, after which he worked as a technology consultant at AMS (American Management Systems).
When he was only 24 years old, Faisal decided to start MouthShut.com, a website that allows consumers to interact with other consumers as well as brands, about products and services. "MouthShut provides a platform to write reviews on products and services. And if you're planning to buy a product, I would suggest you go and see what people are saying about it before you spend money. If you have something to share about a product, help out the rest of the world. It's basically about consumers helping consumers. And then there are other extensions -- you can share photos, form communities, interact with people etc. There is a lot of social networking, but the core is a forum for consumers to share opinions and experiences," explains Farooqi.
In a tête-á-tête with Insiyah Vahanvaty, Faisal talks about the unusual journey that is MouthShut, his experiences as a young entrepreneur and what he thinks of the current generation of professionals.
My background: I am one of ten kids; the youngest. My wife is a British-Indian, which means she is of Indian origin but was born and brought up in the UK. And we have three sons, who are seven, five and three-and-a-half years old.
My mom is around 77; my dad passed away when I was five. We had a family business of bakeries which my dad and uncles were handling. Mom has always been a housewife, and earlier she used to travel all over the world, staying with one of her many children. Now she's old and stays with us. I didn't go into the bakery business because I feel that every generation should try a new business that they feel passionate about. not necessarily inherit one.
I'm an Indian by origin and I hail from Mumbai. I moved out of India after finishing school. I have a lot of family settled in the USA -- it's like another home to me. Once I finished college, I knew I wanted to do something on my own, and I would also often think about returning to India. One day, I decided to do it. I packed my bags and asked my bhabhi to drop me to the airport. She thought I was just going on a business trip within the States. She didn't realise until she saw my large suitcase, and was shocked when I told her I was going to India. In fact it was only on the dinner table that night that people started asking about me and she broke the news to them. I never told anyone I was leaving because then I would have had to give them plans and timelines -- and I myself had no idea about any of that! I was in India on vacation and I just stayed back.
In fact, I still have the return ticket to US, which I never used. I keep that as a souvenir to remind myself how the journey began. I came back to India because I wanted to explore the opportunities here. I always thought that it's a great country and you should come back here and pay back to a country that has nurtured you and given you everything.
At the time I arrived, I was excited that the Internet had just reached India. I had an idea in mind since I was in college and I decided to pursue it -- this manifested in a consumer review social network known as MouthShut.com.
About my career: The premise behind the website was that there were a lot of people who weren't happy with what was available in the Indian market, and there was no organised attempt to listen to the voice of the customer. MouthShut filled in this void. The idea was to provide a platform for people to vent and share their happiness -- and recommend products and services, or not recommend them. Also, it helps companies to get feedback on their products. They don't need to go out and do expensive market researches.
When I came here I got engrossed in finding out about the Internet here and how it was shaping people's lives and meeting people who were excited about it (though there weren't many of those in 2000).
Anyway, when the dotcom bubble burst, I thought, this is a good time to start a business -- because the best time to start something is when other people are scared to do it. It was a little bit of a struggle -- finding people to work with and also the money. This is when networks help. My friends and family were pretty convinced, but I think what they were most convinced about was the passion I came with. More than the idea or business, they were supporting the passion and dedication I had.
When thinking of a name, I froze 'mouthshut' for many reasons. It's easy to spell, recall and pronounce -- that makes it a good brand for me. Because when you're sitting on the Internet, there are so many websites clamouring for your attention, and 'mouthshut' is so easy to remember, because chances are you may have used that word, if not today, in this week sometime!
The philosophical reason is that we thought that for the longest time people in this country were asked to keep their mouths shut. But now it's like a rhetorical declaration where consumers are saying, you keep your mouth shut, we'll talk!
Sometimes I joke with people saying that MouthShut is actually my first baby, because it was born before my first son (laughs).
I had to take some monetary help from family and friends, but they've been very generous, and I don't think they've ever asked me to pay them back. So I didn't need to take any bank loans.
We started in 2000 -- when I was 24 years old. Initially we started using word-of-mouth recommendations. I've always been particular about doing something different -- and I make sure all the employees of the company are like that -- they've gotta be different and think different.
When we were thinking of advertising, people would tell us to do ads, billboards etc. But these were very old-fashioned, conventional ideas. And to be honest, we couldn't even afford them. I didn't go out raising money from investors and investment capitalists because I wanted to do this on my own. So one day I said, 'Why not start painting the backs of auto rickshaws with our logo?' So we did that with one or two vehicles and decided to wait for feedback. In just a few days we started hearing from people saying, 'Hey, I saw your website's name on a rickshaw.' And this was coming from people who weren't Internet-savvy at all. So I started thinking, if these people are recalling the name of my website, chances are that it's working. So we did 10 more rickshaws, and then 100. Soon we were getting calls from the press as well as regular people. However, some people criticised us, and told me I was diluting the brand by putting it at the back of rickshaws -- and I would say, 'Arrey, it's not even a brand yet!' (laughs).
Traditionalists didn't like the idea -- they predicted it would flop. But touchwood, this is one advertising innovation that has been recorded in the media that MouthShut invented in this country. Now you have many products being advertised on the backs of rickshaws -- earlier it was just Horn OK Please!
The challenges I've faced along the way: The biggest challenge is to get people to believe in your idea. And that can only happen if you believe in your idea. Another challenge, often, is finding the right people to work with you. So I would advice entrepreneurs to be very careful about their core team -- the first few people they hire. Make sure they are loyal to you and believe in you.
Also, initially there might not be any money coming in, but you need to pay your employees on time, so you have to be sure you're starting out with enough capital.
Then the long 18-20 hour workdays can be quite challenging too, which are quite essential early on.
Though the current recession has not affected business, there are customers who are taking their time to cover their payments. For example if they were paying in two cheques earlier, now they want four or five installments. But we're projecting a growth of 150 percent next year.
My take on success: I don't know if I'm successful. I enjoy what I'm doing; I love technology, the Internet and people -- which is why I do it. People find MouthShut really useful -- I've been told tales of brands calling up customers and offering to replace an item after reading their reviews on the website. Stories like these make me proud.
Everybody should do what they feel they are suited for and passionate about. If you feel you're passionate about fashion design, do that, not journalism. But if you're doing journalism, do it with passion and enjoy it -- not because you get a paycheck at the end of the month. Do it with the zeal to become the best in your field.
Balancing work and your personal life: It's an adjustment that grows on you over time. Nothing happens overnight. For example, when you have a baby, it's a life -hanging event. But nature gives you nine months to accustom yourself -- for a woman its like prep school; its time to prepare for the new status of motherhood. And for a man, it's a very humbling experience. When you take care of your wife during those nine months, it changes you from a boy to a man. Your priorities change and you learn to balance things. Today, I think I'm accustomed to it and manage fairly well. I won't say I devote a lot of time to my family, but I'm proud to say that I do devote time to my family -- they are my priority and I am always struggling to do more for them.
My kids take up a lot of my time and we have a lot of fun and joy together. It's very humbling to be around kids because they make you realise how much you don't know -- and how much you need to learn in order to just answer their million questions a day. My wife is a homemaker. I've realised that if we are to have a complete family, one person has to stay home and devote time to taking care of the house and family.
I feel that a complete social balance doesn't come without the perfect house and business/job, which requires the cooperation of both the spouses. So there are some things that she's good at -- and she's decided to do them. Similarly, there are other things that I'm good at, which I've decided to do.
Advice to youngsters: You know, the lack of mentoring is a big problem in India. Youngsters need to be helped to reach their goal. If there were good mentors around, they would be telling young people not to jump jobs too often -- to stick around for a few years and forge a relationship of trust and emotion with the company.
In the long run, jumping jobs is not going to help you. Loyalty is important, and trust will only come with time.
Even when you're in a relationship, you know that trust comes with time, over a series of good and bad days. The same applies to your career. My advice would be to spend time building trust and helping the company trust you.
One mistake I see young entrepreneurs make is that they spend precious time and resources preventing failures that may happen. Instead, they should be investing time and resources into making their businesses a success. This is the biggest mistake I've seen.
If you've been laid off: I'll tell you a secret. When bad times strike, those who are more entrenched in the company are the last to go -- and the ones who are easily replaceable are the first. That's why I was saying earlier that young people need to make sure they spend enough time to form an emotional bond with the company. Because if you do that, when the list of people being fired is drawn out, your boss is going to have a tough time putting your name on it!
If I had to fire people today, the first ones to go would be those I'm indifferent about. But those who I'm emotionally attached to will be the last to go, because they've been around so long and we understand each other
I think this generation is the best lot ever -- they are bright and have a lot of opportunities ahead. They should hope for the best and forget all about the bitterness of the previous generations. Instead they need to figure out what tier role is going to be in this new India that's growing leaps and bounds.
My future plans: Personally, I'm very happy at the way things are going. Professionally, I want to make MouthShut a part of every Indian's life, and also take it oversees. We plan to expand to different countries very soon, inshallah.
A girl carries bottles of water fetched from a mountain spring at a village in Qinglong county, in China's Guizhou province, Monday, March 22, 2010. The worst drought in decades in China's southern provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou,
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare" - Japanese Proverb
Posted by pala hanmi reddy at 6:09 PM
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Don't think it, ink it." - Mark Victor Hansen
A taxi drives along Havana's seafront boulevard "El Malecon" as waves break
If a man does not make new friends as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone." - Samuel Johnson
The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom."
- James Allen
There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past. ~ George Carlin
"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now." - Martin Luther King
Angels fly because.... they TAKE THEMSELVES ~L I G H T L Y~" - GK Chesterton
A new day is worth a thousand tomorrows.” ~Benjamin Franklin
The beginning is always today.” ~Mary Wollstonecraft
WORRY is interest paid... on trouble B E F O R E it comes due."~William Ralph Inge
If you don't get ~L O S T~ - there's a chance... YOU MAY NEVER BE FOUND." ~unknown
And remember, No Matter Where You Go... THERE YOU ARE." ~Confucius
You can either ASK the question... or EXPERIENCE the answer" ~Oneness University
An avenue leading to the Prince Hall hotel above Princetown, Dartmoor, Devon
No man was ever wise by chance.
Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.
Make use of time, let not advantage slip.
One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Island to Lemmens Inlet
Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.
If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
If you don't see yourself as a winner, then you cannot perform as a winner.
If you learn from defeat, you haven't really lost.
It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see - Henry David Thoreau
You never know when one act, or one word of encouragement can change a life forever - Zig Ziglar
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo
Time is our most valuable asset, yet we tend to waste it, kill it, and spend it rather than invest it." - Jim Rohn
YS Rajasekhara Reddy, former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh
Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed - Peter S. Beagle
YS Rajasekhara Reddy, former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh
Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed - Peter S. Beagle
"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." Ralph Waldo
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
Gibraltar's Kaiane Aldorino reacts after winning the Miss World pageant in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009.
Most beautiful but dumb girls think they are smart and get away with it because other people, on the whole, aren’t much smarter - Louise Brooks
Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.
-- Oscar Wilde
"Life could not continue without throwing the past into the past, liberating the present from its burden. " - Paul Tillich
"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent. And if you don't like it, too bad. I'm the president." - Abraham Lincoln
"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway. Man, she was hot. I am going to be thinking about that ass for a long, long time." - Alfred Lord Tennyson
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. But feel free to shoot yourself in the face. That is not a waste." - Kurt Cobain
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. No, not that one! That was the only thing keeping the commies out." - Ronald Reagan
"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The married guys know what I'm talking about. Am I right, fellas?" - Mahatma Gandhi
"There never was a good war or bad peace. Except that one time when we freed ourselves from the British. That was awesome. Overall, I would say that was a good war." - Benjamin Franklin
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Oh God, I think I see a spider crawling up my pant leg. Get it off. GET IT OFF!" - Franklin D.Roosevelt
"Let my people go! No? OK, what if we leave you all the fat chicks?" - Moses
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction. But what do I know? I'm only Albert Fucking Einstein." - Albert Einstein
Love seems the swiftest, but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
- Mark Twain's Notebook
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
All humor is derrived from pain, ergo nothing in Heaven is funny.
All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.
"I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a "transformer" in any situation..." Stephen R. Covey
"It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development." ~Jim Rohn
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit-- Conrad Hilton
Your IMAGINATION... is your preview to life's coming attractions" ~Albert Einstein
Your destiny is forged in the fires of your determination." - Christopher Howard
Your IMAGINATION... is your preview to life's coming attractions" ~Albert Einstein
Your destiny is forged in the fires of your determination." - Christopher Howard