Thursday, December 24, 2009

Customizing Wordpress Blog

For those people, who are self learners of the online medium , that is-- the computer and the internet, figuring out things like CSS, JAVA, HTML can be the biggest nightmare of their lives. It took me 4 months to configure blogger!
I managed to do it after I watched a video on youtube( that site is such a blessing!) I even learnt how to zip and unzip files from there. I now want to set up an online portfolio and custom design my WordPress blog. I checked youtube( it provides the best online tutorials) and found, Word Press blogging tutorial by Chris Abrahams, the tutorial is good, yet, it does not answer all my questions. I’m still looking for a good solution, to put all the relevant tabs on the blog. I might finally move over to blogger as I know how to configure blogger now.
You won’t believe it, but, I learnt to copy and paste HTML codes from all these banner ad sites, some of them are so good, they even tell you where exactly to place the HTML code.
In fact, I have configured this blog all by myself( isn’t that something to be proud of?) considering the fact, that, every time I hear the word technical I go blank. I still wish, I could find an easy solution for my Word Press online portfolio. It doesn’t even allow me to configure the header free of cost. I couldn’t find a place that would allow me to customize the fonts.
Any good Samaritan, who is reading this entry, please feel free to contact me, if you can guide me by either leaving some tips or leaving a link to some good online tutorial. I really love those articles with hyperlinks, you don’t have to type on the address bar( This computer is making us all so lazy!!) Anyways, more musings later, my quest for a WordPress tutorial is still on....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How to build your network on Linked in

Linked in is a powerful tool, in the world of social networking sites. The reason for this could be the way it functions. It seems to be a fine blend of seriousness and fun. While other networking sites have the risk of unwanted elements forming social groups, the same is not true about Linked in.
It has some strict rules in place about networking. It encourages you to connect with people you know and of course friends of friends, which is a great way of building your network, but, online networking is also about building your network and your business by connecting with unknown business prospects.
How do you ensure that you build a great network without connecting with unwanted people? By this, I mean, the negative kind of people who spend time, breaking down other people’s network. I’d suggest that you join groups that are based on principles of open networking , yet they do not force you to connect with people you do not wish to connect to. Join groups like Top Linked and Open Networkers or Linked In Open Networkers. They have discussions that allow you to introduce yourself to the community, and yet you do not force yourself on people. In your invitation you write, “if you choose not to connect please archive, do not IDK” this ensures that you connect with people who want to connect with you.
One of the super-connected on Linked in, Steven Burda( he has some 34,000 connections in his network) has some great networking tips to offer. I’m using his tips on networking for the benefit of all with his permission.
He says, the purpose of networking is to establish mutually beneficial relationships. The reason is it will lead to better opportunities, increased revenue and of course stronger and better friendships. If this comes from the guru of networking one should just follow his tips blindly.
He further advises that one should dig one’s well before one is thirsty. One of the best ways to be prepared.He further advises you to communicate and participate within the Linked in community and give all your support and be ready to share your knowledge.
Here are some of his dos for networkers
Do connect with “real world” friends, colleagues.
Do keep your profile current/updated.
Meet new & exciting people = be an opportunist!
Be likable, friendly & approachable.
Have confidence; not arrogance.
Be an optimist; not a pessimist.
Follow-up, introduce others, facilitate discussions.
Brand yourself – get known, be heard, & recognized!
Personalize your requests & approaches!
Do have fun doing it!!
Here is a list of his don'ts for professional networkers
Don’t presume anything while meeting new people.
Don’t assume people have to help/owe you.
Don’t be a salesman, even if you are!
Don’t think “ME!” but “them!”
Don’t ramble or go-off track.
Don’t spam or bother your network!
Don’t abuse your network; Don’t ignore others!
Don’t give up!
Don’t do it just because you have to!
These could be some of the best tips for connecting, specially as they come from somebody who has figured in the list of super connected for the month of Sept’2009. One sad thing though is he is no longer allowed to form any more new connections. This means that only few people can benefit from his knowledge of networking and not everyone. Let’s hope Linked in removes the cap on his profile and allows him to connect with as many people as possible so that all benefit from his wisdom on networking.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Degrees and Life

Today’s post is inspired by a fellow scribe’s written work, where, she stated that though we do not realize it, but, somewhere we use the knowledge we gained as a student pursuing our degree throughout life.
The passionate manner in which she expressed her thought, made me realize, that, what she said made perfect sense. The years spent pursuing a degree, or working in an office, mould our personality, in other words, set the trend for the future.
It is often said that our formative years often set the design for years to come. I know many of my friends will disagree with me and say, "this is totally wrong, 'I never studied but see how well I’m doing now”, or “I come from a poor family and see how rich I’m today", what they completely miss is the fact that those years when you did whatever you actually did, in a way set the design for your future. A person who has seen a lot of hardship due to one reason or the other actually has an ambition or a burning desire to change things.
They may choose different alternatives, or do things differently to succeed, because they so passionately want to get away from the past. A person who did not complete his/her education, realizes that he or she has a handicap so they go out of their way to succeed, similarly, those who have a degree in any subject will definitely be using it at some level-- directly or indirectly-- whether they agree or not.
Let me know what you think. Please keep the comments rolling in...

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to avoid IDK on Linked in

Social or business media is a powerful tool for people who want to expand their business online. Imagine you have built a nice network on Linked in and one fine day you discover that your account is suspended. Panic may set in and you may wonder what to do.
Firstly let me explain what IDK is and how your could account be suspended. Linked in has certain policies in place that the user has to  follow and one of them is not to connect with people you do not know. If one followed this in principle, one would have very few people in one’s network unless you are one of those who are super social or super connected, so what is the way out?
Charity begins at home-
The first principle to follow is if you want others to be nice then be nice to others. This does not in any way mean that you accept every invite that comes your way, certainly not, use your discretion, but if you do not wish to connect just archive that invitation instead of hitting the ‘I do not know this user button.’
If you have accidentally ‘IDK’d’ somebody make amends, go to the list of invites you have blocked and accept the invitation and if still do not wish to connect remove the connection later on. So this way you will ensure that you have a reputation of being a nice person.
The next and most important point you can follow is send a mail prior to sending an invite, asking may I connect with you? This way you are not sending unsolicited invitations and you will have only people who want to connect with you or people you want to connect with in your list.
Each social or business media platform offers you the option of limiting or expanding your network. Even on Twitter you can choose to block a person or add the person to your list of friends.
So build your network sensibly and make the most of the best social and business media tool the internet has to offer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paid Freelance Writing Gigs

During my six months tenure as a freelance writer to find paid freelance writing gigs has been one of my pre-occupations. In my quest to find a few paid freelance writing gigs I came across quite a few and I even registered for them. Please check the list of writing gigs that I have found for you.

The best part about most of these article directories or freelance writing job sites is that they do not expect you to be an established writer. As long as you have knowledge of the English language and can express your thoughts, you are in. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Let me start by listing some of the most common ones, that are known to most people. One is of course http://www.associatedcontent.com/, this site pays upfront as well as shared revenue but to be paid up front you need to be a resident of the United States. Payment is by PayPal

Another one that I have a heard a lot about is, http://www.hubpages.com/they also pay on shared revenue basis and a PayPal account is required.

The next writing gig that pays upfront but wants you to qualify by submitting a sample article is http://www.brighthub.com/ . They pay upfront as well as on a shared revenue basis. Payment is by PayPal.

If you are a resident of The United states then http://www.helium.com/ is also a well respected writing site and they have a writers market that is growing in popularity day by day.

http://www.bukisa.com/ is another upcoming writer’s site that pays on a shared revenue basis. The payment is made through PayPal.

Register with,http://www.constant-content.com/ as they allow you to sell your articles at a price you want. They have lot of orders in queue. Clients even get paid more than $75 per article. You have to however submit one article as sample which has to be approved by the editorial team. Payment is by PayPal.

Keep watching this space I’ll provide you more useful information about freelance writing

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Popular wisdom on relationships says that men change or turn away after sex. I believe this notion stems from grandma’s wisdom that men are only after one thing( the much maligned men). Is this really a fact? I’m not a psychologist, nor have I done any kind of research on the topic, this is a notion prevalent in India and I believe elsewhere too.
The popular idea that the girl is too easy or the girl is too cold or frigid? Does it all stem from the fact that both the sexes are just seeking self centered goals or self gratification in a relationship, though they claim to be in a relationship which is all about caring and sharing? I’m not offering a critique on society or men or women for that matter, I’m just trying to figure out the dynamics in this case? Is it really about fitting men or women into certain prototypes or  is there more to it? Are people genuinely trying to figure out what is the cause of a person’s behavior in a certain manner or situation?
I once knew a person who told me that men like you more after sex because they feel accepted. Her statement I’m sure came from her experience as she had been married for many years. How far is this true? Very few married women actually make this kind of a statement, so do people just repeat what the other person has said or they try to analyze things?
I would love to hear what your take on this is.Please feel free to leave your comments. It's okay to leave your comments anonymously if you are not comfortable disclosing your identity.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Zodiac Signs and Personality Traits

I'm sure everybody has read one or the other book on the occult sciences. I do not wish to dispute the veracity of these sciences but I do wish to know how relevant are they? Every time I have attempted to question somebody who has a vast knowledge on the subject or those who practice or follow, the sciences, I have either found people who try to confuse you when they don't have an answer or try to exploit the fear factor.

Is it really possible to divide the vast humanity into twelve signs? Are there just twelve types of people? Just think about the zillions of people who inhabit this planet, are there just twelve characteristic types? Let us imagine for the sake of argument that they are just permutations and combinations of the sun sign/moon sign and ascendant. But what about animals even one cat behaves differently from the other and yet they are same in some ways.

I recall reading George Bernard Shaw's statement where he had written that all human beings are almost 90% the same and just about 10% different and it is this 10% that they focus on and assume that they are different from the rest.

I recently saw a movie called What's your Rashi( Zodiac Sign) where a boy is looking for a bride based on the twelve zodiac signs, does he marry based on that, the answer is no, he does not. He finally marries the girl who appeals to him.

Please write about your observations and experiences on this topic as the traditional Indian wisdom is very much based on that, but it exploits the fear factor and as usual can't answer intelligent questions.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Putting yourself in the other person's shoes

I guess this is an often repeated phrase, please put yourself in the other person's shoes and see if they pinch then it probably hurts the other person too. Well said! But to be honest how many people actually practice that? Most people rarely bother to put themselves in the other person's shoes and more often than not they just don't care.
Let us discuss interviews for instance, now most interviews that I have attended, start with the question, "tell me something about yourself?" The next question that follows is why BPO's? Now what do they expect as an answer, it is the best job in the world! Or I love staying awake through the nights?

I do recall attending an interview where the handsome interviewer( that is the only thing I recall about him! his questions spoke nothing about his knowledge) asked me, why have you applied when I advertised for MBA's ? I replied, Sir, you had already seen my CV, my qualifications and work experince and this is the second round, why have you called me?
I never got any reply to that!!
I would love to ask all the HR's of this world what do they have in mind when they are hiring?
If a person is exceptionally qualified chances are he/ she got selected in the campus interviews itself and perhaps is drawing a fat salary from day one, for the rest of us mere mortals, we have to keep answering the same question 500 times, tell me something about yourself!!
More musings some later, I have to brush up my interview skills...