Trolls from the movie The Hobbit

On Being Trolled and 66A

Everybody who is on the internet has probably heard of this term. Trolls or being trolled is fairly common. In fact there are sites such as 4chan where the sole purpose of the community is to troll on different activities.

Reddit is also one such community, where a lot of users are actively trolling and are being trolled. Being a long time lurker on Reddit, I used to read through multiple posts where fellow redditors would make hilarious comments (often to diffuse a situation). Funny, but at whose expense?

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Food for Thought: Part Four

It’s been a tumultuous month at 13 Llama Studio. We recently shifted to a new office and are currently handling multiple projects … projects where someone has to bleed to take it to its logical conclusion. I do not mind the bleeding, as long as I manage to do a job well done in my mind (more on this later, this requires a heartfelt post). Here’s what I have been reading and bookmarking in the past few days months.

The Decline and Fall of The Great Gate

A great metaphor on how the publishing industry is changing. The folks at CopyBlogger are always a constant source of inspiration and ideas for budding bloggers. However, this story also talks about how the publishing industry is slowly changing. The Great Gate used to be publishing houses and authors used to clamor to get their books published.

With internet and blogging, all of this has changed, and now power is back to we, the people!

The Evolution of the Developer

The story of how the developer has become so central in the new paradigm of a tech enabled organization is strongly aligned to how I have seen my own career progression. It’s a great piece on how Cloud technologies are giving better results than Enterprise Software (which is often considered slow and bloated).

The enterprise IT infrastructure agenda for 2014

Here is an article from the other side, the Enterprise. Link this article with the one I just shared above and you will see the fear of Enterprise Architects and software providers who supply to Enterprises. So what is the Enterprise’s answer to Cloud computing … a private cloud of course!!

Does that help cut costs, well if you work at it, you might get operational efficiency, however the Total Cost of Ownership is always high. The way things have been running are changing, and agencies which rely on businesses have to follow suit.

Personas: The Art and Science of Understanding the Person Behind the Visit

Moz has not only become the go to community for Search Engine Optimizers, but also for all things related to increasing traffic via organic methods (read not PPC).

The article shares how to go about understanding the people who visit your site. It’s fairly indepth and requires for you to study it .. yes not read, but study! I’d suggest 1 skim while at work, and then a slow line by line comprehension when alone and free from interruptions.

Android driving up the Mobile Growth Rate

In the world of venture funded start-ups, a lot of the tactical operations of the firm actually are based upon the latest buzz word. This buzz word can be anything from Web 2.0 to semantic web to HTML5. The start-up is actually trying to get more traction in the market using some gimmick or marketing stint … working on developing technologies doesn’t bring in the big bucks, but it sure as hell does bring you the attention that a start-up strives to get.

For example, the current industry buzzwords are HTML5 based app for mobile. Why mobile? Well because mobiles have been consistently beating the PC market for the past 5 years … smart-phone sales have been out-stripping the desktop sales by far. Operating Systems such as the Android system (which is a collaboration effort between different organizations) have started taking the majority of market share than the giant Apple. What’s important is that the Android OS allows mobile manufacturers to bundle up the operating system with their custom hardware. The best example of a company doing this is Samsung, these Samsung Galaxy deals just go to show the sheer variety that is offered to the consumer … using the same Android OS. I am not speaking out of my hat, there are well established industry reports and widely renowned business analysts who are singing the same song!

Mary Meeker from Kleiner Perkins has released this internet trends report of 2012, if you jump to slide 10 you can see that Android based device sales are outstripping iPhone sales by 5 times! You can find an Android device on almost every price point in the market. Compare this to an iPhone or any other smart phone (Blackberry … meh!) and you will notice the immediate difference in the pricing policies adopted by Apple. This is one of the main reasons why adoption rates of Android based phones have gone up and will continue to grow at an exponential rate.

This is one of the main reasons why LinkedIn has immediately released an HTML5 based app for mobiles, Facebook is buying more and more mobile based organizations (Tagtile, Instagram, etc). The internet is slowly shifting from desktops to smartphones, and there is no emergent leader in this area at present. Well, there’s always Google and Apple for operating systems, Samsung and HTC for devices … but what about apps? The App market that Android offers is way better and offers a higher variety as compared to the other app markets.

The world is waking up to this fact that mobile growth rate is going to fuel the way for internet penetration. In mobile, its going to be open technologies such as the Android to drive this growth.

Clone Wars

First came Best Buy.

People were happy, they got good deals, saved some money. Good … but meh! Perhaps their launch was before time. Avante Garde.

Then came Groupon.

A multi-billion dollar valuation, e-commerce 2.0 buzz, social media tongues wagging about. It was the next big thing since the Internet.

I guess over a period of time, folks soon realized that the business model was pretty simple really. Get bulk, negotiate with vendors and give back a small share back to the users. That was also the eYantra model. I hear its gotten its second round of funding as well.

Followed by a slew of Groupon clones … there are too many of them really to name a few. The unfortunate thing is that not one of them is willing to call themselves a Groupon mee-to. We are different is what they all say.

Everybody on this planet is unique, just like 7 billion other people.

If you thought that I would be writing another nerdy review of Star Wars, you are mistaken, Ser.

With Groupon clones sprouting everywhere on the Indian e-commerce scene, its going to be a war out there. The war is going to be played out in our inboxes, on our cellphones, on our social media pages and in our tweets. Our credit cards will be the trophies, each transaction a battle on who will get us the cheapest deal. If you thought that it would make me happy, its not.

All the discounts in the world are not worth the beauty of a spam free life. It’s been ages since I have seen an empty inbox, gotten no sms-es. The Clone Wars are on, and you are the next battle!

GoI and Careers

When talking with some colleagues at work, I realized that they are working on a supposedly ambitious project – to categorize all the possible jobs and opportunities for people in India. It struck me that this has already been done by the U.S. Labor department; and very well executed at that. In fact that site is often cited as the basis for a lot of research that goes into the space of work and careers.

This got me thinking, if Uncle Sam can do such an awesome job of documenting all the career spaces, then why can’t Mother India do the same? A few googles and some clicks saw me come to the Directorate General of Employment & Training, Ministry of Labour & Employment, Govt. of India website. It’s in a mess … I know. A usability nightmare and it takes someone with grit and determination to make sense out of the plethora of content strewn on the website. I was suddenly appreciating content rich sites in a whole new light.

I did not start this post with the intention of bashing the government’s websites, so I will not. I urge you to go through some of the sites that I have linked in the post if you are in the IES industry. The Central Institute for Research and Training in Employment Service (CIRTES), is one such initiative that needs to be commended. It’s not in the same structure and format as the U.S. Labor department, however it’s a start. The Government of Maharashtra also has a website for employment which is a similar model to Naukri, do check Rojgarwahini out.

All in all, my view that the Government of India is not doing anything to sort out Labour problems of the country has been shattered. It feels good to be wrong :-)

Good going India!!

World of Warcraft: A foray

world-of-warcraft-logo Five years after the launch of this very successful game, and 11 million players later, I decided to give this game a whirl. This would be my first experience with a full fledged massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG). The decision to give this game a try was influenced by two factors, one was an article about a book I had read recently. The other was the fact that Blizzard was giving away free 10 day trial packages of WoW. You sign-up and you get an account trial for 10 days, simple.

Give an Indian a free deal, and you can be rest assured he will try. So without any further thoughts, I registered for my account, and got my 10 days worth of WoW – wheee!!

World of Downloadcraft

To begin with, the installer file is around an MB or so. I was happy, so I started the installation on Saturday. To my horror, the installer was just the start, the actual installation files were a mammoth 4.6 GB! This is just the Burning Crusade, and no add-ons. With a stripling connection speed of 256kbps, I downloaded the files over two days (my poor laptop was on for 2 days at a stretch). Now, the game installed and I eagerly clicked the shortcut, some animations followed (breathtaking yes, anxious yes, appreciating the animations – no!!). A moment in the game, the application informs me that it has to be patched before I can log onto any realm (a realm is a server where other players would also be playing). Fine, another 1.2 gigs to be downloaded … phew!! On the third day, everything was downloaded, installed, patched and updated. I was cursing WoW and Blizzard, such a bad experience to start with.

Totally Worth it

After all that bitching, I created my first character … a male night-elf fighter. There is a tutorial, and small quests where you learn running around doing small chores and killing weak animals. The entire application acts as one helluva thick client, with only minimal co-ordinates data being exchanged with the server. The loot is just about interesting to keep you hooked, and the quests keep on changing. The key is to take out as many quests as possible for good loot and faster experience gains.

All in all, the game is still running in my head. In some fights I fought alongside other new players, and we got to understand the pros and cons of each character. I immediately shifted to a female human mage – which suits my style more. Aim, fire, cold … the game is a completely different world, with two professions to learn, you can make your own weapons, or you can make food for others, or be a professional healer. The options are many.

I have been hooked onto this game for 4 days now and my laptop cringes whenever I run it in its full glory. I have lost some sleep when battling the minions, but I am loving every minute of it. Ill give the upgraded account a shot … but only after getting a proper gaming station :-)