More in Blogging
As you may have notice, I have changed the way I blog and the theme itself. Why? Because I wanted greater flexibility in the topics I deal with and the...
By Guest Blogger, Meera Imagine a girl who heads to the pooja room every day right after bath to pray; one who wouldn’t dare to go to her orthodox cousin’s...
Over the years, Drishtikone has had many articles. Of the ones that I wrote, I wanted to pick some of my own favorites. Here is the list.
INDIA,ITS HISTORY AND POLITY
When you look around the blogosphere, it seems everyone wants to have a distinction, even if it is to be quirky. In fact quirkiness is supposed to add a “cool-ness” factor.
First thing first, WE ALL LOVE COMMENTS! Some accept it, some declare it on their blogs and some remain stoic on this issue.
Blogosphere is an amazing world, with each blog speaking its own mind, having its own personality. Your profile picture and your profile name is the window to the reader to your little world.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s made a speech two days ba
Are we as bloggers guilty of depriving the world from real and factual news reporting and the Death of Journalism as we know it?
I have often wondered who reads Drishtikone most? Well, I happened to check the demographics out on the Alexa site. And What do I get? Something very interesting! Compared the internet population, the population that accesses Drishtikone is highly represented by the following types:
- 45-54 years old
- With Graduate Degree
- With Children
- Browsing from Work.
That is a fairly interesting insight for me. Now, I write a lot about politics and India.. so I am wondering if that is what most of this demographic really like.
Just wanted to let you know that Drishtikone’s blogs are now available for subscription on Amazon’s Kindle. So, if you have Kindle and would like to read a unique perspective on topics and issues related to India and the rest of South Asia (including Pakistan etc), please do subscribe to Drishtikone.
PS: You will need to sign up – and put in your blog/site name/url. Please do so and make sure you have your vote count!
Drishtikone has been nominated for the “Politics and Current Affairs” category on Indibloggies (Search for “Drishtikone” on this page). For all the effort that is put into the blog, if you feel that it does deserve to be voted the best in the category, then please vote for it right away (dont wait for another day, because I have seen then it gets put off). VOTE
Ok, have you been on twitter? I have been for sometime and I have been enriched by some of the useful discussion and cross-fire that goes around. By many accounts, twitter is the next big thing.. and many say that Google is also interested in it.
I think its strength is that its like a giant IM where you are talking to a lot of people – who have an interesting term for people connected to you: “Followers”. Not friends or connections… FOLLOWERS! Twitter makes one feel like a leader from the get go. And I guess one was tired of having friends in real life.. and needed some “followers”. Its time I had some “Guru moments” myself! So, what do you know.. I get 800 FOLLOWERS. That’s a huge number of suckers running after a zombie with a blog! I may not be an Obama with 80% rating in a country.. but I have the next best thing.. 800 world wide “smart” and tech-savvy FOLLOWERS! Everyone of them is worth it!
Are you on twitter? And how many Followers do you have?
I have been eyeing a good way to show the User profiles better on Drishtikone. And finally I got the answer in Advanced Profile Kit module of Drupal. It is not easy to install and I have tried it before but it did not work. Now, it seems that the documentation is more uptodate and better written.
The key to its installing were the rather excellent instructions on Drupal given by Michelle – the creator of the module. Of course, it will take me time to get my stuff to a point where she is but I have made a start. Over time I will take it there. The Panels module – that is installed as part of this process has some really incredible options.. which I intend to use (including drag and drop functionality).
We are introducing a new set of forums on Drishtikone.com – which will include Immigration Forum for US Immigration topics. The questions people ask on the Immigration forum will be answered by Immigration Attorney Sunita Kapoor.
You can register on Drishtikone and sign in to post the questions on topics ranging from H1B visa, Visitor Visa, Green Cards, etc. You can also participate from others’ discussion over there.
Also added are forums on economy and jobs. These are tough economic times and we all need to do that extra bit. Let us discuss and post any leads or any thoughts on these topics as well. Hope this would be of use and help to the community.
I have a big list of RSS feeds on my Google Reader running into well over hundred. Now, i don’t read all of them, but I do read some regularly. For some reason, I have very few blogs from Indian bloggers! And that I thought was surprising given that my blog is so overwhelmingly India-oriented (or South Asia oriented). I have been asking myself…. WHY?
In fact, a friend asked me to go over to other bloggers in my niche to check where they are doing well, and what they are publishing that I am not looking at. For, I can see, that most of the known bloggers from India do get a lot of traffic and also comments. I do get a substantial traffic but not as many comments.
When I started blogging, I got inspired by Atany Dey and his blogs at Deeshaa. He has extremely excellent analysis and it is original. All that he writes is HIS viewpoint. He does not copy-paste and just include a comment to a picture and get “away with it”. He is one who will say things that ONLY he can write. So, as I used to say when I was starting out “I want to be an Atanu Dey when I grow up as a blogger!”.
The rest – including the most hyped – are simply pedestrian in my view. Most of the bloggers fall in one of the two main categories:
Or so I believe! Well, we got featured on the India page at AllTop.com – a unique kind of an “Online Magazine Rack” where the best content from the web is “handpicked” by the editors on various topics and showcased. So, for example on the India page, you find all kinds of newspapers from India and some big blogs. This is a brain-child of Guy Kawasaki – a pioneer in blogging and web.
It was nice to be in that company and we are truly honored. It also gives more people a chance to check us out while they are on this topic. Hope to bring more and more and better content to you as we go on..
Just got an email – that my slideshare show on “Top 20 All Time Beauties of Indian Cinema” got featured on the Frontpage of Slideshare.net. Go check it out! Cool.. huh! I have found that slideshare is a great place to learn new stuff and also to use for posting content on your own site. Instead of posting simply pictures, I now prefer to post slide shows that I load onto Slideshare. Keep a lookout for more sharings!
Today, I wanted to discuss one thing that has baffled me and some of the readers and I am trying to evaluate what this blog – Drishtikone – really does for the readers. I (and others) feel that Drishtikone, despite its good quality posts (despite my humility ) does not get enough comments, as much as some other desi and even generic blogs get. Why is that?
It is not that people are not reading the posts at all.. some at least do read.. but it seems people (i) either don’t have an opinion on the subjects I write.. or (ii) worse, cannot understand what I have written.. or (iii) maybe just don’t care to exchange their thoughts. I am, honestly at a loss to completely grasp the true reason for this.
For me, there are very few blogs I visit amongst the desi crowd because very few even chose topics which have some interesting treatment and mostly the blogs end up becoming rants as opposed to serious discussions. I am sure I also post a lot of things that are frivolous at time and sometimes I do write emotionally as well, but I and others (Ezequiel, Jeshi etc) try and write things that are interesting, and hopefully serious and intelligent in nature.
I somehow ran into the book launch of the book “Corporate Blogging in India”, where a panel was there with the two authors: Rajeev Karwal and Preeti Chaturvedi. Also along with them was the now regular face of Sanjeev Bikchandani, the CEO of Naukri. Also on the panel was the Dr. Jagdish Sheth the Marketing professor at Goizuetta Business School at Emory University.
I glanced through the book and found it pretty interesting. Preeti is a journalist who it seems blogs on Social media stuff, while Rajeev a CEO at Milagrow Business and Knowledge Solutions blogs about what he learned from his teachers.
The book has some case studies and thoughts on how blogging can be used in business to further and improve on the image and market the corporate itself. I thought it was pretty useful at first glance for the uninitiated.
This morning I had a surprise! Drishtikone had won the "Blog of the Day award" at Blog of the Day site.
This is the first time Drishtikone has actually won a blog award anywhere. It has come close and has been praised but has never won the final thing.
Although I don’t write for awards.. I write for my own satisfaction but it helps if one can win an award and be encouraged. In journey, some people have joined me – dear friend Ezequiel Rodriguez (a Mexican Mystic) and my childhood friend, Jeshi – who also write on it equally share this distinction.
I am sure many more people will discover Drishtikone and realize that it fulfills a special need. It may be just another blog but it is so diverse and lively that there are very few around which have the same "soul". Postings go from the humorous to the Spiritual, to the useful, to political to mystical… and that is its strength – the absolute unpredictability!
One day – quite unexpectedly, a refreshing and cool breeze from the city of cities – Lahore (or so I thought) came our way thousands of miles away from the sub-continent.
Through the thick and thin of the sub-continent’s politics, bomb blasts, accusations, rhetoric and anger, somehow our collaboration, respect and friendship keeps growing. I am certainly not the best practitioner of the art (as much as Rubab is), but the world does need people who can accept each other’s prejudices – even expressed with passion and conviction – and yet accept that it is their right! THAT is not easy. The prejudices have a strange way of creating rifts and hatred. Often our minds become slaves of our prejudices and we lose reason even when we can see its utmost and critical importance.
When I first wrote that post when Rubab had visited us, she had argued that she was from Gujranwala and not Lahore. Being a pseudo-Lahoriya (both my parents came from Lahore – although I wouldn’t be able to point its location on the map properly!), I couldn’t find the difference! Gujaranwala is about 150 km from Lahore. After all, I have heard even those from Faridabad say they are from Delhi and there was a time when Gurgaon was a separate city but its all one big Delhi (or National Capital Region – NCR – now). So, I had smilingly remarked – same difference.
How the things are changing in the media world can be seen from this transaction. This is by far the biggest sale amount for a Wordpress blog with a Google pagerank of 5.0.
Way to go.
Drishtikone.com is launching a new initiative to cover the coming Indian Elections – 7RCR.com – that is short for 7 Race Course Road – (the official residence of the Indian Prime Minister).
This site will include information on different parties, candidates, and constituencies as well as blogs on everything related to Indian politics. It also contains political news from premier news sources on Indian politics.
Even though a lot of work has gone into it, it is still under construction and more content and features are being added everyday. The goal is to make it the premier site for all the election/politics related information for India.
We will need your help and support! If you would like to blog (blogging will be for serious people on this site) [we welcome CROSS-POSTING from your personal blogs], or send pictures or videos that discuss different areas of politics, then please contact me.
If you would like to share your thoughts/suggestions/critique please do email me. Criticism and discussing how we can improve will be very welcome as that will help us improve!
Lastly, if you think it is something useful, then please do share it with your friends and known.
I know I have not really written on my blog for past few days.. it was just a mixture of some things. First was obviously work.. and then I had to get two sites of mine in order.
I have two blogs on business topics – businessmusings.com and BImusings.com. While Businessmusings was on some earlier godforesaken version of WordPress, BIMusings was on a newer but not the latest. My task was to first upgrade the businessmusings to the latest 2.6 version.
I was looking around for help.. when I stumbled upon this plugin (attached here) for WP that does it easily! Just upload and extract it under your plugin folder and then go to the plugins and activate it.. then go under manage and click on automatic upgrade and start the steps.. it was pretty simple and took no more than 5 mins!
Generally, as I blog, I do not really look for how it is doing from the “commercial” standpoint – as in the hits and unique visitors etc. Today, I decided to check out my stats using the Awstats functionality in my cpanel. What I saw is showin below. The stats don’t look bad at all. The hits seem to have been between 300k and 400k. The Unique visitors are around 7000-10,000 a month and number of visits are between 15k to 20k. That means a person makes it back to drishtikone at least twice a month. The visitors have been checking out about 60k-100k pages a month!! That is quite a bit! At least drishtikone has enough to keep them busy
The Google Page Rank is 3 (it was 4 at some point before the changes to drupal version and hack attack). The Alexa Rank is around 900k and falling every day.
I had written this sometime back when mysite was hacked and offline so I had posted it on desicritics. I am finally posting it here on drishtikone for the readers.=================
She must have walked on the same streets that were once walked by my father. Maybe the fruits that had fallen from the trees that had once fed my grandfather had also been tasted by her. Now, she was standing right in our house bringing the air of Lahore with her. Rubab Saleem (blogs at Pakistan Times) was visiting us in Houston and I could not miss being mesmerized by the situation. It was ridden with quiet nostalgia in my mind.
Both my parents and their forefathers came from Lahore. While my father’s family was from Lahore proper, my mother’s family came from Sheikhupura, near Lahore. While my father and his parents migrated in 1920’s due to my grandfather’s Government job, my mother’s side came during partition. I would sit down with my Nanaji for hours discussing his childhood and youth. I still remember him picking up the Hindustan Times with a story on the terrorist training camps for the Khalistanis in 1980’s with a map of the various places where those camps were and pointing those places to me. “Here I played my first hockey match”… and “Here I went to college”.. etc. He had travelled wide and well in that land and was fluent in Farsi and Urdu (oral and written).
After all these decades, the Internet had accomplished me to do another thing. Sort of close the loop that had been left open – a young girl from Lahore finally brought that whiff of that city – which has a special place in Punjabiyat of South Asia – to our home.
Today my interview was published on Pakistani Spectator – a Pakistani blog. I think it is a great blog to read about things on Pakistan. Here is an excerpt:
What is your perception about Pakistan and its people?
I think people are always the same but the state is what creates issues in the world. I feel that over the years, the Pakistani leaders have made some horribly wrong choices – which are showing up their ugly head now.
Also, Pakistan took the easy route of using its geography (strategic location) as opposed to the talent and strength of its people as its greatest asset to negotiate with the world. I think that was not a good move. A country is after all its people and only they can create or destroy it. I have found Pakistanis to be incredibly talented. Small country, but lots of awesome talent in all areas.
Ever since I have built Drishtikone as a long term blogging/community platform, for me it was important to have at its base something that was flexible, scalable and powerful. Drupal is and has been the only one that fit the bill! Fortunately, there are some who share my enthusiasm for it. Here is one guy who discusses the possibility of Drupal being taught in schools and colleges.. and why is Drupal so important and good? Here are some reasons:
1. In an interview with Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, he was asked the longevity question. His answer was smart, which was that most of what is at the heart of Drupal is ‘ideas work’ (my words). Many of the problems Drupal seeks to answer are not based on a particular programming platform, but are rather broader problems that all applications will run into at some point as they seek to develop a flexible Rapid Application Development (RAD) infrastructure.
I think this is a fairly interesting and a VERY insightful deck on the different Styles of blogging and when and how thye can/should be used!
Drishtikone logo was created by Lakshmi Mareddy who runs ChilliGavva. She very generously made this logo for me – even though I had not asked for it. Reason: because she liked the blog but not the logo! So she wanted to improve the situation.
There are very few people in this world who go out of their way to do a good deed for others without asking. Lakshmi is one of those few! In fact she not only created the logo for Drishtikone, but she also created a version for my twitter account.
Drishtikone is very grateful to her for her act of generosity!
Now, something about ChilliGavva. I came across this site and was instantly struck by the beautiful design that Lakshmi had created and the detail that her CSS had to bring in all those special things and effects. Also, striking is her sense of design. Very contemporary, clean yet sophisticated. Please do visit it and enjoy her work!
I had been thinking that the total RSS subscribers to my blog were in the vicinty of 1300 or so. Today I happened to go to SocialScan – a site that scans a few bookmarking sites to check on the links there.
One of them was also Bloglines! And that is where I got my surprise! Just Bloglines has 1800 links – which means that in just one RSS reader that is the count for RSS Subscribers. Although I know that Bloglines is the place where most subscribers track Drishtikone but I think there is a substantial number which tracks through My Yahoo and Google as well, besides some “Java based readers”.
Are you subscribed to Drishtikone yet? If not, please do!
The year 2007 draws to a close. As is customary, we make many lists of the year gone by. I had also started this tradition last year by compiling my own and others’ lists. Here were my predictions for this year 2007. Let’s see how we did?
1. Dollar will decline and maybe US will avert a correction but the deficit will continue to balloon.
Little need to expand on it. This was SPOT ON and one of the main points of discussion by the end of the year!
2. The tensions due (1) above will increase with China and Europe due to trade issues. Chinese element will also include the military/political muscle flexing as well. India will therefore become an important prop this year. So expect India to become an important “flavor” in American foreign policy.
Again, this also came true to a large extent. The Toy recalls and some books came out and it was clear that there was a push with the Nuclear deal etc. to position India against the growing influence of China!
3. The true implications of Iraq invasion will start becoming all too apparent! If I were Barrack Obama I would NOT run for the President! In fact if I were the head of Democratic party I would let the Republicans take that “honor” in the next President elections. By the end of 2007, the world will realize that Iraq was THE greatest mistake of the modern times. I would be very surprised if a major conflict does not break out in that region.
Well, I am surprised! Many politicians have gone on record in the US to say that Bush’s presidency was the worst ever and Iraq is one of the worst mistakes ever! But I guess the dimensions of this mistake are not completely apparent as of now. Wait till next year.
I am really sick of seeing the same 100-200 blogs that everyone knows of – whether in India or abroad – being available everywhere. When you go to any site in India – you see the same culprits – Amit Varma’s, Gautam Sabnis etc. Not that they are bad, but surely there are other, as worthy and good, if not better voices out there in things Indian and other topics – whether technology or other things… surely techcrunch/slashdot/gizmodo are not the end-all of technology nor is Huffington or the popular conservative voices the only main voices in US politics..