Some Very and Some Not So Very Useful Sites

~~~ Learn how to cook Indian crab curry in the Hobbies section.~~~

About Me

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A freelance writer by profession, I have been blogging now for about two and half years. My other interests includes SEO. Blogging motivates me to learn about new things happening on WWW and also out of it. I would like to update my blog on a daily basis, but more than that I would like to write about the latest... fastest.

Dec 27, 2009

3 Idiots... Watch it!


Everyone is talking about 3 Idiots, the movie starring Kareena Kapoor, Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi, Madhavan, Boman Irani. From the time its promo hit the small screen I had been wanting to watch it... but after all the positive reviews I got from those who watched it (yet to find a single person who said its not that a great movie) I saw it today.

It is for me, a fine example of "excellence in film making". A movie that keeps you glued to the screen till its on and after its over it makes you ponder about the message it gives. Only thing that depresses me occasionally is that such movies never get Oscars but movies like Slumdog gets... SAD! However, even that doesn't matter, I am happy we still have film makers who make movies like 3 Idiots.

As I said earlier, this movie makes me ponder over the message it gives out. I thought over something too, as shown in this movie do those people who follow their hearts really outrun people in the race, in spite of not being in the race themselves? Does that really happen? Is it a fictitious end to the story or really possible? And then Aamir Khan example crossed my mind... What better example than Aamir Khan himself! He is never in the race, does only one or two movies in a year and yet he is such a successful and loved actor. The one or two movies he does becomes one of the highest revenue earner for that year. Never gets into any kind of cheap publicity to show the world that he is alive but still he is the most spoken about actor, when the discussion is about good actors in Hindi cinema.

I am convinced that the movie is not only entertaining, positive, motivating but also realistic! A must watch for people of all ages:)

Jun 11, 2009

Clickbank Code - Affiliate Marketing Tutorials

In the last week of May I purchased an Affiliate marketing tutorial package that guides it readers in building up an Affiliate business. The name of this package was Clickbank Code by Michael Jones. I landed on his landing page through one of the email sent to me by one of the Affiliates whose newsletter I had subscribed to, last year or the year before. Btw, I have lost track of how many such newsletters I have subscribed to in the last few years. I have always wanted to know how to earn money online with no or minimum investment… however, was never convinced enough if I could do it.

Okay, lets get back to Clickbank Code, I went through Michael’s landing page and curiously went through the video also… who would not when the email through which I reached the landing page said, “See how this guy made $$$ in a few days”
I have got uncountable no. of mails like these ones before… lot of them I have deleted even without opening. So, what was different about this product and its promotion, which made me not only see the landing page, read it, view the video but BUY the product also???

I also don’t know, but I guess it was that one hope that it could help me achieve what I have been trying to achieve since a few years. After finally having the contents of the package in front of my eyes, I asked myself, “where is that secret of earning quick money”, but alas there was nothing of that sort.

In all there are 45 videos covering different aspects of Affiliate marketing. 28 divided in 6 modules and one PPC bonus consisting of 19 videos. All the modules are covered in PDF file also. In addition to this there are 2 bonus ebooks Niche Navigator and Twitter Treasure Chest that comes with Reseller rights. It means you are free to resell it at your price.

Now to get the fact right… this book will help you earn money if you are willing to first spend some. It will teach you how you can earn $150 by spending $100 but definitely not instantly. So if you have the patience and dedication towards making it as a successful Affiliate than go for
Clickbank Code!

May 11, 2009

Must say…. Good job!!

12 year old Harry Willsher from UK is the fortunate employee of a sweet factory and his unique and dream job is to taste new sweets for the sweet factory. Now isn’t that great, getting to eat sweets and alsogetting paid for it?

This news article made me think what could be some of my dream jobs. It could be dress promoter. Here the job profile would be to wear lovely dresses and walk into movie hall, malls, wedding, parties etc and promote the outfit by just looking good.

Second in the list, can be sandals and shoes tester. Wear the latest style shoes and check its comfort level. Of course, all these stuffs will remain with me only after that.

Third, be a part of research program that’s researching on whether going to beauty parlor and getting done a facial, hairspa, manicure, pedicure etc on a regular basis helps improve the skin and hair quality of a person. Wow, someone paying for all that every month and also paying me for that would be like a dream in a dream.

I would love to test mattress also. Sleep on it to test if it justifies as a good mattress or needs more improvement. So much for society service!

Now some realistic ones

Food, movie reviewer: In this job I would like to eat good food and write a review about the food, restaurant and its service. As a movie reviewer, ticket to a PVR plus popcorn expenses and in return I will review the movie. Similarly, there are a lot of other stuffs that I can very efficiently use and review, such as mobile phones, ipods, laptops etc.

Travel writing is also another cool job. My company will pay me for traveling plus the expenses incurred on it and in return, I give the perfect description about how and where I went and why everyone should or should not go there.

If only I could get lucky like Harry, anyone listening?

Apr 22, 2009

How to add music on blogger

Finally I have figured out how people add music playlist to their blogs. It was not as easy I thought it would be. Especially, from the website from where I got this widget, that is the imeem.com. Must admit to get that playlist widget from imeem to my blog was not at all easy… I wasted half a day to understand how it worked. But all said and done, it’s the best site for this purpose because it has this option of adding widget to your blog, plus a huge collection of songs. Before this I tried to use ilike.com but didn’t get complete song.

Similarly, to have music on your site, you can add the codes to your website and have a list of songs for your viewers. In the following video, I have shown two ways of adding the playlist. If you are a novice the first method is advisable however, no problem trying the second method if you are in a mood to explore… its not really that complicated.

Open blogger and imeem.com, first you will need to register with imeem.com.

Check the video to know, how to add your favorite songs on your blog;



Step by step procedure:

• Search for you song
• Click on Add to Quickmix
• Save playlist
• Select on home/mediatracker/playlist/
• On the bottom of the playlist, Click on MORE near 'Embed this on'
• You will see a list of options; select Blogger/Add to blogger
• On clicking on that you will be taken to your blogger dashboard
• Select the blog where you want to display the playlist.
• Click on 'Add Widget'
• Save and view your blog
• If you would like to remove the Search option from the playlist then;
• Click on the song gadget in the dasboard to open the code and amend the code as shown in the blog.

Method 2:

• On the bottom of the playlist on imeem.com, you will see an option 'Embed' select all and copy.
• Come to your blogger dasboard/layout/add gadget/html-javascript
• Put a suitable title and in the content area paste the code, delete the code for search option and save.

The playlist is ready for your viewers...!!

Apr 6, 2009

How to create navigation links in your blog

This is for people who own more than one blog and want a navigation menu in your blog. With a navigation menu in your blog, visitors to one of the blogs can access the other blogs by clicking on the navigation link. To understand better, check out the main menu on the top, in my blog.

For instance, if you want to have navigation for your blogs www.iluv2travel.blogspot.com and www.myleisuremoments.blogspot.com here’s how you do it;

1. Go to Layout/Page Element

2. Click on Add a Gadget

3. Give a suitable title like for my blog I have named it as Main Menu

4. Copy and paste the below code on the ‘content’ area. Please remember to replace the site URL and title with that of your blog. For better understanding, I have marked in blue the link and texts that needs be replaced.
html code for navigation links in blogger
5. Save

6. Select a proper placement for this menu.

At Blogger Buster you will find other ways to create navigation bar, but try it only if you are an advanced blogger.

Mar 30, 2009

Make your own cartoon strips

I am always on net trying to find something new and interesting. Today i found a site that lets you create your own Cartoon strip. Its easy and fun. I have made one such comic strip as you can see here.You can do it too and make your blog more fun for the viewers. At the same time, a lot of serious, difficult to understand things... can easily be explained with the help of this toonmaker.




This site is now 2 years old... and its sad I found it so late. But better late than never! Use this site for school projects or to welcome your clients or just to have some comedy element in your blog.

Mar 14, 2009

Tips on Blogging


As you can see, I have just about finished with the basic layout of my main blog; there is a lot I can share about my experience of the whole process. Lend me your ear all those who want their blog to be out of the crowd, and yet pleasing for the eyes and brain.
According to me, every blogger should experiment with different looks and styles for their blog.
To begin with, I got this free template from one of Tweeter group, you can see link to the site at the bottom of this page (but please use a different template not this same one, remember you want your blog to be out of the crowd). After downloading the template, I realized I can’t upload it to my template area because I have been using the classic template format. Until now classic format was easy for me than the new template format.

Earlier, I never understood the widget thing in the new template format and I always thought the classic template format was better than the new one because you could add so many features to your blog with some html knowledge. But I was wrong, even with the new template you can add features (and a lot more easily), that are called gadgets and you can find them under Layout/Page elements/ Add gadgets.

On the blogger dashboard/layout/edit html at the bottom you have the option of reverting to classic templates. If you are already using this option to use the new format you will have to click on the dashboard/templates/customize design. I clicked on this option (before that I saved my old template code), and uploaded the xml file of the new template that you can see now here on the blog. That’s very easy and the template is in place. After this slight changes were made to the html code to suit my audience. Like for example, ‘About me’, ‘Archives’ etc where not in English I changed it to English.

This gadget thing in the new blogger is amazing, it definitely makes your blog really cool, however, sadly all good gadgets were broken or some didn’t set in properly in my new template. So sadly, I was left with very few choices, but even those few choices are making my blog look full.

According to me, every blogger should experiment with different looks and styles for their blog. It not only vents your creativity but also gives your reader a better blog to look at.

On the net we can find so many ill-treated blogs with bad background and font combination that can make the visitor blind if they stare at the blog for a few minutes. In India though we have started to have this blog fever a few years back and its at its peak now, very few people take out the time to make their blog, a blog to remember.

To make your blog one of those few blogs, here are a few tips;

1. Search the net for free templates
2. Take care that your blog has the right background and font combination. I have seen some blog with good contents but with their choice of background and font it’s was difficult to read more than one post.
3. Use words that are a part of our daily life. Why use fathom when you can use understand…. Fathom is not something that everyone understands. Keep all those words for the time when you write to get a literature award. Please note there is no literature award available for online blogs!
4. Keep your content limited to less than 500 words. I have crossed that limit this time but trust me I have tried to use the minimum no. of words here. There can be exceptions when you are explaining a process but the thumb rule is the shorter the better because people have lot of other things to do when online.
5. Keep surfing the net for good blogs and take ideas from those blogs.
6. Last but not the least, make the most of the tools that blogger.com provides to its users.

Mar 8, 2009

Do not Disturb (DND)




Once, long time back, out of greed for an assured prize I participated in MTV roadies contest. I did get the details on how to redeem my prize but unfortunately the prize amount was below the minimum redemption offered by the third party site. Which means, I did not get anything but MTV got my number with which they kept updating me with silly updates. For sometime now I was thinking of how to get myself out of its list. And in my attempt to do so, I kept sending them wrong messages that cost me Rs.3 per sms.

Finally today, I found out how this can be done… it was simple yet difficult. When you want to stop receiving such messages you should message ‘DND’ to the no (in this case it was 56882). DND is an acronym for Do not Disturb. In India also we have something that protects us from unsolicited calls and sms, its the DND.

Ever wondered why so many websites offers you free sms and calling service? It’s because once you register with these websites you are allowing them to sell your no. to marketing companies who can then disturb you as and when they want!

There is more to DND, like some cellular company gives you the option of DND service. Opting for this service will spare you from calls/sms coming from the specific cellular company. But, not sure if it really works!

If you are also one of such troubled individual and want some solution to stop these calls/sms, take a look at the following link;

http://www.ndncregistry.com/

Mar 5, 2009

Slumdog on my blog (That rhymes!)

Everyone is talking about Slumdog, positively, negatively, ignorantly but is definitely talking. Even my dad wanted to watch slumdog, I can’t recollect when was the last time he said that he wants to see a particular movie. When I open the newspapers I see something written religiously about slumdog, when I read the online news I find something about slumdog… now after such constant exposure it’s so predictable of me to have something written about slumdog on my blog, plus I actually had something to say about what I saw.
In one particular scene, the teenage Jamal tells some tourists, “You wanted to see the real India, this is the real India”.
There have been a lot of comments coming from Indian celebrities about the movie. Our bollywood actors have congratulated the movie makers on their success. Aamir Khan said "I have seen Slumdog and the film didn't work for me". Mr. Amitabh Bachchan has a lot to say about Slumdog in his blog, and looks like he is not happy with it either. But the best statement came from Mr. Narendra Modi and he says, “If Congress had not been around… slums would not have been there. If slums had not existed there would not be any slumdogs and consequently the movie (Slumdog Millionaire) would not have been made.”

“So, the Oscar should go to the Congress”, said Modi.

That was the most sarcastic statement made for Slumdog (or Congress) ever.

Initially, I thought it was a good movie but definitely not so good to get so many Oscars, there has definitely been better Indian movies. This makes me curious to know about the Oscar’s criteria of judging movies. How exactly do they decide that a particular movie deserves something prestigious as the Oscar? I have never been the “Oh this movie has got an Oscar award… so I have to watch it ” type of a person but now for sure I would never be getting too impressed when I hear that the movie I am planning to watch has got an Oscar.

Good news --- After Slumdog, Westerners want to come to Mumbai. Bad news --- They want to come to Mumbai to see Dharavi Slums! This is so frightening, after many years India finally shed the title ‘country of snake charmers’, and now for god sake don’t tell me it was only to replace it with the title ‘country of slums’!! It is a good question if only someone can answer, why are some people so obsessed with showing other countries in such bad light?? So what if the author of slumdog is an Indian. The same filmmakers could have made a movie on “The 3 mistakes of my life” or any other book.

But, I don’t blame the director / producer of Slumdog because they were only showing what people wanted to see. They were probably aware that if they made a movie on the positives of India, it may not do well in the international market (like so many of Indian movies). Just like so many of other good Indian movies.

In one particular scene, the teenage Jamal tells some tourists, “You wanted to see the real India, this is the real India”. This happens when he is beaten up by their driver. Now how many of us think it is the real India. My opinion is that it may be a part of real India but definitely not whole of real India. So my point is... why do these foreign filmmakers want to project India as a poor nation and every wrong thing possible happens in the real India??? And worse still why only such movies are showered with the best awards… there is definitely something wrong somewhere.

Feb 25, 2009

Book Review

Just last week, I finished reading a good book and couldn’t stop myself from writing something about it. While reading this book, for the first time I stopped to count the full stops in the sentences, and also first time I finished a novel so fast… within a week. Usually, I take months to finish one book.

After reading this book, I thought if ever I write a book it has to be like this. It has all the ingredients to keep an average brained person like me interested… namely, simple to understand, witty and excellent story. The book I am referring to here is Chetan Bhagat’s latest book, “The 3 mistakes of my life”.

The story is about a young business man and the 3 mistakes of his life that changed his life. Reading the title of the book, I thought it was another personality development book, but was surprised to find out, it was not. Yes, it was a story revolving around Business, Religion and Cricket. And in some places I would find it irritating to read the scores but that was okay, it can be skipped.

I have yet to read Chetan’s other two books but managed to see the movie made on “A night at call center”. Didn’t like the movie though, I was wondering… if there was a movie to be made on “The 3 mistakes of my life”, which actors I would like to see playing the characters of the story. Hmmm let’s see…

Govind – Abhay Deol / Ranvir Kapoor
Ishaan – Tushaar Kapoor
Omi – Sohail Khan
Vidya – Sonam Kapoor
Bittu Mama – Mahesh Majrekar
Parekhji - Paresh Rawal
Ali - Ayush Mahesh Khedekar (Youngest Jamal in Slumdog)
Govind’s mom – Sulbha Arya
Ishaan’s Parents - Sharat Saxena and Kirron Kher

Perfect!!

Don’t know if a movie is made how it may turn out to be but the book definitely is a hit!!

Feb 12, 2009

Valentine's Day

Agreed V-Day is not rooted to Indian culture but should that be a reason for so much hatred for this occasion? All the hue and cry that’s surrounding V-day is completely meaningless. People who are supporting this kind of protest need to celebrate this day the most, so that feeling of love and care replaces the grudge in their hearts... against people celebrating it.

One point of time in my life, even I thought that you don’t need a day to express your love, what is happening is more a display of love than real love. But now I think one day in the year dedicated to love is a must especially in these times of hatred. So what if it’s commercialized... all the commercialization creates such healthy environment all around us. I mean doesn’t it look lovely when we enter a restaurant and see heart shaped balloons.

Also, when an occasion is celebrated universally it generates more joy than celebrating it individually. For instance, Diwali is a festival of lights and we light diyas (mud lamps) on diwali. Ideally speaking, we can do it any day but it brings more joy during Diwali because everyone around us is doing that, which makes the whole ambience cheerful and positive. Similarly it is for Valentines Day or any other festival.

By default we have very less occasions to enjoy life due to the bad times created by the terrorists, recession, and other stress. And instead of enjoying every happy moment that comes our way to the fullest, if we spend these days also grumbling about culture and stuff, then I guess animals have a better life than us.

So smile, celebrate and enjoy V-day not just on 14 Feb but if possible every day… because love is the need of the hour.

Feb 4, 2009

Recession 2008-20??

Towards the end of 2008 recession hit hard almost all of the global village and now financial gurus warn of a tougher time ahead. Scary as it sounds it may actually happen. Everywhere around me I hear about people losing jobs, companies closing down or salary cut. And what hurts the most is the increasing number of suicides… due to the bad fall in share market indirectly connected to recession.

One thing that makes me wonder is how did this recession enter, I understand its shortage of funds so where did all the money that existed, disappear??

I asked a friend and he told me, few people have got richer than they were, making many others poor. And I thought the best solution to reverse the recession would be to put more money into the market and generate more business. Would it not help in curbing recession? But the same friend told me if those people thought like that then there would be no recession in the first place.

So who else can discontinue this recession?? Maybe celebrities they have so much money why can’t they generate business? But would they… is the question. Seems like recession is here to stay for sometime unless there is some Divine intervention… which we all hope happens.

In school, I loved the word Recess but Recess with the additional ION doesn’t looking appealing at all!!