Some Very and Some Not So Very Useful Sites

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

About Me

My photo
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.

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 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;

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.