Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boxed men

Put a guy and a gal next to each other and it indicates a toilet. Put a bunch of guys standing next to each other inside a box and that indicates an elevator. Ridiculous symbols. Being the pro-feminist I am, I think these symbols are unfair to women. Does this mean women cannot take elevators? Huh? Or does it mean that only women in pants can go in?

Toilets or Elevators?

And why did I have to write a blog post about this? Well, today I was in a hurry to attend nature’s call. Subconsciously I followed the symbol of many men standing in a box as a crowded restroom. Only when I reached the destination I figured I was following directions to an elevator all the time. Not only was that embarrassing, but also it tested my limits of self-control.

I suggest we change the elevator symbols to have all women in a box (or, if we are in Scotland, its all men wearing kilts). That way silly men like me won't follow it and it will show how we respect women and let them take the lifts while we take the stairs.

I always felt that a better symbol for toilets would be showing a man sitting on a toilet (for added effect we could show a trouser crumpled around his ankles). Its unmistakable and no one can ever confuse it for an elevator.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lazy consumers

I have been on twitter since the time I heard about it (around 4 years ago?). But I never really tweeted. 140 characters to express myself is just too less for a talkative guy like me. Also I am not funny enough to sound witty in less words. However, the tweets I found interesting, I did re-tweet them. After a while, I thought I clean up my tweet history and so for major part of the 4 years, my tweeter timeline shows 0 tweets with occasional re-tweets popping up for sometime then going back to 0.

But does that mean I don’t use twitter? NOT at all. I love twitter, its my main source of information after my Google Reader. Everyday religiously, I login to twitter from my phone and read all the tweets, follow links and get my updates. My phone shows that after Facebook (the perennial time drain!) twitter is the app that consumes most of my bandwidth!

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is – not tweeting doesn’t mean that I don’t “use” twitter nor does it mean that my account is “fake” or “spam”. I am very much an active consumer. Twitter for me is like watching TV or YouTube – I don’t produce my own videos or programs but I actively consume it.

Now there are new websites in the wild that classify users into spam or real accounts depending on the following criteria:

“On a very basic level spam accounts tend to have few or no followers and few or no tweets. But in contrast they tend to follow a lot of other accounts”.

That’s unfair and wrong on many accounts and I wanted to protest, till I figured there are people similar to me. 40% of tweeter users actually just read tweets. We are an active part of the ecosystem and twitter happily acknowledges our existence and is trying hard to monetize us. Relieved I am. Now I can be peacefully shy on twitter and be completely worthless on blogger! Sigh the pressures of a social life!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Re-inventing your brand

I have been a Go daddy customer since the day I bought this domain. Not that I am particularly proud of. But at that point in time when I was searching for .in Domain Names, it seemed the easiest to setup, use, configure and pay. And then, not to relive the misery of paying up every year, I paid upfront for 4 years. So I am pretty much stuck with it. I know geeks amongst you would tell me that there is a way to transfer your domain, but well it was too much hassle for me (the “why fix it when its not broken” mentality).

So I silently lived through the ex-CEO Elephant killing saga, I have managed to ignore all the suggestive Go daddy advertisements that became so famous, and then finally I turned a blind-eye to their SOPA debacle followed by the mass exodus of people off Go daddy along with Wikipedia. Last week, they had a major outage in which all of their DNS went down for a couple of hours (which also means my blog URL was not accessible). Looking at the daily traffic that I get on this site, I am sure no-one really had any problem for my site.

Anyway, so today I was seriously considering that I should switch and then I had enough time to sit and figure out this domain transferring thing.

I visited the Go daddy website, and I was amazed to see that they are trying hard to reinvent themselves. The advertisements below sort of suggest that they wish to go away from their flamboyant image, and show their “serious” side. So rather than coming up with a serious campaign straight away, they have put up a bunch of “inside-outside” commercials that look pretty cool. I felt its a good way to show “change” without really ignoring what you earlier stood for.

Since I don’t intend to put the old Go daddy commercials on my blog, and I am sure you are curious what they were. Please go to YouTube and see them for your own pleasure.

I am always impressed by marketing and by companies that try to reinvent themselves (yeah and I am not that brand conscious). So I guess, I will be back to my lazy self, and give them at least few more months to bring about a change.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

F1 Mindmap

I have been using Mind maps to handle anything and everything from To-do lists, Projects, Meeting Agendas, Action Items and Brainstorming. I got introduced to Mind mapping during my MBA when one of my professors used it to arrange his lectures and distribute the topics in a visual cognitive way for us to track and understand new concepts as he introduced in the lecture. I feel Mind maps are super cool if you are able to recall things visually like me. Now, over the years, I tried out many mind mapping tools (like XMind, Freemind etc) and have now settled for an online utility called Mindmeister. Its web-based and you can share your maps, set alerts, take them offline, see them on your phone and do a whole lot of cool things that kinda satisfy all my requirements.

Now, with the F1 race coming to Singapore next week, followed by India in October end, I am sure we all are gonna be focused on F1 over the next few months. However, there have been a lot of driver changes, new teams and new venues in F1 in the last 2 years, and I am sure many of you have some problems in remembering all of them.

To introduce you (my dear readers) to Mind mapping, and help you track F1, I have put together a Mind map that lists drivers, their teams, their countries, helmets and their current standing. I will keep updating it as the season progresses. If you guys think you have stuff to contribute to the map, please feel free to edit or change it.



Welcome to the wonder world of Mind mapping.