Quick TODO Checklist – Andamans Trip (June’12)

  • Road Trip – 700 kms (from Port Blair to Diglipur and back) – I plan to shoot a lot of pictures, write a lot & shoot a few videos too on the way. This is my stint into travel writing & I hope to continue it.
  • Quick Dive –  I shall from now on call a single scuba dive as a quick dive. For me, scuba diving is more than just an adventure sport. It’s an activity which relaxes me, soothes me & rejuvenates me. Hence, a much needed Quick Dive.
  • Food Photography – Oh! I can’t tell you how excited I’m about this. Finally, I shall be clicking food pictures at my own restaurant & posting them on it’s website soon.
  • And finally I wish to do something in this trip that will put “Andaman’s Trip” on a repeat mode for me.

My Smartphone app list

I’m a smartphone productivity evangelist and I do everything to get the best of my smartphone (currently an iPhone4). I recently shed some dollars on getting the best apps on the phone and all I can say is – it’s simply worth it.

What I do on my phone?

  • I respond to most of my emails on phone – Apple Mail App
  • Take beautiful pictures and edit them using awesome apps. – Instagram, Camera+, Hipstamatic
  • Personal Social Networking – Facebook for iPhone & Tweetbot
  • Take Notes – Evernote
  • Write blogs – iA Writer
  • Read blog feeds – Reeder
  • Reading articles bookmarked on web – Readability
  • Since I own a startup, I use Hootsuite on mobile sometimes to manage twitter feed and listen to “saved search”
  • Track Google Analytics – iSPY Analytics
  • Track MailChimp subscriptions using the app

The idea of the post is not to show off an awesome phone, but to throw some light on things you could do with a normal smartphone. You have a smartphone, use it smartly rather!

How can Social Media help organise better college fests?

We at Dept. of Management, St Xavier’s College successfully organized a management fest and we made maximun possible use of social media. Let me tell you how we did that?

We had a challenge – A very tough competition – another society with huge fan following!

So basically we had to create a huge fan following or least some traction among students and get them familiar with just an year old fest.

How did we use social media? We only used facebook.

  • We thought like a normal student who has 30 minutes to spend on facebook. We would want to speak to his friends, converse with them and it would be irritating to receive requests to like a management summit facebook page.
  • Thus we created an interest group – based upon marketing and called it “Mad Over Marketing” and since we did a balanced branding of the page with the fest name it was easy for everyone to understand the brand. While at the same time we kept the fan base engaged in what they wanted to see – awesome marketin!

On being absurd

“Only those who attempt the absurd…will achieve the impossible.” – M.C. Escher

I came across this quote on my twitter feed & like every other quote, I yelled “wow” in my head & carried on. But there was something different about this!

I was able to relate to it very closely. But why?

Quenching on my thirst, I created a timeline of my life in my head – from my childhood till today. Compared it with those of my friends. I found a peculiarity – “utter absurdness”.

I mean seriously – who on earth would not enjoy his childhood for making bills in dad’s restaurant or not enjoy this teenage for designing websites (entrepreneurial stint) ! ME.

I have been absurd all through! Even today, my psyche simply stops me to do everything everyone else is doing.

All this obviously does not mean that I have a achieved the impossible, but yes it definitely assures that I’m on the right track – achieve the impossible.

Living up to my 24 hours

I questioned myself whether I can really not live without knowing about-

“What is the latest product launch from apple?”
“Who is the new CEO of Yahoo?”
“Who has how much share holding in x,y,z companies?”

Quite often I feel that it’s wasteful to know so much. A little information is just enough.

There is abundance of information everywhere. Facebook, twitter, website, portals, etc. just add to the woes. It is important to know what information I need and simply ignore others. It’s very very important to say NO and neglect or ignore few things. What I read on Google Reader suggests my interests in life. The blogs I read, the people I follow on twitter, the people I have on network on LinkedIn speak about what I’m set out to become. My interests have evolved over a period of time and I believe it’s absolutely normal. Like when I set out, I wanted to be a pilot, then I wanted to be a <geek>, then I wanted to be an entrepreneur … The point I make here is no matter what you want to do, make sure you have sufficient knowledge in that domain first, keeping others aside. I make sure I read about entrepreneurship firstly, my passions secondly and anything else later. Setting priority is the key.

I did find it difficult to keep up with so much having just 24 hours a day in hand. I have been attending college, working on personal and client projects at the same time. Managing time thus became really important. I was feeling like a slave until I met someone in my life who has totally changed the way I think and I live. With the same thought in mind, I did a small experiment the other day ie. chose not to use BBM for 2 days. It worked out really well. I don’t particularly care about the red blinking light on my phone all the time now. I can do what I’m doing in peace without getting interrupted by useless messages which don’t even matter most of the times. I have disabled notifications for facebook, twitter & emails. And I don’t feel like a slave anymore!! *big smile*

“I’m sure there is nothing in the world that cannot wait for some to get responded.”

Yes, even I have realized that I had been wasting a lot of time learning about things that don’t really matter practically. Thanks to my friend who inspires me & teaches how important it is to live life to the fullest and just not lead it.

I’m set out to lead each and every moment of my life whether working, playing or just hanging out (horse riding, boating or even sitting idle at a temple.) Life is so much fun & 24 hours aren’t just enough to live!

An Open Letter to Teens: Regd Social Media

Dear Friend

We haven’t met yet IRL (in real life), but I’ve seen you online and…we need to talk.

You are growing up in a world where privacy is an old-fashioned concept. Almost everything you do is recorded, watched or monitored somehow.

We have cameras on our computers and cell phones, in stores, parks and on the highway. We check in on Facebook and Foursquare and whatever other check-in app you choose. Your phone goes everywhere you go, and the GPS on you phone always knows where you are. Invasion of privacy used to mean my brother read my diary or the teacher intercepted a note about a cute guy and read it in front of the class. Times sure have changed. Maybe you’ve been on social media since before you were born. (Did your mom or dad post those ultrasound pics on Facebook or MySpace or Flickr? I thought so.) Your whole life is there.

Yes, this is your world. It seems normal, I’m sure, because you’ve never known anything else. Maybe that’s why you don’t think twice before posting that crazy video on You Tube, or using those words (yes, the dirty ones that make your mother blush) on Twitter, and “OMG, did she really say that to him on Facebook?”

You’re in a relationship with social media and “It’s Complicated.”

Most of your parents don’t get it. (Sorry parents, it’s true.)

Well, let me tell you the hard truth that you don’t like to think about:

People are watching.

That creepy guy at the mall?
Yep, he’s online and he can read your Twitter stream.

That jerk you wish you never met?
He can Google you and get your life story in a flash.

Yes, Google indexes your Facebook feeds and your tweets and lots of other things you forget about 5 minutes after you post them.

The Internet never forgets.

I heard on the news that the FCC (people who set the rules for the Internet) have decided it’s OK for people to do social media background checks.

That means that 10 or 15 years from now when you apply for that really cool job that you’ve been dreaming about since your were, oh, the age you are right now, the people thinking about hiring you can pull up all those old message you forgot about and WOW…won’t they be surprised?

Is that what you want for your future you?

What about right now?

Would you stand up in front of a million people today and do that sexy dance or act like an idiot or talk about how you drank too much when you weren’t old enough to drink at all? Really? 1,000,000 people? What about 1,000 people? Or even 15 people? Probably not.

Well, tweet about it and you have the power to reach a lot more than 1 million people. PEOPLE. YOU. DON’T. KNOW.

Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t out there. They are.Ask former Rep. Weiner. Or Gilbert Gottfried. Lots of people saw their messages, and look where it got them.

It’s not a secret.

Maybe your mom and dad don’t know you are on Twitter. You went behind their back and created that account, so no one will ever know except the 1579 friends you’ve collected on Facebook (including the ones you’ve never met). How many of those people are who they say they are? You can be anyone you want to be online, right? Do you really know your “friends”?

My point is that you need to be CAREFUL online.

I’m not that old, but the world sure has changed since I was a kid. People used to talk about being “street smart,” which meant that you knew a thing or two about life and weren’t likely to be taken advantage of or do something that could get you in trouble – and I mean real trouble, not just the kind where you get grounded for a week or have your phone taken away.

The new “street smart” is “social smarts.” There’s way more trouble online, just waiting for you if you’re careless. And you might not see it coming.

I’m not trying to scare you, but wake up.

Protect your privacy online. Be careful what you post. Think twice.

Would you want your grandma to see that? Then it probably shouldn’t be online.

It’s really hard to undo social media mistakes. Mom and Dad can’t bail you out. You can’t buy your way back from a bad reputation. Poor judgement will follow you, because the Internet never forgets and yes, people are watching.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of social media. It’s a great tool for sharing, communicating and staying in touch. But any tool, when it’s misused, can create a lot of damage.

Don’t let that happen to you.

Have fun, but be careful out there. Please.

PS: I had been wanting to write an article on this topic for long. Finally got across this. Original Article