Posted by simarp in : India ,
After shortchanging people on property, next comes Life Insurance
“Lamba saath, bharose ki baat” – Exide Life Insurance full page advertisement had me thinking, is MS Dhoni really serious about doing this? Hasn’t this man lost all moral rights to endorse again, leave apart endorse a product like Life Insurance. Life insurance is a matter of trust, and the way Dhoni corroborated with Amrapali Group and the group swindled hundreds of thousands of people doesn’t bode well with me. The minute I saw his photograph, I could see him selling for Amrapali knowing very well that they were not honoring their commitment.
I don’t agree that Dhoni resigned from Amrapali because of Amrapali not honoring their commitments, he resigned as the shell company which was to route multi crore rupees to Dhoni became defunct. The company has Mahi as its middle name and Dhoni’s wife as a 25% shareholder. Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited doesn’t do anything and issued cheques worth Rs 75 Crores or so – Failed Venture behind Mahi’s leaving Amrapali
It is not just a case of endorsement, Amrapali and MS Dhoni had joint business interests, it will be interesting to know on number of properties different investment companies of MS Dhoni and his wife Sakshi Singh Dhoni own. This is not cricket, this game is betraying trust of common people. Not done.
It doesn’t sound like “Lamba Saath”, it sounds like “Lamba Haath”
Posted by simarp in : portals, websites ,
I am shocked, I didn’t see this coming. Didn’t expect this to happen. My first reaction – LinkedIn is unplugged and all is gonna be over. Of course my second reaction was – do we see an opportunity in this. Microsoft has a tradition of buying internet properties and ruining them. Here is a quick recall of adventures and aborted ventures of Microsoft -
- Hotmail.com from a leader to a follower to a parked domain
- Linkexchange.com - from a path-breaking sunrise business to a shutdown
- SiteInspector.com – Now a domain name owned by this blogger
- Multimap – No one takes its name anymore. No one remembers it
- Nokia – Only Microsoft understands such a huge fireworks budget
- Skype – Going south since its acquisition and losing user-base to WhatsApp and others
Linkedin was going brilliantly, now Microsoft comes along and disrupts the party, not in a sense of market disruption but in pure play of money muscle. The same team would continue and so on, we have heard this before and it never works that way. I am not sure whether Linkedin sees an exodus or not, but I can see Facebook quickly gearing and chipping slices from Linkedin pie.
At the price paid by Microsoft, Linkedin stock is up by almost 50% and predictably Microsoft stock has taken a beating, it is down by 4% but it may slide a bit more, eroding a few billion dollars apart from paying a huge premium over prevailing price. This deal coming in light of Linkedin’s big time security disaster is even more intriguing. As on date, Linkedin is fairly small business in respect to its business potential, it was doing well in terms of growth. It had bought Lynda.com recently and it was hailed as a smart move. Linkedin was making good calls and more and more people were joining in. Future of all this is now open to speculation.
Linkedin can be a good play for Microsoft but Microsoft’s track record being what it is, it could be a big struggle. Linkedin has a lot happening at their labs, would being bought over by Microsoft still allow that to happen is a multi billion dollar question.
Linkedin.com is just a shade shy of Bing.com in terms of traffic, at its position it starts its journey as the fourth biggest property in Microsoft kitty. it is fourth after Live, MSN and Bing, unless I am missing something.
Whether Linkedin continues its growth and keeps solving the problem is something we will have to wait for, one thing is sure, Linkedin is never going to be the same again. It is an end of an era, and it is gonna be painful for many.
Simarprit Singh – yes, I am a Linkedin active user.
Posted by simarp in : Education ,
Dear Captain Singh,
Please accept my congratulations for your party working hard to make you lose Punjab 2017. With Kamal Nath as your super boss, you also lose your last chance to be, once again, the CM of Punjab. Remember Kamal Nath? Yes, the man you had accused of acting against Sikhs and was one of your reasons to leave Congress, yes he is your new super boss.
Second thoughts, you have a chance still. Go ahead and read history of the House of Patiala and follow the tradition of sailing with the wind. You have shown great acumen in the past by keeping your Royal Family values of jumping and dumping for your survival, intact. You demonstrated your agility by seamless entries and exits, Congress-to-Akalis-to-Congress, you have always had you game, set and match all perfectly curated. Congratulations again.
It is time for you to act like your “esteemed / traitor” ancestor, Maharaja Karam Singh. A quick recap for you, Maharaja Karam Singh joined hands with the British after Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s demise and fought against Sikhs and Lahore Darbar in what is popularly known as First Anglo-Sikh War. In my humble opinion, you should do a Karam Singh on Congress, create your own party and sign a treaty with BJP. BJP is anyway looking out for options to get away from SAD, you could be that option for them. Punjab BJP is not too much involved in drugs, they are only accused of corruption and enjoying drug money dolled out to them. Corruption, of course is your forte, aligning with BJP is gonna ensure no lack of funds, enough of drug money around without any stigma of earning it, the only challenge being someone who goes by the name Arun Jaitley. For Arun Jaitley, a grand party hosted in his honor, a Nazrana of sorts at one of your palaces and a public embrace can do the trick, just embarrass yourself a bit and you are home, again. Congratulations!
Your breaking away from Congress, and BJP breaking free from SAD leads to a four corner contest in all constituencies, a perfect recipe to ensure that you would be the next “Singh is King” of Punjab. You may leave 15-20 seats where you either don’t put up candidates against BJP or put up dummy candidates. This would ensure that on rest of the seats, it is your new party, AAP, SAD and Congress contesting. With you gone, Congress may give a bigger role to Manpreet Badal, giving your party and AAP grab all the anti-Badal attention and all the anti-Badal votes. Wow feeling, right?
Doing a bit of projection, AAP and you can get 35-40 seats each, rest 40 odd seats would get almost evenly split between SAD, BJP and Congress. You have nailed it. You know horse trading much better than AAP, and if needed you can split whatever is left of Congress and SAD to your advantage. Fantastico, it is all totaling up right, maths is in your favor.
You are home Captain Amarinder Singh, order your ladoos now, you will need them.
Born in Patiala and brought up in Delhi. I always insist that I was not born with Patiala Peg in hand.
Posted by simarp in : Elections, Punjabi, Punjabis, Sikhism ,
Posted by simarp in : Google, SEO ,
Banning Udta Punjab is a political game plan to control damage done by SAD-BJP government. These ten years of SAD-BJP Government in Punjab have been the worst years Punjab has seen post Khalisatan demand days. Drug abuse is the biggest achievement of this Government, and second best is that each of its MLAs are “rumored” to have over Rs 1,000 crores in personal assets. Richest MLAs of almost a bankrupt state, right?
On one side the Badal Family-BJP Government has been most corrupt State Government any Indian state has ever seen and on the other side, Sikhism as a religion has been systematically diluted through free flow of drugs and patronage of Deras and Dera Sants. Sikhs are no longer a majority in the “Sikh state”. Even among those who count themselves as Sikhs, over 50% are opting to go back to caste system, nonacceptance of which is the base line of Sikhism. Yes, base line of Sikhism is not the turban and it was never the turban, turban came much later. Yes, baseline of Khalsa is the turban and has always been. Sikhism is all about simple values and it is not about Kukar-Shukar, Whisky-Shisky and Dope-Shope, which this Government has worked hard to establish. It is about doing good, through every act, all the time. This government in Punjab is the most anti-Sikh government Punjab has ever seen. I would have been happy if it was pro-Punjabi, but this Government is not even that. All its steps are against Punjabi values of being inclusive, this Government is an exclusive club of who you are, whom you know and what is your caste.
IMHO banning Udta Punjab is the best thing which has happened to Punjab. This is going to be a major rallying point and in its banning Badal Government has exposed chink in the armor. I will be glad if AAP structures its campaign around restoring Punjabi/ Sikh pride and lowering corruption considerably. Why would I say AAP and not Congress? Congress remains “it is not an option” for India. They have done enough damage.
Clamping down Udta Punjab is not a solution for SAD-BJP, solution would’ve been to come forward and say, we will change it and this is how we will do that and making sure next nine months saw qualitative and quantitative action. For starters each SAD-BJP MLA can do an Amma act, go ahead and distribute at least Rs 100 Crore worth of freebies from their pocket or by begging central government for being even more kinder to the corrupt state. At Center NDA Government must remove Harsimrat Kaur Badal and disassociate itself from its dynasty/ family agenda. For BJP to support SAD is worse than their going and tying up with Laloo Yadav and Mayawati together. Center shouldn’t have obliged Badals by clipping wings of Udta Punjab, it should have rather started a movement with Navjot Siddhu leading Save Punjab camps in all constituencies, even if it meant withdrawing support.
People would find a way to watch Udta Punjab, even if they don’t, there would be enough written for word to spread around.
What is Google and what is its claim to fame? Answer is bound to be “Google is a search engine with a few significant and insignificant properties tied to it as an appendage”. I am sorry, this is a wrong answer. Google has always been in awe of huge destination site focus of Wikipedia and slowly Google has been integrating Wikipedia with itself. While Google was at it, it also started slowly integrating destination site features on its own, albeit current and happening. For instance, weather of different cities, flight schedules, time, name of head of states and so on. Google watchers, including this blogger, correctly interpreted Google’s desire to solve many “problems on its own” and reported it as and when they sighted it.
Why is Google doing it?
Google is doing it to keep traffic to itself and be seen as smart and up-to-speed with knowledge and information needs of today. Google is also doing it for your next subsequent business query. Yes, there is business out there. If you are checking weather or time or flight schedule, there is a high degree of propensity for you to search for travel, hotels and other such “high advertising rate” travel key-phrases. Google understands that it is traffic arbitrage which several made-for-adsense websites do and has learned from them. Google now does traffic arbitrage itself. It desires to convert non-commercial queries to proper business transactions.
How is Google doing it?
Google is re-imagining SERP. Yes, the money spinner Search Engine Result Page is being elaborately re-purposed for making more money for Google. Google is moving beyond in-your-face advertising by embedding business, and it has succeeded in almost 50% plus “vaguely and seriously” travel-focused search queries. A couple of years back I had written an article on “Top 10 things to do in Sydney”, since then it is one of my search terms to check how various Google algorithms respond to server, content, update, photographs and proximity. Base of this study is this search term which I used. My reaction was, “Google’s nailed it. Here goes millions of dollars of SEO money, traffic arbitrage ends in one more segment”.
Has SEO traffic arbitrage been given a body blow?
Yes, it has been, but it may just survive. Countless integration events and re-imagining SERP by Google have made this hugely income-oriented technical SEO a very risky proposition and is going to take it to the next level. Google has started working on killing “Top 10 segment”, which indeed was very profitable but then there is life beyond that. Hundreds of thousands of special purpose top 10 websites would slowly start folding. These websites have done lot of hard work in growing this segment. Of course, Google gets to keep a large chunk but there would still be a lot left on the table to chew.
Who would get to chew what Google leaves on the table?
Current and credible websites which consistently update themselves would get huge cuts from this pie. Google is re-purposing content, not creating it. Hence, the creators with their magicians wand can spin a magic. Integrated multimedia content is likely to call the shots and Google is definitely going to work with them. The question is just about to change from – Are you solving a problem for Google? to Are you the best solution for this problem?
Are you the best solution for this problem?
Google just moved the bar significantly higher and, having done that, changed the question. Many summers ago it ceased to be about content, it became about solving the problem. Now with zillions of solutions around and basic solutions embedded by Google itself, being the best solution is key to surviving and thriving. To be “the best among zillions”. For the best solution, one is required to slice and dice the problem in several parts and fragments and offer solution for each of them. That is going to be the differentiation which is gonna keep cash registers running. A lot more questions need to be asked before content goes to drawing board now.
Google is the New Age Wikipedia,____ might as well learn quickly to live with it.
Posted by simarp in : Search Engines, SEO, websites ,
Posted by simarp in : Elections, India ,
Do SEO lessons from over 2 decades of its history still hold ground? Does it make any sense to invest in doing static content? If it is photograph you wish to get popular, go to Instagram, right? Videos and YouTube are synonyms, right? All of the above questions have same answer Yes and No. Let us look at them one by one.
Do SEO lessons from over 2 decades of its history still hold ground? Some do, most don’t. Fundamental question which needs to be answered while doing SEO remains – What unique problem are you solving? If you can do an elevator pitch sort of answer to this question, SEO would work for you. If your answer goes like “Yes, but, but I still think…” Just drop it, SEO is not going to help. For example if your content says “There are numerous reasons why India is not growing by 10% and above….” you are not solving a problem, SEO won’t work. If your content reads “Primary reason why India is not growing by 10% and above is its very high level of corruption, other reasons are…” you are solving a problem, your SEO is done. Lessons which don’t hold good are:
Gaming Google – Doesn’t work, today’s Google is very smart, not yet foolproof but almost there. it is very focused and very mean, it is under pressure too. So, if you are gaming Google, you are ensuring that Google’s fails in front of its users, which Google just can’t afford today. So no gaming Google.
Stuff basic information – Who, When, Where, Why, How – and you are done. This no longer works. Google is ensuring that for every Who, When, Where, Why, How – which hits big number, Google embeds solution on SERP itself at number one position. You are gone. Google fulfills that need and closes the chapter. Adding flight schedules, addresses, zip-codes, weather are all pass. Google embeds almost 20% results of total queries in its SERP now.
Image Size Manipulation – No. Google’s image recognition system today is empowered, it identifies size manipulation and treats it as spam. -30, -50 – whatever follows.
Does it make any sense to invest in doing static content? Yes, it does and No it doesn’t. Why Yes? If your content caters to an emerging segment and what all to see and in that segment you have a first mover advantage and your content has citation about authenticity, you are home. Writing about – Where is Taj Mahal? How to reach? What to see? No, it is not going to work. Google has trusted providers which have been verified by users, that already solve a problem to Google’s satisfaction, so please don’t waste time.
If it is photograph you wish to get popular, go to Instagram, right? Yes, but you just can’t ignore Google. Google’s updated search relevancy to image search mapping is very powerful. Almost 30% generic searches show up an image. On around 5% searches images come in 3 rows and all content is pushed down. Image optimization ensures traffic.
Videos and YouTube are synonyms, right? Google runs Search, Google owns YouTube, all the more reason to ensure your YouTube videos are optimized on Google. Not that people would come looking for videos, but because google shows up videos where it thinks the query actually needs a video result. If search term is Elephant Safari, Google goes to YouTube to look for an Elephant Safari video and show it to you. If your videos is Google optimized, you get to be picked up. Works.
SEO remains a powerful economical traffic generation tool, now it even comes with many “How to use Google” third-party manuals. Read them all. No harm.
I didn’t like Arvind Kejriwal’s tweet, indicating victory. It is a defeat by all yardsticks, AAP’s attempt to paint defeat as victory is not going to help them drill deep to what all is going wrong within their framework.
13 MCD seats and AAP gets just 5, AAP must start working double quick. They are losing their base and they couldn’t activate their cadre to come out and vote. For AAP anything below 10 is losing ground on their home-turf and with 5 one can safely say they have lost 50% ground since they came to power. Yes, if elections are held in Delhi AAP would manage to comeback, barely. This kind of drop indicates lot of failures on lot many fronts.
BJP is left wondering what wrong did it do now. Congress has a reason to say, we will come back. For BJP it is writing on the wall, BJP was confident that they will get almost all. Like AAP BJP has been hurt, more so than Congress which drew a zero in state elections just over an year ago. Congress got 4 with another going to a Congress rebel candidate, who may join Congress.
Posted by simarp in : USA ,
At the end of the day “Ye Dilli Hai, Sab Jaanti Hai” – This is the city of Delhi, it knows everything.
Donald Trump is happening and he is going to be there on billboards. Hate, resist, desist, crib whatever, he has a real chance of putting his legs on the desk at Oval room and pushing his line of thought to every “intellectuals” and “suave” US citizen.
I have been asking my self, would that be good for America? What does he mean when he says America First? Does that mean he wishes to ensure that the US minds its own monkey business? Does it mean that the US under Trump is going to be a “sales man” keen to impress others to ensure that its wares sell the most? Looks like. It is also very likely that Trump may significantly dilute whatever he is making everyone hear, this can be very strategic, this bad man image. Of course he is not saying anything which is said in millions of households in the US.
Trump is unlikely to do good for beggars on the streets of Chicago and New York, he is unlikely to do good for Muslims, he is unlikely to good for Mexicans, Indians, Chinese – so whom is he likely to benefit? White Americans and maybe Black Americans, and if he does that would it be good for America? Yes, that is a loaded question and yes, it is a nobrainer, it will be good for America.
More to come…
Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India ,
Posted by simarp in : Food, Review ,
This update is from an Indian who hates his country when fellow countrymen allow their sick minds to leave permanent scars on people they have nothing to do with and bother about –
Example of societal failure,
Listen, if you don’t like girls wearing short skirts and moving around with boys, too bad. What they are doing, with whom they are going and what they are wearing is none of your business. The hands which dragged a young girl from her hair are the filthiest and weakest human hands, the men who did this are narcissists with no dream or destination in mind. They should be put behind bars for good 7 years or more and have it drilled in their heads that when you misbehave with a girl, you demonstrate your sick mentality, that as per you all women including your very own – mother, sister, wife, girlfriend, daughter are not equal to you because of their gender. You, useless, powerless, valueless, dysfunctional piece of human life, i pray you die hundred deaths and each death is ghastly, crippling and incomplete.
I am sorry, this country is not learning how its women folk have same life as men.
Is Zomato Broken? Yes, I think so and here are a few reasons why I believe that has happened. But first, am I qualified to write this post?
I am a Zomato Level 10 – Super foodie reviewer who has contributed over a million page views by his reviews and photographs to Zomato. I am an expert in Janakpuri, New Delhi and San Jose, California and nearly an expert in five other geographic divisions. I have done 117 reviews and shared 264 photos at the time of writing this post.
I am also an internet evangelist having initiated and contributed to dozens of moderately successful and seriously profitable internet projects.
Reason for me doing this post is a news item in Mint about HSBC halving Zomato’s valuation to $500 Million. I agree with HSBC but also believe that HSBC probably missed quite a few prompters, I am not sure whether real value of Zomato is even $100 Million today. There are huge data disparities between Zomato’s data available on various independent platforms, which is definitely an indicator that the data is not reliable and there is something seriously broken somewhere.
Here I go:
- Zomato was doing all good as a restaurant search and review business.
- It was all fine because they were focused on what they were doing and not looking around too much.
- A lot was happening in food space while they were working on their search and discovery model, and they blinked.
- Zomato started expanding at a feverish space.
- Zomato started “not noticing” new set of reviewers and quality of reviewers who were joining them and posting reviews.
- Zomato suddenly stopped improving their core search and review model.
- New markets and new models started emerging.
- They took a bad call in removing online restaurants and food aggregators like HolaChef and CyberChef.
- Advertising money spent to push food delivery was a complete waste.
- From their niche of revenue first, they moved to top-line first.
- Expenses shot through the roof.
- Dressing up of numbers and selective data sharing started.
- Panic announcements to impact “we are doing good”, “we are breaking even”, “we will soon be profitable”, didn’t do any good.
- It made people wonder, is Zomato in trouble?
- Those who didn’t know that Zomato was losing money started wondering what’s that? Oh this one.
- Committed reviewers who were seeing a win-win for them stopped investing in creating their strong profiles on Zomato.
- Number of “new openings” and “closures found” reporting fell dramatically, reducing credibility of what Zomato was sharing.
- Zomato had no bandwidth to discover this and ignored this earthquake altogether.
- Their existing ground starting sinking and New Worlds were still to show any discovery.
- Panicking Zomato increased noise level and reduced fundamentally important expenditure.
- Communication or appreciation to reviewers stopped.
- Reviewers typically don’t order food and those who are searching for reviews actually want to take people out, pushing these two communities to do what they don’t intend to nosedived this business.
- Food Delivery is an extremely crowded space, making money there is no cakewalk.
- Zomato is likely to slide further unless a few billion dollars are invested to scale up magnificently and expediously in atleast 3 business segments and 20 markets.
- I would continue writing for Zomato, but that enthu and spirit is missing, that feeling I am risking my time and money by investing on a platform which may not be there in the long run is a sad feeling.