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Pathankot Attack or India Under Attack January 2, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India , add a comment

We look at terror with a very myopic vision in India, we see an attack at an Air Base in Pathankot as a Pathankot Attack. The whole media, the whole Twitterati are talking about Pathankot, where is Pathankot? Pathankot is in India. It is India under attack and not Pathankot or India’s part of Punjab. We belittle our own soldiers when we do not go all out in our condemnation.

It is so sad that Honorable PM of India who is otherwise hyper-active on Twitter chooses silence when chips are really down. What was wrong in his connecting with people the minute the attack happened by saying,  this is unacceptable and instructing Nawaz Sharif to hold his men. At the same time the PM of India must check with BSF and armed forces on what all more can be done to stop infiltration from across the border.

Our media needs to be pulled up for writing “4 terrorists and 2 soldiers killed” in one sentence. Our soldiers have not been killed, they have been murdered inside their home. When would our media get it, we don’t know.

I, personally, still feel that our PM stopping by at Lahore was a good gesture, it is gestures like this which allow for hope to live. At the same time, it is also important that we must show our resentment in unlimited measures too. We must demand that Pakistan hands over families of these terrorists to India for interrogation. We must up the ante. We must demonstrate our capabilities by ensuring that Minar-e-Pakistan is all plastered with down with terrorism slogans and an Indian hand is visible. We must demonstrate our strength by hosting a Government of Baluchistan in Exile in India and allow that Government to have its first Embassy/ High Commission in India.

India needs will. And it needs it now.

 

 

Why I buy from only Amazon India January 2, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging , 1 comment so far

There are so many choices but I prefer to buy from only Amazon India and yes I have reasons for that.

1. Amazon India works beautifully on desktop/laptop and allows me to really look at what I am buying. I don’t prefer buying from an app as it becomes too busy buying.

2. My experience with Amazon has been amazing and I almost always buy through Fulfilled by Amazon feature. There is no order cancellation at all.

3. I trust Amazon product pricing and expiry date sensibilities. Have never faced a challenge on that front.

4. One account allows me to buy from both Amazon.in and Amazon.com. I use Amazon.com Prime for sending things to my daughter, it works magically.

5. Deals are deals at Amazon and they are difficult to get anywhere else.  I have bought my mobile phones and such and have actually saved money.

6. 500 and free delivery feature works for me. All gets delivered to me free.

7. Getting right instant soups is a challenge at a local grocer, but not at Amazon. Quality of prunes is always a challenge too outside Amazon. These are my two food items which are now always sourced through Amazon.

8. Amazon reflects business values like the house of Tatas, they are generous and fair in their business dealing.

9. Most of Amazon is available on CoD and for the rest I trust their debit card handling.

10. I would like Amazon to expand their order portfolio faster, that will help in increasing my share of spend with them.

Odd Even Plan – Delhi January 1, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, Delhi , add a comment

The city of Delhi has a problem of pollution. Most have criticized the Odd-Even plan introduced in Delhi, none have suggested alternate solutions with the same or similar strength as they have used to rubbish this plan

Yes, I voted for Aam Aadmi Party in elections 2015. Yes, I believe they are trying to make a difference. Yes, I believe that even-odd plan has its flaws. Yes, I believe it is too little and definitely too late. But I do believe that it is about doing whatever can be done to make a difference. I believe that Delhi has bigger problems of unregulated developments. These problems have compounded Delhi’s challenge. Almost 70% of Delhi’s actual population lives in what were created as unauthorized colonies with politicians, bureaucrats and police accepting amounts to look the other way.  I have been to a few unauthorized localities in Delhi. There is no planning, no parks, no open spaces, just rows of houses and factories together. Most have no sewage system. There is lot of burning of waste which happens and there is lot of recycling of plastic which happens too. Now this is something which would take a huge effort to contain. Controlling cars on the road looks easier. Even if it reduces number of cars on Delhi roads by 20%, we would be back at least two years immediately in terms of pollution.

I believe that we all need to support not only this odd-even but any initiative which is taken to make Delhi better. I believe that over next two years our metro system would add at least 30% more capacity of moving people. I believe that would help. It would change the things. Delhi needs more roads, it needs tough decisions, it needs roads to be widened and it needs aerial roads or roads over roads at many points. If no new traffic signals are installed and we eliminate 10% of the existing, we would have much better Delhi.

Delhi also needs to be rebooted, and restructured, many offices need to be moved away from congested parts of the city to newer development areas like Narela. These are easier solutions, and just need the will of the government to do it.

Let us make Delhi work, let us make Delhi succeed. Let us support odd and even and whatever new comes our way. Let us make Delhi breathe again.

 

Welcome 2016 January 1, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Blogging , add a comment

Am i resolving that I will write on my blog everyday? No. I will try.

Am I resolving that I will be at least 10 KG lesser weight on earth? No. I will try.

Am I resolving that I will complete at least 12 books cover to cover this year? No. I will try.

Am I resolving that I will add at least 12 cities to my life where I have not slept ever? No. I will not even try to go for it.

Am I resolving that I will not eat bread and rice in any form through the year. Yes, I intend to make one such resolve. Maybe the resolve can be that i will not eat bread or rice in more than 1 meal between the two in day.

So, what is that I wish to resolve?

Here is what I wish to resolve. I wish to keep giving at least 10% of what I earn month after month.

I wish to resolve to distance myself from those who are making a living out of taking me for a ride.

I wish to resolve to respect, regard and reward those who are making a difference to this society in their own small way.

I wish to resolve to take care of my obligations better and in a more timely fashion.

I wish to resolve to really pull out and eliminate those from my life who believe in shortchanging me. Unfortunately, I have allowed them to live along and have not really punished them.

I wish to resolve to attend to my personal wealth requirements, unattended for a very long  time.

I wish to resolve to respect my life and be far more healthy than I have been in 2015.

And I do resolve to read everything I write before pressing post or publish button.

 

 

 

In Bad Taste – I am not loving this India March 12, 2015

Posted by simarp in : Blogging, India , add a comment

Yes, I am not loving this India. This is definitely not an India I was raised in. This is not my India which I would proudly call my home. This India is too noisy, it has erratic seasons, it is polluted and worst is, for none of these statements you need a proof.

Why is today’s India attempting to be glossy, where is that India’s characteristic subtle approach? This India lives between glamor and gutter, it doesn’t live between grit and glory and that is from where my dislike stems from. I need an India which provides me with space to be myself. I need an India which is not just my abode but is also an awesome comfort zone for the world. That is what the world always looked up to India for, India was a dream and not an enigma to many which walked its path, unpaved, thorny and rough  at times. India was always the journey of the spirited and the saints.

India needs to know, India needs people at the helm of affairs who know what India needs and are motivated to leave their personal agenda behind and work for the nation. There are many amongst us who really know how India can be revived, we need to encourage them to take center stage, we need to let them know we believe in them. India can happen and it is very much in our hands to make India happen. As a nation, we have made strides in field of technology, we have kind of established our credentials, we need to build on that, and unfortunately, this is where we fail. Politics takes over, opportunism calls shorts, personal agendas and vested interests clash with self serving objectives and nation goes out for a walk, on an unpaved, thorny and rough road. Compromises are considered as an option, a firm NO is not considered as one. When compromises start breathing, it is heart and mind which go through spasms and eventually die. That’s the death we need to avert. We need to build in every Indian a mindset of no compromise on fundamental issues and no compromises on spur of the moment. We have a promise to fulfill to our generations to come, we have to present to them an India which is more agile, happening and earnest than what we inherited, this India is not.

We all know what is to be done, if we just start doing our part, signals would start traveling, someone would start paving the path, someone would start removing the thorns and someone would start flattening the rocks and blunting the rough edges. Life would be good, and it would begin from us.

Let us make India happen. Let us start our journey without waiting for anyone and without waiting for any specific time.

 

 

Reinvention of Marketing the Web 2.0 Way September 17, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Business, Education, Internet, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , add a comment

Brian Solis on Web 2.0 and its role in PR and Marketing, my 2 cents are all over (Brian may or may not agree)

  1. Customers are moving online, PR and Marketing needs to move beyond 1.0 which it looks like it is stuck in’
  2. Are you an influencer, or do you know influencers, bloggers are influencers and they are at it
  3. Perception is important and social web has a role in how you are looked at
  4. Defining and measuring influence can help in decision making
  5. Are you everywhere… Traditional media, Events online and offline, New Influencers, Social Networks, Blogs and Comments, Forums, Content Creation & Curation
  6. Composite strategy can work for you, all encompassing approach to PR and Marketing would help
  7. Engagement is important in PR now, not just a look or a hit.
  8. You need to be hybrid PR professional in today’s world
  9. A PR professional needs to be all it takes he has to be octopus
  10. PR today all about Public
  11. A PR professional needs to be participative a good Press Release may not lead to anything
  12. Common Sense rules the day
  13. Rules of PR are influenced by rules of Blogging, which has no rules
  14. Relationship of trust with a lot of guys
  15. Be incremental in approach, keep sharing and communicating as you go on, let the story build up fast enough
  16. WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) is what every thing leads to.
  17. PR today has to be organization wide
  18. Are you everywhere, exclude none
  19. Do you know where-ever you are, you just have to be everywhere.  Look at all of the key networks and measure your performance on all active networks
  20. Become a resource for people
  21. Participation is the key and not initiation
  22. Web Analytics holds the key to how you are doing
  23. Creating special landing pages for your various activities can help
  24. Quantification and tying the activity to sales helps
  25. WEB 2.0 is not frozen, there is a lot more to come so keep learning
  26. You are the brand you project
  27. Some resources – Future-works,  SocialMediaClub, sncr.org, nowisgone 

Viral Marketing – Web 2.0 Expo September 17, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : 'Viral Marketing, Blogging, Internet, Marketing Strategies, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , 1 comment so far

Random thoughts and Gyan on Essentials of Viral Marketing

  1. Jonah Peretti has begun with the mess which is Web 2.0 everyone talks to everyone, something like a confernce without a moderator.
  2. Are you part of the network whch networks, are you in a position to initiate a viral. Network structure make a difference to whether your viral spreads or not…. Your network would determine whether you can start a forest fire.
  3. Influential people become the key factor to success..
  4. If it is a tree without a stem, so my question how would it gain height.
  5. People don’t know what they like, thy like to look around and like what others are doing, how can you cash this sentiment.
  6. Contagious Media – Make something which people would love to share.
  7. Accidental virals do good, so make accidents happen.
  8. Half the time in office is spent on blogging, IM, Skype etc..
  9. Bored at Work Network (BWN) can create an expert out of anyone, can you leverage it..
  10. Seed your viral with big number start big, you would reach somewhere even if you fail. LoL Jonah is calling it Big Seed Marketing
  11. Seed to extra ratio can help….
  12. Multi Seed Marketing, plant many tree, some may bear fruit…. live measurement can be a way to lookafter the seed which is reacting and becoming a tree. Multi-Seed is an option when you are sure that you are not sure what will work. So you can always remove the bad seeds and grow the ones which work.
  13. Mullet Strategy, Business upfront, party in the back….Add, edit, test, tweak, optimize, be alive — be live and remember to remove it if it is not working
  14. Histrionic works, try it alongside
  15. Cartoons work, look at using them effectively….
  16. Have focused growth strategy, obsession with quality can be additional baggage, Make what people would love.

White Hat Vs Black Hat SEO August 24, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, websites , 9comments

Which hat do you wear, Black, White, Grey, Red or None?

The question should rather be:

Which kind of head do you carry over your shoulder – Black, White, Grey or Red?

It looks like everyone has been changing/ exchanging hats. If it is the color of head we talk about, it would be more exciting and entertaining :)

Continuing with my series on SES 2008, San Jose, this post incorporates the Gyan acquired during the session – Black Hat, White Hat: Playing Dirty with SEO

Let us define:

Black Hat: You do whatever it takes to be on top of SERPs. Good. Bad. Ugly. Whatever. Period.

White Hat: You do whatever search engine (read Google) guidelines for webmasters tell you to, you don’t try to outsmart search engines.

Grey Hat: You are the border guy, you know the stretch, and you think you know what you would getaway with, you live white, but you know black and you use it on the side.

Red Hat: You know what it takes to hurt your competitor and you know how to getaway with it.

No Hat: If you don’t wear any and you are still an SEO, maybe you an incompetent SEO. Don’t worry, you are not alone 95% of the SEOs within the industry are plain incompetent.

The session was to debate Black Hat vs. White Hat, but the debate didn’t happen. it looked like the whole panel was wearing Grey Hat and tended to remain on the border and just didn’t want to be drawn to the controversy. Important observation were made:

  1. Established sites have much more restrictions, they can’t risk exclusion from SERPs.
  2. Just made for adsense is crap. Content needs to be good. Nobody wants trash, and for sure not the search engines.
  3. Searcher needs good results and most of the top results very close to each other, if Search Engines intermix the top 5 results, it wouldn’t;t matter to the surfer.
  4. Buying excessive links can hurt, it is Red Hat.
  5. Good SEO to me is Knowledge about Search engines and the subject.
  6. Meta Keyword stuffing hurts.
  7. Everything in the title hurts too.
  8. Hidden content is black.
  9. Short and focused titles are good.
  10. Paid unrealted blogging can hurts.
  11. Vague and self promoting descriptions with repeat words hurts
  12. Paid link buying from link farms hurts badly.
  13. Search engines hate doorway or gatway pages, they hate being misled
  14. Serach engines hate carse optimization: They are bound to hate something like this – www.example.com/HOTEL/hotel/googleCityNameHotel.html - Which may go with the title <title>CityName Hotels | Hotels in CityName |Budget CityName Hotels| Luxury CityName Hotel| Cheap CityName Hotel| Discount CityName Hotels</title> This is a live example of carse black hat, “We will do anything even put Google’s name in our URLs, hundreds of them but we need to get on the top, we don’t care what happens to our site if Google doesn’t like it.” I picked up this example as it was succeeding in ranking high up. I have kept the URL intact except removing the site name and substituting it with example.com and substituting the actual city name with CityName.
  15. Great generic domain name helps

More to come…

SEO Best Practices – Content Issues August 24, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Content, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, Spamming, Uncategorized, websites , add a comment

Content Duplication Issues and SEO Best Practices

Continuing on my series on SES 2008 San Jose, this White paper is again a hybrid of what was shared and what I have learnt over a decade on search engines.

If I give you 10 pages to read, you would scan through, start reading and if what you are reading is “new to you”  may be you would read all ten of them at one go.

Bingo.

Now, if I give you 10 pages to read and when you scan through you find that “you’ve read it before” or “only one page is unique”, you may not even read my one unique page and trash all, worse, you would remember me as guy who tricked you by giving 10 pages to read when he had just information for one page. You would make a note  “not so nice man to know.”

To me this is content duplication and so it is to search engines, so here we go.

  1. Search engines job is to satisfy the searcher, they want to grow and be seen as credible.
  2. Search engines have no favorites.
  3. They trust you unless you betray them, they work with a basic premise that what you are feeding them is your own and unique.
  4. So when you feed search engines anything they “Scan”, if you are “New”  they may read whole of it.
  5. If you are not “New” they’ll trash you and “remember” you as “not a good site to know”.

So what are your choices, simple choice is to always provide “New content”, but this choice is expensive and restrictive to many, so what do these many do:

  1. Put same content on many pages on the same site as it is.
  2. Put same content on many pages of the same site with minor modifications, disguising it as new content.
  3. Put same content on many different sites under the same ownership.
  4. Put same content on many different sites with minor modifications but the sites are under the same ownership.
  5. Put same content on many different sites under many different ownerships, in many different servers, in many different data centers with or without minor modifications.

They all presume that they would be able to manipulate their way around, some do succeed, but issue is how hard are you working to do something which is wrong anyway. Search engines are becoming smarter by every passing day, they are scanning better, they are storing better and they are recalling better. The best case scenario is don’t duplicate your content and don’t manipulate content of others and put the same on your site, remember sooner or later you would be caught and become “Not a Good Site to Know”, and search engines would drop you out, as we all do.

This leaves us with the issue of what if someone does this to me. Yes, this is the issue!

So if you are original source of the content, your worry is – How does search engine know that I am the original? Search engines are working very hard to reach the original, in case they don;t make them aware.

Do what you will do with your assets: Protect them, be vigilant and act if someone breaches your copyrights. A related issue is when you syndicate your original content, I will cover this subsequently.

Some common inadvertent content duplication mistakes and issues:

  1. When spiders read your content four times:  http://example.com,  http://www.example.com, http://www.example.com/index.html or http://example.com/index.html. Most of the spiders know how to circumvent it, but it will help to put 301 re-directions in place and route everything to www.example.com
  2. When you change platform
  3. When you change URL structures, remove the old one and  deploy 301 redirects
  4. When you create test folders, remove your test folders
  5. When you shift to a sub domain, clear the content permanently from your servers
  6. Disclaimers and privacy policies running across sites and copyright statements running across site. put non-crawlable JS functions or connect them centrally.
  7. Check your landing pages, if you have multiple landing pages make them unique
  8. Check your meta titles, and meta descriptions, they need to be unique
  9. Be careful on mirrored sites
  10. Content in multiple languages with common attributes or language strings is a no no
  11. Use exclude protocol in robots.txt where-ever you need to share the same content, within the same site or at different domains
  12. Check out and remove any hidden link.
  13. Use password protection where you need to carry duplicate content
  14. Permanent deletion of duplicate content is better than redirection

The above can form some of the best practices SEO’s can follow.

more to come…

SEO Best Practices Meta Description Tag August 22, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Internet, Search Engines, SEO, SES 2008, websites , 6comments

Continuing with my executive summaries on SES 2008, San Jose – Here is my take on Meta Description Tags:

Lot of King Size SEOs scream on top of their voices “Who cares for Meta Description Tags”, I whisper “The searcher cares and I care. Period.”

Why does the surfer care:

  1. Knows the animal called SEO, and is scared of it.
  2. Is not a novice, she knows that first couple of results are best optimized but may not be the best results.
  3. She needs a 20 second elevator pitch.
  4. She falls in her self esteem if she hits a trash.
  5. She likes manicured hands, Your title is your head and your description is your hands.

I can go on and on…

But Why do  I care?

  1. Makes me look serious and business like, at all time
  2. Gets me the right traffic
  3. Good Description sticks
  4. She enters my site knowing precisely what she needs and I have it, no surprise, she hates them
  5. “Copyright 2001-2008″, we all have seen all kinds of information filling up in search engines when meta Description Tag is not there or not used properly. it saves me from showing my dirty linen or any unwanted information.
  6. A good Meta Description Tag Page gives me higher number of Clicks at number 5 than a no Meta Description tag page gets me at Number 2.

The correct syntax for the Meta Description Tag in HTML is;

<meta name= description content= “Your 20 second Elevator picth works here.”>

<META NAME= “Description” CONTENT=”Your 20 second Elevator Pitch works here.”>

More SEO tips shall follow, these Tips are my own assessment of what works for me, they maynot be totaly in line with what has been preached at SES 2008, San Jose.