We adopted a puppy two weeks ago and from then on it’s been quite eventful and fun. The very first day she jumped of the balcony (we live on the 1st floor), thankfully into the arms of our apartment security guard. We had decided to name her Silk Smitha (after a regional actress) but after the jump we changed her name to Cuckoo – The Bird Brain.
Having a round cute fur-ball of a puppy at home is fun but it’s also frustrating with the increase in chores. Cleaning up after her was not easy in the first week but we have finally managed to have her almost potty trained. A good night’s uninterrupted sleep is yet to happen as we still wake up to her chewing our hands, feet or faces. Her chewing maybe fun for her as she’s teething but it is pretty painful when you feel her teeth on your flesh.
Ok am going to stop complaining because all said and done I love her. So why the post you ask? Well, these issues must be sorted, so I started doing some research and here are some helpful websites and videos I found. So, this post is to help all other puppy people
DogTrainingClassroom.Com – A comprehensive site that covers almost all questions you have. Its has good detailed information on how to train, training mistakes, behaviour problems, potty training, obedience training, games, etc. They also have a newsletter and recommend some books.
I found Melanie McLeroy’s videos and tried them. They are really helpful so here are a few I watched –
Teach Your Puppy their Name – This is an important start point and a good video.
Train Your Puppy Not to Bite
How to Housebreak Your Puppy
Train Your Puppy to Come
Teach Your Puppy to Stay
Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash: Part 1
Teach Your Puppy to Walk on a Leash: Part 2
How to Crate Train Your Puppy
For more videos search YouTube for How to Train Puppies and Melanie McLeroy.
Am off to try out some of these tips. Do you have any tips for me…
Photo credit: Chenthil
September 3, 2009 2 Comments
Twitter is a great tool for marketing, promoting and advertising if you are using it right. It offers you an opportunity to deliver crisp messages and your listeners or followers are not over burdened; and if they feel so all they have to do is a simple unfollow.
Well, it isn’t as simple if you are the one losing followers, hence here are a few tips to use the ‘@’ reply in an engaging manner to create conversations and retweets.
The traditional use of the ‘@’ symbol is to reply to someone’s tweet. For e.g.
My Tweet thru @freya3377: Trying to figure out Linked In to see how I can use it for marketing and promoting myself and my work. Anyone have tips?
However this reply can only be viewed by the recipient and those who follow both of you. It does not show on the public timeline. But if you put the @twitterID anywhere but at the start of the tweet or just added a character like ‘>’ at the start of the tweet, it would show to everyone.
This is a good way to reply and yet involve more people in your conversations. Remember though that this is best done only for conversations that you think would be relevant to people else use Direct Messages to avoid overloading peoples streams.
Another way to engage your audience and also let people know you are talking or sharing about them is to include their twitter ID’s in your tweet. So when you are tweeting about a blog or article you are reading, use the authors or company’s twitter handle in your tweet.
E.g. – Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn by @guykawasaki This post was a great help! http://bit.ly/okko7
This does multiple things –
1. It connects your followers with interesting people and your tweets become referrals.
2. The people whose blog or article you have shared knows you did so and you make friends!
3. The author or writer retweets your message to their followers.
4. Your followers can ask questions or reply directly to the author or writer with ease.
5. Most importantly you have become an initiator of conversations.
Twitter is not just about ‘What you are doing?’ but rather about creating a comfort space where people can share and interact. Do you use the ‘@’ in other ways?
Photo credit: Jeff Turner
August 26, 2009 2 Comments
The last two weeks had me in a daze as I felt lost in my mind and just didn’t seem to be able to find a way out. Ever been here?
My directional or route map in these circumstances are books. Actually books are my escape route always and all the time. To me books are a way to escape reality for a bit and go into fantasy as the plot unfolds and the characters live out their lives. The story feels like am watching a movie only I seem to be in it while it runs. I pick up books based on how am feeling and over the last two weeks I read three feel good books – Shadow of the Moon, the Bride and P.S. I Love You.
Shadow Of The Moon by M.M. Kaye is set in pre-independence India around the time of the first mutiny. Winter de Ballesteros who was born in India but sent off to England after her parents die, comes back to be married. Her guardian on her return journey is Captain Alex Randall, and there starts their love story. Of course they do not realize it until much later and by then Winter is married to Commissioner Conway Barton. Around all of this the mutiny of 1857 is slowly unfolding and despite Alex’s efforts, suddenly Alex and Winter find themselves in the middle of it. The historical bits are well researched and as Kaye was born in India, she has added the real Indian touch. A good book but not as good as Kaye’s ‘Far Pavilions.’
The Bride by Julie Garwood is set in Medieval Scotland. Jamie by order of King Henry must marry Alec Kincaid of Scotland (who has been similarly ordered by King Edgar). The story revolves round Jamie and Alec getting to know each other and falling in love despite the different cultures and customs. There is also mystery as Alec’s first wife had been killed and now Jamie is a target. The story is interesting and gripping and again the history has been well researched and woven in. A good light read.
Cecelia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You is a modern day story set in Ireland unlike the previous two. The story is about Holly who has lost her husband and soul mate Gerry. Holly is devastated and can’t seem to snap out but just before her 30th Birthday she receives a bundle of notes from Gerry that gently guide her towards a new life. With help from Gerry, friends and family, Holly starts off on a journey of finding herself and a new life. This book is also a movie of the same name but I recommend reading the book first.
These books certainly helped me get out of the mind maze but even otherwise I think they are a good read. So what do you do when you’re lost?
Photo Credit: Amazon
P.S. – If you like the book and want to buy it; the pictures link to the book’s Amazon page and the text link leads to IndiaPlaza for those in India. : )
August 25, 2009 No Comments
Have you ever looked back and felt stupid about your initial judgment of people or things? – I have. There have been times when I have been quick to judge without giving time or opportunity for explanation and later realized that I was wrong. I should have given the person more time before I categorized and labeled them.
Few days ago I received a nasty review of BookBuzzr. (BookBuzzr is a free Online Book Marketing Tool for Authors and I am currently promoting and marketing it). The review said the tool was no good and well a lot of other things but this post is not about justification, so am keeping the review aside.
When I first read the review I was upset, some of the things said were untrue, some true and some just quick judgments. After the initial upset I re-read the post and realized that my getting upset was silly. Here’s why. The reviewer had based his judgment on a 10 minute test and had not read the instructions at all. Now am not saying he’s not entitled to his opinion but maybe he should have delayed judgment a bit.
Am sure am not the only one who has had to face a bad review, most of us have for books, products, work, etc. So here are a few tips for the next time you are trying out, reviewing or judging something new.
1. Follow instructions – if you don’t then you have no right to say it doesn’t work.
2. Be patient – Sometimes you are asked to wait, be patient and give it time. (Especially if you are told something would take time)
3. Ask questions – if there is something you do not understand, like or feel is lacking, contact the person or company. They may have a very good reason or may be working on the issue already.
4. Give suggestions – Contact the person or company with ideas and suggestions.
The above would work for everything from products to books. And before you pass judgment you’d have given the other person a chance to have their say. This would avoid bad reviews, hurt feelings and hasty judgment.
This does not mean that you do not rate something badly but do it only after knowing the whole picture; else you might just realize later that you had made an error in judgment.
Photo Credit: FadderUri
August 25, 2009 6 Comments
Twitter today is ‘the’ place to be; it’s where everyone seems to hang out. With more than a million users signing up every month, it’s seeing phenomenal growth. When using twitter you can talk about anything, air your views & opinions, promote a product or service, give breaking news… you get the picture right… As long as your message is within the 140 character limit you can say anything.
A lot of companies and people are using twitter to promote themselves; maybe not directly but yeah, twitter helps them track people’s opinions, get feedback, keep in touch, etc. This has become so important that companies have started to hire people with a job role that just requires them to be on twitter. Celebrities are taking to twitter too. It’s a way for them to interact with their fans, build a relationship and if they aren’t doing it already soon they will be promoting their brands.
I find twitter a brilliant tool for me to keep in touch with my friends, send them messages (all in one go), promote myself & my work and network with the right people. However I think this has to be done with a certain sense of responsibility since the world can see that I said and I am influencing people. Of course you may say I am entitled to my opinion and if someone wants to believe me or follow me blindly, that’s their problem. True! No doubt but it still is my social responsibility to not give people the wrong notions.
Let me give you an example – Gul Panag, an Indian actress who I quite admire as she doesn’t fit the typical actress mould (Links below)is quite active on twitter. Yesterday Gul tweeted about her bullet (bike) being delivered at the set after being serviced and how she was looking forward to riding home at 2 am. Am sure she was bombarded by her fans with questions on which model, how she rode, what speed and what not. One reply to a question I did notice was about the type of helmet. Let me paste the messages for you here…
gulpanag – @pleomorphous sort of.. It’s a hybrid actually, full face visor , bomber pilot type
pleomorphous – @gulpanag Thats what I meant by “fancy half-face helmet”
gulpanag – @pleomorphous it’s ok I am a safe rider. What’s good for a fighter jet pilot is certainly good for me:)
Now like I was saying before tweeting with responsibility is important and even more so for a celeb as there are a lot of people listening and celebs can influence them quite a bit. Celebs are also trendsetters. To me this attitude of Gul was not acceptable, she was telling her 2,664 followers that it was ok to wear a helmet that makes you look cool, no matter that it doesn’t protect your head. I’m not sure what others had to say but my reply and another in my timeline are below.
pleomorphous – @gulpanag I applaud your optimism, all the best.
freya3377 – @gulpanag @pleomorphous Ofcourse Gul, the bullet open to the elements is as safe as a jet and comes with a parachute
gulpanag – @freya3377 you ride one I assume, from your knowledge;)
freya3377 – @gulpanag Ofcourse think it might be a good idea 4 u to promote safely when riding.
Surprisingly Gul says on her site “the single greatest contribution every celebrity- film sport or any other kind can make is to lead by example” – Read more
So the gist of my post is that tweeple should tweet but with responsibility. What do you think?
Please leave a comment or tweet me.
May 30, 2009 1 Comment