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Posts from — March 2012

Facebook Timeline for Pages goes Live Today

The new Facebook Timeline for Pages goes live and becomes mandatory today. The New Timeline not only makes your business page on Facebook look different but also changes some of the ways you were using your page for marketing.

There is so much that has been shared across blogs about Facebook Timeline for Pages that writing on the topic seems to cover nothing new. Here are a few blog posts you should check out for you Facebook Page.

Learn About Facebook Pages

Facebook Cheat Sheet: Sizes and Dimensions

Facebook Timeline for Business Pages – 21 Key Points To Know by Mari Smith

Facebook Timeline for Pages – Frequently Asked Questions by Tim Ware on the HyperArts Blog

7 New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses by Andrea Vahl on Social Media Examiner

The Impact of Facebook Timeline for Brands [Study] by Simply Measured

Eleven Ways Facebook Page Timelines Change Your Content Strategy by John Haydon on Social Media Today

Did Facebook’s Timeline take you by surprise? Was you page updated and ready for Timeline? Are you using all the new features? And most importantly do you like the timeline for Pages?

March 30, 2012   No Comments

Catching Up with the Oscars – 2

Continuing on our Oscar run, we watched three more; my favourite – Hugo!!

This one’s just amazing. It blew my mind and I saw it in 2d. Can’t wait to see it in 3d. The characters are sketched very well, there’s a balance of positive and negative in each character. They all seem real and believable and loveable.
The movie is about Georges Méliès, a man who saw dreams that were way ahead of his time and made movies of them. A lot of the movie is based on the true life of Georges Méliès.
I’ve seen a few Scorsese’s movies but this one just takes it to an all-new level!

Midnight in Paris
This movie I’d like to watch again. There’s a lot of little things I’m sure I missed out on. The story is about a writer Gil who goes back in time to Paris in the 1920’s. Here he meets the likes of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Picasso… The movie goes to and fro from the present to the 1920’s as Gil makes sense of his life. It was nice to see Paris through the late 1800’s to present day…

The Descendants
I needed to watch this movie again since I slept half away through it the first time. 😀 The sleep didn’t have to do with the movie though 😛 just a tired me.
On second watch – It was an OK movie but it did bring out interesting situations and people dealing with it. The equation between father and two daughters as they to know each other is well done. An OK movie.

March 10, 2012   1 Comment

Catching Up with the Oscars – 1

We’re just done with the Oscar’s so we’ve been trying to catch up with some of them. Here’s the one’s we’ve seen until now.

The Artist
In the time of digital hi-fi si-fi ‘The Artist’ stands out. A black and white silent movie it steals the show. The story is about the relationship between a top silent actor and a up-coming actress. The movie is set in the time when cinema was transitioning to talkies and deals with how life changed for artists back then. It’s a beautiful movie and the actors have done an amazing job. I which actors today would emote as much as this. This is a MUST WATCH movie!!!

I’ve played baseball in school as a kid but what can I say, I’m Indian so I never really understood the craze for the game in America. And then I watched Moneyball. The movie brings new perspective to the game. I was hook though the movie wondering what Beane would do. Worth watching!

Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
For some very weird reason that I can’t recollect right now we decided to watch this old 1964 Oscar movie. It’s a funny movie no doubt but we gave up half the way. At some point it felt like a drag. Have you watched it? What did you think of it?

March 9, 2012   No Comments

Holi Hai!

Holi is the festival of colour. Like almost all festivals in India it has a story – in Hindu mythology Prince Prahlada was resented by his father, the king Hiranyakashyapa. The demon king was a cruel man and forced his subjects to worship him and no other god. But his son defined him and continued to worship Lord Vishnu. The king attempted to kill his son in many ways but failed every time. He then asked his sister Holika who was immune to fire to sit with the boy in a huge fire. But the king was thwarted again when Prince Prahlada walked out of the fire unscathed while his sister burned to death. The day is thus celebrated as a victory of good over evil, a day to rejoice.

Holi also signifies the end of winter and the time of the spring harvest. As houses are refilled with grain after the winter it is a time to celebrate and make merry. Holi also brings in the first spring showers of the year and breaks the heat wave that is just starting to announce summer.

This Holi as I watched the kids play with colour and water guns I remembered the Holi’s of my childhood. I wish someone had told me then and I had been able to comprehend just how short those fun years would have been. I might have filled them with more memories and valued it a lot more.

The day before Holi was a day of terror for Mom I think; she hoped we’d get back home without getting into any colour trouble. Washing the colour out of our uniforms would have been a nightmare. So colour was banned when we were in uniform but then when has that stopped kids. We played Holi with plain water, filling water in our bottles and chasing each other while squirting. We came home drenched to hear words from Mom but they weren’t so bad, after all there was no colour to wash 😀

The day of Holi was something I looked forward to, it was the day to go out there and get as dirty as possible – every shade of the rainbow. The kids on our street would get together, each bringing colours and then it was a melee. You tried to colour others while avoiding the colours being thrown at you but secretly you wanted to be the most colourful too. We made little water balloons and had water fights, even hid on balcony’s and aimed at passersby 😀 I still remember the year I came home with silver colour in my hair; it took ages to wash away.

And then there was that Holi party we had in college. Our gang got together in a riot of colour but it didn’t end there. We followed it up with eggs and engine oil. Yuck, I know. You should have seen Mom wrinkle her nose at the smell in the bath after we cleaned up 😛

Those days were fun and yes, it still is fun to play Holi but what I wouldn’t give to be that child again chasing another kid down the street with a fistful of colour.

Photo Credit: rudresh_calls

March 8, 2012   1 Comment

Using Pinterest for Your Business

Everyone seems to be talking about Pinterest, it’s the new hot thing and it is pretty cool! I’ve been holding off on it for a while to see how it would go but the talk is non-stop so, I thought I’d take a look.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pin up board. You can pin an article or page that you found interesting here. Pinterest lets you have multiple boards based on the topic of your pins. So you can create boards about redecorating your home, your favourite recipe’s, etc.

Exploring on Pinterest
You can see what people are pinning most based on category. Pinterest offers 16 categories along with videos, popular and gifts! I’m not sure yet how the gifts category pins are selected but my guess is any pin with a price in it, goes into the gifts category.

With the amount of colour images throw up on Pinterest, it would be fun to explore popular articles based on interests here.

Pinning on Pinterest
A lot of different ways are offered to pin on your boards. You can use the pin-it button, you can pin on the iPhone and you can even add a button to your blog or website.

Initial Thoughts
I like Pinterest, it definitely looks interesting and I look forward to using it more to find recommendations and share great stuff I come across. Thinking of creating boards about Travel, Books I’ve Reviewed, Craft and Social Media. Any others I should have?

But how can you use Pinterest for Marketing your Business
Unless you are selling physical items in variety, posting just what you have to sell would be detrimental to your business. At the least you’ll get no returns from using Pinterest. Frankly, even if you are selling physical items its best to vary what you share so you don’t come across salesy. So then what can you share –

Pinterest is a great place for curators and we need that. People can read only so much in a day, that’s where curators come in. They find the quality stuff and all you have to do is follow them. So how can you use this for your business you ask?

Become a curator in your field. Don’t just share your articles and websites on the board, share what others are doing, what you recommend, what you think people should see.

Pinterest works best when you have images or video. Text would look quite boring, so keep that in mind when pinning posts. That said if you have a website or blog, make sure it has images too, else it’s not going to look great on Pinterest when its pinned by someone.

For example if you are a book marketer, a book coach, a book publicist or in the publishing industry, you can share blog posts you recommend authors and publishing folk should read on your board. That way you don’t come across as salesy and yet set yourself up well as an expert on your subject.

Or if you get affiliate sales on books, don’t just share links to your reviews. Pin others reviews of books you found interesting too. It’s about setting yourself up as someone who makes great book recommendations and is not a sales engine. People will follow your recommendations and the more they value it the more sales you’ll get over time.

If you are a vampire fiction author you should consider creating a board about vampires. I’d love to find a place where I can read all about them and stay updated rather than do a search on Google.

(The examples are all about books, sorry. But I just love them.)

So the idea is to give people a good reason to follow you and your board without selling. Set yourself up as an expert or the must follow person on a topic and the deals will come. Give and you shall receive.

Are you using Pinterest? What do you think of the idea of virtual pin boards? How would you use it for your business?

March 7, 2012   1 Comment

Review: Feedly – Make Reading Blogs Fun

I stumbled on to Feedly after seeing FlipBoard on the iPad. I was looking for something that would make reading my Google Reader feeds fun and Feedly does a good job of it – on the iPad.

Oh yes, Feedly works well on the iPad but that left me with a problem – the iPad belongs to Che so its not available to me all the time. That got me wondering if it would just as well on the Mac. So off I went to the Feedly site.

Other than the iOS and Android, Feedly also has add-ons for Chrome, Safari and Firefox. I got Feedly for Chrome and took it for a test drive.

What I liked about it –
1. It has a nice newpaper like layout that makes for more colourful reading.
2. You can change the way the articles are laid out with the layout button at the top. So photos could be a mosaic and text blogs tiled.
3. Ties up with twitter and facebook to show newsfeed though am not sure yet just how useful this would be.
4. Based on you feeds, Feedly recommends more feeds you might like.
5. Also based on your feeds its makes recommendations from Amazon, YouTube, Flickr.
6. It offers 13 colours as themes but I like Classic Grey most.
7. Offers tagging – In preferences you can add a comma delimited list of tags you would like to be able to assign to articles for collection. Haven’t used this feature yet and since my feeds are categorised already not sure if I will need it. But I think I will try tags like read later, research, and share.
8. Allows you to tracks stock –wow! I don’t need it but wow!

What I don’t like –
1. On the iPad you flip pages to read further, here on Chrome you have to scroll down and it’s a lot of scrolling.
2. In preferences Feedly offers 5 different types of view settings – magazine, condensed, mosaic, cards and full articles. But when I tried switching between them I saw no change in how my feeds were displayed.
3. On the iPad I had an essentials list of feeds based on category. Here I find it missing and just can’t find a way to get it to show.

Feedly also sync’s with all gadgets so I can read on Che’s iPad, or my Android phone and then come back to the Mac and my feeds and saved articles are synced.

On the whole this is neat… Feedly definitely makes reading blogs more fun than Google Reader. I swear by GR since without it, having my feeds on the cloud would be painful but reading in GR isn’t much fun. Feedly syncs well with GR and lays out all the posts well. Feedly as an RSS reader is a must try!

March 6, 2012   No Comments

For Our Lost Tree Shaded Roads

Had to step out today into the Bangalore from hell… It’s hot out there, not hot as hell, yet but we’re getting there.

I was born in Bangalore and brought up here. I’ve spent almost all of my life in this city that I love and I hate to see what’s happening to it. I remember the roads of my childhood, they had a canopy of trees and travelling on them was bliss. You didn’t feel the heat, the sun didn’t burn your skin and the hot wind didn’t take your breath away.

Today was terrible as I travelled across the city, I got a tan I don’t like, actually its more a burn than a tan – a dirty brown. The wind hitting me was hot; it felt like I’d opened the oven door in my face. There was no escape from the heat and a sprinkling of trees to hide under.

Oh yes, there are a lot of trees on the sides of the roads but we’ve knocked down the huge tall canopy offering trees for these stunted 10-15 foot monstrosities that offer no shade whatsoever. All in the name of still trying to be a green city!

So much has changed, yes we’ve developed and become a big city but is it really worth it as we strip away the real beauty and replace it with concrete. A city where the buildings reach out to the sky rather than the trees. Roads that make you feel like bread on the toaster conveyor belt, so what if this toaster can accommodate more bread.

I miss the Bangalore of my childhood, I loved that city to bits and just don’t know this one anymore. Don’t fit here in this furnace anymore and don’t know how long I’ll last before I’m charred!

March 5, 2012   No Comments

Pics of The Week

After a long break from photography I picked up a camera again and lost myself behind the viewfinder. 🙂 Took this photo at a wedding in Rajasthan recently. The picture says so much about the wedding and the state. Rajasthan may be a desert state but the people make up for all and more of the colour missing. Its one of the most colourful places and people I have seen in my travels.

March 4, 2012   No Comments

Three Ways to Get With The Blogging Program

I’ve been on a break from the blog in the last few weeks. What started with missing one blog post rolled on into missing many posts. Everyday I thought of writing and then told myself ‘Not right now, later’ and later never happened.

I felt guilty but it’s usually easy to convince yourself and let things slip. But blogging regularly is important. Every time you miss a post you lose readers and traffic – you lose a bit of your voice. I should have known better and I plead guilty.

So what am I going to do about it and how am I going to make sure I get with the program – here’s what I plan to do.

The Buddy System
This works and this post vouches for it. Find a friend to make yourself accountable to, tell him/her what you plan to do and give them the right to question you. Evading yourself is easy but it’s difficult to escape another’s queries. Being accountant helps you stick with the program.

Plan a Schedule
Plan the week out and decide what you will be posting each day. That will help you plan ahead. I think, thinking of what to write is one of the most difficult parts of blogging and a plan helps in this. When you know what you are going to write about, half the job is done. After that all you have to do is sit down and write.

Schedule Ahead
Publishing a post everyday does not mean writing it everyday. Yes, you want to write some posts on that day so you can share what is happening in your life. But if you are writing on a topic or doing a review, you can do this earlier and schedule it for publication. Then if you want to on the day you can add a paragraph of the latest news.

These are three things I intend to do to stay on track and blog regularly. What do you do to make sure your blog posts go out on time? Do you have any recommendations that will help me stick with the program?

March 3, 2012   No Comments