Thursday, October 30, 2014

Do you have an organized Social Presence

So how many you are not using Facebook? How many of you have not heard about Twitter and Facebook? We all are social more on social networks then in the society.

According to social media research, Facebook has around 1.11 billion users across the globe. LinkedIn has 277 Mn users, Twitter boasts of 200 million users and Google+ also says it has around 340 million active users. The power of Social media is incredible. Just look at this amazing infographic…  OrganizeSocialMedia

I have been using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ for more than a couple of years now. And I would say, I have been able to make pretty good use of them. I have learnt new things, made friends with strangers and expanded my social reach beyond the obvious friend circle.

Through this post, I am sharing my strategy or organizing my social presence with the aim of leveraging the power of social networks. Somebody could ask, Is there a need to organize social networks. I have tried to answer this question in the rest of this post.

The typical approach

There are 2 ways in which people typically manage their social presence

1. The simplest and the most common way is to use them as platform to share and connect with people without any strategy and thought.

2. The second approach is to put your brain to work and organize the social network. On a lighter note, Organized social network ensures that your tweet about your boss after a couple of drinks over your limit doesn't end up eating your job :)

A more detailed answer to Why organize Social networks is to

  • Expand your social network beyond friends, colleagues and family
  • Create a strong brand for yourself to excel in career
  • Find resources to full-fill your aspirations
  • Expand your horizon by connecting with strangers from vivid areas

Have a doubt? Check out the stats in the infographic above.


How do we organize Social Presence then?

Some psychological gyaan first

It is said we as Human being have 3 primary requirements for life. they are Social, Functional and Emotional. (Please read the book "innovator DNA" to know in details the significance of these needs.)

My idea is to base the strategy to organize social networks on these theory.

The Functional need are connected

  • with your job, with your career aspirations,
  • with your creative pursuits,
  • with fulfilling your needs and wants.

The Social and Emotional needs are about

  • being connected to the near and dear,
  • being a part of the social fabric,
  • staying close and relevant to people,
  • being a part of the social conversations 

I use LinkedIN, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ for these purpose.

Twitter for Hobby

I use Twitter to keep my creative juices flowing, for inspiration. After I got a Twitter Account, I took a conscious decision to connect only with strangers. I decided to build a network of people with whom i share my interests, my thoughts process, my aspirations.

I started this by following my favourite authors. I then used Twitters discover tool to find more people to follow. I read, re-tweeted things not connected to my job but definitely of my interest. There was no condition on what I tweet and what i read.

For example I often tweet news articles from Faking News just for fun. I use twitter to get inspirations quotes, lessons. To get latest news on technology, design. I use twitter to take part in contests. By using this approach, over a period of time, I have 200 followers whom i know only through twitter.

LinkedIn for career

The sole purpose of my LinkedIn account is to create a strong brand for myself and excel in my career.

On LinkedIn, I am connected to my current colleagues, ex-colleagues. I have made new friends whom I haven't met in-person but we happen to work in the same Domain and so are connected. I use LinkedIn groups to connect with people in the upcoming technology areas. The focus here is more on connecting with people, reading things that are connected to my career.

I would say LinkedIn is a more filtered and a double clicked view of what I do on twitter.

Facebook for social needs

Facebook is the place that takes care of my social needs. I am connected to my friends, family, cousins, uncles, aunts, etc. etc. Around 80% of the people I have met or known in my life are connected to me on Facebook except for my Managers :) ( though there are few exceptions)

Organizeyoursocialnetworks (2)

Google + falls between LinkedIn and Twitter

Of late, I have been checking my G+ account more frequently. For me, its somewhere between LinkedIn and Twitter.

I follow communities on G+ that are of interest to me but not necessarily related to my job. G+ is the gateway to my curiosity. I use it follow Home Design, NASA, Windows8, Android Development, Go Green ideas, Jokes etc.


Then there is Pinterest, I use Pinterest to pin about my hobbies, pictures from my blog and my site. Often my Pinterest posts are sent to twitter.

The idea is to not duplicate your contacts, posts, across social networks and thus keep your social presence organized. 

So what are you waiting for, go head, get a plan and make the most of your social networks.

What's the plan that you follow for your social presence, did you think its good to have a defined plan to manage social presence? Do let me know your views using comments section.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Journey of Smell from Ricoh to Rahul

The African Safari
Its year 300 BC, tribal people in a remote village in modern Africa are in a state of shock. They are mourning the death of a young man and his uncommon death. The tribal community is aware of
  people dying natural death,
  people dying while hunting,
  people dying in inter-community fights
But they could not imagine somebody dying of drinking a liquid that is not poison. They are sure Ricoh died of drinking a liquid because the other day only he had come back to village after running away more than 2 years ago.

He met his old friends and was looking very excited. He told them that he has found the cure for his problem. Now everything is going to be OK. He asked them to meet him the morning and Ricoh will prove his cure works.

The young man, named Ricoh was experimenting to design a liquid that can eradicate sweat smell. Ricoh was not a alchemy or a scientist. He was a normal hunter like the others. 2 Years ago, one day after the routine hunting session, he came back with others to the village. The expression Ricoh carried on his face revealed that he was damn frustrated. Something was bothering him way too much. He locked himself in his hut. When he didn’t come out of his hut for dinner followed by the dancing ritual, elders in the community got worried. They shouted Ricoh's name and knocked his door but Ricoh wouldn’t respond. People thought he was tired and might be sleeping like a donkey. They will pull his leg in the morning talking about how he sleeps.

What troubled Ricoh?
In the morning, people went to Ricoh's hut. They were surprised to find no one in the hut. It was all vacant, though Ricoh belonging were there intact. The elders warranted the other members of the community who were accompanying Ricoh the other day for hunting.

The Leader of the community shouted, Nikon, where is Ricoh? Nikon is a close friend of Ricoh. They both are like Jai and Veeru of our times. Nikon was in deep sadness, he didn’t have any answer to the question. He himself was worried about Ricoh. Nikon said, " I don’t know". The Leader asked again, " You all were together yesterday, what happened during hunting in the jungle? Is Ricoh mad to leave his community, his house, his land just like that? With is head down, Nikon looked right and left to check the others who were with him and Ricoh for hunting. Everybody was looking down and were scared. The leader shouted again. "Will somebody answer me, what you all did to Ricoh? This time with double the force. His vocal tract almost burst.

Nikon in a low voice, fumblingly, started to explain what happened during the hunting. He said, like every other day, they started pulling each others leg. Ricoh was often the butt of the jokes of others as he was the only person in the community who was not married. Ricoh's friends pulled his leg by relating his libido, his potency, his pubic hair etc as a reason for him not being married. Nikon kept the same volume in his voice but his fumbling had stopped by the time he finished explaining what has happened. Everybody in the community looked at each other and started whispering with the adjoining person.

The Leader was wise enough to realize that Ricoh has run away to save himself from the jokes. He gave Ricoh's friends a piece of mind for getting in his skin and going overboard with their jokes that forced Ricoh to take such a drastic step. The state of being unmarried was a wound that would not heal and kept Ricoh in deep pain. The jokes around this was impacting his esteem in the community and was making the wound a cancer. On that day, his pain had crossed the threshold… On returning, he was crying profoundly and locked himself in the room. When his pain had rolled down from his body in the form of tears, his mind started working. The image of the community Guru flashed in his mind.

He decided to visit the very well known Guru of the community some 500kms away to find a solution to his problem. The next day, he got up early in the morning, packed the bare essentials for the long journey and got on with his journey without informing anybody.

Ricoh meets the Guru 
Ricoh was walking through deep jungle, saving himself from wild animals at times by hunting, at times by running, eating the hunted animals. The fire in his belly to find a solution to his problem of not being married was fueling his legs. He was not walking, rather he was sprinting. After 6 months of tiring journey climbing mountains, crossing rivers, passing through deep jungle, he reached the village where Guru lives. He met the Guru at the first opportunity and detailed the purpose of visit. The Guru ensured he will find a solution to his problem and consoled him to stay calm. While he was talking to Ricoh, he realized his place was filed with some odd smell. He shouted in the tribal language "Aau poda shemla kay?"
His disciples started running here and there to find the reason for the smell. In the meantime, Guru advised Ricoh to meet him in the morning and asked him to take rest. Ricoh started walking out and Guru felt the smell was diminishing. He re-inquired with his disciples the cause of the smell and what they have done to get rid of it. The disciples was silent as they were still trying to find out the reason behind the bad smell.

Guru being the Guru, started wondering what was the reason for the smell. He started reconstructing the events in his brain from the moment he felt the bad smell for the first time. It didn’t take much of a time for the Guru to correlate the arrival of smell to the arrival of Ricoh. To verify his theory, he asked his disciple to ask Ricoh to see him right away. As soon as Ricoh started walking in his room, Guru felt the smell teasing his smell buds. He carried a smile that conveyed that he was proud of his intelligence. His brain could measure the intensity of the smell increasing profoundly as the distance between Ricoh and him kept decreasing.
When Ricoh was just a feet away from Guru, the smell was just intolerable. Guru put his hand around Ricoh neck and said in tribal language that "Ricoh, your worries end here".

The reason for your problems is your strong body smell. Its so strong, so foul that people cannot tolerate it. And that’s why you haven't found your soul mate". You get rid of this smell and things will start falling in place for you…Ricoh's eyes started sparkling, a smile started crawling on his face.

Finding the cure 
Ricoh decided to work on finding a medicine to get rid of the smell. He has some understanding of medicinal herbs and so without wasting any time, he got on with the job of mixing herbs to prepare the remedy. He burnt midnight oil for more than an year. When we thought he has got the cure ready, he wanted to share his excitement with his friends. So he started for his village. He met his friends at the village and shared his experience with Guru, the body smell issue and the cure that he has developed. He said from tomorrow morning, a new Ricoh will be born. Unfortunately, after drinking the liquid at night, Ricoh never got up. His friends were in deep grief. The cure had actually killed him. Ricoh was not alchemy and so he must have got the proportions of the herbs wrong.

Rahul meets Ricoh 
Year 2013, 21 Year old Rahul comes furious to his hostel and locks himself in a room. He has just come back from a college trip to the nearby hill station Lonavala. Rahul is good looking, intelligent and gentle guy. His personality doesn’t justify the fact that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Also has very few friends in the college. Or rather Rahul doesn’t meet many people as people tend to run away from him or make fun of him.

A month back, Rahul met a girl named Mahek. For a change, they have been meeting regularly and their friendship has been growing thicker. Rahul called up Mahek and requested her to meet him. From his tone, Mahek could make out that Rahul was upset and so agreed to meet him in their regular coffee shop. Rahul was waiting to burst out and Mahek was the person he trusted the most and so was waiting for her arrival. Rahul explained how people made fun of him on the trip.

Mahek was aware of Rahul's body smell issue and could relate what happened on the trip to this issue. Mahek felt bad that Rahul's body smell was the only dark spot on his personality and it was eclipsing his entire life. She felt the bad smell on their first meeting but wrote it off thinking its one of those bad days. She felt the smell in the subsequent meetings with Rahul and realized it’s a permanent issue with Rahul. But she never dared to point it out fearing that it will spoil their friendship.

After Rahul explained what happened on the trip, Mahek thought, if she doesn’t let Rahul know his problem, Rahul will never be able to do something about it and infact it might actually make Rahul take some adverse step. But she didn’t want their friendship to spoil. So she asked Rahul to meet her tomorrow again. Rahul and Mahek met in the coffee shop the next day. Mahek was carrying her laptop with her and this puzzled Rahul. He asked, why laptop! Mahek smiled, plugged in her data card and went straight to youtube in chrome browser. She searched for "Whats that smell, Boss?" and video started playing. Rahul was still puzzled at but started looking at the video. The distance between his eye brows kept getting shorter and shorter.

On hearing the question," Whats the smell Boss?", Rahul started to have hallucinations, he started hearing weird sounds. He put his hands on his head thinking his hands will stop all this from bursting his brain. He eventually fainted.

Mahek got scared. Everyone in the coffee shop surrounded Rahul. One of the waiter sprinkled water on Rahul's face and he woke up shaking his head. Rahul started searching for Mahek in the crowd. As soon as he saw her, Rahul jumped up, grabbed her hand and took her out of the coffee shop. He dropped her home and went back to his hostel. The sounds, hallucinations continued for the rest of the day and night.

Rahul could not sleep at all. In the morning, Rahul called up Mahek and asked her to meet in the park. Rahul was looking tired and restless. He took Mahek to the nearest bench and said " Mahek, I want to tell you something, you might think I am fool, but plz hear me out.

Rahul said, before he got fainted, he saw some images and heard some sounds. It reminded him of something. The events unfolded with more details during the rest of the day and at night. He thought he had recalled his past life. He narrated the story of him being Ricoh in his part life and how he died by drinking the liquid that me made to take care of body smell. Mahek was stunned to hear his story and as Rahul had suspected, she thought Rahul has got into a shock state due to the Lonavala trip. To prove that he was not mad, Rahul named the place of his village and the language they spoke. He asked the question "Whats the smell Boss" in the tribal language. Mahek used Google to verify if Rahul was correct. To her astonishment, every thing Rahul said was stamped "OK" by Google search results. Mahek was left with no option but to believe Rahul.

Rahul - The winner 
But this Rahul will not have to invent anything nor will he die of drinking a liquid to get rid of his body smell. Thanks to modern technology, there are multiple options that he can use to take care of his body smell. So Rahul and Mahek sat down to finalize the plan that will take care of body smell. One of the main reasons for Body odor is bacteria and so the core aim of the plan is to keep Rahul clean and dry as much as possible.

1. Rahul would take a hot water bath every time he is going out and after coming home
2. Rahul will keep with him 2 good deos all the time to make himself fresh smell
3. Rahul will exercise regularly 
4. If needed, seek an expert advise to alter the diet and thus the body odor

Ricoh didn't have the choice but Rahul did. He make the most of the options available to him. Mahek and Rahul eventually got married and lived happily ever after.

P.S this is my entry in the "Whats that Smell Boss" contest on indiblogger

Disclaimer: This is pure fictions. The names, places mentioned are all fake. Nothing and nobody should take anything seriously from this story

Monday, March 3, 2014

Travel Smart with SkyScanner - Save 15% on average

2014 is offering 14 long weekends i.e weekends with either the Friday or Monday being the additional holiday. Isnt it an awesome news. I know many of you (including me) will have project deliveries planned during this holidays :(  so might not get to enjoy all the 14 long weekends but still...

As obvious, I started looking at possible holiday options that fit the dates and my budget. On searching for cheap flights, I landed on Skyscanner page that claims to alert you about the best time to flight book tickets. That thrilled me and I started exploring the other features of Skyscanner.