Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm currently in Chennai and having a very hard time. The previous weekend, I went to an 'unconference' on podcasting called podwroks.in. I don't podcast and rarely listen to them, because of the bandwidth problems at my university. Most of the sessions weren't good, and made the unconference not worth attending. I found the sessions by one of the sponsors Nautanki.tv quite exciting. I had heard and read quite a bit about this Indian internet video site, but accessed it for the first time at Podworks.

Nautanki.tv is India's first internet Tv site. The content is produced specifically for the internet medium by directors. It is user driven , but not user generated content. It is more like Joost.com. They've got quite a lot of channels on humor, thrillers, news, short films, etc. I really loved their humor channel. The creators can make money from their channels by displaying advertisements before and after every show.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Online project management tool

Basecamp by 37signals is one of the best project management applications available online. I've used it for a project of mine and it makes managing data among team members really easy.

On the project page you can

  1. upload files,
  2. create task lists and allot them to people,
  3. mark milestones and targets on the map,
  4. discuss things on the whiteboard,
  5. conference on the chat(not very comfortable though),
  6. send messages to the group
Another useful data they show, is the group activity like when was each member's last login and last activity. One thing missing is collaborative working on docs, excel sheets etc. But other than that Basecamp is neat and easy to manage. Also you can host it on your own domain as well.

I used it for one my projects which required us to work from different places, and it really increased productivity. The number of meetings we had, to discuss things, decreased drastically.

Here's a screenshot of the project page from the tour. Click for a bigger picture.

If you were wondering how to work on the project with a team spread across the world, try this.

I've written two posts today, because my college year is nearly over. I probably won't be able to post anything for the next week because my PC and me will be traveling back, home :).

Good day!

Hot or not is now free!

This one's for the new Hugh McLeod, who knows math.

Hotornot is an unique dating site, where all the jazz of searching for similar tastes and interests are done away with. Instead you are shown pictures and you get to rate them on a scale from 1-10. If you click yes on a picture, then the next time they come online, they are shown your picture and if a match occurs, then a connection is made. Till recently you had to pay 5$ per month for mailing to connections, now you can do so without paying anything.

The creators of the site James and Jim have decided they've made enough money off people, so they ripped apart their business model and now make money only by displaying advertisements.

There are some 28,600,000 photos online, so you'll never run out of people. While I've never really tried making a connection, I've spent a lot of time, just rating people :). It's addictive!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Reality TV!

The web's first Reality show is here.

Justin.tv is the live video blog of Justin. He wears a camera 24 into 7. No, he's not chained to his house. He wears a headcam and the video is streamed on mobile network, which means he can go about normal life. On the website you can watch live-feed of what Justin is doing and chat with him or call him. The calendar serves as the TV guide and you can find out his plans for the next few days.

While he mostly goes around meeting other startups and web entrepreneurs, he also goes on dates sometimes. And when he goes on dates, their web traffic shoots up because everybody's asking, "Will he get lucky tonight?". And no Justin doesn't film when 'he's getting lucky' or in the bathroom. Right now Justin was sleeping and there were some 300 people watching him! Yeah, people love absolutely love reality tv.
Beside is the man, Justin Kan.

Here's the embedded channel from Justin.Tv.

Have fun!

addition: Live update. Justin and his crew just got the boot from their landlord!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Keep track of your money.

I'm at college, so as a rule I'm always running out of money and always borrowing money from people. In my first year, the more intelligent guy among us made an excel sheet where 12 of us after every outing, dinner would religiously fill in all expenditures. As all stories end, the computer crashed one day and with it went my 350 rupees which people owed to me.

Moral of the story? Use an online expenses manager.

Buxfer makes it easy to track your and group expenses. You can save transaction details, bills etc online. Then you can divide the expenses among your friends. The best part is Buxfer does all the math for you, no more arguments over calculations of expenses and who owes whom.

On buxfer you can
  1. Save personal and group transaction details.
  2. Keep track of who owes you money and whom do you owe money.
  3. Keep track of personal spending.
  4. Know your spending trends.
And the integration with your mobile means, you can report transactions and expenses as they are happening. You can also settle bills using your bank or credit card.
Also on Buxfer you don't have to register if you are already using gmail, yahoomail, facebook or openID. No hassles of joining!

Take the tour to know more.

Fun fact: Buxfer is run by three people of Indian origins.

That reminds me, I owe somebody lots of money! Luckily she's not on buxfer, yet.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Use the Web to reach out and do social good!

Today's post is going to be long, because they do something I'm very passionate about.

Kiva.org is the world's first loaning site for micro-credit. Micro-credit is making loans of smaller sizes available to the disadvantaged sections of the society. People who need amounts of money as small as a couple of hundred dollars to meet their needs. Such small loans aren't given out by banks, because they feel poor people are also bad customers and the cost of providing small loans is really high. So other agencies called micro-finance agencies provide such small loans. BTW the Nobel Peace prize for 2006 was awarded to Grameen foundation and its founder Md. Yunnus, who are the pioneers of micro-finance.
Read more about micro-finance on the wikipedia.

So what is Kiva.org in plain english? Kiva is a place where you can be a part of the revolution that micro-credit is, by loaning a small amount to some poorer people in the third world. The website has profiles of borrowers and the loan amounts they require. You can lend a part of the loan or the whole of it. The minimum amount you can loan is 25$.

Kiva.org is a web2.0 site which actually exists outside the internet, in fact most of its work is done off the internet. They have currently have partners in Africa, South America and Lower Europe. So you can loan to people in those continents. They still haven't started operations in India, because of regulatory issues. But anyways if you are looking to loan to people in India, you should be able to do so by the end of summer, because of a new to-be venture here. ;)

All you require to loan is a Paypal account. So go on and become a member, a 'loaner' and do some social good. Check out the widget on the left column of this blog to see a borrower.

Kiva is a non-profit organization and they run on donations. Also you do not get any returns on your loan. Most loans are repaid in about 8-9 months.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Think you can't get bluffed?

Blufr is an addictive little website, where you are asked obscure trivia. The widget embedded below will give you a few examples.

Powered by Answers.com:
free online dictionary and more

All the bluffs have been created by users and you can add your own bluffs. Its fun and very very addictive mind you.

Have fun!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Save your To Do lists online

Toodledo is a new online application on which you can save your tasks, give them priorities, save it on a calendar, set goals etc. The list of things you can do on it is really long and here's the link. I don't think they have a mobile application yet. Such a thing will make things really easier.

If you already use some desktop task manager, then you can transport all the data onto Toodledo. I found the firefox extension really handy, you can save tasks as and when they occur. I mostly use Toodledo to remind me of my email tasks.

Try it out. The registration asks for two things only! Your email and a password. No other jazz. And then no hassles of confirming by email.

Tell me what do you think!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Search "How to?" on Koonji

Koonji is a community powered 'How to?' search engine. The Web 2.0 has given rise to quite a few similar sites, but Koonji is the best of them all because of the sheer size of number of people who use it and contribute to it.

Koonji has articles which explain common day-to-day activities in a step by step manner. On Koonji find articles on How to make Turkish coffee?, How to surprise mom on mother's day?, or How to buy a HDTV?. Koonji aggregates information mostly from the Wikipedia and WikiHow in a nicely organized fashion. The community collects and clips related articles in an unique format called a "Koonji".

The community members collect points for adding to Koonji's or creating new ones. Members can create new articles or review existing ones. Koonji also has articles on products and best places to buy them.

BTW Koonji means "Key" or "Cliff Notes" in Hindi an Indian language. This is an example of an interesting trend. With most links with english words, either already being used or owned by Link sharks, alternative names like these are being thought of.

I had previously covered Videojug.com, which has videos on How to?'s. Its pretty cool, check it out here.

Happy DIY!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bitch into the vastness of the internet with B*SH

B*SH( url is http://ilovetocomplain.com) is a bitch board where you can anonymously scream anything you want to. Scream about your unfair boss or how you hate your friend sometimes. Take it off your chest. You've got a place to say it aloud to the world and not feel bad about it.

I've tried it :-) and really it feels pretty good, its the online version of the lonely woods where you could scream and cry for all you cared and nobody would notice.

Try it and tell me about it.

BTW I know you are wondering, WTF is B*SH? Its a new word created by these guys, I got know idea what * is.

Good day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Burrp! is a yellow-pages sort of website written by the online community. Use Burrp to find out about local restaurants, bars, juice centers, etc. Read recommendations and choose the best place to hang out in.

Burrp is currently available for three cities- Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata. And soon Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Goa and Pune will be covered.

On Burrp you can search for places and add your own review on the site. The community on Burrp is quite active, so a lot of hangouts have been listed and reviewed. The interface itself is really attractive, uncluttered and makes it easy to browse.

Tell me what you think of the site.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Take a break!

My computer decided to take a break, so no post for today.
Look outside, its Monday and lovely outside. Take a walk!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mail files upto 1gb using Pando

Pando is a desktop p2p application which you can use to transfer files upto 1gb. Use Pando to share big files, mail huge files, download files from the internet. Also watch HD internet TV using Pando. They've got a lot of channels

Screen shots of the application.

Download application.
The basic features are for free. For sending bigger packages, you'll have to take a premium account.
Pando is different from the other available FTP servers and p2p sharing softwares, because of the strong servers which guarantee a good download speed and the free account is irresistible.

Pando is currently available for Mac and windows only. Linux guys, look elsewhere.

Whats p2p? peer-to-peer

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Project Opus, community for artists and their fans

This weekend, discover new music and artists.

There are a lot of local bands out there, unknown and making awesome music. If you are a member of a local band or know a local band which deserves much better, then Project Opus is the place to be.

From what their site says:
Project Opus™ is an online music community designed to support artists, fans and local music. It is a single point of contact for discovery of new music.

We have two goals:
  • make it incredibly easy for bands to self-publish music, find their audience and then get paid for the sale and licensing of their music, and
  • make it incredibly easy for fans to find music they love and support the artists that make it.
You can join the site either as a band/artist or as a fan. A band gets its own page, blog and they can upload music. The page is basically the place where fans can keep up with their band's news and music. The artists have a choice to either sell their music or allow free downloads. It doesn't cost the artists anything to join project opus. Each track is sold at 1$, project opus and the artists share the dollar equally. The artists own all rights to their music.

As a fan, I've discovered a couple of bands. Melody Park is my favourite currently. They are Good. :)

Project Opus currently had mostly Canada based bands, but there are some bands from all over the world. So surely as the community grows, more bands will have a page on Project Opus.

Fans can save their favourite artists on their profile and tag their music. You can browse other playlists. The Opus Player will stream music for you. I can't seem to get the player running on my blog, for some reason. Check it out here.

The site is an absolute delight for fans. They've got lists of concerts happening, news in the world of music, a very active community of music lovers and a great interface.
People across the world are loving it!

Sometime back I reviewed Musicovery which is a great way to discover music from the popular bands. Read the review and you'll know why Musicovery absolutely rocks.

Have a great weekend with great music!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Happy birthday Mom! (And how I remembered it)

Happy birthday mom!

Flowers2mail website on which you can create/design virtual bouquets and mail it with a card to people. Its not really a great website, but its fun for a change from the boring( and loud) ecards that people around on birthdays and other occasions. And then as they say, flowers say it the best :).
You have a choice between six types of flowers and with four colors for each type.
I made one for my mother. Here's the link. But of course my mother doesn't use email(or the internet) and even if she did, I would get killed for being 'so lazy'.

Now how I remembered it.

Simple, I used Hipcal. Hipcal is one of the best online personal organizers around. The interface is simple, attractive and the features easy to understand and use. You can save events on the calendar, save notes and create task lists in your account.

On the calendar you can list your activities or events for a particular date, time. You have the option for getting a reminder for the event either by email or text-message on your phone. And you have standard features like listing public events on your calendar(viewable by all) and joining public groups like your college events calendar, movie schedule of your local cable company etc. Then you can also add friends to view their events and calendar.

Google calendar is currently the most popular calendar around for the simple reason that its a Google product. The features of hipcal that make it the best among the available organizers are
  1. To-do Lists: Such a feature is super useful and more so when you can view it along with the calendar.
  2. Memos: Add short notes for yourself or your friends to view.
  3. Calendar: The calendar has a neat attractive, easy to use interface. The spartan look of google calendar with its blue colors, do not really please the eye. Feature wise the calendar is the same.
  4. Get reminders on phone: Text-reminders can be sent to your phone. And its not only in the US, but also in some European and Asian countries.
Here's a screen-shot of my account.

Take a ride. Try the demo account of hipcal before signing up.

Use hipcal and get organized!

Tell me what do you think.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Scribd, YouTube for documents

Imagine youtube and replace the vidoes with documents. That's scribd.com. It is as simple as it sounds, somebody uploads documents, you view them.

Its the place for finding some of the most interesting documents floating around on the web.

The viewer is a neat little application which shows you docs in flash-paper, which loads faster than .pdf formats(and doesn't crash your browsers). You also have the option of downloading the documents in .txt, .doc, .pdf formats or hearing them in .mp3 format. The mp3 format is powered by text-to-speech(british accented speech) package of scribd.com. If you've logged on then, you can save your favorited documents on your profile page.

On scribd, you can upload documents without registering for an account. It accepts all the popular formats(.doc, .pdf, .txt, .lit, .ppt, .htm). If you've created an account, then you can view stats for your documents like no. of view, geographic location of viewers, referring links etc.The site also has some basic networking features and you can have friends, internal mail, list of favorited documents etc.

Scribd.com brag fact: The guys who founded it and run it are still at undergraduate school :O .

Slideshare.net is a site which is very specifically only for powerpoint presentations.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bookmark only parts of a page.

I'm a huge fan of these bookmarking tools like del.icio.us and stumbleupon, which make saving pages and searching for them so very easy.

Clipmarks is a tool which goes a step ahead and lets you save only parts of a page like the video, or a paragraph or an image.
When you are working on some report and collecting data from the web on a notepad, the data soon becomes unreadable
and cluttered. With clipmarks, you can save the url of the page from which you took the lines, or quotes.
After you've saved parts of the page, you can then publish them on your blog, or mail them to your friends. Clips you've marked as public can also be viewed and searched by other people using clipmarks. So you can search for other clips matching your interest and then rate them, save them or tag them.
How it works is you download the firefox(or IE) extension, which puts an (huge) icon right after the navigation field and the firefox search field. A version for safari hasn't been released though.

When you click the icon, a nearly unobtrusive orange toolbar appears right above the page and then you can select out parts of the page you would like to save. Add description and tags to make future search easier.

The pop-up for saving the clips.

From Ziff Davis Web buyer's guide. Clipmarks is much more than just an easy and effective way to store pieces of Web pages for future reference, sharing, and gathering commentary—it can actually become a way of life.

Uhuroo.com is an IIT Bombay incubated startup doing something similar and using much more complicated terms to describe it. You can only save sentences and paragraphs though.

Happy clipping!


New look.

I've completely changed the look of the blog. I previously had a 800*600 screen resolution template. This template is one of the standard blogger templates of 1024*768 resolution.
As I was looking at my traffic on Getclicky.com, I realized in the past six months, I had received exactly one hit from a browser with 800*600. And about 10% of the hits were from resolutions higher than 1024*768.

So I decided to get a more comfortable template and settled on this one, with two columns and left side-panel. I'll stick to this simple template till I find a better one. More modifications are also to be made to this one, like adding the logo.

I've also added a few widgets, the most interesting one is the post rating tool by Spotback.com . They've got a very sleek slider-rule rating widget. Check it out below.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Edit Photos, online.

Lose that habit of uploading bad pictures to Flickr. And not having Photoshop is not an excuse anymore.
Below are two fabulous online photo-editors.

Picnik.com is a cool service that allows anyone to edit photos online.
Fix underexposed photos, crop, rotate, remove red eyes, or apply effects to your photos. It has a flash interface and the smoothness is fabulous. It loads
real quick(even in Pilani).
You can upload picture from your computer or from an url. And after you are done with editing the photo, you can either download it or upload it directly to your flickr account. Pretty cool, heh?

I tried playing around with a wallpaper on picnik.com.

Before picnik.com

After picnik.com.

Hah! Actually just added a sepia effect and sharpened stuff a bit.

Not another photo editor.

Fauxto.com is an advanced image editing tool. It feels like a
desktop application and to create images you don't need to pay for expensive desktop image editors(read photoshop). It is the only online editing tool on which you can have layers and work on tabs inside your browser.

Basically its the free, online version of Photoshop. On fauxto, you have most of the frequently used features of Photoshop. If you frequently use photoshop, then Fauxto shouldn't be much of a problem, but for newbies its not the best editing tool.

Here's a screenshot below.

The faxuto blog lists the features of Fauxto and all that you can do on it.
  • Image Size
  • Canvas Size
  • Layer Adjustments:
    • Invert
    • Desaturate
    • Colorize
    • Hue/Saturation
    • Contrast/Brightness
  • Filters:
    • Sharpen
    • Blur
    • Find Edges
    • Emboss
    • Enrich
  • Fill/Clear Selection
  • Movable Marquees
So Fauxto is actually awesome to use for professionals, but for most of us who just need to get rid of the red-eye or crop the photo, Picnik.com is the best.

You decide for yourselves and tell me what you think.


Save This Page

Monday, April 23, 2007

StumbleUpon, good stuff

StumbleUpon is a social browsing application. Users download a browser toolbar and can find popular sites in different categories, vote on sites, etc. Stumbleupon has nearly 2,193,951 registered users in 139 countries, who “stumble” on 5.4 million sites per day.

StumbleUpon is a web tool I absolutely swear by and can eat away hours of your time, while you are 'StumblingUpon' sites and webpages. How it works is-
  1. You register and download the toolbar.
  2. You select your interests.
  3. Use the toolbar to randomly discover web pages and sites.
  4. You can then give the pages 'a thumbs-up' or 'a thumbs-down'.
Here's a screenshot of the toolbar. I couldn't embed the picture in this post

Here's a screenshot of my stumbleupon page.

On stumbleupon, you can have a network of friends and you can share links. Then you can join communities with similar interests. Actually there's quite a lot you can do, and you can explore the other features of StumbleUpon as you go.

Below are a few links I found in the past 10 minutes even as I was writing this post.
I'm sure the above pages will convince you to join StumbleUpon.com.

Happy Stumbling!


Save This Page

Saturday, April 21, 2007

You bet!

Betsgowild.com is a place where you can place bets online, with your friends, with other online members. The best part is, you never really lose anything(other than a little self-respect of course).

So its perfect for guys like me who love the phrase " really? You ready to bet on that??" And then lose the bet and with it money worth lots of dinners(Last bet I made. off-line, cost me Rs. 240 :( ) Of course betsgowild.com made up for that loss(details further ahead in the post!).

On Betsgowild, you get a balance of WildBucks when you register. And then of course you got to win bets to increase you pot. Even if you blow away all your stash, you can get more bucks by referring friends.
Check out the bet below(and say "yes way" plz!)

I bet Rai is the most beautiful woman in the world!!!.
Bet by: yooyoo
Member Since: 03/22/07
Last date to participate Ends: 04/29/07
View more betsGet this widget

Well I'm sure you'll love it. And if you are making a bet, do invite me! I'm sitting on a load of cash right now ;) .

Why Betsgowild.com?
  1. You love betting, but hate losing cash.
  2. You hate betting because you hate the idea of losing cash.
  3. You are sleepy and need a nice distraction.
Now for the story I promised above about betsgowild.com making up for the loss of my previous bet.
A few weeks after I registered, I got this pleasant surprise when I found this Ebay.com's gift voucher for 5$ in my mailbox. I have got no clue why I got it, especially since I wasn't quite active on the scene. But then free money is just awesome! And I also did something very interesting with the money. Read about it here.

Happy betting!


Save This Page

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blogging becomes super easy.

If you are one of those kinds who find blogging on blogger or wordpress, difficult to setup or really do not want so many options and freedom with your web logs, then Tumblr.com
is for you.

Tumblr.com is for tumblelogs. What is a tumblelog? Tumblr.com explains that pretty well.

To make a simple analogy: If blogs are journals, tumblelogs are scrapbooks.

After you've created an account, you can choose from one of the ready, neat, simple templates for your page. Below is a screenshot of the 'My Account' page. If you notice its got a very simple interface.
need to embed a video? No big deal, just click video.
need to embed pictures? Click aagin.

Tumblr will redefine, what click and go means!

Why Tumblr.com
1. You are forever in a hurry and need a blog with as little fuss as possible.
2. You are travelling and need a nice scrapbook. Since setting up on tumblr is so very easy, you can have multiple Tumblelogs!

A few cool tumblelogs.


Enjoy and then post a comment :) .

Good day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Share Slides effortlessly!

Its been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog. Today I'll talk about one of my favourite web 2.0 sites- Slideshare.net.

Slideshare is a place where you can upload your powerpoint presentations and share the link of the presentations with others. Basically imagine you've got to speak at this conference, make a presentation. Now if its an awesome presentation, people will ask for a copy. Or most likely you would want people to look at your slides again for various reasons. The painful way is to take down email ids and promise to mail them all your slides. Slightly easier way is to give your mail id and then ask them mail to you. So you got to reply to a dozen mails. Not much fun.
The smart way is to upload it onto slideshare and share the link! Even if people forget the link, they can search for it using tags. Either way, its way more efficient than any other to share your slides.

For example check out the presentation I had made for Conquest.

Their application converts powerpoint into flash pages, which while makes them take longer to load, gives a nice interface and comfortable to use.

I am pretty addicted to the site, because its got lots of interesting stuff floating around. And now thay've also got this contest (with the great Guy Kawasaki on board) for the best Slideshow. That reminds me, please vote for me! I desperately need a new computer. An alienware is only going to be awesome.

I got a chance to talk to one of its founders, Amit Ranjan about Slideshare.net, when he had come to my university for giving a talk titled Challenges in Scaling & Globalization of a Web Application - The Slideshare Experience. Here's the link to his presentaton.

I had a very good insight into the revenue models of web 2.0 and specifically slideshare.net. Before meeting Amit I had only thought it was again only content monetization or advertisements way of generating revenue. But apparently they have some interesting ideas to generate revenues.

So use slideshare, cause its really really useful and some amazing content online. Some of the coolest slides I've eevr come across are all on slideshare! Also don't worry about your slides being stolen, because nobody can download your presentations, at least not yet. Amit revealed that they would soon make it possible to download presentations. But of course you can choose not to allow downloads.

And now for some selfless promotion. There's this project we at CEL are working on. Its called the Parampara project and aims to create co-operatives or SHGs of women around Pilani. Currently we have created our first group at Garinda. below is a presentation, that you really have to see. Its for a good cause. And if you are interested, please contact me at nayak.abhishek@gmail.com. While monetary help would be awesome, a word or two of encouragement would be just as awesome :).

Love Slideshare.net? Gimme a comment!


Thursday, February 15, 2007

What would you do with a million pounds?

A million pounds! Now that'll be a dream come true. So what would you do with a million pounds?
Spend it on a huge mansion? Buy a plane? Yacht? Or give it all away to a charity?

Here's what I would do.

Today's awesome(sexy) site is not useful, not useful at all. Spendamillion.com gives you amillion pounds and a long list of items you could think of splurging those fake pounds on. From Cars and charities to exotic pets, its one crazy list.

Take some time off to fantasize about your million pounds. Of course if you already are a millionaire, then you'll get your perspectives right! If not(like me) then you'll probably realize that a million pounds is little money to fulfill all dreams.

Have fun! And do post your list in my comments section. It'll be fascinating to compare yours with mine.

Good day millionaires!

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