And I’m back…

March 22, 2011

Been almost a year since I have posted to this blog. Oh boy, it’s been a hectic 2010 but 2011 is getting even better. Of course there is no excuse to have not posted. Social media seems to be taking its toll on me.

But it’s been an interesting and hectic year and a half working with one of the leading online travel startups in India helping them build some kickass products and working with an enthusiastic team. More updates on that and what I have learnt coming up soon. Life has changed and for the better it is!

To regular blogging! Cheers.

All about Proto.in

January 15, 2009

As we get closer to the Bangalore edition of Proto and the excitement builds up for India’s premier startup event,  here’s an awesome conceptualization about Proto.in by the folks from Pictualize.

Date : Jan 23-24, 2009

Venue: Nimhans Convention Center

Btw, if you haven’t already registered, now’s a good time to do so, go ahead and register now.

Understanding spatial search

November 4, 2008

So what is spatial search ?

In today’s context, where the Internet is the starting point for finding any information you need about anything in the world, and of course most of us use Google. The problem with traditional search is that it does not support or have information about the geographical dimension.

Why is spatial search important ?

This becomes extremely important when searching for something like “Guest houses in Bangalore”. Although the geographical location, in this case ‘Bangalore’ can be used as a part of search query term, the search engine does not interpret it as a geographical location.

So results for the search query – “Guest houses in Bangalore” will turn up documents with “Guest houses” and “Bangalore” and might not show up results with guest houses koramangala or indiranagar which are localities in Bangalore and also hence very apt results. This is because, the search engine does not have a relationship between these terms.

The other issue with traditional search in entities like homes is that the geographical information of these locations are not known, and hence they cannot be visualized on a map – which would be the most intuitive way to visualize these results.

While planning and architecting my100floors, we understood the need for Spatial search and helping users visualize home searches on maps. Moreover we felt that that searching for properties on maps was the intuitive way to find properties. In fact, we are the first to provide a map based search in India, cracking the problem of non-availability of geo-coded data.

The next post will talk about our implementation of Spatial search in, challenges we faced and a walk through of the user experience.

property_mapsearchmy100floors.com is currently in closed beta, leave your email address on the site and drop me a line here or on twitter and I will make sure that you get the invite.

Google Chrome and Pranayama

October 14, 2008

Off topic, but couldn’t resist blogging about this.

Baba Ramdev’s (a yogic guru from India)  effort to connect with tech geeks and urge them to take up pranayama (meditation). Awesome marketing and product position I must say!

Google Chrome and Prananyama and Baba Ramdev

Google Chrome and Prananyama and Baba Ramdev

Image Source : Dead President

The Twitter obsession (and addiction) continues, we are all hooked on to it, aren’t we.

If you aren’t already, do follow me on Twitter.
So for all the Twitteratti / Tweeple / Tweeps out there, here’s my list of top 10 tools / plugins (in no particular order) for Twitter to enhance your Tweeting experience.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck takes all the information from Twitter and helps you manage the information overload by grouping them into managable pieces or based on your interests.

Twitturly

Tracks Top URLs which are talked about on Twitter. Extremely useful service and helps you find the most interestsing and latest information on the web.

Twitter Patterns

Helps you give your twitter page some style! They have some really cool designs, check it out.

Twitterfeed

Very useful app, which automatically tweets whenever you publish a post on your blog. Helps you get some link love!

Easy Tweets

A handy tool for online and digital marketers who wish to leverage the advantages of social media and microblogging. Easy Tweets enables you to switch between multiple Twitter accounts, track follower, replies etc all from one dashboard.

Hashtags

Hashtags enable you to track and follow conversations on Twitter. Follow @hashtags on Twitter and the service will index your tweets. Then add a #tagname to your tweet and this can be instantly looked up or searched.

Quotably

This service lets you follow a user’s conversations in a threaded manner, showing you all the various people the given user has had a conversation with. Interesting tool, especially when you trying to find out what others are saying about your brand/service.

Plodt

Plodt enables charts your tweets based on a tag and rank you provide. For example you could tweet
Vinodh’s blog . *interesting 10* and as you keep adding such tweets, Plodt gives you a timeline graph such as below

Power Twitter

Power Twitter Features
This Firefox plugin greatly enhances twitter to include: photo sharing with embedded flickr photos, video sharing with embedded youtube videos, shared tinyurls are unwound and lots of other power user features.

Twitter Keys

Twitter keys is a fun tool for Twitter which enables you to use UTF8 symbols in your tweets.  Once downloaded, this appears as a floating window, so all you need to do is to choose your symbol, copy n paste. So come on, get creative in your tweets using these symbols.

One special feature

Vakow

Vakow is an India focussed service which lets you post to Twitter as an SMS. Very useful and probably the cheapest way to pot to Twitter via mobile in India.

Let me know what you like and what tool you use.

Twitter, of course has been one of the main reasons why I don’t get time to write on this blog. Most of the times, 140 characters seems to be more than enough to convey what I want to say. Moreover, I always end up having very interesting conversations there and the there’s always instant feedback from a set of very engaged audience.

I have now been using Twitter seriously for sometime now, so thought so sharing some stats. Thanks to  Twitter Stats and TweetStats which helped me to churn out these graphs.

Tweets per hour


Tweets per day

Twitter Timeline

Top @replies

So if you are already on twitter, follow me.

I stumbled upon Wordle – which as they like to claim is a “toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide”

They accept anything from free text, to blogs RSS feeds and del.icio.us tag clouds and create stunning looking word clouds from them. The clouds are created based on the similar tag cloud concept, where words that are frequently repeated are shown with more prominence.

Simple idea, small app with a lot of impact. I just wish they had a “Save as jpg” option though. Below is a word cloud I created from this blog. Check Wordle out and let me know what you think.