Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Survey of Bloggers in India - A report

About a month or so ago, I participated in a survey that was conducted by Echovme. It was a survey to understand the behaviour of bloggers in India in the online realm - if and how they promote their blog, what is the awareness and application of search engine optimisation techniques, what kind of content do Indian bloggers dish out and things like that.

And the results of that survey is out. Echovme has put out a nice infographic along with a written report about the data that they gleaned from the above survey. With permission from Echovme, I am sharing the infographic below. Here is the link to the detailed write-up -

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Postcrossing Round Up #4

This week in Postcrossing, I received 3 postcards with some very beautiful stamps, here are the pictures

This one is from Germany - multiview of Rhineland

This is from Switzerland - a view of Lake Lucern

These are the stamps that I got on the card from Russia

These were on the card from Switzerland

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Can you do better than working from home?

I was blog-hopping last night when I came across this article by noted blogger from Indian blogosphere - Shailaja Vishwanath's blog - Diary of a Doting Mom: 5 Tips for Working from Home
And this set me thinking. I have worked from home for a significant part of my work career, and although I dont have children to take care of yet, home management responsibilities are no less irrespective of whether you have a child at home or not.

So I could totally identify with the points mentioned in the post above. And if you can earn your bread from the cozy confines of your home without a compromise to your commitment to home responsibilities, what better would you need in life? While all this seems rosy, every person who works from home, also realises that many a times, whether you like it or not and even if you dont want to do so, you end up switching context in your mind between work and home far too many times than you would like, and work on either one side suffers simply because you cant concentrate enough.

So what do you do in such situations? Can you do better than working from home? So far there was not much of an alternative for such cases. But with technology touching every aspect of life today, could there be an option for you, atleast for those specific days, where you just need those 2 or 3 hours where you can totally zone out of home mode and push out your deliverables? Enter BreathingRoom.

BreathingRoom is a service that enables you to avail of workspaces around your locality by the hour. They aggregate and tie up with organizations who are willing to let you use their space for a fee at a nominal cost. Using a simple, light and easy-to-use mobile app, BreathingRoom helps you find places at locations of your choice, with the USP being that you can pick spaces based on the amenities you want - Whiteboard/No whiteboard, wifi/No wifi, Food/No food, etc.  Payment is seamless, and your booking is done within 5 minutes of starting to look for a place. And all venues are verified and screened before they find their way into the listing you see, so there is very little gap in the experience that is mentioned on the listing and what you get on the ground.

The icing on the cake of this service is that there are certain listings that BreathingRoom calls as OpenSpaces - the bookings for such spaces do not cost you anything. Just check the availability, fix your time slot, confirm and done!

I had tried out this service twice - Once at an OpenSpace at One-O-Eight Cafe in Koregaon Park, Pune, and another a FeaturedSpace at DooThings, Viman Nagar, Pune. Both experiences were a breeze, and really productive, I got done with writing my Ramayana articles on both occassions.

Go try out a BreathingRoom today, for those times when you need to do better than working from home!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Design Made Easy by @Canva

Today's era is one where one needs to straddle multiple boats at the same time, and having a design sense in every little thing you do makes a lot of difference in your output.  While this is true, learning and working with the various visual design tools that are available out there (and I am specifically talking about tools like Inkscape, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Illustrator and the likes) is an area of study and an area of work in itself.

So how do these two realities co-exist and as a product designer and/or content creator how do you deal with delivering quality visual design content while at the same time focussing on your core competence, and not spending too much time learning the nitty gritties of  visual design tools?

It is for this purpose that (for a while now) I have been using this web based tool called Canva a lot.  In short, Canva helps those people who have a sense of visual design, but are not literate with the knobs and buttons that true blue visual design tools offer. And the folks behind Canva have come with a reasonably powerful yet easy to use browser based tool, that I was surprised myself when I started using it. And trust me, for all this that I have said here, Canva is super easy to use.

If you would like to read a detailed post about how things work in this tool - You can read this article titled "Any Body Can Design" by Darshan Gajara - It has enough details for you to get a good understanding of various things that you can do with Canva.

Now Canva is coming with a version of their product called "Canva for Work" and you can sign up here if you want to get early access to this version of their product.

Try it out! Happy Designing!

Postcrossing Round Up #3

This is a late post, as the week is almost over with today being Sunday, but nevertheless I received 1 postcard this week from Finland.

Here is the picture of the card -

This is a picture of a brown bear, which is the national animal of Finland.

This postcard has a very beautiful peacock styled stamp. Here is the picture of the stamp on the card -

And some of the cards going out this week were -

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Postcrossing Round Up #2

Hello Everyone!

Postcrossing-wise, this week was a very interesting week! I received three postcards - 2 from Germany and 1 from USA. And the two postcards from Germany coincidentally had 2 successive Postcard IDs - DE-4311253 and DE-4311252

For postcrossers, getting successive numbers or special sequence numbers are considered a special bonus, but most people get these numbers while sending postcards, but for a change I got sequential numbers in postcards I received! :)

This week's postcrossing round up!

What have you been up to? :)