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Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Innovation. Show all posts

September 25, 2011

Bloggers Boot Camp with its two Rules of Blogging

Bloggers Boot Camp
John Biggs and Charlie White, have just released a book about blogging called Bloggers Boot Camp . These gents produced tens of thousands of posts between them, written for some of the biggest names in blogging, and are generally good blokes. Their goal in this to teach how to write for blogs.

This isn’t a book on starting a Tumblr or a "It’s about thinking about your blog posts in terms of content, value, and sharing and it discusses search optimization not through dirty tricks but through good, hard work."

The Two Rules 

Ignore these two rules at your peril. Understand that blogs take on a life of their own, and if your goal is to blog to make money, or you are blogging as an extension of your interests or job, these two rules – part of what we would call a “blogging plan” – are absolutely paramount. Blogging is a job. It may be your second job but it is a process that takes hard work and discipline. We have been blogging for almost a decade, and it’s a constant struggle as well as a source of constant reward. Our days begin at 8 a.m. and end whenever the last news item flickers across our screens. 

Rule 1. Always Be Blogging 

The best blogs are updated daily, if not hourly. There is nothing worse than a ghost blog, a site that seems to be updated sporadically at best. Readers are becoming experts at sensing the freshness of content. If you leave your blog sitting for weeks at a time with no new posts, they’ll catch on quickly and your audience will migrate elsewhere. 

Keep posting! What do you mean, there’s nothing to write about today? Of course there is! There’s always something going on that would interest your readers every day. Your goal is to be the person “in the know” about all things involved in your topic. If you truly love what you’re writing about, you won’t have any problem writing something at least daily. If you find you’re having trouble, you may be facing a serious problem in your choice of topic. There is no topic too mundane that you can’t pull a post out of it. Can’t find news? Post some pictures from a recent activity related to your topic. Talk about what other bloggers in your niche are doing. 

Prepare a round-up of news from other sources. Your posts don’t always have to be news. They can be a personal story, a reaction to the news of the day, or a simple link to another site with information you enjoyed. However, if you find yourself getting lazy and failing to post, you’ve broken the first cardinal rule of your blogging plan. However, don’t fall into the “personal blog post” trap. Don’t tell the story of your problems at the DMV or your relationship issues. 

Don’t tell us what you had for dinner last night (unless you’re a food critic), or fill us in on every detail of that dream you had last night. Don’t spring your heartfelt musings on your unsuspecting audience. But if you can somehow creatively weave some personal experience into your posts, that could be the very thing that makes the story yours. Lacking inspiration? Create a calendar for yourself and a to-do list. Add items to the to-do list as you think of them and then add them to the calendar. 

These “evergreen” post ideas can be published at any time. If you find yourself frustrated or facing the dreaded writer’s block, simply go to this list of items you haven’t gotten around to yet and do one. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to sit in front of your computer 24 hours a day. A lot of blogging is thinking, observing, and discovering a fresh angle on a topic that’s already been covered elsewhere. If you keep your blog top-of-mind, you’ll find yourself coming up with ideas wherever you go. 

Who knows where you’ll find inspiration? Beethoven went for daily walks, and heard a bird singing the first four notes of his Fifth Symphony. Occurrences, people, objects and new experiences that have great potential to be turned into blog posts are everywhere, and it’s up to you to tease them out, write about them, make them interesting and grab your readers with them.

Rule 2. Post Consistently 

What sort of voice will your blog have? You want readers to become familiar with the way you do things, the way you express yourself, and the way your blog is laid out. Do you want to do long posts, daily? Many short posts each day? Digests of news with simple links? Videos? There’s a variety of ways to build a blog and most of us would choose a scattershot approach to posting daily.

However, if you find you enjoy writing longer posts, you may want to stick with that style. It gives your readers plenty to chew on on a regular basis, and you can still add shorter posts in between. Establish your style at the beginning, and keep it consistent. Having a style doesn’t mean you have to be snarky, mean, or silly. It means you need to be clear, concise, and you need to stand out in a vast sea of “me-too” content. Be the person people link to when they want to prove a point. Be the expert other experts trust when it comes to matters of technical accuracy. 

Pride yourself on a consistent and readable style. And make it sound like you. However long your posts will be, it’s most important to decide on a writing style. Will you embrace vulgarity with your site, cussing like a sailor in every sentence, or will you be prim and proper? Will you attack your topics with sarcasm and snark, or will you play it straight? Will you have a happy, carefree and uplifting approach, or will you incite your readers to share your anger? Will you find a way to be different, standing out from the crowd of blogs blanketing the earth with your dazzling insights? Maybe you’re funny. However, comedy, as they say, is hard. 

One of the pitfalls we’ve seen in new bloggers attempting a snarky style is the descent into meanness for meanness’s sake. When you focus on a topic with any intensity, you “go native” and allow things to affect you more than they should. The antidote to this is to write everything in a hard news style or a more conversational style. Also avoid lashing out at figures and major players in your niche. And remember, a bit of self-deprecating humor and personality goes a long way. 

Don’t forget to make it personal. The one thing the “big newsrooms” can’t do is inject personality into their work. Sure, there are some exceptions, but on the aggregate many news sites are stale and boring by dint of their mission. Will this be a log of your experiences and opinions? Unless you’re going to be simply rewriting news stories, or doing straight reporting, you’ll probably insert many of your experiences and opinions into your writing. In the early days of blogging, much of the writing was a lot like the early days of Twitter, where writers would talk about everyday trivialities such as what they just ate for breakfast. 

Now, writers have taken it way beyond that level, by orders of magnitude. If you’re a solo act, let the readers inside, bare your soul. That’s entertainment! If you’re writing a blog with a group of colleagues, your blog style will need to reflect the fact that there is a group of people working together. Referring to yourself as “we” is probably the best idea here, but that’s not to say you can’t use the proverbial “we” when you’re writing a solo blog, either. 

This is an important element of your blog style: Will you write is a group or as a collection of individuals? You can choose whether each post will reflect the separate opinions and attitudes of individual writers, where all the writers in your group strive to set themselves apart. Or, you can work as an editorial team, akin to how newspapers editorial boards write, and speak as a group. 

We’ve asked you a lot of questions in this first chapter, and we would suggest you carefully contemplate each one and come up with solid answers for yourself. Be honest. If you do this, you’ll be on a sturdy foundation for starting up a successful enterprise. After you’ve gone through that period of self-examination, you might be thinking this sounds like a lot of work. You would be right. In fact, writing might seem easy to you, but the daily dedication needed for a successful blog is hard. You must summon all your energy and enthusiasm, applying a steady and dedicated work ethic to this venture. Set yourself realistic goals, and meet them every day, and you’d be surprised how even a small amount of work – applied consistently – will turn a series of seemingly small efforts into a monumental achievement......

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September 12, 2011

Catch Your Dream by Getting Scholarship

New scholarship opportunities with ample financial support are now available for bright Indian minds to pursue higher education and fine tune their future in their respective fields.
Fulbright awards in teaching program
Teacher Training Programme
The Fulbright award is a teacher training programme for teachers across the world. Selected international faculty members will get a chance to visit a host university in America and participate in their teaching environment.
Financial support: The programme covers a round trip economy airfare for the participant. Room and boarding for the entire grant period and maintenance allowance designed to assist with the costs of food and lodging.
Eligibility: Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree and a teacher training degree. They must have at least five years teaching experience. An applicant must be a citizen of India and should hold a valid Indian passport.
Procedure: Interested applicants must submit the completed and signed form along with a resume demonstrating that they meets all the eligibility criteria. A project proposal must accompany the form. Application deadline is October 1, 2011. Information available:
IndianOIL academic scholarships
IndianOil is offering 2600 scholarships for students of 10+/ITI, Engineering, MBBS and MBA courses on merit cum means basis.
Indian Oil Scholarship Program
Financial support: The scholarships will be disbursed at Rs 3,000 per month for four years in case of Engineering and MBBS and two years for MBA courses. Rs 1,000 per month for a duration of two years will be given in case of 10+2 and ITI course.
Eligibility: As the criteria for selection is merit and family's income, the gross joint income of the family of the candidate from all sources should not exceed Rs 1 Lakh. The age limit is minimum 15 years and maximum 30 years.
Procedure: Applicants should apply through online application form. The should also send a hard copy of this application form duly signed along with the required documents. Last date for application is September 15, 2011. Information available on:
Vidyadeep scholarship
Sikkim Manipal University is offering 1500 scholarships for students below the poverty line registered in their distance education programme. Scholarships will be offered in IT, management, journalism, fashion, hospitality and tourism, biotechnology and bioinformatics.
Financial support: The scholarship will be based on the student's performance in the first semester end exams and the fee waiver will be applicable from the second semester. Up to 100 per cent fee waiver will be offered.
Eligibility: Applicants must be residing in India. The scholarship is semester wise and student should score more than 45 per cent in the semester end exams.
Procedure: Application forms are available on the website. The completed form along with the BPL certificate should be submitted. Applications are invited every registration cycle, and the time period given for it remains the same as the time for registration to the course. Information available on:
IIJT Udaan
The Indian Institute of Job Training (IIJT), is offering a scholarship programme to facilitate deserving candidates for career training in various domains. This is an examination-based scholarship scheme.
Financial support: Students will be awarded scholarships on the basis of the scores obtained in the IIJT test. Students who get 61 to 70 marks will get a 15 per cent scholarship, those with 71 to 80 marks will get 20 per cent, 81 to 85 marks will receive a 25 per cent scholarship. Marks between 86 and 90 will receive a 50 per cent scholarship, 91 to 95 will get a 75 per cent scholarship and anyone who gets above that will be awarded a full fee waiver.
Eligibility: All applicants should have cleared their 10+2 exams.
Procedure: Enrollment for the scholarship exam will start from August 22, 2011. The duration is 30 days. A 30 minute IQ test would be conducted online every Saturday. Information available:

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Steve Jobs an Ultimate Lesson for Entrepreneurs:Forbes

Steve Job

May I add my voice to the chorus in praise of Steve Jobs?
Beyond brilliant, beyond insightful, beyond courageous, the man is a mass of contradictions, the combination of which, I believe, begins to explain his genius.
And, this genius provides a lesson of incredible power to every entrepreneur, or aspiring entrepreneur, on the planet.

Artist and engineer; Buddhist and hard-nosed businessman; visionary entrepreneur who has built large and resilient companies; optimist and pessimist; rugged individualist who appeals to the masses; prickly, difficult leader who inspires enormous loyalty among his troops; the ultimate opaque manager who has guarded his privacy and secrecy, even while providing the world with the tools of transparency.
It is this ability of Steve Jobs to hold completely disparate ideas and values in his mind at the same time, synthesize and then act upon them, that is one of the keys to his genius.
As F. Scott Fitzgerald is quoted as saying: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
And, Steve Jobs has not just functioned…his satori leaps of genius have redefined the technology landscape forever.
Of course, it is also Mr. Jobs’ ability to embrace such conflicting priorities that has bedeviled the competition. He has NOT been consistent, nor humble, nor predictable. One never knows what drummer he’ll be listening to at any given time, and this has made him a fearsome and successful competitor.
He has listened to his gut, and gone against conventional wisdom not as a habit, but when he felt it was right. His sensibilities and individual take on issues are all that was important.

They say, in brain research, that while the right and left sides of the brain hold different kinds of important skills and intelligence, it is the cerebral CORTEX — that which integrates both sides – that defines true intelligence.
If that is so then I believe Steve Jobs’ entire being is a cortex: he regularly integrates disparate knowledge, opinions, methods and actions to arrive at quantum leaps of genius.
It is the corporate manager who must be consistent, meet projections, squeeze out independent thought and innovation in the service of meeting company priorities.  The entrepreneur can go with his or her gut, can assimilate new ideas quickly and act on them, can bounce between conflicting priorities to come up with a new reality – thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
Now of course, one’s gut must be right.  Many have followed their independent certainty straight into oblivion.  But, that is a chance that entrepreneurs have accepted with their job… Steve Jobs epitomizes that entrepreneur’s genius. And, perhaps it is in understanding it, following his lead, yet at the same time rejecting it and doing the exact opposite, that just might lead us all to success
Topping my pile of books to read this weekend is one recommended to me called “The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking” by Roger Martin.  I am hoping that it will begin to explain Mr. Jobs’ sequential entrepreneurial successes…and may provide a road map for we more minor players, who still have the will to achieve breakthrough innovation and success.
In the meantime, hats off to Steve Jobs: his entire career has been one marked by courage, independence, and brilliance.  May his last act embody the same qualities, and may he continue to lead the way for us all.

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September 11, 2011

10 Eco-friendly Acessories for your Office Desk

You maintain green habits at home, but are you as conscientious in the office? We’ve found 10 great accessories that will help you stay Eco-friendly even when you hit your workplace.
From clever trash bins to reusable cutlery to designer paper clips, these objects will add some environmentally-friendly credentials to your office, and hopefully inspire your colleagues to go a little green as well.
Take a look through the photo gallery of planet-loving choices and let us know in the comments below which ones you would like to take to work.

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September 10, 2011

10 Most Interesting Inventions of 2010

Fremont: Nothing in the world can stop few people from keep on inventing the best and the coolest products in different segments. These products become a landmark in the specific segments and even provide scope for social and economic growth of the nation. We present to you ten such best and cool inventions of 2010.


A piece of technology that provides an instant cash register, Square is a San Francisco-based company launched in 2009 by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Square provides small businesses the ability to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere, anytime via iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. With the aid of a tiny magnetic card reader that attaches to a smartphone, it lets anyone process credit cards. One does not need to wait for a receipt; he just has to sign on the screen and Square sends a copy straight to e-mail.
With four simple steps you can easily access the app by downloading the free Square app, sign up, link Square to your bank account and then start accepting cards

Martin Jetpack

The world's first practical jetpack, Martin Jetpack consists of a purpose-built gasoline engine driving twin ducted fans which produce sufficient thrust to lift the aircraft and a pilot in vertical takeoff and landing enabling sustained flight. The Martin Jetpack could take its operator up 8,000 ft. It is creating a new segment in the aviation and recreational vehicle markets. Initially, the jetpack was designed keeping in mind the leisure market. The five feet high, Martin Jetpack has a width of 5.5 ft and length of five feet. The structure is Carbon fibre composite and has fuel capacity of five US gallons.


Combining sound physics with innovative design, the Very Light Car uses lightweight and low aerodynamic drag to usher in a new era of automobile efficiency. The car weighs less than 800 lbs that helps it get 102.5 m.p.g.The components of the car has been evaluated for function and re-designed to be light yet strong. The car has simple features that mean fewer components, less weight, greater efficiency and lower cost. The Very Light Car is a low-mass vehicle that uses mostly recyclable aluminum and steel - requires little energy in production and avoids scarce and hazardous materials.

The Malaria-Proof Mosquito and The Mosquito Laser

Mosquito is one of the world's most deadliest insect that causes more than one million deaths worldwide. But for the first time, University of Arizona entomologists have succeeded in genetically altering mosquitoes in a way that renders them completely immune to the parasite called Plasmodium, the agent that causes malaria. Former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold is developing a laser that can zap mosquitoes without harming other insects or humans. The laser targets the mosquito's size and signature wing beat and sends the bugs down in a burst of flame, making their deaths good for public health.

Orange Power Wellies

Everything in the world generates power - about one watt per breath, 70 watts per step. Orange, a telecommunication provider, recognized this potential and introduced a prototype of Orange Power Wellies - rubber boots that convert heat into current. Orange Power Wellies is a groundbreaking and innovative eco mobile phone charging prototype. It is created in collaboration with renewable energy experts GotWind, use a unique power generating sole that converts heat from your feet into an electrical current, which can be used to re-charge your mobile phone.

Spray-on Fabric

Have you ever thought that textiles can be sprayed out of a can or spray gun straight onto a body or dress form? The British company Fabrican has captured the imagination of designers, industry and the public around the world by developing such a spray to bond and liquefy fibers. Once sprayed out of a can, the solvent then evaporates and the fibers bond, forming a snug-fitting garment. The technology has been developed for use in household, industrial, personal and healthcare decorative and fashion applications using aerosol cans or spray-guns.


The iPad app, Flipboard is a wonderful app to end the chaos by grabbing updates, photos and links from your friends and other interesting people, then reformatting everything in a wonderfully browsable, magazine-like format.Flipboard turns the users Facebook and Twitter account into something that looks like a magazine. It allows the user to build a custom magazine, either by choosing from Flipboard's pre-built curated boards or by importing Twitter lists.

Antro Electric Car

The car of the future, Antro Electric Car is the product of the Hungarian designer Antro. The car can hold up to three people - a driver and two passengers, one on either side - who pedal to help drive the ultra light car. It is a crazy invention wherein the car splits into two smaller versions and joins to make a big one. When the car is separated, its seating capacity for three and becomes a big vehicle, Antro Duo with a seating for six when joined. The car has a hybrid drive and has solar cells on its roof that generate electricity to empower the vehicle to run up to 20 km a day on solar energy alone with the help of solar panels attached on the roof.

Zoggles: Anti-Fog Device

Zoggles is an anti-fog device invented by Skomsky and Valerie Pafly to keep fog from forming on lenses and windows. The device is created with a humidity sensor and a temperature sensor that would stay colder than a windshield, so they would sense when fog was coming and would turn on an automobile's defroster. The device could also calculate when fog would form, rather than test for fog that is actually about to form, they could get rid of the bulky controls that cooled the sensors in their original prototype and fit all the electronics on a chip.

KOR-fx: Ultra Sensation Gaming Device

Shahriar S. Afshar, the visiting physics professor at Rowan University, invented KOR-fx. KOR-fx is a device that connects to gaming consoles, PCs or music players. It sits around the shoulders and the two transducers that lie on one's chest translate stereo sound into stereo vibrations. This makes the gamers feel complete immersed in their games without involving others who are not playing. The sensation of rain, wind, weight shift, even G-forces can be induced. 
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