Rohit's nukkad

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review - Click – What Millions of People Are Doing Online And Why It Matters

Bill Tracer, the author is a guy who “loves data”. He talks about this job in this book about analyzing huge amounts of search data on the Internet. The work involves understanding people mindset and in general understanding current worldly search trends.

The author most importantly talks about odd and sporadic behavior seen on the Internet based on the search engine data. He talks about False Hope Syndrome which a lot of people go though due to failed new year resolutions or how the third week of January is the most depressing week of January.

The author talks in length about Web 2.0 where the user content plays an important part. Websites like Facebook, MySpace are part of Web 2.0. For Web 2.0 user participation is calculated as 90-9-1 formula where out of 100 people visiting a web page 90 of them are passive visitors, 9 are partial participant, only one is an active participant. He talks about people like Tila Tequila, on MySpace who has over a million friends. From his analysis based on so much data Bill divides the people online into five categories – innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and the Laggards. Its the Early adopters that you need to look for a profitable online business or popularity.

Overall the book gives a nice perspective about internet search data analysis, how people behave on the net. It talks about some good examples about the strange behavior of the net and walks you though them. Though a lot of examples are specific events related like Katrina or how there was a search surge for Pontiac G6 after a specific advertisement, there are some which can look for trends over years like shopping trends for prom dresses or how new year resolution related like weight loss search. The book is recommended as casual read.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Google’s “Groundhog Day” Approach

Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day? If not let me share an insight of the movie. The movie is about a local news reporter played by Bill Murray who covers Groundhog day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. What makes the movie interesting is Bill's character keeps gets up to the same day everyday - Groundhog day. Initially he gets quite frustrated with life monotony and even tries all sorts of tricks to end it. He tries to win over his love interest played by the News reporting team producer. But he soon realized the incidents of the day are same and starts working on improving his days by changing himself slightly each day. He learns new skills right from ice sculpturing to learning piano. He keeps working on his mistakes and learning from them. Towards the end he finally wins over the new report producer and wakes up to a new day.

The learning from mistakes and improving oneself has been the approach of things on the Web. The prime example being - Google; they keep coming with these wonderful products –Gmail, Orkut, Chrome, etc... But if you look at the initial versions (beta versions) of these products they are very crude, raw and very fragile. But they keep improving on them, asking for feedbacks from the users in the form of emails, forums,blogs etc. They kept rectifying the bugs in the product and adding new features to it. Thus making the product very robust and something brand recognition when the actual product is launched.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You were born to Play this Game - Cranium

As kids board games formed a big part of indoor games with friends especially during harsh summer months when the school was off and playing outdoors was impossible. Board games provided a good refuge. Monopoly, business whatever you may call it used to lead the pack followed by other trivia and sport games like cricket and soccer.

But somehow board games lost their charm as I grew older until the day I played CRANIUM. The game tag line says it all "You were born to Play this Game". The game is a mix of activities like clay sculpturing, sketching with eyes closed, acting involving puppeteering, acting out as a famous personality, vocabulary test, general knowledge etc.

The game can be played with any number of players but more the better. The game is not about winning or losing, but amount of laughs and fun it provides that it is hard to stop. One just hopes that the game keeps on going... and going... and going :-)

So if you haven't played the game yet. give it a try you are sure to fall in love with it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Audio Books

Audio books have been around for a long time. Even before I started reading. The earlier days involved the analog format of audio tapes but nowadays they are available in the form of audio CDs in WAV or MP3 format, making it more portable.

Its just recently I started exploring the idea of listening to audio CDs than reading the book. Though hesitant about the change I did bit of cheating for my first audio book. I picked up a book I had read long time back - It's not about the Bike by Lance Armstrong and Sally Jenkins. And I should say it was a wonderful experience listening to the heroics of Lance Armstrong once again. I was able to listen to at work made it even better. Multitasking at its best :-)

There are couple of benifits of listening to audio books over reading them. The main being it doesn't require your 100% attention, its like listening to music. At some subconscious level your mind is capturing it. And if not then the Rewind button is very handy. You can listen to audio books multiple time as compared to reading a book multiple times (I have not done multiple reading of a book so far).

On the flip side, nothing beats a physical book at hand. The feeling is quite relaxed when one is reading a book. Not all books make a good audio book. It depends on lot of factor right from the contents of the books to the voice over for the book.

Though my conclusion stands that audio books are good though they cannot replace the activity of reading books. It is sure another weapon to keep in an avid book lovers arsenal.

A little more HHOOTTT sauce

Following up with the Mad Dog Hot sauce experience, my curiousness led me again to the sub place to try out some other hot sauce. Though they have nothing hotter than Mad Dog Sauce (the maximum legal possible), I went for the second best available - Da Bomb Hot sauce.

Hmmmm now how can I categorize this one the scale of my tongue's tastebuds. I guess after a certain point anything hot just gives a crazy sensation to the tongue. It is just HOT nothing else, the sensitive parts like tongue and lips burn for 10 mins or so. However taking in lot of water helps. Yes its definately fun.

Also another observation the place has 55 different kinds of sauces. I have a long long way to go in exploring different sauces :-)