Tag Archives: Web 2.0

Techworld in an ‘insane’ Vanity URL mob

If you are a regularly following technews , you must have heard about the Vanity-URL release by Facebook.It has been described as a Land-Rush by Techcrunch.I wish people could see the real thing happening here;somehow everyone is missing the point that this URL mob is marketing/publicity stunt by facebook.

Let me give an intro about myself  before I go further.I am a web 2.0 enthusiast and a half-geek trying to get away from mainframes background.I am currently working among a set of people who don’t understand “2.0terms ,I speak.Some people go mad when they hear the hottest word in the silicon valley.For those who are still not able to figure out what is the hottest thing in silicon valley,click here to know.Nothing wrong on their part,it’s a production support team and they need not know , what’s latest in Technology.

BLISSSSSSSSS ful indeed !!!

Now what it has got to do with this blogpost on VANITY-URL release by facebook.

I was reading through various techblogs as usual in the office when I read this on Techcrunch.I felt sick about myself.How could I have missed this opportunity who always keep thinking of ways to get out of my stagnant career ,  by either becoming rich over-night somehow or find a giant patron for my ideas in the techworld.

How did I miss this chance ??

What did I miss ?

A chance to become rich over-night by registering my facebook account’s vanity URL as some big  company or celebrity name and selling it over Assetize.com.If I had done so the celebrity/company might have approached me to buy their brand which I have taken.This link sparked the above idea.But I went with my usual online name ‘pinastro’.

My Facebook URL

My Facebook URL

But when I read the mob kind of squattering over the vanity-URLs , I felt , did I miss a huge opportunity to become rich over-night.(just an expression..I use often).I felt so dejected that it was reflecting on my face.My collegue who goes mad when he hears these Web 2.0 terms asked me sarcastically , “Why are you so dull, Is Twitter dead?”.I explained him about the vanity-URL.He used the word MOB for the craze over Vanity-URL.

I too agree with him,it looks like a crazy MOB.Think clearly

Is such a named-URL a new thing to social networking ?

Absolutely No. It’s already there on Twitter.

Facebook could have released this feature silently.To add fuel to this fire companies like Assetize and SocialToo are jumping on Facebook’s vanity URL band wagon.

What’s ridiculous is this shift of attitude of any new user who registers to a new social networking site:

Attitude of a New User before the Vanity URL:

“I really hope my name is the unique one and I need not add confusing and difficult to remember numbers as part of my username.Afterall my online identity is so important”

Attitude of a New User after the Vanity URL mob (fueled by Assetize.com):

“I will create a username of some well known celebrity or company so that they will buy the domain from me.Who cares about identity”

I say it’s just another popularity stunt masterminded by Facebook and Assetize.What made it sensational was the time constraint within which the URLs could be created.

Thank Goodness, I did not sacrifice my Facebook URL  for some cheap brand  just for the sake of money.I have my online identity safe 🙂


Web 2.0 Evangelism – 4 [ Connecting with your employees ]

web 2.0 evangelism

web 2.0 evangelism

Web 2.0 Evangelsim – 3

Wisdom of Crowds

Wisdom of Crowds

Web 2.0 Evangelism – 2

web 2.0

web 2.0

The coming generattion coming out of colleges will be a generation that doesn’t remember a day in colege life(best days of life) when they were not online or did not log into facebook.So suddenly if they are forced not to use facebook in the organizations they join…life becomes dull.Hence,orgnaizations have to adapt to the new Facebook culture that’s evident plus it also has it’s own advantages.Read more on this

1. Hippies inside organizations

2. Enterprise 2.0

3. Wild Web 2.0 needs to be tamed

Since this blog is just a sequel to “Web 2.0 Evangelism” blog , I recommend you to read it.And do read this blog which I found interesting specially the picture that explains so well “What is Web 2.0 (by the way)?”

Web 2.0 Evangelism

Today was a sad day for India and the people of this world.Indian Mujjahideens(suspected to be behind the blasts) set up 17 serial blasts in Ahmedabad just one day after 7 blast in Bangalore.I am a software developer and currently more of a social software developer and still believe I have a part in changing the world for better.I may not be taking on the “So Called Terrorists” directly but I do have a part in changing the world.

Following is also such an effort.May the souls of the dead Rest in Peace and for the culprits , may the Universe have mercy on them and save them from the Destructive path they have chosen

Please look at the pictures below and form your own story and tell me what is the best story line up for the comic strip below.Remember the comic strip is a collaborative one.The Keywords to be used are

Web 2.0 , Facebook , Insurance , Vacation

Agent and Customer1
Final one

Come On !!!! Use your imagination ..and keep the Keywords in Mind 🙂

What happened to Comics 2.0 ?

While I am just starting to discover “Why I don’t need a Girl-Friend  ? ” which will be probably my next blog, but before that, I want to quench my lust for really big questions that could change the world.The following question is one among the questions that have been troubling me for the past three weeks.

In the pursuit for Utopian world as promised by the Web 2.0 ….Are we on the Right Track ? Are we missing something really crucial for the next big thing in Web 2.0 ?

I have done an empirical study of the failure of WebComics to really launch itself on the Web.I strongly believe WebComics have not even started on a journey to reach it’s potential zenith.The reasons …..I think there are many.But first let’s see the thought process I have gone through so far.

How did it start ? Ever since I was awestruck by the career changing knowledge sharing session by “long haired” Krish Ashok who happens to be my current boss, I have been thinking,thinking and thinking over many sleepless nights to be part of Web 2.0 which is changing the world and is promising of the elusive “Utopian society”.And me being a person who dreams of a perfect world for humanity and the universe , how can I be away from this revolution.So there started my six month struggle to get release from the project and join forces with the Web 2.0 troops that are marching towards building a “just society” under the hood of boosting profits to hungry DOT COM capitalists.

Independence from the Left’st brain I really do not know if I love my Creative and Artistic Right Hemisphere of my brain , because I never wanted to become an artist.My Left brain always dominated the “very Active” Right brain throughout my life.Now was the time for independence.

Coming to the Real point I am trying to make If you have survived the boredom reading till this point you are definitely eligible to read the rest of the blog.


After digging through the internet for a week my ‘Right’ brain has painted a picture about origin , evolution and future of Comics in the human history.Below is a part of the image in my “Right” brain.I am sure people don’t read but JUST SCAN my lengthy blogs , but do READ THE PICTURE in detail even though they are meant to be just seen.Here is the history of comics in brief

History of Comics

What is so special about the Comics Format

Very Obviously , it is an amazing combination of picture and text , both complimenting each other very well.Picture can only suggest whereas Text has the disadvantage of explaining even the surroundings.In Comics format Picture takes care of the environment and the character descriptions and text can concentrate only of conversations.It becomes easy for the story-teller to balance the load equally on Text and Picture.


A good analogy would be of a Catmaran boat , which easily shares the enormous loads on both the hulls unlike the normal conventional ships which have only one Hull.In case of Comics , huge amount of information can be transferred within few pages with the load of description being equally balanced on TEXT and VISUALS.


According to this HumbleComics.com “Film and Animation,

Film and Animation , in contrast to comics , are visual but “time-bound.”Language and Action in film and animation are “fleeting”.The medium rather than the audience,dictates how quickly the viewing progresses.The same is true of a traditional face-to-face lecture;the speaker has primary control over the speed of the lecture.The text medium, on the other hand,shares comics’ “Permanent” component but not it’s “Visual permanence”,then is unique to comics.

Due to Comic’s unique persistent nature , it can be used as a tool for motivating the dull students.Studies have shown that introducing comic books have tremendously increased the understanding of the subject among the students.


HumbleComics.com goes on to support comics as a good tool for motivating the students and actually connecting with a child’s world.

American children are steeped in popular culture. While some educators simply ignore this reality, many others struggle to address it adequately. Timothy Morrison, Gregory Bryan, and George Chilcoat (2002) suggest that, by incorporating popular culture into the curriculum, teachers can bridge the separation many students feel between their lives in and out of school. Hutchinson (1949) agrees, stating that “there should be harmony between the child’s on-going life activities and his experiences in the school – new learning always is a continuation or expansion of learning already possessed by the learner” (p. 236). In addition, the inclusion of popular media promotes media literacy. It encourages students to “become critical consumers of media messages, having developed the ability through exposure to accurately appraise media content or quality and accuracy” (Morrison, Bryan, & Chilcoat, 2002, p. 758).

Teachers have found that comics motivate students in active participation than discussions about classic novels.Even classic novels can be made to read by the small kids by partially including the Visual Elements into books like Illustrated classics of Moby books.I remember myself addicted to books at the age of ten when I started reading Black Beauty.Since then I devoured many of the Moby’s Illustrated classics.

Time Machine - My all time favOne side text - one side image

My All time favourite Time Machine by H.G.Wells(Left) , An example of One sided illustrations (Right)

Even at the age of 15 , after devouring so many illustrated classics , when I started reading “Invisible Man” by H.G.Wells ( Without any pictures) , I never reached the last page of the book. My mind liked pictures and pictures helped me read the text.

Learning made too Easy

For some reasons human history has been very cruel to this form of communication and has never given a place in the Literature.Comics are still viewed as a sleazy books filled with violence and deep cleavaged blondes.Hardly educationist realise that comics can make learning TOO EASY.

One example from my nostalgic childhood days include the Tinkle Comics.Unlike the Nagraj and Super Commando Dhruva comics which were cheap remakes of the American Super-Hero comics, Tinkle had it’s soul within Indian culture and folklore.It had amazing characters in funny short stories that had both moral and fun.The characters include Suppandi,Shikari Shambu,Kalia the Crow,Tantri the Mantri,Kapish and many others.Apart from funny stories it also had science demonstrations and documentaries in the form of continued images.Some of them include:

  • Tinkle Tells you why
  • Anu Club
  • Meet the ***  (Documentaries that showed Indian , World , Nature history in amazingly lucid format)
  • Tinkle

    Anu ClubShikari ShambuTantriSuppandiKalia the Crow

I even remember keeping a scrapbook in which I used to cut and paste these science documentaries.This picture shows the remains of the scrapbook.

Problems Challenges in Keeping this amazing form of communication alive

With the advent of computer games Comics have definitely faced a near extinction until WebComics came as a ray of Hope.Some of the WebComic sites in the Web 2.0 era are :

But WebComics also have a set of problems.

All the Webcomic sites whichever is available now are using the same JPEG, GIF or any other valid image formats.Some sites like comiqs.com use Flash formats,due to which I am not able to view the site from my office network.

What is required is a generic format to represent Comic Strips , so that it is easier for the various sites and browsers to consider Comics Strips as DATA rather than BULKY IMAGES.

The recent development on WebComics is going in developing a COMIC BOOK MARK-UP LANGUAGE ( An XML based Comic Strip) . Also read this amazing article on CBML.If you are on INDIA domain also visit this link.

CBML will be the key for a new era in the Comic Art , and gain it’s rightful place in Literature.

Above blog was my interpretation about the History of Comics till now and the next phase of Comics in the History of Mankind.If you feel it to be eccentric enough or agree with my point please drop your valuable comments.Remember each comment counts in the process of changing the world for better.

Pinastro 1.9-A Stone Age man in the Web 2.0 world

Frankly speaking , this is what I am feeling like at the moment now , A man from Stone Age era , after getting released from my ex-project that was literally in the stone ages in terms of tools usage even the communication and collaborative tools were like Neanderthal’s “Hoo Hoo , Ha Ha “.Everything was in terms of word documents and spreadsheets.I am sick of spreadsheets that too in an Agile project.The ‘tasks’ allocated to my team were in a spreadsheet and never could be easily understood. It always took nearly half a day to read the spreadsheets and another two hours at the end of day to discuss the doubts on phone (with my boss at onshore).Gosh !!! then why did he create a spreadsheet if we could discuss it over phone.

Of course , I used to share my knowledge through e-mail (LOTUS NOTES) every week to everyone in the project, about what I discovered in the proprietary tool my project used to boost about.But the problem the probability of reading an “Information” mail is 1 in 100 , and the maximum people in my project was just 80.Nearly 30 mailboxes will always bounce back saying “The receiver’s mail box was full” and 40 of them will never read such mails and only 10 of them who read the mail were Testers who never used the tool. What was required was a Project level “Wiki” (a self correcting, self growing KM platform).We did had a KM platform but it always stinked due to the a huge repository of “Write-Only” and “Unusable” documents.

Why mails never work

Why Mails never work ??

I even went on an ambitious plan to eliminate spreadsheets forever but was held back by the project bureaucracy and politics.I had another plan to correct the flaws in appraisal system , not because I have got low ratings in early part of my career but due to my I belief in the possibility of an Utopian era.I must agree though that the steps I took for changing the work place was very crude and primitive.I myself needed to learn a lot which I am doing now.

This blog is definitely not mutterings of a frustrated IT guy like my previous blogs this , this and this one.This blog is about my conquest of AJAX. In fact, it’s a sequel to one of my favorite blogs

So Dumb of me

For the last few days , I have been single mindedly trying to catch the AJAX snitch.The reason I am calling myself as dumb is because this site has made me realise that I have actually caught AJAX nearly a week ago and have implemented some ten small programs with AJAX TECHNIQUE (to be precise) but never realised it.

Yeah ! AJAX is a TECHNIQUE not a Technology.

Done or Still More ??

Unlike it happens in the Quidditch, that Game is over once the Seeker catches the Snitch , the Web 2.0 actually begins after the conquest of AJAX snitch.Javascript is definitely fun but it is very tedious to develop big projects based on AJAX , Javascript , DOM alone.We need frameworks which make Javascripts so easy.Yes I need to learn frameworks now.JQuery ( a lightweight Javascript library) also makes life easier.Again my analogy of AJAX with Quidditch is very amateur.

Technology is about plumbing work and the Customers don’t really care about plumbers

Whenever my colleagues in my last project tell me that “Mainframes is cool yaar.You get billed higher in Mainframes than any other technology guy”.I say “CRAP”.These are some TABOOS in which techy guys live with.The customer wants solutions , and Simple Solutions , not the Complexity which every Development project Programmer aspires to work in.

And Yes !!! I have successfully achieved the target of mission Pinastro 1.9 🙂

though it shouldn’t have taken such a long time (two weeks)