Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Interview with the SORCERER | Indian Blogger Award Winner | Hardware BBQ In news

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your blog, and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
Just another guy born and brought up from Bandra West- plain and simple. I am not much of a guy with aspirations, but PC Gaming is more or less like my hobby. I prefer to be known and called as The Sorcerer. 

2. How you first got involved in with blogging, are you an imaginative person?
No, I am not an imaginative person at all!

How did I get into blogging? aah, where should I start?
Credits to a lot of people encouraging me into reviewing. The list is too long, but special mention: Harshal Tank and Saptarshi Ghosh. Also,Brendon Fernandes and Moksh Mridul who spent a lot of their time in also reviewing hardware as much as possible. Also, 'Sir' Shatul Durlabjhi aka Toolius who runs a company called Comp Kraft. If I don't have the resources or stuck with something I couldn't proceed unless I have the right tools, he's the best!

I got involved with blogging not by choice. I used to contribute reviews for Indian Tech forums such as Techenclave, Think Digit, Chip (forum now de-activated) and Tech2 (before the database was flushed down no thanks to the admins), but then an Indian tech site called TechArena ripped my content.
I managed to force them to take down 3 motherboard reviews that they've copied from me while I have to put up with the moderator's 'mightier than thou' attitude. Fearing that my content would be an easy target for plagiarism, I started a Blogspot site and got the domain 'Hardware BBQ' 2 days later. Then I started using the name/logo 'Hardware BBQ' as a watermark but use free hosting sites to upload my pictures so that admins and mods won't troll me out saying that I am leeching traffic. I guess you could say that I used to post about 2-4 reviews in an average in 3-4 forums. Hardware BBQ was initially made to be nothing more than an archive for my reviews to be in one place, and initially the website was set not to be indexed in search engines as well.
But then, eventually 4 became 2 and then it stopped because I was being bullied/trolled by some people who owned/moderated the sites. Suffice to say all hell broke loose because it seemed that 'I was making a brand name out of their forum's expense' or whatever. One of the senior moderators of one of the forums also said that my contribution to their forum was bad for their SEO, while its sad because people who contributed reviews in that same forum also post the same work in other forums. It was no different from what a well known multi-forum contributor 'Windwithme' does, except the difference is that my maximum limit is 4, whereas withwithme's limit is A LOT of forums.
One of the Chip Magazine employees who is also an admin of the forum (I was a moderator in that forum) basically said 'indirectly' that I am biased towards a Tier 1 motherboard manufacturing company called 'Gigabyte'. Arguments started in the staff section, one of my former best friend supported what he said and I gave up my moderator rights in the forum, got banned temporarily, eventually got the idea and left.
Tech2 was more or less a dead forum that I tried to contribute, but then Tech2 and Chip forums were going to be merged (they're owned by the same company) but then all hell breaks loose, so they flushed down all the threads, content- except the member base. It's practically a ghost town now.
I was trolled out of Techenclave forum. It's was the toughest because this is where I started from, one of the 2 forums which made me feel appreciated and I wouldn't have thought of running a PC component review. Long story made short, this is what happened. But I am happy that some people defended me.
2 more forums trolled me as well and tried to damage my credibility so that I can get stop getting review samples, but nothing worthy to say.
But my standing with ThinkDigit forums is still very healthy and strong (touchwood), mostly because of the community moderators and admin. That's the only forum where I advice people from time to time, but after series of trolling and plagiarism attempts, I was discouraged to contribute towards tech forums. Hardware BBQ was made to be indexed by search engines, eventually shifted to shared hosting+ Wordpress CMS+ a premium theme and so far I haven't looked back.
Somewhat ironic: A guy who hates most of the content put up by Indian tech bloggers actually has a tech blog :P. But now that I think about, with the exception of people who followed by work in the forums and a lot of people in ThinkDigit forums, having your own platform has its usefulness.

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
#1 issue which resolves other issues? Balancing resources. Note: I used the word 'balance' and not 'lack'.
When it comes to PC Reviewing, Indian tech media is not known to have proper and real world testing method which people can relate the benchmarks with the activities that they do on the system. I read a lot of International review sites like Anandtech, Toms' Hardware, Hardware Secrets, TweakTown, X-bit labs, RW Labs, so you get the vibe and understand in a way how they try to relate their testing method with their readers.
I also used to read a lot of International tech forums, try to understand and have testing method accordingly. It was very difficult initially because of the lack of resources and support. One thing lead to another, and so far pretty ok. You need money for testing method as well. Some benchmark software cost good money, and if you don't get hardware support from a neutral source, you end up spending money for it. Balance is important, because the lack of resources is something everyone faces.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
The list became HUGE ever since Computex 2012 trip which I won in a contest from TweakTown. Too many names. But it ranges from reviewers, site owners, extreme overclockers, reporters, PR and marketing managers, heads, even engineers too. I met Anand Shimpi of Anandtech for the second time- and THE FIRST TIME on the Computex floor!

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
I just go with the flow. Few people say that I am decent, some people say I am better than a lot of reviews from Indian sources, but a PR agency which handles 2 Tier 1 brand names in PC components and accessories describes my reviews as 'brand bashing' and 'mischief monger' only when the review didn't really favour them because the cons I highlight in their product which wasn't really good compared to the alternates mentioned in the reviews didn't 'make them look good'.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I either sleep, go down and do stuff. Most of the time I am testing and preparing content, so my day starts at 8-11 in the morning and a nap time in the evening, then from 8 o clock in the night to 3-5 in the morning.

7. Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
If all things go well, I plan to shift to VPS hosting by December and along with Wordpress CMS+ new theme and review rating system, I would be starting a forum as well, only this time I will be calling the shots and use my horrible experience in Indian tech forums to make sure Hardware BBQ doesn't end up like the rest.

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
Mostly, online on Facebook. But I try to go to relevant press conferences and launches, end user meets, very handful of meetings, etc.

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
PC component reviewing is not as easy as it looks, mostly because its important to relate your reviews and testing methodology with the activity a particular type of end user (general user, gamer, Hardware fan or enthusiast, etc.) does with his system and make a review keeping limited resources at hand.

10. Whats your strategy with your blog in general?
No strategy. I just do what I feel is right. One thing leads to another.

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
Not really, but I can give some tips to forum contributors and those who start a blog with the purpose of having a review site.
If you are going to review any tech component- or maybe even mobiles and tablets, nothing is more important than testing methodology and ensuring that an end user can relate with it. It's going to be extremely difficult since there will be stuff that are either good or bad- and some company's intentions who prefer to have their brand 'look good' over collecting feedbacks and improving their product. Reviewers are not PR tools. Its true that like many reviewers, columnists need to be in contact with companies, but also note that if you are preparing a content to satisfy a brand, someone's hard earned money will be wasted. You lose credibility, you lose traffic, you lose loyal readers and gain haters, eventually you'll end up shutting down, being clueless why did this ever happen!
You may come in a situation where you'll be forced to shut down or stop thinking of having a review site, but you rather shut down a site due to lack of interest from brands/sites and readers rather than shutting down because of the series of events which started ever since you've compromised yourself. In this line of work, frauds eventually get trolled or discouraged when caught. If you cannot do it, don't do it. It's easy to become excited and do it because you're getting things you normally wouldn't get in your hands and compare them, but that usually dies and you end up being very objective. Don't be a sellout. Don't be a proxy salesman. Don't be a walking talking billboard.
It takes a lot of time. Hardware BBQ may have started in 2010, but I've been in tech forums for a VERY long time. Being in a country like India has one advantage that there are not a lot of proper review sites so you have a leverage as long as you have ROI and loyal readerbase/'rep'.

......and contrary to the popular belief, reviewers don't get to keep the media samples. At times you get to keep some stuff, but you end up using it as your test bench to review other stuff. But if you get to keep some stuff, it's best if you work on something and not just keep it around. I am saying this because I get a lot of people asking this, so I am setting the record straight.
Example? Like, if you get a solid state drive and at times when companies release a new firmware, it's best if you benchmark it and update your graph database so that people will know that the performance values are updated regularly. Same goes for graphic cards. Also at times do memory compatibility checks. Like if you get a memory kit and you also have a series of motherboards, it's not going to take a lot of time to see if a memory kit works on a particular motherboard. You can always share this incompatibility/bug report to the respected companies. They'll use it to release a new bios or work on it, or at least let people know of certain incompatibility issue for whatever reason.
What are you getting out of it? Well, one of the things maybe companies will know that you are doing is at the end of the day is beneficial for them. You gain credibility, maybe even end up meeting people who engineer such stuff- and maybe even exclusives. Anything can happen. If you're honest, hardworking, stay updated and quick on your feet, things can happen. You cannot be ignored for a lot more than ROI or whatever. You just need to sacrifice a lot of time, patience, resisting from become arrogant and develop a 'mightier than thou' attitude.
And contrary to the popular beliefs, reviewers do not and should not charge money per product review. I've seen a lot of tech bloggers in India even mentioning this in their blog. Seriously? It's just a way of saying 'I am selling away my loyal reader base and kissing your shaft for $50-$500 per product review'.
You get stuff to review on behalf of your readers and even gain a lot of traffic. In exchange, depending on how you do things, they get exposure, feedback to improve the cons, appreciation if the product is genuinely good, get to understand users, especially when they read comments. It's a cycle, respect it and maintain it. Your primary source of income? Advertisements and maybe referral codes to Amazon. But it's you who will have to make sure that things come together the way they should.  
Also, I think it's best if tech bloggers who do 'reviews' which are nothing more than writing technical specifications in a paragraph format should stop doing that. You're making it worse for yourself and destroying your credibility- or whatever is left of it.
Yeah, what I am saying is probably opposite from those bloggers who post content about 'how to earn money from doing reviews?'.

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
Mostly content in my opinion, followed by average time on site, pages turned by a user in an average and bounce rate.

13. What's the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
Honesty- and a disclaimer if you're saying it as your personal opinion. I guess a giveaway every now and then could be fun! :P. Give whatever you want, except cakes!

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
Best way to earn money is to keep the purpose of earning money as secondary, at least in my opinion for this type of work. A lot of successful bloggers who earn probably started by starting websites with no real intention to earn. Knowledge and Reader base is power. Credibility is a shield and a double edged sword.

15. What motivates you most in life?
Haters, morons, newbie who claim to know 'everything' and flash their degrees online, 'tech' bloggers who don't know what they're saying but get appreciated by people is one list, and another list is people like Anand Shimpi. I know I can't be him and it will take a lot of effort of my side to be as good as many international review sites.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Be upfront and honest, but make sure you know what you're saying. If you make a mistake, don't hesitate to admit it. If you don't know about something, be honest. People will appreciate you for that.

17 What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
Answered in point #3.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
I didn't give a lot of thought about that to be honest.

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
Reviewers like Anand Shimpi. The dude started from Geocities ever since 15 years of age and now he's one of THE most credible names in this line of work, even expertise matching or even surpassing technical knowledge that inhouse engineers of even tier 1 manufacturers posses, but makes it easier enough for people to understand as long as they spend time in reading. I remember one senior manager I bump into, we were talking about him, and he told me that 'I remember when he was 15, and he flew from his hometown to another city with his mom for a company meeting'. Yes- FROM THAT LEVEL!!
You can be all technical and throw technical jargons, but as a reviewer if you can't make it easy enough for a lot of people to understand as much as possible, then you need to work a lot in how to make presentations. He started off by assembling systems for free with the condition that he gets to work with it so that he can review and post content, to which at most count didn't seem to mind.

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?
Well, everyone started a tech blog with the prefix 'tech', and it was annoying. It was either this or another name I can't remember, but pretty sure it had a prefix 'tech'.

21. Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indi blogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?
Indiblogger, but I left in the middle, deleting my old profile. I came back for the award. But in all honesty they really need to change the layout of the site.

22. Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
Its more on the writer than the genre. I can't speak about other genres because I don't know about that...

23. Which one plug-in would you suggest all bloggers to have?
eh... I don't know. Maybe one of those SEO plugins? I don't know about all that.

24. Five adjectives that describe you.
I'll get back to you on that one.

25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you? not much of a reader, despite the fact that I am in a family that owns a book store.

26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
If it doesn't make sense and its more of a hate/senseless garbage, yeah. I'll not delete it unless its spam or pulling others in a fight, but probably give a piece of my mind.

27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
Nope. But I would like to do something where I can have review/product overview/initial impression of certain PC Hardware components on YouTube.

28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
I try to be neutral.

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us 
everything about it?
Nah, not many. Certain types of end users, friends from forums, power users, very few journalists, reviewers, people like that.

30. What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
I don't read a lot of other blogs. Maybe few posts, but that's it. I hate those type of bloggers who provoke a particular group of people to gain reader base. They should stop blogging and probably get a proper day job.

31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
Contests are more of a tradeoff or exchange- you do something for something and in exchange you get something- exposure or buzz. If you're a writer who don't get to write a lot, you get something to write on and in exchange they get exposure or buzz. Ethics or morality behind it is in your hands. How you balance it, is more of an art or a skill. I don't have that. I've participated in one and felt guilty about it, so I've deleted that and decided not to participate in any contests unless its neutral, like ThinkDigit's contest where they've given NAS devices to people for review and they can keep, and the ones who they feel did the best gets an upgraded version. I got 3rd prize, but on the bright side, I got a NAS storage drive and 1TB drive, so it's not bad.
About plagiarism:
The only plagiarism you can stop are the ones who dumb enough to copy your content and think they can get away with it- and unfortunately most of them are real humans and not some crude aggregating bot programs, including the image hotlink. Then there are those who crop your watermark from the image- and who use their own watermarks on your image.

The slightly more clever ones change sentence construction and certain words. 
Rest are the ones who use auto blogging software which I think aggregates content from multiple sources and makes a content.
The worst ones are those who rip genuine online content and publish it in magazines and newspapers. Some editors don't check- either they're too lazy, trust a journalist/writer or the fact that they can't check each and everything and have to rely on the writers' honesty- I guess something that happens with newspaper? It's even worse and practically impossible if its written in a different language.
What I am saying is: Like piracy, you can only fight plagiarism on a surface level with certain occasional 'cracks' to the core/level of plagiarism.
Some of the mechanism to prevent plagiarism I guess helps with certain type of plagiarists with limited knowledge, and even maybe auto blogging softwares (there's a similar software for generating content in discussion boards/forums). Rest of it depends if you or others happen to read it. I am not saying to let it go. What I am saying is, keeping aside the types where you can confront them and force them to take down the stolen content or report to the hosting company, Google or file a DMCA takedown, you will not be able to a lot of things.
The way I see things, having your content being as visible to the relevant reader base as much as possible has its usefulness, and one of them is that if a clever and aware reader catches someone, he can either point it out- or let you know about it. If you have an original content, you either make sure a lot of people who have interest in your genre of writing be aware that it's your content. If you can't, write it in a book and keep it with you till the time you could publish it provided that you get the credits and the loyalty from it.
If your content is based on opinions/facts put up in other websites, there's no harm in mentioning those sources and even backlinking it. Even the most tier 1 websites/writers give credits to fellow writers. Contrary to the myth, it makes you look good because in a way it shows that you are doing active research! ;-). Being honesty is the best. Being dishonest is more of a drag and works with limited scenario in life, writing isn't really one of them. You need to make a back-story, and a back up back story and have an alibi and you eventually get caught.

32. Words for me and my blog.!

33. On winning the Award/s?
About time The Sorcerer won something :P. Amit Aggarwal doesn't even include me in his Indian bloggers directory, LOL! :p  

Rahul Miglani : well the Interview was fantastic ,and yes the interviews are always unedited and will always stay live forever on the blog , For sorcerer : He is a guy we all look upto for suggestions.Period.This is one of the most comprehensive interviews I have ever read and he is the one I admire.

PS : Blogger Interviews is GLAD to have you here .

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Still Baffled by the LIOR SUCHARD SHOW | Kingdom of Dreams

Image Courtesy :
No Copyright Infringement meant 
As soon as Kingdom of Dreams, India's 1st Enjoyment and Entertainment vacation spot Invited me for the unbelievable display of Mentalist  Lior Suchard show titled "Limitless Again" I was elated to say the least. I've known him and saw some news about him on TV although to see him live was the opportunity  i was surely not going to miss.Yes I finished up my meetings and went straight to see him defying the traffic situation at gurgaon.As soon as the show started I knew that he was undoubtedly a superstar a celebrity.In his very own words he calls it as supernatural entertainment.

In one of his acts he asked someone to take a dice and choose one number and for 4 consecutive times he guessed the right number without any help from anyone but just from the power of his mind.This act made the audience open their mouth in surprise But what followed in the few minutes was exceptionally supernatural. 

He gave an envelope to one of the audience member in the starting of the show and at the end of the show he asked a random audience member to come up on stage and choose one newspaper out of 13-14 , and then zeroed on a word from 1 newspaper from its one sheet from its one section.Well this would have decreased the probability of guessing the correct word to infinite but to the audience "AWE" it was the same word written in the envelope he gave in the beginning.

At one point in time , Suchard fills the 16 squares with some amounts , when he apparently hasn't guessed an original number one of the participant thought But surprise surprise , the sum of each row was actually 60 - the original number the participant thought and it did not stop there the sum of numbers came out to be 60 if the series of numbers were summed up in any direction , diagonal , horizontal or vertical.I Have no idea of just how he made it happen in just 8 and a half seconds. 

In another trick of his , A couple arrives to the stage and once the first is blindfolded plus the additional tickled, the actual blindfolded one thinks this is happening to her.Now this definitely baffled me.

Along with Suchard's climax is often a variant on what many people call up "the prediction board, " done around the world for many years. Arbitrary market members add components of details --like the mic was rolled in the crowd and people were asked to take random names or conditions , or the amount of money the actual actor names and suddenly Suchard produces some sort of mail made up of all of the facts from a well-stapled, formerly inaccessible envelope.I was baffled again that how come he would write a letter of the words said by random people in random manner in advance..

I have had seen these types of shows on TV a lot but when I saw it with my naked eyes sitting in the front few rows , I was stunned to the core.Some of his tricks were definitely astonishing and worth watching.The 90 minutes I spent there stayed in my mind for the longest time , I actually am still thinking on how did he managed to do all this. 
Image Courtesy : 
No Copyright Infringement meant 

Last but not the least I would love to say this , If you have not seen it , you have not seen anything.Thank you Kingdom of Dreams for the opportunity and thanks Arvind ji and Kushan ji for arranging the same.

Events/Media/Press Releases

Coming Soon !!!!!!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Interview with Another Part of Me

1.  Can you tell us a little about yourself? your blog , and your aspirations and your hobbies !!
I am just an ordinary 23-year-old with a hobby of writing. I like to call myself a book-worm. I love all kinds of literature. I love writing poems and expressing the diverse emotions that is buried in my heart. My blog, Another Part of Me, is a medium to detangle the kink of emotion inside me. Like everyone, I want to earn fame, respect and that with utmost individuality.
My other blog, Cherry On Top, that is a beauty/fashion blog is very new to the blogosphere. I have created it out of my enthusiasm for style and prettiness.

2. How you first got involved in with blogging, are you an imaginative person?
I have been writing from the age of 9-10. But, two years back, I randomly came across a poetry blog, and I like it so much. Then I thought that I can start my own blog too. I was inspired, so I am here.
I am an exceedingly imaginative person. I live by imaginations. I can dream with my eyes opened. And, the poems I have written so far are the result of my imaginativeness.

3.  What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
Sometimes, it’s not easy to maintain your originality, choosing a unique theme, improvising and most importantly playing with words. Some poems require a limited syllable count along with creativity; that can be very difficult if you don’t have a prominent idea of verses.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
I consider myself lucky because I never had to think about viewers/readers/followers. The time I started posting poems on my blog, there were several people who loved my blog and the contents. Some found my blog cute, so they started following me. But, the answer will be incomplete if I don’t take a name, that is Amrit Sinha (Author, Live Your Life blog). He has been there beside me throughout like a brother and inspired me a lot. I owe to him a lot of things. There are a lot of people who love me and my blog. But sometimes I faced criticisms, and believe me; it helped me a lot to refurbish my works.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
My blogging style could be described as jottings of heart-felt emotions.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
When I am not blogging, I am definitely reading other’s blogs or spending quality time with family.

7. Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
In next 6 months, I would try to write with more urge and regularity and would make sure that I overcome all negativities and provide my readers with some surprises.
And, 5 years down the lane I look forward to see my name amongst some reputed   bloggers and I also would love to publish my own books.

8.  What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
Actually, I never needed any networking. As I told earlier, I am blessed with an awesome bunch of readers who have followed me and loved my posts throughout. I have a Facebook Page for my main blog that I keep updating with pictures, thoughts and links to my blog posts. That helps me to communicate with my readers and also it helps them to keep a track of my latest activity on blog. 

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.

      Honestly, I still face writer’s block a lot of times. And, when I get confused I write a poem. It helps me to get back my buoyancy. Also, I have a tendency to get influenced by pictures. So, if I see an interesting picture over the internet or else, I keep weaving a story for it. That’s how I keep inventing ideas for my log posts.

10.  What’s your strategy with your blog in general?
Actually nothing, I think blogging is not about strategies and so. The main policy is to write and write more and give your best without hoping for the result. Regularity, quality posts, lucidity and communicating with readers by replying to their comments are the basic things that you can keep in mind while blogging.

11.  Any specific tips you have for newbee bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
Just be what you are. Don’t lose your originality in order to get more viewers and readers. People want to read posts written with utmost originality. Read books, the more you read, the more you get the power of improvising.

12.  What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
Content is the key. If you have intense contents, you can get more readers and a decent traffic. I never gave attention to SEO, I think I have to learn more about it.

13.  What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
In my opinion, a blogger succeeds when their reader can relate to them with the story/poem posted. A good read is the most important thing that can be gifted to the readers. Regular readers can be awarded with badges. 

14.  A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
I don’t think I can answer this as I have never blogged for earning money. Posting ads is okay but I don’t get the idea of paid posts or earning money by blogging. When it comes to me, I only write for myself and those who love my posts or criticize for my betterment.

15.  What motivates you most in life?
It’s too hard to answer. My family and my love motivate me all the time. Sometimes I keep motivating me by myself. Sometimes influential articles or blog posts inspire me to write my heart out. So, there are many things that I get inspired from.

16.  What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
Linking my blog to some bloggers’ community and continuously following other blogs.

17.  What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
The toughest situation I faced was when I was changing the template of my blog. I am too terrible with HTML coding. I had faced several problems with that.

18.  Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

That’s a tough question. It’s like choosing your favorite child, anyways, I am putting here the post that has intensely touched my heart and the one which never touched my heart.
Favorite Post: There are two actually, &

19.  Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
There are many, but these are my favorites.
Amrit Sinha- A great poet, a haiku-master and has a great sense of literature.
Privy Trifles- She has got an amazing narrating style and a unique writing style.
Swarnali Das- She is a multi-talented girl. She writes almost about everything.
Abhishek Mukherjee- He is also very skilled author. He has an amazing power of writing humorous post which is according to me a very tough job to do.
Panchali Sengupta– She is amazing with words, veteran and very inspirational.

20.  What is the story behind the name of the blog?
Writing is something that is hidden inside me; it’s not the regular side which people generally see in me. So, I wanted to name the blog as “Another Part of Me”. The name is self-explanatory.
My other blog (beauty/fashion) is named “Cherry On Top” as a cherry always beautifies a dessert, so does my blog, it beautifies a person.

21.  Your connection with any Blogger Network like Indiblogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?
I am very regular at Indiblogger. It has been a great experience there. I got to know some people. I won a contest, become runner-up in one and lost one also. Recently, I entered a contest in IndiBlogger and got to know about a veiled part of India and got to write for the underprivileged. That was an honor for me.

22.  Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?
I think people do not get a satisfying view on a micro fictions and book reviews. I don’t know why, I think it’s because of people don’t feel like grasping the implication of a five line or 55 words micro story. Book reviews also don’t grab attention compared to the other genres.

23.  Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?
The sharing widget is the must-have. One can also grab the recommended posts widget.

24.  Five adjectives that describe you.
Creative, imaginative, lazy, moody and caring.

25.  What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
It’s not just one book, but all the novels by Buddhadeb Guha, a Bengali author. I have learnt a LOT about life from him. He is too good in bringing life into a fictitious story.

26.  Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Never in my life. Honestly, I never got a disturbing comment ever since I started blogging. But I face some criticisms, which I think are very important to improve yourself. So, I absorb positive comments, and use negative comments as a charger.

27.  Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
Certainly. It will be a dream comes true for me. But, only then when I think that I am enriched. There’s lots of ways to be walked till that time.

28.  Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
I am not a judgmental person at all. If something really bothers me I try to take the side of what is right according to me.

29.  Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it.
I have never collaborated with any fellow blogger, but surely I am interested in doing guest posts in near future. I am into FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and I am very regular at FB.

30.  What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?
I mainly prefer to write in verse form than in prose as I am facile in writing poems. I deliberately avoid writing stories or short-stories.

31.  Your views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
I love participating in contests, I can learn a lot from that. Contests based on creativity are a boon for a blogger. One can prove their individuality and evaluate their skills by participating in a quality contest.

Plagiarism is awful. I have pity for them who just copy-paste other’s posts just to make their blog popular. This is of no gain. Plagiarism should be stopped somehow.

32.  Words for me and my blog?
I hardly know you, so it wouldn’t be right to comment on you. I have been reading your posts for some days now, and I must say that you have two nice blogs and the job you’re doing is awesome in its own. Keep it up.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Interview with Arvind Passey

Interview with Arvind Passey
By : Rahul Miglani , With Arvind Passey
17 August 2013

1.   Can you tell us a little about yourself, your blog, your aspirations and your hobbies?

My journey into a professional life began with hours of front-rolling on dew-drops in the January chill of Dehradun… but my conditioning of the body and mind did begin at the Indian Military Academy there. Subsequently, I was with a multinational pharma company selling some of the most coveted molecules until I decided to get into corporate communications. A few years of negotiating with the media and visualising ad-campaigns, I stepped out of it all and now have a weekly column in a newspaper, do lots of blogging, and am trying to gather enough courage to write my first novel.

Interest me.
Words and humans
Interest me.
Words, humans, and events
Interest me.
I prefer my words
Piercing targets.
I relish applause.

2.   How did you first get involved with blogging? Are you an imaginative person?

If I say: ‘Blogging just happened’… I will be both correct and incorrect. Yes, it did just happen because I did not enter this world by design. But I was searching for something that will help me find my writing idiom for me. Over the past few months, the aim has been to discover and polish my writing style before I actually go on to write my first novel.

We’re all full of a wonderful imagination. Don’t you see a clerk using his imagination to avoid work? Or a maid pulling out excuses to give for her absence from work? Or a student letting his imagination run amuck when caught skipping classes? We just need to channelize this force of imagination in the right direction, that is, towards a creative pursuit.

3.   What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?

Every topic is challenging. In fact, I try to search and pick up topics that are totally bizarre or subjects that I have had no exposure to. This makes me work hard to research them before writing and this is what develops the inquisitive writer inside me.

So I tend to write political satire and then switch over to reviewing a book only to hop over to writing a poem… and so on. I am all in favour of exploring diverse topics – so I do write about my travel experiences, on finance, on self-improvement, on education, and then there are poems and short-stories meandering with tech reviews and reviews of art forms as well.

4.   Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?

I prefer meeting myself when I am thinking about a topic. My posts generally feature my wife ‘Specky’ and all the animated discussions I have with her. This is, to a large extent, correct. We do discuss things at home and these sessions become the primary source of inspiration for a lot of my blog posts.

Other people that I meet are all when I float with them in the virtual space. Twitter and Facebook are kingdoms where such interactions happen… and sometimes do lead to vital conclusions that I am searching for.

5.   How would (someone) describe your blogging style?

It is up to others to describe my blogging style… and I don’t really know what others have to say. Most of them have mentioned a lot of good things about my blog… well, people are quite reluctant to point out flaws. But then, it could also be because I remain engrossed in letting my opinion of other blogs be known. Which means I probably don’t let others the space or time to talk about my blog.

I think I will look into this aspect a bit more closely later. Right now I am too busy answering your questions.

6.   What do you do when you are not working on your blog?

I am thinking about my blogs when I’m not writing them.

7.   Where do you see yourself blogging wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

Blogging happened because technology gravitated towards it. I will walk with technological innovations, as they happen. So if blogging survives… it does so for me too. There will be other forms of writing emerging... I wouldn’t know, when.

8.   What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?

I don’t believe in networking in a clinical & cold-blooded professional way. Networking for me is simply making lots of friends wherever and whenever possible. I am not afraid of strangers nor do I stay away from them. I hardly ever say ‘no’ to a friend-request on any of the social media platforms that I am active on. However, I DO NOT network for profit. I don’t ask anyone to do me a favour by going out of the way for me. I wouldn’t ever want to bulldoze my posts into someone else’s life.

9.   How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.

Why must anyone struggle to find topics? Just turn your head, look around, and you’ll see them everywhere. Open a newspaper and they’re there. Talk to people and you’ll find topics jumping up and down desperately to attract your attention. Switch on the TV, and topics pour out uncontrollably.

It isn’t finding topics that is difficult… the difficult part is choosing the one to write about before the topic-oriented debate in your mind tumbles into the dustbin of forgetfulness.

10.                What’s your strategy with your blog in general?

My strategy is simple. Choose a topic… write… upload. There is no other secret strategy. Blogging is a very tactical issue… one needs to sit down and write which is more important than devising techniques. Of course, one can include any new format to make the writing hit harder… for instance, if you can include a video, go ahead, do it. I do it. Include audio clips. Include impromptu interviews. Include presentations.

11.                 Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?

Read what others write. Comment on them. Commenting means you will be forcing yourself to read with involvement. Obviously, a newbie needs to stop searching for topics or inspirations and start writing… more as well as longer posts. The final step is to start discovering your writing style.

All this happen when you rise above the temptation of trying to copy texts or writing styles.

12.               What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?

Content is vital. The other three come with time when you start appreciating others on the net. The secret is that you draw people towards you when you get drawn by them.

13.               What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?

Truth. Analysis that is free of bias. Even my book reviews don’t end up asking people to go and buy a book… I leave it to my readers to decide and form an opinion about whatever it is that I am writing about.

14.                A lot of people are interested in blogging for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
No idea. I don’t blog to earn. I blog because I have fallen in love with this form. I love words. I love expressions.

Yes, I agree that money may not matter to me but it may to a lot of people who are young. The way I look at it is that blogging that gets into the money-earning cycle loses the creative impulse. You end up following money leads. Blogging isn’t about money, despite the thousands of sales-articles on the net… despite the frantic calls by devious sales-persons trying to convince you to buy their book or CD or audio clip or video or workshop that will teach you how to make a million dollars a month. That is all crap. Blogging is simply a vehicle that helps you understand your writing skills and inclinations… unless you finally want to let your blogging be a stepping stone to becoming a publisher or a seller of some product or a politician wanting attention or someone who just wants people to come to his blog to click on some ad-link there.

15.               What motivates you most in life?

A reader’s comment on my post.

16.               What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?

I reach out and read what others write… comment on their posts… and slowly a lot of them tend to come to read what I write. Beside this, I do prefer a large gathering of friends on almost every social media platforms and this also helps. I am a part of groups where people share their posts… and this too helps.

But more than all this, what really helps me get visibility is what I write and how I write. I believe it is a writing style and content that brings in readers… and the best vehicle ever is the ‘word of mouth’ vehicle.

17.                What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?

I certainly wasn’t finding a topic to write on!
Creating the right multi-media accessory to go with a post used to be challenging until I began making videos on whatever I came across… the database helps me pick up something and upload it without having to hunt for the right inclusion.

18.                Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?

I love all my posts.

19.               Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?

They’re all good. But I wouldn’t want to be like any of them. I am happy being what I am.

20.              What is the story behind the name of the blog?

The name of my blog is the only uncreative thing that sticks to me. I wish I had decided to have a fancy name… but is surely not as adventurous as some of the names one comes across these days.

21.               Your connection with any Blogger Network Like Indiblogger or Writeupcafe or any other and the experience?

These connections help you find topics if you’re searching for one. They also have contests that keep the urge to surge alive… after all, a bit of competition does everyone a lot of good.

22.                Which genre do you feel gets the raw deal?

Every genre has its own following… and becomes known and sought after by a group of people interested in it.

23.                Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?

If your blog doesn’t ask people to come and comment, get it. If you are unable to reply to comments and responses, make sure you make the right tech tweaks to get it. Nothing else matters. Blogs should stay away from fancy attention diverters and the clutter of ads.

24.                Five adjectives that describe you.

Interactive. Interested. Interesting. Lazy. Deceptive.

25.                What book would you say has made the biggest impact – good or bad, on you?

I’ve read too many books to say that just one of them is the most impactful. But the book that I have most is ‘The old man & the sea’ by Ernest Hemingway.

26.                Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments?

Yes, at times I do get provoked… and get angry… and fight… hey, I’m not a saint or a mahatama.

27.                Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?

I don’t know about other bloggers, but I entered blogging to do some targeted writing. I aim to write from 3 to 5 thousand words a day and this is what any writer needs. I wish I start my first novel soon now…

28.                Are you a judgmental person? Do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?

Yes, I take sides at times. As a person I do have my flaws… but a sa blogger I try to remain detached and do things as they must be done.

29.               Your collaboration with other bloggers… are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?
Collaborations are too new for me. I have just begun to explore the blogging spaces that publishing houses, newspapers, TV channels, and others open up for people who are not on their pay-rolls. It is quite an exciting feature and, as I mentioned, I am still exploring it.

30.                What genre attracts you the most and which genre you avoid?

I avoid porn writing. I embrace the rest… and would love to write on almost everything else.

31.                Your views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?

Contests help you but losing them shouldn’t affect your writing morale. If it does, stop participating and detach yourself from them. A serious writer anyway, will need to distance himself from contests and awards because they do tend to drain your creative impulses a lot.

Plagiarism isn’t for any person who wants to stick to blogging or writing. And those who come to get a few pats and then fade away because they did not have a lasting interest in writing don’t matter. Why must I waste my time with such ephemeral plagiarising personalities?

32.                Words for me and my blog?

I was told not to be friendly to you as you have a tendency to get fresh with women bloggers. I said to myself: ‘Let me see it for myself. If this guy misbehaves, I know what to do.’ Fortunately, you survived.

You seem to be slowly working towards whatever you’re aiming for… and I can only wish you well. Your questions for this interview told me that you need to be more particular with your grammar and spellings. I’ve made corrections to a lot of the questions here. You need to hurry less… and be sure of what you want to write on or about.

Rahul Miglani : Frankly I am fan of only a few people , Saru , Animesh  and CS from Indi blogger circle and then I am silent fan of few, well  one of them is Arvind , well , for this interview I had to wait a lot , I have done around 50 interviews so far and found this one as one of my favourite , Well I survived as he said In the last question but one thing is for sure I still have a lot to learn , from guys like him. Yes a writer like me is always in a hurry to write , write my heart , and that hurry makes me commit spelling mistakes , as I am not a fan of the spell checker , But I wear a different cap when I turn out to be proof-reader for novelists , where they pay me to correct them I guess I have to learn , and I will. My motive for these interviews has been for the world to know the real person behind their famous blogs and I wish I have achieved that. This interview has been good, and It has been always great to know someone as talented as Arvind.Enjoy guys, Lot of Interviews coming up.