Wednesday, 31 August 2005

To our anonymous Bloglines subscribers

We see that 32 individuals have done us the honour of subscribing to our humble feed. However, only seven of them have done so publicly. We're wondering now, is it our breath? Are we an unfashionable URL to admit to reading? Do tell. You could mail and satisfy our curiosity. Or hit the comments section on this post.

May your blogrolls gather no moss

It's blog day today, chaps.

Dina posted about this ages ago, pointing to this Israeli blogger's page, where the meme started, and to a technorati tag you can use. Now, Harini sent a reminder around, and also points to a blog day wiki, which in turn points to a Guest Map you can register at.

What's all the hoopla about? Well, the numbers "3108," the date today (we're cheating and sticky-posting this a day in advance) if you use the right typeface, and squint at them out of the corner of your eye, look like the letters "BlOg." Unless you're American, of course, in which case today is OgBl day.

So Nir Ofir, the chap who started it, came up with this thought:
I believe that we bloggers have to have one day in the year which will be dedicated to know other bloggers, from other countries or areas of interests. I think, that not only that we need to know other bloggers; we need also to recommend about them to our Blog visitors.

When I’m trying to see the end in mind, in this is day every blogger will post a recommendation of 5 new blogs (in the same time). In this day all Blog web surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown blogs.
So, here are my recommendations for the day.

Go see (snowed with work, we are, so we're being extra irresponsible): Our entire bloglines feed list. :)

Monday, 29 August 2005

Hurricane Katrina

And http://www.katrinahelp.info is the URL for a wiki started by some members of the SEA-EAT team. The group has put together a page that aggregates several blog feeds, and a set of links to individual blogs.

Please email Rob, Rudi, Constantin, Angelo, Bala, Nancy and the others at katrinahelp.info@gmail.com or helpkatrina@gmail.com to volunteer to help with the wiki and news aggregation.

They are also on Google Talk, so you could add katrinahelp.info@gmail.com to your buddy list. And they are running a wiki conference room on yahoo; to join the discussions live, please send your yahoo id to katrinahelp@yahoo.ca.

Sunday, 28 August 2005

Super-BlogThis!

Ken Dyck has given the BlogThis! button a bit of makeover. His version - which he calls XBlogThis!" - lets you add on Technorati tags, blockquotes instead of the double quote marks, and an author name. Go here for details and to pull the button to your browser bar.

Workbuster

Want something you can sneak into your spreadsheet or whatever you're supposed to be using at work instead of reading this blog? Try Ghostzilla. It's
...a Web browser like Firefox, but it shows up and disappears instantly, discreetly, blended with your application -- any application -- so the Web pages look like part of it and not like the Web at all.

Blogads Logo Contest

Blogads is running a Logo Contest. They're offering a US$1000 prize to the winning desgner, and US$300 to the blogger whose post inspires the winner. So remember where you read this, hm? [Via Blogger Buzz]

Gosh

The Cloudburst Mumbai blog was on BoingBoing and we didn't notice.

The other Peter Griffin

For all you Family Guy fans, you're at the wrong blog. This is what you were searching for. Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, 27 August 2005

With hesitancy

One of my close buddies in college lost his mum rather early. Breast cancer. At that time, I remember reading that it was a disease Parsi women were more likely to contract than other women. Recently - Sunday, I think it was - I remember reading that a study suggested that lots of French Fries eaten in their youth gave women higher breast cancer risks. (Can't remember which paper, but Google news lists quite a few variations on the theme.)

Now, am I being weird and unscientific and generalising too much, or is it not a fact that Parsis eat a lot of sali, which admittedly aren't pre-processed, but still as close to French fries as you can get without visiting McD's?

Sunday, 21 August 2005

O tempora, o advertising

We spent ten years in the funny farms, and then we dropped out. Rahul of Green Channel puts in words something we haven't been able to. Why, one day, you wake up and realise it's a different business from the one you started in, all those years ago, starry-eyed and ambitious.
Advertising used to be fun. It was like a race to prove who was more imaginative, who had more brilliance, who'd be accepting a trophy at the awards functions during spring season. It was about provoking laughs and holding 50 million people's attention at the same time with your imagination playing out on screen. At the end of it they would all finally exhale or collapse in mirth after the killer punchline. And they'd never get tired of it. Years later people would recall the commercial and tell you how great it still was when they met you
Go read the whole thing.

Tell us your Cloudburst stories

[Cross-posted on Cloudburst Mumbai]

For the project I mentioned in this post, we're also looking for first-person accounts of the events of 26th July and the days after that.

Where were you? At home, marooned in office, stranded somewhere between? How did you cope? What did you see? Did anything particularly nice happen to you? Or anything really nasty? Do you have pictures?

If you've blogged it, send me the permalink. If you have an online album, send me the URL. Or email me. Accounts in languages other than English are welcome.

Mail me, Peter Griffin, at zigzackly AT gmail DOT com, and put the words [ThinkBombay] in the subject line (with the square brackets), to get past the spam filters.

Important: In your mail, I will need you to give me permission to:
1. Publish your story or pictures, in print and online, with NO payment to you. (None of the people involved in the project are making any money from it. Most of us are donating at least our time, if not more.)
2. Edit your contribution if I feel it is necessary.
You will not be giving the me or the project exclusive rights to your writing or photography. You will continue to own the rights to your intellectual property.


Update: The project is now moving faster, and further then we imagined it could. We need those stories now! Please mail me, and do also please pass this around to your friends, and link to it.

Thanks muchly.

Saturday, 20 August 2005

Monday, 1 August 2005

Redefining the blog, live commentary and the column

Good morning, folks... New season, and it starts with Rahul Dravid opting to bat first, which in sub continental day/night conditions is invariably the safer choice. No morning dew to worry about, given the afternoon start... and with pitches typically slowing down as the day/night goes on, chasing becomes more difficult in the second session.
Off to make coffee for myself... see you guys on here when the game begins...
Quite an ordinary blog post, you might say. Another Indian with an opinion on cricket (: that's almost all of us :) babbling into his blog. But this post has, as of this writing, 1315 comments.

The blogger in question? Prem Panicker, former dead-tree jouorno, now Managing Editor of Rediff in the USA. Old Rediff hands will remember "Panix" and his ball-by-ball commentary in Rediff's chat rooms. This blog (well before blogs existed, of course) once had a minor run-in with Panix when we, bored, decided to start a little action in one of those chats rooms by dissing Tendulkar. Panix, instead of using moderator rights to boot us, pinched out the fire by quickly, quietly, stating a few Tendulkar stats and asking what we based our opinion on. Chastened - we'd never make a good troll - we stayed quiet the rest of that match.

But we digress. To find out why the post elicited so many comments, hit the HaloScan comments button. Panix, you'll be happy to note, has brought typed live commentary back. And with it, has stretched the concept of blogs as a dialogue between writers and readers into a whole new dimension. He answers questions, chats with them, and continues to talk about the game in progress. The post on the next game, India against the West Indies, has 880 comments.

In a previous post, he talks about blogs as opposed to columns:
I'm beginning to like blogs, more than the full-length columns I used to do earlier. Thing is, blogs give you tremendous flexibility -- there are times when an issue needs comment, but the comment itself needs to span only 100-200 words, tops. Trouble with column writing though is the form itself dictates a certain length -- and that means you end up stretching a good 200 word comment into an involved 1000 word column.
This form here gives me the best of both worlds -- I can throw up a link, when the story is worth reading but doesn't necessarily call for comment; I can link and comment in a couple of lines if that is all it takes; or I can if I want to examine an issue in greater depth. Perfect. :-)