The Office

Breaking the habit

To those who can blog every day, kudos to you. I know I thought and proudly announced that I was going to blog every day here, I have failed. Miserably!

Last post here was on February 19th, 2018. And today is April 8th, 2018. I am using an app to track habits and my blogging streak looks like this.

Blog Habit

Blog Habit

I am certainly not proud of this. But, I have an excuse. I have been busy doing work in the office and then I had to carry it along to my home and then had to continue doing that till I had no energy left but to sleep. I have been working for just a few months shy of 10 years and hours-wise, this is the most I have worked at a stretch. Of course, it doesn’t mean I have done the most productive work of my life. But I have enjoyed the struggle to give it as much as possible. And funnily, it isn’t over yet. But I needn’t keep awake till late nights. So, quantitatively work-wise, I have been proud of myself. My shoulders and lower back has pained because of work for the first time. This might sound totally non-sense but whatever. Enjoying work till you start snatching your hair out is also enjoyment.

So, will I be back to regular blogging? Not sure. Will I try? Of course yes.

Also, few updates: I also didn’t blog because I had gone back to home for Holi. Also, I think I am not going to publicize my blog on Twitter and Facebook anymore. I am done with those sites. Those who want to follow my blog, they can either subscribe to this in their feed readers. Or maybe, I don’t know for sure, I will start a fortnightly newsletter thingy which might have abridged posts which anyone can subscribe via email. I have watched many movies, TV shows, read some books, etc, so just to come back to the habit, my next few posts would be their reviews. So, till then, keep smiling till you have teeth.

Also, Casey Neistat is back with his regular vlogging, so why not I take inspiration and keep this thing going.

Stay Curious

Blog Speed Breaker Update

When I blogged/ declared/shouted from the mountaintop, that I was going to blog every single day this year, I was pretty sure that I won’t be able to do that.  *Wink* Life is too smart you know! Still, I wanted to try. So, barring few weekend breaks for leisure and life, I posted last on Jan 18th and disappeared.

The first reason was that I wasn’t well. I had gone to Goa for 4 days and the change of weather from Goa to Bengaluru did nothing good to my sensitive nose and vulnerable throat. Secondly, I had some visitors at my home (The ILs) so I couldn’t blog at night. Thirdly, everything one does in life, has a very serious correlation with the mood one is in. Mood again is directly dependent on the health and well being of oneself and one who cares about. To summarise, some of my loved ones weren’t well. Moreover, I wasn’t even equipped in any way that I could do something about them. So, I did nothing about continuing with writing as I could do nothing about other’s health issues.

But now everything has come back on track or as they say, I’ve understood that this is how it is going to be. People are eventually going to get better and life will move on.

In short, I will try my best to continue with keeping writing alive. This blog post is just a means to get fingers acclimatize to the process again.

We will return to regular programming soon. See you all (millions and millions of you readers) shortly.

How to start a Blog?

I had started blogging in January of 2007. That time, my sole intent was to earn money. So, I quickly set up a Google Adsense account and started putting ad banners of all sizes on my blog. Initially, there were more banners than blog posts. During those days, even the Earnings Per Click (EPC) was good. I started writing more and shared the blog link with all my friends. I even went on and set the Home Page of the default browsers in my engineering college to my blog. That time, I hadn’t created a Facebook or a Twitter account. Probably, no one I knew had. So, the only way to share the blog links to get more readership was to go to other blogs, comment there and hope to get a reply. If you were lucky and your comment made sense, people would click on your profile which would then lead them to your blog eventually. And guess what, people were less cynical those days. Most of the bloggers of that time connected with each other. Commenting and regularly sharing new links among each other had become common. By 2008, the camaraderie grew and joint-blogs started. Bloggers started networking and regular meetups were organized. By then, I realized that I liked writing. I realized that putting thoughts on a blog opened up many new avenues in the mind which I didn’t know existed. I made many friends that way as well. (Also, I never was able to reach the minimum 100$ mark which is needed for Google to release the payment. So, it means I haven’t earned anything yet from my text-blogs).

So, I continued with blogging without worrying about money, although not very regularly. But I kept on publishing some content here and there even when most of the bloggers I knew gave up and switched to usual social media microblogging.

Now, I am proud to say that I am still continuing. Writing and sharing means a lot. It makes one minutely better than those who don’t. Not everyone can write. Not everyone who can write is brave enough to share. So if you are writing and sharing, it adds a bit of flair to your persona. Also, this is always a give and take relationship. To write more, you have to also read more. Reading other blogs can give you as good an insight as a good book will.

As I have declared that I am going to blog regularly this year, I have already started to write daily since last 2 weeks. At least 6 people I know, have shared their intentions of starting blogs of their own. The main aim of this very post is that I want to help those who want to blog, but either doesn’t know how to blog or need a push to blog.

Here are some pointers which would help you:

Make Writing Your Passion

Don’t worry about the readership or money.  First, start a blog and write.

Make an Account, NOW

To start a blog, you can make an account on WordPress.com or Medium.com. These 2 are the most popular platforms nowadays. You can use tumblr.com or blogspot.com as well. Personally, I would suggest Medium because it is also a great way to start reading more.

Start Writing

What to write? It could range from your movie reviews to your travel experience, or something you know which you want to share with others, or some quote which you liked, or your opinion about a certain issue. You can write about your cat or you can write about how to file Income Tax Returns. One thing I know and have experienced is that writing can help you understand yourself better. By writing, you don’t react, you respond.

Where can I help?

For your and anyone new who wants to write, sake, I have started a New Publication on Medium.com. On that, I would encourage everyone who is new to join. By doing so, we will create a small community of new bloggers. Whenever you think you have matured enough as a blogger, or have reached a threshold of say 10 posts, you are free to leave the community and carry on with your posts elsewhere. No hard feelings.

We can figure out moderation rules and stuff later. I just encourage you to jump in and start writing. Please drop a mail to mail@abhinavbhatt.com once you have set up your blog.

Mutual Benefits

If we can start this community with even 5 people, your 1st blog will already have 5 new readers. We can encourage each other to write more. You encourage me. I will keep a check on your progress. What say?

For the above point, the link to the publication is this: https://medium.com/kycnow

Kickstart Your Creativity Now — A Blogging Space for New Creators

Mail me / ping me / talk to me and start with your first blog. Share the link with me and I can add you as a Writer on KYCnow. You don’t need to link your aadhar to be a writer, I promise even if the name is misleading. 🙂

Recommended Reading

Roundup 2014

Well, 2014 is over before you could even spell it out. It got over as quickly as your weekends get over if you sleep a little extra. Here’s my round up of 2014 just for the sake of documenting my life for future biography and also for blogging’s sake which I am continuing since last 7 years or so (Don’t know why).

I know you weren’t able to follow through on your resolutions, as always and same way, 2014 was quite an eventful year for me as well. I ticked off a few things from my bucket list as completed and deleted (moved into Sour Grapes Category) a few. Putting them into bullet points to make the post look longer and more readable:

  • Things like buying a motorcycle and getting a new job in a company which was my favorite company during a particular week in 2005 (since I am working here now, masha-allah, it still is) was successfully accomplished. This sounds like very archaic but it is not.
  • Apart from the usual yada yada, we all became more Cynical (High 5! Wait no, Low 5!), gained some more weight and pissed off more people than getting pissed off by.
  • I also got into Twitter debates (Yes, this was the all-important polarizing, divisive election year so I have made it large finally but still as a faileb) and got called names, one of which rhymes with the phrase ‘ You are so Cute yeah!’.
  • Got my name published in some newspaper/website for posters (again), which is a surprisingly good thing that it is still going on like 2012.
  • Got into the act of hitting and getting hit on to reassure my belief that I am still a human. (Who was the idiot who devised this act of flirting to be called as Hitting? Weird.)
  • Talking of the point above, I did manage to ruffle some feathers by not giving in to the process of spamming FB with photos of weddings and honeymoons. Yet. So you still have a chance. But you had this chance for years, no? Useless fellows.
  • Although, I couldn’t go on any world tour because of my busy schedule of sleeping on weekends (what have I become!), but I did sneak a 2 day weekend visit to Pondicherry, which was a good pleasant time and gave me a lot of pics to Instagram.
  • Also, I met Sidin Vadukut (who doesn’t want to meet him and ask about Whale joke, which I did ask BTW) at Bangalore Literature Festival. Also, I attended a concert by Shreya Ghoshal which I left midway because it was dinner time while she was singing and everyone knows what our priorities are. I met many other Twitter/Blogger friends too and got into lovely chit chat which could have gone for hours and hours but that can happen some other time too.
  • Talking of dinner, I am giving up all my hopes on Vegetarian food. Man, can’t we think of anything else than Paneer. I am fed up of Paneer. Seriously you guys. Potato which used to be my favorite food item on Earth, is being seriously under-used in this part of the world and mostly my household.
  • I am bored of Acche Din, already. I mean, whatever Govt. is doing good, that would not show results in at least 2 years. And whatever Govt. is doing bad, like not shutting up so-called-Nationalists is getting more attention. And, fed up of seeing Mr. Narendra Modi on TV, Newspaper, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Radio, Roads, etc all the time.
  • I am not going to promise myself the same thing I am promising myself since these last 7 years to blog and write more but I will just say that I will try…

This sums up the year 2014 for me. Let’s see what 2015 brings!

Humor is dying

They say that Print is dying. Which is technically correct, print has always been dying ink onto paper. But sadly, digital media is actually killing the newspaper. Not because everyone now has a mobile phone with Internet and everything is available online easily. But because the quality of newspaper hasn’t increased much and admit it, it is difficult to hold while you are on a commode, unlike your phone which is so easy (until it slips from your hand and…)

The print is actually dying faster nowadays because new age websites which present content in lists and bullet points have become immensely popular. Their motive is to break down the story into 35 points or average IQ of the reader (whichever is lower) to make people understand the point the news is trying to make. Now since I am a very happy going (jolly?) and optimistic person, I don’t like to read sad news only. Enough of killing, corruption, crimes against women and hatred against creed, caste or religion. I expect a piece which is full of satire, wit, and name calling of anyone with whom I don’t agree with. So to find genuine humor in a newspaper, either you have to read a Hindi newspaper where all news items are deliberately presented with a headline which unintentionally sounds funny, or you have to find lighthearted humor pieces online.

Online there were funny blogs and funny columns. Then there were sites like Faking News and Unreal Times, to name a few, which were doing a fine job but their problem was that people didn’t read anything apart from first 8-9 words which happened to be their headline. But they surely had wit and good humor if not the best. Then in the last couple of years, new websites came up which you won’t believe, that they could blow your mind the next minute you log onto them. I wouldn’t share their URLs because hyper-linking is endorsement but I will give slight hints which might appear as Buzzfeed and their desi copy paste jobs like scoopwhoop, etc.

Ok, serious stuff from this line: These websites present comedy (and sometimes pictures from email forwards of the late 90s) with lists and have GIFs or just normal photos accompanying the 2-3 word text. This is because pictures are louder than words, we all know that and editorial quality of such websites is almost zero, why write text when you can post pictures. One of the common topics they touch is nostalgia by posting lists of 298 things you could do in the 90s but cannot do now. Or 85 radio advertisements which people miss nowadays because they don’t listen to the radio much. Or 36 types of people who are sexist because 24 hours a day they all talk about 36 sized people. But the lists and GIFs or normal pics with 28 pt sized text in Impact font with a stroke of 3 pts. are just for distraction. The best part about them are the headlines. These headlines might make you cry or blow your mind or make your limbs dysfunctional. The template for these headlines is so brilliant that it can never go old.

Now my point is that such websites are killing humor, shamelessly. They are making a reader keep his/her brain aside and laugh where they tell them to laugh. There is no subtle hidden humor which can make you smile. They have content which begs you to LOL by reminding you 25 things you might find funny but they aren’t but since we have added GIFs of emergency cute animals in them, they surely have become adorable.The reader doesn’t have to implement even a bit of the gray cell to read some genuinely good stuff which doesn’t accompany any picture. (like this text, hehe). The attention span had already taken a hit by those 140 character websites and now the sense of humor or the HQ or Humor Quotient has shattered into 128 pieces which got mixed with the brain which had blown a while ago. I tried giving them some attention but couldn’t laugh at it, in the same way, I cannot laugh at sitcoms which have a laughter track in them. Where are the good old pieces which tingled your funny bone and also shared the horrific news by mellowing them down to the level of humor? What happened to subtle humor which changed your opinion about things without making you go through pictures which take a huge amount of time to load on your mobile if you are inside a loo and you have only 2G?. I hope people move over these lists and come back to the real deal of text and larger attention spans. Amen.

So, if you didn’t read anything above since there were no bullet points or ordered lists, the summary is this: Humor is dying. (Same as the headline. Did it blow your mind?)

P.S.: My last post on this was an NSFW comic. I loved making it because it incorporated elements from few of my fav. web comics. Though, most didn’t understand that. Can’t blame because you like spending time on 9Gag more than the sites from where they curate stuffs actually.

Featured Photo by:

Austin Chan

Going Offline

To start the first post on a new blogging platform with ‘Going Offline’ as the title is mildly awkward but this is what I am going to write about to debut on Svbtle.

My aim in 2014 to go off the Google Search. Or to at least push my name to second page of Google Search and let others who bear the same name get the chance to the show their mettle, if any. On the images link, I want no image of me lurking around from any social media website barring the ones already published on any news media site because one cannot ask them to bring the pics down. To achieve this, I have already decided to stay social but stay low profile. That is, I have removed all the pictures where I happen to be tagged on Facebook. Set the privacy settings on Facebook (oxymoron?) to ‘only me’ on all the profile pictures and deleted all the always-public cover pictures.

On Twitter, the aim is to collate the ideas which were behind those wasted 140 characters and put them into meaningful blog posts. This is bit like talking to myself instead of just shouting a couple of words in a day for no effect but just to get some RTs. I won’t meddle much with Google.com/+ because nobody cares anyways.

Well, the reason behind this sudden decision to stay low profile on Internet is because it has become too much in our lives. Sharing lives online has become more than what it was intended to be. People are getting judged over how active or social they are online is absolutely uncalled for but unavoidable. Although, I am not going to be anonymous. Online anonymity is a good thing if you want to say whatever you want but don’t want any trouble. But I have decided to still say whatever I want without worrying about any trouble. Being honest is the best way to keep hair on your head.

I am done with the urge to get comments and likes and RTs for small things. (You can give Kudos here but I will try to ignore them too.) I just want to go offline and breathe a bit more, run a bit more, write a bit more and create a bit more.

P.S.: I am also going to publish the same on my ongoing blog on WordPress.

(Published on abnv.svbtle.com simultaneously)

 

Update on 3rd May 2014: Giving up on profile picture on Facebook because I have been told that this is not the age to hide. Point duly noted.

Boomerang!

She clicked the link and the page started to download. As soon as something legible appeared on the screen, her eyes lit up like the laptop screen which brightens up when the charger is plugged into it for charging. After all, she was on this site after ages. (In modern era, ‘ages’ is actually in the order of hours spent on the Internet. Suppose you are away from Twitter for about 3.5 hours in a day, you are away since ages. Trending topics change man!) By those standards, it was probably eons ago. Or even more. Her heart was beating as if she was in the bottom 3 or the danger zone in a reality show elimination episode, where everything is fixed but still they have to show restlessness and few tears from at least one eye. The anticipation regarding the webpage was so high that she was getting colored dreams about it since the day he mentioned that he will be back in the business soon.

But a part of her was angry. Very angry. Even angrier than Kalaignar when Kanimozhi was arrested. Though I don’t think he can express his anger through his physical appearance. (Kindly note the effective use of Tamil words to attract people from all over India.) Anyways, she was angry because he always promised that this time it’s going to be consistent. This time it is going to be better. This time it is going to be this and that and what not. But it never did. He had been regularly irregular since 2010 like the MS Windows Copy Dialog Box which says 10 minutes remaining and then no… no… Wait… only 10 seconds remaining… and again he… he… 30 minutes remaining… Bazinga!

And then she started reading the blog post. On this new template and newer URL. With the newer-er but weirdly sounding name. Another weird funda it seems, she thought. But she loved it. She loved the HTML and CSS which she couldn’t see directly but she did a CTRL+U to admire the beauty, if any. She loved the header, the simplicity in the sidebar, the dull grey color and the title. She loved the words that appeared on the screen too. She had already decided that she is going to bookmark this location by clicking that start-type button up there and keep coming to the site whenever new stuff gets published. Mother promise. She didn’t know much about Feeds but she was sure that she will subscribe to it. If needed, hunt him down this time if he abstained from this task and make him write again. And since then, because of you dear reader, he is blogging happily ever after.

I am assuming that you felt something similar. If you didn’t, it is OK.

Digress

Nostalgia. Sniff.

P.S.: Hello beloved readers! I am back. Again. Yep. Hi-5! Till now, if I am able to count, I have come back so many times, that I should be renamed as someone from the clan of ‘Backlog’. I have been making and killing blogs (Y2A Slog, Hitwicked, AB’s Web Log) so religiously that actually I am enjoying this now. But, that is not my fault entirely. Y2A Slog got killed because it deserved it. I mean it was too immature but it was honest. I thought I will keep blogging on Hitwicked but it became more of a Devdas blog and I am a teetotaler so it didn’t go good with my style and it was honest as well, honestly. Then I moved on to Posterous (which is run by an Indian (ethnically) guy who used to work in Apple. Brilliant!) But those people don’t allow JavaScript as if JavaScript was taboo. Apple mentality probably. Although it’s not like that I cannot breathe without JavaScript but as compared to WordPress, Posterous looks so preposterous and miser types. Handling comments on Posterous was BORING. But for my loyal fans (who forgot to comment on last few posts of mine, but that’s okay keeping in mind you have a life too, what if it starts and ends online) I have imported all my readable posts, except those who bring embarrassment, to this blog. So YOU CAN READ ALL OF THEM right here on this very blog. Yes!

Though this time, I am not going to promise anything. And No-More-Hello-World-Posts as well. I might be regular, I might be irregular here. Blogging is one thing I never took seriously in life like a few people around take it. Of course I am joking, as when I was really into blogging, day and night I was thinking of things to write. But I never had a plan. I just sat to write and words started to flow (Everyone says so, though). Whereas, they researched on their posts and spent hours in drafting one. Wrote hajjar words and then proof-read it hajjar x 2 times till every word was shining and drool-worthy. I am talking about the big-guns and not you, obviously. And I was as serious as Google when they come up with some Social Networking site when it came to topics to write upon. But I like writing. I like to express myself through these blog posts and also aspire to get huge female fan following. And some networking with males as well, professional only.

When I see my ‘draft’ posts, their number crosses well over 40, so I take it as my moral responsibility to make them into… ahem… readable posts so that my loyal readers can read them. I hope there are still some people who have the audacity to read something over 140 characters. This goes for them. Muaaah.

Not-Again

General Reaction. I know. (Photo Courtesy: No idea. Downloaded long long back.)

Thus, without the already ado-ed ado, I think I am back. And I am thinking of making a category named ‘I-Am-Back’ in it to handle this coming and going drama.