blog/blôg/

Verb: Add new material to or regularly update a blog.
Noun: A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis

So, time to get the “blogger” words out of my resume/linkedin/twitter (*breathes) facebook/websites and business cards!

Are you a blogger by definition? What keeps you inspired? Where do you draw inspiration to keep your readers entertained?

Let me know your  thoughts in the comments section and don’t forget to leave your URL :)

BarCamp Kerala 10 Badge

UPDATE: The BarCampKerala date has been moved to May 15th in the same Location.

BarCampKerala, the must go to event for techies in Kerala is back with the 10th edition of the event. The event is scheduled to be conducted on the 8th of May, 2011 at the SCMS Business School in Kalamasherry, Cochin.

BarCampKerala?

BarCamp is an international network of user-generated conferences (or unconferences). They are open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants.

The BarCamps in Kerala is a tech event where sessions are mostly about the web and it caters the IT professionals, students, entrepreneurs and freelancers in Kerala. These events usually have about 100-150 participants who are the cream of the tech community in Kerala.

If you are a aspiring entrepreneur, a geeky student or a programmer looking to enhance your skills, you should probably mark your calender just about now!

How to attend BarCampKerala

  1. Register for the barcamp
  2. Done!

You can find the currently listed sessions and register for a session if you are interested, check out the venue and blog about the event if you have a blog and add a sidebar section (images here). This will help reaching out to more techies in Kerala and connect with them in a open, friendly and free-for-all platform.

My dad is a huge fan of the stock market. He spends time studying the market, trading and watching the ticker on for hours. It was last week I heard about the youku Initial Public Offering(IPO) listing in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with a valuation of $5 Billion giving it a worth which is more than AOL!

I was stumped to be honest.

A video sharing site, which is popular in China alone and posting a loss of RMB 167 Million (25 Million USD) in 2010 gets a run away hit on the NYSE taking its listing up 167% on the first day.

While congratulating its founders on the success, I cannot help but wonder.

The popular belief is that China is paranoid about its citizens digging up information on Tiananmen Square massacre and stuff like that. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Vimeo, Blogger, Blogspot, Wikileaks, Hulu and recently Skype have joined the ever increasing list of websites blocked by “The Great Firewall of China”.

While the ban of a website like WikiLeaks is understandably paranoia, the others do not make any sense. But this article on The Telegraph makes a lot sense on the smart ass strategy of the Chinese Government.China wants to keep up world class websites to enable its home grown websites to grow and prosper.

YouTube was blocked to help Tudou and Youku.

Kicking out Google has benefitted Baidu and Alibaba.

Renren and Kaixin001 have been a runaway success thanks to the boot given to Facebook.

Sina Weibo, the Chinese micro-blogging website similar to Twitter is seeing a 50% jump in its member base every week!

And the recent ban of Skype in China aims to help its own Unicom which is more expensive than Skype.

China is becoming one of the most protectionist of all nations and helping its home grown companies get a stand and better valuation while technology companies with better capabilities and offerings are given the axe.

Without the competition of all those better companies, the larger population is left to use the best of the worst developed internally. Now I wish why India does not do this. . . .Life would have been much more easier for entrepreneurs 😛

Photo by: topgold, Creative Commons

When you are an entrepreneur, you rely on yourself to get the job done but you also rely on others for good advice. You cannot always get to the phone to call your business associates and the financial advice you need is not always on television. That is why it is good to know the 5 essential finance sites for the online entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur.com

The Entrepreneur.com website is a great resource for the small business owner that needs information on just about anything to do with business. You can find financial information on banks and investors, advice on how to create and use a business budget and discover the newest ways that other entrepreneurs are saving money. This site is also a directory of business opportunities and available franchises from all over the country.

SmartMoney.com

This website was created, and is run, by the financial experts at the Wall Street Journal. It contains updated stock information, investing advice and financial resources for the small business owner. This site can help you find that investor for your next project, and show you how to save for your own retirement. SmartMoney.com also examines how an entrepreneur can use the available financial resources to fund his business, and how to turn available company assets into instant sources of cash. The website tracks stock and bond trends, and warns entrepreneurs about the business segments that could be experiencing difficult times in the coming months.

AllBusiness.com

Dun and Bradstreet created this website specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers advice on how to save money on business taxes, which businesses are hot for the coming year and how entrepreneurs should invest their money to get the best returns. AllBusiness.com also analyzes sales trends in various industries and tries to help entrepreneurs determine the best ways to reach new clients.

Inc.com

Inc.com is a resource that helps small business owners take advantage of the same tools and advice that are available to big business. The website offers informative articles on utilizing free or low-cost marketing outlets such as Internet social networking or word of mouth advertising. It also explores unique ways that a small business can increase its exposure to customers including doing charity work, networking with local businesses through professional and civic organizations and advice on how entrepreneurs can better use the resources already available to them.

MSN Money

MSNBC’s Moneycentral website, also known as MSN Money, helps entrepreneurs put together the financial news of the day with the corporate news. It examines trends among the larger companies in the world, and then offers a perspective that can help the small business owner thrive. The MSN Money site also offers a great deal of personal financial advice for the entrepreneur that could use a little help in keeping his personal finances in line.

Guest Post: Miles Walker is a freelance writer and blogger who usually compares car insurance deals over at CarinsuranceComparison.Org.

Computer professionals working in the IT industries are often heard complaining about stiff joints and aches in different parts of their body. The main reason behind this is that they lead a sedentary lifestyle with minimal physical activity. Body pain is extremely uncomfortable and can hamper your daily activities to a great extent. If you spent the major part of your day working with the computer and are suffering from body ache try yoga for relief. Yoga is an ancient therapy that originated in India thousands of years back and it concentrates on healing the mind and body. Want to know about yoga for computer professionals? Read along.

A really simple yoga for computer professionals is the cat pose that is also known as the Bidalasana. Kneel down with your four limbs on the floor. Look down at the floor with your back flat and horizontal. Form an arch with the back while inhaling and sag your shoulder in and then come back to original extension while exhaling. If you find it difficult to perform this, place a mat under your knees. This asana will keep your energies in balance and align your body from the center. Perform this exercise about 15 times and you will be relieved of overall body pain.

Another important yoga for computer professionals is the bow pose or the dhanurasana. Lie on your stomach on the floor. Next you will have to bend your knees and bring the heels near your back. Then you will have to reach back with your hands and grasp the ankles. Hold the position as long as you can breathe normally. This position will aid in opening up your chest and taking fuller breathes. Full breaths deliver more oxygen to the body cells and this will make the cells healthier and capable of fighting off body pain.

Modern day living can cause a number of problems like the power yoga exercises and a stressed up life. In case you had to go for a regular health check up or a Nuclear Stress Test you would find that your heart has really been adversely affected due to the health issues.

When Tata Nano was introduced at the Auto Expo in 2008, it immediately became the rock star of the global automotive community sparking debates about the increased congestion in the roads across the world and supporters cheered on how it will help thousands of Indians to fulfil their dreams of owning a car.

Everyone predicted the death of commuter bikes in India and expected every small family in the country to own a Nano to make their travel safer and more stylish.

Fast forward to 2010 –  Reports of Nano cars randomly exploding take everyone by surprise sparking debates about the actual safety of the vehicle.The car was found to have some fundamental flaws in its design and Tata Motors offered to fix the flaws for free and called for a recall. This was a major disaster for the small car and the sales have been hitting the floor for this little wonder which promised to change the way families in India commute.

The latest news is that Tata Motors has sold just 506 cars in the month of November down from the 3024 figure of October 2010. So, what went wrong?

Many things from the product recall which scares the wits out of any wannabe owner of a Tata Nano. I would not want to drive a car with an eye in the rear view to see if there is a fire brewing up.

Then, the costs. The car which was promised to cost less than Rs. 1,00,000 (2000 USD) is now at almost double the price and putting in in direct competition of some of the small cars in the market.  This takes it way out the league of the motorcycle prices with whom it is meant to compete with. Tata Motors blames the costs of raw materials for this price hike.

The banks have also withdrawn their support to the Indian Car dream as the car is meant for the “low income group” which means their chances of repaying the loan is a bigger risk than other car loans. This will perhaps be the biggest of the reasons why Nano is not taking off. Tata has huge hurdles to cross on this front if it wants to Nano sales to pick up.

Personally, I kind of like the car a lot. If I was not such a big motorcycle lover, maybe I would have gone for the Nano. It is small, cheap, different and has a roof! What do you think about the Tata Nano? Would you buy it if you had the money? Why and why not?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Inspired from Team BHP

A lot is being said and written about IT professionals and yoga. All IT professionals do their work from desktops and laptops and this sedentary lifestyle has given rise to a whole lot of health issues. And one of the most common heath issues that is plaguing these computer professionals is backache and neck ache. Are you someone who has to spent long hours in front of the computer at your workplace? If you are then you need to take care of your back and neck before things get out of hand. And it is the yoga positions that will help you to tackle the pain.

Talking about IT professionals and yoga, the first yoga position that comes to mind is the Diamond posture that is known as Vajrasana. Lay a carpet on the floor and kneel on it with your knees close together. Next you will need to sit back on the heels and stretch up from the hips. Make sure you balance your head well and the line through your ear, shoulder, elbow and the hip is straight. Sit in this posture for some time. This posture has great benefits and will provide relief from stiff neck and back.

Another yoga position that comes to mind when thinking of IT professionals and yoga is the Dog Stretch. It is also known as the Adho Mukha Svanasana. Lie with your face down and stretch back your legs. Pull back your knees and tighten the buttocks. Place your hands below the shoulder and exhale. While exhaling lift your head and then the chest, shoulder and the torso pushing down from the pelvis and straighten your arms. Right from the back of the head to the tailbone, your body needs to be curved back.  Push your shoulder down and back. Push back your head. Stay in this position as long as you can breathe normally. Then come down gradually and relax.

This is a guest post written by Sarah Catherine. who writes about the dos and don’t s’ of healthy living and fitness related topics . Some of her popular and interesting posts include  Yoga for weight loss and dealing with Stress Symptoms.