DishTV vs. Tata Sky vs. Cable

July 22, 2008

I bought DishTV 2 months ago and it has been pathetic so far…for following reasons…

1. Often it gets signal disturbances. This defintely happens in rains, but sometimes happens in normal weather as well !!! I never faced such an issue so frequently in Tata sky connection at Pune…

2. The menu sucks!!! We have Tata sky at our Pune home, and their menu system of classifying the channels is very good. In DishTV, you need to remember each and every channel number you like…that is just so aweful in today’s world where even basic mobile phones have better user interfaces! …there is absolutely no system in DishTV for classifying channels…

3. Since a few days, a new problem has started…the set top box starts blinking for 10 mins every time I start…and only then it comes to normal… :(  …now I’ll need to follow up with an installation guy who doesn’t pick up the phone at all…(now this is normal in any Indian service…so not so different about it)

Guys from DishTV…if you are listening…JUST HIRING SHAHRUKH KHAN FOR GETTING MORE CONSUMERS IS NOT ENOUGH…PLEASE WORK ON IMPROVING YOUR CORE SERVICE !!!

So friends…go for Tata sky, or regular cable if they are good in your area…once you buy the set top box, you get locked to misery… :( …like I have been…

Analytics IP Filter: How to test it?

June 13, 2008

You have setup Google Analytics…

Now you want to filter out internal traffic to your live site, because you get skewed results because of that…

You write an IP exclusion filter

Now, the next obvious step is, you need to verify that your internal traffic is indeed getting excluded.

But strangely, there is no straightforward way!

1. Simple way is to try something very awkward that no one else would do… :)  …and see if it’s reported the next day…but this is ad hoc…

OR,

a. Create a new profile for the same domain

b. Don’t do anything… :) …I mean, don’t add filter to it.

This way, you can compare both the profiles, and see if there are differences…

Not very clean…I agree…

SEO – Here I come :)

June 13, 2008

A new interesting field…

While working on Zamanzar’s SEO, I am getting more & more interested in this field.

It is very crucial in today’s internet world…can make a world of difference!

So, I’ve started to write an SEO Blog…hoping to post on it regularly… :)

Testing Google Analytics code in Dev environment before Live

April 21, 2008

Here is a typical scenario…

Every site will have a Dev and Stage environment to test the code before taking the build live.

These environments would typically not be accessible from outside world…

How can we test google analytics code in such a case? Any pointers?

I know I am supposed to put answers here, not questions… :)

May be I’ll post a follow-up to this question…once I get something…

I tried to Google this, but so far haven’t found anything significant exceptthis, and even that doesn’t have exactly what I am talking about…

Ideally, I would want to track the Dev environment in a totally separated section…Would I need to create  2 accounts?  Even if  I do create  2 accounts, How do I make my Dev server accessible to Google Analytics?

That’s why I don’t love linux… :(

April 2, 2008

I have never been a great Linux fan…Yes, there is fun in doing all the work on command line…remembering complex commands, and combining them in interesting ways to create powerful combinations…

But this distracts you from your actual work…

Look at this sample…

I wanted to debug and step through my symfony project…There is no plug-n-play system for this…as far as I know…

So I wanted to setup XDebug with PDT on our Ubuntu dev server. Now just look at the hurdles in the road…

XDebug must be compiled from source…there are no binaries for *ux. So I downloaded the code and untarred it…

Now to install this, you need to have some script called PHPize…seemed it is not present on my machine…so next mission was finding PHPize…

After scouting at a some forums…I found that PHPize is present in “php-devel”…may be developer version of PHP…

After getting errors on several FTP servers, I found one server that had the RPM.

The next problem in queue was that RPM’s are not recognized by Ubuntu. :’( You need some package called Alien…

Now I am just too tired to pursue this further today!!! :)

And this is just the first step of running XDebug…integrating it with PDT might be another arduous task…especially because I want to set it up on the Dev server remotely…

I know I am a new bee in LAMP…and this should not be so hard for a habitual linux user…

But why…oh god why we can’t have a clean development system that has everything inbuilt…I always wish I had been a .NET developer after working on J2EE and now on LAMP… :|

The fundamental problem is that there is no single vendor for any system that you want to use…you always have to look for useful pieces in the jungle…and create a contraption…and scout for people who have tried similar contraptions…Symfony has surely been a great exception so far…it is working smoothly without glitches so far…

Of course…when the system owner doesn’t have to pay a single penny for licenses of his software development…that’s a great value add from his perspective…

From Zamanzar.com

March 14, 2008

Posting after a loooooooong time… :(

Getting settled in Noida…it has been a fun ride so far…looking for a place to stay…finding decent food…adjusting myself in the new company…with new people…no good old friends to talk to… :( …certainly a valuable experience…of course chatting and cheap call rates have made life a LOT simpler…(except IDEA cellular…who has ‘changed my life’ for worse for last few days…may be will put rant about it separately… :P)

First few days at Zamanzar.com have been interesting…learning a loooot…and there’s a loooot of work to be done…

You can find more about us at http://www.zamanzar.com/home/about. We are into real estate space, but with a twist in the regular listings database model appropriated by others like magicbricks.com…

You must be asking what is with this name…what does this mean?…well, it’s a combination of Zameen and Manzar…tell me if you like it or not…

Let’s see how far we go…fingers crossed…and head down to work…loads of it… :)

Hopefully will keep updating the blog now and then…

My first post on WebYantra

December 4, 2007

WebYantra is a startup blog by Slideshare COO Amit Ranjan…

I will be a contributor to it now…

Just posted my first post…Read here :)

Thanks Amit for giving a chance to be a contributor…

Do Nishkama Karmayogis exist? See Ram Charan…

November 23, 2007

Came across this article on CNN money about business consultant Ram Charan. I am simply awe-struck. This man is an incarnation of what SriKrishna described as a Karma-Yogi.

He is a professor turned Business Consultant, advising some of the most influential corporate leaders, including Jack Welch. He lives in airports and hotels, literally roaming around the world spending each day of week in a different country, or even in a different continent. His new lugguage (read clothes, accessories) is delivered to him in hotels every few days. He has never married. He purchased an office in Texas but has hardly even been there. He started working on 11th day after his bypass surgery. Workholism at its peak.

Moreover, it’s not that he does this with some specific goals in life. His only goal is to be dedicated to his work. He has no specific ambitions, apart from some philanthropic plans.

I now know what a Nishkama Karma-Yogi means !

Counting impressions for CPM ads on AJAX

November 23, 2007

AJAX is the order of the day for a clean, fast user experience. But this creates a problem with the sites that heavily rely on advertising as their revenue stream. If the page doesn’t refresh, how would they get more impressions? For example, if you see the cricket score page of cricketnext, you’ll notice they could’ve easily implemented AJAX and refreshed only the scorecard div. But they haven’t. The whole page refreshes agonizingly slowly (all the young India from IT companies must be pointing their browsers to this page on critical moments), making the users anxious and frustrated.

I was wondering why don’t they refresh the ads while refreshing the content? they could just count it as a new impression…sounds intuitive isn’t it? It’s nothing of a rocket science on technical front. The problem is, IAB guidelines were not very specific in this matter. They have now released specific counting guidelines for Rich Internet Applications.

This article by Eric Picard sums it up nicely. The article is written on June 2006 though. With the new guidelines, I hope, more and more publishers will embrace AJAX (or flash… or silverlight…but just refresh relevant content god damn it !!!) without apprehension of not having enough impressions because of AJAX.

But the publishers will need tools…just guidelines are not enough. You know who can really create a thrust in this regard…yes…the omnipresent Google. If only Google integrates auto-ad-refresh in GWT, which talks seamlessly to AdSense to fetch ads on AJAX actions…

I was also wondering whether there is some scheme for publishers, which allows them to use CPM and CPC at the same time…think about it…the advertiser wants branding as well as concrete customer convesion…so they’ll pay some low CPM for impressions…but whenever a user clicks…the publisher gets some top-up bonus…but not sure whether such schemes exist…do you know? 

Web 3.0 by Sramana Mitra

September 27, 2007

Recently found a very interesting blog by Sramana Mitra…an internet veteran with a very impressive profile.

She has given her overall perspective on where web is going…and calls it Web 3.0…a very attractive title indeed for all aspirants who think that they’ve missed the Web 2.0 bus… :)

Her formula is as follows -

3C = Content, Commerce, Community | 4th C = Context | P = Personalization | VS = Vertical Search

Web 3.0 = (4C + P + VS).

Traditionally, Content and Commerce have always been separate…Community and UGC are latest fads…and they earn revenue by advertising content to relevant users (context and personalization)…where a lot of advertisers are eCommerce players…

Amazon is the only company I see around, which has a good focus on each of the above…they have great recommendation system…that always encourages discovery of new content (good for eCommerce)…they have great personalization and context…they have flawless eCommerce…but all the content they have is UGC…they don’t themselves create expert content (book reviews etc.)…and there is not as much focus on community, though there are community features like ListMania…

Doesn’t it sound too ambitious? Imagine a CNet + Wize + eBay…

But theoretically…there is nothing wrong with having an eCommerce site that gives you great SN features and great content…may be it’s just that we are habitual of having separate providers for content and commerce…and some great player will change our perceptions…

Sramana has also written some posts about important verticals…like travel and jobs from Web 3.0 perspective…very interesting ones indeed…


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