Wednesday, 25 October 2006

More on Gazzag

I dug a bit deeper into the Gazzag thing after my last post. I created a dummy Gazzag account to see what's on the site, and here's what I observed:
  1. The sign-up process does not need an invitation. Anyone can join in, without any restrictions. The sign-up process does not even have a CAPTCHA system to trap bots. So one can expect a larger number of bot-generated fake profiles on this site.
  2. There are tools to automatically import contacts from orkut, yahoomail, Multiply, MSN Messenger, Outlook & Outlook Express. Imagine if you import your Outlook contacts at your workplace and your CEO receives a Gazzag invitation from you. That'd be fun, eh?
  3. There are ads all over the place - a combination of graphics, Google-generated text-ads, and those irritating pop-ups (I deliberately used Internet Explorer to see what the majority Internet users' experience would be like). Of course, Firefox & adblock would be able to clean most of this in a jiffy.
  4. Take a look at the profile information it asks - one of the fields is "Children in the future". Hmm..
  5. One of the features that Gazzag is trying to market big-time is the live chat - one can chat with anyone who's logged on to the website. Either that's really useful, or really irritating.
  6. Gazzag Dating - this is a site within Gazzag, name explains all.
  7. I couldn't find a link where I could delete my account -- not true anymore. Please see update below.
On the whole, the site seems extremely nasty, and intrusive - definitely a lot more intrusive than orkut.

Now, a slightly tangential line of thought. The tool that allows one to import contacts from yahoomail & orkut requires one to enter the username and password of those sites. And a lot of my friends, including a few tech savvy ones, have done exactly that. My question is why??

Would you trust me with your yahoomail password? I think not, I hope not. Then why would one trust gazzag or any other site asking for your yahoomail password? There have been a whole range of sites that have been asking for yahoo & gmail passwords:
  1. Meebo asks for your AIM, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, GTalk, Jabber and MSN Messenger passwords
  2. Multiply asks for Hotmail, orkut, gmail, livejournal passwords (maybe a few more)
  3. Plaxo asks for your gmail password.
I'm sure there are tons more that can be added to this list.

All in all, I am a bit flummoxed as to why one would want to share passwords on a new service, just for a little convenience. Sites like orkut & gmail allow one to export their contacts' list into a CSV file. One could use that to add contacts manually on gazzag or multiply or whatever service they want to use. Though this needs a bit more effort, I think this is a much safer approach to importing contacts.

Update [26 Oct 2006]

After Venkat's comment, I dug some more if Gazzag accounts could be deleted. And yes, I did find these instructions:
  1. Select the "Welcome" option in the main menu.
  2. Select the "Account Settings" option in the submenu.
  3. Select the "Terminate Account" option.
I found these instructions on Look for the question on how to delete one's profile.

de-gazzagging my inbox

I've got tons of emails in my inbox asking me to join this site called Gazzag. There are tons more that I've deleted. And what's worse, the number of invites I've been getting per day is going up.

Gazzag seems to have taken cue from gmail's Viral Marketing [] to popularise its social-networking service. What they've done differently from google is that they've automated the invitation process - that is a trifle irritating. In fact, some new users don't even realise that they've exposed their addressbook to this website which sends out invites to all their contacts.

Thankfully, gmail filters are here to my rescue. Gazzag, your invitation emails are being summarily trashed.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Indore, here I come

That crazy schedule has paid off.. I'm now a finalist in the Ashwamedha [pdf] competition :-)

I'll be going to IIM-Indore in the second week of November, provided there are no major clashes with the schedule here at ISB. I've heard a few good things about the Iris fest, and am looking forward to seeing it myself.

BTW, here's a link to klueLESS, an online game that the Iris team had put up last year. Don't spend too much time on it - it's very addictive.

Saturday, 14 October 2006

Top-hat & Tricolour

Guess what movie this frame is from.

Answer (select this line with your cursor to view it) : Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This frame comes on when Harry, Hermione & the Weasleys reach the Quidditch World Cup scene.

Friday, 13 October 2006

Two 'P's fail

There's a concept that details the four Ps of marketing - products, place, price and promotion. Recently, when someone mentioned "packaging" as one of the Ps, I was stumped. A friend was kind enough to drop a hint in my ear, "If you'd read Kotler, you'd know that some people consider Packaging as the fifth P." Anyway, I'm not trying to highlight my ignorance with this post, so read on...

A really successful company had this nifty idea of repackaging their product. They wrapped up it up in a flashy cover that also served as a carry bag. Pretty convenient for the consumer, one might think. Strangely, the retailers always give the customer a carry-bag with the product, even if no other product were purchased. The carry bags are always black in colour - so the logo of the product isn't visible to anyone. So no secondary advertising there. Bit of a flop marketing exercise, eh?

The company: United Breweries
The product: McDowell's Whiskey

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Holidays != no work

The last two days have been more hectic than any two days in the last term. Having procrastinated a lot for the first two days of the term break, I finally started work on the four competitions and the PaEV submission sometime on Monday morning. Here's the timeline.

1100 - Wake up, smell the coffee
1130 - Start working on Entrepid. Can't believe I'm doing DMOP again.
1330 - Hide & Seek serve as breakfast. Yes, I know the time, thank you.
1500 - Sid calls. Time to break off from Entrepid, and start work on PaEV.
1530 - Meeting at the cafe. Pizza & cold cofee a good lunch make.
1600 - Sid & I set up shop in the library.
1900 - Data, data everywhere, but not a clue to think.
2045 - burst of inspiration! Google rocks! Powerpoint sucks!
2230 - one document down, one more to go, but it's time for a dinner break.
0000 - both documents done. now to work on the b-plan competition.
0030 - numbers not good. Company is the second biggest money guzzler in history.
0045 - numbers changed. Now it's the biggest money guzzler in history.
0050 - Drastic changes! Layoffs! Salary cuts!
0115 - Give up. This is of no use. Hope that sanity shall return with the sun.
0130 - chat with Dee. Discuss next steps for the next day.
0145 - party going on in SV1 lawns
0150 - SG on the violin. AG on the tabla. SD on the whiskey.
0200 - a quick swig of signature :-)
0230 - back in my room, checking emails, playing catch-up on orkut.
0245 - Entrepid deadline's postponed. Leaves me Ashwamedha & Papyrus to work on.
0250 - Start dawdling on Ashwamedha.
0330 - Still dawdling on Ashwamedha.
0400 - The meaning of the first case hits me! I see light!
0415 - Wah Taj! Cuppa black tea. Wish I had lemon.
0430 - Yahoo! chat with my cousin. He advises me to sleep. Ha, I reply.
0500 - back to the case. Time to test my writing skills.
0745 - my hard disk starts creaking. Shut down laptop. Need a break anyway.
0800 - Skimpy-clothed models on Channel V
0820 - Skimpy-clothed models on MTV
0840 - Skimpy-clothed models on Channel V
0845 - Another cuppa black tea. Again, no lemon.
0900 - back to the case. hard disk still creaking.
0945 - the first case is done, whew!
1000 - AM reviews my write-up. "As arbit as the case", he says.
1100 - searching for inspiration to analyse the second case.
1200 - still searching for inspiration
1300 - start writing..
1400 - eyes heavy.. need to finish this doc before I can sleep.
1800 - hmm.. it's dark. great, I must've fallen asleep. now back to the doc
2200 - dinner at Kan's place
2330 - half an hour to the deadline. kase komplete! send out analysis to the IIMI blokes.
2345 - ooh, that was a quick reply. Oh, they've postponed the deadline #$%@!&*^!@

Time to get on with the other competitions...

Sunday, 8 October 2006

New look :-)

I finally gave this blog a long-due touch up. Stuff that I've changed:
  • White's out, black's in.
  • Fonts are a lot cleaner.
  • The blog now uses a larger screen width than earlier. So one has to scroll a lot lesser.
  • There's now a dynamic blogroll that's generated out of my bloglines account - yes, it has a few bugs (some of the links point to my blog, not the ones they're supposed to), but I'm hoping to fix that soon.
  • New links for accessing atom feeds through Google/Yahoo/Bloglines feed readers.
I hope I can put in as much effort into the PaEV submissions that are due on Wednesday.

Update: the blogroll issue has been fixed.

Saris & Suits

The fourth term was the last one that we had as a section. We all go our separate ways now, each in their own chosen stream of subjects and courses.

To mourn/celebrate/rejoice the last term as a section, we had a lot of theme days - from a cas-ormal (casual + formals) day which fizzled completely to a very successful cap-day to a heavily photographed Formals Day. We also managed to get the Deans to pose with us on the Formals Day. Some memories...

Sharks in suits?

Formal Flintoff ;)

Walking the walk

With the Deans

Colours galore!

The entire section (minus Mama, the photographer)

A bird's eye view
A wave of blue

My study group

These snaps have been shot by Mama, SK, and docrahul. I again feel the effects of not owning a digital camera :-( My snaps will take their time to come, but they'll probably show up on my flickr account.

Sunday, 1 October 2006

I'm moving back!!

What's worse than suffering from an injury? Self-inflicting some more.

As if tearing a ligament wasn't bad enough, I deliberately asked for permission from the ASA to move to the first row. And they didn't have the heart to deny my request. I ended up sacrificing a perfectly-hidden last-row seat to swap places with SR in my last term. Then it got worse. Not knowing how long my injury would take to recover, I asked ASA to allow me to continue on my first row seat this term too.

But I'm getting better now. And I now have a chance to redeem myself. AB's now been casted and is on a wheelchair. And thanks to the limitation of the wheelchair, he has to swap his last-row seat with me. So, AA & KanKan, I'm going to be your new neighbour for the last few days of the term :-)

BTW, here's a pic of me handing over the baton, er.. crutch.