Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Blogging – the appealing blend of rant and courage

Always tell deep and hard truths…- Anonymous

Everyone knows what blogging is. It is not a secret in writing your hearts out and letting the world know about your thoughts. You can chatter about anything, express yourself about any idea, put up opinions and argue in return, express your un-denying love about the food you like and exotic places you visit or wish to be at.

Sometimes it is merely for fun, people who tend to enjoy writing often do it to release the steam out, and it can even earn you bucks – other times, it is as hard as it can get, because you are speaking the truth!

What’s the point?
In 2011, there were interesting features posted on internet regarding the “breaking news” and how Twitter and YouTube are taking over that niche from the conventional news and media news desks. The articles were about the updates shared by general audience concerning important and critical news. Which were then used as the sources for the news stories and follow-ups by well-known agencies across the globe.

This actually proved to be a game changer in the media and News Theater. People with the first hand information regarding an occurrence would immediately put up the news on social media platform. The richness of the content makes it even more viable, so the reliance of the people on such information is growing day after day.

The catch
You can write 140 characters on twitter, or post a status on Facebook regarding a news story but the factor of time will dilute that statement and people would want to know more. It is in the nature of the human being.

Secondly, this whole social media scenario, provide its users with a liberty of posting anything they like, the inappropriateness and the validity of what’s being posted comes in the second place.  Thence, the impact of true or false news is inevitable in most of the cases. However it is further filtered down-the- drain of online chit chat when the detailing comes along.

Usually, the online news agencies and blogging sites pick up these hash tags and do a story as per their initial research.  This whole cycle keeps on its wheel 24/7 and never stops, unless some substantial news story is generated, the reporting timeline kept on increasing. But for an extensive user of the internet, it actually becomes frustrating to see the same drum beaten again and again. So the role of the tweeter is replaced by the role of the blogger.

Don’t take blogging for granted
Blogging in so many words is not just marketing. It carries a lot more weight than it is usually portrayed on the internet. All around the world bloggers have been appreciated and criticized and even punished for what they have written. If you wish to be that kind of blogger then it takes that kind of courage to do it.

The trick is to seek out the right story, it does not matter how old it is, what matters is how you can reprise the story to new form and revisit the facts, timelines, and sources. That’s what makes the news blogging wonderful – and in any case investigative journalism an exciting field.

What makes a compelling story?
To tell a compelling story, you need to have good analytical and research skills, besides being able to write and express it. So it is a whole 360 degree package.

There are however few things to consider as a reader and a writer. The first is to writer without prejudice and intent to harm someone or something with your words, and for the readers to get emotionally influenced by the content to lose its real message. Also, you need to consider the story with the writer’s perspective and avoid your opinion getting in the way. This helps people in understanding the real essence of the story.

The writer keeps it interesting, but how?
If you consider the humanity on a scale of mass, then almost 80 percent of us fall beneath the educated line. So we lack confidence and common sense in most of the worldly context that happens around us. As a writer, we need to make sure that whoever is reading our content does not lose themselves in the lines and close the link down. In order to stick them to the content we need to make it interesting and readable.

For the interesting part, always put up quotes, story lines, images, facts and figures. Do not populate the story with hyperlinks, that can lead the audience to another page, and you will not have them with you. So keep them with you, use lines and paragraphs to explain what the link would do.

The other thing is the headings. Use them wisely. Do not over populate your content. Make them questions, or something which works as a tag line. If you are copying material then be honest and mark it clearly that it is sourced from another area.

In last, Conclude the story with some thought provoking question, or a statement which could lead other writers to generate ideas, leading to your own story.

So till you come up a new story and engaging truths...

Ciao and love


Promoting budding startups and individuals of Pakistan

Hello everyone;

Within the recent years of my life as an IT professional, I have realized that Pakistan has successfully produced vast amount of talents in all sects of businesses and life. People have made names nationally and internationally - while being awarded for their achievements and then becoming the mantle holders for the next generations to come. These exceptional individuals have been holding Pakistan's name high on the horizons and we should be thankful to them.

With this thought I have decided to cover a few of the startups and individuals in my upcoming posts. These stories will be shared across platforms for the sake of promoting these extremely talented individuals and startups.

I  have already did a feature on "unsung heroes of software testing community in Pakistan", which became  the motivation for me to write more about people and startups, for whom the bell is not tolled as it should be.

Thank you all for your care and support :)



A quick recipe for a perfect startup

There is not a single fragment of doubt in the fact that we are now living in the startups era. Incubators, tech shows, idea battles, developer wars, academic projects, and young blood, have all come together on a common ground, and seeking out the a common platform that says “from here you shall pass!”

Whatever may the future holds for this lot, the journey has just begun and seems like, it is headed in the right direction. Forget about the road bumps of skepticism, criticism, shortsighted thinking, and failures, these driven clusters of people are at the spearhead of advancement and the foremost thing is that the road they chose to travel does not end here.

Here are 5 pointers which can come in handy for entrepreneurs or wannabe entrepreneurs regarding the future of their business and success, and like a fancy restaurant dish can serve the customers with just the right trendiness;

1. Keep tampering the heat:

James joined Facebook in 2011, and in 2012 he puts up status that he will be launching his first “Book Hoarding” website. He then started to post his selfies all over the net, he tweeted, managed a twitter handler for his website, buys a domain with “under construction” page, opens up a Facebook page, started to gather fans, and putting up statuses regarding books, reading, coffee, and other things that matters but also does not matter at the same time – his followers on the other hand, kept waiting, waiting and waiting. Nothing happened for 3 months, and eventually the first person who lost interest was James himself!

Why do you think that happened? Well, for James, it was a wonderful feeling to get attention, people saying “wow, he will be a CEO soon…” but then that soon never came!

It’s good that you know how to cook an idea. It is even better that you have a handful of experience in generating and putting that idea on the design table. On the side, it is even better that you know who to sell that idea in order to generate business, but it is bad that you keep on thinking about all these things, but are not able to achieve these as you don’t have a clue when to turn up the heat and when to keep that temptation to a constant. There are moments when you can tap the right amount of force and achieve tremendous results, and there are times when a huge effort of yours would seem like nothing happened.

So don’t let this discourage you. The value of your idea is the effort you are putting up at time it is cooking – give it your best time. You will have the dish ready at right time.

2. Keep stirring that soup:

Well to get the most taste out of your dish do not pressure cook it, instead stir the ingredients gently and let everything lets out its taste evenly.

For startup owners the most challenging part is not the idea but the people who construct that idea for them. These key ingredients are human resources. You pressure them too much they will simple loose the essence, keep them left alone and they will lose focus. For a perfect recipe, a good entrepreneur keeps on stirring the ingredients. Never puts one pressure on one resource, keeps on distributing it, keeps on changing the scene, targets, deadlines. It brings the best out of everyone.

The worst thing happens when a toxic ingredient is added and affects the performance of the others. That is why constant stirring is necessary. It will simply put that toxic behavior either in focus of the business owner or will simple neutralize itself amongst others, as their roles keeps on changing.

3. Let the idea cook itself:

Neil was a brilliant student and was always on top of the class. He was always regarded as a true leader amongst his fellow students and friends at the university. When he worked on his final year project he led the team with presentation, skills and done most of the development himself, for him leading from front was the only way to succeed.

On his graduation day, he decided to move forward with his project, a cloud-based campus management solution to make it into his own startup. Good call Neil, but for his surprise none of the team members were willing to work with him!

Why did that happen?

When you are a startup owner and that idea is cooking in your head, and eventually converts into a business idea – it is always the result of a team effort. Even if you are a one man show, you need people to support your idea and resources which can turn it into reality.

For cooking up a great idea to its finest form, the best way is to let it take some of its own time and cook itself. Check on what others are saying about it, how does it perceive in other mind, would anyone would be willing to work with you on it? Would it generate money? And it is a good strategy to detach yourself from it, de-focus yourself and then view the idea as a customer, a team member and as a critic.

Most of the entrepreneurs do not believe in this self cooking idea. They know how to stir, control the heat, but they don’t want to leave the idea away from them. That actually creates a self aware blindness and it can result is a surprise failure when everything seems just fine.

4. What is served in a plate is not what is served in a dish!

Ever visited a fancy restaurant? Whatever you order comes especially for you as you have ordered it?

When you create a product, the people you sell it to first should always be a selective lot, who you can trust for their critical thinking and honesty. Several ideas are pre-cooked at social media for this reason only. Once they know that they have potential, the people who create these ideas, move forward to convert them into ventures.

So to keep your dish on that chef’s specialty, you need to make sure that it lives up to that standard.

Sample your audience, make a good acceptable product and go for it. Do not be afraid or thrown back because of the failure or criticism. That is the reason you are doing that; to overcome that fear!

If you serve the product in a dish, people would not consider it special – it will be considered generic. Secondly the sample size loses its importance. So make it a special one, every time!

5. Presentation augments desire:

The biggest challenge for your customers is that they don’t have the slightest idea how much efforts, sleepless nights and time you have dedicated for the product which they are viewing on their computer screens or reading about in a blog.

Imagine yourself reading a restaurant menu and you wish to try something new this time. What you will seek through are the categories of dishes under the main heading, and then move on to the names and description. Here the more scrumptious its sound will make you order it – the price come later, actually, it never matters!

For your startup, the categories are limitless. Each day, from all around the world the ideas are pouring in, and adding up to the menu. What matters is how you are presenting your dish. Is it mouthwatering enough to let the customer buy it? Or is it something which they will simply roll their eyes on and move forward?

To make this happen, you need to make sure that it should carry that very right name to create good perception in the minds of your customers. Don’t make them confuse, instead, make them curious. Your product should also explain what it does in a simple yet elaborative manner. Use a clever slogan that can help describe your vision and product simultaneously. The product and the idea it serve, should represent the world and what people perceive about the world, not something which is right in your perception - make it global!

People need more understanding to even the simplest of scenarios. Your product should be easy to use, learn, play, operate, carry and access. If it is not, then you should always remember, that there are several other dishes on the same menu.

End Note:

Always remember that the world is a murky place with rich context. People around the world think in perception of their own contexts and act on the basis of those simple strands of information. They don't like complicated stuff, they want their daily lives to be comfortable, enhanced, easy and happy.

People pay for these services, they spend money on products which makes their daily lives more livable and in the end give them satisfaction. As entrepreneurs, we carry burning ideas, but what sells most is actually up ahead. Think for a second, is that the right recipe in your hand, or your mind is still cooking something up good?