March 3rd, 2009
Southern Railway has put up a daily time table on their site (http://scrailway.gov.in). This time table is very useful for most of the IT/Tech people in Hyderabad who commute by MMTS. Unfortunately, its down most of the time like other government site.
Whenever I travel by MMTS, I go to Google.com and Type “MMTS” or “MMTS Time Table” or “Hyderabad MMTS”. This used to shows http://scrailway.gov.in/mmts/mmtstable.php coupled with links like “http://www.mmts.co.in”, “http://www.mmts.in”. Now a day only these links comes on top. The government site got disappeared
These sites (mmts.co.in, mmts.in ) might be leveraging the malfunction of authorized government site. These sites have once downloaded the timetable in excel from government site. Developed a webpage around with little SEO. Whenever one search for MMTS one land up on these sites. These sites are full of ads. The total space occupied by ads would be more than the actual content. Whenever someone clicks on search result, These sites gets a page impression or a ad click which result a few $ to them. Its one of the method, how people make money online
An information seeker gets unauthorized or may be misleading information. Government should reprimand such website who is leveraging their content even without their permission. Southern Railways should also spend some money on site load, and SEO.
December 18th, 2008
Google shows search results from India even when the radio button for “the web” is selected. Either it should show the real results or when it tries to be “helpful” it should change the selected radio button to “pages from India”.
update: I just realized that even if it wants to “help” me real bad it should show me the links from the place I am browsing. Namely pubs in Delhi.
August 6th, 2008
Vizu provides customized poll widgets for Blogs and web. A publisher can set up a public question with desired no of options. The publisher can access the results from his Vizu account. These poll widgets are best useful to get public opinion either to enhance your product / service or to conduct a survey. It shows current stats after voting. You get to know your opinion is public opinion or not.
Vizu is best suited for casual opinion / survey. Recently I saw Vizu is being used to gauge public voting for a design competition. There was a prize for publicly voted entry. There were 8 participants and everybody was using their social networks to get ahead of others. Vizu was showing instant result and this was motivating them
The product is technically very sound. It does not allow you to make multiple votes from the same IP. This also has cross browser linking. If one has done voting from Firefox, one can not make vote from IE. But in case of dialup connection there are programs through one can acquire dynamic IP. This can significantly change the results.
But a small feature would have made this product more useful. Providing an option to publisher whether he want to publish the results immediately after the poll or want to set a time line for the result. So it’s up to the publisher when he wants to publish the results. No body will get to know the stats till a deadline. Showing results after a poll can motivate people to make fraudulent votes. If the publisher is using this for casual survey he can show the stats immediately after the casting the vote. If its being used for some serious purpose than publisher can set up a deadline. This can significantly bring transparency in the result
August 3rd, 2008
Email systems has a great system in place to filter spam. Human intervention adds to its filtering capabilities by making classification of a particular email. “Report Spam” and “Not spam” have become almost standards in all the web email clients. I am not sure about corporate email clients. Still I receive spam emails in my inbox sometimes.
Mobile communication still lacks a system in place regarding spam. At the same time spam level is not so intense. Spam is still limited to promotional / alerts / telemarketing calls and messages. For some users getting an insurance investment call could be useful. For some users it might be quite disturbing in-between work. I get a significant no of telemarketing calls. I feel like comparing no of telemarketing calls on my mobile versus Viagra emails in my Gmail spam folder per day.
Once my mobile gives a message notification. I feel like opening it. Guess most of the time either its bank alerts or promotional messages. I have done enough of “don’t disturb me” stuff. Guess it does not work as efficient as expected.
I think when once receives a voice call, the screen should flash whether it’s banking/shopping category call. If one is interested one can receive the call. Also after one finishes a call there should be mechanism to tell the system whether it was a spam call for you. After sometime there will be a pool of spam numbers in the system. Changing a telephone no is not as easy as creating a mail account for spam.
Unlike spam folder all my unwanted text messages can reach to a spam folder in my mobile without notifying me every time. When I am getting bore at airport I should be able to check all promotional, unwanted alert messages. I hope for a spam free mobile communication in near future
July 25th, 2008
Showing network updates (what buddies are up to?) is becoming a common feature in almost all social networks. Be it Facebook, Orkut, Linkedin. Everybody get to know what others are doing in my network. New contact, new pictures in my album, which social application I have added etc. This is completely contextual to type of social network.
In case of Orkut and Facebook , this feature can add value to social networks aiming towards dating, friendships. It gives an opportunity to explore similar tastes with a buddy. From the business angle it keeps user engaged on the network. More engagement means more money.
Showing network updates to all buddies can have different implications. I interpret this feature in different way In Business networking applications. If my office colleague is adding a recruitment consultant, this forces me to think something. I think all the activities one does on a network should not be visible to others. There should be a some level of privacy preference whether one wants to display the updates to his/her network.
Before social network launch a feature be it a network update or photo album feature they must do an implication analysis. Orkut initially had a photo album feature in profile but now they have put a privacy element in it. Girls used to receive large number of unknown friend requests. Orkut added this privacy element to prevent engendered behavior.
June 14th, 2008
I use two different computers. Both have Mozilla Firefox. I spend significant time over internet. When I am in office I make some bookmarks as I do at home. My search engine settings also differ based on requirements. Both might have different add on, preferences, settings. I always try to make settings same for both. This helps increasing my efficiency. Do I always need to customize browser to get seamless user experience
I was just thinking of sync mechanism of multiple browser settings. Can Mozilla assign me a log in / password. Once I log in to browser it stores all my setting including bookmarks, add on, search engine settings, and search history, browsing history, browser version at one central location. Once I log in to another PC and enter my user name password. It makes the browser exactly I have. I can do this sync once in a while based on need.
I will feel as always I am working on same browser. If I update something it should automatic update in all other browser once I log in, if I log in to that browser. Once I sign out the browser, it brings back to its normal settings.
The idea can be extended to thick client applications with a server in between. This server keeps track of settings, versions, additions, customization to a thick client application on particular machine. Consider IM Client.
Can this idea make both the browser function seamless?
May 21st, 2008
I like nike sites. Though they are made in flash, which takes away some things I am quiet used to nowadays like permalinks. They have this emotional quality to their site which makes me feel to get up and go running. So I guess they have partially succeeded. Full success would have meant me running to their showroom and getting their sneakers.
One thing I absolutely hate about them is as soon as you type “nike.com” you get a splash page which asks which language you want to see the site. Which is okay for a site in multiple languages. When I click English. It shows me a list of countries. Now India (where I live) is’nt there. Also there is’nt anything called “Others” or “Other countries”. What do I do know? Why are they treating me so partially? Isn’t India worth their attention?
I have written earlier about sites in multiple languages here.
I realize that they might not support online purchases in India. And thats the only valid reason I can think of. But why can’t they at least have a “Other countries” where the less fortunate of people come and just window shop?
May 12th, 2008
Most site headers are a generic image which is common throughout the site. What if the header also serves a purpose. I really liked how opensourcefood uses the food images as header background.
March 18th, 2008
Do you see the difference between the two images?
In the first mail i got to the mail by clicking on the “spam” link on the left menu. This is in fact same as using “in:spam” in the search. Since the mail is a spam, the button on top is “Not spam”. Which is the correct and expected behavior, as you are inside spam, you would want to unspam certain mails which have been wrongly labeled.
In the second image i got to the mail by first clicking the “spam” link and then refining the search with keywords. This gives me a search result page. And though the search also has “in:spam” the button on top still shows “Report spam”. So if I get to a wrongly labeled message through a keyword search I can’t unspam it.
Am i missing something over here? or is this a bug?
I guess they have different templates for the spam page and the search result page. And they haven’t put the condition that if the search has “in:spam” it should show the relevant option or the relevant template.