Medium: A fresh platform

Dear Readers:

I have discovered a brand new platform, Medium, to host my posts.

For starters, I have begun posting articles from my secondary blog, Make Time For Sports, at the site. The initial posts are identical in style and content to the originals but I have since decided to combine five to six posts in a digest-like format and publish them on the platform.

Thus, you can expect a lag from the time they are published on my site and on Medium. If, of course, you cannot wait, you are welcome to visit my blog and catch them earlier.

Medium’s editor is markedly different, very minimalistic and unobtrusive. Once you learn to use it, you will fall in love with it. I did.

Medium, like WordPress, provides the functionality of sharing your draft with whoever you wish to seek input or feedback from.  [Not that I have used the functionality, yet, but I am more than willing to, if someone (anyone) will put up his or her hand.]

This , for now, is all my experience with Medium.

Do not forget to visit my posts there.

My profile: https://medium.com/@linusjulianfernandes

Cheers,

Linus

 

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Greetings, Stranger: Planetary Prompt

WordPress dashboard interface

WordPress dashboard interface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You’re sitting at a café when a stranger approaches you. This person asks what your name is, and, for some reason, you reply. The stranger nods, “I’ve been looking for you.” What happens next?

(Thanks for this intriguing prompt idea, Jazzy4God&grace!)


The stranger  says, “I’m from the planet Zod and I need you to respond to the Daily Prompt from WordPress for a full year—for us.”

You, Robot: Comments

Congrats — you’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it?

(Thanks, Daniela, for suggesting a similar prompt!)

 


The robot will relieve me of the tedium of responding to and posting comments on WordPress sites and other blogs.

Comments are recommended to drive traffic to one’s website and interact with the blogging community as large.

But it really does not make sense to comment if your remark does not provide any fresh insight or inform the blogger what particularly struck you about his or her post. General comments are just that—generally useless and unhelpful.

An insightful observation takes as much thought and effort as a blog post.

However, it can be a huge chore.

Now, if I could have a robot that would personalise comments and provide wonderful insights, I would take it any day.

It would leave me free to focus on the core, that is, the blogging per se.

That is a huge ask and I have a small budget. So for now, I will make do with commenting occasionally and at specific times of the day.

How? Have a look at the Contacts widget of my site—if you care.

Pick your potion: What’s your poison?

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?

(Thanks, Bea Patricia, for inspiring this prompt!)

 


“What’s your poison?”

Asks the WordPress guy

In all seriousness.

(Cut him some slack, guys!

It’s a job!)

And I answer,

“It’s tea, old chap!

Black tea,

Green tea,

tea with a little milk,

Tea without sugar, jaggery, aspartame, honey, jam or anything sugary.

Coffee—sometimes, occasionally,

Either to purge or just for a change

But more caffeine’s bitter, pal,

and I need a saccharine kick,

To swallow the acidic astringent!

~Linus Fernandes

(PS: I’m not diabetic. I think.)

Missing Sequels: Happily Ever After

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

If you could create a sequel to one favorite (standalone) movie, which would it be? How would it build on the original?


The daily prompt for this Sunday arrived this morning. Yep, it’s mid-morning here in India.

And the few posted responses pinged back were mostly gripes about the prompt being late.

I’ll add my bit. The title’s misspelt too! Or was the WordPress man being clever?

Oh, well! Who knows? A much needed off-day for me!

But to answer the prompt—well, that’s pretty simple.

Take all the movies that end “and they lived happily ever after” and show that the protagonists live somewhat humdrum, mundane lives ever after…

Wouldn’t that be something?

Some of them might even be WordPress bloggers responding to Daily Prompts!

190 Days Later: Predictions and Expectations

New Years Eve 2012 cliché prediction

New Years Eve 2012 cliché prediction (Photo credit: bijoubaby)

Back on January 21st, we asked you to predict what day #211 would be like. Well, July 30th is that day — how have your predictions held up so far? If you didn’t reply to the prompt at the time, is this year turning out to be as you’d expected?


I have only recently begun posting in response to WordPress’ daily prompts. So the first part of the prompt really doesn’t apply. I made no verbal or written predictions but I would be lying through my teeth if I said I had no expectations of how this year was going to turn out for me.

Has it gone the way I expected?

English: Solar Cycle Prediction (Updated 2011/...

English: Solar Cycle Prediction (Updated 2011/02/03) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The truthful answer is No, it hasn’t.

Am I disappointed? The answer is Yes.

But then the question arises: What am I going to do about it?

Some might say, “Move on.”

That’s sound advice. But before you do that, there’s a process that needs to be followed because the process of letting go is hard and painful.

But you have to let your feelings hang out; vent, if you may, in a constructive manner. Let your loved ones know how and why you feel the way you feel. This  begins the healing and then you should either move on or try again. That is your decision and yours solely though external considerations may have to be factored in—things and events beyond your control.

This is my belief.

What’s yours?

Full Disclosure: Mad Scientist’s chip off the block

A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip?


 

So you’re offering me a chip that lets me know what the people I’m talking to are thinking?

Would I want it, especially since it can never be turned off?

That sounds much like the premise behind a Canadian serial “The Listener” where Toby Logan is a paramedic who can hear people’s thoughts.

The Good Samaritan uses his “subsonic” abilities to help the local police solve crimes.

Man thinking on a train journey.

Man thinking on a train journey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As for me, I’d like to picture where and when this device would be useful.

With people I know and like, if I heard their unpalatable thoughts, well, I’d be put off,  probably unpleasantly surprised.

With perfect strangers, well, you don’t expect their thoughts to concern you and hence maybe I’d get an insight as to why they have those pained expressions on their countenances.

For people I know and dislike, well, it’d probably just be mere validation of my opinion of their opinion of me.

But, wait a second, what about me and my thoughts?

With all those external musings jostling for space in my overwrought brain, when would I have space and time to be with my own reflections?

Would I have to take to a solitary retreat to understand myself?

So , the answer’s no, Sir, I rather wouldn’t!

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/full-disclosure/

The Listener (TV series)

The Listener (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Getting it out there

In an earlier post, I mentioned not writing about blogging!

Well, this post is about just that!

Obviously I would like more people to read my posts, increase my sphere of influence that is!

And how do I get the message out there?

Rely on social networking sites, simple isn’t it?

But then all the people I know do not log on to the same networking sites. Quite similar to how it works in real life, we don’t all go around in the same circles, do we? Not all the time, that is. Would we want to? Don’t we price heterogeneity? If we were all the same, would we network? There is a price to pay for homogeneity, but that is not the theme of this post.

There is also a place and time for homogeneity, as there is a place and time for heterogeneity.

So how do I get my post out to the other networking sites?

For me, LinkedIn, Facebook and more recently Twitter are the 3 main sites to target.

LinkedIn for my professional needs.

Facebook because it has become the most popular social networking site

and Twitter because I believe that it has become the biggest killer app on mobile phones. I do not have the stats to back up that claim though!

This blog is hosted on WordPress and WordPress is a PAAS i.e. Platform As A Service for non-technical (and technical) persona to avoid the hassle of setting up their own blogging web-site. It works like a charm!

But then there’s also Yahoo! 360 , Windows Live, Ning and Orkut , these cannot be ignored either!

Obviously hand-coding links for these sites is a painful and tedious process.

Here’s where technology comes to my aid!

If you sign on your WordPress admin console and go to my the Tab My Blogs , there you can enable feeds for Yahoo! Updates and Twitter using the instructions given. You would of course need to have a Yahoo! and Twitter a/c respectively.

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/publicize-twitter/

For Facebook, the procedure is slightly different. Facebook features a micro-blogging facility called Notes (Facebook’s answer to Twitter). This allows you to host a blog on Facebook itself or import your existing blog. I chose to do the latter. You may do the same. This automates your posts to Facebook , admittedly with a tolerable lag.

WordPress has now introduced support for Facebook’s Publicize feature. Log in to your WordPress admin , select tab My Blogs and check Facebook to activate publication of posts to your Facebook profile. This automates publicizing posts to your Facebook a/c as well.

You may choose to use Windows LiveWriter , (like I do) to write and post your articles. If you go to Blog –> Edit Blog Settings , you can set up Live Writer to post to Windows Live an update each time you post to your blog. That takes care of your Windows Live updates. Funny how Microsoft integrates so well with its own products. I’m not complaining though!

For LinkedIn, there are a couple of apps, namely the Twitter status imports and a WordPress app, These can be featured on your profile. So LinkedIn is now clued in as well.

Ning has another 3rd party app for WordPress, that allows imports from your specified blog. This will do the trick if you have a profile on Ning.

Orkut has no direct way of inserting your posts. Here, again Twitter comes to the rescue with a 3rd party app that pulls in your Twitter feeds. 3rd party apps are great, aren’t they?

Now with Google Buzz, which integrates directly with your Gmail account and contacts, all you need to do is click on connected sites, enter your user details for your WordPress and Twitter a/cs , and voila!, your posts and tweets are now being buzzed on Google.

I haven’t considered MySpace, Friendster (is it still around?) and WAYN in this post simply because I have discontinued my a/cs on these social networking sites.

So now you know how to! I just love automation!

Have a good day!

This post updated for Ning, Google Buzz and Facebook Publicize.

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