Thursday, August 28, 2008

My new neighbor means the truth !


Was delighted to meet Satyam Priyadarshi who moved into his new digs next to me as VP Analytics at Network Solutions. Nice and warm first meeting andnhe is very humorous, My headline for this article is because his name " Satyam" which means truth. :)

My standard procedure with people I meet is to search for them on Google minutes after meeting them. Some of my friends have caught on and people like George Brett have started giving out cards saying 'Google me".

I am  not sure if I should call him Dr. Satyam or the Truth man :) . We went out to lunch and he turned out to be a vegetarian by choice. We spoke about his interest in Analytics and he let out the secret that he is one of the speakers at the WEB 3.0 conference in Santa Clara Oct 16th to 17th.

His mission :  "The challenges being addressed is to do ‘real’ time analysis and reporting of trends and other statistical quantities that are useful to the business." He has written and published over 30 academic papers

He teaches at the George Mason University 3 days a week so he cannot come to tweetups any evening of the week. This is tongue in cheek but what he likes to do when he is not working is study the  relationship between secondary structure and electron transfer rates in proteins? :) Just kidding he is a great guy and we are happy to have him on board.

Google gave me a lot of juicy stuff about Satyam. He is a Ph.D from IIT , and  MBA from UVA. For those who do not know what IIT is , here is a extract from an earlier post about an IITian Kamalesh Dwivedi

What is IIT ?

Here is what the Chairman of InfoSys Narayana Murthy says about IIT.
... my son ... wanted to do computer science at IIT. To do computer science at IIT, you have to be in the top 200 and he couldn't do that, so he went to Cornell instead.
STAHL: Think about that for a minute. A kid from India using an Ivy League university as a safety school. That's how smart these guys are ...

Here is a Yahoo answer
Indian Institute Of Technology.
ranked no. 1 in India and recently 3rd in world just after Massachusetts institute of tech [MIT] nd Stanford institute..
getting into an IIT is a huge accomplishment as it has been voted as the 4th toughest exam in INDIA

Of course Dilbert has some cartoons of IITians ( which is a compliment) that are collected here


Expect a post on SolutionsArePower soon.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What was missing at Gnomedex

Bananas by tojosan

Photo courtesy Tojosan 

Yes ! that's right Bananas. There were no bananas at Gnomedex. Actually they seem to be absent in all the places that I went to.

Seattle PhotoWalk

The Marriott waterfront did not have any on the breakfast buffetSeattle PhotoWalk

Not sure if I saw any on Pike's place.

Seattle PhotoWalk

And not in the public market either. Well anyway it must have been a huge conspiracy because my wife doesn't want me to eat bananas anyway

Chris Brogan writes about Twitter search for business use

I met Chris again at Gnomedex in Seattle. He is a nice guy and takes the time to talk to everyone. If he is really busy he has a pleasant way of saying it :) see pic below.

Chris Brogan

Picture Courtesy : (CC) Randy Stewart,  ( Just kidding Chris !)

Chris Brogan wrote an article today on his blog was on target where he writes :

Twitter Search is a powerful tool for businesses, once you learn how to search, and once you better understand the terms your prospective customers might use on Twitter.How to Listen for Opportunities on Twitter |, Aug 2008

You should read the whole article.

When I started my job as the Social Media Swami at Network Solutions. Searching Twitter was one of the first channels I used.  Connie Bensen posted an article on on how Network Solutions uses Social Media to better serve our customers

I like the site Even though its mainly for mobile devices I use it on a PC too because it combines all the functionality of twitter and also gives you local tweets, search functionality and much more. Check that out too. On a phone you do not have to download any software but just a browser.

Kris Krug will be proud of me

Seattle PhotoWalkSeattle PhotoWalk

Taken during the day and night from opposite sides

Seattle PhotoWalk

See the reflection. All this was inspired by Fashion photographer and Gnomedex presenter Kris Krug's talk. Best of all he is a very nice guy and let me take a few pictures with his camera. Check his presentation: Gnomedex Photography Tips presentation up on SlideShare:

Implementing what you learn at a conference immediately. How cool is that? Please share any links to some good pictures you are proud of :) in the comments section.

Dr. Mani - Heart Kids Tweet-a-thon September 12

@DrMani on Twitter was mentioned by Beth Kanter in her talk at Gnomedex last week. he is a Dr based in India and has a passion for promoting good causes on social networks. his blog is

As you may have seen in the presentation by Amanda Koster there is lot of work to be done for kids all around the world. Dr Mani is organizing a tweet-a-thon to raise money. You can participate here

What Has The Tweet-a-thon Got To Do With C.H.D.?

In August-September every year, heart surgeon and infopreneur Dr.Mani Sivasubramanian holds a 24-hour day-and-night blogging marathon called the Heart Kids Blogathon.

The event is widely supported by thousands of people. Many make donations (over $120,000 has been raised over the last 6 years). The money was used to fund life-saving heart surgery in 26 children, with many more to come. See this site for details.

By participating in the Heart Kids Tweet-a-thon, and helping spread the word about it or making a donation, you will be helping spread the message of Congenital Heart Defects Awareness far and wide... and maybe another child (or many more) will live because of your help and support

More details here

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jill Foster :Reflections from Denver. #DNC08 M.Obama

JillFoster's Mobile post sent by shashib using Utterzreply-count Replies.  mp3
Excuted that Jill Foster is at the DNC in Denver Colorado uttering and generally giving us the on the ground situation. Pleae follow her on Twitter @jillfoster and the same user name on Utterz

Gnomedex Seattle - War of the Cameras

At lunch Steve Fisher, Tris Hussey, Josh Hallet and Brian Eisenberg show off their cameras.

Gnomedex Seattle - Proof that Show Box hosts Geeks

This is a picture taken in the mens room at the Show Box where the Gnomedex party was held. I thought this was funny.

What do you think the story is about the person who wrote this? The best comment will get a t-shirt from me. (please keep it clean :)

iPod stuck on the 'do not disconnect' screen

I am a PC user but I am convinced that my next buy should be a Macbook. One of the advantages is that it does not get frozen or take too long to load the operating system, I do not have a ipod but my daughter does and she has this issue where it gets stuck at the 'Do not Disconnect screen" a lot and she patiently just goes about her work till sometimes the next morning.

Today luckily I was home and when she told me this problem it did not sound right. The first thing I tried to do was reboot ( Oops ! thats a windows thing) and the Ipod does not have a way for you to remove the battery. Ouch !

Anyway my friend Google came to the rescue and doing this worked:

You should toggle the hold button from open to hold and back (like I said above), then hold the enter (middle) and the menu "button" in for 4 or 5 seconds... (The screen should go blank for a little while, than show the Apple logo for a while, then come up again with your default menu).

This wonderful piece of advice is from Thank you Mitthrawnuruodo.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

50 free MOO cards

Update : The message at MOO is

All the free packs of Business Cards have gone, but you can still get 15% off with this limited offer.

I met Cheryl Allin at Gnomedex today and she told me how to get 50 free MOO cards. She has a blog post on it :

My Flickr Picture is on for Warner Theatre

Gnomedex : Where to find all the session videos

Gnomedex : Ignite Portland

While people didn't quote Shakespeare like Ignite Seattle yesterday, these guys were very interesting. My two favorites :

Kevin Fox - How To Buy a Car for Under $1000

Mario Schulzke - Why Deutschland Loves David Hasselhoff

You can find all the presentations here on Josh BAncroft's post of Ignite Seattle

Gnomedex Breaking News Network Solutions meets GoDaddy


To me its always good Karma to reach out and talk to people who work for the competition even if its just to say hi. I was thrilled today to say Hi to Noreen From Godaddy at #Gnomedex.

This is a great conference and I would chalk this occasion as another first for Gnomedex.

Gnomedex Sarah Lacy - I am not afraid of the sudience

Gnomedex Sarah Lacy
Originally uploaded by shashiBellamkonda
At Gnomedex 2.0 - Sarah Lacy was the key speaker on Day 2. She has been doing a lot of meeting the audience tours. She was in Washington DC and I missed her meetup since i was in India at that time.
Here in Seattle she is walking in the audience and asking people to participate in the discussion .

The story on CNET news is quite good.

Had a great first day at Gnomedex Seattle

First it was Danny Sullivan who showed one of my FLickr pictures in his presentation.

New paint at home

Beth Kanter showed one of my Tweets in her presentation giving me undue credit for helping spread the word for her fund raising.

Then I won a SONY DVD recorder which really looks cool. Pictures coming soon

Friday, August 22, 2008

Help Beth Kanter @kanter raise money

Update :

Thank you blog post from Beth Kanter

Photos of Leng Sopharath

Thank You Video

Sharing Foundation

Help @kanter raise money for a young Cambodian woman, off to her junior year of college in good health

Here is a link to her post that explains her cause

Being the super innovative person she is, she used her extraordinary presentation at Gnomedex to ask for help in raising money to send a student in Cambodia to college.

Her presentation is great for people who want to help a non-profit raise money using social media tools.Gnomedex - Beth kanters amazing presentation

Gnomedex : Danny Sullivan's talk

Gnomedex Danny Sullivan Of Search Engine Land

Search Guru and Search Engine Land -Danny Sullivan's talk was among the top in the sessions today so far. To prove his point about how search data is so widespread and also kind of caution people Danny did a unique thing. He asked all attendees to keep their cell phones on and also called a few attendees. I think my pic of my paint at home was there too.

His slides are here

davedelaney: People tend to not read privacy policies either. Did you know that Facebook can use anything you upload there? #gnomedex

My advice to all parents. have a google alert on your kids names, You never know who is posting docs etc by mistake #gnomedex

Gnomedex : Passionate CEO of I Can Has Cheezburger?

Gnomedex Preso:

Ben Huh on Twitter:

They got booted off many hosting servers and then called them and offered to host them. That experience as great.

ScottMaentz: Ben Huh at Gnomedex says site grew to 3M pages served per month in about 6 months. Issues with scaling and cost. Braindead simple to use.

Gnomedex : Unusual things I noticed

Nearest Apple Store: 206.431.1521
Nearest Best Buy: 206.306.7663

  • Good food so far
  • Chris Pirillo family helps out ( Mom and Dad and they are so nice to meet) and the atmosphere is very freidnly and casual
  • No suits here
  • Most attendees seem to have Macs
  • Herman Miller chairs as conference seats
  • Every chair has a plug point
  • The Twitter back channel is hot
  • Audience is tough
  • More coming as I see them

Photography Tips (EasyEdit) – Kris Krug Gnomedex

Gnomedex Photography Tips presentation up on SlideShare:


Kris Krug's website :

This guy is great he is a photographer par excellence and does fashion photography. Excellent tips on taking pictures.

- Set the white balance correctly

- never take a picture just standing still

- Buy cameras that your friends have

- take your budget and divide it by 3 an spend the 3rd on the camera body and rest on nice lens . Keeping adding lenses when you can afford them9 he has 24-70)

- Look for manual controls and experiment with them

- try pictures with reflections

- Have fun and don't worry about all the complicated advice

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Gnomedex - My Firsts

Excited to be part of Gnomedex 2008. Steve  Fisher wrote a post on the Network Solutions Blog and the excitement and enthusiasm we both have shows.

I have already taken some pictures which are here


  • First trip to Seattle
  • First time at Gnomedex
  • First time eating Dungeness crab cakes
  • First time in my life eating Raw oysters

and meeting these great people for the first time


Update 22nd August 2008

Update August 23rd

Sunday, August 17, 2008

DC/MD/VA stars - Want to be featured in a newspaper column ?

A friend of mine is looking to interview people for a well known paper

1) 401 (K) plan managers are reporting increases in retirement plan hardship withdrawals or loans. Do you know anyone who has opted to do this?

2) Credit counselors and other sources are saying that they have come across more working people who still have to turn to their parents for help, either for loans or housing. Have you come across anyone who has had to do that, as the cost of living has increased faster than salaries?

3) Anecdotally, I hear more and more people are doing extra things to make extra money in this economy: i.e. doing odd jobs like helping people move, selling possessions on the internet or in yard sales, getting a part-time side job. Have you heard of any people who have come up with interesting ways to make extra money?

The catch is that these people would have to live either in D.C., Maryland or Virgina.

Please leave a comment here or message me on twitter @shashib or email me.

@gotbob in the Washington Post is a great article on real estate and Web 2.0. I read the print version yesterday. Congrats  Bob ! and 

In the DC Area the other Web 2.0 savvy realtor I know is Jeff Royce who writes Good job guys and congrats !

Friday, August 15, 2008

SXSW Panel Suggestion - Your vote counts

I am excited that I submitted my first ever panel idea for the SXSW interactive in 2009.

If you think this is a cool panel idea please vote for it and help spread the word. Use any form of communication you desire including telepathy, email, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr etc, I look forward to seeing you there at my panel :)

I am competing with 1257 panel ideas. To learn more about SXSW Panel Picker visit

Thanks !

update: I have not finalized the panel members mainly because I want the subject idea to get selected first before I waste anyone's time asking them to be part of the panel. If you have ideas and suggestions on who should be part of the panel then please comment here. 

Happy Independence Day - India

August 15th is India's Independence day and I like to joke that it is also the day that I lost my independence. Hey but atleast  the Indian government decided to give a holiday to everyone on my wedding anniversary :)

I can't figure out how to vote a the PR Week Contest

I saw Kami Huyse's post mentioning the PR Blog of the week contest .

You should check it out and have a good time guessing where the vote button is :) Hurry only 9 hours left :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What happened while I was in India?

As all my regular readers know every where I go I make news. I went to India in July and here's what happened.

- The nuclear deal with the US got cleared as the ruling party decided that to sign the agreement even if they were voted out of the office.

- The government nearly fell as there was a crucial no confidence motion

- It all ended well by a show of strength and social media type negotiations. Rumor is that bank notes and beer were in plenty

- As soon as I landed in Hyderabad the government decided to shut off power for 3 hours a day almost close to noon so i could get the full benefit of the mid day sun. My agents tell me the powercut has since been removed.

- While in the US when they say conserve water they tell you not to water your lawns or wash your car. In India it means you fill every container you can find and huge plastic drums with water  and the taps go dry. Well that did happen too.

- There were Bomb blasts in Bangalore but thankfully they got the timing wrong I went to Bangalore more than 10 days later.

- As I arrived in Sri Lanka for a holiday the security was tightened ( ok ok it wasn't for me it was for the meeting of Heads of State of SAARC countries.

- Pakistan started shelling Indian border positions in Kashmir. They should have known I was not going to be in Kashmir and could have spared their shells. The airforce base near the Bangalore airport was full of activity

Banglaore Scenes

- Camels appeared on the roads

Hyderabad Pictures - Me , my camel and business

- and horses too

Hyderabad Pictures

- Buildings collapsed ( of course many years ago)

warangal fort

- and I met @Mukund


- and @abhinaba of Microsoft


- suitcases got bigger

Bangalore India

- Lufthansa went on strike so people returning to the US were affected again wrong airline, I flew KLM :)

Well it all ended well, I returned to the US and now there is no power-cut or water shortage in Hyderabad any more.


My recommendation for a stroller- Maclaren Triumph

This stroller has been with us through 6 countries and countless airports and even trains/subways/metros. It is made by Maclaren and this model is called Triumph.  

What I like about it:
- light weight
- slants if toddler wants to sleep  2 positions 
- rain protection
- easy to push ( toddler can push too)
- durable having being handled by all the airlines baggage folks it never had a problem.  

The stoller is light weight and has a strap so that you can hang the stroller over your shoulder.

I love this product and would recommend it.

Website :

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Rodeo - The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair 60th Anniversary 2008

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair 2008

The Montgomery County Fair was great. I attended my first Rodeo ( I was in the audience !) and took a lot of pictures The Rodeo was absolutely worth the $12 admission on top of the $8 for the Fair.( i do wish they had a option of comprehensive ticket that was priced higher but included admissions to all the places).

I enjoyed the Hog Races ( another first for me)

Montgomery County Agricultural Fair 2008

The SlideLoader contest/race. Food was plentiful and I think the best value for money was the stand that gave you a corn and large lemonade for $5.

I am not sure if there is any traditional county fair food but my daughter shared her Funnel cake with peach with me and that was delicious.Montgomery County Agricultural Fair 2008


The Fair was all well organized except for the fact that  we waited for a long time to get out of the parking lot on the way home. It seems they had to call in for more help  for pedestrian control so the traffic could move smoothly. Get $2 of the Grand Stand Tickets here

Indian Retailers : Take the money quickly

One common feature that retail outlets in India have to get right it to take your money fast. In the US when you go to pay for the stuff you buy, most retailers will bend backwards to make sure the payment transaction is as quick as possible. If necessary calling additional employees to man the cash lines. This is logical, if you find the lines to pay for the stuff you bought is long you may be tempted to abandon your purchase or discouraged from buying additional items that you may have overlooked.

The retailers in Hyderabad who have the potential to improve their money taking process in my opinion are LifeStyle, Reliance World Ameerpet, FoodWorld Ameerpet, Reliance Fresh.

How can they improve:

a) Cross train staff , sometimes there were people designated as Sales who would not do anything to help out busy counters.

b) Make the process better, seems like places like Reliance World had too many fields to fill up in the forms.

I think in general people are savvy at jumping lines. I would find people walking directly into the front of the line, I guess that's something that needs to change .

On a positive note the growth of retail grocery stores in India amazes me. I would never have believed that multi nationals and chains entering the arena would out the local vendors on carts and local stores out of business. The prosperity of the Indian middle class has a lot to do with it I bet. My neighborhood in Ameerpet in Hyderabad the Nagarjuna grocery store abandoned their business and leased the store to different vendors.

Reliance seems to have expanded to a lot of businesses. This was a company I remember started off with textiles in the 70's and now are in telecom, petroleum, retail grocery, Jewelry, Shoes. They have a endowment in the Wharton School where most of the family now goes to study.

Another observation about Hyderabad is that Pharmacies( medicine shops) and Liquor stores seem to have the most concentration. :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Air Deccan - EBay in the sky

I did a quick trip to Bangalore to speak to members of CommIT a organization of Communication professionals of IT companies in Bangalore. My inward flight was on KingFisher Air ( very nice airline). My flight back was on Air Deccan which is a low cost airline also owned by KingFisher.

It is a 1.5 hour flight from Bangalore to Hyderabad on the small propeller 75 seater aircraft. Once the flight taks off the cabin crew serve water which is free, and they sell sandwiches, cookies and soft drinks.

The next part of the flight was interesting. The crew handed out a brochure with a few goods which you can bid on"Simpli-bid" which is an inflight auction. They have a starting price and the MRP listed. I saw a pearl necklace that I bid on slightly above the asking price. the MRP was Rs 4000 and the starting bid was Rs1000 and I bid Rs1050 ($25). I was actually hoping somepne else will win the auction. Apparently everyone who bids gets to be the winner as the air hostess told me 2 other passengers had won the pearl neckalce.

Now I am not sure what the others paid but I am banking on Air Deccan taking care of the quality of the goods and hoping my wife is happy with me for buying it.

I thought the auction idea in the sky is a good idea as you have a captive audience.

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