Friday, October 31, 2008

From Ted : Mena Trott: How blogs are building a friendlier world

I met Mena Trott when she came to DC for the launch of VOX. This talk is very entertaining. Give it a view .Its time well spent

Humor is good at any time

Yesterday I asked a question ?  to the community to help fight phishing - got a lot of good feedback & some funny ones too.

Thanks for bringing a smile during the day. We are still looking for ideas and feedback. please email smedia [ at ] networksolutions {.}com or comment at

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Phishing Alert : This is not from Network Solutions

Network Solutions has  been receiving reports that some customers are getting  spam/phishing emails that are fraudulent. There are reports that customers of other registrars are also receiving similar spam/phishing emails. The email may have  the subject line "Attention: domain will be expired soon." There is a link the email that says "'Renew your domain now and while it shows it actually goes to>  now look closer , the link actually goes to the domain " ". See image below. Gay Warner on his blog has posted some of the domain names that the spammers are using.


Please take precautions, when you click on any link in an email.  Also please make sure you check the top address bar of your browser before entering any information. A genuine network solutions page should look like this in the browser, the important part of this URL is that after the there should not be any additional .com in the URL. Note that the link in the screenshot above has two .coms in the URL. You can also scroll over the link with your mouse and see where the link leads to in the status bar at the bottom of your browser.

Here are some resources for learning more about Phishing :

Posts explaining and cautioning people: network-solutions.html


Note: I posted it on my personal blog also to help alert people on this issue. original post is on the Network Solutions Blog.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10 Commandments for the President Elect - to Save the US Economy

This was one of the sessions at Pop!Tech that had me riveted to my seat. I took 100 pictures of the session and put them on my ShashiBellamkonda Flickr Feed.

Juan explained the economics in sucah a simple way and you will agree with me when you see this video and also read the discussions on the Pop!tech website (links are below) . 

Juan Enriquez (2008) Pop!Tech Pop!Cast from PopTech on Vimeo.

(download Juan’s presentation as a pdf)

To continue the conversation, Pop!Tech has set up a couple spaces where:

1. Anyone can join in a respectful, civil and fact-based debate on how we got into this mess and what it’s going to take to fix it.  Additionally, participants can work collaboratively on a set of wikified financial commandments for the next President of the United States - to address the crisis:

2. Participants can brainstorm about new, creative ways to tell our leaders – parties, candidates and, inevitably, Presidents-elect – that they have permission to speak candidly about this crisis and its consequences:

This is a non-partisan effort focused on generating smart recommendations disliked by Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and the Green Party alike – bridging past political self interest to reasoned economic policies that benefit all Americans. We welcome every informed opinion and viewpoint on this critical issue. 

Ultimately, this is a clarion call to our current political establishment, imploring politicians to address citizens as adults and embrace unpopular decisions that benefit the electorate – and the country. 

Meeting Frank Warren :

In another one of those karmic moments, as I completed security and walked to wards my gate at the Portland Maine jetport I saw Frank Warren ( ) and Joe Navarro ( and Ian Lipkin sitting at a restaurant. I joined them and had an amazing conversation . As we were on the same flight Frank Warren told me a lot about and his story and we exchanged ideas and I got a lot of ideas from him.

Post secret is a blog and its driven by user contribution. Frank started by distributing post secret post cards and anyone could send in their secret. This became a mass movement and Frank now receives 000's of post cards each week. 

Frank gives talks at a lot of colleges that encourages young people and has written several books on the post secrets .

I really want to connect the DC blogger community with Frank as there is a lot of learning here.  What do you think ?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yahoo ! Sends Diwali Greetings . Thanks .


Just saw the tweet from Andy Carvin about Yahoo! changing its logo to wish Yahoo! users a Happy Diwali. Google has the logo only on its India portal.


Is Yahoo! more international? What is Diwali ?

 Flickr has a post on Diwali too

Who does Yahoo! hope to reach by showing the page = Americans of Indian origin :

Could Google have done this? What would they have gained?

WSJ Says "Twitter goes Mainstream"


Some of the uses of Twitter in the article by JESSICA E. VASCELLARO are:

  • Doctors are using Twitter to update patients about office hours.
  • Local groups such as the Los Angeles Fire Department are using it to share details about service calls with interested residents, occasionally with graphic descriptions of the victims' conditions.
  • And dozens of major companies, like computer maker Dell Inc., use Twitter to share deals and product news with people who sign up for the service

You should read the article at

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pop!Tech 2008 : Wow ! Meeting Bob Metcalfe

It pays to sit in the front row specially at conferences . I was pleasantly surprised when the gentleman sitting next to me turned out to be Robert MetCalfe founder of 3Com and co creator of the Ethernet. he loved my title " Social Media Swami" for Network Solutions.

He is on the Advisory board for Pop!Tech and here is what the Pop!Tech website says.

Bob Metcalfe
Bob joined Polaris Venture Partners as a general partner in January, 2001. He specializes in Boston-based IT start-ups. He had three careers before becoming a venture capitalist:

While an engineer-scientist (1965–1979), Bob helped build the early Internet. In 1973, at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, he invented Ethernet, the local-area networking (LAN) standard on which he shares four patents. In 2003, Ethernet’s 30th year, 184 million new Ethernet connections were shipped for $12.5 billion.

While an entrepreneur-executive (1979–1990), Bob founded 3Com Corporation, the billion-dollar networking company, where at various times he was chairman, CEO, division general manager, and vice president of engineering, sales, and marketing.

While a publisher-pundit (1990–2000), Bob was CEO of IDG's InfoWorld Publishing Company (1992–1995). For eight years, he wrote an Internet column read weekly by more than 500,000 information technologists. He spoke often; appeared on radio, television, and the web; and produced conferences, including ACM97, ACM1, Agenda, Pop!Tech, and Vortex.

Bob’s book credits include Packet Communication (Thomson), Internet Collapses and Other InfoWorld Punditry (IDG Books), and Beyond Calculation: The Next Fifty Years of Computing (co-edited for Springer Verlag).

Attend a Small Business Conference in your Pjs OCt 29th :

See awesome experts talk about helping entrepreneurs and business owners use the internet to benefit their business at This video is a previewto the video conference on 29th Cotober at 1 p.m . Wow! this really came together.Thank you all

Solutions Stars Video participants include:

and Livingston Communications

read more | digg story

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pop!Tech 2008 - The Experience Part 2

It was a great experience to sit next to Bob Metcalfe who founded 3Com and co invented the Ethernet. I met Malcolm Gladwell a couple of times and he autographed his book "The Tipping Point" for my daughter. I had a quick conversation with Chris Anderson, Author of "Long Tail" and "Free" to be published soon. I had the privilege of sitting next to Harvey Ardman with great conversation. to be continued ...

Pop!Tech 2008 - The Experience Part 1

My Pop!tech experience started from Dulles airport itself where I met Ann Pace from the Washington Speakers Bureau.  By a stroke of good karma the flight crew had asked her to change seats and the changed seat happened to be next to me. Despite the early hour we had a good conversation on Pop!tech and she gave me a few good pointers on what to expect.

The drive from Portland , Maine to Camden is about 2 hours and the scenery is very pretty. Among the towns I passed it seemed that Camden was one of the bigger cities. My Hotel was a beautiful place called Point LookOut which is in NorthPort about 8 miles from the Camden Opera House where Pop!Tech is held. Point Lookout cabins are very nice and the WiFi just rocks.

The downtown Camden is about 3 blocks long and Pop!Tech is a huge event here. At registration I was excited to get a Timbuk2 bag as the conference bag with a nice hand woven scarf and pencils.

Poptech 2008 Camden Maine

Pop!tech had purple bikes that you could ride around town and the bike would take pictures automatically and geotag them

image image

I had lunch at the only Thai Place in town, and either I was hungry or the spirit of home cooked Thai Green Curry was specially fulfilling.

Poptech 2008 Camden Maine

The Pop!Tech welcome party was at the Waterfront Restaurant where the appetizers were amazing.

Poptech 2008 Camden Maine

The official beer for the evening was Sam Adams :)  and I met some awesome people.

Tierney O'Dea of

Poptech 2008 Camden Maine

Michelle Riggins of Batch Blue who is blogging at the Pop!Tech Blog, Ellen  and her dad David Rowan of Zoom Album. Professional Fashion Photographer Kris Krug, Had a great conversation with Michael Wiley of Edelman . I enjoyed the conversation with Michael Wiley  who worked for GM on thier social media strategy and is now at Edelman.

Poptech2008 : Bunker Roy and the Barefoot University

image (Home of the Barefoot University in the State of Rajasthan India)

Bunker Roy's talk today at Pop!Tech hit home for me as I was born and brought up In India. When he said that he set aside a career to go and work laying bricks in Rajastan I thought to myself - That decision needed a lot strength specially knowing the social system in India.


In a 2005 article in the International Herald Tribune Bunker Roy said :

In 1978, when Robert McNamara, then president of the World Bank, and McGeorge Bundy, president of the Ford Foundation, spend a night at the Barefoot College here in Tilonia, McNamara asked a man whose family lived on much less than a dollar a day what he looked forward to in life. He smiled and said very quietly, "Two square meals a day."

I always use this as a perfect example when i talk about India because I have seen and heard this answer many many times. Today during this talk Bunker Roy repeatedly emphasized how the professionals in these villages i.e bone setters, masons, midwifes have so much of knowledge . Bunker mobilized them to build their own University, solar devices, rain water harvesting techniques. He then took these methods and trained other grass roots people from countries like Afghanistan, Bolivia. 


Bunker also told us of his visit to Timboctu in Mali (yes , It exists) and how they trained 2 uneducated women to come to Rajastan and learn to make Solar panels.

Another amusing story was how when they introduced solar lighting to villages in Ladakh one woman who was thrilled with the new light bulbs because she could see her husband in the winter :)

Read more coverage here Bobbie Johnson ; Pop!Tech Blog

Friday, October 24, 2008

PopTech 2008 : Rufus Cappadocia : Excellent performance on Cello

Poptech @008 - Camden Maine

I want to start of my Poptech posts with this video of Rufus Cappadoci Cellist who has designed his own instrument, This short video is so impactful and I never knew a cello could produce all these sounds. In between sessions Poptech had musicians who preformed. The other great artist I heard was Imogen Heap " ethereal, Grammy-nominated, electronica songstress." as described by

Poptech 2008 - Camden Maine - Imogen Heap

Note; I updated this post and removed the video at the request of Poptech. As soon as the HiDef video is ready I embed the official video from Poptech

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cool business card from Rachel Shechtman

Today was the first day of Pop!tech and the way Poptech structures lunches is that you are randomly selected and given a restaurant coupon for lunch and 90 minutes to finish lunch.

I had the good fortune of having lunch with among other Herb Kim and Rachel Shechtman. Rachel has a new ideas firm called Cube Ventures and is starting another company called Show and Tell. During lunch she gave her business card which was from and has customized candy with Show and tell on each candy.

During lunch I heard a lot of interesting new methods that Rachel has been helping companies with including making top Bankers cook food at a networking event.

I am happy i met a lot if intetesting people at Poptech and Rachel is going to go places :) Good luck to her and Show and tell.

her current company is

Monday, October 20, 2008

Education on Twitter : Real people help me with What or Who is Flat Stanley

Today a lot of folks on Twitter helped me with stuff that would have taken me some time to find and educate myself. I am hoping that this post will be helpful to anyone else who does not about Flat Stanley.

StarrGazr: @shashib Check FB for some links to some info on Flat Stanley or go here If you want more info, let me no.

Jillmz: @shashib it's a board of a person that travels around - gets sent around from person to person, journeying through life

darrylohrt: @shashib HA! we were just chatting about flat stanley in our office today! Great program for kids:

mattr: @shashib flatstanley

sheilas: @shashib Flat Stanley is a geography teaching tool in some schools, a cutout guy you mail around & take pics with in different places

lizscherer: @shashib. Flat Stanley is a character in a children's book that was flattened when a bulletin board fell on him

ParentopiaDevra: @shashib It's a book and elementary school students read it and then send out "Stanley's" to see where he can travel.

Adding Facebook people who contributed :
TracyLee Carroll at 4:54pm October 20
OMG! It started as a book and has grown to be a project done by children everywhere. My daughter did a Flat Stanley project in second grade and through the use of Flickr, she had her "Flat Bobby" travel all around the world. It circumnavigated the globe! Check out this group on Flickr
TracyLee Carroll at 4:57pm October 20
More information in the comments in on this page.

I am now educated on Flat Stanley . Thanks everyone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blog Action Day :SalaamGarage : Amanda Koster

Gnomedex Seattle
Originally uploaded by shashiBellamkonda

I am late by a day for the Blog action Day ( apologies) I met Amanda Koster at Gnomedex and after her session we spoke for a long time. Amanda Koster runs and works with NGO's (non Governmental organizations) to help with social causes.

SalaamGarage also organizes trips to places to help people be philanthropic and see new places.  Amanda is a accomplished photographer and its wonderful to see that she is using this talent for a good cause.

her story

"In 1993 Amanda Koster landed solo in Asmara, Eritrea (East Africa) about 1 month after then end of a 30-year civil war with Ethiopia. WIth her were written directions to her friends grandmothers house in Tagrinia (Eritrean language). Regardless of the directions, the cabbie and she were lost for hours. Once Amanda said out-loud the only words written in English, “Salaam Garage?!” (the garage next to the grandmothers house) everything came together. They were there in 5 minutes while the trip changed her life forever."

See the post on the Network Solution's Blog about Amanda's talk at Gnomedex

How The community helps you take good photographs

I have been taking pictures and I think my picture taking skills have improved thanks to social media. Here are a few individuals I would like to thank for going out of their way to help:

Nahum Gershon |  | | I meet nahum all the time and we got connected on Facebook first.

John Wall | | | I met him at Blogger Social and I followed his lead. He looks at my Flickr stream and sends comments and tips.

Todd Jordan | The Broad Brush | | We connected face to face at SobCon 08. He took me through a quick 101 on shooting without a flash.

Kris Krug  | | | He gave a great presentation at Gnomedex and later he let me use his camera ( must be costing a lot) to test shoot. He is avery nice guy for a professional Fashion photographer.

Timothy Wood || | I met Timothy at Gnomedex and he took the time to look at my pictures and give me advice. I am reproducing his advice below with his permission as it may help others.

Timothy sent me a lot of tips and studied my Flickr pictures. Some highlights of his advice:

"one technique I found very helpful when I was first starting was to get a basic film point and shoot camera and a log book - then just start shooting everything and take detailed notes about what you took, both emotional notes and technical notes about lighting, environment, composition etc. It will really translate over to the digital world the more you do this."

"see you were using the 55-250mm. Which is a good lens - but I think it may be a bit dark for your use. It seemed that a lot of your shots were around the 100mm range and that you had to shoot around 1/125 with a really high iso. I'm wondering if the 85mm f1.8 or 135mm primes might be more useful for you - they work better with portrait and indoor shots because their f range are pretty wide open. Even the 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 would work well but I'm more of a prime lens user myself."

"try to shoot closer"

I have to thank Guy Kawasaki for letting me shoot with his Nikon D90 at Blog World. What do you think of my pictures Do you have any adivce and as I always tell people, I have a disclaimer that - people look better in real life than my pictures.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SCNR Symposium and Awards Boston Nov 14th

Network Solutions is among the finalists for the SCNR award for companies using New media tools for communication and reputation management. I am excited to attend and would like to ask for my readers support for wishing us well. I will arrive Boston late on 13th as i am attending PubCon  in Las Vegas. If you are going to be there for the SCNR Symposium and awards it will be great to meet you. let me know. Thanks.

Polaroid makes a comeback with PoGo

Polaroid Pogo inkless printer

ZINK - Zero Ink printing technology is here. Polaroid was the company that fascinated me in the 80's when in India I heard about the product but it was not available then in India.  Now Poalroid has come up with a pocket sized printer which I wish I had when I went to India in July. I would have loved to have given my parents pictures from the trip .

The PoGo can be connected direct to your digital camera or cell phone and prints.The pictures print in 60 seconds – instantly dry to the touch! Zink technology uses a special paper that is a composite material which houses cyan, yellow and magenta dye crystals in a protective coat. The crystals are colourless before printing so the paper appears white. The secret to the process is the heat activation which brings the photos to life through colourising the crystals, printing high quality images in less time than a traditional Polaroid photo!

The 30 pack 2" x 3" paper costs about $10. Amazon sells the Polaroid PoGo for $99.95 or with paper and carrying case for $127.93.

One of the reviewers on Amazon has has these suggestions:

Thoughts for future models:
* Larger Paper Models
* Built in Camera with a macro lens
* Cool Polaroid Special Effects (BW, Old film, Sepia, negative, borders, Etc.)
* Miniature Spy version

Check out the site which involves you with the PoGo user community :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Guy's Index of Absurdity: Must read Guy Kawasaki post

I think I disturbed more than enough of my office mates by laughing ludly when I read this post on Guy Kawasaki's Blog.  I spcially liked the last one " Men can speak at Blogher as long as they pay for the time slot." I was just talking about this with Elisa Camahort one of the co-counders of BlogHer yesterday when she was explaining to me how they poll thier community to see if they should continute the no male speaker rules.

Maybe Guy Kawasaki should be the first speaker paid or unpaid and I hope I am not far behind :)

JS-Kit Closes $3.6m Funding Round

Have you used JS-Kit? I saw JS-kit first on Guy Kawasaki's blog. Today Khris Loux, CEO sent me an email with the good news that they now have some added funding. Using Js-kit you can create widgets on your website for Comments, Ratings, Product Reviews, & Polls. I met them at BlogWorld Expo and they have some exciting plans for the HaloSCan users.

Are you coming to Capital Cabal today at Arlington

Hank Dearden brings a good community of people together and network. I enjoy meeting Hank at a lot of local events and I am looking forward to seeing the Capital Cabalists this evening. Network Solutions is one of the sponsors this evening and Andy Bates will be there . See him if you have questions about websites, SEO etc.

More details: 


You and dozens of other New Media Professionals


Second Tuesdays “Dot Com” Cocktail Party and Networking Salon  – 


Tuesday, October 14th - TONIGHT!
5:30PM - 9:00PM
Appetizers, drink specials, parlor tricks, door prize swag, CUPCAKES, and two tickets to a  WASHINGTON CAPITALS game! 


Upstairs at Gua Rapo
2039 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201
- Courthouse area
Use Courthouse Metro - Walk One Block East on Wilson and there we are.
Plenty of metered parking on Wilson, free after 6:30PM. Also, there's a large public metered parking lot on North Courthouse Road between 14th and 15th Streets, next to the AMC Theater.


Network Solutions
Potomac Tech Wire
Tri Tuns LLC
DBC PR+New Media


By popular acclaim the Official Background Music is all 80s, most of the time, since Cabalists certainly know how to navigate outside of parallel lines. 


$15 at the door, includes first beverage, heavy appetizers, and a door prize chance for cool stuff, including gift certificates, bottles of vino, a vintage Wired to treasure, CAPS TICKETS, and massage session with LMT Charlly Enroth. 


Plenty of business cards and leave those vanities at home.

See my video interview with Hank

10 Ways to Use Linkedin : Guy Kawasaki and the Linkedin Blog

Today as I was looking at the updates on my Linkedin Profile page I saw a tip : Learn more about using LinkedIn by reading Guy Kawasaki’s post, Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn. by coincidence I had just finished an article in the Economist article today that called Facebook for Suits. The article hightlights:

- People are updating their Linkedin profiles in record numbers because of the economic upheaval.

-Top Business social  networks are Linkedin and Xing with 29M and 6.5M members. Both have a premium paid version and are profitable

- For the English speaking audience LinkedIn is better and Xing has 16 language versions including Madarin.

According to the article Xing can position itself as the European leader for business social networking if it plays its cards right. Jeremiah Owyang quoted in the Economist article says that things could change if Facebook Grows up and becomes a place for serious business.

Are you a member of both Linkedin and Xing? Do you think Facebook can be used for business starting now?

The original post by Guy Kawasaki :

Economist article :

The post by Mario Sundar

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Speaking at the GOING FREELANCE Seminar on October 18th

I am honored to speak at the Going Freelance Seminar sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Masters of Arts in Writing Program and American Independent Writers. Details of the event are here:

GOING FREELANCE: An All-Day Seminar on Saturday, October 18, 2008
Jointly sponsored by Johns Hopkins University Masters of Arts in Writing Program and American Independent Writers

Johns Hopkins University
Bernstein-Offit Building  (Lower-Level Conference Hall)
1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Metro: Red Line, Dupont Circle

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast

9:00-9:15 a.m. Welcome

9:15-10:30 a.m. The Fundamentals of Freelance Business

How do you know what to charge for your hard freelance work? Or what records to keep? Or whether you’re being taken advantage of? This panel presents expert and experienced advice on rate-setting, accounting, record-keeping, legal issues, tax basics, and other nuts and bolts of successful freelancing.

John D. Mason is a Washington DC/Maryland based art, entertainment, and intellectual property attorney. His practice focuses on copyright and trademark matters, litigation, contracts, and commercial matters. He works with writers, artists, and creative people and companies to protect and exploit their work and is also a literary agent. The website for his new firm, The Intellectual Property Group, PLLC, is and his e-mail is

Ken Norkin is an ADDY- and ASPC Colonial Award-winning copywriter and full-time freelancer specializing in business-to-business marketing communications for technology-based products and services. Since establishing his own business—KN Creative—in 1991, he has written ads, brochures, annual reports and Web content for Sprint, Nextel, Mobile ESPN, IBM, Citrix, Carl Zeiss, Road Runner, MCI, Savin, Sharp and the American Gas Association. Beyond the tech market, Norkin has written for T. Rowe Price, Arlington and Prince William Counties, The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Holy Cross Hospital, the Vince Lombardi Cancer Research Center, The Washington Post, PBS, the Discovery Channel and many other companies. His ability to share what he’s learned in 30 years of writing for a living makes Norkin a frequent and sought-after speaker on the business of freelancing and creative self-employment.

Alan C. Portner spent 35 years in the newspaper business as a reporter, editor and publisher throughout the country including Hawaii, California, Iowa and the metro DC area. He has spent the past five years as a freelance writer and author, as well as the president and founder of The Assignment Desk.

10:45: 12 Noon Finding Work in Commercial Writing

While we all want to publish our essays in national magazines, some of the most lucrative freelancing in the Washington-Baltimore area involves annual reports, media releases, marketing materials, and other writing-for-hire work. This session describes how to network and find the opportunities.

Shashi Bellamkonda (aka, ShashiB) works for Network Solutions as the first-ever Network Solutions “Social Media Swami.” A prolific Twitterer, blogger, and product innovator, Shashi loves technology, testing new things, and helping people. A self-described “Internet junkie,” Shashi has presented previously on “How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss” and “Social Media tools for Small Business.” He’s been in love with social media since his previous life working in the hotel world and, believe it or not, as an executive chef, and Shashi started his blog to keep his many on- and offline friends up to date on the coolest new things to check out and answer their questions on social media and technology—from what to use and how, how to prevent pop-ups, how to avoid viruses, how to save computers from hackers, and the ever popular “Why is my computer freezing?” Shashi’s life’s mission is to be helpful to others and achieve dreams in installments.

Lisa Daniel is an award-winning writer and editor with more than 2,000 published articles. She has reported on all levels of government, from school boards to the White House, for general circulation newspapers and trade presses. She has covered Congress, multiple cabinet departments and all branches of the U.S. armed services for Army Times Publishing Co./Gannett, Federal Times, and UPI. As a freelancer, her feature articles have been published in The Boston Globe, HR Magazine, Government Executive, Retired Officer, National Guard and other trade magazines, newsletters and Web sites. In 1999, Daniel became a full-time freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She created successful branding and marketing copy in the real estate development, space technology and national security communities. As a freelancer, Daniel also specialized in writing about business and careers. She wrote for several publications of the Society for Human Resource Managers and for two years wrote a weekly careers column for Federal Times/Gannett. Since 2001, Daniel has been a regular contributor to Washingtonian magazine’s biennial “Best Workplaces” cover story and authored a Washingtonian cover story on how people can get ahead in their careers, which won a 2002 Apex Award for excellence in journalism. In December 2007, Daniel returned to a staff position as an editor for American Forces Press Service, a military-based wire service. She has been a two-term board member of American Independent Writers and chaired the 27th Washington Writers Conference in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from West Virginia University and has completed graduate work at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy.

Lester Reingold has been a freelance writer and editor for more than 30 years, concentrating primarily on aviation and space. He has written for magazines such as Air & Space/Smithsonian, American Heritage and Condé Nast Traveler and newspapers such The Washington Post and USA Today, plus many aerospace trade publications. His first book, a pictorial history of the Wright Brothers’ home town—Dayton, Ohio—was published in 2005. He is a commentator for WAMU and for NPR’s Morning Edition. After the accident that destroyed Space Shuttle Columbia, Reingold served as Lead Editor in the investigation. Since then, he has continued to work as Publications Editor on projects for NASA. A former AIW Board member, Reingold won the 2004 Washington Writing Prize for Reported Nonfiction and was runner-up in the 2003 competition.

Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch and Networking on your own

1:30-2:45 p.m. It’s Time to Publish

Okay, you have a great idea for an essay or article. Now what? This panel covers the many venues open to publishing creative writing, from online and print journals to magazines and newspapers. The focus will be on publishing essays or articles, although many suggestions will help poets and fiction writers, too. We’ll discuss how to target your work, the need for persistence, and the all-important query and cover letters.

Cathy Alter is a successful freelance writer and author whose feature articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in local and national newspapers and magazines including Washingtonian, Self, Fitness, McSweeney’s, Preservation, and Might. Her book, Virgin Territory: Stories from the Road to Womanhood (Three Rivers Press) was released in 2004 and her memoir, Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over (Atria) was released in July 2008. She teaches nonfiction at the Johns Hopkins M.A. in Writing Program and has lectured for many writing conferences and groups.

Tim Wendel is an award-winning novelist and journalist. His books include the novel, Castro’s Curveball (Ballantine) and The New Face of Baseball (Rayo/HarperCollins), which was named Top History Book for 2004 in the Latino Literary Awards. His new novel, Red Rain, will be released in the fall of 2008. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Esquire, Washingtonian and GQ, and his columns appear on the USA Today op-ed page, where he is on the Board of Contributors. He has been a Tennessee Williams Scholar to the Sewanee Writing Conference and Pen/Faulkner visiting writer to the Washington, D.C. Public Schools. He teaches in the M.A. in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins.

Additional panelist to be announced

3:00-4:15 p.m. Blogging and Your Writing Career

Blogs are everywhere, but they can be more important than simple personal expression. This panel discusses how blog writing differs from other types of writing, how you can make money from a blog, how blogging can jumpstart your career, and how blogs can be a pathway to more prestigious writing work.

Jeff Sypeck is the author of Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800 (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2006). He teaches medieval literature at the University of Maryland University College; his articles about books, history, and travel have appeared in the Washington Post and Salon; and he is also the author of a biography of Charlemagne for middle-school children. He writes about the modern persistence of medieval history and culture on his blog, "Quid Plura?"

Michael Yessis, who co-founded the popular World Hum travel blog and website in 2001, has worked as an editor at Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal and Journey magazines, and as the Destinations Editor at His stories have appeared in Salon, Sunset, Via, Playboy, Westways, E!Online, Outdoor Explorer and many other publications. He lives in the Washington D.C. area. Follow him on Twitter, or see Michael

Additional panelists to be announced

4:15-5:00 p.m. Informal Networking

AIW Members’ cost is $89; non-members’ cost is $129, and non-Hopkins students’ cost is $49. Hopkins Writing Program students are admitted free of charge, but all must RSVP by calling (202) 775-5150, emailing, or registering online at Please mention the event for which you are responding and your membership status.

My Friend Kristen King wrote about it here

American Independent Writers

Join the PopCorn party and help
Originally uploaded by shashiBellamkonda
We are asking for help to support Connor a 10 year old Scout who is raising money for hungry kids at . See how you an help here

Gail Goodwin : Inspiring the Warriors

Link to the inspiremetoday post:


If you hear "Baby Come Back Home" its a touching song and resonates among any family that experiences a loved one going away for work. I salute Gail for this post that brings emotions to the fore as you read it. I think the key message here is if you have the inspiration just work to do it. I have met Gail and she is a wonderful person doing some great work. Taking your inspiration to executable ideas like Gail did with the scrolls for the military required courage and sacrifice. Gail, WIsh you the best and lots of good luck.

Also want to mention two other inspired people: and

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Uncle Joe's Business still not online ? Ask him to see this clip

Have you been home for Thanksgiving and since you are the only geek in the family your relatives ask you how to get online. Don't fret - just send them a link to this video and you are a hero.

Other places to get this

You tube;

Daily Motion :


My personal accounts



Eyespot : Another one bites the Dust : Letter from CEO

I got this email from Eyespot which is vidoe sharing site . Jim I salute you for your entrepreunership and hope things work out better for you next time arouns. Please keep trying.


We deeply regret to inform you that Eyespot Corporation will no longer be able to continue serving you.
For our users at, we're no longer allowing you to upload new videos. You can retrieve your uploaded video and mixes by going to your mymedia gallery and clicking the download link below the video thumbnail.
For our business customers in the eyespot video network, your site will continue operate unaffected for a limited period of time. We encourage you to migrate your video solution to one of our competing providers in the video mixing (e.g. and video publishing space (e.g. immediately. We'll soon be providing you with the means of downloading your community videos from within your dashboard at].
We have spent three years providing over a hundred thousand of you with a unique video experience. We believed that by putting creative tools and rights-cleared media into the hands of influencers and connectors, Eyespot would enable social media and participation culture like no other company.
After playing over two hundred million of your video creations, we have to stop. After assembling possibly the most potent team in digital media ever, we're now moving on.
Thank you all for being apart of our community over the past three years.
Jim Kaskade
President & CEO

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Following a Network Solutions Customer

It is always thrilling to find a Network Solutions Customer and associate with them in real life. is a great website. Check them out and order flowers from them.I took this picture while I stopped at a light as the domain name caught my attention. When I went home I checked whois to find out if this was a Network Solutions customer and was thrilled to take this picture.
What do you think ? Do you take pictures of how your product is used and who is using them?
When i showed it to friends ans colleagues they offered to get hlep for me if taking pictures with domain names in them was giving me so much pleasure :)

Well , in life you have to have some crazy habits. What is yours ?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ten Golden Rules Online Marketing Workbook - Jay Berkowitz

I got a copy of Jay Berkowitz 's new book on how to turn your website into a profit center at the Affiliate summit. This is a limited print review copy and I am previleged to have one.. See Jay's interview at

Sheila Scarborough : Ode to Dublin Dr Pepper:


Sheila blogs at and I had the good fortune to meet her at SXSW in Austin and at several conferences again. Very fun and knowledgeable she teaches Web 2.0 workshops with Every Dot Connects and writing about NHRA drag racing on Fast Machines. I also co-author (with two other writers) the Perceptive Travel blog.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Dude ! Create your own conference while in your PJs

Chris Brogan's post is cool. How to create a conference without moving or spending a penny .. I really digg this

read more | digg story

Sunday, October 05, 2008

October 21st meetup in Atlanta

I am excited that I will be in Atlanta on 21st of October for a Networking evening at the

433 Bishop St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30318-4363

Register here :

I already have some good friends in Atlanta - Brent Leary of, Christina Warren , Toby Bloomberg all of whom I have met and I am looking forward to meeting more of my friends. If you can spare the time it would be awesome to see you there.

I have been to Atlanta once a few years back when i visited Savannah. I loved both places and I am excited to be going back. If you live in and around Atlanta I hope to see you there. please help me spread the word.

Atlanta here I come !

Affiliate Social Media Summit : Making Social Media Make Money

Social Media has exploded into our lives and media consciousness. This presentation will explore practical business applications to deliver real bottom line profitability.

This was the panel that I was on had two powerful people actually 3 if you include Jim Kukral who has been Blogging since 2001. The other two Jay Berkowitz and Larry Bailin are authors. I started off my panel with saying that I hoped being on the panel with them will rub off on me and I will also write a book one day.

Jay's presentation was good. He has a great style and the reasons for saying this are:

  • Going through 50 slides in 10 minutes is a talent
  • Each slide has one picture and only a few words
  • The points he makes relate to immediate happenings and personal connections. Like speaking to @comcastcares just before the presentation and Frank @comcastcares was making waffles :)
  • He had the foresight to make copies of his presentation to distribute and that by itself is great.
  • His presentation had 10 steps for people to begin in the Social Media for their business.

Larry wrote the book "Mommy, Where do customers come from" He gave 3 real examples from work that he has done for creating interesting content that helped his client succeed.

a) a power bar that became a fastest selling product. ( Will research the name)

b) Acer computers

c) Kiwi Shoe polish

Larry blogs at and his domain name is one of the longest I know of and at

At the end of the talk Larry did two things that were very touching. He says to just start writing and that will lead to a book. He then took the copy of the book that he had brought and signed it and gave it to me. Thanks Larry. The book is almost getting sold out so please order your copy now :

Smart ideas presentation of Larry Bailin yesterday at the Affiliate Social Media Summit in NYC.

- Larry wrote the book "Mommy, Where Do Customers Come From" and for the book he created a one day book sale charity drive.and donated the proceeds from book sales on the day of launch. Word spread through the social media space and he raised thousands for charity and because of all of the sales the book rose to the bestseller lists within hours. I think this also helped his search ranking.

- Ronnie Coleman video took an obscure protein bar and made it a mainstream seller. :

- Acer video: The Acer is launching a video contest where people can create their own Acer Aspire One commercials and win prizes on October 15th at Disclaimer : My only connection with Larry is being on the same panel with him at this conference and getting a signed copy of his book that I finished on the train ride back to DC. :)
Jim Kukral and Shawn Collins are great guys. Jim wore a suit today and also a tie. I think he had the distinction of being the only guy in the room with a tie. next time i will take the advice of my friend Todd Jordan : Tojosan @shashib I'm thinking jacket with jeans. :)

Other great people I met at the Affiliate Social Media Summit :

Sanjeet Mitra : SUMERU: Very nice guy .

Rick Gardiner They always have such nice SWAG, a few years ago i got a remote controlled plane and today I picked up a rubber plane model that i get to assemble.

David Campbell he is a network Solutions customer and I owe him an answer why is not redirecting to like before. I did tell him to use in the meantime.

Sachin Aggarwal : A very smart guy with great ideas. We met before at Tech Cocktail Chicago

Dimitry Becker

Deborah Carney She took a lot of pictures at the Summit and i took one of her :)

Affiliate Social Media Summit : Social Media Case Studies

Affiliate marketers are working with social media in a variety of ways. Hear about the nuts and bolts of successful efforts in social media.


For top sites affiliate sales is number 2 now for driving sales. product and the message creates evangelism.

How to do Facebook Marketing?

MLTV is a internet Tv show that inerviews bloggers. Show bloggers how to make money and double the revenue.

This was a great panel and this post does not do justice to the content so look out for the videos and check out for updates on where the content will be posted.

Affiliate Social Media Summit : New York

Dan Crowther started the conference off with a keynote where he emphasized the importance of best practices. His presentation was full of tips and executable tasks that I am sure all the attendees will implement ASAP.

  • Movable Type is the best for search compared to Blogger as since they are paid search engines are almost sure that there will be no spam blogs.
  • Top social bookmarking people boorkmark 6 links from other people to every single one of their own that they submit.
  • Use Tube Moghul. it is good for syndication and also lets you track competition.
  • Squidoo is a good place to get inbound links
  • Even if you have one Digg it is still a link
  • Use Camtasia from Techsmith to create valuable "How to's" that people are looking for.

Affiliate Social Media Summit : Melissa Salas and Steve Rosenbaum

Affiliate Social Media Summit NYC


To Jim Kukral's question as the moderator " how do you make a viral video" Steve answered , " How do you make a hit song" .  Toldya is a Social Commerce Platform that partnered with to create advertising widgets and  Qoof is another company that uses for clickable links in the video that goes to the product page.


Steve Rosenbaum narrated a case study from Reader's Digest and used the principle of 3 C's.

  • Created
  • Collected
  • User contributed

Editors went to different video sites and tagged videos and used them to create channels for their TasteofHome channel . Now that they already had many videos users contributed more videos and trafic went up. Videos should have actors in the videos should look like you or me instead of well decorated.


UGC = User generated content

Message your members/customers and give them an incentive to create and upload video. Give them a prize from one of your partners and that's advertising.

Clicks from videos convert higher at 5%.. Syndication is a powerful new mechanism.

Who is talking about you ? Where?

This post is inspired by Beth Kanter's Tweet (Twitter message) about tools you can use to track who is talking about you, your brand or even members of your family . They are usually easy to setup read these two posts for more details.

Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel :  ( I like his quote “Social media is a career catalyst…it let’s you accomplish a lifetimes worth of work in a short period of time.")

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media :


Of the tools mentioned backtype is totally new to me . One tip from my side it that when you use you can search for multiple terms using the OR and AND in between search terms


Example  1: shashib OR sashib OR shasib OR shashi OR "shashi bellamkonda"

Example 2 : Shawn  AND "affiliate summit"


Happy searching !

Blog Action Day on October 15 - Join the cause


Every year a lot of bloggers help a common cause by dedicating a blog post. Last year if my memory serves me right was about the environment. This year it is "proverty". Register your blog at and get started. Thank you Vicky for reminding me to join this year too.

Tethering your N95 to your laptop using T-Mobile

I am on a Amtrak train to New York for the Affiliate Social Media Summit and now connected to the internet using my N95 and my T Mobile Unlimited data plan. The speed I get is about 460kbps which is double of the connection speed in India when I visited there last July.

Here are the steps if you need them.

  1. Install the Nokia PC Suite software on your laptop
  2. Connect the phone to the laptop using a USB cable ( You can use IR or  bluetooth too)
  3. Once installed click on Internet and One touch.
  4. After choosing N95 as your modem use the option "Configure the settings manually" option
  5. In the access point use if you have a TMobile VPN plan aka Unlimited data and leave both username and password blank ( Others have suggested trying and user voicestream for other plans)
  6. Finish the process and you should be good to go.

This post is living proof that this works. My next project is to use my gizmo account to make calls using the internet instead of calling log distance using the phone service.

Friday, October 03, 2008

On the road with a Network Solutions Customer

I am sometimes thrilled when I see a network Solutions in flesh and blood ( okay in this case with a domain name on the van) Check out thier website and order flowers from them.

Any other customers who want their picture taken please send an email to the SolutionsArePower Blog Team at

Craig Newmark asks people to support s.223 : Urgent only one week left go to

Google DC talk craig newmark

Craig Newmark calls himself a nerd. Now when he spoke at the Gooogle offices in DC today the subjects spanned from how he started to his childhood love for paleontology. There are two causes he was supporting, one of them is the bill s.223

There is only one week left to get this bill passed in this session! Each Senator to get 10 more calls to let them know they can't ignore this bill. The Senate is considering this bill — S. 223 — that would increase the disclosure of campaign contributions to Senate campaigns. The way I understood it is that the Senate already does that but it is in paper form and you probably have to take a few years vacation to find the information. This bill will make it searcheable online. I am going by the pedigree of the organizations and individuals who are supporting the bill. Sen. Cardin from Maryland is supporting the bill but Sen. Barabara Mikulski is still not said yes. I hope her office has Google alerts so they can comment here :). Check out

Some links to learn more about this bill

Craig mentioned in his speech and that seems pretty cool

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

TeleComHub Social Networking Panel

Today i was honored to be part of a panel on “My Face: Social Networking in the Business Arena”, held at the Tower Club on 10/1 in Tysons Corner Vienna VA..

I think there were more than 100 people at the event. Kim Hart Washington Post tech reporter did a great job moderating the panel which consisted of Katherine Kennedy, Owner, KMK PR. Image Consultant for Social Media and owner of PR firm, Terry Hsiao, CEO of Hook Mobile and Dan Latendre, CEO of Igloo.

The event was hosted by TelecomHUB ( Barry Toser of Mobilians. inc

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