Most of the developers are used to using Firebug or Chrome Developer tools and are used to the nice overlay at the bottom of the screen. Firefox has added new developer tools which is built-in with version 10 but it mostly feels like they have re-invented the wheel. Nevertheless, it is always nice to have new tools that enhance the productivity of a developer. The only annoying thing with the debut of the dev tools in Firefox 10 is that it hijacks the “Inspect Element” context menu which was previously used by Firebug, the swiss army knife of every developer who uses Firefox and builds stuff for the web.

Here is how you can remove it.
1. Type in “about:config” in the address bar and click the ‘I’ll be careful! I promise!’ confirmation.
2. Type in ‘inspector’ in the filter input box and you should be seeing the preferences like in the screenshot

Firefox about config

3. Double click on the option ‘devtools.inspector.enabled’ and you can see the value change to ‘false’.

Close the tab and continue working. You don’t have to restart your browser which is really nice! The default ‘Inspect Element’ option should now be gone.

PS: Setting the user value to false for the devtools inspector totally disables it throughout the browser and not just on the right click context menu.

 

Twitter Usage at Conferences

On June 1, 2010, in Social Media, Twitter, by Ramanujam

One of the things that has set Twitter apart in its short but fast development history is how the users have adapted Twitter for use in ways which were never intended by its developers. People use Twitter in many different scenarios and of the common and prevalent usage is in conference settings.

This was the problem which we studied in the Personal Information Management class at Virginia Tech in the Spring semester of 2010. I joined hands with two other passionate Twitter users Edgardo Vega (@CasaDeVega) and Josette Torres(@girlinblack) from the English department to study how people are using Twitter at conferences. Fortunately, our professor Dr. Manuel Perez Quinones (@mapq) is also an ardent Twitter user and this helped a lot!

Twitter is a huge personal information repository and there were many motivations to study this problem. This is what we did

  • Randomly selected twenty users who attended SXSW 2010 based on the Klout influence score.
  • Using the Twitter API, we scrapped all the tweets made by the users for a five week time period. We obtained a little over 10000 tweets for the time frame which included two weeks before the conference, the conference week and two weeks after the conference.
  • Performed quantitative analysis measuring the number of tweets/mentions/replies etc
  • Performed qualitative analysis by manually assigning all the tweets into 15 different categories. Some of the categories were ‘location’, ‘informational’, ‘observation’, ‘emotion’ etc
  • Inferred results from the data analysis.

PS: There are many big holes in our analysis methodology and the results are not perfect. We planned to do a lot on the data part but due to time constrains we weren’t able to. Nevertheless, this was a very good experience and definitely one of the different projects that i worked on in grad school.

I have embedded the final paper below and the download link for the PDF version.

 

HTML5 and CSS3 Webform with Inline jQuery Validation

On April 30, 2010, in Design, by Ramanujam

HTML5 is definitely one of the hot and happening things in the web technologies arena. Many of the big names like Apple and Google are embracing HTML5 and are aggressively adding it on to their products. I have been following some of the new developments that are coming up in this version and also trying to learn it by building forms, layouts etc. There are many awesome tutorials out there in the design and coding blogs if you are looking to join the wagon.

Web Forms have always been an obsession for me and with HTML5 and CSS 3 they have got really pretty and usable. This post is a small exhibit of how easy is it to build a beautiful web form by using HTML5 and CSS3. There have been many input types for forms and this article from Dive into HTML5 sums it up nicely. The inline validation for the webform is performed using jQuery.

What’s good in this form?

  • Meaningful HTML5 tags like required input, placeholder text, autofocus on pageload, new attribute types.
  • A few CSS3 properties like border radius and text shadows.
  • Regex based validity checking for the input fields. (part of the jQuery plugin). I did make a few modifications in the plugin to suit my needs but it is good to use in the way it comes.

This webform presents itself with all the HTML5 and CSS3 goodness when viewed on Chrome, Safari or Firefox 3.5. It makes use of some of the recently introduced HTML5 tags making the mark-up meaningful and also some nifty CSS3 properties to enhance the look and feel. The inline validation is made possible with the awesome jQuery plugin from Cedric Dugas

This was built using the examples from the W3C HTML5 forms page. The markup and design are very similar to the one illustrated in this fabulous tutorial by Inayaili de Leon for 24Ways.org. I did try it on my iphone and everything worked perfectly including the validation prompts.

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Are Some Indian Startups Lacking Innovation?

On April 7, 2010, in Startups, by Ramanujam

The Indian startup arena is undoubtedly a rapidly growing one with hundreds of passionate entrepreneurs. Being a part of the Proto.in team in the early stages was one of the best things that happened to me when i was an undergrad. It gave me the opportunity to meet some of the best inspirational minds who threw away cozy jobs to work on their start ups.  Inspiration is one vital thing to keep us going forward but what sucks is when that inspiration takes an ugly face and becomes a rip off. I can recall the lines from a talk given by Mahesh Murthy during the Delhi edition of Proto.in where he said there is no good reason to build the “Indian” version of Twitter or the “Indian” version of Flickr when the original versions are out there strong.

The ‘Indian version thing’ is completely fine and might even turn out really well but the bad thing is when the startup starts ripping off things from their western inspirations and this post is a small showcase! The point is not to hurt the people behind these companies but just to let out my thoughts. I bet these guys are burning their midnight oil to make things happen but some minute things like these are going to put the black mark which will definitely be hard to erase in the long run.

Infibeam from Amazon.com

Infibeam.com is one of the big names in the Indian e-commerce arena. The site’s alexa rank (~2340, Apr 2010) is a clear indication that they are receiving a pretty good inflow of traffic. I did read that the company’s founder was a part of the Amazon M&A team and there are rumors about Amazon acquiring them but neither of this is a reason to rip off the logo/design/color schemes. Not to leave aside the “PI reader”!

The color schemes used in Infibeam.com are also pretty similar (if not the exact hex code stolen from the stylesheet!).The layout isn’t different either.

Source:

Destination:

Grabbon from Groupon

This is the kind of service where i said the Indian version will make good sense. A site like Groupon will definitely be beneficial for a city like Bangalore filled with a bazillion software engineers hooked on to the internet. Grabbon(!) did capitalize the opportunity well and started off at the right time but …..

Source:

Destination:

There are also a handful of other indian websites which use the group buying concept and the story isn’t much different there. Exhibit : Group2Deal.com, Mydala.com

PS: If you are replicating the idea it doesn’t mean that the the menu navigation wordings, footer design etc need to be the same across all sites.

24HoursLoot from Woot

This one replicates the hugely popular ‘one day, one deal’ model. Not a big rip off and brownie points for not copying the design.

Source:


Destination:

Bid20 from Swoopo

Bid20 is the Indian version of the bidding fee auction site Swoopo.com. Swoopo is a highly controversial site which made a revenue of $28 million dollars according to Wikipedia. The user has to pay money upfront and buy credits in order to make bids. This shopping model is pretty addictive as it gives the scope to get products at really low prices. No wonder this site is doing good in India!

Source:

Destination:

I bet these are not the only ones which fall under this category. The only question which i have is “WHY”?

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Why NexusOne is not an iPhone killer

On January 7, 2010, in Google, by Ramanujam

Now that we have all had a detailed look at the features and specifications of the new Nexus One phone from Google, all the hype has settled down. The Nexus one is the new android mobile OS based phone which was built by HTC in collaboration with Google. Nexus one boasts of many technical advancements both with respect to hardware and software when compared to its predecessors. The phone was also dubbed as the iphone killer but lets us see why it is not.

iphone-vs-nexusone

The Mobile OS

Nexus one runs on the Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair) operating system which is undoubtedly one of the feature rich ones in the current market but the iPhone OS is way better in several different ways. The most primitive of all is that the usability factor of the iPhone OS. The reason why most of the iPhone users find it really hard to switch to other phones is the really awesome iPhone OS.

User Interface/Multitouch

One big selling point for most of the Apple products is the rich user interface and the iPhone is no doubt a forerunner in that arena. Multitouch on the iPhone allows the user to do wonders with fingers but this is one of the main features which is missing in the first release of the Nexus one. This is surprising since the Android OS 2.0 provides support for multitouch and guess we can expect this feature to be included in the next release of Nexus one.

The Cost

One other comparison metric which many are using to prove the superiority of Nexus One over iPhone is the cost of ownership. The comparison chart from BillShrink made its way to a good number of technology blogs. With the unlimited minutes + data+texting, the iphone does look a lot costlier but i wonder how many people go for that plan. For instance, i pay $66/month for my iPhone 3GS and it comes with unlimited data and 400 day time minutes a month. I have hell lot of rolled over day minutes which i am sure i am not going to use since most of the people who i call are on AT&T and the calls are free. I pay $780 an year or $1560 for the 24 month contract period. I assume most of the Iphone users pay around the same amount, may be a couple of hundreds more.

The App Store

In my opinion the best part of owning an iPhone is the appstore but many will disagree and give brownie points for the other important features. With over a 100,000 apps on the app store, you can find innumerable apps both free and paid. Be it productivity apps or motion sensor games or fun apps which have no particular utility, the app store is one huge repository. The Android market has also got a sizable number of apps but it is way behind the app store in this aspect.

The Music

The iPhone also doubles up as a 32 GB/16GB iPod which can be synced with your computer and also your itunes account. Finding podcasts, videos and other multimedia is really easy with itunes in comparison with any other phone.

Final Verdict

There is no doubt that the Nexus One is one wonderful and innovative piece of hardware and kicks the iPhone’s ass in several areas with better hardware, better battery life, bigger screen size, better camera etc but there is very little for it to be an iPhone killer. The next generation of iPhone is expected by the middle of this year and there will definitely be many enhancements on the hardware front. It is totally agreeable that the iPhone has its own flaws and restrictions but we should also remember that there are several other smart phones which boast of better hardware than the iPhone but they are no where in the picture. The Nexus One is definitely one of the best phones right now but there is a good chance that it might fade away in a few months like all the other HTC phones.

Like Lord Alfred Tennyson says

For men may come and men may go,
But I go on for ever.

Likewise

For droids may come and phones may go,
But the Iphone will go on for ever(at least for sometime!)

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Job Profiles which Twitter should create right now!

On December 25, 2009, in Twitter, by Ramanujam

After wondering for long about how Twitter is going to make money, we did learn from many sources that Twitter was indeed profitable for this calender year. Thanks to the search deals which this San Fransisco based company has struck with the two big giants Google and Microsoft. By feeding in real time tweets in the search results of Google and Bing, Twitter has pocketed a massive $25 million according to the reports from Bloomberg. With $155 million VC funding in the bank and a valuation some where around a billion dollars, Twitter is definitely here to stay for quite a good period of time.

Twitter is definitely not perfect and except the search deal, the company has not made any real money till date. With ample scope for improvement in various arenas, Twitter is definitely going to hire more talented folks to get things done. Here is a take on the job profiles which Twitter ought to create right now.

The Whale Killer

The fail whale is one thing which most of early Twitter users would have seen every other minute. For those who are unaware, the fail whale shows up whenever there is a server failure. It mainly happens when there is a huge blow of traffic to the website. Things have improved a lot over the past few months but the fail whale still makes its presence felt once in a while. When many of the big corporations are using Twitter in full swing, it is really important to have a highly reliable server. With plans for corporate accounts, Twitter definitely cannot afford showing the fail whale to its paying customers. The ‘whale killer‘ needs to ensure that the website stays up and running round the clock without any intermissions.

The Trend Setter

Twitter Trending Topics‘ is really a valuable section to find what people are talking about. This is also one of the favorite destinations for spammers. As illustrated in the picture we can see that one of the spamming topics made its way in to the trending list. Getting on the list will give immense exposure in the form of traffic even if it is for a few minutes. Although some quality check is being done in the recent times, we can still see some spammy content once in a while. Not to leave aside the NSFW topics which get on top of the list many times. It is also important to combat spam to make Twitter a better place. Automating this process is greatly possible but only to a certain extent. The ‘Trend Setter‘ needs to keep this section clean and ensure that spammers don’t take advantage.

The Securitas

Twitter has faced many security infringement issues and it keeps increasing with its popularity. Some of them were the server status vulnerability, compromise of DNS records, leakage of confidential documents and more importantly the recent site hack by the so called Iranian cyber army. The path has definitely not been smooth for this company with a little over 100 employees. Recruiting ‘Securitas‘ – the roman goddess of security to the team might help!

The Money Minter

We have talked about it with our friends, we have discussed the possibilities, we have even made suggestions but we are still unsure as to how Twitter is going to make money! Twitter is one huge information repository with many different monetization possibilities. The recent search brought in a pretty good sum and it was indeed a great start. The machinery is set in place, the molten metal is ready to get cast and all Twitter needs to do is find the right money minters to bring in the magic.

Some of these profiles may exist already and they are definitely doing a wonderful job. This post was just an informal take on this topic.

Image Credits: Trends , Money Mint , Securitas

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Now that every business be it large or small is on Twitter trying to promote their brand, the big question is are they getting any return for the time and money which they invest. Whenever we speak of a successful Twitter or social media marketing story we point to Dell, Ford, Zappos or a similar big name brand. These companies have dedicated teams which take care of the social media marketing services and and no wonder they reap the benefits. Moreover it is not such a big deal for an established brand like Dell or Ford to get the message sent across the table.

Every day our twitter timeline gets spammed filled with several messages similar to the ones below.
“I just entered to win a Macbook pro. Simply RT to participate < some random link>”
“XYZ is giving away free passes to that dumb event, Check out how to get one for you <some random link>”

I have always wondered how successful are these campaigns and how well they provide a return to the people/companies who start these on Twitter. I explored one such recent campaign conducted by CyberMonday.fm which as the name suggests is a website where people can find coupons for laptops and other electronic gadgets.  The one started by CyberModay.fm was nothing new. They gave away a Macbook Pro to one random person who posted a pre-written tweet like the one above on their profile. Sounds fair! It is like entering a raffle where in instead of buying a raffle ticket you just post a tweet. So do you think CyberMonday.fm got their money’s worth doing this? Let’s see!

The Math Part

  • Total Money spent for the campaign : $1199

(The winner was provided a $1,199.00 gift certificate to the Apple store in lieu of a Mac Book Pro.)

  • Total number of Retweets : 63000 + (via Topsy.com)

topsy

  • Total number of clicks: 286,000 + (via bit.ly public stats)

cybermonday1

One good measure for internet campaigns is CPC or the Cost Per Click. It might not be totally applicable to a Twitter marketing campaign but it is definitely one good measure to look into.

CPC = Cost /Clicks
For this campaign
CPC = 1199/286000 = ~$0.004

$0.0004 is an extremely good CPC for any internet marketing campaign. Comparing it with Google Adwords, the minimum cost which an advertiser has to pay to obtain one click is ten cents ($0.10). Imagine how much money the advertiser would have spent if he had to get 286,000 clicks on Google and that too a major part of it on a single day. I know i am comparing apples and oranges here but this comparison was just to give a rough idea.

No wonder that the alexa graph of CyberMonday.fm had a big spike and rose up 19700%! The pictures and the numbers speak for themselves.

cybermonday_alexa

Using Paid Tweets? – Nah!

If the advertiser had decided to use a paid to tweet service like ad.ly or Sponsoredtweets.com, do you think they would have obtained similar returns? Definitely not!

For a budget of $1200 it would be possible to get less than 3 tweets from a web celebrity like Shoemoney or JohnChow. One other option is to get 1200 tweets from low profile tweeters paying them $1 a tweet. We should also not forget that the company in between (ad.ly or sponsoredtweets.com) takes a 50% cut for providing the service. Looking at a recent ad posted by Shoemoney, it gives a really bad impression.

Here is a paid tweet which was posted by Shoemoney. He charges somewhere north of $1000 for making a single tweet.

shoemoney1

Here is the outcome. If the advertiser had paid $500 for this tweet the CPC is more than $1.This might be the worst case though. A recent screenshot in one of his blog posts revealed that one such paid tweet sent more than 8000 clicks.

shoemoney2-1

Some Takeaways

  • CPC is definitely not a good metric for Twitter marketing campaigns but i thought it would be a good measure for this case study
  • Traffic does matter but what matters more is the number of conversions that the campaign yields. For example if the Commission BluePrint advertiser who paid Shoemoney had enough subscriptions or purchases then it is well and good. Integrating a conversion tracker and measuring it will definitely tell more about the success or failure of the campaign.
  • For CyberMonday.fm , they had to show the best deals to people and make them purchase it from a third party site like BestBuy, Dell etc who in turn will pay a % commission for making the sale. Obviously a huge traffic burst would have done the trick for them.
  • Cybermonday.fm is not a household name and i bet 9 out of 10 people would not have heard about them before this campaign. One thing to note is how a relatively unknown brand can pull up a successful campaign on Twitter.
  • More than conversions, sales, traffic one other factor which many of the advertisers look for is brand exposure. A single tweet from a celebrity will definitely send the message far and wide.

There is no doubt that more and more businesses are going to use Twitter to promote their products and the amount of spam is going to increase drastically. One other thing to note is every one else except Twitter are making money in this process! How is Twiiter going to make money?

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Giveaway: 15 Google Wave Invites

On November 25, 2009, in Google, by Ramanujam

google_wave_logo

The real power of Google Wave can be witnessed only when more members of your contact list start waving! I know i am way behind in this race and most of you would have got a chance to try Google Wave. For those who are still looking for a Google Wave invite here is a chance.

Just do ONE of the things listed below.

1. Leave a comment in this post with your Gmail ID and i will send one at the earliest.

(Important: For privacy reasons it is better not to disclose your Email address in a public medium like the comments section. You can enter your Name and Email in the comment form instead and it will not be visible to anyone except the site admin. I will make sure that the email ID will be used only for sending you a Google Wave invite and not for any other purpose )

2. Retweet the message below and let me know via Twitter.

If you are still looking for a Google Wave Invite, SocialCouch.com has a few invites to give away! http://tr.im/FO4u

tt-twitter-big4

3. Just ask! If you follow me on Twitter or if you are Facebook friend, leave an @reply or a comment and i will get back at the earliest.

What is Google Wave?

If you don’t know what Google Wave is, take a look at this short video and it will help you to know more. Alternatively you can also head over to Google.com/Wave for detailed information.

Points to note

1. The invites will not reach your inbox instantly. You will receive the activation link in a day or two. So kindly be patient.
2. Invites will be sent on a First Come First Served basis.

UPDATE: Invites have been sent to all those who left a comment. I have got 15 more invites. So if you are looking to get one just leave a comment. I will post an update if i run short of invites.

 

How is Twitter going to make money?

On November 21, 2009, in Social Media, by Ramanujam

twitter-revenue

One question which has been lingering in all our minds for quite a good time is ‘How is Twitter going to make money’? The COO of Twitter Dick Costolo revealed that Twitter will be launching an advertising business in the near future and also mentioned some of the other possible revenue streams for this hugely popular microblogging service which boasts of millions of users. This is the first time that an authoritative person from the Twitter HQ has spoken about the revenue model of Twitter putting an end to all the speculations.

As an end user we hate to see the ads right? But if they are implemented in an intelligent way in a complementing manner then it would definitely be a nice value addition from an user perspective. Now that we know for sure that Twitter is going to do advertising but it has kindled up more questions than answers. The biggest of the lot is how exactly is Twitter going to implement the ads in a way which doesn’t annoy the users and at the same time provides value to the advertisers.

Having plain old CPC/CPM based text and image ads will definitely not be the right thing and we know for sure that the intelligent team at Twitter didn’t wait this long to have a advertising model like that.

Advertising Model?

Dick Costolo has mentioned that it will have nothing to do with the new Retweet feature and so we can stop thinking from that point of view. Having ads between Tweets is something which most of us wouldn’t love to see but there are a handful of companies doing it currently. Ad.ly and SponsoredTweets.com are two notable companies which are doing pretty good in the in-stream advertising arena. With celebrities charging a 5 digit amount for posting a single ad tweet, it looks pretty lucrative. Twitter might very well kick these players out of this game and do it on their own.

Twitter also introduced the new geotagging API and this will allow users to add location coordinates to their tweets. It will definitely make the twitter search feature rich but more importantly it gives a nice playground for Twitter to experiment location based advertising. Imagine a situation where you tweet about a restaurant and an ad shows up which gives you a discount code which you can use while paying the bill or may be provide offers to the restaurants near by (like FourSquare). It will be a ‘win-win-win’ situation for the user, the restaurant and Twitter as a company.

SuperTweet

Robert Scoble wrote about  SuperTweet wherein ads are presented to the user based on the metadata harvested from the tweet. Implementing it in an unobtrusive way will be the biggest challenge if Twitter plans to go ahead with a model similar to SuperTweet.

API Access

There are hundreds of third party apps which make use of the Twitter API. Currently Twitter imposes a restriction on the number of API requests per hour. There are already a few apps which pay Twitter to gain extended access. Twitter is also planning to make money by providing service level agreements where priority and access guarantee will be provided to the interested parties. This will be a big boon to the companies who have paying clients using their twitter API based apps, web clients etc

Premium Accounts

It is well known that many companies use Twitter as a marketing/customer support tool. Dell drove over $2 million sales via Twitter, JetBlue uses it for customer service, Starbucks posts new offers and there are many other big brands which get a lot of value out of Twitter. By the end of this year Twitter will be launching corporate/premium accounts which will provide enhanced analytics and other features which business might find useful.

Glad that Twitter is gonna make some real money!

Image Credit: RandomAnimal.org

 

Paul Stamatiou is an interesting personality who apart from being a popular blogger also started a company right out of college. Paul Stamatiou is more commonly known by his internet handle @Stammy. I am glad to publish this interview with Paul where he shares some interesting information about his startup life.

Paul Stamatiou- Co-founder, Skribit.com

Paul Stamatiou- Co-founder, Skribit.com

1) Paul, tell us briefly about yourself and your startup Skribit.com.

I am a 23 year old alum of Georgia Tech, currently living in Atlanta. I am mostly known for my 4 year old tech blog, PaulStamatiou.com. Skribit came out of Atlanta Startup Weekend back in 2007, from a problem I had with coming up with original topics to write about on my blog. Two years later and I have been working on Skribit full-time for about a year. Skribit helps bloggers “cure writer’s block” by receiving suggestions about what to write about via our sidebar widget or suggestions tab. The Skribit website lets website owners manage those suggestions and lets readers follow suggestions they like and get notified of changes and when they are published.

2) Like most of the startup guys you do wear different hats. (Programmer, designer, marketer, user support). Which one do you like the most and how hard is it to change hats and act accordingly.

I definitely, definitely wear many hats. Changing between them is not much of an issue, except for when I am programming and “in the zone”, it’s hard to get back to it and in my train of thought so I generally block out a few hours of development, switch to replying to user support for a bit, then go back to developing (which goes hand-in-hand with designing/front-end work that I do). My favorite is probably developing and fine-tuning the user experience for various features of Skribit. Communicating with our users via email, Get Satisfaction, Twitter or whatever it may be is also rewarding but I feel like that will soon be a job in itself – keeping track of all the Google alerts for Skribit can be rather time consuming.

3) When you graduated out of college most of your classmates would have picked up high paying jobs at top notch companies. Going the startup route is definitely not an easy choice both financially or with regards to job security. Your thoughts and experiences?

I figured the best time to try out the startup life is right out of college while I’m used to living cheaply. It would be very hard to go from a high-paying job to doing a startup later on. However I am in a rather interesting situation as my blog pays my basic living expenses so I am not really going into much debt working on my startup like others doing a startup right out of college might. Several of my friends are working jobs with amazing pay – upwards of $100k – but whenever we meetup and chat, it is easy to see that they hate their job. They regularly stay in the office from 8am to 11pm doing work they dislike. I work many hours as well, but it’s in the comfort of my own apartment and I enjoy what I do. That being said, I fear that one day if/when I do work a regular office job, adjusting will be very hard for me as I’m so used to the being-my-own-boss and working from home lifestyle.

4) Social media has helped many startups to gain the exposure and the attention which they deserve. How well are you leveraging social media for your Startup? Any good learning?

Social media has helped Skribit a bit, but not as much as it will in the near future. We have been “laying low” until we are ready for a real launch, big marketing push and spreading the word. Even without actively spreading the word about Skribit just yet, we have seen people talk about Skribit on Twitter and their blogs. Social media makes is easy to find the people talking about us so we can go in and thank them, offer feedback, solve any issues they might have and so on. This will be put to the test very soon – we are tentatively planning on actively spreading the word about Skribit in the next month.

5) Going to the big blog conferences and startup events does help a lot, but how good is to spend money for registration,travel etc and more importantly the time while the startup is in bootstrap mode. Is it really worth the efforts?

I am kind of mixed about the rewards of attending big conferences. Chances are if you are online everyday, actively read all the big blogs and Twitter, you will know most of the things people talk about at the conference panels, sessions and speeches. And if not, most everything from that conference will be online shortly after for you to catch up on. You don’t need to go to such a big and expensive conference to learn. That being said, you do go to conferences to network with others in your space and build a relationship with them that might turn out to be beneficial to you both. A good friend of mine spent a few thousand dollars to attend a music technology conference out-of-state. But the sequence of events after that conference landed him an amazing interview on NPR for him and his startup. There are many other stories like this. You need to go out there and meet people; can’t do everything online!

6) Having a blog helps and that too being a popular blogger helps a lot! How has your blog helped you in your startup journey or otherwise?

My years of blogging have helped develop a loyal readership that values and trusts my thoughts on things. That has helped me build a story around Skribit that I have tried to embody on the Skribit about page. We’re trying to get the point across that Skribit is not just some startup from a bunch of no-names, but rather is founded from real bloggers that understand the space. While I have used my blog to discuss Skribit and document our growing pains and so on, I don’t really consider that marketing rather than giving people an inside look on how a startup operates. In short – I think Skribit in a good position to be backed by my blog and help get the first users trying it out.

7) What are your future plans with skribit?

Building up our userbase and managing a happy community!

8) Finally, has there been any big mistake in your journey and what did you learn from that? In order words have you ever felt you could have done things in a different way?

Honestly I can’t say that we have had any big mistakes lately. One thing that is up for discussion is how we have been holding off on promoting the product while we were actively developing it. Some prefer to market from the very beginning. We chose to wait a bit until we were happy with our product and know that people would not just try it out, dislike it and never come back again.

Hope you enjoyed the interview. If you have any questions or suggestions please do use the comments section.