Why should we read?

I like reading, fiction mostly and sometimes non-fiction books like Tipping Point or Blink. (only if they are really really interesting, and read like fiction). And I think movie-versions of famous books are not nice. Ask me why?

While reading a book, you always create a picture of it in your mind. The house of Atticus in “To kill a mockingbird”, Scout sitting on Atticus’ lap while he reads the newspaper, Jem and Scout finding the chewing gum in a hole in the tree trunk, the house of Gerald Durrell with its collection of multitudinous animals and birds ………………. we have pictures of all this in our minds, when we read those books.

Just think about the Harry Potter series, it gives meat for such vivid imaginations and pictures. You could imagine the Mandrakes with their cries that would knock one out, the phoenix of Dumbledore bursting into flames and a lot more. But the movies came and spoiled it all. Now the picture in our minds is the picture in the mind of the person who selected the locations for the movie, or the director. Too bad, all the pictures and imagination in our minds got over-written.

But movie-versions of books are good for people who don’t like to read. So if you like reading and find that one of your favorite books is coming out as a movie; don’t watch it, even for the sake of curiosity. It would just wipe out the pictures in your mind, and replace them mercilessly.

Arthur Hailey is good

His books are absolute page-turners, and you just can’t keep them down. I loved all the books I read of Arthur Hailey. Airport, Wheels, In high places, Strong Medicine, Overload, Hotel, The Moneychangers….. each one was better than the other.

I wish he had written some more books.

For those of you who are not familiar with Arthur Hailey, he was a British/Canadian novelist. Born in England, lived in Canada. He wrote about a variety of topics, in a variety of settings or rather industries. A master of parallel plots or parallel stories, his stories have drama, emotion and tons of suspense. Hailey would spend couple of years researching a subject before writing the books, and that helps him talk like an insider on the topics he has written on.

If you are planning to start on a book of Arthur Hailey, try Airport. That’s my favorite.

Pay per click – the magical traffic driver

I have tried and tested PPC or pay per click marketing for sometime, and has accepted it’s usefulness in driving assured traffic to the site. The conversion rate is also more compared to the general traffic you get on the site. 2% is a good conversion rate for normal traffic to the site, using organic search, whereas using PPC, you can expect 3-4% conversion.

But search enginese are becoming costly nowadays. Google, Yahoo Search Marketing and Business.com are the three most popular and successful Pay per Click search engines. There are some second-tier ones like MIVA, Goclick, 7search, Searchfeed, Pronto, Epilot and a whole lot of them that you can advertise on, if you want to keep your budgets minimal. The engine I would like to talk about is 7search.

7search has recently modified its interface and made it extremely user-friendly. The dashboard is neatly designed with reports, top performing keywords, campaign data, quick glance at stats, account messages etc. It’s easy to modify bids, manage accounts and has a great conversion tracking tool. It has got a decent conversion rate too.

So if you are tired of spending tons of money on the bigger sponsored search engines, try 7search. And all the best in your online marketing efforts. May you be blessed with lots of traffic, lots of conversions and ranking in search results, one step below my own sites:)

Singing with the koel

My dad’s house in Kerala has a large compound with lots of trees and birds. (Also a pond which we used to love as kids)

Koels are quite common there, and one of my hobbies was and is “singing with the koel”. Here’s how it’s done. The koel goes koo-ooo and you do the same. After about 5-6 times, the koel would take offence and keep quiet. You do the same. Then you try to start off and the koel always follows suit. It’s very difficult to spot them in the foliage, but singing with them is very enjoyable.

Today I was in my office in Bangalore and heard a koel sing. Was so tempted to try out if koels in Bangalore were the same as koels in Kerala. But kept quiet for humanitarian considerations. The fact that I have been singing with koels since childhood, and the fact that my voice still remains like that of a crow, is better kept to myself:)

Only first anchor text matters

This is based on a page on seomoz.org. They conducted experiments on websites and found that if you have more than one link to Page B from Page A, Google counts only the first link as relevant. And the anchor text of the first link is considered for ranking of Page B.

For example, you might have a link called Services on the top nav of your home page, and another link called Call Center Services inside the page, both linking to your main service page which talks about all your services. Google gives weightage only to the first anchor text “Services” while rating your services pages, whereas your best keyword “Call Center Services” is not considered.

This would mean re-looking at lots of pages on the websites I am working on, and it’s there in my to-do list now.

All the very best in your online marketing efforts!!

Proverbs Chapters 1 through 30 – try it in your life!!

I wanted to read the whole bible for a long long time. Lot of unsuccessful attempts later, here I am, on a venture that started about 6-8 months back. I am on Proverbs now, the 20th book. And I guess, one of the most beautiful books in the Bible.

Starting with “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” in the first chapter, and “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. ” in Proverbs 15, all of Proverbs is filled with beautiful verses like “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. ”

But strange that all these words of wisdom came from Solomon, who exclaims “”Meaningless! Meaningless!” 
“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” in the very next book Ecclesiastes.

Should read more on Solomon, the great guy who asked for wisdom and not riches from the Lord, who saw and talked to the Lord only in his dreams (unlike Moses or David), who built the beautiful temple of the Lord and so on.

More on this later….

Examdiff Pro – compare files and folders with ease.

It is always good to maintain multiple copies of your website files. It helps having one version with you which is always similar to your online version.

If you have difficulty while moving files from one folder to the other, thinking that one version might be over-written with another…. try Examdiff Pro. This online marketing tool is a file and folder comparison software that has a beautiful interface. The two-pane structure helps you compare files easily and color coding where changes exist helps you to find the changes easily.

The comparison algorithm is also good and updated. Try the trial version or buy it for $35.

And synchronize away…..