Kiruba is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, podcaster and a farmer.

Robert Shiller’s Devastating Takedown Of Housing As An Investment Will Have You Renting For The Rest Of Your Life


Gosh! This an article that none of the construction companies want you to read. Robert Shiller, the Yale Prof who won this year’s Noble Prize, says buying a house is such a bad investment idea. I must show this to my wife who is hellbent on buying a second apartment. http://www.businessinsider.in/Robert-Shillers-Devastating-Takedown-Of-Housing-As-An-Investment-Will-Have-You-Renting-For-The-Rest-Of-Your-Life/articleshow/24168367.cms


Experience of dining on the River

What a brilliant idea! As we were driving from Shimla to Chail, we had to cross a bridge over a small river. The one thing that caught our attention were a few tables laid out in the middle of the river. It turned out that a small time hotelier could not afford to get land to build a restaurant on the road side and instead chose the river to be his spot. The water was ice-cold but super refreshing during the afternoon. The biggest USP was the unique experience of dining on the river. He was doing wonderful business. Hats off to the guy.


I particularly loved this thatched roof setup. Most people preferred to bask in the sunlight though.


These guys were enjoying their whisky and truly chilling out.


View from the water level.


Perspectives: Farming of the land and the mind

Ranjini Rao, Editor of http://IamPositive.in/ blog and a Digital Marketing expert with a large global IT company has an interesting take on life after watching the video on Vaksana Farms. A very interesting read. http://iampositive.in/farming/

Article:

My interpretation : It is indeed a nice way to begin a video and introduce Vaksana farms.Its always so good to be close to Nature and greenery.Did you know ? The end to end process of “Farming” teaches us one beautiful life lesson and I would like to relate this to process of ” thoughts into action ”

Sowing : Our mind is the like the green barren land you showed us.A farmer decides what seeds he wants to grow into a harvest at the beginning , which means if he sows a mango it won’t grow into a jackfruit – analogy on sowing the seeds is like sowing good thoughts in our minds

Maintenence & Cultivation process : Farmers need to keep checking the soil condition and keep watering the cultivation for the seeds similarly we need to cultivate good thoughts and good actions by being in good company and positive people and enrich our minds with good content and deeds. and bad thoughts or deeds are the weeds in our mind ,farmers ward off any rodents , organic pesticides to ensure quality output , whereas in life we need to ward off bad habits and keep checking our goals and journey on the right path .

Harvest & Fruits: Finally when it’s harvesting time not less Or more – the farmer knows when to start enjoying the fruits of his action – life is governed by law of multiple returns or karma . What you sow you reap in action :)

Kiruba, Thank you for this wonderful video it just helped me gather a different perspective.


You Can Now Officially ReUse My Business Card Designs

That’s right.  I have put all my Business Cards under Creative Commons and for most of the cards I have shared the PSD files of the designs.  This means that you can download the original source files of the designs, change your name, photo and details and have your very own custom designed cards. Visit the Business cards page here.

I have had a fascination towards customized business cards for a long time.  You might want to read this news coverage in INC magazine. There has been considerable interest from people wanting to use some of the designs.  I would mail them separately.  But then, it stuck me that I have nothing to lose by giving it all away.  After all,  most of my designs have been inspired by designs of other folks and so it’s only right for me to share it with others.

All I request is to give a link to my site or send an email if you use these designs. That’s it and nothing else.

Good luck and have fun. Cheers.


Make Your Blog Awesome: 7 Key Lessons from TIME’s Top 25 Blogs

TIME Magazine Logo
Time Magazine has made a list of the Top 25 blogs in the World.  I came across this list today and the timing couldn’t be better. I was looking for ways to get back to active blogging and this list gave me an idea. What can we learn from these successful blogs? What is it that makes these blogs awesome? Is there a success pattern that we can adopt for our own blogs? I decided to find out. And so, I patiently visited each of these 25 blogs and made notes as I went along.  Here are my findings from my 5 hour mission.

 

1) Pick a Niche Topic:  This clearly stands out as a success pattern. Almost every blog listed in the TIME’s list has focused on one particular area and focused deep into it.  Lets take a few examples.

TheBillFold is about money. The site’s tag-line says it all, “Everything about Money you were too polite to ask”!

DesignSponge has fascinating ideas and lovely photos of home decorations.

BookShelfPorn does not talk about books. It only focuses on the book shelf designs and there are hundreds of great ideas.

Well, you get the idea.  Pick a niche space that you are passionate about. Then focus on covering that area alone. Easy recipe to differentiate yourself.

 

Invite Guest Authors: There’s only so much that one can write.  A good blog requires regular dose of good content to attract and retain audience.  Mike Dang and Logan Sachon, the owners of  TheBillFold do that cleverly by inviting writers from around the globe to contribute articles on their personal experiences with money. 500px, a great photo community thrives on fantastic photos shot by its members.

A possible lesson here. Open up your blog and invite your readers to participate. This ensures that your blog don’t get cobwebs for long. And its good to have company too.

 

Use Facebook Plugin for Comments:    Commenting platforms like Disqus sucks. People hate registering on sites. Besides, they never update their avatars. See this page.    FB commenting system works great, gets repeat audience and helps build a conversation going. For example, scroll down this page and take a look at the comments below.  You can embed similar FB plugin from the Facebook Social Plugin Page.


Photos for Every Blog Post
:  Almost all the blogs in the Top 25 list use a picture to accentuate their blog post. Not only does it make your blog post look good, it provides visual relief from the monotony of text.  Even better if you can mix audio and video into your posts.


Talk About Things that Others Won’t:
  Its very rare for people to openly talk about failures, embarrassing situations or difficulties in life. When people do, they immediately stand out and earn the attention and empathy of the readers. Take Emily Rapp, a mother  who writes a blog  about her 3 year old son Ronan, who is slowly dying from Tay-Sachs disease. He can no longer move or see.  Its a very difficult situation for a mother but the fact that she is opening talking about it and how she is handling the situation is what makes people love her.


Controversy is Good
:  Take the case of Martha Payne, a 9 year old student who started posting pictures of school lunches everyday in her blog. Not many knew about her blog until the School Council decided to ban her blog. Word leaked out and this created a  outrage on social media. Mainstream press started to cover the censorship and a senior minister had to step in to overturn the ban.  Her blog helped raise over Rs.1 crore in charity money and she now has a book published. Goes to show that there’s nothing called bad publicity.


Well Researched Articles and Strongly Opinionated
: Across all the 25 blogs, I noticed that the blog posts average around 200 words. That’s about 4 paragraphs. Long enough to write a well researched piece.  Leave brevity for Twitter and Facebook. Blogs thrive on longer content. Also, remember that people come to your blog for *your* opinions. Say it the way you feel it.

So, these are the 7 trends that I found. What other trends did you notice from the Top 25 Blogs? Got any new ideas to improve our blogs? Please do share.



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