Tag Archives: bloggers

Correction: 6 Pune blogs (including http://trak.in the “India Business Blog”) nominated for IndiBloggies

Earlier, we reported that 5 Pune blogs are nominated for the IndiBloggies awards. Unfortunately, due to an oversight, we missed the fact that one of Pune’s most read blogs, Trak.in, is also nominated in the “Best Business IndiBlog” section (#13). Please check that out also.

That brings the total Pune nominations to 6. The full list is:

“Creative Writing by Vikram Karve” in the “Best Humanities IndiBlog” (section #4).

“Without Giving the Movie Away” (aka wogma.com) the Hindi Movie Reviews website by meetu (aka meetumeetu) in the Best Entertainment IndiBlog (section #8).

In the “Best Science and Technology” category (section #11) there are two Pune nominees. Dhananjay Nene’s /var/log/mind about programming and architecture and Brajeshwar, who writes about technology, and programming and linux.

Trak.in by Arun Prabhudesai in the “Best Business IndiBlog” (section #13). Please note that it is listed as “India Business Blog.”

And finally in the “Best New Indi MicroBlog” (i.e. best twitter account) PuneTech is nominated.

The link for voting is: http://multivote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/21900

The IndiBloggies blogger awards, Pune blogs, and visibility… Please vote

Quick summary: The IndiBloggies awards, started by Pune’s Debashish Chakrabarty, are, in spite of flaws, India’s top awards for blogging (and now for twittering). From thousands of submissions 6 Pune blogs have been nominated by a panel of prominent bloggers – which means that these blogs are worth checking out. And, to determine the winners, voting is in progress, so check out the nominees and vote for the ones you liked – the last day for voting is Thursday, 10th December. (Disclaimer: PuneTech is one of the nominees in the ‘Best MicroBlogs’ category & and I’m also connected to wogma.com one of the other nominees.)


The blog world (or the blogosphere), by its very nature, is gloriously disorganized. Thousands, if not millions, of new blogs are born everyday, and probably an equal number fall into disuse. Most blogs are drab and dreary “Dear Diary” types, which are of no interest to anybody other than the author and a few close friends. But even if a very tiny fraction of a percent are good, insightful, informative, interesting blogs, that’s still a very large number of good blogs worth reading. There is everything from deep science, insights into technology, snippets of literary brilliance, and in-depth analysis of current events. It’s better than newspapers – trust me.

While some people enjoy the process of discovering great new blogs, many others would prefer that someone else did the searching for the needle through the haystack. That’s where blogging awards come in. And the most venerable one in India right now is IndiBloggies, started in 2003 by Pune blogger Debashish Chakrabarty. In recent times, they’ve been having trouble – there were no awards in 2007, and the 2008 awards are delayed until the end of 2009. There are other problems – it is a travesty that @sandygautam‘s The Mouse Trap did not get nominated, and instead a blog that is just a bot reposting a feed got nominated. And other glitches. But, almost by nature, all awards have such problems. In my mind the question isn’t whether they managed to find the best or not (although that would be great), but whether they managed to give visibility to good blogs, especially ones that did not have much visibility before. In this department, I think the IndiBloggies still score.

Pune Blogs nominated

“Creative Writing by Vikram Karve” find a nomination in the “Best Humanities IndiBlog” (section #4). Vikram blogs about a wide variety of topics, including a number of short stories. If you’re interested in literary writing, you should check it out. Even otherwise, you might want to check out, since he writes about cooking and technology and various other things.

“Without Giving the Movie Away” (aka wogma.com) the Hindi Movie Reviews website by meetu (aka meetumeetu) is nominated in the Best Entertainment IndiBlog (section #8).

In the “Best Science and Technology” category (section #11) there are two Pune nominees. Dhananjay Nene‘s /var/log/mind about programming and architecture is one of our favorite blogs and has been extensively covered and republished in Pune tech in the past. If you don’t know about it, you’ve not been paying attention. Brajeshwar, who writes about technology, and programming and linux, was until recently a Bombay blogger, but has recently moved to Pune, so now qualifies as a Pune nominee. They reason we’ve never covered anything by him in PuneTech is because he wasn’t in Pune. But check out his blog, its one of the more popular blogs in the tech world in India.

Trak.in is nominated in the “Best Business IndiBlog” (section #13). Please note that it is listed as “India Business Blog.” Trak.in by Arun Prabhudesai is probably Pune’s most read blog with a huge readership of hundreds of thousands from all around the world.

And finally in the “Best New Indi MicroBlog” (i.e. best twitter account) PuneTech is nominated.

(Note: since I am personally connected to both “PuneTech” and “Without Giving the Movie Away” I have refrained from giving my opinions on them.)

Of course, there are a number of non-Pune blogs there which are worth following. You should check them all out. Honorary Punekar Preeti Shenoy (who now lives in UK) is also nominated for Just a Mother of Two. The Ribbon Farm, by @vgr, is a must read if you’re into technology or business.


The final winners are going to be decided by a democratic poll over the internet. The url for voting is here: http://multivote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/21900

Check out the blogs, and vote. Most bloggers (at least most of those in the nominees list) are writing because they’re passionate about the subject. They get little or no tangible rewards other than appreciation of readers. And recognition in the form of nominations and awards helps keep them motivated. And, of course, the visibility results in increased readership, which is a good thing for both the readers as well as the bloggers. They don’t have any marketing budgets and don’t have ads on TV, but often their content is better than the rediffs of the world. Give visibility to deserving blogs – Vote.

Actionable Insights into the World of Indian Startups – Abinash Tripathy’s blog

Abinash Tripathy is credited with building the best web-2.0 team in India (for Zimbra which sold to Yahoo! for US$350million.)
Abinash Tripathy is credited with building the best web-2.0 team in India (for Zimbra which sold to Yahoo! for US$350million.)

Abinash Tripathy’s blog, “Insights into the World of Indian Startups,” is a must read for all Pune Technology professionals.

Abinash is a serial entrepreneur who is now on the loose in Pune. Most recently, he spent a few years building Zimbra from scratch in India, created one of the best web-2.0 teams in India, a team that build a product that was acquired by Yahoo! for US$350 million.  Abinash quit Yahoo! in February 2009, and is going down the path of entrepreneurship once again. He is an advisor for Enterux, the company whose English Seekho product was one of the highlights of proto.in Pune.

In his own words, Abinash represents:

the new generation of Global Indians who spent 10 years in the US in the High Tech Industry and decided to return to India to be close to family and to be a change agent who will help young Indians understand the power of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Having decided to spend the rest of my life in India, it is also in my interest to be a change agent (not just a voice) in the new, modern, developed India.

For the last few months, he has been writing a blog focused on the startup ecosystem in India. On the blog, he promises to be “highly opinionated (fair warning)  and a straight shooter who likes to base his theories on personal real world experience,” which should be very welcome insights for any entrepreneur.

Here are a few excerpts from his posts on the blog.

In “Building a Kickass Team Part II“, he writes:

4. Reward Performance  –  Anyone that has worked in tech and has a thorough understanding of this business knows that the output of one great engineer adds more value to the company than the output of one hundred average engineers.   Unlike the services industry which prides itself with the numbers of warm bodies it has on its rolls, the best tech startups pride themselves for being able to create huge value with the least number of people.   We all live in a capitalist society and the laws of capitalism are designed to reward the best.

In “What Ails the Startup Ecosystem in India,” among a host of other insightful things, he says:

If you are not a hacker, start today.   Stop wasting time on Drupal or other CMS platforms and start real programming.   ASP and .NET don’t count either. Learn real programming languages like Java, C, C++, PHP, Python, Ruby.   Start by contributing to open source projects to measure yourself against the best in the world.  We need lots of this breed for the startup ecosystem to grow and thrive.   We absolutely cannot rely on the government or our esteemed institutions like the IIT to produce hackers.   Hackers are mostly self taught creative geniuses who code for pleasure.

Tech startup founders need to be people with very deep technology backgrounds as well.  There is a reason our industry is called Hi-Tech.   If founders lack this key ingredient, then they are going to hire duds who cannot deliver.

Read the whole post, it is quite interesting.

You should subscribe to the blog, and also follow Abinash on twitter (and unless you’ve been living in a cave, you should know why you should be on twitter.)

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What is multi-core architecture and why you need to understand it

Dhananjay Nene has just written a brilliant article in which he gives a detailed overview of multi-core architectures for computer CPUs – why they came about, how they work, and why you should care. Yesterday, Anand Deshpande, CEO of Persistent Systems, while speaking at the IndicThreads conference on Java Technologies exhorted all programmers to understand multi-core architectures and program to take advantage of the possibilities they provide. Dhananjay’s article is thus very timely for both, junior programmers who wish to understand why Anand was attaching so much importance to this issue, and what they need to do about it, and also for managers in infotech to understand how they need to deal with that issue.

Dhananjay sets the stage with this lovely analogy where he compares the CPU of your computer with superman (Kal-El) and then multi-core is explained thus:

One fine morning Kal’s dad Jor-El knocked on your door and announced that Kal had a built in limitation that he was approaching, and that instead of doubling his productivity every year, he shall start cloning himself once each year (even though they would collectively draw the same salary). Having been used to too much of the good life you immediately exclaimed – “But thats preposterous – One person with twice the standard skill set is far superior to 2 persons with a standard skill set, and many years down the line One person with 64 times the standard skill sets is far far far superior to 64 persons with a standard skill set”. Even as you said this you realised your reason for disappointment and consternation – the collective Kal family was not going to be doing any lesser work than expected but the responsibility of ensuring effective coordination across 64, 128 and 256 Kals now lay upon you the manager, and that you realised was a burden extremely onerous to imagine and even more so to carry. However productive the Kal family was, the weakest link in the productivity was now going to be you the project manager. That in a nutshell is the multicore challenge, and that in a nutshell is the burden that some of your developers shall need to carry in the years to come.

What is to be done? First is to understand which programs are well suited to take advantage of a multi-core architecture, and which ones:

if Kal had been working on one single super complex project, the task of dividing up the activities across his multiple siblings would be very onerous, but if Kal was working on a large number of small projects, it would be very easy to simply distribute the projects across the various Kal’s and the coordination and management effort would be unlikely to increase much.

Dhananjay goes into more detail on this and many other issues, that I am skimming over. For example:

Some environments lend themselves to easier multi threading / processing and some make it tough. Some may not support multi threading at all. So this will constrain some of your choices and the decisions you make. While Java and C and C++ all support multi threading, it is much easier to build multi threaded programs in Java than in C or C++. While Python supports multi threading building processes with more than a handful of threads will run into the GIL issue which will limit any further efficiency improvements by adding more threads. Almost all languages will work with multi processing scenarios.

If you are a programmer or a manager of one, you should read the entire article.  In fact, as we mentioned in  a previous PuneTech post (Why Python is better than Java), you should really subscribe to his blog. He writes detailed and insightful articles that, as a techie, you would do well to read. If you are interested in programming languages, I would recommend reading “Contrasting java and dynamic languages”, and “Performance Comparison – C++ / Java / Python / Ruby/ Jython / JRuby / Groovy”. And if you are a blogger, check out his tips for software/programming blogging.

Dhananjay is a Pune-based software Engineer with 17 years in the field. Passionate about software engineering, programming, design and architecture. For more info, check out his PuneTech wiki profile.

Interesting blog posts by Pune’s techies

This is a round-up of some recent intersting blog posts written by Pune’s techies. These blogs don’t necessarily fall within the narrow charter of PuneTech, but introducing PuneTech readers to these blogs and bloggers does.

At the top of everyone’s mind is of course the financial meltdown. Arun Prabhudesai (who is CEO of hover.in) details the serious effects it is beginning to have on Indian industry, and on the jobs of regular people:

L&T Infotech is trimming its work force by 5%. That would mean a job loss for 10000 people. Goldman Sachs has fired 100 employees in Mumbai and 30 in Bangalore.  Satyam has fired 30 employees over fudged bills. Corus steel (part of Tata Steel now) has cut 400 jobs in UK because of poor business conditions. Tata Steel has ruled out any jobs cuts in India. Airlines are fearing that they have to lay off 8000 ground staff. Kingfisher has announced a 90% cut in the salaries of trainee pilots. Jet Airways has sacked 25+ expat pilots.

See the full article for even more scary figures. His blog (trak.in) is focused on Indian Business. Amit Paranjape also has a series of posts about the financial crisis (one, two, three) that you might find interesting. He also writes about Pune’s history, restaurant reviews, and cricket. (While on the subject of the financial crisis, you should also check out Sequoia Capital’s 56-slide presentation of doom. That is really scary.)

So what is to be done in these bad times? Manas Garg points out that before any success, whether it is in good times or bad, there is a dip.  And you need to persist and make it through the dip before you succeed. (see also Seth Godin’s thoughts on this.) Another thing that can be done, technologically, is to cut costs by shifting from real servers to virtual servers in the cloud. Mukul Kumar of Pubmatic often writes detailed posts about this on his blog, but in his most recent post, he cautions you to take into account the cost of data transfers in your calculations, as that is likely to be more expensive in some cases, than the cost of compution time on the servers.

Switching gears to security, the ClubHack blog warns us about “Free Public WiFi” – why it is bad, and how it works:

If an unsuspecting healthy laptop is searching for wireless networks in vicinity, it will see the advertised viral SSID in its list. If the laptop is configured to “Connect to any wireless network” as it comes in range, it will attach itself to the respective network. The connection can also be made when an unsuspecting user manually connects to an advertised viral SSID. As soon as this connection is made, the viral SSID appears in the PNL of the healthy laptop and thus gets infected.

Read the full article. And if you’ve been following the PuneTech calendar, you’ll know that ClubHack is organizing a security awareness conference in Pune in early December.

Just because of scary financials and scary security warnings, doesn’t mean that we need to go around feeling depressed. In fact, this is probably the best time to start something new, get involved in the community. PuneTech gave you an idea of upcoming tech community activities that you can get involved in. (By the way, the Pune Mirror agrees with us, and reprinted that article on Saturday.) Anthony Hsiao of entrip.com got together with other tech entrepreneurs in Pune to start Startup Cinema. Read about it on his blog. Also, don’t forget to check out his older post on why he prefers the chaos of Pune to the perfection of Singapore/Germany.

Pune is different, of course, and being away really helped appreciate the warmth of the people, the beauty of apparent chaos and disorder (having lived in Singapore and Zurich, I can honestly say that happiness is not derived from perfection…), the very decent lifestyle I can afford as an expat here (despite being constantly broke!), and just the interesting stuff that goes on all the time (it has to, there are so many people here, something has to be going on all the time).
In many ways, I think Pune (or many parts of India in general) are quite the opposite to places like Singapore – which is clean, orderly, safe, modern, connected, etc.

Know of any interesting techies in Pune who should be featured here? Let us know.

Company Profile: hover.in

Go Ergo has an interview of the founders of Pune-based web startup hover.in. Excerpt:

Q: Hover.in was born out of constant frustration that most bloggers and web publishers face regarding their content presentation and monetisation. Could you explain how hover bridges this gap?
A:? As a professional blogger, one of my main problems has been monetising (making money) from my blog without compromising on user experience. Normally, a visitor does not like to see too many ads on a blog or a website. Most of the new visitors will turn away from the blog on seeing too many ads. Hover was born to address this pain point!
Hover.in is an in-text “customised content” and “customised ad” delivery platform for websites and blogs. It enables web publishers to link and monetise keywords or phrases within their existing content.
Till date, in-text technology has been primarily used only to display contextual ads – mostly automated, without any publisher control. However, with hover.in, publishers can create and customise the content appearing within the hover bubble (hoverlet). Hover.in goes even further, allowing the publisher to change the look and feel of the hoverlet as per the theme of the website or blog.

Read the full interview.

hover.in provides web publishers and bloggers with in-text customized content display. It also provides opportunities for contextual in-text ads for increased revenues to publisher. More information about hover.in from the PuneTech wiki:

Key Features

  • Complete control of what appears within the hover window, via an administrative panel
  • Publishers can choose between hundreds of 3rd party contextual widgets or browse applications within the hover.in community
  • Improve reader engagement by displaying targeted content for particular key phrase of choice, or choose default applications
  • Customize the interface, add your own content or integrate advertisements from third party ad networks

Hover.in is currently in closed alpha and will be opening up shortly to selected beta users.




Blog Posts from: InfoSignz, Druvaa, Pubmatic

This is a quick round-up of some interesting posts on blogs of Pune-based companies recently.


InfoSignz is a Pune-based company which offers digital signage as a service. Digital signage refers to the video screens you see in malls, grocery stores, department stores, airports, train stations, elevator LOBBIES and so on.

InfoSignz reports that the Georgia Aquarium – the world’s largest aquarium – has signed up for InfoSignz. InfoSignz is also looking for partners – those who can provide hardware to be sold to InfoSignz customers, and those who can create appropriate content for their customers.


Druvaa, who is competing with Veritas (a.k.a. Symantec) in the backup space by providing a cheaper alternative in the form of CDP (continuous data protection) software, is blogging about the pain points with traditional backup (and obviously their software is supposed to not suffer from any of these). They also have a slide show indicating how fast their software is.


Pubmatic is a company that allows website owners to automatically optimize their ads across competing ad networks and shows those ads that provide the highest payouts.

Pubmatic is jubilant that it was named as one of the top 10 companies in VentureWire’s Web Ventures 2008 conference. I’m not sure how much weight to give this announcement – I noticed that the people who helped select the top 10 are the same guys who have already invested in (at least some of) the companies that actually made it to the top 10. And the list includes ChaCha which doesn’t seem to be doing all that well.


ApnaBill founder Mayank Jain loved LITBox, a clone of LightBox, a javascript application used to display large images using modal dialogs . He has released a Rails helper for LITBox

Tech Community Building: Startup Lunch, OpenCoffee Club and Bloggers Meet

Startup Lunch, Pune

[A StartupLunch] is roughly the same as the SpeedDating concept. The startup founders are seated on one side and the candidates get to say hello and have a quick conversation to talk about what the background of the founder is, why he started the company and what sort of person he is looking for, while asking questions to the candidate about the reason to join a startup and what his/her passions are and ten minutes later the same process continues with the next founder. Within an hour, you would have met/spoken to most of the startups, and by the end of the day would know whom to get in touch with for your first/next job.

Something like this would be really useful, especially in Pune, because most job seekers are not aware of the startups that exist in the area, and where to find them. The Startup Lunch is an attempt at fixing this.

More details

Register here if you are looking for a job. And register here if you are a startup. Jaspreet Singh (jaspreet.singh _at_ druvaa.com) from Druvaa has taken the lead in organizing this in Pune.

VC Circle Growth Capital Forum

VC Circle is holding a day long event targeted towards the venture capital, capital investments and entrepreneural community. Basically, companies seeking funds to grow, and people with money who are willing to give it out.
Snapshot of the Event
Venue: Le Meridien, Pune
Date: April 4, 2008
Time: 10.30 am-5.30 pm
Registration fee per attendant: Rs 3,000 inclusive of all taxes.

The confirmed list of speakers:
George Thomas, Partner, India Value Fund

Nikhil Khattau, MD, Mayfield Fund
Srini Vudayagiri, Managing Director, Lightspeed Venture Partners
Cyrus Driver, MD, Helix Investments
Gaurav Mathur, MD, India Equity Partners
Deep Kalra, CEO, MakeMyTrip
Niren Shah, MD, Norwest Venture Partners

Kartik Parija, MD, Zephyr Peacock
Shantanu Surpure, Managing Advocate, Sandhill India Advisors
Subba Rao, Chairman, Robo Silicon
Abizer Diwanji, Executive Director, KPMG
Shiraz Bhugwadia, Director, o3 Capital Partners
Kuntal Shah, Co-Founder, Axis Holdings

More details

Pune OpenCoffee Club

The Pune OpenCoffee Club is an attempt to establish recognized, open and regular meeting places where entrepreneurs can meet with investors, advisor’s, (and anyone else) in a totally informal setting.nurture the startup eco-system through Community participation

Pune OpenCoffee Club was started by Santosh Dawara, co-founder of Bookeazy.

If you are interested, please sign up

Bloggers Meet

Pune Bloggers Meet organized by Vineet in conjunction with IndiBlogger and Microsoft last weekend was attended by over 50 people.

There was quite a diverse crowd:

There are lots of interesting and enthusiastic people in Pune.

Upcoming Events: Pune Bloggers Meet, VC Forum

Pune Bloggers Meet, March 15, 4pm

Indiblogger is arranging a bloggers meet in Pune (sponsored by Microsoft). To get an idea of what the meet is likely to be like, see reports of their previous blogger meets at Hyderabad and Bangalore.

So far, it appears that about 30 bloggers have confirmed attendance (although I suspect that the final number is likely to be higher). I know that a bunch of bloggers from Mumbai are coming down to Pune specially for this, and it appears that some are coming from Kolkatta and Bangalore too.

VC Circle Growth Capital Forum, Pune, April 4, 10:30 to 6

VC Circle is holding a day long event targeted towards the venture capital, capital investments and entrepreneural community. Basically, companies seeking funds to grow, and people with money who are willing to give it out.

VC Circle is a news website tracking India’s deal economy – venture capital, private equity, investment banking, mergers, acquisitions, corporate law, and entrepreneurship. VC Circle was founded in November 2005 by Sahad P V. a journalist with 10 years of experience in Business Today (Assistant Editor), India Today Group, Business Standard (staff writer).

A similar event in held in Bangalore in November 2007 attracted over 100 attendees. Speakers were mostly from the venture capital and growth capital investments communitiy. To see a list of speakers at that event see here. The speakers and other details for the Pune event haven’t been announced yet.