An Open Letter To Those Who Write Me Closed Letters

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Dear everyone-who-emails-me-on-blog-related-matters,

The single greatest benefit of blogging for close to eight years (whew) will undoubtedly remain the friendships I have made through RTDM. In many of these cases, these friendships have been initiated by an email. In addition, I have, over the years received, through email, many life-enhancing and horizon-expanding links (mostly to Youtube videos) and also thoughtful retorts to my blog posts, typically from those concerned that critical comments in the public space might be deemed combative. And of course the type of communication everyone likes— pats on the back.

Because appreciation remains, as always, the biggest incentive to write on a forum where I make no money.

To all the above senders of email, a sincere thank you. Please do keep writing.

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Thank you !

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The Webevent was a great success ! It went on for three hours which was about two hours more than I had expected it to. The conference got interrupted in the middle (i.e. connection dropped) because it was set for two hours and apologies for that. Many of you re-connected and we started chatting again.  Thanks to Saurav Mohapatra at Dimdim for the facilities and thanks everyone for attending. It was a most lively and interesting session.

A Real Interview With the Fake IPL Player

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Before we start, a few messages from your sponsor. Namely me.

The official launch of my book ‘May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss’ will be at Casuarina Hall, in India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road on March 5th, 2010 (High tea at 6.30pm followed by event at 7pm).

Everyone is invited. Please do plan to attend.

There will be another event in Kolkata whose date has not been finalized yet. Watch this space and the Facebook group for this blog for details.

Meanwhile the book got two media mentions, one in DNA India and one in Deccan Chronicle to go along with the Tehelka one. Which is good.

Finally, the spectacularly talented Sidin Vadukut’s book Dork releases this month from Penguin and you are requested to hop over here and read more about it. This is one book I am looking forward to read.

Now coming to the main program.

The Fake IPL Player (henceforth to be known as FIP) needs no introduction. But I will give a brief one nonetheless.

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Thank You Everybody

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Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind won the Indiblog of the Year and the Most Humorous IndiBlog at the Indibloggies [polling statistics here] setting off mass hysteria in the country.

According to news agency Reumors, Kolkata went on a general twenty-four hour bandh, Mamata Banerjee asked for the resignation of the chief minister, Katrina Kaif signed another three movies, three more political parties demanded separate states, two more Bhojpuriyas were beaten up in Mumbai and Zardari got  three billion more dollars in “non-military” aid.

Yes mass hysteria. Of the mundane kind seen everyday.

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Appeal For Votes And An Update On The Book

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Update 1: The confirmation email, sent from “confirm_vote@Sparklit.com” and may be stuck in your spam. Remember your vote is not registered till you click on the link you get sent to your inbox

The Indibloggies 2008 is taking place and Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind has been nominated, aap ki kripa se,  in two categories: Indiblog Of The Year (Category 1)  and Most Humorous Blog (Category 5)

[Voting link]

In an ideal world, I would have been able to promise many things to get your vote—tubewells, blankets, quotas, the opening of an IIT or IIM in your neighborhood, free desi liquor or at least guarantee that my “friends” will not torch your house out of “spontaneous anger” should I lose.

But since we do not live in Utopia, I only appeal to the goodness of your heart.

If this blog has touched you in appropriate ways and in appropriate places,  please vote for Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind in the Indiblog Of The Year and Most Humorous Blog categories. [direct link into voting area]

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And More Bits of Unsolicited Advice: Getting Traffic For Your Blog

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The last thing one should do to an old man on a bench is to encourage him to dispense unsolicited advice. No sooner than you do so than out comes more and more words of dubious wisdom.

In the last post, I dispensed some very general advice about the art of blogging. In this post, I get a bit more specific, focusing on what I feel is the best way to build traffic for your blog.

For those of you who believe that they blog for their own satisfaction and do not care if anybody else reads it then please skip the rest of the post. But for those of us who desire an audience but struggle to get one (as I did once upon a time and the frustrations of which I detailed previously), here are some general thoughts on the topic.

The most important thing of course remains the same. Good content. Last time I said “If you build it, they will come”. Sure. But if the water runs out and the toilet stinks, then they won’t stick around. Trust me on that.

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Five Bits of Unsolicited Advice For Bloggers

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This is my 600th post (according to my WordPress dashboard). Also this month on 20th August this blog will turn five. In the accelerated world of the Net, that’s considered to be an eternity. Actually I would say that’s quite a lot of time  in the real world also , enough for instance to have completed another PhD.

Which is why today I put on the cap of  cranky old man and fortified by five-years and six hundred posts of wisdom, dispense five totally unsolicited bits of advice for bloggers.

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Some Cosmetic Changes

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You may have noticed that “Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind” (RTDM) looks a little different today. Not as different hopefully as say Koena Mitra did after she had her disastrous nose job which in essence put a pakoda between her eyes.

But yes yahaan pe kuch to hua hain.

Well the news is that RTDM underwent a slight cosmetic enhancement over the weekend. This was necessitated by changes to WordPress, the software that I use to create and maintain my blog. In theory, WordPress is this marvelous bit of open-source community software which rules over all its competitors because of its extensive extensibility both in terms of functionality (through what are known as plug-ins) and in terms of visualization (through what are known as themes). In practice, it is riddled with security vulnerabilities and feature instabilities, requiring very frequent updates and releases (sometimes within weeks of the last) with the problem being that updates are prone to sometimes “break” your blog beyond repair. WordPress developers blame plug-in/theme developers for this state of affairs while they deflect the blame back and in the midst of all this passing the buck, the poor user as usual suffers.

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This Blog Hits Four

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Random Thoughts of a Demented Mind turns four on the 20th of August. And to commemorate this occasion, I, as a proud father, join voices with Prabhuji Mithunda, as he sings, in his very own voice , the following song.

“Aaj mere Munne ki saal giraah hain”

Four years in the turbo-accelerated Indian blogworld is like forty in the real considering the sheer amount of change, both in terms of the number of blogs and overall readership, one has witnessed over these years.

If on August 20, 2004 someone would have told me that in August 2008, people like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Ram Gopal Verma and Karan Johar would be blogging I would have laughed him off by saying: “Yeah right ! I can just see the future. Amitabh Bachchan, who we know for his strong silence and aloofness, would be using his blog, perhaps twice a day, to take swipes at every Tom Dick and Harry who criticizes him. Aamir Khan would spend his keemti time informing us of the name of his dog (which happens to be Shahrukh) . Ram Gopal Verma would be justifying his questionable creative decisions through his blog. Hah ! Dude no way is that happening in four or four hundred years. What stuff are you smoking?”

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