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Youtube’s new partner rules are an end of Long Tail

Youtube recently changed its Partner program guidelines under which you can only monetize your videos if you meet these two conditions

  1. You have 1000 subscribers
  2. You have at least 4000 hrs of viewing time in past 12 months

I find both these rules unfortunate and detrimental to a lot of creators (including myself) .

For larger channels it implies that they now have a bigger pie to share amongst themselves ,assuming the advertisers spend remains same.

For YouTube it implies more lock in on larger channels (their earnings may go up) and less number of channels breaking community guidelines since they have more to lose.

Unfortunately for creators who do not meet one of the above two guidelines , it is a goodbye .

If I were to use my own channel on poetry as an example, I at the moment meet both the guidelines. I have more than 4000 hrs of viewing time in past 12 months and about 7000 subscribers , but

  • I no longer actively create videos(at least  not at the level I used to)
  • Most of my traffic is organic, which is steady but low
  • Some of my older poetry videos get picked up once in a while and go semi viral , driving traffic beyond 4000 hours, but that is not very sustainable.
  • I record poetry , not the most popular genre.

Madhur Chadhas poetry channel stats

For a creator like me, YouTube may no longer be a viable option. How do I make sure I have 4000 hours of video plays every year? I need to keep producing videos if I want to keep earning. I cannot kick my feet up and have that passive earing (however low it may be, it feels good ).

I am pretty sure a lot of people will resort to questionable techniques

  • Employ third-party to play videos in some click farm.
  • Stuff their videos with empty spaces, instead of quality trying to make sure people stick around a little longer.
  • Buzzfeed kind of videos– “watch till the end to know ABC”.
  • Auto play of your videos.

YouTube probably found these numbers based on analysis of it’s whole universe. I would have loves to see category based limits.

Eg: For Vine stars it could be 1000 hrs , for poetry 2000 hrs…for News it can be 4000 hrs. Every Genre will have a different video length and watch percentage that is considered good.

Because not every video ,every  genre is equal. This broad brush stroke may be the end of road for many not so popular genres.

 

 

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How do I introduce our services in a blog site without it being flagged as spam?

There was an interesting question someone asked me to answer on quora

How do I introduce our services in a blog site without it being flagged as spam?

Any contact without solicitation is Spam, so technically commenting on my website advertising your next big thing in blogging is spamming

Having dealt with a lot of spam on my blogs , I can tell you that there is nothing more irritating(exaggerating) than a spammy comment passing the spam engine(i use askmit, it blocks 1000s of them)

So word of advice, don’t simply send out random comments advertising your service. Ideally bloggers should find you via word of mouth or by search engine(More on that later)
But there are ways to get attention of site admins
As a blogger and site admin of various sites, here is what gets my attention(depends on admin to admin).

How to get Site Admin’s attention about your blog service

1. Actually comment: Read my article you want to comment on and actually post a relevant comment and then maybe advertise your service or just tell me , or simply leave that in your name and URL portion of the comment. If it is interesting I would look at it. Make a good comment(means relevant) , make it difficult for me to remove it. A blogger loves nothing more than a comment, its our ego boost , our nicotine
2. Send me a personalised Email : Instead of spamming comments , use contact page, almost all bloggers who have this page would be checking emails sent via this section. And this better be personalized again, if it is spammy and just talks about your product , chances are it would be automatically flagged and removed by the spam engine. Tell me why do you think my site would be a good fit for your services, give me examples of why it would fit
3. Reference Reference Reference : How hard it is for you to at least give me reference of other sites/people using your service? How can you even forget that in your email. It surprises me how many people simply ignore this basic thing.Tell me that XYZ news site used your service ,that techcrunch covered you ,[contextly_sidebar id=”H47VxtoUmyVuK4UAtK0msoM7EMmllkV3″] and I am sure to check your services out
4. Why you? Ok this is something I almost never find in any of the “blog service” selling emails . Why should i even consider you. No I do not want to know what you can do to my site , tell me WHY you? Again point 3, tell me your clients , are you cheaper than others, better than others , have a great team(show me their credentials)
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10 Books that have stayed with me #BookBucketChallenge

So there is a new fad of naming the top 10 books that come to your mind when you try to list the best books you have read. The idea is to not think much and just let the first instincts come up. I was nominated by Nitin Joshi ,So here is my List

1)NCERT

I am not going to be a pretentious prick by starting with the likes of Ulysses ( i have not even tried reading that yet). I LOVED NCERT books , not the real content or “in syllabus” section , but the extra information they gave. I devoured the short biography section in physics and chemistry books . I read and re read them .Also  loved the physics chapters not in syllabus , especially the ones on black holes and galaxies(sadly they were always out of course) . NCERT had only recently started adding these small FYI type sections just to keep the interest alive and I cannot thank the person who did this enough. I read it , more than my course.

2)Nandan and Champak:

Big fan, so much so that I actually submitted a story to Champak once, though it never got published. And to the same list add Chacha Choudhry , Nagraj and captain dhruv . 🙂

3)A Journey to the Center of the Earth

We used to have 1 library period every week(what a pity) when I started reading this book . I read it during that period and before going back , hid it behind some physics chemistry reference books which I knew not many people search, so that no one issues it .Took me a few months to finish this in parts.

4)Issac Asimov Foundation Series:

This is like the ultimate series for any science fiction lover. I wrote a whole blog post dedicated to asimov’s books .

5)A Brief History of Time + A Briefer History of Time+The Theory of Everything

Sorry to club them together but all three speak about the same concept . The laws of physics and universe explained in the simplest and elegant manner.If I had any say , I would make them compulsory reading in schools .GO BUY THEM even if you do not like physics. These are simply brilliant books

6)Public speaking books by Dale Carnegie:

From the Art of public Speaking to How to Win Friends and Influence People I have read them all. Trust me, they are good. These books have even been a great help

7)The Magic of Thinking Big:

Yes, I have read Self help books in the past 😛 .And would be lying if I say , i didn’t like them.Many of them were pathetic, but this one just stood apart from the rest. Loved it

8)Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics):

YES I have read this and I actually like this . My sister got it as a prize when we were kids, at that age you read everything you can get your hands on. I have read it at least 4-5 times. Lovely book. Someone recently told me that I was the first guy she met who likes this book.Really? Any other guy  who likes this book say Aye .

9)All Parts of The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

When we first got internet at home , I came across a txt file which had perhaps the most wonderful science fiction ,with dozes of comedy and laugh, I ever read.. I started reading it and within 4 days , finished it , only to realize a few years later that I had read the entire series on a CRT monitor.This is a MUST READ GO GO GO READ

10)The Fault in our Stars:

A very recent addition to the list . Again a full blog on it

So here was the list of first 10 books that came to my mind. If I think more, perhaps I could add The Alchemist
or Angels and Demons or maybe Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition with Free CD)
to the list , but then these are not the books that shaped me, the ones listed above did and many of them had a lasting impression on me. I believe the first books you pick up will always be the most impactful.

So who do I nominate?

I nominate Shashidhar Bhattaram, My ex Boss, Mentor and a very dear friend

Manan Puri: My Batchmate at ISB

All people on Mr Unreasonable page :). This is a good exercise guys. try  it , and if you want , I can eve feature you on this blog . Awaiting your lists

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[Old]Featured Blogging India

Working Mothers should be ashamed of themselves?

Surprisingly, this actually was a topic of a recent Facebook discussion I was part of.

People who follow me on Facebook know that I generally get involved in long debates on Facebook (Swear will cut down on that :P), but of all debates, this one stands out.

So let me set the context: A woman “blogger” who left her career to take care of her kids posted the following video of apparently a day care owner ( which later turned out to be the mother herself)  mistreating a child, and made a statement that all women who leave their kids in day care  should be ashamed of themselves and I pity such women.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cebPMy3_qOI

and this was the start of a long drawn debate where I debated mainly on 2 points

1. There are enough support systems in place, just because you chose to sacrifice your career does not mean that others should .No point taking working mothers on a guilt trip

2. This reinforces the stereotype that raising the kid is only a women’s job primarily .

Nevertheless this debate brings forward some interesting points to ponder

Do working mothers really have a negative impact on child’s upbringing? :

Now the statement that is often quoted by supporters of this idea is  that having a working mother negatively impacts the upbringing of a child as supposedly the child feels unloved etc etc etc, while the detractors say that this is an age old myth and on the contrary , it helps in overall growth of the child. So how do we solve this? Which belief system do we go with?

Working Mother
Photo credit:Ian Riley

Well we can turn to research. Enough number of research on this area has conclusively proven that having a working mother does not harm the child’s development in any way . Not only that, some studies have even suggested that children who have been in out of home care homes(Creche) are more likely to participate in extracurricular activities .

Yes, during the initial months of a baby , a mother’s presence is very much required but the question is till when?Should that imply that until the child grows up to be 6-7 years old , the woman should sacrifice her career?

In my debate with the woman , she mentioned she is old school and wants to listen to her kids problems in school etc etc ,so I assume her point was that till the kid is about 7-8 maybe ,women should Stay at Home, or perhaps forever till the kid is married .

Am I making a case for working moms? No, I am saying it is your own choice, your choice does not make you morally superior to women who choose otherwise.

 How does this mentality affect women?

Why was I against this status? Do I hate kids :P?

Well here it is how it affects women

  1. It makes women feel guilty for working, even if they are able to take care of their children
  2. Unless required financially , it basically strengthens the age old myth that women should stay home
  3. It absolves the father of almost any role in the upbringing of the child
  4. It assumes that women who work somehow do not know what is going on in the lives of their kids.As if only a stay at home mom is a good mom.
  5. It is a vicious circle You need to have kids anyways–>You will need to sacrifice your career–> why such long and expensive education –> why higher education–> Why education at all?
  6. It also affects the daughters to not be Career Oriented.
  7. It encourages stereotypes in workplace also : Eg: How can we call companies ,which do not want to hire women as they believe that they will not stick around long term.wrong?
  8. It takes focus away from the real solutions such as :
  •       Why can’t we encourage more offices to have baby care centers .
  •       Let men also take advantage of paternity leaves
  •       Increase paternity leave duration if required
  •       Encourage more companies to introduce flexi hours
  •       Better regularisation of creches .Eg: I heard of a few creches with CCTV which are  continuous monitored  .Parents can see their kids via Live feed from anywhere.You can literally stalk your kids :P.

So what happened to my discussion?

Well for starters, believe it or not : Because I was not agreeing to the point of view of a “Woman” I was labelled as a typical Male Chauvinist by a female friend of her , a comment which she agreed to When I tried to defend saying this is perhaps misplaced feminism and I could argue that you are not able to take an opinion from a man, I was told That I was a sexist 😛 .

So Because I said that We should not use these arguments to discourage women from working, and because I said that working women are as good as stay at home moms and because I said that this is strengthening the stereotype that women are the only ones responsible for child care ..I was a typical Male Chauvinist .

That was not all, it was theorised that perhaps  I had a bad childhood because of a working Mom or possibly my Wife/ sister were working and I was trying to satisfy my conscience by fighting for them….

To be fair, a few people expressed their silent support by liking some of my comments and another MAN(I suppose another typical Male Chauvinist ?) came forward and reiterated the point that there is no reason for working women to be ashamed .

Nevertheless, When I raised objections ,I was asked not to comment , my comments were selectively deleted and I was finally blocked so that I could not respond to the discussion where I was being called a typical Male Chauvinist 😛 ..What should I say, the lady wanted to have the last word ?

Not sure, should I be sad that a woman is trying to pull other women down or be happy that men actually are coming forward to at-least debate on this and that too from the other side.

Nevertheless , if interested in a women’s perspective read this brilliant article by MARINA ADSHADE. 
Stay-at-home moms: Stop pretending you’re better. Signed, working moms
A quote from her article

 Parenting for us is not a hobby that we pick up on the weekends to amuse ourselves. Just as you do not stop being a mother during the hours your child is at school, we do not stop being mothers when we are at work. There are no part-time opportunities in parenthood.

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Blogging Book Reviews Product reviews

Finishing a book is like saying Goodbye to an old friend: Book Review Foundation

Read this line somewhere “Finishing a book is like saying goodbye to an old friend” , it couldn’t have been more apt. This exactly what I felt when I finished the foundation trilogy by Issac Asimov .

I started with the Foundation ,imagining the galactic empire .I was there with Hari Seldon when he spoke about the Seldon plan and the concepts of Psychohistory. When he setup the two foundations at the opposite ends of the galaxy

Then I moved on to dreaming about the battles between foundation and the empire , some battles which went on for years, some that were over without any bloodshed . I was there when the Mule invaded, when the foundation fell and rose.

And finally I was there when Second foundation played the ultimate game to get the seldon plan back on track.

Almost every night I forced myself to leave the book , sometime because it was too late and sometimes because my mind was too slow to follow the complex scenery being built. Scenarios that seemed so complicated and yet somehow in the end were so simple and too apt. I was amazed at how deeply Asimov thought about it, did he really see the future? I read and re-read many chapters because somehow, i was not convinced, somehow every time I read, i found something new. For about past 1 month, I was a part of the novel, a character ,a Citizen of the foundation. I was a preacher, a scientist , a trader , a diplomat , a strategist . And now it is over. Wished the trilogy never ended. Perhaps the best series I ever read. Issac Asimov–I Bow to you The books in the trilogy:

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Engagement leads to Voting-

A recent contest at Indiblogger(http://www.indiblogger.in/topic.php?topic=96)about how you could use social apps to encourage indian youth to vote made me think , why do people not vote?

2 major reasons came to my mind

  1. No interest
  2. Lack of good candidates

Though I was tempted to believe that point 2 was the major point, but it would be extremely wrong to assume that all politicians by all parties were corrupt. There are many many good people as well, though leadership may be rotten, but when it comes to small levels, some people do do work. MPs do matter.

So I am convinced that people do not vote because of lack of interest which basically stems from lack of knowledge.

So how do we tackle this issue?

One of the most powerful examples of youth coming out to vote has been Delhi elections ,where a new party AAP surprised everyone by winning 28 seats, what was more surprising was the fact that Delhi witnessed a record 66% voting.

Why did it happen? It happened because this time people were more engaged, engaged in discussions, engaged in debates, aware about the topics in hand, aware about issues and also which side they stood on.

It was not just AAP supporters but also AAP detractors, people who hated AAP, or who fervently supported congress and BJP that came out in large numbers to vote.All this because people were engaged
.

So the question arises, how do we engage people in meaningful conversations , because conversations lead to education which leads to desire to change and a desire to take charge of what is rightfully yours, your vote.

Various ways

  1. Social Discussions based on location: How about WeChat discussion communities which link people anonymously(without exposing cell nos) based on their location and the topic of interest(some parts already there in the app) This might help them educate each other(peer learning), collaborate and spread the message if desired. When you know there are like minded people , it gives you courage to stand up, it also helps you educate yourself more and hence increases your buy-in. A higher buy-in directly results in a higher probability to vote. Also a location tag may help them take the discussions offline, where it matters mostwechatmore
  2. Trend Search: Twitter trends are very location specific, how about trend and hashtag matching based on users interests. A user would want to know what all is being said about the topic he/she is interested in , even though it is not among the trends. What all hashtags have been started to discuss the issue.
  3. Discussion Clubbing: When a discussion happens at place A and Place B, the knowledge is distributed. A system of clubbing the discussions to bring in the view points of both parties would be uselful. Eg: Ability to merge two conversations of WeChat.

Apart from these new ways , the existing ways of using facebook and blogs and whatapp to spread message, keep people updated , connect leaders and voters directly should be utilized.

The real question is not how do we get people to vote, but how do we get people to talk?

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A day with Tablet–Contest Post

 

Somi did not like to wake up early , but sadly she had a meeting at 6:00 AM in the morning . At sharp 5:30 AM her Tablet , working as an alarm clock in stand mode , blazed the most annoying songs , songs that she rarely listened to or simply skipped.

Wretched Tab , Somi said. It knows which songs I hate and hence plays it to wake me up.

She opened her eyes barely , her coffee was ready, the tab had started the coffee maker .The tab was also showing how well she slept,calculating it based on how much she rolled over .

She got up, took a bath and had her breakfast. She took a pic of breakfast with her Tab and it immediately recognised the food and quantity and added the calories she was to consume.

Her call started at sharp 6:00 over video conferencing. After a short call, she was all set to go to office.

She put everything in her bag, her keys, the tab,wallet.

As she started driving towards her office ,she realised she has forgotten her Tab charger, but it was ok. The tab still had 80% charge, even during night it went into power saving mode and only the clock worked , thus saving it from dying out.

The tab was automatically playing a soothing music track, as if telling Somi to calm down. The tab knew she was feeling irritated, because she was driving faster than usual and also because the tab had biosensors on it’s sides ,and whenever Somi touched it, it recorded her essential bio signals such as heart rate.

The tab also knew that she had slept late and did not have complete REM sleep.It advised her to slow down , while telling her that her next meeting was in the afternoon, lots of time it said.

She reached office, parked her car and went inside. As soon as it connected to the office network the tab started a new session, completely different from her home sessions. Everything as per the company. She connected her keyboard and went on with her daily job of copy editing articles. She loved her job , but her lack of sleep was taking  a toll on her.

She went by her day as usual and the tab gave her suggestions in between to keep her cheerful , tried to play music as per her mood , suggested her to take breaks, told her that she is not having water and also gave her small exercises to do in between.

As the day progressed the tab had a surprising message ..

“Hey Somi, you seem to be a little down today, why not have a piece of chocolate cake? Don’t worry, you have not taken enough calories today, we will adjust .Won’t  mess up your eating plans”

This completely made her day :).One chocolate cake and 2 more hours of work later , Somi headed back to work.

Tab guided her to her car in the parking lot, it had picked up the GPS location and knew exactly where she parked. It also suggested she walk instead of taking a lift, she had not taken enough steps today(it counted) , and remember that chocolate cake?

Home sweet home, she checked her calendar , marked which meetings were essential and let het tab take over.

Last Tab Message of the day:

Somi, you have a meeting at 10:00 tomorrow, so we can sleep a little more :). Also remember you did not sleep well yesterday, so go to bed early . And I promise to not wake you up with the songs you don’t like. And hey, my battery is a little low, 30% only. Do plug me in, let me have my calories also :). Good night, see you tomorrow morning 🙂

*************************

This is a contest entry for blogging contest by Lenovo facebook.com/LenovoIndia

****************************

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10 Random statements

  1. MY Mac book clock is screwed up because of bootcamp windows, my cellphone does not auto sync after a restart and there is no wall clock in my room. Only way I find time is by Googling “Time”. No internet=No perception of time
  2. I am writing a list of 10 things or statements or whatever is coming to my head,what an brilliant idea I have
  3.  Marriages are scary things
  4. I have walked not more than 20 meters in last 2 days, I should get off my bed more often.
  5. We all are hypocrites at some level..No Not you, but others
  6. Something just bit me, was that a mosquito? Or something else that flies, what if I get dengue
  7. I am actually Jobless , in between jobs hence not covered by medical insurance. Please don’t fall ill
  8. A trip vs a new Camera–Economic decisions .Should I take a loan?
  9. Am I hungry or does my stomach always make these noises
  10. Who farted?

 

So here is the challenge, list down first 10 random things that come to your mind and share it in comments or on your blog(share the blog link)..

Best one would be featured in this blog :P..Randomness rules*

*Applicable only if I receive some good number of entries..let’s say 10

 

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[Old]Featured Videos

Creating Advertisements

I love creating advertisements because it is like story telling, it needs to capture an Idea and tell a brand story in a few seconds or minutes.

Recently I have been involved in creating various video advertisements and promotions for various events and clubs at  Indian School Of Business

Listing below some of the work I was involved with

I am generally involved in conceptualizing and post production that includes editing, voice overs ,effects etc. There are many more individuals involved, see the end of videos for credits

 

1. iDiya: National Social Venture Challenge by ISB. Introduction Video: 2012

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7RYIUns7pE]

 

2. ISB Super League 2012

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoXUxfb53bg]

3. Titans: A Team at ISB Super League

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-UFDC8cySk]

4,. iDiya: Why iDiya Video

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6gNrYT94q8]

5. Solstics 2012 : ISB Alumni Meet: Welcome Video

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CccuAfsLYw]

~By Madhur Chadha

 

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Top 5 lyrical songs on youtube -English

Recently I shared a list of some of the best poets and poetry performances available on youtube.Music and poetry are not very separate from each other so it would be apt to follow it with some of the best lyrical and beautiful songs (My ratings). These songs have a meaning and a mesmerizing quality that makes them linger in your head for a very long time
So here is a list of some of my favorite songs, yes there are many more which I will share later.

PS:All english songs in this edition

TOP SONGS on Youtube

 

5: Goodbye my lover:

Agreed it is a heart breaking song but man, is it beautiful? .The best way to enjoy is to listen to the live version.Live versions tend to me more soulful and heart touching. James blunt sings accompanied only with a piano and that leads it a sense of simplicity. Beautiful lyrics and beautiful music

And I still hold your hand in mine.
In mine when I’m asleep.
And I will bare my soul in time,
When I’m kneeling at your feet.
Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln8Sj_BDUrs]

4: Fix You:Coldplay

I should not be saying much about this song, it just grows on you.Just listen to not just the music but the lyrics,

first para:I suggest you give it a full listen

When you try your best, but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI-o25K6B-E]

 

3:Say what you need to say

I think the title of this  song by John Mayers explains everything.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSS0wtjrm1U]

2:Nightingale by Norah Jones

Norah jones possibly has one of the most soothing voices present..
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu_EJAM8N98]

1:Fireflies by Owl City

If I were given an option to wish “I wish that this song was composed by me”, I would select this song without a thought.It is so amazing, its talks about the natural inquisitiveness of a child mixed with a little nerdiness ,a perfect combination. I cannot tell you how much I Love this song, it has been my number 1 for ages
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuRGfAaju4]

Do you have more songs to recommend? Let me know

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