India Innovation – Android Love from India, including a Siri Clone

Its been a while since I wrote about India and the technological innovation there but here is something that is hard to be missed. Being an Indian and an Android fan it is one of those moments that you will be surely proud of, Apps. Indian Software developers are not the foremost to come up with products, yes there are quite a few there, but in comparison to the number of apps used worldwide the apps from India don’t come to the forefront. Indian Software industry has always played a service role for most companies, where we have developed products for others. Not many products that are home-grown. I guess its changing, and here are the first signs that we can be good at it too.

When Apple introduced Siri, every Android user wanted to hear about the version for Android. And there were few but all lacked complete functionality. An Indian Startup is trying to change all that, from the notion that Indian Software companies dont do products to Siri App for Android. Enter Dexetra, A startup from Cochin that is planning to change the world of Android and India.

Iris 

Like the Siri clone, Iris is a speech recognition and interpretation engine aimed solely at the tech savvy always connected Android user. Like the iPhone 4s the Iris requires the internet to be connected at all times to be able to process the information and spit out the results. With over a Million  installs and with tremendous response from the global Android community this app seems to be the one to see in 2012. Along with the company.

Check out Iris for yourself here on Android Market. Oh yes that’s not it, they also have more software like the Speed Sense and Secure Keys that are as helpful as the Iris You can check them out on their developer page on Android Market. Check out decent App Intro Videos as well for their upcoming Android App, Friday. Does this not look like an international App company now ?? Proud to have crossed paths with these guys.

I just hope that these guys find all the support they need and also move along and produce some brilliant Android Apps. Now waiting for some hackable intelligence of connecting the Arduino with the Iris to get a proper solution to the Voice Activated Home. Dexedra Are you listening ??

Wordless Thursday – Angry Birds Addiction

Angry Birds might be the greatest Mobile game ever created. The craze of the game just keeps increasing, people in the office seem to start playing it in long boring meetings as well. Oh the game and oh the addiction. So much so that someone thought it would be a good idea to make an infographic on the game and its addiction. Check out some really interesting statistics of the game, a “Birds” eye view perhaps.

The producers of the game are growing richer and the users more addicted. I installed the free version on my Android and say what, I could not put down the phone for sometime. Now well nearly though the game, I am kinda over the addiction. However, the Game is still entertaining when Blocks or paper toss does not compel me.

Is Facebook struggling to keep up with its competitors?

Facebook has been implemented a number of changes to its services in the past few months. And with the growing popularity of social media services like Twitter and Google+, it begs the question of whether the social networking giant feels the need to establish a new edge among its competitors. Some people even question whether Facebook is copying its competitors to some extent.  Let’s investigate some of Facebook’s recent changes and see how they compare to features on other social media services.

Facebook Messenger

One of the more ponderous additions to Facebook’s networking arsenal, the Facebook Messenger mobile app joins the ranks of countless other messaging services offered for smartphones as an alternative to traditional texting. The application is especially curious considering Facebook’s chat capabilities for the regular Facebook mobile app. While this app doesn’t directly compete with Twitter or Google+ (unless you count Google’s GChat), it certainly signals a move from Facebook to expand beyond the typical boundaries on the social networking website.

Improved Friend’s List

Facebook recently announced a retooled version of the Friend’s list on a user’s Facebook page. Although users have had the ability to create lists, before it was a laborious task rarely used by people on Facebook. Now Facebook has “smart lists” that automatically categorize your friends and family based on your shared data. You can choose to share information with people on your lists while keeping it from your other contacts—that way embarrassing pictures of you don’t make it to your Facebooking family members. The smart lists also help determine what information you see on your newsfeed, phasing out information from users who you’re more unfamiliar with. While this is an undeniably helpful feature for Facebook users, whether you’re tired of over sharing your information or seeing too much information from mere acquaintances, it feels an awful lot like Google+’s “circles” feature. Some people see the smart lists as a too-little-too-late move from Facebook, but its success with users has yet to be determined.

Subscribe Feature

Another recent announcement from Facebook unveiled a new “subscribe” feature. If a Facebook user allows to do so in their privacy settings, you can choose to follow them by clicking a subscribe button next to their profile. This way you can receive updates from a Facebook user without having to formally “friend” them, the idea being that you can subscribe to the profile’s of individuals who might not otherwise friend you. What’s more, you can alter a subscription to only notify you of worthwhile updates: uploaded pictures yes, status updates no, and so on. People have compared this new item to Twitter’s “following” feature, and while they’re similar, so too are numerous other features on other websites that allow you to follow or subscribe to web content.

Conclusion

Facebook’s changes could be read as copycat maneuvers taken from its competitors, but I think that the company is just trying to keep up with the rampant change in social media. Messaging and subscribing, it’s all an effort to stay relevant. Facebook isn’t in any danger of going out of business soon, its users still well exceed those of Twitter and Google+ combined—so any claims that they are being outmatched by competitors are premature at best. Like it or not, Facebook (and its recent changes) are here to stay.

This Post is a Guest Post by Mariana Ashley. Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com. If you would like to contribute to the Inquisitive Minds, please write to us at me@melvinpereira.com

6 reasons I love my Phone, and 3 reasons I hate it

It’s been close to 1.5 years with my Android, the gorgeous Nexus One from Google. And let me tell you they have been eventful 1.5 years and I have loved it. I want to highlight what I have loved the Nexus one and maybe some reasons I hate it. I wrote about the raging excitement when I got my Nexus One as a gift from my wife and have been an avid Android promoter ever since.

The Nexus One was Google’s first made Android Phone which aimed at selling the phone on-line without tying it to any carrier in the US. However the marketing plan of selling Nexus One bombed, but the Operating System flourished. As most people got hold of Android phones knowing that Android was fully backed by Google, the popularity of the Operating system just quadrupled. Thanks again to Nexus One which you cannot really buy now in the market, you can just get a developer version from Google on request.

Here are my 5 reasons I absolutely love my Phone.

1. Android

For most of you who read this blog frequently you will know that I am a big fan of Google and how they work. Google’s Android is not just a break from the monotony of the iPhone and the marketing gimmick of Steve Jobs, but it’s also a new way for people to stay united with the freedom to choose what you want to run on your phone. From getting a large choice of hardware, than a monotonous iPhone to the Galaxies of the world and the Nexus One of course, Android gave freedom of hardware and software.

2. Over the Air Upgrades

Android’s biggest losing point has been the fact that it has been criticized for not being able to provide uniform upgrades to all the phone manufacturers and models together. The main problem was that phone manufacturers add custom skins on the Android Devices to be able to customize them as their own branded phones. However this has created a lot of problems as well.

Google’s upgrades need to be vetted against the custom skins before they can be installed on the phones making them difficult to install. With Nexus One running stock android the upgrades to the Operating System are delivered as soon as Google releases them and it’s a nice feeling to get the new features before anyone.

3. Google Services

Having the stock Android means that all Google Services are configured to run well from the word go. Google ensures that the applications are working from the word Go in most stock Android flavors. Google Services like Contacts sync, Maps and Search all integrated into a consolidated package, making the services integration seamless and borderless.

4. Break away from stereotypes

Well I say that, but Android fans are getting into a stereotype themselves. Before I bought the Android, I have always been a Nokia user, from my first awesome Nokia 3310 right through to the N95. While N95 was my favorite phone of all times, its upgrades did not keep up much with the competition. Nokia lost the way when it came to touch screen smart phones, although they had great visions for what they wanted to do and still want to do, where they lost their way was in Software.

They were the first to realize the potential of Apps and custom Ringtones, as well as music. And they were the last to do something about it. By the time they came back with Ovi, I guess it was too little, too late. At the time that Nokia was losing ground, blackberry and the iPhone were catching on. The clumsy blackberry models available then were not really appealing and the iPhone was too expensive outside of the US.

5. Apps, Apps, Apps

This I guess I have in common with the iPhone lovers. From getting an app for WordPress, to Firefox right though to task managers and other software (I promise I will write a post about the apps on my phone soon) Apps are all around us. Well Apps also covers mobile games for me, and Angry Bird is the king of them. From being a free app on Android to getting into the lives of anyone who has tried it one, the Apps on the Android will definitely make the phone much better in functionality.

6. The 5MP Camera

The camera is one of the most versatile tool on my phone, from Augmented reality apps right through to just plain old taking pictures, there are awesome applications for the phone. I wrote about 18 such tools here in one of my most read posts of all time. The camera is brilliant, with apps providing additional control and functionality into the cameras.  They are so good that they also can replace your everyday tools, again something that I wrote about a while back here. All in all the camera with some of the cool Android apps are breathing a new lease of life into my phone.

I hate my phone too !!

As much as I love my phone I do hate it, at times. While not all frustrations I have are due to the phone itself its the feeling of having the problem that would bother me.

1. The Data Packages in UAE

While most of the world is receiving amazing data packages for the phone (read, India, UK, US), the data packages in Dubai are still made to hurt you, financially. Be it calling right through to using 3G and GPRS services. The part that is really frustrating is the fact that Etisalat and Du both seem to try and gain revenue from the large expatriate population, but it is just the middle and lower classes that they tend to hurt the most, this is not the best deal.

On the contrary the Blackberry users in Dubai face a lovely 3G package, where in the services are activated and provided at affordable prices. This for sure seems to be the very reason for the sheer increase in the number of Blackberry users.

Although Customer service is not the best in India, the packages and the deals for using the data packages are really unbelievable. It makes for the common man to go and use technology a little more. Which is the actual reason technology exists, to use it.

2. Android Market and its non availability 

I have written about this earlier, the fact that Google has not yet recognized the region as an important region for its mobile business, means more android users are getting deprived of the wonders of Android. This include some of Google’s apps too, like Google Earth, Google Plus the app and more.

We all know how Google is really putting a lot at stake in making the Android work (read, patenting problems) still the phones here without Android Market will work adversely for them. Having said that I must admit that the number of Android Phones I am seeing these days are really a lot. From the every persistent Samsung phones through to some interesting Sony and Acer phones, the Android OS is gaining ground in the middle east.

Hopefully now is a good time Google ! I know you are fighting a multi sided war with all the tech companies for us, a little attention here will mean financially we will be able to back you up and help you as well.

3. Some parts of the Hardware 

Although the first 2 annoyances are nothing to do physically with my phone, this one definitely does. Here are 4 of my annoyances with the hardware of the Nexus One.

a. The Coverage 

I am happy with the coverage, but when the phone gets into tight spots like lift lobbies which have low coverage, the phone not only looses signal like most other phones, but takes a long time to get back the signal.

I am not sure if this is an Android thing, or just my phone thing. But definitely this has hurt me in more than one occasion in the past. I hope that my next android will not have this issue (yes, I will buy an Android next as well).

b. The RAM / ROM 

There is inadequate local storage in the Phone. Period. Regardless of what Google thought at the time the phone was released, the fact that the RAM on the phone is small and restricts the usage of more apps, it is a serious problem with the hardware.

Although there are apps like App2SD and with the support of the Honeycomb version to support Apps to be installed in the SD card, its applications like Facebook which are not only large and cumbersome, but also not movable to SD that compound this issue.

c. Front Facing Camera 

Well to be honest, when this phone was launched, the world of internet calling was dominated by the desktop and the phone market was not getting there quick. Now that services like Skype, Fring and others operate well on the Android and that too for free. It is a feature that I miss a lot.

Google did not preempt the requirement which is why it was not there, however it was not there in the iPhone too until iPhone 4 was released. How I wish that there was a front facing camera for Skype, would have been able to catch up with my sister in the US even more easily.

d. The Battery Life 

Here I believe, it is my fault. I used to leave the phone charger on charging the phone when I go to sleep and it used to be connected. Now like laptop batteries the performance has begun to degrade. But keeping in mind the fact that the phone needs quite a lot of juice just to operate and run it does not help the cause.

The screen and most of all radio communication, are the biggest energy hoggers and have hurt my battery life of the phone, with degraded performance it definitely seems to be a problem.

Last words 

Although when you read this post it would sound like I am 50 – 50 with the phone, I will tell you I will purchase an Android Phone next as well. Make it the next nexus series. Although Nexus S will be a good option, I currently love this phone and will use it for much longer. ruling out the possibility of changing phones currently.

I love the Android Operating system especially in its stock format. And a looking forward to Ice Cream Sunday (the next Android Version). to release.

Google Plus or Google + : Are Facebook’s days numbered ?

For most guys who read this blog, you will know that we love Google here. And when Google tells us that they have a product that is competition for Facebook of course the excitement levels around here are way too much. Although I do not believe that Facebook will be overthrown as yet, it is clear that the Giant has competition. Google + as its called, looks quite interesting from the sneak preview given through the videos below. A few months back when Eric Schmidt confessed on National TV in the US that they misread the social media scene and did not read the signs of social media it made all the news. Especially considering that he is the CEO of one of the most influential companies in the world. Their products that flopped included Google Buzz, Wave and many similar attempts at Social Media.

Now Google has not only fought back, but by the looks of things it looks a very interesting platform. Google has close to a Billion visitors a month on their site and what this means is that they already have a large user base. Facebook has very loyal supporters, but if you remember s did myspace at some time. The undoing of Myspace or the rise of Facebook was largely attributed to the increasing number of parents and elders into a platform that was started off for college students only. Facebook today has similar issues. People are leaving Facebook just cos they don’t want their parents to see some drunk brawl pics uploaded by a distant “friend”. So will Google + be able to fill up the gap ? Well yes and No. Early adopters are going to love Google +. But the success of Google + completely depends on how it would evolve, just like Facebook.

What Facebook did and what Google was unable to do was provide a face and an identity to their users around the Internet. Google has struggles to pull this off for so long. But with the Google Profiles, Gmail and Google + the offering is going to be pretty strong from Facebook. The identity provided by Facebook was among the first in the industry, it will be keep to see how Google might utilize this to their advantage. It is ironic that I am posting this rant on Facebook to talk about the death of Facebook and possible rise of Google +. Google has the knowledge of all the things that Facebook did wrong, and all the things that Facebook could not pull off. Add to it the innovative nature of Google and we might have a pretty strong offering on our hands.

Not to forget Android. It is a known fact that Android is taking over the smartphone market with a storm, and it is also a known fact that the future of the internet is mobile, Google + deep integration in Android will just make that offering so much stronger and desirable in the days to come. The service is currently invitation only, just like most of Google product releases. This means they will work on the curiosity of the users to being them to the product, however the success is completely going to depend on the usability, privacy control and the new features that the product brings. I am already excited, and have applied to be invited. Videos and the link to get your own invite below.

Google + a Quick Look

Google + and Circles

Google + : Explore Settings

Google + : Mobile Explore

Google + : Video Chats with Hangouts

Google + : More interesting stuff with Sparks

Google + : Circles

Google + : Hangouts

Google + : Huddle (Group Texting)

Google + : Instant Upload

Google + : Sparks


You can read about what Google’s thoughts are when they made this on their official blog here. Want to see what it really looks like well check it out here.

Watch out for sites that mash up both Facebook and Google + to bring you a combined experience as both platforms are going to be pretty strong for a while. Hmm, someone know any developers who might be interested in working on this ?

Three Awesome Google Logos that Distracted the World

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com. If you would like to contribute an article to the Inquisitive Mind, please get in touch at the contact page. I will be more than happy to add in the relevant post on the blog.

In today’s society, life is about speed and productivity. With the evolution of new technologies and the internet, we expect instant gratification for any query we might stumble upon. While things in internet-land are constantly moving and changing, one site and enterprise that has remained ever steady is Google. Google is like the god of the internet. It seems as though they can do nothing wrong. With a beautiful search engine, great emailing capabilities, and even a very useful browser, Google has perfected the art of speed and productivity. While Google has certainly made our lives run a lot more smoothly in many ways, it has also caused an internet traffic jam on more than one occasion. The Google logo is one of the most recognized logos throughout the world. Since 1998, Google has been doing Google Doodles with the highly recognized logo. These three Google Doodles are believed to have cost the world a significant amount of money for the time wasted by internet users (awesome).

Les Paul Google Doodle

1. Les Paul Logo: On June 9th 2011, Google celebrated the 96th birthday of Les Paul by displaying an interactive electric guitar doodle as the logo. The doodle is one of the only Google Doodles that is interactive. This logo was displayed worldwide and was a huge hit in the United States. Users could hold their cursers over the strings of the doodle to strum the guitar. You could also activate the keyboard to strum the guitar. In the United States, users could record their strumming for thirty seconds and then a URL is created for your recording. This Google Doodle is possibly one of the coolest yet. With users around the world creating tunes on their browsers, there are rumors that the Les Paul logo alone cost the U.S. millions of dollars in productivity for the two days that it was displayed.

Pacman Google Doodle

2. Pac-Man Logo: On May 21st 2010, Google celebrated the 30th anniversary of the arcade game Pac-Man by displaying an interactive logo of the game itself. This was the first interactive logo that Google had ever unveiled and was a huge success worldwide. Anyone who visited the site could play Pac-Man on the logo. The logo mimicked the exact features of the original game with ghosts, dots, and all of the classic sounds. Visitors could play Ms. Pac-Man as well by pressing the “Insert Coin” button twice. In this instance, two Pac-Man games show on the screen, allowing two people to play at once. The Pac-Man logo was one of the most popular Google tricks and now has an entire site dedicated to it (linked above).

3. Jules Verne’s 183rd Birthday Logo: On February 8th 2011, Google celebrated the birthday of French author Jules Gabriel Verne. Verne pioneered the genre of science-fiction and is best known for novels such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and A Journey to the Center of the Earth. Google changed their logo to an interactive submarine exploration. The word “Google” was spelled out to look like the windows of a submarine. The user can control the submarine by moving a lever up and down or right and left. See tropical fish, deep sea divers, sharks, and monsters on your exploration. As a beautiful tribute to a fantastic writer, Google’s imagination shines as much as Verne’s.

 

Teach your parents tech, the Google way

With the internet and websites evolving, it is getting more easier to keep in touch with loved ones. Email, IM, twitter, and these days even Facebook. We tend to give tech as gifts these days to our loved ones these days, but sometimes we find that our parents and some children are really still struggling to catch up with the amount of tech we are used to, and it would become difficult for them to still work on basic tasks on computers, while using the computer or phone.

Well, Google to the rescue like always. And no I am not asking them to Google whatever they want. Google has set up a new initiative called teach parents tech where they have uploaded a lot of videos of how to actually go about doing simple computer tasks, tasks we feel are easy but some technologically challenged people find difficult. Yes I used the words technologically challenged and no I dont think its a real phrase. Getting back to Teach parents Tech, the initiative I believe is excellent, from changing wallpapers on your windows based computer right though to Web, Media, Finding Information and Communication. The best part is that you can customize a letter for them and select the videos that they are going to love to learn from.

Once you send your personalized email they can view the personalized playlist on YouTube with instruction videos. I guess there is not much left to say, but send it to those technologically challenged friends of yours, or that family member that asks for too many tech support questions. The website header itself says “Send your parents a TECH SUPPORT care package

On the down side, if you receive one of these emails, well that just means you know what your friends really think of you. Here are some video samples of the training that you can send.

How to create a strong password

How to copy and Paste

How to make text bigger or smaller

How to stop getting a newsletter

How to make calls from your computer

How to Chat

How to check spellings

I am sure that once the Android platform gets more famous, it will become more apparent that many people might need some help with it as well, and guess what I will be waiting for a new how to video channel for them as well.

Check out : Teach Parents Tech

Lessons from Google – 10 things

Google is one of the most recognized names on the internet and the doorway to the internet for most of the world. There are things that we can learn from Google based on their business sense and this is the best time to learn it, considering that there is a looming web app boom which might burst in the not so near future. Until then economies will continue to rise over this boom creating ample opportunities for all to make a good buck and a good living. If the growth is not a bubble all the more better considering that we will have a good basis to learn from. In fact these 10 things come from the largest Online company Google themselves. Here is what they want to say are the best 10 things they do to be who they are :

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.

Or as it is commonly known in India, Customer is King. By tracking user browsing history, cookies and other personal data tracking (which is a privacy concern anyway) they have managed to keep the user at the centre of the operations, so that users will return for maximum value. The first and foremost step to take for me while working with some of my customers is also to track them. Be it through feedback forms, market research or other ways. You need to know what your customers want and give them that. You then have a winning business.

2. It’s best to do one thing really, really well.

Although we know Google does not just do one thing, they focus most of their energy on the one thing they do arguably better than anyone else. Catalog, Index and search the internet. We do know that their remaining products form the rest of the ecosystem around search. It is not a coincidence that most of their revenue comes through the ads on this channel.  All big companies who are successful follow a similar policy. Like reliance they are not just building one product but building a whole ecosystem around that product. Not only do they Make Vimal Fabrics, they make the factories that make the yarn and the fibre for the fabrics.

3. Fast is better than slow.

Case in point Google Instant. I mean it has transformed the search experience 4 fold by adding this feature into browsers, mobiles and now smart TV’s. Although the speed of Instant means that you do not get the right result you are looking for first time straight, but it learns what else you are typing and provides results accordingly. It just means that it is better to be proactive than reactive. We might get a few things wrong by bring proactive, but we can make up the rework because we were faster to make that mistake than everyone else. Gives you the additional time for rework.

4. Democracy on the web works. (or anywhere else for that matter)

Google has been a company that is driven a lot of the choice of its users. Unlike Facebook who is driven out of what they want to do and let users adapt. Democracy ! In business as well as on the web this is important. A boss who does not pay attention to the needs and voice of his employees and customers, will soon find out that he does not have much to boss over. This also means that anyone can become a competitor anytime, a former employee, a loyal customer anyone has the freedom to start something to compete with, but that is where point No 2 comes in. No matter how well they do one product, they will not have the ecosystem goodies that make that product the best.

5. You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.

The world is changing and business is growing mobile. More and more people are now looking at mobile apps and the internet on the go. With devices like the iPad, iPhone, Androids and the Blackberry. Smartphones are getting more and more accessible. What this means to business is that we all need to catch up, have a mobile enabled website, have your teams work across the internet for more flexibility. Business can very well benefit from the mobile revolution that is currently happening around us. We just need to figure things out correctly.

6. You can make money without doing evil.

Although Google tracking users is considered evil by many, the fact that they are able to provide relevant ads that fuel innovation from Google as well as free applications for all of to use just means that the fact that they do not do evil is highlighted. Until now they are not selling our personal information to others, and they will not do that in the near future. Businesses can learn from this, by giving back something to society and the customers businesses will be able to retain them for longer and thrive. You don’t need to pay bribes, just make their experience better.

7. There’s always more information out there.

When Google says something like that it seems very inappropriate, cos we usually go to Google to get answers for all our questions. But this just means that they are willing to believe that they have not yet achieved everything. Businesses no matter how big should realize that there is more out there that they can do, be it doing social good or just working with their competitors, there is more that can be offered to your customers with no additional cost. Its a question of the effort and the mind set to be able to do so.

8. The need for information crosses all borders.

The main catch word in this sentence would be borders. The global village as the world is now being referred to is a huge resource that people fail to tap extensively. From sourcing, to new customer bases from outsourcing to re engineering, businesses should not be stopped by the need to have new resources that are available only half way across the globe. Technologies enable us to get across borders now and we need to go around these borders to be able to make the best use of what is available.

9. You can be serious without a suit.

This is true and the world is warming up to this, but there are still traditional companies who are driven out of the fact that looks matter. Pleasantries included. If you achieve perfection it will be evident that looks are deceptive, what lasts longer is the quality of work and the quality of our products and services. Being serious at work is a mental thing and not a physical thing. I don’t believe the age old statement “dress for your next job” applies any more. But again the east is still to catch up on it, unlike the west.

10. Great just isn’t good enough.

Perfection. I don’t really think, the above sentence can be summarised better. If all of us aim for perfection in all the small activities we do no matter how large or small, we are for sure going to be successful. We will use less time to achieve the same task (no rework), have more content customers and employees. All in all makes for a better work environment along with having the best product. A business no matter how large can look at itself every few months to make things better. Just because it is done in a certain way is not the best way to do it, that’s what we need to have as our operations motto.

Inquisitive Interviews cos Google is your next Interview

Google has been the cornerstone of the Internet’s expansion for some time now, I know there would be a few readers that would disagree with me on a more technical level, however Google did to the Internet what windows did to the desktop PC. Gave it a shape and a voice. Today we cannot really think of a life without Google. We use the search for everything, even the term Google It is now in the dictionary as a synonym of search. One of the industries that really did well with the explosion of the internet was the Job Search industry, going from newspaper ads locally right to the internet job search sites like Monster.com to now the very popular Linked In. Most people use the common routes of the internet for job search, i.e. search for a job on a job site, send in your CV and wait for a response. However there are more innovative ones among us that are using the Internet resources differently for job search, more on that later. The tried and tested route is great for beginner jobs and for intermediate jobs. However a you grow up the ladder this method starts to fall short. Main because head hunters look for people in higher places, as well as referrals and contacts take over.

Through all of this, one thing is emerging as a major trend in the Job Search / Hunt industry. Google. Most people these days are Googling potential candidates to search for information like credibility, recommendations etc. Linked in is one of the most popular of these sources that shows up, on a close second would be Facebook and Twitter. It would be logical considering that these sites are as big as they are, Linked in with over 100 Million users and Facebook with a staggering 500 million users. Googling a person can bring about the information about a person that he may or may not be particularly proud of. Like that drunk party you were at, or someone blogging about your inefficiency etc.

Based on this it becomes imperative that you really go out there and start Ego Googling once every few months, just to make sure that the information about you is current and relevant and in fact you are Googlable. What do I mean by that ? well for starters make it easier for people to find you on Google, make sure that there is good information about you and not too much dirt. Once this process is done you will see that a person looking for your information might be able to find, that you are indeed an achiever as well as have some evidence to back it up.

The entire process above is called Personal Branding. What it means though is that you are working to promote yourself similarly as a brand would do. I am working on something similar for myself, if you Google Melvin Pereira, you would see that most results are between a namesake and of course me. The namesake is a renowned photographer of Jet Planes and has been quoted over the internet a lot. Which makes him easier to search than for example me. But I have an advantage, this blog. Having a domain name with my name and a blog has ensured that I am searchable, and findable. My thoughts and knowledge base is this blog itself. I know a lot of you are thinking is this really relevant to me ? Well for starters you don’t always need a blog to be findable on Google, you only need to compete with all your name sakes in order to reach the first page and the top results there. Here are some steps that might help in the process :

  1. Google Yourself regularly : What does come of that exercise is you can see how far off from the first page are you. Only when you know how far back you are, can you know how much work is required to put you to the front pages.
  2. Online Participation : Participate in websites where interaction would lead to increased visibility. Read and comment on blogs that are related to your line of work, try to help others out online, e.g. educational forums where college students ask for answers. Etc.
  3. Linked In : Have a great Linked In profile. Filling in all the sections as well as providing as such relevant work related information as possible. Considering that Linked In profile would be one of the first pages that show up for your name, the more information it does have the better the impact it would have.
  4. Repeat Step 1 every few months, or every month initially.

In the process, I will also be able to help. On this blog I am starting a section called Inquisitive Interviews, a series of Interviews that are well, Inquisitive to start off with. I was being asked the question by some college students on if there line of work is correct and what are the growth prospects, although I am not qualified nor experienced enough I thought that by providing them with information related to how people work ? What did they study to get there etc, it might help to make some good decisions regarding their career. Complimenting this, it would also provide some visibility for the person in the interview on Google, as my Blog is now quite frequently visited by Google.

There are many different ways through which you can be famous online, by putting up really stupid pictures of yourself (which might not be the best for your career) also by helping people, and getting recognized for it. For the benefit of a lot of my readers, I hope Inquisitive Interviews will provide some value too, making the interviewee Googlable and help them advance in their career. If you want to get featured in Inquisitive Interviews get in touch with me at me[at]melvinpereira.com. Additionally I would request you to share this section with more students in the hope that it will be helpful to them