The Sad State Of Gadget Blogging And Vlogging In India

To start with, almost every niche for Blogging is competitive, densely filled with experienced and newbie bloggers and the scene doesn’t happen to change much. If you ask someone (who is new to the Blogging scene) about which niche they feel is very competitive, they’d mention about Technology or Gadgets. That’s totally true, given how the game of SEO can give the newer bloggers an edge and help them get the traffic they wish to get because they are quite unknown to readers.

Sad State Of Gadget Blogging And Vlogging In India

Read below to find out how bad the current state of tech blogging in India is, and even if it might sound a bit harsh, truth isn’t easy to digest. I had talked about this earlier too, but have a better platform to share it again.

The current scene of gadget blogging in India is bad but worse than what it was expected to be. Why? You cannot blame a learning blogger if he’s doing something that is not tactically right to gain traffic and earn money out of it. It is because he is indirectly learning from the experienced guys in the field.

Ethics are long gone in gadget blogging, as currently, even the one who boast about having huge numbers are doing what a newbie would do – play of words and SEO. That is even worse with YouTube, where it becomes a lottery for a few hours after a smartphone gets launched, and given how regularly tech events happen, you see the same game of keywords and SEO almost every day.

Let me get the story straight and explain how that happens, and why the blame is on both, the blogger and the reader.

A particular smartphone gets launched today, and by evening, you would see videos saying “X Phone Review”, “X Phone Unboxing and Hands-on Review.” They’d gain thousands of views instantly. A sensible person would wonder two things.

  • How did a person with no actual usage of the phone for more than a few minutes manage to do a review of it? doesn’t that happen after a few days’ of usage?
  • And how on the earth does the viewer/reader expect a review to be out when the phone had just got officially announced few hours ago?

The sad truth is because there is an audience who expects reviews to be out on the same day of the launch, there are Bloggers and Vloggers who take that as a gold mine and dig it without even realizing about the consequences, if any.

What do you see in the instant reviews that are not actually reviews?

  • Some feedback about the design, because the phone is in the hand.
  • Some talk about the processor and because it is known already, the performance is already judged without even using the phone.
  • A few words about the battery just based on the capacity, since there is no actual usage of the device.
  • Camera samples are thrown in without judging them because what can you judge in a few captures taken in a single light condition?
  • Few things mentioned but with a tag “we’ll let you know about this, as we are not sure” because they are frank and really don’t know.

And that’s it. The review is out, and people still watch it, because they are a better judge and can decide to buy a device based on a verdict only on the design, right?

Now, what happens after that instant review is relied on, and a phone is purchased.

The buyer didn’t get to know about the performance, battery life, camera quality and also the call quality, but he bought it based on the instant review where there was nothing negative mentioned.

He starts facing some problems and then realizes that these things weren’t really checked before they were talked about in the reviews they watched. The blame on the YouTuber or Blogger doesn’t matter because he never forced you to buy a particular phone, so let’s blame the brand for making a stupid device that was not worth it.

Does the brand or its PR approve of it?

Since we are not taking any names, it is safe to say that a few brands are happy with this instant review thing, where they don’t see the YouTubers or Bloggers mentioning anything negative. Why would they mention it? they didn’t use the phone to find anything negative at all. So there you go – the brand is getting a very positive review from the well known Youtuber, and they as a gesture of appreciation, would share the review on their social channels where there are lacs of followers.

So, the ones who are already wrong, are being proved right in a way with the brand’s help. I’m not saying that every brand does that, but it still happens with a few and that is well known a fact now.

Doesn’t the YouTuber or Blogger realize that this will hurt them in the end?

To be frank, I had this “it will hurt them” thought earlier but now that is gone. The tech market in India is growing so rapidly that there are more and more people coming online each day, for the first time, to know the feedback about smartphones.

A person who is in for the first time doesn’t even know when did a phone get launched. He’d just find an ad in a newspaper about a phone that was just launched yesterday, and he would search for the review of it. And guess what, a bunch of reviews are already there!

This keeps on happening, and it will keep on happening. Until there is an end to it. And how can there possibly be an end to this? By spreading awareness about it. By letting people know how wrong they are in expecting reviews on the first day, and by letting new bloggers know that this isn’t a right thing to do because you are not gaining any credibility but are just making money out if it.

If there’s no solution already, am I just venting it out here?

You can just do that when you don’t have an option. People who you meet, who you interact with, who you are good to, are the ones who do it and you cannot but just vent about it somewhere, hoping that they understand how wrong things are and how they can, at least, change things from now. This venting out is more for the newer bloggers to understand how they can slowly but progressively build a brand that does things ethically and without any shortcuts that many are applying right now.

I’ve tried to do that and am doing that for a few years and the blog that I run currently, Gizmo Times, aims to keep it as clean as possible, even if that means I am competing against a bunch of first-movers who move first to do it the wrong way.

9 Blogging Blunders A Blogger Should NOT Make

9 Blogging MistakesBloggers at any level of their experience, feel that what they are doing is the right thing and there are minimal mistakes they are committing, and if any, they could be ignored. Having such a mindset itself is one of the mistakes that every blogger does. You are a learner from the first day to the last in your Blogging career. Words and paragraphs don’t flow out of your mind into the keyboard with perfection all the time. And it isn’t a particular blog post am talking about, but the entire blog where each and every aspect including the design, the conversations, which all hold equal importance.

In keeping a check on what all steps followed would be advantageous for the blog, many bloggers ignore what all mistakes are being done and the latter one would question the quality of the blog. One shouldn’t feel low or discouraged if someone points out the mistakes they make, because Bloggers are humans and are bound to make mistakes, but a few blunders, if kept a check on, could be avoided and would make the readers feel that it is a valuable resource they have reached to spend some time reading.

Here are the few Blogging Blunders that a blogger commits usually, and should try to avoid:

1. Lack of promotion, focusing just on content

You are not famous from the first day itself. Every basic step has to be taken to make the blog noticed by the readers, and the promotion has to be done for a blog to be run with good reader base and conversations. If you aren’t promoting your blog and the posts, and are just relying on the good content for visitors to flow in automatically, you are making a big mistake. You can use Social Networking and Bookmarking for Blog Promotion.

2. No check on Typos and grammar

Make yourself a reader and think for moment whether you would be reading any content which has got grammatical mistakes and typing errors. You surely won’t be liking it that way. Feel the same way for your readers, and so have your content neat and free from grammatical errors. The trust on the quality increases with the reduction of errors in the article. Always allocate some time to proofread your blog posts.

3. Re-writes are not always loved

This is the case we have seen many a times with bloggers. A couple of news rewritten might gain some instant popularity, but the bloggers make it a trend to start rewriting all the best written material from the other blogs. This leads to saturation, and is not always suggested. Try to research on the topic you are writing, so that what you write “stands high” well above the others. Try to produce more creative quality content instead of reinventing the wheel.

4. Blogging for money, not passion

Earning money would be a passion for anyone, either that would be a blogger, a freelancer or a webmaster. Making money has got hundreds of ways, but when someone thinks to blog only for Money, the main passion for Blogging isn’t there and this always would restrict you from being open-minded, which would have been a totally different case otherwise. When you are Blogging with a passion of writing and expressing yourself, the response and appreciation is totally different.

5. Starting with a niche, generalizing later on

Sticking to a particular niche when you have opened it for the same purpose, requires some guts and determination because many a times a single niche won’t bring in much traffic initially and the blogger would be motivating himself to write about the niches which are totally different, just to bring in more readers. There isn’t an ethic to follow that a particular niche is to be stuck upon, but the current return visitors of your blog would never like it when they get to read something entirely different than the regular trend on the blog. Imagine yourself finding a story about football on a health blog, that’s what your readers might feel too. Choose a perfect niche for your blog before starting your blog.

6. Images speak a thousand words, don’t forget to include one

Images are a style adding factor to the content. Content is a substance that people would read to gain the information, but to make the same interesting and stylish, and keep the users interested for more, the Images play a main role. You are jolting down thousands of words writing about something really important, but without any images, most of the readers would ignore more than half of the content just wondering how boring it would be to go from A to Z of the entire page. There are several reasons to have images on your blog and you can get copyright and royalty free images easily.

7. Comment on other blogs, but stick to the niche

Commenting on other blogs to attract new visitors and blogger friends is one of the best tricks around, but if you have an intention of just keep commenting and not have a control on where you are doing that, it would hurt the blog’s ranking, firstly for sometimes landing into those blog pages where there are hundreds of outbound links already, and secondly because you aren’t sticking to the similar niche. We always see many bloggers commenting on .edu blogs which are related to education, and the blog they are promoting in these edu blogs are related to technology. This doesn’t hold any advantage, but can go the negative way sometimes. By doing these you can become a hero on blog commenting.

8. Decision on choosing Blog Platform and Design

Don’t go with the trend. It’s good to take suggestions and ask people which Blogging platform would be holding an advantage over the other, but the end decision has to be taken by you. The Blogger platform is simple, has limited options and is the best for Amateurs, and just because the probloggers use WordPress, you shouldn’t use the same if you have no knowledge of how to customize the design or make changes in the blog. You could make irreversible blunders which might want you to start from the scratch.

Some useful posts related to this:

9. Accept criticism and learn from it

Not everyone has the same mindset. Each blogger and reader has their own aggression and politeness, but you should keep in mind to accept the criticism from those who don’t like the way you express yourself. Try to explain, rather than bashing back at them trying to defend yourself. Doing the latter would end up making you lose your potential readers, who sometimes had an intention to teach you but in their own way.

There are several other blunders which bloggers easily make, and I might be doing the same in this post but we are all learners. Trying to maintain a standard style of writing would help, rather than showing aggression and being too polite at times. Copying or Plagiarizing content is what many newbie bloggers do, just to fill up their blogs being confident that the readers would not find who is the original author, but if this becomes a habit, the blogger would never learn how to write on their own. Write, make mistakes, listen to the commentators and learn from it. Nothing else can make you a better blogger.

Avoid Facebook Using Your Name & Photo On Ads

In a social world where we think that we have the freedom to express just everything over the Internet but unfortunately or fortunately it isn’t like that as there are some privacy policies in place which clearly mentions what to share and what not to over a piece of Internet. So, for all those who are not aware of what are the things which need to be shared and what not, we will guide you and tell you on what are the things you can share. For easy example we can see that Facebook uses the photos in the Facebook’s social ads which will appear on the profile page of your contacts and this type of practice by Facebook can’t be stopped or challenged with anywhere as because this thing is mentioned in the agreement which is mentioned in the privacy policy very clearly.

But in the meanwhile if you don’t wish to allow the Facebook to use the photos as well as the photographs which are updated in the Facebook then all you need to do is to just simply follow the steps which are mentioned here so as to completely stop from using your name or even the profile photos in the Facebook Social Ads which Facebook updates very frequently in the servers due to which the mutual friends or the friends of friends see that promotional ad consisting of our profile page photo.

If you wish to get away with this then all you need to do is to simply go to your profile page, go to your Account Settings.

facebook settings dropdown

Then in the Settings page, go to the last tab i.e. the Facebook ads section where you can check the settings for the Facebook Ads that are displayed in your network.

After selecting the options as mentioned above, you will be prompted to enter the choice of preference like, you will be prompted like, “Allow adverts on platform pages to show my information to” “No one” or to “only my friends”. So, simply select the preference like “No One” so that your ads are shown nowhere. Also, most importantly make sure that after choosing the appropriate option you will have to click on the “Save changes” option tab to save the changes. Below screenshot shows how you can stop the 3rd party ads from using your information i.e. the name and picture.

There is also another option which will prompt you in this way, “Show my social actions in Facebook Adverts to” “No one” or to “only my friends” wherein you will have to ensure that you enter the correct information so that the Facebook adverts are completely closed or are not published. Here you can set whether to pair the social actions with ads and display that to everyone or no one.

Generally such sort of applications which make use of such ads are only the third party apps, so it’s always recommended that you don’t use too many social apps which take out the personal data and is shared in the public without any intimation. This type of prevention is the best solution for the Facebook users who wish to maintain the appropriate levels of privacy and also users will be able to keep things secured rather than promoting things in public.

10 Best Google Chrome Extensions For Web Designers

With so many Google Chrome extensions in the Google Chrome Web store, it’s evident that you would like to check out some exciting and crisp extensions which will be of very great use. Since Google Chrome is one of the fastest web browser it will not slow down with the use of Chrome extensions which is the best part. So, let’s check out the Google Chrome extensions below –

#1 – Speed TracerHomepage

Speed thrills, but kills. This proverb only applies on the roads but in the road of web traffic higher the speed higher the thrill but no killings here. So, the speed tracer is a tool which helps you to identify and fix the performance issues with the web applications. Along with this plugin visualizes the metrics that are taken from the low level instrumentation points inside the browser and then it analyzes them as the application runs. With the help of graphical representation, you can easily find the java script parsing and the execution, layout, CSS style recalculation and then the selector matching is also done with timer fires.

speed tracer


#2 – Aviary Screen Capture – Homepage

Wanted to take the screenshot of the web page effortlessly, then this is the way to go as with this plugin you will be easily able to save the screenshot on the desktop, edit in other aviary apps, captures instantly  even before you blink your eyes, can crop the picture, resize, rotate and can also flip your capture, smart select of the page portion which you wish to take the screen shot, you can even capture the color information, quick launch the 6 aviary design tools with image editor, mark up editor, also a whole range of editor tool support is provided.


aviary screen capture

#3 – Chrome SEO – Homepage

If you are a blogger or a website owner then you would want to do an SEO for your blog so that you can easily feature your blog in the Google and other search engines. The Google Chrome SEO Extension provides easy access to Search Engine Optimization Tools that can help you with Competitive Analysis, Keyword Research, Backlink Checks, PageRank Checks and other daily SEO tasks.

chrome seo


#4 – FireBug Lite – Homepage

With the Firebug lite add on for the Google Chrome you can easily edit debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page. This is the simplest tool where you don’t have to much look out for the technical know how as this simplifies all the important data and presents on the screen.

firebug lite


#5 – Resolution TestHomepage

Basically with this add on which is dubbed as the Resolution test, you can easily change the size of the browser window for the developers so that you can preview the websites in different screen resolutions so that you can easily include the list of commonly used resolutions as well as with the help of customized option you can choose the one.

resolution test


#6 – Chrome Sniffer – Homepage

With the use of Chrome Sniffer, you can easily inspect web framework/CMS and java script lib which is running on the current web browser and also an additional small icon will be appearing just next to the address bar which can be then indicate the dedicated framework, so that you can make use of open source to the maximum.

chrome sniffer


#7 – Lorem Ipsum Generator – Homepage

Lorem Ipsum actually is a very great add on for the Google Chrome as this one allows to choose words per paragraph and number of paragraphs as you can see in the above picture.

lorem ipsum generator


#8 – Internet Explorer TabHomepage

If you recently come to using the Google’s Chrome from the earlier version of Internet Explorer then you would want to know whether is there any way that you can get the IE styles tab view, yes you can very well get that, all you will be needing is the IE tab add on for Chrome.

internet explorer tab


#9 – Meta SEO InspectorHomepage

Meta data is not just the usual HTML meta tags, but the XFN tags, various micro formats, the recently introduced canonical attribute, the no-follow links and so on. So, meta SEO inspector too is a great add on for Chrome.

meta seo inspector


#10 – Eye DropperHomepage

Do you love colors and would like to color the way you want to see then Eye dropper allows you to pick the colour from any web page or from the advanced colour picker so that the colour of your choice can be used as per your require.

eye dropper

Web Development Tools For Perfect Website Design

A wealth of free web development tools is available for ensuring valid web design. Having a validated website means that clients and readers of the site will view it as the author intended, with cross browser functionality and seamless transitions from page to page. Following are a few of the most important web development validation tools to guarantee complete and error free code.

W3schools is a leader in web development instruction, offering easy to understand tutorials on mark-up languages, browser scripting and XML, as well as having a great website validator. W3Schools website validation tools include validation of site HTML, CSS, XHTML, XML and WML pages. Simply enter the URL of the website to be validated, and W3C will provide a full report of validation errors, listed chronologically with line and column numbers, as well as summations of the validation error for ease of location and correction.

w3schools

For Firefox users, there are several useful add-ons targeted specifically at web development. Total Validator is a Firefox add-on that validates HTML and XHTML, checks for broken links, performs accessibility validation and provides a spell checker. It helps majorly in making the web page free from any errors.

total validator

JavaScript Debugger, also known as Venkman, is another useful Firefox add-on for web developers. It allows users to debug JavaScript in the Mozilla setting by viewing source code, finding errors, then providing solutions for their correction. Another plus for this add-on is that Venkman has numerous help sites and user blogs for additional support.

pendule

Google Chrome and Opera also provides users with web development add-ons and widgets. Each of these browsers offer similar tools targeted specifically at their users. Google Chrome offers tools such as:

  • Pendule – A multipurpose tool for developers and bloggers that includes solutions for style sheets, forms, images and accessibility.
  • Fire Bug Lite – A web development debugging tool. The fire bug lite is available for both Firefox and chrome browsers, and the options provided by it helps a lot in different aspects of web designing.
  • Validity – A simple HTML validator.
  • Resolution Test – Allows you to test your page at different screen resolutions, which not just helps with the web designing but also lets you know which browser doesn’t display the page correctly.

Opera offers web developers SDKs, or Software Development Kits. These kits include tools for development over many platforms and devices, from simple validation tools to tools for developing and debugging software. Opera also offers its users a site devoted solely to development called Dev.Opera. Here, users can find tutorials and blogs on subjects ranging from HTML5, to the latest Opera widgets, to designing pages for mobile devices.

Using Social Networking And Bookmarking For Blog Promotion

Online Social Networking and Social Bookmarking can be defined as a meeting, and, this meeting takes place on various social media sites all over the web with millions of people worldwide attending at any given time. The purposes of social networking are many, for example, you can use this type of networking to keep in touch with friends and family, to share information, play games and meet others of like interest. However, the use of social media to promote blog sites has grown tremendously in the past few years.

Whether a person manages a personal diary blog, a technology blog filled with tips and ideas or a blog about homeschooling, the goal is the same for them all and that is to gain visibility. It is no secret that famous people, places and things of the world are ones get all the attention while the quite one are rarely noticed, well, the same goes for blog sites, and that is where social networking comes in. Social media sites are popping up everywhere with Twitter, Facebook, Digg and Delicious leading the pack. Networking is equal to communication; it is a relatively easy way to self-promote a blog site.

When individuals use social media sites to promote their blog they do so by first creating profiles on the media sites they wish to be a part of. The profile can include a brief bio, pictures and links to their blog sites. The next step is to search for the types of people they want to attract, and then they begin posting content previews, current or upcoming giveaway or sales, pictures, ideas and information and whatever else. Then, when someone who is interested clicks on that posts that lead them back to the site that the individual is trying to promote he or she gains more traffic and recognition, and that can lead to a higher search engine ranking.

social networking logos

Social networking can be a fun way to raise awareness, not only it is an organic method of SEO it is also inexpensive and can build lasting relationships. Using this type of networking does require patience and persistence, though; individuals should keep their status updated at all times and fill their blog with content that is worthy and extremely relevant to what they are promoting. And, in time they will begin to see progress, popularity will grow and blog click through traffic will increase.

Still, in the end, it is not just Social networking and bookmarking that would do everything that your blog needs to get noticed and well promoted. You need to do a lot of things, in which writing an excellent content that your readers love, is one of the main areas to concentrate on, and the Social Media is one of the things that plays a major role. The major networks where a blog can get promoted very well are – BlogCatalog, StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Plurk, FriendFeed, etc. and the Social bookmarking sites where one can submit their blogs and promote their blogs are – Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, Diigo, Spurl, Mag.nolia.com, BackFlip, Socialmatic.

7 Free Best Tools To Check Website Loading Speed

“Website load speed” refers to the speed at which a specific website loads the content on it for the Web surfer. There can be many factors that could slow down its loading speed including the type of hosting server, CSS, images and animations, JavaScript files, the bandwidth being used for accessing the website, and the location of the surfer. To make sure your website is running at a good speed, you can use an online tool dedicated to checking loading speeds of webpages.

Useful Posts :

  • 5 Easy Steps To Speed Up Your Website
  • 20+ Tips To Improve Your Blog Loading Speed

1. iWebTool Speed Test

iWeb Tools is a website that provides free tools for any user like domain lookup, index checker, page rank checker, HTML optimizer and website speed checker. To check the speed, enter your domain’s address in the text box on the page, and hit “Check.” If there is more than one domain to be checked, enter the addresses on new lines. The website will immediately give you the results of “Load Time” and “Average Speed per KB.” Check the iWebtool website speed test tool here.

iwebtool website load speed test


2. Web Page Test

Once you submit your domain’s URL on this website, it will show you the first view’s load time in seconds. Another table will show you the time it took to fully load the website after the first view along with the page’s size in bytes. Check the Web Page Test tool here.


3. Web Tool Hub

Web Tool Hub shows the website’s load time in seconds as well as in seconds per KB. Besides the overall speed, it also shows the estimated time of individual objects on the website like the JavaScript and images. Check the Web Tool Hub to find the website loading time here.


4. Web Slug

Web Slug, besides showing you your website’s loading speed, also lets you compare its speed with other websites. You will find two separate fields on the page where you can enter the respective domain URLs and compare them. Check the Web Slug site here.


5. Pingdom Tools

On Pingdom Tools website, enter your domain’s address in the specified field, and click “Test Now.” The website will then load an HTML page, which will include a list of objects on your website like Flash, JavaScripts, images and CSS, and will show the load time of each object visually, in the form of time bars. This is one of the best speed testing tools, which can be checked here.

pingdom speed test


6. Submit Plus

Submit Plus is another free online application that tests website loading speeds including components like modem speed and advertisements. It takes about 60 seconds for the website to show results. Check the load time check tool here.


7. Up Trends

Up Trends website checks the speed of complete HTML pages including frames, Flash files, JavaScript, RSS feeds and CSS style sheet. Next to each object you will find its respective time bars indicating the time it takes to load them. Check the HTML pages speed testing tool from here.

Although there are several tools that help in monitoring and assessing the speed of website page loading, no two tools might show similar results and accuracy is never guaranteed. So it’s always advised to compare the results in a few different tools before coming to a conclusion about the website loading speed.