Friday, July 07, 2017 An easy, all-in-one online publishing tool for businesses & professionals

How about creating and maintaining a comprehensive online business presence that is as easy as using your email/social media account?

Meet Truho, my latest project. Truho brings you these: Quick and easy online presence, easy online marketing, easy resume, easy lead generation...and soon, easy payments and invoicing.

Basically, Truho is 'Wordpress meets Paypal meets Magento'.

I know it is a handful.

I have been working on the Truho, on and off since 2009, and was able to finish it, working full-time on it for 12months.

If you are a business, you can use it do a lot of things - business listings, products, services, deals/offers, rewards progams, job posting, other business pages, lead generation pages...and much more.

(Truho for business - screengrab)
If you are individual or a professional / freelancer, use Truho  to post your resume on a dedicated url, have a'hire me' button to get new job leads, maintain a 'project's page, answer people's questions.

(Truho for Individuals - screengrab)
I am working on adding the payments component to Truho.

Try it out for yourself.

About Truho
Truho for individuals
Truho for businesses


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Annals of 'Post Truth': Is Rajeev Chandrasekhar The Peter Thiel Of India?

So, a rich man in India got the courts to issue a take down order to a news website, TheWIre, even before giving it a chance to explain itself. That most of our media is prostrating itself before the Modi government is not news. What is a bigger news that the rich and powerful people are being able to openly dictate what the Indian people get to read about them in the media. From

The Wire took down two articles that  (Rajeev)Chandrasekhar. The first, published on January 25, was a report by Sandeep Bhushan on the Republic TV, a news channel Chandrasekhar is set to launch in association with former Times Now editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.

The second, published on February 17, was an opinion piece by Sachin Rao on the alleged conflict of interest in Chandrasekhar being a member of the parliamentary committee on defence and investing in defence companies.

The offending articles are here but they show the take down notice instead.

All this seems familiar to the way Billionaire Peter Thiel went after Gawker, eventually succeeding in getting to shut down and paying loads in fine, just because Thiel didn't agree with the stuff Gawker was prublishing. In his response to a questionairre sent by, Chandrasekhar replied in an eerily Thiel-like manner:

“This court action is not about a take down, it is about holding those who did this accountable for their actions,” he added. 
Of course he meant that the rich and powerful are not accountable for their actions at all, only those in media who dare to speak the truth.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ignore Facebook As Much As Possible

What should we do with Facebook, this 'glorified Flickr'? Facebook ads (and Mark Zuckerberg) may shout about Facebook being an 'agent of change' and all that B.S. but fact is, Facebook has become a powerful force of misinformation, especially in today's polarized societies and nationalist governments, fueling echo chambers and making billions along the way with gloried display ads.

During the recent US General Elections, President Obama called Facebook a 'dust cloud of nonsense.'

Nieman Lab, which studies media, says Facebook has become a sewer of misinformation. Facebook has also been called the world's leading distributor of lies.  Quickly Facebook is losing whatever goodwill it had.

What can be done to fix the Facebook problem?

1. Time for FB to start acting like a media company, and taking the responsibility.

Hire editors to manage what shows up in its Trending section. Better, hire a team of journalists and charge them with separating at least the worst of the fake news from the stream.

But Facebook doesn't want the responsibility, and hides like a coward behind the 'platform' excuse.

2. Time for governments to regulate Facebook's walled garden, or at least reset regulations for what so-called 'platforms' are required to do.
This is not some poor platforms we are talking about here. Google and Facebook make billions without taking the full responsibility their reach foists on them.

3. Ignore Facebook itself.
Or commit yourself to seeing the latest friends and family update, keeping in mind that Facebook doesn't produce the news, it is your friends etc who pushing the shit down your throat. If you need the news, go to the newspaper's site. The journalist will thank you too. Facebook doesn't pay for the production of good news and opinions.

Facebook has only made fake news and uninformed opinion easier to spread, and Zuckerberg knows that the market or government/s don't punish it for doing some shitty thing day after day. (If it helps the case, just the other day Facebook mistakenly showed memorial banners on profile pages implying users were dead.

During the current backlash against Facebook regarding fake news stories during the US General elections, Mark Zuckerberg denies all responsibility, only vaguely saying 'there's so much more we need to do'.

Oh great. But it is not Facebook but we who need to do much and stop using Facbeook for our news and helpful information source. When did we loose our common sense?

All day long, you all are busy refreshing your FB feed. Stop. Take time out and check out the world outside, starting with some news that you don't agree with. Talk to people with views different from yours. Don't let Facebook help you dig your prejudice-lined cave too deep. Even Narcissus would be ashamed if he looked at you right now.

Whatever happens, for sake of humanity, I hope people use Facebook only what it was meant to do, news and updates from friends  and family, not fake news and poison stuff from people posing as friends.


Sunday, October 23, 2016


I just made live my latest project,, a collection of food calorie burn calculators, health stats calculators (all on1 page) and healthy food lists.

Believe me, getting older is no fun when you have no idea of how much your eating is affecting your health.

I was reminded of a poster I saw, which said "Take the stairs, for one day you will find out you can no longer climb the stairs."

Foodglad contains food calorie burn calculators (choose from a database of 4500+ food items), five health stat calculators on one page and a Mets value search tool (600+ activities) - these are prompts to track what we eat and how much we are doing to keep ourselves active.

Screenshots from

Home page 

Food calorie burn calculator (just choose what you ate and voila!)

Five Important Health Calculators On One Page (just enter your weight, age, height and gender, that's all) 

Mets Value Search: Search for Energy Intensity of more than 600 activities.

Foogdlad also has 40+ Lists of Healthy Foods.

The future: If I get time, I may as well as add more food and activity tracking features.

I hope you will find this small website useful.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

State of the World Series of Polls on

I have been working on Honestpage polls, where you can create, share or vote on interesting polls, summaries and pitches. I know, there are many online tools to create and share polls, but there is poll-based community. That was my idea behind Honestpage. It is a work in progress.

I am especially excited by State of the world series of polls (there are 100+ polls in this section), where I hope to gauge the world's opinion on politics, morality, society etc. It would be great if you check out the State of the world polls and share your views. Thank you.

Some other interesting polls in 'State of the world' series:
Men and women should have equal... (check all that apply)
Rank things that are causing the most stress in your life
Most responsible for polluting the environment?
Most Hated Employment Ritual? (choose all that apply)
Rank The 50 Most important Problems In Your Country

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New Online Quiz Types On Beat The Clock and Word Of The Day

New features on Basicversity, where more than 200,000+ people have taken a free online quiz: Beat The Clock and Word of The Day. Please check out an online quiz and see how many correct answers you can give in 3 minutes!

(screenshot from a Beat the Clock quiz type)

(screenshot from Word of the day quiz type on Basicversity)

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Why Facebook advertising is a waste of money

Came across this smart writeup on how Facebook advertising waste advertisers' money. We knew this always, but the explanation is very good:

I once liked a dance company on Facebook because I know the person who made their website. Now I see adverts for dance productions. That's not advertising gold; that's a waste of advertising money.

I reckon most people's profiles are like this - a few likes or posts about something that you'd never actually buy and all that ad money is just thrown away. 90% of the adverts could be getting your profile wrong but simple confirmation bias makes us notice that 10% far more than the useless, poorly targeted adverts, so when advertisers survey people they get the impression their profiling is working. Or worse, the ad networks know that the profiling doesn't work but they carry on the myth in order to charge advertisers more.

I might well be wrong on this, but while I see adverts for things that have no appeal to me I'll keep suspecting profiling doesn't actually work.

Seems only internet marketing agencies and Ad networks, with their overpaid 'marketing experts' and their lesser-paid 'army of trolls' push the case for more FB advertising, polishing the turd masquerading as a golden egg (for some, maybe).

Also read: Can Adwords help sell ebooks? No.

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When will peak BJP come?

Peak Congress was probably its 2009 Loksabha elections win. Now it is BJP time, which plans to open 500 offices across the country and Modi says 'winning elections' is a 'national responsibility' (he said 'rashtriya kartavya', which sounds grand). Smart. Equating fortunes of a political party with what a nation must do.

Power nourishes hubris. A lot of it. We have seen Congress fail. We have seen the Left getting confused and stumbling. Now, it is BJP hubris time.

Again, one party claims to have all the right answers. People in BJP are aware of the noise they are making. Nitin Gadkari, a BJP minister, says Modi's achhe din slogan in 2014 is now a millstone, and that the Indian public will always be a 'dukhi atma'. Right.


Friday, September 09, 2016

The Career Bible: Quick Answers To 100+ Most Important Career Problems

The Career Bible is the latest and perhaps my favorite guide in The Success Manual series so far. It contains 100+ concise guides on the most important problems we face in our career, at one time or another - finding what we want to do in our career, creating a winning resume, job search, job interview, workplace survival (especially the two headed demon in form of office politics and the boss), and more.

318 Pages | 107 Easy-to-follow guides

All this for only $5

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

Can Adwords Help Sell EBooks? No.

This is a quick summary of my 60-odd days of experimenting with Adwords to promote and sell a series of How To/Reference PDF guides on various skills using Adwords. In the past, I managed Digital Marketing Campaigns for eCommerce companies.

All this happened in the last two months:

1. Good CTR (Click Through Rates) mean nothing. I mentioned in the text and display ads that these were PDF guides.

2. In the 60-odd days period, I got 1500+ clicks, and O conversions.

3. I posted in the Adwords forums about my problem and the internet advised me that only branded content sells well online. This is something worth thinking over. It needs time, some viral needs exposure.

4. Text ads are the worst. I even tried expanded text ads. I got the clicks. Nothing on the sales side.

5. A lady from Adwords (they call the new customers, and I was using Adwords from my personal account) called. She advised me to use newer kinds of Adwords ads (Gmail ads etc) and promised to check in in 14 days. I started the new ads, got the clicks (the skill guides are really useful), and waited for the lady to call back. When she didn't, I paused all the ads, except the Display and Remarketing ads.

6. I changed the landing page, A/B tested etc more that 5-6 times in this period. More clicks, but no conversions.

7. Thankfully, I got conversions from other channels: Links, emails etc.

What I learnt: Even when I used to do Digital marketing campaigns for ECommerce companies, we knew Adwords/Facebook Ads etc are money-gobblers - good for branding, but if you plan to use these to plan profitable marketing campaigns, after having figured in per-sale margin and all that, you are in for a shock. Yes, yes. Online marketing is supposed to be targetable, measurable and what not...but advertising is advertising.

So, Adwords doesn't help with ebook sales. How about Adwords' effect on other sectors?

Google (India) and Facebook (India) are perhaps the most profitable digital companies, making the most money out of ECommerce in India - Google alone makes more than Rs. 1000 crore each year from India. I am thinking of using Facebook to promote the page for the guides, but I am still figuring out the margins, which is foolish, for online advertising doesn't seem to be about margins/unit economics etc at all.

P.S. The headline should have been 'Can Adwords and Facebook Ads Help Sell Ebooks? No.'

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