About Me

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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
If it's green, it's biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it has numbers, it's math. If it doesn't work, it's technology and I am doing my Masters in it ........

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Twitter Twitter Everywhere, Not a Tweet to Read!!

Hmmmm, why this blog? Random thoughts of mind triggers few amazing discussions. I hope this is going to be an attempt from my end on starting off a good discussion on what people think it will do and what eventually it ends up doing. Confused.? Well thats the whole point

Twitter, a micro blogging platform intended to keep us connected by simply answering the question of "What are you doing?". The modes of communication mainly on the internet platform dint let us communicate very simple things which were of course interesting to a set of users connected to us. And one such very important question was "What are you doing?. Such things couldn't be communicated using emails or phone calls. For e.g. we wouldn't send an email to a friend to tell that "You are enjoying Bangalore climate and having a cup of hot coffee and reading some book". But its an important message to some person who wishes to be connected to your life. Blogs, phone calls, social networking sites all were possible alternatives, but nothing would actually serve this purpose. Our real world and things we do daily mainly happen between emails, and blog posts. We dint have a platform to share. And hence the concept of micro blogging came, twitter was born and 140 char was the best feature to it. Twitter is sweet cos its short. How many of us like to read tweets which span across 2-3 tweets, we just ignore them. The 140 char limit not only provided "just enough information" but also helps in making a decision if we need to know more about it or not and there by solving a huge problem of the internet of "Information Overload". Why do we have abstracts in technical publications, nobody is going to read the whole paper to know what it is about, but a handler like an abstract helps us in drawing lines between what we want to know and what we don't.

The "@" concept was mainly to enrich the power of micro blogging to next level by bringing in collaboration. They dint want to limit it to a one way communication of broadcast of information. Again here the feed wasn't simply populated in the network, people had the choice to follow or not to follow. It acted on the receiving end, emails and phone calls on the other hand works the other way, where the source decides where these information packets are to be send to, which according to me, was a huge success factor of twitter. It was a well thought after concept which had spread like wild fire in the internet jungle. People instantly liked it cos it was simple, addictive and above all acted as "an handler to information". But time and again, historical analogies have proved it that technologies are shaped keeping something in mind, but its the way the society interprets it and uses the technology that it shapes its life. Its not the designer nor the coder who decides how it evolves, but its the user of the technology.

I have been using twitter for almost an year now, I would say I am thoroughly addicted to it and enjoy using it. The concept really impressed me, but ironically the very success factor of it is sowing its seeds of destruction. The purpose is lost, we see a lot many more @ responses which are purely one-to-one basis which again puts the user in an information overload and irrelevant nature increases. I need not know what two people want to communicate on a personal basis, emails and even direct messages on twitter serve that purpose, but again nobody controls on how to use the technology.

These are merely my personal views based on the evolution I witnessed within 1 year of my tweeting experience, though the concept has gone in a unanticipated direction, with the amazing rate of growth twitter is definitely going places and new usage pattern esp in business applications and marketing gimmicks are gonna happen out there. Only time and way the people use it will determine where it goes. Lets wait and see this transformation from micro blogging to public chat client to marketing platform to broadcast of information to God knows what.

P.S - It will be great if you could throw some light on what you feel is wrong in my interpretation or even enrich my point of argument. Then again as Srinath sir says - Attack the idea and not the person [:P]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Endorsements on the Web

Web Information Retrieval is a fairly new science and identifying models and behaviors in Web is still a very much an open question. The amount of active research in the domain of Information Retrieval and effort to analyze data just proves the fact that the hidden semantics in the unstructured network of data, if harnessed properly can lead to amazing results and conclusions. But, this is far easy said than done. The very term "Unstructured Information" can lead to a mathematically exploding count of possibilities of potential problems in analysis.

Last semester's course of Web IR did actually put some light into some issues and motivated us to look into some of them, but the main problem lies with the fact that "we don't know what we don't know" :)

Google is synonyms with search for any internet user now, people don't search anymore they just "Google It". Now what would it take for a company to establish such a branding? So how does it all work after all ? This is itself an open question. Anyways I don't intend this post to be a guide to how search engine works? Probably somebody trying to figure that out will not even land up on this very page. So how does one land on a web page? Is it mere hyper links - which form the structure and edges of the network of WWW. Or is it something way beyond that. The presence of a link to Page B on Page A is not just random, it is being put up on purpose. Now if look deeper, we realize whether it be positive or negative endorsement the occurrence of a link of Page A to Page B, irrespective of nature in a way increases the probability of the user landing on Page B. :) Now if "hits" is the way to identify popularity of a web page, Page B ends up right on top.

This is true and a well established fact. I am sure all people aware of the field of IR would more or less agree with me on this. Incidentally today morning I met my faculty who had taught me the course on Web IR, and a very interesting discussion came up. The endorsement model on a social network like Twitter. Hmmm, so what's the big deal, its again the same underlying concept, that's what I suggested. However he suggested otherwise, he proposed in a model like Twitter the fact whether an endorsement is positive or negative has more relevance. Thinking more, I actually was surprised.

Consider a situation where I receive a tweet from my friend @abc - "What the heck? I can't adjust with anybody in the world". Now if I am re tweeting this, am I actually endorsing him? Probably not, the message has tight coupling with the user and his social image. Now giving away such an endorsement is not going to guarantee any value addition for user @abc. In fact, it would adversely affect the user with a recommendation. Isn't that opposite to our conventional knowledge and assumption. Now that's yet another open question :)

The very thought process that let me motivate to write this blog is the discussion I had today with Mandar. Thanks to him :), he has always been kind enough to share such wonderful insights with me. Now I "knowingly" insert a hyper link to his page. This was not at all random :) Was it?

Mandar's Blog
Mandar on Twitter

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Power of d Word "Desire.."

Well yday was a really bad day.. it was a Saturday - v had like really nice plans for d weekend.. movie, outing.. all frns 2gther.. but v knew all ds wud work out only if v all manage 2 get up in time 2 do all ds.. cos normally saturday morning, all i can hear in d hostel is snoring.. ppl sleep even up2 3 pm.. :)!!
So it was around 12 noon that all ppl got up n hence d mornign plan 2 go out was obviously cancelled.. v had a MAC OS session @4pm.. n since v were all in MAC Projects, v had to attend that.. so gtng from d village called "Electronics City" 2 "Bangalore" wud neway mean a lot of time n movie definitely not possible, if v needed 2 return b4 4pm.. n d hot saturday sun motivated all of us for another wonderful nap.. n v all gave up 2 d
- DESIRE of enjoyin sleep rather than a much awaited outing.. but
- DESIRE 2 go out still hung within each one (not as strong as initally though).. n hence v all decided 2 go out whn d MAC session gets over.. whch according 2 us wud b around say 6 pm.. 2 hours s more than enuf.....
Ltr during d day, around 3:45, d wonder called "IIIT Mi-Fi" (Wi-Fi in IIIT MH1) allows us 2 finally read a mail whch says d MAC session is @7pm...!!!!!!!! Wel tht again obviously means.. d
- DESIRE 2 go out dint work out!! n hence all plans cancelled... v all decided 2 give it up 2 d
- DESIRE of LAZINESS.. n confined ourselves to rooms n again slept.. :)
At around 7, we startd MAC.. how long wud it take max.. 2 hrs.. ? challo lets keep it safe.. 3 hrs.. thts way more than enuf.. MAC installation finally started.. d big names of industry in lappys.. DELL, COMPAQ, Sony, all gave up d 2 pressure of Mac.. Gullu's Harmonium was last in d race. .Sussy's did atleast get some music played.. n my VAIO played 2 varities of music.. nw 2 songs.. is not that bad.. but in d process it destroyed a little area of my beloved VAIO called d GRUB.. d
- DESIRE for MAC killed my GRUB.. luckilly thanks for harsha's 320 GB external HDD i had backed up my data.. a lesson for all u guys.. please maintain timely backup... Hard disks r meant to crash.... if they dont, please contact ur sys admin.. n finally d
- DESIRE for MAC killed my Windows Vista, Ubuntu Ultimate Edition n SUSE linux on VM.. d so expected session of 3 hrs got extented by few hours.. n ended up in a total of 12 hours.. it was around 7 AM tht i got my got life into my Vaio back..!! wid d base of OSs installed.. i had d
- DESIRE to sleep for some time.. n so did i.. but very soon d
- DESIRE for my lappy to be back in action, i needed all drivers to b installed.. wid no music, no wi-fi.. wat am i gonna do..?? Here is where d magician called "Sanky" comes up.. "d screw driver".. man, he is ds guy who has drivers for everything.. name d brand, name d hw - he gives u driver.. aftr a long day - d driver process n recovery of data had taken away all my day man.. d wonderful weekend was gone.. it was around 4 pm.. dats when i felt.. d weekend was over.. n none of my
- DESIREs except d sleep went on ... i thought .. wat did i want now.??? few things came up..
1. Time away from OS n Device Drivers
2. Fresh Air
3. Bike Ride
4. Good Food
- All these things made me understand.. none of this can b realised inside IIIT... so inspite of having a class 2mrw morning.. i took d bike keys.. n started........... i got fresh air(whch is like very diff in Bangalore).. d
- DESIRE for it, made me feel so atleast,... for d first time, i felt even Hosur road looked really good inspite of the Maytas Skyway project... sunday early evening also meant it was no traffic....... i had a very nice time riding it... d happiness of having realised a DESIRE..
- DESIRE for good food natually made me take straight 2 my sis place.. i reached home n had some hot rice with dal n kanava curry.... it was adipolii... ha ha..
i felt i realised all my DESIREs... now if u guys y ds post... well again i had d
- DESIRE 2 jot down few lines in my otherwise blank blog........ now d circle of life continues.. i am starting to have d
- DESIRE 2 sleep now.. its 1 am .. got an early class 2mrw, n morever i need to ride 22 km 2 get there.. hope Hosur Road has d same beauty as it had 2dayyy!!!!!!

Go Fulfill ur DESIREs...!!!!! Cheers!!!!!