July 28, 2006

How to get over Internet Addiction?


Problem:

Like me, you might have experienced this. Internet Addiction! Take this Internet Addiction Quiz if you want to know where you stand.

Symptoms:

You wake up (or before sleep) at 3 a.m. to go to the bathroom and stop and check your e-mail or Orkut scraps on the way back to bed.

When your friends asks to sugegst a name for the newborn kid, you say Firefox, Goggley, Eudora, Mozilla or Zing.

You start wondering how to use smileys in your phone talk conversations (u r using while you sign anything!)

Enough about symptoms..Now coming to the cure as suggested by askmen.com (another site..phew!)

Cure:
Practice The Opposite
For example, let's say that your Internet habit involves checking your e-mail first thing in the morning. Instead, you should take a shower or start breakfast first instead of logging on. Or, perhaps you only use the Internet at night, and have an established pattern of coming home and sitting in front of the computer for the remainder of the evening. Then I suggest you wait until after dinner and the news before logging on. Got it?

Set Goals
In order to avoid Internet usage, you should program structured sessions by setting reasonable goals, perhaps 2 hours instead of the current 40 on the Net. Also, stop wandering (switching between) websites..it wud be like channel surfing on the Telly..

Develop Your Inventory
Start asking yourself, "What am I missing out on when I spend so much time on the Net?" Then, write these activities down. You'll be surprised to find out that the list is endless. Painting, Reading, or just Scribbling..

Join A Support Group
By talking with others who are in the same boat as you, you will (first) make new, real friends, and then you will begin to realize that you are not alone in your fight to overcome this addiction. Support is very important. Dont start an Orkut Community for this please..

Family Support
Seek the support of family members, since they know you better than most people. Talk to your friends..

Take a walk, Smell fresh air, Go for Swimming (surfing may remind your old habits!).

Other resources (refer them online one last time!):

PsychCentral Internet Addiction Guide

Be Web Aware - Internet Addiction

How Much is Too Much When Spending Time Online?

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Internet-addiction

Surfing Not Studying - Dealing with Student Internet Addiction on Campus

Internet Addiction: Personality Traits Associated with Its Development

July 5, 2006

Flickr Hacks:5 Tips get into "Flickr Explore" page!


As you know, Flickr uses an algorithm to choose the best 500 photos every day and post them on Flickr Explore page. This mesmerizing collection is done auto' magic'ally by an "interestingness algorithm" which rates each photo how good it is. It does by considering lot of factors such as who views, who comments and who favourites a photo. It is not most views, most favourites or most comments.


Here's what Flickr says: "There are lots of things that make a photo 'interesting' (or not) in the Flickr. Where the clickthroughs are coming from; who comments on it and when; who marks it as a favorite; its tags and many more things which are constantly changing. Interestingness changes over time, as more and more fantastic photos and stories are added to Flickr."

As I tried to crack down this interestingness puzzle, I figured out certain shortcuts by which you can get to the Flickr Explore page.
Get this basics straight. Favourites matter more than comments. Comments more than views. Not plain views, comments or favourites. But favourites-comments-views by active, professional Flickr users. A professional user is NOT the one who has a Flickr pro account, but who has more of his photos on Explore page, who frequently comments, favourites others photos. Got it right?

Here are those Five tips..

5. It's all about Tag honey!
Tags are everything. Add some relevant tags to the photo. How to decide what is a relevant tag? If you have a flower photo, add 'flower' as one tag rather than 'serenity' or 'spiritual' (even if that is the mood conveyed!)

4.Choose your BEST photo
Select your best photo. The photo which you want to promote to Flickr's Best 500. Keep that as the latest photo. That is, when visitors coem to your photo stream, they should view that in the first page. [How do you decide which one is your best photo? Go to Your photos and sort based on "Interesting" - select the first photo on that list!]

Or better, post it on your profile page (like mine). [Go to All Sizes, select Medium Size, Copy the HTML code from Option 1. Now, come to your profile page, click Edit Profile and paste the code in the desired location and Save]

3.Bring Experts
Now, it's time to invite expert photographers to comment on your photo. Go to Explore page. Select a photo which is similar to yours (If your photo is flower, select a flower photo which has made it to the Top 10). This is to ensure to invite the expert commentors to view your photo. How do you invite them? Simple, add them as a contact. Add photographers (professionals) who have taken some great pictures.
And, see their photo stream and favourite some of their best photos. Only by giving good remarks, you get some ;-)

2.Remove from Groups
Yes, you heard me right. I am so sorry, if you are like me who used to post it in 20+ groups. According to the recent changes in the algorithm (Feb 2006), if your photo is in many groups, it will devalue the interestingness [penalty]. At most, you may keep in 5 groups, after getting enough visibility for 2 or 3 days, you may remove from them and repost it in another set of five groups. It is a trade-off between "More visibility (in many groups)" and "Making it to the Explore page". Decide what you want.

1.Shoot a Great Picture!
Nothing beats an excellent photo. Well, you can bring experts to view your photo. What if it doesn't live upto their expectations? So, take good pictures. Always make it a habit to visit Explore page and learn good tricks.
Additional Tip #1: Post your photo early in the day rather than closing time of the day. I don't know how do you figure that out. But, earlier photos will get more ranks through Flickr Explore pages. [Yea, "Rich getting Richer" theory]

Additional Tip #2: Hide your EXIF data. Unless you want to show your state-of-the-art NIKON D200, hide your EXIF data by going to Your Account page. This may be irrelevant. But, in rare cases, some people may 'look down' at your Camera and thereby your photo. May be. (Not Needed)

Additional Tip #3: Use this 'Scout' tool to find if you are in Flickr 500. Sign in with your Flickr account ID and password to make the job easier.
Wish you good luck.
Got an questions? Post it in Comment, I will reply as soon as possible!

My photo is ranked as 1 while I type this!

July 4, 2006

At last, in Flickr Explore!

Peace

a little flower and lots of sky! (best viewed large size!)

I didnt believe when I took this shot. I really didnt believe it.

Yes, I have made it to the Flickr Explore page for the first time. It's every day listing of 500 best photos on Flickr.

Though it is ranked as 196 (out of 500), it is now wavering around 290 to 300..

It was my dream..!

http://flickr.com/explore/interesting/2006/6/30/page30

Thank you buddies..! I am grateful to all of you!!

Note: Other two photos also have made to the 500 now. (Due to increased viewership of Flickr photostream)

flower on a tree

Footprints in the Sand