Nischala’s Blog-o-Review | Blog | Seth’s Blog

Blog Name : Seth’s Blog
Blog Run BY : Seth Godin
Started In: Jan 2002. Click here to view the archives

What I love about the blog?

(1) Seth published a post on his blog almost every single day.. And for that one reason, I truly admire him as a blogger

(2) Posts are short (I personally love short posts) and easy to read & comprehend (I love that he simplifies his articulation so that anyone can understand the message); and are usually filled with wisdom / food for thought – which can keep you pondering for the rest of the day

(3) The user experience on the blog is good – Readability of content and navigation is easy

(4) The general design of the blog, colors, fonts and format is great; and of course Seth’s photo which says “Click on my head” always brings a smile to my face 🙂

As a reader, do I wish something was different on the blog?

Absolutely nothing I could think of..

If you’ve not visited Seth’s blog, you should start following today

And I’ve intentionally kept this post short – Inspired by Seth Godin 🙂

Nischala’s Blog-o-Review : Leo Babauta’s ZenHabits

Blog Name: Zen Habits
Run By: Leo Babauta
Blog Born On: 2007
This has been one of my personal favorite for several years now.. And Leo never ceases to amaze me with his blog and the way he conducts his life…

So the TOP 5 things that I really LIKE about his blog?
1) Amazing Compelling Insightful Content – All through the year! Truly admirable for any blogger!
2) He regularly updates his blog – At least once a week, many times twice or more
3) His writings are real – And usually based on his own life experiences. He cites real life examples and his own personal journey which adds a lot of weight to the points he makes
4) Easy to read and understand the message – Very well written. Simple, Clear and precise
5) The layout – I personally love the font size (Larger than most typical blogs) and the minimal usage of color (Just Black and White)
6) I like his copyright / uncopyright policy

Is there anything I wish he could do DIFFERENTLY?
Honestly, I had to think really hard.. After a lot of thinking this is what I came up with
1) Logical Categorization of the Archives – There’s lot of amazing content, but sometimes its so hard to wade through it to find what I’m looking for. A little grouping and categorization will definitely help. For e.g.: Writing, Exercise, Eating Healthy, Habit Formation, etc.
2) A place to comment – I know Leo has turned off comments on his blog for good reason (And as a blogger, I completely understand where he is coming from)… But sometimes I feel so strongly about something that he has written and would love to express it on his blog.. But am unable to do it! So then I do wish he let me comment..
3) I sometimes wish he’d have some pictures / visual representations on his blogs. Again, even I don’t use any visuals in my blogs, but sometimes just sometimes it’s nice to see some color

Other than that, a PERFECT BLOG.. One of the BEST I have seen in the blog-o-sphere
And I’d give it a 10 / 10, a Golden STAR and Thumbs Up!

Nischala’s Blog-o-Review : Blog – ARKarthick.com

Blog Name: ARKarthick.com – Awesomeness
Started in : Mar 2010
Run By : A R Karthick (Entrepreneur, Blogger, Photography/Designing/Social Media – Enthusiast. Humorous, Creative & Positive Thinker. Love to be a Friend & Seek/Share Awesome Things!)

What I personally like about the site?
1) Awesome Content – In the blog-o-sphere, content is definitely KING, and Karthick’s blog is a winner all along. While he writes many posts himself, his choice of Guest Posts is also excellent!

2) Wide range of topics – What I like about Karthick’s blog is that he posts about a wide range of topics – from Social Media, to Blogging, to Life, to Entrepreneurship, etc. So anytime of the day, and any kid of mood you’re in, you will find something that you will like

3) Guest Posting on the blog – Personally, I have published guest posts on several sites across the globe. And by far, the most pleasant experience has been with Karthick [ No wonder I posted so many guest posts on his blog 🙂 ]. He is open on the topics to blog about, reasonable about expectations from you, gives great feedback / comments & suggestions and more importantly, he ensures he communicates with you on important aspects of the post (Its not like you are in for a big surprise when you finally see your post! OR You don’t know when your post has gone live!)

4) The Blog Readers – Any blog has 2 important sides – One is the content creator (or those who publish content) and Two is the content consumer (or the blog readers, i.e., You and Me). And Karthick has a fantastic reader base – truly diverse, truly global and truly nice people. People who encourage you based on what you write, people who comment on your blogs, people who connect and engage about a specific topic and people who generously share on Social Media networks

5) He posts regularly – At least once a week, and mostly on Tuesdays between 3 to 4 PM.

6) User experience is good – Easy to navigate, Easy to share on social media, Easy to find content on specific categories, Easy to search for content & Easy to leave a comment

What I wish could be DIFFERENT?

Hmmm… I had to think real hard to come up with anything here.. but as a blog reader, well

(1) More Content I guess – I mean who does not like to read amazing content more often? We all do! So would be great if there are 2 posts every week (Though as a blogger, I know that 1 post a week for 3 – 5 years is itself a great achievement) especially when you have a full-time job as well!. But then, one can never really have enough of good things right?

On that note, here’s wishing A R Karthick many many many more years of successful blogging 🙂

Nischala’s Blog-o-Review | Book | APE BY Guy Kawasaki & Shwan Welch

APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book
ISBN : 978-0-9885231-1-1
Authors : Guy Kawasaki & Shwan Welck

Book Synopsis
As the title of the book suggests, the book focuses on how to Author and Publish a  book. And the most interesting aspect is how to view the entire process as “entrepreneurial” effort. Simply because every book starts with an idea in the mind of an author, and the end objective with which anyone publishes a book is a potential sale & impact on others lives – Which is probably why anyone starts an entrepreneurial venture as well.

The Book is a Must Read
* For any first time author
* For any one considering self-publishing
* For any writer before you publish a book
* For anyone who wants to understand the process of writing a book or publishing a book

What I liked about the book?
* Easy to read
* Well structured
* Well written
* Well formatted
* Well edited
* Book is an absolute treasure and contains a wealth of information on  how to write a book; and publish the same. The book includes a lot of information on the different phases of writing a book and the publishing process along with guidelines, best practices, personal experiences, tools, templates, lots of examples, tips and tricks
* The concept of self-publishing in which an author should view himself / herself as an Author, Publisher and Most importantly, an Entrepreneur is a valuable insight and lesson for any author. Just being aware of these diverse roles which one needs to play makes an author assume a larger and more important responsibility towards a book release
* The detailed information on multiple options with respect to publishing along with very specific examples in each context and the links to the specific references is awesome!

Sharing some BOOK Excerpts which I personally found invaluable:
* Why should one write a book?
(1) To enrich lives
(2) Intellectual Challenge
(3) Further a Cause
(4) Catharsis

* Why one should not write a book?
(1) Popular Demand
(2) Money

*”First, you’re the primary person responsible for the marketing of your book. Second, publishers don’t use marketing to cause books to sell well—they help books that are already selling well to sell even better.”

* 3 D’s of Self Publishing
Democratization
Determination
Disinter-mediation

Book Ruminations
* I can’t help but ponder if the success of any book is somehow partly also dependent on the following factors
(i) The geography / physical location that a book is published in – For e.g.: I think a book published in India might do differently in comparison to the same book on the same topic being published in the US or UK
(ii) The Timing – Sometimes the timing makes all the difference in the book release. By timing I mean – Year, month of the year and what other significant events (global / regional / economic / business, etc.) occur at the time of book release. The popular human sentiment / emotion can sometimes be a key trigger that drive sales up / down.

* At the end of the day, a book is really a creative piece of art. And an author(as an artist) needs to be true to his / her art. And be detached about the outcome (as hard as this might be) because there is some “unpredictability” in how the world views and judges your art-work (book).

* Personally, it has been a great LEARNING Experience reading the book and it is awesome that Guy and Shawn published this book. Looking at their reasons for one should write a book. I think they definitely
(1) Enriched lives – The book provides wealth of information on writing, publishing and promoting a book; and proves to be a great learning experience
(2) Intellectual Challenge – I am sure it was an intellectual challenge for them; and it also gets the “serious reader” to think
(3) Further a Cause – I don’t know if they had a cause in mind; but I think they surely will further the cause of inspiring and motivating many first time writers / writers who are looking at self-publishing because they have provided a “one-stop shop reference”
(4) Catharsis – It may have been for them, I can’t say!

So Thank You!

NOTE: I received a complimentary copy of the e-book for review.

Nischala’s Blog-o-Review | Book | OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell

I picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s OUTLIERS on the recommendation of an old friend of mine who told me that I should READ it. And I am happy that I took the recommendation and bought the book. I loved it – One of the most interesting books I have read in recent times..

So what did I really like about the book?
1) The way it is written. As a reader, most of us like to read “simple and easy to comprehend” writings. Though some of my friends claim that there is no fun in simple writing, I honestly think that writing in a “simple” fashion is actually very hard for any writer. Simply because you have to be extremely clear on what you want to convey; and need to have an excellent command on the language and understanding on a particular subject to articulate it well
2) As a person, a large part of me is really “left brained”. So I love books which have data, analysis and logical interpretation. And this book has it all! Along with some radical viewpoints which trigger your “right brain” as well. That’s a double BONUS!
3) The topics which are written about are less known to the most of us (At least to me!). And hence every single concept in the book will amaze you and compel you to think and wonder about the ways of the world, life, human behavior, evolution, etc etc etc
4) The way the book is structured makes it easy to read. Especially for someone like me who reads a in book in several sittings, I find it easy to read a few chapters and then pick up from where I left off, without really missing the “spirit and essence of the message”

Now, the reason why I am even posting this is because there were some interesting points made which I think are worth knowing. Sharing some excerpts from the book below which I really liked.

Excerpt 1
“Parents with a child born at the end of the academic year often think about holding their child back before the start of the kindergarten; it’s hard for a 5-year old to keep up with a child born many months earlier. But most parents, on suspects, think that whatever disadvantage a younger child faces in kindergarten eventually goes away. But it doesn’t. The small initial advantage that the child born in the early part of the year persists. It locks children into patterns of achievement and underachievement, encouragement and discouragement, that stretch on for years”

Excerpt 2
Wolf and Bruhn had to convince the medical establishment to think about health and heart attacks in an entirely new way: they had to get them to realize that they wouldn’t be be able to understand why some was healthy is all they did was think about an individual’s personal choices or actions in isolation. They had to look beyond the individual. They had to understand the culture he or she was a part of, and who their friends and families were, and what town their families came from. They had to appreciate the idea that the values of the world we inhabit and the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are”

Excerpt 3
The idea that excellence at performing a complex task required a critical minimum level of practice surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise : 10000 Hours

Excerpt 4
What your parents do for a living, and the assumptions that accompany the class your parents belong to, matter!

Excerpt 5
Intellect and Achievement are far from perfectly correlated

Excerpt 6
Cultural Legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play a role in directing attitudes and behavior that cannot make sense of our world without them

Excerpt 7
No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich

Excerpt 8
The School year in the United States is, on average 180 days long. The South Korean school year is 220 days long. The Japanese school year in 243 days long.

Excerpt 9
Extraordinary success are products of history and community, of opportunities and legacy

These are some of my favorite pieces of the book. Have you read the book? Did you like it? Leave a comment to let me know

Nischala’s Overall Rating : A+ [And I’ve added all of Malcolm’s books to my Bookshelf for 2013 🙂 ]