Tabtor Math- The best companion for your children to study mathematics in an easy way.

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Maths is not an attractive subject for most of the children. If taught in the wrong way, it can be a nightmare to youngsters and that may lead them to lose all the interest in the subject.How can you teach maths in a proper way? I was not happy with the way my five-year-old daughter approached mathematics as a topic in her curriculum. She was least interested in doing her maths lessons and always tried to skip homework especially in maths.

Although I knew that the apathy towards maths is not a matter of concern for my daughter alone, I was worried about her approach towards her studies. I remember I had a similar situation when I was young until my father found out a personal tutor for me during those days when internet and mobile phone were part of fantasy stories.

While I was searching for a private tutor for my little daughter Stacey, I found out the Tabtor tablet tutoring system accidently.I dropped the idea of finding a private tutor and started to have a go at the two weeks free trial with Tabtor Math.When I started to use the Tabtor application for teaching maths, I found out that my daughter’s enthusiasm for studying maths has increased a lot in few days time.The outcome was really astonishing.

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How does it work?

The app actually consists of a student interface through which assignments are submitted for feedback from an assigned tutor. All the students using the interface will be gone through a diagnostic test to analyse their skill level. Based on the skill level of each student, more assignments are sent to them. Once an assignment is submitted, they will get the feedback from their professional tutor. In other words, a student can do only one assignment at a time. While carrying out their tasks, the students have the option to ask help from their tutors through the interface. Rewards in the form of badges and gift card make the children try hard to excel in their studies. A weekly interaction with a tutor using Facetime call is also provided that let the parents know more about the progress of their children.

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Why should you use Tabtor Math?

If someone teach mathematics in a proper way, it could be one of the easiest and interesting subject.Otherwise, it may give anyone the impression that it is one of the toughest subject  for following.The method of approach used in this application makes the subject feel enjoyable and easier even for those children who completely hate maths.

Even when you pay for an app for your children, remember that you are avoiding few disadvantages of sending your child to a traditional tuition centre. You are now free from the hassle of waiting for the public transport carrying big books and other accessories in your bag. Happy to say that the iPad replaces your pen and paper.

Do you have the time to take your children regularly to the tuition centre? Are you too busy with your work or business? When you have a hectic schedule to follow, it is not easy managing time to take your children to a tuition centre. Here comes the importance of applications like the Tabtor Math.

See what my little daughter Stacey has to say about Tabtor Math.

Do you have small children? Are they struggling with maths? Do they have difficulty in finding solutions for some of the arithmetical questions they are asked to solve? If your answer is ‘yes’ to the above questions, I suggest you to try this app as early as possible. You can do that now by visiting their site http://www.tabtor.com or from the app store.

If you download it from the above website, you have the option to use it for a two-week free trial.If you are not satisfied with the application, you can choose to discontinue using it. But I am quite sure that once you use it, you will definitely continue to use it by making the necessary but worthy payment.

From my personal experience, I request you to try the free two-week trial and see how it changes the attitude of your children for solving arithmetical problems. I hope it will never dissatisfy you in any way.

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I would like to hear your  opinion on this app if you are currently using it. So please feel free to have your views in the comments column. Thank you for spending your precious time with Digital Dimensions.

 

 

 

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

6 Must-have free android apps for a blogger

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Nearly two months from now I changed my contract with ‘Apple’ and switched over to Samsung Galaxy S5, hence started using android apps. In this article, I am sharing six android apps that I find useful for blogging. I am sure that I can write a list of more than twenty apps in this category. But I believe that even if you download more apps in your mobile, you may be using only a few of them for any kind of task.So here is the list of six must-have apps assuming that you already have apps like WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, etc. in your mobile.

1.Evernote

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This app was referred to me by one of my journalist friends. Even though I don’t do much blogging related tasks in my mobile, this app seems to a perfect fit for those who are in need of doing some writing assignments in their mobile phones especially when there is no access to any other gadget of your choice.This app helps you to write a
note or an article and save, make audio files and also to take photos. What more you need to write an appealing article? Since Evernote syncs the contents among all other devices you use, make sure you download Evernote on your desktop or laptop so that you can access the same documents anywhere with your username and password. I would say ‘Evernote’ is a perfect fit for journalists, writers and travel bloggers.

2.Google docs

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To be frank, I started using google docs accidently when the Microsoft word on my computer was not working for few days as I lost the product key to reinstall it. To my surprise I find it really awesome to use google docs to write my articles. Even now, I am using google docs to carry out most of my writing tasks related to blogging.

3.Google Drive

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Using this app in your mobile makes it easier to access your documents time and again to make changes or for proofreading. You may feel it more worthy when you need to access your images for editing. When you access your google drive, you can also access your google docs and vice versa as both use the same google account.

4.Photo Editor

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As a blogger, I am sure that you take a lot of pictures on your mobile or on your camera. You will definitely need to edit your images before uploading it in your blog post. Why can’t you spend some time for editing your pictures while you travel on a bus or train? It may save some of your precious time. So don’t think twice about installing your photo editor app now.

5.Tape-a-talk

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Interviewing people is a must for running a successful blog. It is always better to have a separate application ready in your mobile to record interviews. Tape-a-talk will do that job efficiently for you.

6.Skype

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This is an app every other friend in your circle has in their mobile.From a blogger’s point of view, it is a must for networking with fellow bloggers. You cannot take chances of missing an interview or getting hired for a job because someone may not be able to contact you as there is no skype on your mobile.

Why can’t you download skype and add my skype id reji.stephenson1 now if you are interested in contacting me for sharing views. Thank you very much for spending your time with Digital Dimensions.

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

Passion for blogging

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Millions of blogs are created every day. But how many of them survive in the long run?  Most of them who start blogging quit the same after creating a profile without even publishing a post.They may just try and see  how WordPress works.While some others write one or two posts and then they may  even fail to retrieve their password from oblivion. Some percentage  of the people are behind money motives. They think that blogging is an easy way to make money online. These people who are expecting money in quick time will soon abandon blogging when they realize that it is not an easy task as they felt once.

If you are blogging for at least three months, you might have heard that you should have a passion for blogging to make it a successful business.Every veteran in this field advises you  ” You should have a passion for the subject you write.” I cannot fully consume the idea behind the statement in its full entirety. Here, I am not saying that you should not need any passion for writing about a subject but suggest  you that you should first create passion for your own writing.Once you have that passion for writing, your passion about a particular topic will definitely motivate  you to write about it.

When you develop a passion for your writing, you will automatically start  liking to write about your passionate subjects. If someone is  passionate about fashion, there is more chance that they may try their luck by starting a fashion blog. For example, one of my passionate subject is cricket.  I am really passionate about the game of cricket since I was born and brought up in a country, where cricket is considered as something equivalent to a religion.

Even though, cricket is one of my passionate subject, I never like to start a blog on cricket just for  the reason that I may get only readership from few number of cricket playing nations. Do you like to run a blog with less readership? Still the passion on the subject is tempting me  to start a blog on cricket in the form of an event blog during the next cricket world cup in 2015.

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 Image courtesy of jesadaphorn/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What if you are passionate about a topic but does not have a passion for writing? If you are that kind of a person, then you may never be interested in blogging. I have few friends who are really passionate about gadgets but not in writing. They may have the most updated knowledge on the topic, but they are never going to express that in the form of a blog post or an article in a magazine as they are not passionate about writing.

We all know how  the concept of writing has changed with the emergence of internet and blogging. More and more people are trying to express their views and ideas on the internet in the form of a blog or an article on a website. Only a  few of these people belong to the category of established writers or journalists who can boast of a successful career in writing.  So if you don’t have much  experience in writing and still running a blog, it is time for you to check whether you are really passionate about your writing. If not you are still not late to start working on it.

Developing  passion for writing is  not  a process that can be learned in a few days time. Learning the task of writing is a never-ending process. You may be able to strive towards perfection.  The more you practice, the more you gain. The best way to develop your passion for writing is voracious reading. Read as much as you can and practice writing as much as possible. If you have an innate talent for writing, output will be much greater. I believe there is no other shortcut other than this to become a successful and passionate writer. Please let me know your opinions on this topic in the comments column so that I can come up with more ideas in future.

Thank you very much for spending your precious time with Digital Dimensions.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

Video Resume in Social media, a must for getting you the right career in the near future

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Video resumes are taking the place of old resumes in paper. Gone are the importance of carrying resume in paper format. Nowadays, more and more people are relying on online resources for every aspect of their daily life.The number of people doing online shopping is increasing day by day as the number of blogs created every day from different nooks and corners of the world.

The easy access to the internet as well as the availability of mobile cameras led people to create more videos. Thanks to websites like the YouTube that made it possible for anyone to upload their videos on the internet. We all know that the Youtube videos play a significant role now in bringing traffic to websites and blogs. The blogging scenario is not complete without the YouTube videos.

In this article, I am not talking about YouTube videos. Here I am mentioning the new trend in job searching using online resources, the Videos resumes. Perhaps few among you reading this post may not be familiar with videos resumes or you may never think about the importance of it for enhancing your career prospects.For those who are new to this concept, I am giving a brief explanation of the video resume.

What is a Video resume or Video CV?

In simple terms, a video resume is nothing but a video taken and uploaded on the internet by a job seeker for exhibiting his suitability for a particular job or career.

I got the idea to write this post after I received a message from one of my close friends to share a video of him on my Facebook timeline. As he being a friend who is very much inspired of being a film actor, I thought the video must be something associated to the film industry. I linked that on my Facebook timeline after noticing it as his video CV.

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Where it can be used and what are the major benefits?

Unlike its paper counterpart, a video CV can be used to get your profile noticed by more people. It may look awkward if you share your CV in text format on a Social media platform like the Facebook. On the other hand, sharing a video of your brief profile will make a positive impact especially when getting noticed by others. Chances are more that you may be referred to the HR manager or recruiter through one of your friends.

You might be familiar with people losing their chances of getting hired for a job just because their social media presence highlighted few negative points. Then why can’t you use a Video CV on your professional social media account like the Linkedin?

We all know the importance of having an impressive profile in Linkedin, the largest professional network in the world. If you don’t have your video resume ready and uploaded in your Linkedin account, I would say that you are taking chances with your progress. I suggest you to have one uploaded as soon as possible to make a proactive approach in searching for a job or a career change.

Video resumes are getting popular among job seekers. The main advantage of using a video resume is its ability to convey a better idea about you to the recruiting personnel. It needs no mention that you have to the link your video CV in your hard copy. It will give the recruiter a brief idea on your personality and presentation skills.

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Image courtesy of franky242/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When you have a Video CV, chances are there that the interviewer may reduce the number of questions in an interview for hiring you. He or she might have got an idea about your proficiency in the language from the Video CV. Probably, you may be even lucky enough to avoid a test for testing your English language skills especially when you apply as an overseas applicant for a job in an English speaking country.

Bottomline

If you are a job-seeker or looking for a career change, it will be better to have a Video CV ready to make your first impression that leads to the best impression.

If anyone is planning for uploading your Video CV after reading this post, please feel free to let me know that through the comments column. I would like to hear that this post has inspired some of you to be on with the creation of your Video CV.

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

26 Niche ideas for starting a blog

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If you have a passion in a particular subject or if you have vast experience in a particular area, it becomes easy to find a niche for your blog. I wrote this article to help every new blogger who find it hard to find a niche for their blog. In this article, I am sharing twenty-six niche ideas from which you may be able to identify one topic that suits you most to start a blog. If you carefully go through this article and compare your skills and knowledge in each topic, you may be able to find an idea about the type of niche that suits you best for starting a blog.

1. Software

If you are working in a software industry or studying any subject related to software technology, a blog on a related topic is definitely an advantage for you. It may be of much importance to you as well as for others if you have vast knowledge to share with them. Also, it will benefit you to enhance your knowledge. Software testing is another field that has importance along with software development. You can also try running a blog for sharing your knowledge and skills in software testing.

2. Computer tips

This is an interesting topic for anyone who uses the computer. If you have the knowledge and passion for writing a blog about computer tips, I am pretty sure that your blog will be a great success in terms of readership. Who doesn’t like to know about a new operating system or some tips on using it on your computer for a particular purpose? For those who want to know the up-to-date developments in this field, a blog that is constantly updating is of great help. Why don’t you start thinking of such a blog today itself?

3. SEO tips

Most businesses however big or small have their online counterpart in the form of a website. Since every business website owner like to have their websites seen by most number of people, SEO techniques have an important role to play. Thus, the value of a blog providing SEO tips and techniques is of utmost importance to the online world. A blog providing quality ideas for improving the search engine optimization of a website may undoubtedly pull out some traffic for itself. Therefore, the possibility of monetizing the same blog for some income for you is more compared to any other niche sites.

4. Gadgets

We all love gadgets. A lot of people among you are fans of apple products. Some among you argue for the positive sides of android phones. Then there are the products like the Google glass, smart watches, and you name it. If I see a quality article about my favourite gadgets, I will definitely read it and I believe you are not different. Don’t think twice for starting such a blog if you are someone who is interested and passionate about gadgets provided you have the basic writing skills needed to start such a blog.

5. Electronic products

I was actually planning to start a blog on consumer electronic products that we use in our daily life. Providing valuable information for choosing a good product as well as tips on how-to-use it properly will make such a blog appealing for anyone. For those people who are enthusiastic and passionate about the new developments in such a field may provide the readers with quality information they like to know about their products they are looking to buy or how to use it properly once they buy it. For example, every one of us may not be familiar with the use of a particular brand of camera. You may try to give some tips and tricks for using such instruments.

6. Gossip

Most of the people among us are interested in gossip related to celebrities. If you are from India, you would definitely like to hear gossips of the Hollywood stars. When you read the news updates on online platforms, we see that gossips and rumours about well known personalities in different fields make a good percentage of the news. But you need to be very careful; publishing such information as it may lead you to unnecessary troubles. You can try starting one if you are an established and experienced journalist or someone like that who knows the trade well.

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Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

7. Celebrities

Writing about celebrities is another interesting thing. If you are a football fan living in U.K., anything you write related to football celebrities may make your blog a notable one. Similarly, if you live in India and blog about cricket celebrities, I am sure that your blog will have plenty of followers than you expect. Then there are blogs completely dedicated to one particular celebrity. When one of my friends from India had a blog completely dedicated to singing sensation Shreya Ghoshal and the blog attracted a lot of followers.

8. Blogging tips

You can’t be able to start this niche unless you are having the experience of running a blog for sufficient time until you gain the expertise to give tips to the new bloggers. I have been on blogging for the last nine months; therefore, I was able to gather and share this post with you from the experience I had for this time. I may not be able to pen down a post like this after one or two weeks of blogging experience. You may need sufficient time to be the jack of the trade.

9. Health

If you are a reputed healthcare professional with good knowledge in your chosen field, why can’t you share your knowledge and ideas that may help others to get some benefit? I had a plan to start a website that provides technical service as well as medical help to its viewers or prospective customers. The idea came up in my mind thinking that I can pair up with one of my surgeon cousin for running such a website.

10. Lifestyle

Lifestyle blogs are really interesting. If you follow and read few lifestyle blogs, you may feel attracted to it. The uniqueness of the contents anyone can create in a lifestyle blog makes it entirely different from other niche blogs.

11. Travel blogs

Who doesn’t like to travel? I am interested so I believe you too like that. If you are a frequent traveller, writing a travel blog will not only make you happy but also make others feel happy hearing travel adventures. Travel blogs are the most interesting ones for those people who are always interested in travelling. Travel blogs are more popular in countries like U.K., and U.S.A.

12. Educational blog

This topic of blogging is perfect for someone who is in the teaching profession for quite a reasonable amount of time. Most of the educational blogs are created to provide information regarding anything related to education. Some of the educational blogs are found to be useful for students as well as those who are into teaching.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

13. Career

Do you have vast knowledge and experience in recruiting people for different career options? Are you able to give them training and career advice? If your answer is ‘Yes’, don’t waste your time thinking much. You may be able to start a blog giving career advice. If you are still not confident, I suggest you to go through a blog by Penelope Trunk where the author gives advice on education and career. I am sure that you will learn a lesson or two from her blog.

14. Personal blog

Personal blogs are like personal diaries. Why can’t you write a blog as a diary describing al your day-to-day happening in life? I am sure that some of you may not like the idea of sharing your personal life to others but I assure you that it is possible to make it an interesting read if you have a certain level of skills in expressing your views and thoughts. However, personal blogs of celebrities are always a matter of curiosity for readers. If you are not a celebrity, you may need those exceptional writing skills necessary to make your personal blog getting noticed by more people.

15. Cars

We all like cars. I am too much interested in this topic and that is the reason why I wrote few articles on this topic in this blog. Initially, when I started this blog, I was even planning to start a blog on cars. The biggest disadvantage of writing on this topic is the availability of a large number of website that may make your blog look not so appealing. This is my opinion. If you have a passion for cars, you can try writing a blog about it.

16. Clothing

Most people like to wear fashionable clothes. Maybe you like to wear clothes from some favourite brand of your choice. How about the idea of starting a blog about clothes you wear? Are you a beautiful looking lady following recent trends in fashion? If you are, don’t think too much about starting a blog of this kind. I am pretty sure that your blog is going to be a success if you are ready to give the much-needed hard work and dedication to it.

17. Jewellery and beauty products you wear

Why can’t you blog about the jewellery you wear or like? What about writing about beauty products of your choice? If you are smart enough in displaying your favourite products, you can even think of converting the same blog into a website selling those products. The blog may help some of the mommy bloggers to be an entrepreneur.

18. Online marketing

Internet marketing or online marketing is a vast field. If you have previous experience in a career related to internet marketing, it will be a good idea to share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. The vast majority of people are interested in reading blogs on online marketing since many of them are in need of marketing their own products or service online.

19. Social media

Most people are connected globally with their friends through social media. Every business wants to promote themselves through social media. So there are many among you who would like to know more about social media trends and developments. I would definitely say this is an awesome topic to blog about.

20. Social causes

If you are keen on social happenings around you, then you may like to share those things with others. Starting a blog for any social cause is a good strategy for anyone who is aspiring to be a social activist.

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

21. Country where you live

If you happened to live in a country other than the country where you are born, it would be interesting to start a blog about the new experience you have. For example, I live in London and if I write a blog about my life in London, it may become an interesting topic for someone from my own country.

22. Country where you are born

It will be a good idea to write about a blog about your country where you are born. There may be a lot of other blogs like this, but anything you share from your perspective will be different.

23. Parenting

If you are a parent, it doesn’t matter whether you are a mother or a father, why can’t you try writing a parenting blog. It may not sound interesting to you. If that is the case, I suggest you to go through one of the interesting parenting blog that I came across which is written by Janine Huldie, who is a mommy blogger. I hope some of you reading this blog may start thinking of writing a blog of this kind.

24.Blog about your religion

It is not a bad idea blogging about your religion you follow. Whatever may be your religion, you have the freedom to express your views about it. I am a strong believer of Jesus Christ. So I believe I can be able to spread the word of God with more people if I start a blog about my belief in Jesus.

25.Poetry

Someone who is passionately interested in writing can start utilizing this aspect of blogging. A blog with all your poetry in it will give you the much-needed personal satisfaction as a writer. But I personally feel it good to add your poetry to the blog you are already running as it may not be easy for you to update with only poetry all the time.

26.Short story.

In the modern world, do you have the time to read a big novel? But most people have the time to go through short stories. Maybe it is a good idea to have a blog with a collection of all your short stories.

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Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I know that if we make a list of ideas like this, it may be too long; hence I am not confusing you with more in number now. But don’t get surprised if I update this list with hundred topics another day. I would appreciate if you could provide some more ideas in the comments column so that I may update that later to the list. Thank you very much for spending with your precious time with Digital Dimensions. Have a wonderful blogging journey.

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

Social media in elections

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Elections by far is a process through which an elected government gets into the business of governing a nation, or can be put succinctly as living up to the aspirations of the masses by coming to power. Pre elections campaign is a most important activity through which a political party or a group of candidates communicate or campaign to build opinions and vouch what they stands for, what they wish to do if they are voted to power. Massive rallies, discussion platforms & door to door campaigns has been the order of the day during elections, so it takes lots of time to reach out to the masses to communicate and understand what problem people faces and candidates giving their words of promise to fulfill if they are voted to power.

The present generation is getting more and more aligned with the social media platforms like facebook, twitter & others apps which gets introduced every now and then. So it is natural choice for the campaign team to harness the potential of the social media and targeting the young generation to build up opinions and feasting them with contents by means of words & pictures and influence them to take decisions to their advantage . So political parties have started identifying the opportunity and spends huge money and deploy a team of experts which creates messages, contents & images to capture the imagination of the aspiring young voters in developing countries.

Today   the social media have become a great investment for political parties because this platforms has a huge data pool, individual taste preferences and also serves the purpose of getting a jest of the user’s behavioral patterns. So election war room team has a task cut out to feed them with information which are partially right through orchestrated campaigns. Nearly 35 to 45 percent of the population in some of the countries especially from the Middle East and the North African region comprises of very young voters. The first major attempt to use social media was in Moldova in 2009 and followed by several attempts in Egypt, Syria& Libya which resulted in a political unrest against the ruling dispensations , so same applies in the election campaigns also, it is increasingly becoming a tool to mobilize public opinions .ID-100290347

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Recently concluded election in India in 2014 is once such example where Narendra Modi incumbent Prime minister and his team hired an American public agency major APCO worldwide to boost his image makeover, by projecting him as Prime ministerial candidate, the thumping mandate he has received was a vindictive of the the influence social media had on the youngsters decision making. In 2012 Obama used the social media circles well to capture the imagination of the electorates, same has been followed by Modi in 2014. So regular and proactive involvement in the social media circle was instrumental in many voters casting their votes in the most recent election.

The social media provides real-time updates, pictures, and events on every issues which are critical in getting connected to younger population , it gives them the space to freely express their views on issues by being relevant in the contemporary world .The concept of shared awareness works well in social media where thoughts & ideas get shared immediately in lesser time which could create lasting impact in the minds who are looking out for change., conservative media circles rarely gives others the opportunity to express their thoughts , but it only gives them what the media write or speaks about, But in social idea takes its one notch higher by giving the opportunity to reflect upon what he or she read , which gets shared to other users quickly to get much clarity in ideas and thoughts. It gives the younger generation the freedom to express, faster responses to what they shares. Undoubtedly 2014 elections in India Narendra Modi had leveraged the social media space better and efficiently than any other politicians in Indian history. His road to power was incomplete without giving a complement to social media.

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In the coming days and across countries the usage of social media circle to build public opinions by image makeover is going to be used effectively to reach out the young generation.The ways in which social media, the gift of modern information technology, can influence the process of elections all over the world are beyond speculation. Hitherto, our popular conception was that it is the popular mandate that decides who should come to power. Here, social media is going to be the ‘King Maker’ in elections.

Do you think social media will have a great role to play in future changing the face of every nation by influencing the election process as a whole?If ‘Content is King’ for internet marketing, the contents you post in social media is going to act as your crucial weapon for the election campaigns.

I would like to have your opinions on these views in the comments column so that I can come up with more ideas in my forthcoming posts. Thank you very much for sparing your time.

 

 

 

 

 

An Indian going Indie

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Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotosnet
Image courtesy of artur84/FreeDigitalPhotosnet

I have great respect for the writers of the yore who wrote, found an empathetic publisher and got published eventually. I can actually feel them take a deep sigh of relief and their hearts leap up a ‘hurrah!’ as the in-house editors and the publisher took up the remaining exercise of proofing and advertising or publicising the price may be so that more copies could be sold. The author got his/her royalties and the publisher their pound of flesh and that was that. This is much the traditional way it’s been for as close as during the late 80s and into the 90s when the paucity of good publishing houses showed their uppity noses and gave the short shrift to wannabe writers. The people…driven people who had faith in their manuscripts and stories turned to publishing the books themselves, i.e., went independent, managing to incur huge monetary investment and usually failed to recover their funds. Not only did they incur personally loss as such; there were derisive allusions and scoffing for all their efforts as ‘vanity publishers’.

That the vanity books must have given some positive result for all that bogey attached to it gets credence by the fact that the independent or the indie publishing as it is called now is very much alive and thriving. In fact many traditional writers are looking this way for the huge reach; more say in the percentage of their earnings and even the power to keep the story intact i.e. as it had been intended by the writer; without any outside influences turning the story a different way is enticing more people towards it in hordes. This is especially true in the case of digital publishing that has opened the floodgates of any and every creative impulse in the world. You’ve written poetry, short stories, biography, murder mystery, romantic novel or anything that held your fancy, you’ve got the chance of getting it shown to the world at the click of the ‘publish’ button! Easy-peasy.

Did I say easy?

Well! Here I am ready to respectfully give a double bow (if that is possible; D) to the next wave of writers and authors who are actually self-publishers and who are an evolved version of the vanity publishers of the yore, who being armed with way better technology are akin to a ‘lone ranger’ who has to fend for him/herself out in the fields once the button has been clicked. Actually, hitting the publish button is possibly the easiest thing to do in the writing business. It is the latter part that takes up most of your attention once the writing is up in the air. As a newbie writer on the horizon with no real knowledge of how technology could be used to avail a book on a public platform especially in India I have taken the leap with hopes that it’d lead to some tangible and fruitful results. I went the indie way and it’s not plain vanity at play here!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotosnet
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All through the primary and middle school years of my children I was a disheartened parent who could not find enough good poems that could be used in classes that were about good, gentle sounding real life situations with meanings that did not necessarily sound preachy or had double meanings. I mean poems for children should be just that….for children. That is considering it is for children who are an entity that have simple, logical, rational brains that did not need a patronising word thrown at them from every available turn. Keeping that in mind, I was able to make a neat collection of 15 poems called ‘The Vagrant’ that I wrote over a period of two years, edited and proofread for n number o-f times in the next couple of years before I despatched it for a feedback to a couple of English professors at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) as well as some students who were my beta-readers and who gave me the required input regarding my efforts.

Here I would like to add a note of caution and that is that whatever said and done English is our second language though it seems closer to us than our own mother tongue. Hence, it is advisable that one really pays attention to the story/poem as well as the language before thinking of going into print. If the thoughts are honest but not supported by the right notes of the language, it will bog down the good content as well as ones aspirations. So it pays to be very critical of one’s work and get a third, fourth or fifth viewpoint on your baby. A detached version than say your own view on it.

So all this while, I’d been simultaneously reading and scanning the net for the developments taking place in the publishing arena. Amazon had made great strides in the self-publishing business and many Indians had gotten a break through this platform. The hugely popular writer of the Indian historical fiction got his break first as an indie writer with ‘The Rozabal Line’ (under a nom de plume Shawn Haigins) and who was then picked up by a traditional publisher Westland (relatively newly established).

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That was heartening to the extent that one came to realise that it is okay to have to struggle before one achieved some amount of fame and recognition! And that you need to search for the best course of action under the circumstances and take the required action asap. In my search for the best way to go in for, I searched the net extensively. There are several self-publishing companies in the Indian market now- pothi.com, flipcart.com, amazon.com, partridgepublishing.com and many others who are dotting the scene literally! I spent enough time on many of them asking questions, removing my doubts as also knowing precisely how they functioned. All these sites are made to give a step by step self-help instructions into getting a good thing ready. It’s not really very different in any of these sites but when the time came, I chose to publish my book via the Smashwords.com. It is an American website that helps self-publishers and which I thought was more user friendly than any of the lots. Luckily for me, I got in contact with a professional computer whiz and a talented cover designer who got my book together for me in almost no time. Here’s a link to it, THE VAGRANT.

Since I was going to do a digital book only, it didn’t really matter where I got it published from. The biggest factor that I saw in Smashwords was that it marketed the book to multiple retailers. It also allows the author to have own say in its pricing, availability or non-availability to any particular retailer as well as earn more than 75% of one’s sales. Anybody wanting to know more about its working can go to its site on the link provided above.

Imagine the shock when I realised that for something that can be easily got online, one not only had to be a plain old writer/author/poet, but also an ace in marketing the product as well! Most self-pub companies publish it for free but charge you for any professional help you ask of them. Some were quite reasonable, but many were too steep to even consider them seriously especially when they weren’t going to do anything to help promote your work. Self-publishing is a major thing trending the foreign shores as of now and Indians are not too far behind too. But the thing is, the whole publishing business is more organised and amenable there than in India. They have web designers who know the specifics of the trade, the cover designers, editors, beta-reader clubs and all those tools that help in the making of a book and then airing it. All this gives a very professional look to the end product- the book which is the first important step after which comes brandishing your product as a brand. Smashwords has its own eBooks on marketing tips and publicity, growing your traffic that give a close look and pointers about how to go about the latter part of business post publishing.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotosnet (2)

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I am trying to garner interest in my book by using the social media as well as I am able to. I am active on twitter, facebook and google+. You can find me on my twitter handle richa04richa and Facebook page.

Internet market is bound to see a healthy growth in this field and it may be that a one-stop shop for all our digital and print book needs will be found just around the corner. Or as my twitter handle says- just around the round corner!

Hope you enjoyed the post! I definitely hope you can enjoy my published work too ‘THE VAGRANTS’.I would like to have your view on this. Thank you very much.

How much useful are creative writing courses?

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Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotosnet

Image courtesy of iosphere/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do you think creative writing courses are a waste of time? Are the writers born with a talent to create stories? Do they need an inborn talent in writing? Yesterday I came across an article authored by Alison Flood on the online edition of The Guardian newspaper that was dated 4th of March 2014; where it reads as “The creative writing courses are a waste of time.” This was an opinion came out from a man of letters, none other than an award won author of the book, The Buddha of Suburbia, and even more a professor appointed for teaching creative writing at Kingston University, Mr.Hanif Kureishi. I got an interest in the topic as I am currently enrolled for a creative writing course from the Writers Bureau, u.k.

According to his opinions, it can be concluded that students can’t be made to tell a story as it is a great skill someone should have. He added that the students are wasting money on such courses and making not much progress out of it.

While going through the article, it can be seen that another novelist and former creative writing teacher Lucy Ellman partially agreeing with his opinions. The author of the article, Alison Flood pointed out one statement from Lucy Ellman where she said “What you should really be doing is reading as much good literature as you can get your hands on, for years and years, rather than wasting half your university life writing stuff you’re not ready to write.”

Another famous novelist Matt Haig contradicted Kureishi’s statement citing the example of music lessons. Music lessons will definitely improve the skills of someone studying music. Likewise, even if writing skills are partly instinct and partly craft, the craft part is the one that can be teachable.

I agree with the arguments of Lucy Ellman and Matt Haig to a certain extent. We cannot say that someone who has talent in music should not go to a music class. Similarly, how it be possible for anyone to master a musical instrument without attending any course?

It is our common knowledge that music, painting, craft, sculpture, etc. are like literature pertaining to the field of aesthetics, the sense of which is guided by inborn talent. Like music, no man of letters cannot have good command in a language without learning the alphabets. There are no famous painters and artists who never had any learning from the feet of a master.

Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotosnet (2)

Image courtesy of iosphere/FreeDigitalPhotos.net 


Some of you may have the physique needed for a basketball player but if you do not practice playing it, you can’t be a player. Here your height may be a positive factor that you got by birth while your skills are developed through years of hard work and determination to succeed. Remember you may not be able to become a great basketball player if you happened to be someone with a height of just four feet. Similarly you may need some inborn abilities or nature to be a good story teller.


Even if you have that much-needed instinct to write,I strongly believe in the following three factors that are crucial for anyone to develop the writing skills.


# Constant reading of quality contents related to your subject you wish to write about. If you are a writer interested in publishing your own novel, you should definitely be reading books related to your area or storytelling. 


# You should stick to a plan of regularly writing. It is human tendency to postpone things to be done for tomorrow. If you keep on postponing your daily writing tasks every day, your chances of becoming a published author will happen only in your dreams. 


# This  third and most important thing to be done is improving your skills constantly. Imagine you have a so-called inborn instinct to write. You are reading a lot of books of your choice or quality contents from the internet, but not taking any interest in constantly improving your skills. I bet you are not going to improve your skills unless you make a constant effort to improve it by analysing your mistakes. Here lies the importance of creative writing courses using which you can polish your skills. 


The entire scenario of writing has changed now. Remember your parents made their successful careers without the help of Google. They spend their time in libraries searching for knowledge. Now every information is on your finger tip. The current generation follows a different perspective towards writing with the emergence of blogging as a self-publishing platform. With respect to the current trends in writing, I would like to know your opinion whether the writers are born or made? Do you believe story telling skills are something like a music skill where people are born with the talent to sing? Do these creative writing courses are worthy to make good writers? 


Dear friends, I would really like to know your thoughts on the above three questions. Please find some time to answer my questions through the comments column. I am waiting for your comments. Thank you. Have a great blogging journey.

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotosnet

 Image courtesy of Naypong/FreeDigitalPhotosnet

©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

How to make money from your smart phone photos

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The vast majority of people who use smart phones have the habit of taking photographs. Some of them are interested in photography while most of them just do it because they have a smart phone handy where ever they go. It does not matter whether you are interested in photography or not but if you are able to manage a desired level of quality in your photos; you may be able to sell it using the app ‘Foap’. I recently came across with this app and uploaded few photos for sale.

Foap 1

If you are interested, you can also try this app. This free app allows you to upload your photos from your smart phone. Each of your photos will be reviewed by a group of people in the community and then selected for commercial sale with respect to the rating for the quality of the images. A buyer has to spend $10 for the license of your picture so that you get $5 from each photo they buy.

The amount you earn increases with respect to the number of times you are able to it sell to different customers.

London morning

Since I live in London city, I believe capturing any interesting images of the city may make some extra money for me. Hope it may work for some of you as well. Good luck with your photos.

Flowers london

 

 

 
©2014Digital Dimensions. The content is copyrighted to Reji Stephenson and may not be reproduced on other websites.

Three inspirational and motivational bloggers

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotosnet

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When anyone starts blogging for the first time in their life, it is natural that they get interested in reading blogs from different niches. They may go through lot of blogs of different niches ranging from food to technology. I used to read quite an enormous number of blogs from different niches during the months when I first started getting attracted to the concept of blogging.

In this article, I am mentioning about three of my favorite bloggers and their blogs. I suggest you to go through these blogs as they will undoubtedly provide you with valuable tips on topics related to blogging. I am pretty sure that these bloggers will definitely motivate you to be more serious about blogging.

1. John Chow

I came across his profile only after about three to four months of blogging. After I had gone through his blogs, I find them really interesting and encouraging for any newbie blogger. He started his blog named Johnchow.com as his personal one and later became one of the top successful blogs in terms of income and popularity. The most important thing I noticed in him as a person is his down to earth character that I realized when he replied for an email query that I had sent to him few weeks back. Being one of the top earning and popular blogger in the world, I expected a delayed reply or no reply from him for my e-mail. Read his blog and go through his profile, I am sure; you will definitely become a fan of him.

2. Neil Patel

Age does not matter; one of the great examples is Neil Patel. He is the only one and only Indian origin American, born in London and a highly successful entrepreneur.This young guy is an absolutely talented personal who blogs about SEO, Blogging tips, social media tips and marketing tips through his blog named Quick Sprout. You can imagine his potential as an expert when you notice that this man was hired by top most companies like HP, Microsoft, Amazon, etc., for his advice on growing the traffic to their websites.

3. Darren Rowse

This is another famous blogger from Australia, who can provide you with valuable tips on blogging as well as ideas on making money online. His important blogs include Problogger, Digital-Photography-School and TwiTip. Even a quick glance on his site, Problogger, will give you an idea on the excellent source of information regarding all the aspects of blogging.

I would suggest you to read and follow these blogs especially if you would like to get more and more valuable tips on SEO, Blogging and Social media. Please feel free to spend some time to have your opinion on these bloggers and their blogs on the comments column after going through their respective blogs.

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