social|median design contest and invites

social|median social|median harnesses social filtering to help you keep up-to-date with news that matters to you.

From their website:

socialmedian is a social news service that connects people with personalized news and information. socialmedian enables you to easily keep up-to-date on the news that matters to you and to people who share your interests.

Currently, they are in ALPHA (heard of web applications in BETA before? eg: Gmail. Alpha is a milestone just before BETA 😉

What I like about them the most is their approach. Jason the founder and his team at TrueSparrow are not churning up code all the time (like you would like to believe of a product in ALPHA) but constantly looking for feedback from their ALPHA users. At the time of writing this post they already had 2468 alpha users signed up and most of them active.

Now, it is this approach of theirs which I highly appreciate and when Jason announced the social|median design contest I had to pitch in.

I throughly enjoyed the whole experience of participating in the design contest while the product is in its ALPHA and probably help shape its vision/roadmap. My participation in the contest is a story in itself and it will probably unfold sometime soon on this blog (may be partially).

Interested in seeing my entry for the contest? For you all I have a special annotated version of the files I sent to Jason unlike the ones uploaded in the contest.

(I would recommend you to see the first and the third at its original size by clicking on the preview images below. The notes would also help you figure out what’s the application about.)

User’s signed in homepage:


User’s signed in homepage after clicking on expand profile:


Web 2.0 network on social|median:


You can go through all the entries here. To vote for me you can follow this link. I would highly appreciate if you take time out and make an informed decision by going through all the entries. Since, all the designs are also effectively ALPHA 😉 do leave your comments here or on the individual design pages for the designs.

Thanks for taking time out and participating in the voting process. Looking forward for your feedback.

Jason has been grateful and has extended some ALPHA invites to social|median for you! Grab them soon before they are gone. Leave me a message along with your email and I shall send you the code for the ALPHA invite.

Results are out:
Results are out and you can read more about it here. I didn’t win but I hope I did add value to the whole process. In all I am extremely happy with the contest and my entry for the feedback I received from fellow contestants, unknown friends (from what I noticed there were atleast 3 comments which went missing from that post after I read them. so if you see your feedback missing do push it to me on my email as I really value it) and well wishers. Thanks once again for your support.

Paintathon = Painting Marathon

Oh! did I tell you all about the Paintathon I had taken part in? No. « wondering how could I forget of blogging about it » Shame me 😐

Remember I was in Ahmedabad in August? There I spent most of my time at Prayas’ place. Some of his paintings adorned his walls and there were others lying in his studio. We also took time out to visit School of Architecture and hang around the campus for lunch. Laxmikant had also come down for the post-production of his film. So art was the flavour of the month. I have always been curious about various forms of art because of the obvious influence of my bro. Painting on a canvas was something completely new for me and I was game for it.

A couple of days before I was supposed to leave for Mumbai, I asked Prayas if we could paint. Felt like he was all ready for it and he was just waiting for me to prompt. He hadn’t had a brush with painting for a long time now. He said lets take part in a Paintathon. “Wow Paintathon sounds cool,” I exclaimed. I was thinking, MarathonHackathon and now Paintathon. Next I remember we went out to get a some canvases and extra colors and brushes.

For the Paintathon, we reserved the morning of the day I was supposed to leave for Mumbai. You can read up on how the events unfolded at Manjushree’s blog.

Here are some of the pics:

Prayas in free flow Canvas in progress Canvas in progress Prayas paints with his left hand

Here are the finished paintings:

Canvas complete - Prayas

Window art at the Paintathon

Akshay (my):
Canvas complete - Akshay (me)

For inquiries to buy and order use the contact form. Offer till stocks last. 😉

Look at the complete album here:

Updated the links to the pictures is live! is live! is an ideal get away from social networking apps. its a one of its kind testbed for anonimity on the web with comments, tagcloud and postflood.


* anonimity at all times

* celebrate anonimity: confess, ask, poll, comment

* track:if you create a login you can track everything. though any which ways we make no distinction between a person who has created the post or is just tracking a post. so at all times we never know who created a post.

* no profile, no friendlist, no community, no followers, no apps, no networking, no poke, no wall posts (thanks, i can hear the applause!)

reasons to pursue this idea:

* people (atleast i,) find social networking today annoying at times. i must thank it for finding my old friends and helping me connect with them but it ends there. now-a-days i find it becoming too intrusive.

* ideal platform for people to share, confess, poll and discuss away from their social network. there is no “me” and along with it there are no inhibitions. One can reach out to this whole world anonymously.

* it would be interesting to see how people interact,react,contribute by being anonymous.

read announcement is live !

Pune Ruby Hackathon !

To start with I said to myself, “I have tried the Half Marathon! Why not try the Hackathon too !! – 22nd July”

I was not sure of taking part in the hackathon as i had never treid RoR, there was still a week to go and not many participants had signed up on their wiki. Even then I just happend to put my name there in the list of participants. There was a faint chance of me going for the hackathon if Shweta (intern at my office) would join in as she has been trying out Ruby on Rails (RoR) for over a month now. I asked her and she was going to leave for Hyderabad a day before the hackathon. I had almost left the idea of joining the hackathon as i had to work a lil harder the same week to meet project deadlines. To cut things short I was surely going to miss the hackathon. Later in the day (I guess Tuesday) something happened (I am not sure wat) but I decided I would give it a try. So, here I was having no clue of RoR but wanting to attend the hackathon a core no-frills geek meet. I took a 15 minute tutorial (LoL) from Shweta on RoR and also got the Agile Web Programming with Rails book (thnks to my office). I would read the book while travelling in the bus and late at night. I could only read it for 3 days.

It was around 11am on 29th July and I typed the first command to start a project in RoR… $ rails mars

If I do not discuss the positives from the event then I won’t do justice to the thought behind organising such an event.

To keep things short

People !

– I met quite a few interesting, friendly and like minded people around.

Vaibhav Domkundwar from Better Labs who was one of the organisers, was really interested in the proceedings and made everyone feel comfortable. One of the things he stressed on was taking this initiative forward. He also discussed the future potential of the applications with each one personally. He even discussed about his latest initiatives like and how he wanted the Tech community in India to develop and grow.

– Satish Mishra again from Better Labs made sure that everything was in place. Later after the hackathon he also shared his views on what Better Labs was all about and their india2.0 initiative.

Pratik who also happened to come down for BarCampMumbai was participating. I had read his blog and even commented on the BarCamp posts. Never happened to to know/speak him (didnt happen to start a conversation with him at the BarCamp). He has been actively involed wtih RoR for around 3 months now. BTW he won the hackathon !
Learning !

– Yup, being there was a learning experience. Though I was not sure of how I would fair at the hackathon but I was sure that I would try to experiment with RoR for 24 hours. Everyone present was helpful and alway ready to share what they knew.
IDeas !

– Everyone was working on their own ideas. The positive vibes around were contagious. Being there was really encouraing.

Future !

– I am sure something like this will catch up soon in other cities too like the BarCamp. Looking forward for more of such geeky encounters.

Deliverables !

– I would surely be realeasing Mars soon to the open source community. This is going to be my second initiative after Qikblogger and I am excited.

Thnks !

Yup, thnks to the organisers and congratulations for a super-successful event.

The MaRaThoN has just begun 😉

HaCKaThoN OveR bUt MaRaThoN bEgiNs

Have been following Ruby and Ruby on Rails(RoR) for some time now. Today (in the last 24 hours) I finally treid it out live at the hackathon. Ruby is coOL and Ruby on Rails is even coOLer! Like there is no smoke without fire… RoR really stands up to the hype (wateva) around it.

I also liked the whole concept of a hackathon. Cheers to Better Labs for initiating it and hearty congratulations for its success.
More about it later…

Hey I was selected as the SiLver Hacker at the hackathon after the evaluations ! Cheers !!! I built a planet application using Ruby on Rails in 36 hours and named it Mars (any guesses y ?). You can know more about it here.

I guess I was waiting for a excuse (?) to start using RoR. Now I am sure its going to be a MaRaThoN run with ruby for company.