Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Tuesday, November 30

3 Books to my Library

The no.3 strikes again.

Just added 3 books to my Library. Of course, these are not for general reading, but more towards my professional reading

Flash XML studio Lab - A relatively old school book for XML & its usage in Flash
Flash Hacks - O'Reilly, learn-the-secrets-behind-great-flash-animations, receipe kinda book
Essential Actionscript 2.0 (Colin Moock ) - The brand new book from Colin Moock following his success in writing Definitive Guides for Actionscript.

I will be busier with these books, learning for next 2-3 months. I am particularly interested off late in learning a bit of programming in Flash for developing applications. I may well not be the guy get in the way of professional actionscript programmers, but to make my self comfortable before delegating work.

Own Discovery: 3 things

Somehow, i am being fascinated by the no.3 in the recent times. 3 books i read, 3 discoveries i made while surfing and i am completing the 3rd year of self-reliance of running things on my own.

  1. Everybody knows, Seth Godin, the revolutionary marketing guy behind successful concepts like Idea Virus, Permission Marketing and others. After quite some time, i revisited his site. Great to see he has written another topseller book.Via Seth' blog, i visited Changethis. A non-profit site run by Amit Gupta (what a funny email to have!!). What a treasure drove of manifestos for the future this site has got. You pay nothing to get into the minds & thoughts of some of most forward-looking thinkers of today's world on wide variety of topics. Bookmark Must.
  2. Have you ever seen stop-motion animation. I seen it on road here in chennai, where a street peddler will have a series of images running via a small role. It will create motion and you see live picture. Wanna test it out. If you think of animating numbers, just take a big book with some 400 pages and just run thru the corner of the pages faster, the page numbers will animate. Basic concept of motion. Now the same stuff goes hi-tech in the subway stations worldwide. Read an article in about how the walls of the subway tunnels are turning into a moving billboard advertising medium. Interesting read and how creative minds thinks about possibilities.
  3. The third discovery is more of an internal discovery. I haven't tested the News&Blogs configuration option in my Thunderbird 0.9 But when i was about to configure one of my email account, i just tried it out. It turned out to be a great time-saver. Now all I require is one Client, which can handle my email, newsgroup subscriptions, RSS Integration and what's more, i can customise the "look & feel" & also extend my email client to my taste. Surely, TB is the way forward and it is time to show the path to Outlook & Microsoft Outlook to Recycle Bin.
Also, worth mentioning if you are an interctive marketer, a new book from Resource Interactive's head Mooney. It's called as The Ten demandments: Rules to Live by in the Age of the Demanding Customer. The site looks interesting with its praise. I dont' I can publish the Ten Demandments here, but I hope no attorney is sueing me over here.
1. Earn my trust
2. Inspire me
3. Make it easy
4. Put me in charge
5. Guide me
6. 24/7
7. Get to know me
8. Exceed my expectations
9. Reward me
10. Stay with me

Will add this in my wish list of books for next purchase. Purchase options are available.

Sunday, November 28

The persuaders | PBS

Blogging for my reference via netdiver. This is about how advertising & media will use the new technologies of the future frontline: the persuaders | PBS

Saturday, November 27

3 Books that changed my thinking

As a web designer & developer and top of that running a small agency, your time is always shuffled between technology & administration. I need to always look for the next project at the same time, thinking about generating money for salary, office expenses etc.

When I was first introduced to A List Apart it was 2000 and I was with Teleseen software. I dint take much interest at that time, since I was deeply buried myself in Flash & Dreamweaver. After quitting and started my own organization & after 21/2 years I re-entered A List Apart in late 2003. Something hit me very straight. I am doing jobs, which are obsolete.

Taking the cue from Jeffery Zeldman, and 2 months of reading of Eric Meyer and countless blogs which pushed me from the grave I was. I am totally surrendered to Standards compliance. It's not like your hippie way of finding something new and getting towards it, As I grow, the importance of the meaning of life and how every profession in this world is inter-connected slowly appeared from my "knowledgeable" ignorance.

2 months before, my friend Chetan send me the books I have asked for. 3 Books, which literally changed the way I think about the web today.

Designing with Web Standards - Jeffery Zeldman - The "Bible" or "Qur-ran" or "Bhagvat Geetha" of the New Web
Web Standards Solutions - Dan Cederholm - The "how-to" practical guide for Web Standards
Defensive Design for the web - 37 Signals - How to create websites that are defensive in nature but actually makes your customers smile.

After going thru these books, I am rejunevated and has a new framework in my mind about the web. What I thought about the web, in last 2 years has changed literally, not just as a developer, but as a user, after going thru these books. More than development & technical stuff, What I have learned the most is the "bigger" picture of visualizing for the web.

It's been actually a great head start for so many new things to happen. I am happy, I take the first lead in making our agency, a model agency to work & strive towards standards. Although, I am not a leading thinker in that line, I can always proudly say, I took the first step.

May the journey begin for you all!!

Friday, November 26

Top 20 IT Mistakes, every organisations go thru

Great article find from Drew McCallan in his blog. The thing which interests me, like Drew, is the IE-centric approach to web. (Mistake no. 11). Get the full article here.

I like the points being rised by Dickerson in his article. Most importantly, the emphasis given to PHP in his article. Underestimating the value of PHP by any Web Shops, will hit you as a serious blow in the future.

Well worth an article. As a policy, we at 360 Degrees made it as a point, to go table-less & standard-compliant code to develop websites. Although, it require a steep learning curve, the fruits are well worth the effort. Today, in no time, we are in a position to showcase website prototypes to clients and gives them the best the industry can give.

It is very sad to see that bigger web shops & portals are not switching to Standard compliant solution yet. Here in India, rediff makes the color changes with an external CSS file in their homepage, but it is way behind implementing a standard approach to the web. The benefits of following standards are yet to be realised by Indian companies as on date of this writing.

Stop yourselves at WaSP & Bowman's excellent article on changing the Microsoft's homepage. Atleast, if not fully, we can certainly correct a few mistakes when you take up the next web-based initiatives.

Wednesday, November 24

Running Around

Was running around thru out India. Will be back on the blogosphere by this weekend. Till such time, bear with me, or improve your knowledge on javascript:xmlhttprequest for your websites

Monday, November 15

Turn your blog into a Binded Book helps you turn your blog into a bound book - great as a gift, an archive, or even to sell to your readers!

It is quick, easy, and affordable to turn your blog into a printed book. All it takes is a few easy steps:

  • Provide information about your blog account
  • Select styles, cover/back and customizations
  • Review automatically generated proof
That's the promise what blogbinders gives you. I think, if you have a huge content heavy blog and would like to gift your friends about your greatest knowledge bits, here is a way to go.

If you are in India, i suggest, not to take up the binding option, but rather the .PDF option for local printing that will work out much cheaper.

Sunday, November 14

Firefox 1.0 - Engines the deadly weapons of browsing

If you are not a firefox user, dont read further. go get the latest revolutionary FireFox 1.0 now. If you are a firefox user, your secret weapon is not on faster browsing but on a small input box in your browsers' right top corner. Yes It is the Google Search bar. But actually, it wont' stops there.

Firefox 1.0 gives you few engines by default, thru which you can actually search in that particular domain. Say for websites & information, there is a "Google" given as an engine. But the treasure not stops there. There are more engines available with firefox central. This includes A9, Amazon, IMDB and more.

The treasure location is here

Tuesday, November 9

Neat Flash work

IBM's express portfolio is a microsite promoted by IBM for small & medium sized industries business solutions. The microsite was done beautifully in flash. Neat transitions, proper usage of images, great sound effects.

Check out this stunner!

Google Cheat Sheet

This is a cheat sheet of smartly using google. I particularly like the "~" operator & "define" values.Google cheat sheet Take a peak.

Sunday, November 7

India Everywhere (this is also represented in

Saturday, November 6

Next Gen. Flash Player

Just read the Colin Moock's post on a prototype model of the next generation of the flash player. Kevin Lynch (macromedia's chief architect) showcased it.

// Excerpts from the post//

Kevin Lynch(macromedia's chief software architect) demonstrated
the next generation version of the flash player at the macromedia flash
conference in tokyo, japan.

  • saffron, a new type-rendering engine [Looks more clearer than ClearType ]
  • dramatic performance improvements (a sluggish calendar app jumps from 14fps to 125fps)
  • realtime bitmap effects (blur, dropshadow, colour matrix etc.) [And btw, it is applied realtime, you can reduce the authoring time & cut down the time spend on Photoshop & Fireworks or any other image editors ]
  • realtime video alpha channel

Read the full post & sample video movies here

Wednesday, November 3

Quick Ref

Handy location for your reference on CSS1.0, XPath1.0, XSD: Structures 1.0, XSL1.0, XSLT 1.0 and other. blogging for my reference Deepx Quick Ref

Tuesday, November 2

User Experience

Not dead neither not fully alive.

Just back from an official tour to bangalore. Heard that Chennai had more rain when i was not here. Seems everyone telling me to pack my bags and settle somewhere to solve Chennai's water problem.

OK. Back to business, going thru Andrew's page, some of things he linked interests me most. If you are in the business of web & creative, these links are more sacrosanct to read.

User Expereience: Guidelines for human interface from Apple

UI Patterns & Techniques.

If you an agency like us, who help software companies into providing good user interface & UI principles, these reads are must.