My Love For Blogging And My Blog

I take on the baton of Blog Love from Ranjini.

I think it’s pretty clear now that I have come to love blogging, the ecosystem and my own blog. Why else would I be blogging if it weren’t for the fact that I love it? I’m not being compelled to blog or forced to blog, but rather, I do it because it’s something that comes from within.

I started blogging back in 2005 as a 13-year old student who had no clue about what to do in life. By that, I mean I wanted to be an engineer or a scientist but I still had no clue about what I wanted to do in order to achieve this. My blog back then was a very random blog, full of nonsense, some bits of “This-content-is-too-old-for-me” stuff, and what not. I sort of went into hibernation when I realised that I had to work hard and study.

In the midst of this working hard(ly) and studying, I ended up co-writing a humour post with my best friend Janvi titled Phases Of Study. It did what it had to do. Remind me of the time I used to write, and that I had a lot of opinions on practically everything around me.

Fast forward to two years ago. I needed a place to voice my opinions. Although I had been on Twitter since 2007, it didn’t seem to make the cut. Interning with a magazine that used WordPress made me think. I loved WordPress. I loved what it could do. It struck me: It’s now or never. Once I finish studies, a job in the media industry would never give me the time or freedom to write the way I wanted to. Thus, I started thinking, what should I blog about? I travel a lot, get bored, and then travel even more, I take the bus everywhere, even if I fly, I spend more time looking at buses at the airport than anything else. That’s it. My Eureka moment was on 3 July 2015 at around 7pm.

Blogging got me places, got me to BNLF, then an internship, then a chance to cover the CII Partnership as well as Make In India Week, and then my job. Today my boss asks me to write an article based on my experiences in transport, something that has expanded to other stuff, resulting in me writing on various topics from cashless transactions to even milk. For those who knew me in 2013; Who would have thought that a 21-year old guy who describe Toll Plazas in great detail would someday write about cows and milk? I didn’t. I certainly didn’t. I’m sure none of you reading this would have thought of it either.

But that’s how it is. Today, my blog, has turned me in a sort of expert on urban affairs, has got me published on a prestigious magazine that was mentored by none other than Rajaji who was one of India’s greatest thinkers, and has also resulted in several other economics based portals accepting my work. I’m just as surprised as you are, believe me.

But enough of me. My blog wouldn’t be my blog if it weren’t for the ecosystem. Not just readers, but other bloggers as well. I’ve been part of two BlogBuddy groups: Inking Pages and Write On, and believe me, while I may not say it, reading others’ opinions does wonders. It reminds me that there is a life beyond these four walls that I sometimes am confined to, or in case of a bus, four sides of the bus.

I love my blog. I love the ecosystem. I love everyone who has helped me become what I am today. Thank you all.

P.S: Thank you Richa. Atleast someone who understands my fascination with buses.

P.P.S: If you like what I write, please ping Janvi, and thank her. I owe a lot to her.

I pass on the baton of Blog Love to Roma.

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Stories behind a Ticket

By now, you know me well. I’ve written earlier about why I am fascinated by buses.  You also know that I collect bus tickets. But there is something about these tickets that is not well known to most people.

I often write notes and story ideas on the back of my bus ticket. It can be anything. Most of the time it has everything to do with the journey itself.

So, below are a few such tickets with my stories on them.

Behind a BEST ticket.

A story written on the back of a ticket on Bus. 56. We met. Our Eyes Met. Our Smiles Met. Our Hearts Met. 56 - Yay .... JS - 27 - 05
A story written on the back of a ticket on Bus. 56

Behind a BEST Daily Pass.

A story written behind a BEST Daily Pass. Kid blows bubbles on the street. Sees two men playing Uno in a Cafe. Sees two women playing Chinese Checkers next to them. Is there a Mystery?
A story written behind a BEST Daily Pass.

Behind an MSRTC [ST] Shivneri Ticket.

A story behind an MSRTC Shivneri ticket. My twin and I were returning to Pune from Mumbai. I'm lucky to have a twin. She's not the evil one though. I am. You'll see.. Someday..
A story behind an MSRTC Shivneri ticket. My twin and I were returning to Pune from Mumbai. The evil bit refers to my pranks.

Behind an NMMT ticket.

It was pouring in Bombay when I took this bus. I was lost in an alternate reality where the rain caused an apocalyptic flood. Stormy Night Here. Would I be the Hero of my own Story?
It was pouring in Bombay when I took this bus. I was lost in an alternate reality where the rain caused an apocalyptic flood.

Behind a BMTC ticket.

My boss and I have for long agreed that the Silk Board junction was never a problem. What if the traffic at Silk Board was really a Screening Mechanism to deem who is worthy of entering HSR Layout first?
My boss and I have for long agreed that the Silk Board junction was never a problem.

Behind a Delhi Cluster Bus ticket.

I was sick after inhaling a bit of Delhi's polluted air in Azadpur. Is Delhi's pollution all a plan to systematically force people to move out? A la Tughlaq?
I was sick after inhaling a bit of Delhi’s polluted air in Azadpur.

Two PMPML tickets, both from June 2014, have gone missing. One was referring to a story about an alien visiting Earth that I had written when I was 12: A Visitor From Xyralite, and the other was an outline for a story that I wrote two months later on a Nuclear Apocalypse: Silence. I will find these someday and post them here. Till then… *salutes*

 

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One Year of BESTpedia: A quick recap #InkingReflections

BESTpedia has turned a year old. I’m just doing a quick recap of what all has happened in the past one year.

The first post went live on 9th July 2015. There has been no looking back ever since. Of course, Analytics didn’t make an appearance till a month later on 19th August. So, there is little hope of finding out what the hit count was that month, but then, the past is the past.

Anyway, moving on, July saw 6 posts, with two highly successful posts on BEST [Electronic Tickets and Curious Case of BEST AC Buses] and one Fiction Post on Bus 8954.

August saw a two really popular posts among others. Branded Bus Services, and Sherlock’s Day Out were both incredibly popular with the latter getting close to 600 shares on StumbleUpon.

September saw some offbeat posts including ideas and a post on temples, and the first entity that wasn’t directly on the blog [later, part of the Stupindex]. Visits dropped from around 800 to 500 a month however.

October saw a rise in the number of hits with six posts. It also marked the first occurrence of a series of several satire posts on the blog. It was in this month that I got to attend IndiBlogger’s #BNLF in Mumbai.

November marked a significant change for the blog. 10 posts were made, the highest per month till date. It was also the first time that number of visits crossed 1000, ending at 1606. It also marked my first major interaction with the IndiBlogger community with their #madeofgreat series of contests.

December continued on the same high as November. Six posts were made, including two on Delhi [where I was working], one on the Chennai floods, 2 on BESTs plans for buses to Imagica and Parking Lots at Depots, and one on the Bullet Train.The last post for 2015, published at 11.45pm on 31-12-15, was a major one on Amaravati, which went semi viral and got the blog loads of shares the next month. A total of 2245 visits came in December.

January got off to a good start, mainly thanks to the spillover traffic from December. It also witnessed the first two guest posts on the blog. A total of five articles were posted, but due to the traction gained by the Amaravati listicle in December, the month saw 3238 hits, a figure that was exceeded only twice after that. In fact, the first one week alone led to a huge spike in the number of hits, with the 1000 mark being crossed in the first week itself.

February saw a slight slump in articles, with the first article coming out at the start of the third week and the only other article in the month coming out on the 28th. The #MakeInIndia article got good traction however, with Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, as well as the DIPP retweeting my tweet linking to the article.

March saw a slight comeback with 6 posts. The piece on JnNURM buses violating norms was a significantly investigative one, which did get positive feedback from transport lovers. The month saw my first active participation with #BlogChatter as well. The major post of the month however, was the Public Service Announcement produced with my friend Deepak.

April saw 5 posts with one of them being a highly successful guest post by GSR Chaitanya of LoveOfZ about Hyderabad, and a super popular tongue-in-cheek April Fool’s Day post on Taxi services that was quite popular.

May saw 5 posts, with Dork Guru returning to do one more guest post as a follow up to my post. Traffic remained average with 2959 visits. A new feature, titled Unsung Heroes Made an appearance. It also saw the formal creation of The Stupindex as a Table of Contents for all the off-blog inanities around here.

June saw 3450 hits, the highest till date, with a significant amount of traffic coming in from Swarajya Magazine where I had written an article on Highway Strips which was extremely popular. 6 posts were made, including another satire post [BEST Dish of the Day] that got me a comment and a share from Purba Ray. The last article of the month on Zeppelins was also popular after Jayaprakash Narayan of the Lok Satta Party retweeted a link to it on Twitter.

July has so far seen only one article with this one being the second. A total of 70 articles have been posted prior to this with a total of 576 comments and pingbacks/trackbacks. At the time of writing this post, the blog has received a total of 25,320 hits!

It has been a completely amazing ride in the last one year as a blogger. A sincere round of applause for the readers, fellow bloggers, and everyone out there who has encouraged me.

Now a few acknowledgements are in order:

  • Team #Blogchatter: For all the amazing support and motivation. I’m also the Blogstar of the Week!
  • The IndiTeam from IndiBlogger: For all their IndiVine topics that helped me write a lot.
  • Team Swarajya: I did write three major articles for them!
  • The Skyscrapercity India community: I get a lot of ideas for my content from discussions there.

Individuals I need to thank:

  • Janvi: The first person to recognise my flair for writing light humour, and allowing me to co-write this post, way back in 2013.
  • Geetika: For all the motivation, critique, support, and being a victim to me disguising blog links.
  • Nidhi: For all the mentoring, motivation, pep talks and encouragement.
  • Rohini: Again, a lot of support, motivation, and that she is Sherlock’s hooman.
  • Sameer: For all the feedback and encouragement.
  • Deepak: For helping me out with the PSA, and being the first to read my blog posts.
  • Richa: For introducing me to a lot of people in the blogging community which has immensely helped me as a blogger.
  • Gauravi: The first victim of the Stupindex.

And the entire Blogbuddy group; InkingPages consisting of:

I’d strongly suggest going thru the individual links of the various people mentioned above. They’re in many ways responsible for the vibrant environment that I am in.

BESTpedia is now one year old! #InkingReflections Click To Tweet

A quick chart of all the ups and downs the blog has had:

BESTpedia IndiRank stats
BESTpedia IndiRank stats

 

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#TransitIssuesIN – Instagram your Transport Problems with #Blogchatter

So a lot of us have had an issue with Transit in our daily life. Buses may be late, trains may be dirty, autos may overcharge, and the list goes on.

The general solution till a while back would be to call up the Authorities, tell them your problems, let them ignore it and go on.

But not anymore. In today’s age and times, many Government Transcos as well as Private ones are online! You can always send out a tweet and wait till you get a reply. Such is the power of Social Media.

A group of us have planned a Hashtag for this on Twitter and Instagram; #TransitIssuesIN.

Now; the power of Social Media is a well known fact. With more government bodies and private parties getting onto the Social Media bandwagon, it is easy to ensure that this reaches the right person. And Twitter and Instagram, ensure that it remains in Public view, or to be a little legal, ‘On Record’.

How do we go about this?

Simple, let us follow a small procedure.

First, ensure you have a Twitter and Instagram account. Follow accounts of people you know, people who can help share and amplify your content. You can follow me [@Rsrikanth05 on Twitter, @Rsrikanth05 on Instagram], and the blog [@BESTpedia on Twitter].

Second, connect your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Click here to learn how to do so. However, since Twitter doesn’t show photos uploaded to Instagram as native images and only provides a link to Instagram, the best thing to do would be to use IFTTT to link the two. IFTTT [short for IF This Then That], allows you to create a Recipe to make your Instagram photos appear as Native images on Twitter. Click here to find out more about this recipe.

Third, upload your image. Let IFTTT share it on Twitter. Ensure you use the Hashtag: #TransitIssuesIN at the start of your post.

And that’s it. You’re done. Let the power of Social Media take your post up. Let us try and create a revolution that forces these service providers to sit up and take heed of the problems that they often cause, irrespective of whether it is Intentional or Accidental.

#TransitIssuesIN
#TransitIssuesIN

Why Instagram and Twitter?

Simple, both are public platforms [unless you keep your account private, which dilutes the purpose this entire exercise], both are simple, and easy to use. The impact of an image on the human mind is far superior to text, and images are more likely to be viewed in search results on Twitter.

So go ahead, take things forward!

Instagram your Transit problems with #TransitIssuesIN !!! Click To Tweet

A special thanks to Richa [http://subzeroricha.com] for letting me know of the Instagram-IFTTT-Twitter link.

A huge shoutout to #BlogChatter [http://www.theblogchatter.com] for giving me the ideas and the motivation for coming up with this.

 

#TransitIssuesIN with @Blogchatter @aseemrastogi2 @veniceriwe #blogchatter http://bit.ly/INtransissue

A photo posted by Kaboom-wala (@rsrikanth05) on


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I want to take my blog to the next level #Blogchatter

I was tagged by Pooja to write this post.

So here goes,

Hi all,

This is just an update on the things that may change on this blog in the near future.

For starters, this is the 50th post on the blog. Yes. 50th. I couldn’t have reached 50 posts without the support of various people around me, including the online friends that I have made in the last few months.

Among these 50 posts are two guest posts by a friend of mine, who isn’t going to reveal his real name to anyone. A few more guest posts, on various topics, including Indian Railways, BEST, Ahmedabad Janmarg, PMPML and buses in Abu Dhabi are all in the pipeline. A lot of interesting updates have been planned for the months of March-April-May, so stay tuned to BESTpedia. A new theme, and a new sub-blog is also in the pipeline!

For those who want to stay updated, I’d recommend that you add the RSS feed to you browser. The RSS feed is accessible at http://bestpedia.in/feed/

If you use Feedly or Bloglovin’, here are some links that could work well for you.

Bloglovin’ link: https://www.bloglovin.com/feed/blog/14473693

Feedly link: https://feedly.com/i/category/Bestpedia.in

 I now tag Gauravi to write their take on the topic.

I want to take my blog to the next level with Blogchatter

 

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