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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Talking of Photo-Blogs Durable Link to this BLOG
A Blog on Photo Blogs

The Aperture Photo Blog at is quite a hit with photo-blog enthusiasts. It does help that it's the top match in Google for its keywords.

However, it is less of a blog on photography, and more of a blog on subjects of photography. The newest entry, for example, shows use of photographs to study the cultural anthropology of India.

220, 221. Whatever it takes ;-- )

Requirements of Photo-Blogging Software

I am listing below what is required of a good software so that people can publish "push-button" photo-blogs.

  • Ability to compute height and widths of images, as well as provide an alt-text title. Without them, the pictures will render poorly and when you hover the mouse over the picture you'll probably see "A picture named bob.gif".
  • Ability to create stubs. If you work with lots of pictures, you know what a pain it is to create them.
  • Ability to point to similar images based on keywords or categories. Now we are talking sophistication. More the meta data, the better.
  • Some pictures look good with borders, and some without. The blogger (the person creating the entry) should be able to specify this.
  • Ability to list pictures by reels, by dates (of photograph taken, or by photograph published)
  • A PhotoCredit mechanism so the blogger can publish photographs not taken by self
  • A watermarking mechanism to protect the images.

Some Photo Blogs and Software they Use

Misc Links

BTW, until last week, I didn't quite get the meaning of "MovableType". I had thought that it has something to do with fonts, type, and stuff. Then it occurred to me that movable-type would be the opposite of "stereo-type", which I thought is way cool. No?

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Thursday, December 12, 2002
Last Modified: 12/12/2002
Tags: metablog


Making Money from Blogs Durable Link to this BLOG
Making Money from Blogs

I am now one of the few bloggers who has made money from his blog.

The money is not for the contents of the blog, but for the software that is used to create the blog.;-- )

The engine that powers this blog and my mother's blog is being deployed as a knowledge management tool for intranets and extranets. I commend this customer for seeing the opportunity to use blogs as a knowledge percolation tool, and a rapid response tool.

I was specifically asked to make these changes to my blogging engine to be able to deploy in a corporate environment:

  • Add categories (each entry can belong to one or more categories)
  • Anchor the durable links by BlogID rather than by date
  • Full support for LastUpdated -- including searching by LastUpdated
  • Phrase Searching -- I only had keyword searching; customer wanted phrase searching
  • Integration with the existing corporate network security

If your company needs Blog Server Software, contact me at Contact Kamats.

Features of  Kamat Blogging Engine

  • Runs on Windows NT, and uses Microsoft Active Server pages -- no need to sell the boss on Linux.
  • Full-text Search is built in (and or searches, and phrase searches)
  • No client fees; it is server based (like Movable type)
  • Full source code available -- so integrate with your customer databases, glossary databases or document delivery systems.
  • Built in CMS, built in support for SQL

Read my article The Anatomy of a Blogging Engine if you need a Unix based solution. Our blogs are produced with Microsoft technologies, and served by Unix!

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Last Modified: 4/8/2003
Tags: metablog


Social Reform via Blogs Durable Link to this BLOG
Reforming Society through Blogs

Yesterday, in her blog, my mother silently busted an age-old, dark myth of India that had denied the women the use of a sacred Hindu hymn.

The myth has to do with this five thousand year old mystical, powerful hymn from ancient India called the Gayatri mantra. The hymn is always taught in secret, mostly from father to his son, and never to a woman, or to a person considered to be of "low birth".

I am not going to get into the magical, and divine prowess of the hymn, but you can read and recite it on her blog.

I bet that most of those who chant the Gayatri mantra everyday, don't even know its meaning, and will frown upon its use in a blog. Of course, those who are sane amongst us will appreciate the succinct beauty of the hymn, and the spiritual maturity of the Indians five thousand years ago. Those reformists amongst us will admire the genius of Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883), in using this hymn to herald a social movement in India.

Rich Text Ads in Yahoo! Email

Like most people who read their personal email at work, I have turned of viewing of embedded images in email messages so as to not accidentally get into trouble. In fact, I have set up a message rule that flags such messages as risky-messages.

This morning I think Yahoo decided to insert rich text advertisements (you know one with pictures and animation) in the email messages people send via Yahoo mail, and a bunch of my emails were hence flagged. Not a good development.

If Yahoo! wants to charge its users, or show advertisements to its users, I have no problem, it is indeed their business. But as a recipient of an email message, I am under no obligation to view the advertisement, and my Inbox rule stays.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, July 26, 2002
Last Modified: 4/2/2003
Tags: metablog


What is an AutoBLOG? Durable Link to this BLOG
What is an AutoBLOG?

An AutoBlog is a manufactured weblog.

Like other manufactured goods, AutoBlogs reduce errors, increase productivity, and ensure the quality of the output. AutoBlogs reduce reliance on people, can be cheaply mass-produced, and consumers love them (?).

It was bound to happen.;-- )

Announcing Kamat AutoBlog for today or anyday.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, July 1, 2002
Last Modified: 1/26/2003
Tags: metablog


Blogger's Block Durable Link to this BLOG
Blogger's Block

I hereby disclose where I get ideas for my blogs; includes tips to overcome what I call Blogger's Block.

Of course, many many ideas come from readers of this site (readership for March 2002: Million and a half), and I encourage you to suggest (Contact Kamats) your idea for a new feature.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, April 19, 2002
Last Modified: 1/26/2003
Tags: metablog


Sins of Bloggers Durable Link to this BLOG
Sins of Bloggers

  • Bloggers bitch too much about Linkrot (expired URLs).
  • Bloggers are primary source of bandwidth theft
  • Bloggers think that their irrelevant blogs live forever. They call their paragraphs as permalinks, and provide entry points into pages without context.
  • Bloggers are tightwads who don't want to pay for software, searching, or even hosting.

Reminder: I am a blogger.;-- )

What bloggers write, and what they really mean by David Weinberger.

Living in America Purifies Your Blood

Unlike the last time, American Red Cross accepted my blood today.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, February 15, 2002
Last Modified: 4/24/2002
Tags: blogs, metablog


Blog Analogies Durable Link to this BLOG
While the luminaries are engaged in defining what are Weblogs, I want to provide a context/horizon for the weblogs, and compare them to analogous entities I know.

Weblogs and Karaoke

The Karaoke (Japanese slang for bogus orchestra) system let people behave like rock stars and fulfill their secret dreams of stardom.

Weblogs have done the same for the people who dreamt of becoming great writers.

Blogger and TeX

When Donald Knuth wrote the revolutionary software TeX, he wanted to cut the middlemen (typesetters, copy editors, proof readers) and let authors directly communicate with their readers. TeX (and later LaTeX) transformed the publishing industry.

Since Pyra created Blogger, it has had the same profound impact on web publishing as TeX did on traditional publishing. The idea is still the same -- no barriers between the writer and the reader, with the former assuming all the intermediately roles (producer, publisher, editor etc.)

Amway and Weblogs

One of the most important ideas of MLM that Amway propagates is that every distributor is also a consumer.

This is especially applicable to webloggers who not only write, but read other weblogs faithfully.

Weblogs and Communities of Practice

Consider the research publications industry. Who but another heart surgeon reads The Journal of Congestive Heart Failure and Circulatory Support? Who but another heart specialist can contribute to this publication ? and finally, who do you think buys this periodical?

Weblogs provide a great way for like-minded people to work together. While creating a Scholar Exchange to facilitate peer-review, criticism, and publication of research papers seems logical -- it would eliminate the middlemen completely, IMO in the long run it would work against the goals of the community. This is party because this idea is pitted against the capitalist fundametals of our society ("How will I make money?"), and because automated exchanges are no replacements for the rigorous peer-review process the prestigious publications use to select the articles.

I still believe that the idea of Scholar Exchange (called Communities of Practice in the industry), has a role to play in the coming years. Big publishers like Elsevier, Kluwer, and Blackwell are especially positioned well to exploit these Scholar Exchanges, but so far have shown no leadership.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Friday, December 7, 2001
Last Modified: 1/29/2003
Tags: metablog

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