Sunday, 15 April 2007

Mousetrap - 98

Blogs without steroids
Forgive the cutesy web 2.0 nonsensical name. If you’ve been thinking about blogging, but are intimidated by how complex it seems, this could be your answer. All you need to do (after signing up, natch) is choose from five basic types of posts: photo, quote, link, conversation or video, or a ‘regular post’ option. Next, enter content, and post. Done. None of the bells and whistles fervent bloggers adore, not even comments, blogrolls, statcounters and the like, though you can choose to mess around with your page if you know your way around HTML and CSS. And you can do cool stuff like send pictures from your phone-cam direct to your page. But at its most basic, it’s refreshingly simple and uncluttered; reminds me of when I first started playing with blogs.

Even with fatpipe connections and free email with ginormous inbox sizes, when it comes to sending very large files, you will hit a roadblock. Which is that many providers (and office sysadmins) impose a maximum size to file attachments. So, if you want to send your buddies the sound file you created of you singing better than Sanjaya Malakar-or the video of you dancing better than him-you could be out of luck. Unless you use a service like this one, which lets you share files up to 100MB, for up to one week. There are others out there; it’s just that this one is really simple to use, and it has an easy-to-remember URL.

Once upon a time — your turn now
A cool way to write a collaborative story. Or just have a little fun with your friends. How it works is that you sign up on the site, and start a story. Write as much or as little as you like. You can then invite other people to add sections to it, one by one (the site takes care of the logistics). You can pre-define how long it can go on for, and you can end the story yourself, whether to make the story public or just shared with your list of invitees, or whether other members can request to be allowed to join in. Warning: the sign up process is fussy, but you can’t do much without it. If you do signup, look for a story called Mousetrap at That’s one I created just for this column’s readers. Feel free to request to be allowed to add your bit.

Tech support
About a year and eight months ago, this column featured a site called Huhcorp. I wrote that it was “a deadpan slash job on the typical consultancy corporate site.” This one is by the same folks, and this time they’re parodying tech companies and way of treating customers like morons. As with Huh, this is a chortle-filled waste of ten minutes. Enjoy.

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 15th April, 2007.

Tags: ,

No comments: