My Experiences with WordCamps in India! [TDIS]

It is now over a week since I attended my second WordCamp. The first one I attended in Mumbai, India – where I was slightly disappointed with the lack of WordPress related discussions. But I was not really complaining and looked forward to another one in the city of Baroda. The WordCamp in Baroda was better than the Mumbai event as it had more WordPress related content being discussed and shared.

I thought, I would sit down and write my views on WordCamps that I have attended. The idea of this post is to take stock of how things might be at WordCamps being hosted in India and how could they get better.

WordPress Logo 

What I found lacking at WordCamps!

WordPress is not exactly very popular in India. It has a decent following but nowhere developed like it is say in western countries. I think there were some basic things that I found lacking at WordCamps I attended.

  • Local meetups arranged prior to WordCamps seem to be few if not completely absent. Having meetups will be a good idea as this will give a good idea to organizers on how much local enthusiasm is there for the WordCamps. It will also help drum up support for WordCamps.
  • People love to volunteer and get involved. But people who want to get involved need a platform to get involved. I think more work can be done to build better smaller local communities which can be more accessible.
  • The talk sessions sometimes are more centered around social media and SEO tips. I personally find this a waste of time when social media marketing tips and SEO tutorials are shared which have nothing to do with WordPress.
  • I did not come across any good sessions on basic introduction to WordPress. This I think is a must have session for any WordCamp.
  • I was also a little disappointed that WordCamps I attended hardly saw a mention of how people should contribute to WordPress. It is important that as open-source community we think of making and adding to WordPress more than just taking from it.

I won’t be too harsh on the two WordCamps that I attended as I saw organizers themselves sharing their experiences with other organizers very freely. This is crucial as sharing their experiences will improve WordCamps a lot more in the future.

What I would like to see in India’s WordPress community

I am using the word ‘community’ instead of ‘WordCamp’ on purpose.

  • I would love to see organizers write down a detailed list of difficulties they came across while arranging a WordCamp. This would be a great resource to future WordCamp organizers.
  • Another idea is for organizers to help first time speakers. First time speakers are often unsure about their sessions and maybe a list of things to do, guides on how to go about presenting a session and what they should talk about might be of great use to them.
  • Finally, I would love to see a session called ‘Basics of WordPress’ for people who simply have no idea of what WordPress is all about. This could be like a 10 minute session.
  • Finally, I would like a lot local casual meetups. It would also be great if people who take part in such meetups write and share what they discussed during these gatherings.

India’s love affair with WordPress is simply beginning!

I suspect India does not have a very strong WordPress community. There is a lot of interest in it surely but most students are not exactly aware of it. There are many WordPress developers who work freelance in India. But many of them are not exactly organized as a community. Hopefully with more WordCamps all that will change slowly by surely.

As WordPress is open-source, it’s biggest supporters will always be college going kids who do not exactly have a lot of resources but have the adventurous spirit to learn new things.

Considering India will have a lot of young people who might not find fancy jobs in IT, I am sort of betting on them finding their true calling with WordPress. :-)

Useful Links for WordCamp and WordPress Meetup Organizers

If you are interested in taking part in WordCamps or organizing them you might find some of these links useful.

Finally, as I was writing about WordCamps in India, let me inform you about the next one. WordCamp Pune 2013 will be held on the 23rd &24th February 2013.

Special thanks to Rahul Banker, who did a great job of organizing WordCamp – Baroda 2013.

Do drop in your comments and views about WordCamps and WordPress events in India.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our TDIS ( Thank Devil It’s Sunday) feature, where we publish casual and personal posts.

SEO Must Die! [TDIS]

SEO Must Die

SEO is a false bubble, meant to burst, from the very beginning.

It is about to burst, very very soon.

Now, why would I say something that generic and that strong. I’ll quickly come to the point. However, to do that, we need to dig deeper into this concept called ‘Search Engine Optimization.

We start from the basics. At the core of this field (for the lack of a better word) and the axis of this universe are search engines. Although, due to Google’s dominance, most of the dynamics of the industry revolve around Google search.

What is a Search Engine?

Now, let’s try and define, at a fundamental level, what a search engine is. Wikipedia’s definition of a search engine is nice but states what a search engine does. A Google search for What is a search engine, throws up:

A program for the retrieval of data, files, or documents from a database or network, esp. the Internet.

Which is right, but doesn’t help me much. Let’s try and understand a search engine like 10 year olds. The internet is a like a library, vaster than any we’ve known in our lives. Each website is a book with, at times, millions of pages. To find anything in this library is impossible for a human being. Books solve this problem by creating table of contents and indices. Libraries create further indexes of books. However, if you go to the librarian and ask for a recipe for a samosa, there is no guarantee, they’ll find it. If they do, there is no guarantee, it will be the best recipe.

se1

A search engine is like this index, only it is dynamic. By dynamic, I mean that the index is continuously updated and changed. There is a lot of content on the internet that you and I can never be able to access or interact with meaningfully, without this tool that lets us do that. So, my definition is

A search engine is a tool between people and content, to create meaningful interactions.

SearchEngines and Us

For, a long time search engines followed the definition thrown up by the Google search above. Then, along came Google that sought to become the tool that creates meaningful interactions between users and content.

The Ideal Search Engine

That paved the way for the world dominance of Google. It’s purpose and goal were very clear from the beginning:

Get the result that the user is looking for.

And to do that, Google kept doing things. It kept formulating ways of doing this better. It has been striving to give you and me, the exact thing that we are looking for. In fact, it’s trying to do it so well, that if you and I typed the same query, Google will return different results, because it has learnt more about you from your earlier interactions.

The Happy Honest Internet

The happy, honest internet is an Utopian concept promoted by the likes of Facebook and Google. It basically means that people write what they want to. When a lot of people demonstrate to Google that they prefer to click and stay longer to read a particular page over other pages in a result, Google believes it is good and ranks it higher.

The Search Engine Problem

It is very difficult to find the right result. It takes complex algorithms and heavy data analysis. The engine needs to learn as it searches. So, a lot of times, the first result is not the ideal result. This is because, to an extent, the way the search engine works, is not the ideal, finished, superlative piece of art that all of us want it to be. It has its limitations. se3

As shown in the picture above, this problem is actually a set of two problems:

  1. The search engine may not understand what the user is looking for, let’s call it the User Behaviour Analysis problem.
  2. The search engine may not understand the content well enough, again, let’s just call it Content Analysis problem.

The Ideal Solution

What should a search engine do? It must bridge the gap both ways. It must improve its understanding of what the user is looking for. At the same time it must improve its understanding of content to be able to match its understanding of the user’s need.

Understanding the User

This is the more complicated part, but Google seems to be the best at it. This is also the part where the search engine is in control. This is where the user interacts with the engine, directly. So, the engine can do whatever it takes to make sure it makes the best guess about what the user is looking for. se4

No one gets between the user and the search engine, not even the parent company, not even its other products. That’s where Yahoo and Bing lost.

Understanding Content

This is the impossible part. Being a web developer, I can tell you, the number of shoddy, sub standard websites that exist are mind boggling. Then, how do you know what content is good, what is bad. This is where search engines have no control. This is where, the task is immense and again Google seems to be the best at it. Even now, Search Engines depend on some algorithms to analyse and understand content. There are parameters to consider.

Exploiting the Gap, Gaming the System: Birth of the SEO Professional

So, now suddenly, there are search engines that users like so much that they use it as a starting point for their browsing. A lot of websites, obviously want to get users to their site. Irrespective of whether the content is good or not. This is where, a whole new profession was born. One that observes the search engine’s behaviour, figures the parameters and algorithms and then games the content. This way, the Search Engine is made to believe, that the gamed content is the best content for the users’ query. In other words, it cheats the Search Engine, which, indirectly cheats the user.

The user is made to believe that the gamed results are the best results. There are various ways of gaming this system, or cheating this system. Some are believed to be legitimate, called white-hat ways of cheating and some are black-hat ways of cheating. Sooner or later, the search engine will get tired of the gaming because the users will start getting tired of the game. The useless, but SEOed results will push useful, but non SEOed results downwards into the pit of anonymity.

The Revenge of the Search Engine

se5

And then the search engine will try and do something about it. Here is what Google did and announced it in a blog post.

But more important than that, are the comments,at times they are super hilarious!

SEO vs the Search Engine: the War Continues

Search Engines are most likely to continue this way. Keep disposing off the ways of the SEO industry so that it can interact directly with content (and hence the content writer). This is the only way it can solve its second part of the problem: understanding content. The SEO industry will be made redundant, also by a couple of simultaneous developments:

  1. Increased use of CMSes and automated content deployment solutions that take care of the basic SEO parameters, still used by Search Engines.
  2. Evolution of the web page into more semantic structures (html5 tags like article, aside, footer pretty much indicate what is important and what is accessory or redundant on a page).
  3. Increased usage of microformats like ratings, reviews, products on web-pages for better identification of content.
  4. Growth of Social Media (Google already values recommendations of your online social circle, for better results).

The Unfortunate Casualities of the War

On some of the comments on Google’s blog post above, you might notice people complaining that their original content has been outranked by copy-thieves. That’s because Google decides which is better based on what users decide is better. It is the standard tussle between pop art and true art. A genius will write a good article that nobody will find. However, a copycat wil just copy it, present it in a more interesting or popular manner and that will win in the race. It’s obvious. It’s not the Search Engine’s fault or responsibility. There is no feasible way of correcting culture via a search engine.

When the War Ends

Once, SEO is finished, what will be? That is more speculation and philosophy and the subject of another blog post (if there is one).

Disclaimer: This is just a point of view and philosophical ruminations. Do feel free to rebuke me, if you need to!

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our TDIS ( Thank Devil It’s Sunday) feature, where we publish casual and personal posts. You can read other TDIS posts here.

My Experience with the Apple iPhone 5 [TDIS]

This comes a little late in the day, but I would like to share my experience with the new iPhone 5, less about the phone and more about the experience of being a customer.

Let me share a little about my fascination with the iPhone first. I purchased a iPhone 3GS about 20 months ago and it worked like a charm. A freak accident and the phone was reduced to pieces.

I promised myself to wait it out till the iPhone 5 comes out since it made little sense to invest over the iPhone 4S, given that the iPhone 5 was around the corner.

The iPhone 5 I had purchased is partnered with a new entrant in the CDMA network for Apple, United States. I had a colleague who was travelling to the U.S buy it for me. As expected, I was ecstatic to hold it when he got back with the phone.

On first look, I was impressed by the beautiful design that runs through the iPhone and the weight that makes you take a second look to realize that you are indeed holding a phone! Took me a while to identify that a few trademark features such as the Messages, iMessages or FaceTime over cellular were failing to activate.

The Issue…

Turns out there was an issue with the way the phone was unlocked by the carrier it was purchased from, given that it is relatively new in partnering with Apple. It’s something for a phone to not impress you, but to impress you and fail at doing the simpler things is a little confusing.

I scourged through Apple forums to find that this issue was being faced by a few other users who had purchased it from the same provider.

I have always believed Apple to be a company that didn’t care much about market sentiments or the competition it faces from other firms. Here I was having a beast of phone that was failing to send SMSes.

I cut through the hierarchy of contacting Apple support in the United States first and then taking the escalation process. I wrote an email to Tim Cook, CEO, Apple Inc (which I found out with a Google search) and Phil Schiller. I even followed it through with a reminder stating my plight with the phone.

The Response from Apple

Out of the blue, I get a call from their customer care in Ireland stating that their call is over my emails to Tim Cook and that they were here to help.

It took Apple less than a days work to fix my problem and then follow up to ensure I was happy and that their direct lines were available in future for any other issues i may face.

Being a Indian consumer, my expectations from public & private companies are near zero. I have always been a Apple enthusiast given that we choose our favorite products by individual tastes, but to find that the company you are so passionate about is as passionate about you is simply marvelous! My romance with Apple products has just got better.

Editor’s Note: This post is part of our TDIS ( Thank Devil It’s Sunday) feature, where we publish casual and personal posts. You can read other TDIS posts here.

Are You a Geek or a Nerd – Infographic [TDIS]

GeekVsNerdIf you are someone who reads a lot of books, follows technology, knows about different operating systems and enjoy watching sci-fi movies or TV series, then chances are you have either been called a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’.

I have always found both terms quite similar except that being called a ‘geek’ was cooler than being called a ‘nerd’. :-)

Here is a nice infographic by Masters in IT, that tries to define the difference between a ‘Geek’ and ‘Nerd’.

It does so by some interesting differences in tastes and professions chosen by people who are called one of the two terms.

geek-nerd

Thanks to R@xit for the tip.

So what are you? A geek or a nerd? Do drop in your comments.

About TDIS: Thank Devil Its Sunday [TDIS] are posts which are not the regular Dw fare about tutorials and updates. Posts under TDIS are usually more casual and personal.

Journey Of A Thousand Posts [TDIS]

I recently completed a thousand posts on Devils’ Workshop. I am not particular about numbers and was not aware of being so close to the milestone. Thanks to my friend and colleague R@xit for a timely tweet reminding me, that I was nearing a 1000 posts on DW. That tweet got me thinking about my journey as a professional blogger.

I am a professional blogger today but it was not something I had planned. At my previous job, I felt stuck. The routine work paid well but was boring and uninspiring. After a long day of work, I would spend hours trying to write a short story or update my personal blog. In other words I was falling in love with writing.

Vivek Jain a friend and later a rtCamper, read a couple of posts on my blog and introduced me to Rahul Bansal (the guy who started DW). He was looking for someone to run this blog. He was himself making his move from being a blogger to an entrepreneur and I was the lucky one who became Editor-in-Chief of this blog. :-)

Journey_Blogging

Lost in the Woods!

In the beginning I felt lost. I was blogging for a well established blog and in charge of it. It had a ready-made community around it. What did I know about Blogging when I took charge? Absolutely nothing.

I tried to write what I felt would be useful for others. Writing posts after posts, I felt sometimes like giving up blogging entirely. I felt totally lost in this new world. I could write well and I knew that but I started wondering if I could blog well.

Then one fine day, Google created their social experiment called Google Buzz. I simply did not like it and wondered why did Google bother with such a social network and worse embed it into my Gmail. I stepped out of my comfort zone as a blogger and wrote a blog post exclaiming why Google should have just bought Twitter instead of creating Buzz.

The post was not a very popular one but it was appreciated by people whose opinion I respected. With that post I could say, I found my blogging voice and no longer felt lost.

Think Different!

‘Think Different’ was a slogan for Apple’s advertising campaign. I am not a Apple fan particularly but a big fan of this quote. I might have written some decent posts but I still did not know if I could make a career in blogging. Blogging was fun but at times frustrating. Also you spend a lot of time alone, work at nights and read a lot. You end up reading a lot of things which are repetitive and sometimes your writing becomes predictable.

Then a movie named ‘Inception’ was released and one Sunday afternoon I toyed with the idea of comparing the movie’s storyline with the realities of social media. I did not like the post at all but it did start me off ‘thinking differently’ about my blogging. I ended up writing about how Inception the movie was similar to Blogging. This time the post became quite popular. :-)

Making a Difference

As a blogger you can sometimes feel like you are not making much of a difference. Early this year wrote a post about the SpeakAsia scam. It was a Ponzi scheme and thousands were signing up. My post was well appreciated by many and some even changed their mind about investing in such a scheme. It was very pleasing to know that what I wrote was making a true difference to someone. That post made me learn to be proud of being a blogger and the difference they can make.

Thanks…

I learnt a lot of things as a blogger. I am not entirely proud of all my posts but not really embarrassed by any one of them either. There are many people who I would thank for making and shaping my blogging journey. Firstly I would thank Rahul , who gave me this opportunity to run Devils’ Workshop. It is a credit to him that he allowed me to make my own mistakes and learn blogging at my own pace, in my own space. I would have to thank all the bloggers I have worked with. Each one has taught me something importantly good.

After a thousand posts, I am nowhere close to being satisfied but I know what I want to do. The last thousand posts were very eventful and great fun, hopefully the next thousand will be even more eventful and fun.

About TDIS: Thank Devil Its Sunday [TDIS] are posts which are not the regular Dw fare about tutorials, how tos and updates. Posts under TDIS are usually more casual and personal.

(Image via Colherada cultural )

Is addiction to Technology just a myth? [TDIS]

We claim smoking is an addiction but we often forget to tag technology as an addiction. Why would we do that after all? Just like a smoker never wants to talk about his addiction, we all being addicted to Technology would never do the same. We all know, living without technology and “tech products” is like living without cigarette for a smoker, a weird though realistic comparison.

Most of you would comment “don’t you think our lives have been made so easy and fast?”.

What I am going to discuss is a fact chart which is just not about the disadvantages but even the advantages of using technology.

The good effects

  • Creation of new jobs in IT and ITES sector and other affiliated sectors.
  • Cost effectiveness due to increase in technological advancement including use of faster processes due to IT and hence increase in production.
  • It has helped in reducing cultural gap among people due to it’s global reach and since it provides an equal platform for everyone to interact and discuss their views.

The bad effects

  • Creation of new problems like wrist pain and neck pain and other injuries thanks to hours on a computer.
  • Stress related issues because of being online and available 24/7 which has lead to issues like depression and emotional imbalance.
  • Mental stress and tiredness has become a commonly found gift. People actually need to visit a doctor to be told that they need to relax and take time out.

What I am trying to convey here is basically focussing on a balanced use of technology and not just throwing anything off your lives. I would even like to share the source of inspiration behind writing this article, it is a short incident which happened at a food joint in my city commonly visited by me and my friends.

One of my friends started asking me how to de-activate his Messaging (SMS) pack for his Mobile connection and ofcourse I asked him the reason. His reply was – “the regulating authority for Communications in India (TRAI) has reduced the daily SMS limit under the Free Packs to just 100 while earlier it used to be 500”. The confused soul in me questioned him back – “So, what’s the big problem?” to which he replied – “100 is too less for me as I send atleast 250 messages a day”.

What could be my reaction, anybody wants to guess here? I was watching him with astonishment and wondering if my friend who seems perfectly normal was in fact a technology addict.

So what are you thoughts on being addicted to technology? Is it something acceptable or is technology addiction going to be a big problem in the future? Do let me know through your comments.

The journey of the Computer Mouse [TDIS]

The Mouse is considered to be an integral part of a Computer with most of the functions requiring the Mouse to be executed. A Laptop computer comes with a Touchpad however many people still find the Traditional mouse more comfortable. Today’s mouse is result of the continuous development and evolution which happened since 1963 when the prototype of the first Mouse was developed by Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute with his colleague Bill English.

DW mouse1

Image Credits

It was not later than 1972 when Bill English (the co-inventor of the First mouse) build the Mechanical Ball mouse while working at XEROX PARC. This mouse had a Roller ball to move easily over a smooth surface.

DW mouse2

Image Credits

Eventually with further Technological advancements, Roller ball mouse was replaced with Optical mouse which uses a light-emitting diode and photodiodes to detect any movement. This is easy to use than the ball mouse as there is no requirement of any kind of fixed surface. Due to no physical contact with the surface, this kind of mouse has a much longer life when compared with its ancestor kind. Hence it is one of the widely used mouse today.

DW mouse3

Image Credits

What else was left has already come to the market, and is replacing the Optical and roller ball mouse pretty quickly. It is the wireless Optical mouse which uses Infrared / radio waves (even Bluetooth) to transmit signals to the computer when it detects movement. The receiver is usually a small device connected to the computer using the Serial port or USB. This kind of mouse requires additional battery (even rechargeable) for operation.

SONY DSC

Image Credits

And this is how Today’s new generation mouse looks like

SONY DSC

Image Credits

Please do post your comments and any suggestions about new topics you would like me to cover on DW.

Coming Up – Meet The WordPress Makers

WrodCampMany Developers might be interested to know, who is involved in taking WordPress decision and how the open source project is structured in general. Lets see what Jane Wells has to say about it.

By Jane Wells WordPress is a meritocracy, it means that anyone can get involved, and a combination of the quality of someone’s contributions and their level of interest and time commitment will determine how much influence they have over decisions.

They have several levels of contributes for the WordPress application development, that includes full-time developers and casual contributors.

The WordPress team is planning to come up with second annual WordPress core leadership meetup in January 2011, they will have a video town hall at some point during their time together. During these days he will be posting profiles of the core developers who will be at the meetup. After that he will be branching out and posting about other contributors, including developers, designers, forum moderators, etc.

If you have any questions you can submit it to them to answer then in the forum thread What Should 2011 Hold for WordPress? To have a little idea how all these people fit together and how decisions are made, you can check out the presentation held WordCamp Portland in October on How WordPress Decisions Get Made.

How the idea of blogging is similar to the movie Inception [TDIS]

A couple of days ago there was a discussion in our blogging team about SEO, Social Media and many other ideas on blogging. These discussions and free exchange of ideas makes me really enjoy work.

While on my way from work to home I kept thinking about blogging in different ways. Questions like what is the relationship between a blogger and his readers?  What are readers after all? When I blog, I often try to think of myself as the reader. This means I avoid writing anything that I won’t like to read.

One of the most cerebral movies this year has been Inception. The concept of dream within a dream. The idea of a totem which tells you if you are dreaming or if what is happening around is real. I have been really fascinated with some of these ideas and decided that today’s Thank Devil It’s Sunday section will be about how the concepts of Inception can be compared to the concepts of blogging.

Level One – A blog is a dream

Your blog is your dream. But it is not enough to dream alone. Dreams need to be shared. A visitor to your blog is basically a participant in your dream. Your content is mainly how you will engage the reader in this dream. If the visitor does not like your post or blog much he will not return. Yup, the dream collapses and it is back to the drawing board.

When your reader likes your blog and wants to be part of your blog, he will write guest articles. When other bloggers write on your blog it is something like a dream within a dream. Yes, the guest author now has a dream within your dream. :-)

Level Two – The Guest Author’s dream

So now we have a dream within a dream, the ideas start to flow. Your absolute control over the content is compromised but your blog’s community and influence increases. The increase in influence means just like you have a following, certain authors will have their own following.

Level Three – The extended community

These people are not necessarily interested in your blog as such but more interested in following a particular guest author. Think of these individual author’s community as his sub-conscious. Now that community dreams within the guest authors dream.

The Totem – Google Analytics

In the movie Inception, for every dreamer there is a totem. It is a personal object which lets them know if the events around are real or are still a dream. For any blogger or guest blogger the totem is Google analytics.

Yes, Google Analytics is what your blog’s strategy for the future will depend on and if you are getting carried away, Google Analytics will always show you the reality.

Inception

As explained in the movie, Inception is implanting idea which is simple but not specific deep into the subconscious mind. I read a lot of blogs. I do not end up being regular on all of them. But some blogs I follow religiously. Some of them are not even very popular.

If I am asked why I follow some of these blogs, I cannot really be specific. I am sure most readers have blogs they follow without being able to put their finger on what exactly is about that blog that ticks. Little do they know that the blogger has implanted an idea in their sub-conscious that his articles are something to be followed. ;-)

Do drop in your comments and views.

The Power of 140 Characters [TDIS]

Interesting Twitter Stories It’s that time of the week when we sit back and relax, reflecting on the days that went by. Like any other person, I love my Sundays and avoid doing work which involves the use of brain :P. So instead of writing some tech article, I thought of sharing these interesting stories related to twitter that I came across over time. These are not the normal stories of someone getting sacked because of a tweet. These are stories with a difference, and show the immense power 140 characters can wield.

Case#1: Woman saved from committing suicide

A woman tweeted about committing suicide and directed one such tweet to Demi Moore at @mrskutcher. It said, “@mrskutcher getting a knife, a big one that is sharp. Going to cut my arm down the whole arm so it doesn’t waste time”.

tweet Luckily Moore saw the tweet in time and retweeted it immediately. The tweet became viral and the police station got flooded with the calls about this. Fortunately the police was successful in tracking down the woman before she could take any such step.

Source: abcnews.go.com

Case#2: Twitter comes to the rescue of people tired of waiting for train

people waiting for train Commuters traveling through Caltrain between San Francisco and Bay Area (equivalent to Local train in Mumbai or Metro in Delhi) were often left waiting for hours for the train to arrive. With no proper system to communicate about the delays, getting real time status of the train was almost impossible. But not anymore- thanks to Twitter and Ravi Pina.

Ravi Pina- a tech enthusiast and sufferer at the hand of Caltrain, created a twitter account at @Caltrain. Now the riders on board can send latest updates about the whereabouts of train to @Caltrain which is then broadcasted to all the followers. Simple but effective! Interestingly, official Caltrain employees have fully embraced @caltrain.

Source: tales.twitter.com

Case#3: Man travels for free around the world

around-the-world The latest one is about Paul Smith (@paul_a_smith), a British freelance writer, who decided to get to Campbell Island, 200 miles off New Zealand’s coast, within 30 days. He tweeted about this 28 days before he was to leave. British actor Stephen Fry came across his tweet and retweeted it to his followers. The response was amazing. He traveled around the world for free! This is how he did it:

  • Ferry ticket from Newcastle to Amsterdam (tweeter called Leanne)
  • Train to Paris (two French tweeters)
  • Free bed at a hostel
  • Train to Saarbrucken
  • Lift in car to Frankfurt (German tweeter Andrea Juchem)
  • One-way flight from Frankfurt to New York (tweeter called Owen, using Air Miles)
  • Spare bed in hotel room (tweeter from Yorkshire called Mark)
  • Travel and stay in Washington DC, Chicago and San Francisco by plane, train and car (US tweeters)
  • Flight to San Francisco (Zurich-based tweeter)
  • Car to Los Angeles
  • Free flight from LA to Auckland (Air New Zealand)
  • Ferry to South Island
  • Lift to tip of South Island (tweeter called Smiley)
  • Sailed to Stewart Island.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

Strange how kind people can be to total strangers! I am planning a trip to Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. Any tweeple here ;)?

Hope you enjoyed reading these stories as much as I enjoyed sharing them. Do share other interesting stories related to twitter through your comments. In the mean time also check out 10 Interesting facts about Twitter and 21 Interesting Facts about Google.