Why maintaining a community in India, a completely different uncharted process?

I’ve been a member of multiple communities, been a community manager or some communities as well. Namely, FSMK for some time, Fountain pen india group for some time which was more disappointing, GLUG for a very long time.

From my experience, here are some reasons why,

First of all, Indian’s have the very awesome tendency to go off-topic. It can start from unnecessary this-to-that conversation, or discussing about a past irreversible failure incident, or showing dominance over other member using some not community related topics. A community in general may not be comprised of like minded professional members, but it doesn’t mean that they span out of community.

Secondly, the sense of favouritism in a community. The main reason why most of the successful communities have community mangers and not a community manager is to cancel out the sense of favouritism. Discrimination for violation of community norms of any sort should be independent of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, or age, in no particular order. It doesn’t matter if you live in London or were unable to find vegetarian food in Scandinavia (because of your poor googling skills) or you just happen to accidentally send a wrong rejection mail or even if you have worked for 20 or 0 years.

Finally the members themselves should participate with the motive to be a hindrance to the growth of the “community”. A successful community has members that put in their effort for the community setting aside their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, or age. For any instance if they do get offended by something that wasn’t even of their concern, they should have enough wisdom to ignore or settle the matter outside the confinement of the community.

Moderation could solve most of them, but it cripples the concept of free will. How ever if it is a Indian community, Best if it is heavily moderated(personal recommendation).

Please do join the Fountain Pen India Scrollback room at : https://scrollback.io/fountainpenindia

Please do comment your thoughts, specially if you are community manager, tell me how do you deal with the pesky members in your community!

Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

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After Sales Services, The Bad Half, and the Bitter half

How often has it happened that your most recently bought appliance not older than 5 months just stopped showing any signs of life? Chances are that, it has happened at least to 50% of your appliances that you bought it in the past decade. Ever wondered why is that so? Read along as you might come to know some of the dark secrets of the manufacturers who are in this sector


The Bad Half : The Manufacturer themselves

Shocked aren’t you? You shouldn’t be, because they want you to buy their products and they want you to buy them more frequently than you want to. Sales is a big portion of these money-minded manufacturers as it contributes to a huge chunk of profit (Unless you are Volkswagen Group selling Bugatti).

So Sahil, why is that a bad thing? Aren’t they in the business to make profit?”, Making profit it not a bad thing, unless there is a catch. Manufacturers design products that lasts only for a limited time. It’s around 10-12 years for appliances and less than 5 years (according to my personal opinion). Also this tenure is not “functional with no added costs”. It’s the tenure with you having to call the folks from the XYZ’s support desk, Which is the bitter half.

It’s also evident from the warranty period, is just too short for appliances that cost $1000 and above. Aren’t such products specially home appliances and laptops supposed to work a lot longer than that? Shouldn’t the warranty period be a reflection of how long the manufacturers want the product to exist in the market no matter how many updated models that they release during that warranty period. The manufacturers assume that the end of the warranty period is when the customer starts searching for an upgrade, and release products accordingly.

The Bitter Half : Warranty claims and Service Centers woes

Here is where things become annoyingly difficult.

For warranty claims: The service center, of course scrutinize your appliance/gadget (Fact: Any replacement that they have to make in this process is a loss). One of the most ridiculous of the reasons why service centre’s reject warranty claims is by saying “It was not meant to be used like that”. So according to them we are supposed to use in a “Normal” way which is decided by the service center folks and nowhere mentioned in the documentation that comes with the appliance/gadget.

Even if you agree to pay for the repairs, the repair centers kind of force you to pay for replacement parts(as I mentioned earlier, they cannot repair, it’s too advanced tech for them), which sometimes are so expensive, that an upgrade is lot better than that not so important replacement.

(Fact: Got a waterproof gadget? Liquid damage, including water damage, still voids warranty)

This is more of an Indian phenomenon where the Manufacturing giants give away their responsibilities to other dealers and the dealers do a sh*t job of doing them in the worst means possible (Redington India Pvt. Ltd., Maple).

These service centers are understaffed. The employed staff are basically carpenters who know what part goes where, hence all they do is replace, in case of Out-of-warranty products (not to mention inefficiently). For in-warranty appliances/gadgets hammer the product and pray that the product works.


If you are from a different part of the world this is what an average service center call looks like. This is what service you get for a phone which was under warranty, One of my friend had a tough time dealing with his laptop which you can read over here.

So what can you do about it as of now?

  • If you have an extended warranty/Insurance as an option, for appliances/gadgets worth ₹ 30,000 and above, Go for it.
  • If you have an Out of warranty appliance/gadget avoid the official services, instead try for a trusted local engineer instead.

I guess that’s enough of rant’s for today?

Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

P.S.: Audio solutions coming soon(next)

5 Unspoken Rules of Technology

The Internet world gives each one of its users the opportunity to communicate with each other, with an invisible wall of safety. With the identities of the users being concealed, Internet has now become quite a challenging space for new users. With more and more users coming online, and companies like Facebook and google targeting the next billion users, I’d like to mention some of the most annoying parts of the internet.


1. Interactions: Interactions can be messaging, commenting, posting, replying back emails, or any other form of exchanging information digitally! Before you press that send/post/comment/submit button, read the content and evaluate, if that would be your reply if the person was right in front of you. Rude or Friendly, If the content is something that you’d say it to the person’s face, post it, else just don’t.

2. Social networking: Let me get this straight, i’m not talking about Facebook, google plus, twitter or Instagram here. I’m actually talking about meeting real people, when you do so. Make sure that your intent is to meet that person and not to see your phone a thousand times, when you’re around them.

3. Obey, or at least try to obey the Rules and Regulations: There might be be some restrictions for usage of phones in places like hospitals, Gas stations, Schools, Air planes etc. Obey them. Don’t take such indications for granted. Don’t make a habit of ignoring such important warnings. And of course, DO NOT USE MOBILE PHONES WHILE DRIVING. Not because its forbidden by law, because you should know that you are endangering your life and other’s valuable life. It applies to you no matter you’re on a public/private road, No matter what your social status is, or if you’re Lewis Hamilton or just a learner. Just don’t be a jerk!

4. Don’t take others privacy for granted: We all must have encountered a situation when we had access to friend’s login. You might know the password, pattern or maybe your friend just forgot to log out from the browser. Now the curious mind might ask you to check out some things that you’re not supposed to, like maybe emails, messages, photos, etc. But it’s best to just control your curiosity and respect their privacy.

In an event when you are forced to do something like that, say unlock the phone and make a call, or maybe open the gallery to check out the selfie that you just clicked. It’ll be polite if you could just give them a heads up that you used their login/pattern. Treat other privacy the way, you want others to deal with yours.

5. Respect technology, but don’t make it a priority: I use a BlackBerry, and Linux systems. Most of my friends use Android and Windows systems. I don’t comment on their choice, and they don’t comment on mine. Linux works for me, Windows works for them. I like Macintosh’s/Ubuntu’s UI and OS as of whole, and my friends are comfortable with Window’s offerings. We respect the choices what people make for themselves. It’s not polite to comment that “Eww! You use a Micromax” “Damn!? Ubuntu? How do you even use it?”. It’s however polite to pass an optimistic opinion, like say “Hey I see you deal with various media content, Why don’t you try VLC instead of QuickTime?”.

Finally, Technology is important. But it’s not so important that you have to prioritise it. If a smartphone fits your usage, fine get one, if it doesn’t, It’s okay to switch back to the old Blackberry or Symbian phones. Wanna date someone out? Wish a special one on a birthday? Greet them personally or call them up. You don’t have to send a retarded Facebook message or Instagram post.


You can find me at Facebook, Google+, Twitter or mail me at me@sahilsatishkumar.com

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

P.S.: Exams end in a week. New posts coming soon.

The most annoying part of owning my Motorola Moto G 2014[Bluntly Solved]

I was gifted myself with a Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen in the month of September and I have even blogged my first impressions (if you missed it you can read it over here). This post however concentrated and targeted to India as it has to do with Motorola India, and not Motorola as of whole.

Snack Fact : To those who don't know, Motorola (and other awesome companies like Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Jabra etc.) is operated by Redington India Pvt. Ltd. and  their services are horrible. Most of the service centre (specially the one which ran into) are shameless.
 
When I received my Moto G unit, I was really positive about it. My first impressions post conveys the same message. And believe me, Moto G as a smartphone is really dependable and robust as of whole. I didn't post any review because I was waiting for the Lollipop upgrade that will change how Moto G is used in the current KitKat OS.

So, lets jump straight into the dilemma department of the Motorola Moto G.

THE AFTER SALES SERVICES:

On Dec 3, 2014 it so happened that my phone started sweating while performing simple tasks, like opening system apps like ,Dailer ,Settings. After a while the phone started rebooting multiple times, and finally there came a situation where it got stuck in the initial boot animation. So I tried to troubleshoot myself I tried to boot to the bootloader/fastboot screen to reset the device. But the phone would reboot every time it tried to cross the initial boot animation phase. At the end of the day my phone finally had evolved to a 5 inch Flashlight (without installing any 3rd party application).
It's a common issue in android as of whole. And can be resolved by simply

December 4, 2014 I head to the official Mangalore service centre(They like embarrassing themselves). Initially they said, “Its a Software issue, your device will be ready in an hour. But you'll lose all your data”. I was sure they were going to try to reset the device. I didn't have any high hopes, So I show up after an hour and then they say, “Sir we have to change the PCB(or Motherboard if you prefer), It'll take a week.”

The receipt i received from the collection/service centre
The receipt i received from the collection/service centre
December 10 and December 11, 2014 “Sir part not received”

December 13, 2014 “Sir part not received”

I realised that now it's of no use of calling the service centre so I call the Motorola India's help line number 1800 102 2344. I had *Shower some wisdom, and enlighten me for I walk in the darkness* sort of feeling. So call them up.

December 15,2014 “Sir I've just confirmed from the service centre your device has received the necessary part and your device will be ready soon.”

Next day I call up the service centre,

December 16, 2014 “Sir part not received”

Hence I wage a war of telephonic requests, against Motorola India. *Shower some wisdom, for my faith is slowly fading away* sort of feeling was getting accumulated.

December 16, 2014 “Sir your complaint has been lodged, you will receive a call from a team which will resolve the issue, in 24 hours”

I waited for 24 hours. I don't get any call. Probably Motorola India was too busy counting currency notes.

I decided to approach them again, with *Shower some wisdom, for thy'll loose all patience* sort of feeling.

On December 17,2014 I got some new jokes “Sir there is a shortage of spare parts, we have to order parts from AMERICA. It takes time sir.”

Snack Fact: Motorola sells Moto G XT1064 in the US which is a single sim model. The model sold in India, Moto G XT1068 is a dual sim model.  Also XT1064 received lollipop update on Nov 12, 2014. Where as for the XT1068 : “Sir part not received” Not your turn service centre lady I mean “Sir our team is working on it”

I'm no scientist, but I’m sure a company like Motorola will not stock spare parts of models which are not required in the country. Also I’m sure Motorola doesn’t treat AMERICA as warehouse.

Disclaimer: All quoted statements are actual replies from the mention source. I didn't make it up. That *Showering some wisdom, for I’d dream of being a comedian* sort of issue.

It's understandable that to err is human(unless you are a dabbawaala in Mumbai). But the number of lies, shamelessness, and the level to which Motorola's brand value is degraded by Motorola India(Redington to be precise) needs spotlight. They didn't ever call me back accepting that they could not complete the repair or offer me a replacement phone.

Snack Fact: I still didn't get my phone. December 18, 2014 “Sir part not received”
Update(December 19, 2014): I called up Motorola helpline number, to confirm the status of my phone.
They again said that the required part is received by the service centre.
So I contact the service centre again, “Sir part not received”. But this time I ask them to give me a job sheet number associated to the phone. (Job sheet number: GECMG1400378). *Shower some wisdom, For I am not here to play * sort of feeling started to accumulate. I call up the helpline number and there I come to know that the service centre people didn’t register my device to Motorola. According to that job sheet number, I had submitted my device on December 18, 2014.
Later in the evening I got a call from Motorola saying that they wont be able to contact me till Monday and I had to wait even more.

Update(December 22,2014): I don't receive any call from Motorola helpline number. I myself had to call them in the evening. I got the information that I have to call them the next day. They will explicitly connect me to the so-called RSS(some Resolution) team.

Update(December 23,2014): I call the Motorola helpline number (again). They representative said that the RSS team is unavailable. He said he'll make arrange a call within an hour(Yes. I get to wait, again.)
After an hour: I call the Motorola helpline number(and again). The representative couldn't connect to the RSS team or the service centre. The Irony, He asks me to "Wait" for the part to come. I agree to wait for two hours for them to connect to the service centre.
My argument to this "wait"/"Motorola India" is simple, If you cannot get parts, Why can't you replace the phone? Why do I have to "wait" for them to just move parts around? And of course I realise that, I didn't buy the phone to keep it in the service centre.
After another 2 hours: I get a assurance that I will get my phone on 26 December.

Update(December 25,2014): Recieved a confirmation call from Motorola helpline. Representative said, "You'll get a call soon".

Update (December 26,2014): I was busy with my semester exams so i didn't approach Motorola

Update (December 27,2014): I was given a confirmation that my device is ready. I Finally recieved my Moto G2.
This isn't the first time I had after sales issue in Mangalore. I had similar issues with my HTC One S(same service centre) and Asus Nexus 7 2012(This one was a different saga). Let me know in the comments section if you ever faced similar issues or if you want to know more or if you have *Tell us more Sahil, Bring us more of your wisdom from the future* sort of feeling, feel free to comment.

FSMK Summer Camp 2014 #FSMKSC2014

The Official banner!

19th July – 27th July 2014 is marked as the most memory consuming period of my life. Be it the fun or the fun involved in the learning process. Never knew informal learning could be so superior to the boring formal format of mugging up – and “ctrl + v” on the pages of VTU answer sheet.

St. Aloysius Pre University College ’12

Day 0, 18th July

Unlike other participants I had to travel ~1300km to reach the venue (Surat-Mumbai-Bangalore). I like road transport over any other means. I reached the FSMKSC2014 venue at around 7 pm . Dayanand Sagar College of Engineering (DSCE) is no doubt one of the most auto-workout friendly and clean campus. The stay was the college’s own Sardar Patel Hostel. I was welcomed by one of the students of the host college Abhishek Jain. While being directed to the temporary room I was allocated, I found four of my 11th and 12th grade classmates. My first day at any hostel was ‘not so bad – not so awesome’.

Day 1, 19th July – (Introduction Ubuntu Sciences and Shell Scripting)

After the usual inaugural ceremony. The schedule for the camp was shared. Everyone was sorted into group of 20’s and our in charge was Abhilash Gupta.

The First day was about something which I was familiar with, Shell Programming, Ubuntu. Basic commands by SysAdmin Rameez. It was fairly ok to deal with.

Day 2, 20th July – (Mozilla webmaker party)

Mozilla team showcased their online web development tools. personally I liked thimble and x-ray goggles. After lunch Mr. Modak gave us a quick intro on HTML and CSS.

Also from a tech enthusiast point of view I had the privilege to have hands on experience on a Mozilla phone by ZTE.

Day 3-4, 21st July – (Extended CSS and Javascript)

This most resourceful session was taken by Jnaapti’s founder Mr. Gautham Pai. He was probably the most efficient guide than anyone else in the entire camp. He also gave everyone good set of tips that is required to enter the IT space.

Day 5, 23rd July – (NodeJS and the Scrollback team)

The camp’s communication platform was arguably the most sophisticated one could ever think of. Instead of relying on Telegram or other open source mobile platform, FSMK instead decided to opt for Web-based aesthetically pleasing IRC replacement, Scrollback.io . Since Scrollback itself is open source and uses NodeJS for its backend services, Scrollback’s co-founder Arvind took up this session.

(P.S. : Scrollback also has one of the most awesome looking Tee’s reserved for themselves)

Day 6, 24th July – (MongoDB)

At the end of the learning process, One of the most active FSMK volunteer Karthic Rao gave us surface level introduction of MongoDB. Honestly speaking, with no knowledge of DBMS or MySQL, I didn’t find MongoDB interesting.

Day 7, 25th July – (Cryptoparty)

Leaving Mozilla security oriented ad-ons aside, Aaron Swartz was the star of the show. The Internet’s Own Boy (Kickstarter Project) documentary on Aaron is a must watch, for anyone who is involved into Free Software or someone who is into publishing or some one who is annoyed with Section 66A (IT Act) of the Indian Constitution.

Day 8-9, 26th -27thJuly (Cultural Day, Adieus #FSMKSC2014)

Needs no description, The day when we were “Supposed” to finish our project on building a functional website for the FSMK Sunday School.

And everything else:

Of course FSMKSC2014 was not just about learning new technologies. The experience itself explained us that there are more possibilities than the useless VTU syllabus and there is an IT world beyond the scorecard you get at the end of every semester.

Personally my “wish it could happen again” experiences would be:

First attempt of being outside the luxury of my home. This was the first time I tried to stay on my own with my friends. (Still have to figure out why my bag was 6 inches thicker when I was heading back to Mangalore.)

Meeting new people. And so many of them, Luckily I could remember 99.9% of the names!

The After 11 pm atmosphere at the hostel corridors, Specially the #Pirate_Party or Operation: Counter Counter-Strike #Who_Knocks.

The most hilarious of all, VCET student’s performance on the cultural day.

That’s all folks! Eagerly waiting for the next Summer Camp.

Comments are most welcomed.

Picture Book : FSMK Summer Camp 2014 (Google+ link)

Full Gallery : FSMK (Google Drive link, Available for download)

GLUG-PACE @ FSMK
GLUG-PACE @ FSMKSC2014

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