Gaurang's Blogs

Must read for every first time flyer - #AvGeek

For a keen traveler, every flight is an adventure. It just lifts you up ( quite literally ) and shows you the bird eye view of the world. To make the travel experience a memorable one, there are some (un)written rules which must be followed.

Some of them are:

1. You cannot carry your power bank in your check-in bags.

Airlines around the globe disallow inclusion of powerbanks in the check-in bags. Airports have the signages with these intructions clearly mentioned.

Possible Reason - God forbid if there happens any internal short-circuit in the power bank, they have got enough charge in them to blast and fire up.

Moreover powerbanks comes in various shapes, sizes and brands. Most of them don't have high pressure tolerance or they have improper circuitary and there can be dozens of various reasons to not consider them as safe.

Watch this:

After 2-3 hammer strikes, the power bank exploded.

Therefore, one must not carry them in their check-in bags. Hand baggages are okay for carrying power banks as although risky there are measures to control the fire in case of any eventuality.

2. Some of the items which are phohibited to carry in the check-in baggage are:

Besides that, there are restrictions for the items to be carried inside the airplane.

How to engage with influencers who have been vocal about your brand?

Offer your loyal customers something - perhaps a goodie, a surprise.

The more your loyal followers will speak about you, better your word to mouth publicity will get and their followers will become your prospect.

Consider a lifetime value of a customer as well as the size of their network - as the benchmark / critical metric for your marketing / targeting efforts.

A customer ( for e.g.: flyer ) at 27 is definitely going to use more services ( for e.g.: travel ) every year - possibly more than the previous year. Therefore it is prudent to identify personas of your customers and offer different packages / surprises to them so that they just won’t stop speaking about you.

The impressions they will fetch for you in yours / their posts will mostly exceed the amount of impressions the brand gets by itself.

Since social media is all about community, it is the people / followers who makes the brand stronger or weak.

Community Managers - Who are they?

I have been a community manager for about 9 years now and I have led community of few hundreds to few thousands for my projects as well as the organisations I have worked with. Community management being a critical piece for organisations, I wanted to write about what I understand about the role of Community Managers in organisations of different scale.

Professionals who are the voice of your brand, who understands the organisation’s culture well, has empathetic persona and who can communicate the brand of your organisation in more personal way because of (possibly) following simple reasons:

  • Being empathetic towards all the stakeholders whether it is the employees, the customers or any prospective hire in the future - they handle your brand reputation in the best humanly manner through consistent communication.
  • Marketers primarily focuses on establishing organisation as the market leader, market the products and services of the organisation which is massive work in itself.
  • Human Resources are perpetually managing major tasks like requirements, negotiations, onboarding processes and what not.
  • Sales professional focus primarily on building sales pipelines, does the market research, understands the product and market better, does the prospecting, demos and thousand other things.
  • There was a need of someone who has the trait of HR + Marketers or HR + Sales Pros or the trio - HR + Marketer + Sales Pro.

Why every organisation needs a community manager?

While there are departments like Human Resources, Marketing, Sales - the organisations definitely needs someone who can act as a bridge between all these three departments and has the complete understanding of what’s happening in these departments who are like power houses of the organisation.

Furthermore, the community managers interact with the employees, customers, prospective hires in different setups - like during the events in the sponsors booth, while attending conferences, during the town halls / retrospective meetings of the offices.

To build an organisation which lasts for decades and more, a community needs to be built up possibly around organisation’s areas of interest, for example if the business is an Airlines organisation - then community around Flight Attendants, Pilots, Aviation enthusiasts can be built and nurtured which will help in discussing the industry best practices, building sales / hiring pipeline ( which is of significant advantage ).

Moreover, when a community is built up, the pointers discussed are actually the personal experiences of the professionals which can help in improving the processes, the attendees with little or no experience will have great learning experiences and all attendees will enjoy the networking which opens the gate for mentoring and fostering relationships.

Communities are meant to be inclusive and businesses should embrace them. Seeing each and every fellow organisation as the competitor actually limits the ability of organisation in terms of network, getting access to industry wide best practices, pool of prospective hires.
Organisations will stop poaching ( which is the case in most of the industries ) because of one simple reason - respect within the community.

Employee’s loyalty these days is hard to judge/ forecast. While there will be outliers in a positive way ( they will become veteran of the organisation ) or negative (leaving job in months the moment better offer is received), no one leaves a well engaged, highly rewarding ( in terms of learning, roles and responsibilities and monetary way ), employee centric organisation with unbiased leadership.

To retain employees for long term - the organisations must nurture the employees by identifying their personas, understanding their motivations and their career aspirations and then planning the succession of theirs.

Community Manager takes care of the engagement part very well as they tirelessly communicate with the internal community which is the employees and while understanding the concerns of the employees regularly, they actively work towards enriching their experience at the workplace - by encouraging them to volunteer and participate in different organisation’s activities, acknowledging their achievements on organisation level platform ( through emails / social media ), encouraging them to attend events, take up certification courses ( every industry has got internationally renowned specialised certifications available which upskills them ).

Fostering and supporting the Communities is a challenging task which will require dedicated volunteer hours, some capital ( for hosting the events ), lots of passion and grit.

More to come soon.

How to become more productive in life - to be able to do more?

Productivity defines success as it measures your efficiency in doing things.

The more efficient you are, the faster you will get results in lesser time. I have been experimenting with my life for years now, to become more productive, more efficient in my daily life.

I am compiling my tips for becoming productive here, which are as follows:

1. Follow Pomodoro Technique ( 25 hard work -> 5 mins break -> 25 hard work -> 5 mins break -> 25 hard work -> 15 mins Long break -> 25 hard work -> 5 mins break )

It is one of the most famous techniqus for working in short burts. The short breaks reduces the stress you build up while working, it relaxes your muscles and makes you happier and healthwise better. 

Tomighty is a free app for Mac and Windows OS and you can learn how it works by watching this

2) Delete all duplicate documents from your computer - using DupeGuru

I had thousands of PDFs and photographs which took away hundreds of productive hours as I was trying to manage the mess which one cannot complete in one's lifetime. It is always better to start fresh and destroy all duplicated clutter. Once that's done, just slowly steadily categorise the mess.

Stop hoarding the data, it will steal your life away from you. Download from here.

3) Learn to tie Ian Knot ( for Men )

For decades we men were tying shoe laces in a wrong manner ( granny knot ) which opens quickly and it is most common yet most basic type of knot. Ian knot is fastest for tying the knots and it never opens randomly. After trying for 30-40 minutes and watching 5-6 video tutorials I managed to learn it and I am so happy about it. Dr. Shoelaces teaches how to tie an Ian Knot.

4) Get the Premium Account of Evernote right now! ( Free 1 month Premium Subscription here )

Let's accept that Flat files are time consuming and time wasting at the same time. If you have hundreds of documents then it becomes really hard to manage them, search through them and as a result hundreds of productive hours just disappears from the life.

Won't it be just better to have a single app for taking all the notes ( which you can share on social media platforms, export into PDF, check all the revision history, can be tagged, can be clubbed in a notebook ), webpages can be clipped?

Evernote does it - that too across all your mobiles - whether it is windows/ macOS / linux or anything at all, evernote takes care of everything. 

Read more at: http://www.gaurangagrawal.com/blog/why-i-love-evernote-so-much-for-all-m...

QuickLookUIServer process takes huge RAM in High Sierra macOS

So  I upgraded my MacBook Pro's OS from Sierra to High Sierra but it wasn't very nice experience.

The machine was acting sluggish and there were huge memory consumption by different apps. QuickLookUIServer happened to be one of them.

So took 10 GB / 10 GB RAM I had and rest of the processes were running on SWAP space / Cache. 

Moreover the sad thing about the High Sierra is that you cannot skim through the videos while previewing in finder. Being a video editing enthusiast, it is such a loss for me in terms of time and everytime I had to open the videos in VLC player to be able to skim through the videos. 

So my recommendation is against upgrading to High Sierra.

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