Friday, October 26, 2012

Robotic Suitcase Ideal For Travelers - "HOP"

For all those individuals who love to travel and move from one place to another frequently, there is a good news. A new suitcase has been launched with the name of “HOP”. This particular suitcase is ideally designed for old age travelers and women who cannot lift heavy bags and luggage. The suitcase “Hop” can be easily connected to your Smartphone and with the help of a Bluetooth. This robotic suitcase moves with you automatically. After all, there can be numerous works which can be done when your hands are free, for instance calling your driver at the airport or talking to your client while drinking a Starbuck’s Coffee. Now you don’t have to worry as your suitcase “Hop” will follow you where ever you go. 

Questions have been raised regarding the safety and security of the newly launch “Hop” but that has been taken care of as well. The suitcase follows the signals. If signals are dropped then the phone starts to vibrate and a person can easily turn around and look for the luggage, by the way the suitcase also locks itself when the signals are lost. This way the suitcase is secured. On the contrary, people can use these in shopping malls and grocery stores in order to not to carry heavy bags in their hands. This suitcase is ideal for women who shop a lot, patients suffering from heart problems and weak people who cannot carry heavy bags. For young moms this suitcase is really helpful as they don’t have to now worry about whether to carry their kids in cots or their bags. Their “Hop” will follow them like a pet.

With the passage of time there will be more modifications which will be made to this automatic suitcase so as to ensure its safety and functionality. Go for it, if you are into traveling or want a relaxing experience of shopping.

Monday, October 15, 2012

10 Myths about Content Writing

In Pakistan, content writing is not regarded as a solemn profession, unlike  developed countries. This is the reason why even after 7+ years of experience in content writing I often hear from my parents, siblings, friends and colleagues to change or switch my profession to some “serious” profession. Even my students and colleagues ask me why I am still in the field of content am writing after completing a master’s degree. Most of the people also consider content writing as something related to data entry or “click and earn” promotional activities. After listening to their crap and lack of knowledge about content writing, I decided to clarify some myths which have been associated with this field.

1st Myth – Content Writing is all about Copying and Pasting

Most of my young friends think that they can enter the field of content writing with an attitude of copying information from different websites and pasting that on their blogs, websites or other platforms. They are totally lost! In the field of content writing, “plagiarism” is the biggest offence. It’s like slapping the C.E.O. of the company in front of the entire workforce. There are different websites, which detect the plagiarized content and Google (almighty) penalizes the blog or website. Content writing is all about original, well researched and quality writeups.

2nd Myth – Content Writing does not pay well

Since I already mentioned that in Pakistan content writing is under its developing stages this is why people think that content writers don’t get paid well. This is not the reality, in most of the cases. There are definitely some companies which pay really less, but there are also reputed companies which pay excessively well. It also depends upon the scope and portfolio of the company as well to decide how much to pay for an article of 500 words. The rate for the mentioned word count varies from 30/- PKR to 500/- PKR per piece. Plus, it also depends upon the caliber of the writer; definitely every second content writer is as smart, experienced and blessed as other. Expecting that first job as a content writer will shower loads of cash is childish. There are content writers who earn 60,000/- to 100,000/- PKR and more by smartly utilizing their skills and time.

3rd Myth – Content Writing is not a meaningful career

I am sure people would have heard the same about customers’ care and call representatives back in late 90’s in Pakistan but now look around we (Pakistanis) have some finest call center companies as well as customer care offices. Now for positions in such organizations candidates are required with 5+ years of experience and they are paid exceptionally well. Don’t they? Similarly, today content writing is in the same phase because the services used to be outsourced previously. Every career is serious provided a person takes it seriously. That’s what our elders and teachers tell us.

4th Myth – Content Writing does not have scope

Those who don’t even know the definition of content writing pass such comments. How ironic? There are individuals, for instance like me and some well known bloggers and content writers, who have found a lot of scope in this field. It depends on a person to find the scope in any field. Every student can’t be the topper or scholarship holder.

5th Myth – All Content Writing Companies are Scams

How very naive of people to think that! There used to be a number of handful companies which in the past may have scammed, but today the scenario has changed. Only in Karachi, there are 20 – 30 listed companies that offer content writing services to clients on a regular basis and they have hired workforce for that as well. Companies like Axact, Right Solution, Express Tribune, and Synergy etc.

6th Myth – Content Writing is only for Computer programmers or graduates

This is the most common statement which you will hear when discussing  content writing. Content writing is for those who can be expressive through their words, those who can select right words and pitch to motivate the clients and readers etc. Today in the field of content writing you will find doctors, engineers, MBAs and bankers/forex traders as well.

7th Myth – Content Writing is Easy

Do you honestly think anything which pays exceptionally well can be easy? Well, it  depends upon the interest of the candidate. Like I am an MBA but Finance is not my cup of tea but Management and Advertising is my unconditional love. Content writing needs concentration, research and analytical skills if you think you have these it will be easier for you. Else, it can be a nightmare as well.

8th Myth – Content Writing is for Part Timers

Small companies have misinterpreted this profession as well. For the sake of hiring cheap resource and earning more profits they advertise with such tag lines to gain the attention of the jobless market. This in return has created an environment where people mostly consider content writing jobs as part time jobs. There are many individuals who are working 9 – 5 as content writers in multiple companies as well.

9th Myth - Web Content Writing and Academic Content Writing pay the same

This is the biggest misconception flooded by non experienced and non exposed individuals who consider themselves as content writers. I usually tell applicants in interviews “If Web Content writing is X in terms of research, payments, authenticity and hardships than Academic Content writing is 4 X”. They are totally different. Considering them alike  is like considering poems and stories same.

10th Myth – Everyone can be a content Writer – After All everyone is educated

No – Everyone cannot be a content writer. Content writing is about expressing one’s thoughts in such a way that they are understood by every other reader. Moreover, having education does not mean that a person has the writing skills as well. It takes experience and constant brushing up of skills to transform into a content writer. After all, every MBA cannot start or run a business on his own after acquiring the degree. It takes experience and a set of relevant skills. Exceptions are always there.

There are other myths as well but in this post I tried to mention the ones which are most common to be heard in our society or  other third world countries. I hope the situation and perceptions will change by taking initiatives to educate individuals about this emerging field.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Overview of Content Writing – In Pakistan

 I am sure; at least, some of us are familiar with the term “Content Writing” and “Content Writers”. It does not mean that everyone in our society is completely aware of the role and duties performed by content writers. In fact, speaking from my personal experience, most of the content writers, these days, don’t know what content writing is all about. For them content writing is another name of paraphrasing and getting information from Wikipedia or Google Search. So that it cannot be detected by plagiarism checking software programs. Content writing is a broad term but it is used wrongly at many places. People have different misconceptions regarding content writing, especially young budding talent of Pakistan. I have been in the field of content writing since 2007 and on the basis of my experience and interaction with experienced and struggling content writers I have been amazed many a times by their responses, answers and intellect. So, I decided to brief my readers about content writing as much as possible, I am no Guru but I think what I have learnt and understood should be shared with others in order to add some value to my learning.

What Is Content Writing?

To make it easier and simpler I will use uncomplicated ways to define and discuss content writing and issues related to content writers. Content Writing is all about writing content, content can be any information, knowledge and properly weaved set of words which provide details related to any subject, field or topic etc. Content Writing is a broader term. Under the head of content Writing falls different types and kinds of content write-ups like web content writing, academic content writing, research based content writing, ghost writing, e-books write-ups, press release and technical content writing etc.

Confusions Related to Content Writing

Most of the times, those individuals who want to start their career as content writers get confused and cannot differentiate between the different types of content write-ups. All the types are different from one another, so it cannot be taken for granted that a web content writer can write a great academic report in first attempt. The basics of all the write-ups are different. Similarly, every blogger cannot qualify for a technical content writer’s job. Technical content writing is about substantial knowledge related to the technical aspect of the products or services offered by any company with detailed analysis whereas blogging is another name of ranting.

Why content Writing Industry is Not Grooming in Pakistan?

In the last few years, while interviewing most of the candidates for the position of content writers, a few of the things which I have personally noticed are:
  • Individuals do not have basic understanding of the difference between Academic and web content writing.
  • Candidates do not want to take the career of content writing seriously.
  • 70 to 75% of the incumbents who apply for the position of content writing consider it as a part time job.
  • Lack of ownership and professional attitude.
  • Our society (major chunk) is not familiar with the profession of content writing, plus it is not considered as a white collar job too.
  • Companies which consider themselves as “Content Writing Pioneers” are not hiring educated, mature and experienced content writers.
  • Lack of professionalism in the industry, (something which I have tried and tested - personally).
  • Approaches of the content writers are mostly inclined towards “easy way out”.
  • Working conditions, ethics and atmosphere are too open and full of distractions – they name it as "western culture" but in reality it’s a non professional environment.

These are the major points which I have observed by discussions with different people, related to content writing industry, candidates and people who have no or little idea about content writing. For them, even today, a person must select professions like Medicine, Management, Business, Engineering, Teaching or Graphic designing.

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