I occasionally write something which doesn’t fall in the listed category. Infact that was one reason I kept a category called “uncategorized” since there is so many interesting & cool stuff to talk about. One such post is this. Last week, I spent some quality time with a very new upcoming social media agency called WINDCHIMES started by good friend Nimesh Shah. Now covering this space for quite sometime, I haven’t come across many agencies devoted to ONLY Social Media in India. There are few sprung out arm of big media agencies covering this space but that’s another story I can talk about some other day.

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Now few things that stood out in the conversation where we (another good friend Daksh who flew in from Delhi) covered thought leadership; Social Media – then, now and future and how it is like to start a Social Media agency in India when this space is still taking its baby steps IMHO. Personally, I liked Nimesh’s enthusiasm for this space and this passion to take things forward when there are more roadblocks than red carpet cushioning. Amidst all this, he is doing some great work in social media space and I honestly believe that he will do great in the future. To know more, it’s a must to pay a visit to his company’s site and check out what’s he upto! 🙂

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[From Left: Me, Daksh, Nimesh & friend Vishal]

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Apart from this, it’s quite evident that for a startup, “Cash is King“. Although I won’t disagree to this but definitely there’s something more than just cash that can make a startup into the next big thing. In subsequent posts, I’ll keep on feeding those nuggests. But as of now I’ve yet another interesting thing to share. It’s about “How you can start, run and grow your business for FREE.” So by now, I hope I’ve your attention 😛

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Recently I read this amazing article in “The Entrepreneur Magazine“:

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It starts with a great note:

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Web design Software: free
Online Marketing Campaign: free
Long-Distance Calling: free
Running your small business for next to nothing:
priceless.

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I hope the below tools will greatly help a startup to manage the information inflow & outflow to a great extent. (Source: Entrepreneur Magazine)

Communication/E-mail

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Dimdim: open-source web conferencing application; free basic service
Jott: voice-to-text service for creating notes, lists, e-mails and text messages; free basic service
Oovoo: video messaging, chatting and conferencing
Paltalk: group IM, chat and video call application
Plugoo: direct chatting with any blog or site visitor
YouSendIt: send files up to 2GB; free basic service

Storage

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Adrive: 50GB of online storage and backup for all file types; free basic service
JZip: data compression utility
Mozy: 2GB of online, data and remote backup solutions; free basic service

Financial

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BizEquity: company valuations
Mint: personal finance, money management, budget planning and financial planning software
MyBizHomepage: financial dashboard for small business QuickBooks users
QuickBooks: small-business accounting software; free download (Simple Start 2008)
Wesabe: financial advice, analysis and planning

Content/Media/Video

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Audacity: open-source software for cross-platform audio recording
Blip.tv: video blogging, podcasting and video sharing service; free basic service
BlogTalkRadio: radio network for users to host their own shows
DropShots: video hosting and photo sharing
FeedBurner: media distribution services for blogs and RSS feeds
Fix My Movie: video enhancement service; free basic service
Paint.NET: image and photo editing software
Phixr: picture and photo editor
Seesmic: video conversation platform
SlideShare: share and embed slideshows, PowerPoints and PDFs into web pages
VideoSpin: video-editing software

Marketing/Networking/PR

Blogger: blog publishing tool
Craigslist: online classifieds and job postings network
CollectiveX: create social networking and collaboration sites for groups
Entrepreneur Connect: Entrepreneur’s social networking site
LinkedIn: business social networking site
Pligg: open-source, community-centric site for discovering, rating and sharing content
PolicyMap: geographic and demographic information system for creating custom maps, tables and charts; free basic service
YouNoodle: networking for startups and valuation with Startup Predictor
Your Pitch Sucks?: PR pitch reviewing and advising

Office Productivity/Organizational

Adobe Buzzword: collaborative word processor application
CutePDF Writer: PDF creator; free basic service
Dabble DB: create, manage and share online databases; free basic service
Doodle: schedule and coordinate meetings and other appointments
FreshBooks: invoicing, time-tracking and expense service; free basic service
Google Calendar: shareable calendar and schedule organizer
Google Docs: collaborative word processor and spreadsheet applications
OpenOffice.org: open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets and more
Stikkit: organization and reminder system that integrates with productivity applications
SurveyMonkey: create and publish custom online surveys; free basic service
ThinkFree Office: office productivity suite; free basic service
WuFoo: HTML form builder for creating interactive forms; free basic service
Zoho: office, productivity and collaboration applications

Project Management/Collaboration

LogMeIn: remotely support and access digital information; free basic service
ProjectStat.us: project management solution and updates
Project2Manage: collaborative project management solution
Remember the Milk: task management solution and to-do lists
Socialtext: wiki and website collaboration; free basic service
Team Task: collaborative project management and community website builder
Yugma: web meeting and collaboration service

Security

Adeona: open-source laptop tracking and recovery software
BitDefender Online Scanner: virus scanners; free basic service
ZoneAlarm: firewall protection from hackers and threats; free basic service

Web

Google Alerts: e-mail updates based on choice of query or topic
KickApps: platform of applications to integrate social features into a website
Microsoft Office Live Small Business: create a company website, domain and e-mail; free basic service
Synthasite: web hosting and building
Weebly: website and blog creator
Widgetbox: web widgets for various applications
Woopra: web tracking and analysis application; free basic service

Finally I would like to thank Nimesh who took out some time from his schedule and all of us had a great time conversing about so many stuffs happening around. In between, I cannot forget Daksh who came all the way from Delhi and Vishal, his friend with whom I had a great time.

Thanks guys!

Picture Courtesy: Daksh 🙂

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