Tag Archives: New York Times

Would You Like to Pay for Your Surf?

By Ankit Chandra

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A normal professional’s work day today begins in the morning clamoring to get to work. Once there, there is this cooling off period, although varying, but there for sure to begin to look at news, sports, email etc. A lot of websites are ‘favorites’ and browsers like chrome do put them up for your easy retrieval on a new tab.

A basic assumption there is that most of this material is free. Yes there are those ads, but either we don’t care about them, or we just install a browser plugin to remove all the ads from a page. And of course Google makes its billions from all the ad revenue you can think of.

And then recently New York Times announced that it will begin charging for its online content. Wall Street already has a subscription model around its online content, and we’ve been hearing all the stuff about  SaaS business models where everyone charges for everything they sell.

So is this the beginning of the end of free stuff? Is the advertising model kinda running out of steam?

I think this is the next wave of evolution on the internet. This appears to be the common ground that the e-world would have to come to with the traditional world. A world where you get what you pay for. A world where money has to be earned.

I don’t have anything against the advertising model. I think it is great for a certain types of the websites, where the content is pretty much commoditized, and a subset of the internet population comes there.  But if a service is differentiated and there is a demand for it, the company now seems to be in a position to charge premium for it.

A major reason for this is the huge growth in internet users from across the globe, and their increasingly varying needs from the internet. Going forward, Internet will begin to resemble our own real world. where some things are free, and some you gotta pay for.

So I think its time for us to get ready to make that choice. Do you want to pay for your surf or get what you don’t want to pay for? I’d say, brace yourself. The internet is evolving into a new more self aware beast, and there is no more free lunch…

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The How of Happiness

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Sharon Andrew, Happiness Evangelist at Happiest Minds Technologies, Bangalore, writes on What makes us happy? How can we become happier? Is happiness sustainable?

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology addresses these fundamental questions in her book “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want”, a book of strategies backed by scientific research that can be used to increase happiness.

Our individual level of happiness springs from three primary sources:

  1. Our Genetic Set Point:  50% of our happiness derives from a genetically determined “set point”. Those of us with low happiness set points have to work harder to achieve and maintain happiness, while those of us with high set points will find it easier to be happy under similar conditions.
  2. Our Life Circumstances determine only 10% of our happiness. In our quest to become happier, many of us focus on changing the circumstances of our lives in the misguided hope that those changes will deliver happiness. Research shows that trying to be happy by changing our life situations ultimately will not work because we human beings readily, rapidly and remarkably adapt to positive circumstantial changes
  3. Intentional Activities – The remaining 40% of our happiness is determined by our behaviour – intentional activities that we can call “happiness strategies.”

We cannot alter our genetic set points; changes in life circumstances don’t have a lasting impact on our happiness, but we can increase and sustain our happiness through these happiness-increasing strategies.

Expressing Gratitude – Counting your blessings for what you have or conveying gratitude and appreciation to others

Cultivating Optimism – Practicing to look at the bright side of every situation.

Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison – Using strategies (such as distraction) to cut down on how often you dwell on your problems and compare yourself with others.

Practicing Acts of Kindness – Doing good things for others, whether friends or strangers, directly or anonymously, spontaneously or planned.

Nurturing Social Relationships – Picking a relationship in need of strengthening and investing time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming and enjoying it.

Developing Strategies for Coping – Practicing ways to endure or surmount a recent stress, hardship or trauma.

Learning to Forgive – Keeping a journal or writing a letter in which you work on letting go of anger and resentment toward the one/s who have hurt or wronged you.

Increasing Flow Experiences – Increasing the number of experiences at home and work which are challenging and absorbing.

Savoring Life’s Joys – Paying close attention, taking delight, and replaying life’s momentary pleasures and wonders, through thinking, writing, drawing, or sharing with another.

* Committing to Your Goals – Picking one, two, or three significant goals that are meaningful to you and devoting time and effort to pursuing them.

Practicing Spirituality

Taking Care of Your Body – Meditation, Physical Activity, Smiling and Laughing

It is important to choose happiness strategies that address the source of our unhappiness, that take advantage of our strengths, talents and goals, that can be adapted easily to our needs and lifestyle.

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