When I was a child, there used to be a physics lecturer living in a nearby flat. She used to gather the local children every Saturday evening to teach them Indian cultural values. I distinctly remember once she asked us a question, “What are the two things that you can freely give to others without any loss to yourself.” The answer was fire from your lamp and knowledge. One of the greatest boons of internet is the ease with which people from different ends of the world can share knowledge. Whereas corporates seek to erect walls, hoard the knowledge and extract their pound of flesh, one must hail the yeoman service of bloggers who spend their valuable time sharing their knowledge with the whole world. Subhorup Dasgupta’s ‘Subho’s Jejune diet’ is one such selfless blog that doles out knowledge to one and all.
Subho’s Jejune diet is a wealth of knowledge on a wide variety of topics – practical down to earth topics such as saving petrol and diet, personality development topics such as doing well at jobs and time management, more specialized topics such as blogging and photography and really deep existential topics such as philosophy of life and the right way of living. One of the things I liked most about this blog is the way every topic is explained in a simple loving step by step manner as if to a child. Most people who have too much knowledge to share fall into the trap of wanting to show off and sound impressive. Subho clearly avoids this trap. His catch line nicely summarizes his key message ‘Simple Thinking. Responsible Living. Joyous Being.”
The blog title is highly intriguing. I had to use Google to look up the meaning of jejune. I think it is a good idea to have a title that excites one’s curiosity. However I found the meaning of jejune diet as ‘deficient or lacking in nutritive value’. One wonders why anyone would name his blog that way. I know immediate question would be fired back at me ‘why I call myself The Fool’. But see ‘The Fool’ has a positive connotation as well in Tarot and the Fools in Victorian courts were actually quite intelligent. But I could not find such positive connotations about jejune. In my opinion, too much humility is also not good.
In terms of looks, though I found the background color pleasing to eye, I do not like the background design much. I feel it looks messy and does not go with the blogger’s message of simplicity. Also I feel bloggers should customize looks and not retain blogger templates as it is so that readers recognize one’s blog uniquely by looks. The other thing I feel is the main reading area has been kept too narrow and there is too much empty space on either side. If the reading area is made wider I feel the reader will have lesser scrolling to do. In terms of widgets, I can see widgets have been kept to the minimal and only ones that are really necessary. However I do not like the advertisement banner coming right at the top. I don’t know how much revenue AdSense brings. But even popular bloggers in their interviews say not much. So I wonder if is worth putting them up and spoiling the look of the blog for the pittance they bring in, especially for a blogger who advocates simple living and is against greedy consumerist culture promoted by corporates.
The navigation is one area that could do with loads of improvement. There is so much wealth of knowledge on various topics on this blog and there is no mechanism to help the reader find what he is looking for. The emphasis of the blog seems to be to get the reader to read only the latest posts. But aren’t tips on say time management timeless? Asking readers to go through archives is like arranging books in library by date of publication. The ‘you will also like’ is a good widget but I have found its selection are usually quite random and it hardly ever brings up anything relevant. Similarly popular posts might not always be one’s best posts. So keeping some of these things in mind, I would recommend a thorough relook of the blog’s navigation management.
Lastly about interaction, I do not have much to say. The blogger is an expert on managing interaction and has himself written more than one article on this topic. So I need to learn from him on this aspect rather than give him any tips on doing it better.
Overall this blog is one of the best places for anyone looking for any kind of advice. I have heard it being said that common sense is one of the most uncommon things in the world. But that definitely can’t be said of this blog. It is loaded with common sense and worldly wisdom. I would recommend everyone to visit the blog and partake of the wisdom. Find below 5 selected pearls of wisdom from the blog.