Ghumakkar – Conversation with Patrick Jasper

Vibha in a conversation with Patrick Jasper.

Section 1 – About Patrick

[Vibha] We know you by two names “The Other Patrick” and “Patrick Jasper.” Tell us more about the person behind these names.
[Patrick Jasper] Ha Ha. Yes, thats right. When I started writing and more specifically commenting on stories at Ghumakkar, I would sign them off by saying ‘The Other Patrick’, because Patrick Jones was already there and it would have been confusing to have two Patricks. :-).

Talking about the real Patrick, I am a Tamilian who belongs to Kanyakumari and have stayed most of my life there. I am a banker by profession and that is my trigger for being at various places. I am currently at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and before that I worked at Mumbai, Maharashtra. My banking profession gives me opportunities to be at various places and I could not have asked for more.
I am married and my 6 year old son, Jonathan, keeps me on my toes for travel and everything else. That is what ‘the other Patrick’ is all about.

[Vibha] You have been traveling for quite some time now. When did it become more than a hobby for you?
[Patrick Jasper] I think I got introduced to travel during my college days. Every couple of months, we would take off and go for a mini trek. I believe the change-over from casual traveling to serious traveling happened after I purchased my car, a fiat Palio. That gave me enough mobility to explore and to be more independent and I utilized every bit of that new found independence.

[Vibha] Recently you completed a trek to Sar-pass. How did you motivate yourself to come out of an urban lifestyle and move into this kind of strenuous stuff?
[Patrick Jasper] I would give the credit to my college days for this. As I was telling you that we used to do these short duration treks, mostly 2 to 3 days, or hikes. I was an active member of ‘College Trekking Club’ and we would do these in the areas of Kodaikanal, Mysore etc.
After college, I got into a job and then later got married and my parenthood kept me away from these sojourns, but that desire was quietly sitting there.
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Ghumakkar – Understanding the ‘Categories’ structure

When you write a new story at Ghumakkar, it greatly helps to associate all the right and relevant categories. The question is that how does one figure out the right-and-relevant ones. More so, when you are a new author and still finding your way around on how to upload pics, how to add more tag and so on.

Here’s an attempt to explain the category structure which we use at Ghumakkar and we are hoping that this might make your job a little easier.

Categories at Ghumakkar follow a hierarchy, so there are top-level categories, then there are sub-categories and then there are sub-sub-categories. For example, there is a category called “StatesOfIndia”, which has a subcategory called “Rajasthan” and then at a lower level we have “Ajmer” or “Jaipur” or something else.

StatesOfIndia -> Rajasthan -> Ajmer

So, as a first step, lets see what are the top level categories. These are

– International
– StatesOfIndia
– Theme
– Hotel

At a 2nd level the sub-categories are
– International -> Asia
– International -> Europe
– International -> North Americas
– International -> South America
– International -> Africa
– International -> Australia

If you go down one level down, you would find
– International -> Europe -> Italy
– International -> Europe -> United Kingdom
– International -> Europe -> Holland
– International -> Europe -> Germany

and so on.

Same is the structure within ‘StatesOfIndia’. You would have observed that for India, we are at a much granular level. For example
StatesOfIndia -> Karnataka -> Bengaluru

Whereas for International, we are only at country level. Thats because we get a lot of domestic stories. It might change in future but as of now, for International , granularity till ‘Country’ level is sufficing.
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Ghumakkar – 5 steps towards writing your FIRST story

Sometime back, I wrote a post on ‘Write a Story at Ghumakkar’ and it was found helpful. As we dug more about the need and the feedback, we realized that the post is a little advanced for a newbie. By the time, folks write a couple of stories they tend to then follow the stuff in the post and that was definitely not our intention. We wanted to write a post for newbies.

So here’s a fresh re-attempt (that sounds like an oxymoron) and there is an emphasis on ‘First Story’ part. Read on and let me know whether this makes sense and I would update it based on what I hear back.

5 Steps towards writing your FIRST story at Ghumakkar

1. Visit Ghumakkar and click on ‘Register’, just under the top photo.

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Ghumakkar – Map your destinations

When writing a new story, now you can put a ‘marker on a map’ for the destination you visited. This has been requested for a while and though we tried various options viz. adding google map code, having a ‘Map View’ page etc, none of them were really easy solutions. It seems that our search for an elegant solution for ‘mapping my destination’ has yielded something which would work for our needs.

Here’s step by step guide.

1. Go to Dashboard -> Posts -> Add New for a new story. OR to Dashboard -> Posts -> Edit for an existing story.
2. Scroll down to bottom of the screen and you would see following.
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How to put ‘More’ Tag in a Word Press Powered Blog Post

Unlike Blogspot, WordPress gives you a nifty way to show a excerpt of you story on the home page. This is very useful when you would want to show multiple stories on the home page, trying to accommodate as many above the fold.

Here’s a quick primer on how to do this.

There are two modes in the edtior viz. Visual and ‘HTML Code’.

If you are in visual code, then click this button, look at illustration, to insert a ‘break point’. This would ensure that wherever multiple stories are displayed, only the part which is before break-point would be shown.

Same thing can be achieved by clicking [more] button if you are in ‘HTML Code’.

Hope this is useful for fellow bloggers.