Brandon Woelfel Decoded

When I recently asked “What comes to mind when you think, Brandon Woelfel?” on Instagram, everybody said the same one thing: Lights. But that’s not quite where the story lives.


Think of the stars. Everybody likes stars. It’s visceral to the human mind. A sea of sparkling lights. I often like to travel outside the city simply to look at the stars.

Think about the following scene: A “star” walking down the red carpet. A silhouette carving out glamour and sophistication in the sea of flashing lights. A staple frame of any red carpet sequence in a movie.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Brandon Woelfel?

When I recently asked that question on Instagram, everybody said the same one thing: Lights. Specifically, it’s a “bokeh of fairy lights.” It’s an over-simplified, inaccurate explanation of Brandon’s vibe. But that’s not quite where the story lives.

In our staple frame of the red carpet, a person walks by as all eyes are fixated to someone who literally carries the moniker of a “star”. The fixation, the heightened attention, is in the awareness that the “precious” moment will be over in the blink of an eye. A hysterical burst of camera flashes, “the sea of sparkling lights”, exemplifies the fleeting moment.

Continue reading “Brandon Woelfel Decoded”


Why I tell my story – and why you should too.

To assume that you should click and read through what I have to say is condescending. To assume that someone should invest time and emotions to indulge in what you created is condescending. And that makes every artist inherently condescending.

After existing in the concealment of mystery that people allow you when you declare yourself a writer, or a photographer, or an ‘artist’ of any kind, when you finally click publish, the exposition that follows throws you in a paroxysm of self-consciousess. Hit publish and you’re implicitly demanding people to indulge in what you know will never be perfect, just done. But it’s important you share. Why?

For the same reason why you found any art to be important: CONNECTION. To have a piece of art resonate with you. A piece of art that finds you when you’re alone in your bedroom, when all the promotions, IMDB ratings, trending today columns, and aggressive recommendations – when all the noise shouting “you should indulge in this” dissolves and a work of art emerges out to you and occupies your mind playing on repeat, feeling something real. You connect!

It’s incredibly powerful to know that you’re not the only one facing a problem, asking a question, feeling an emotion, living an experience. All art is, perhaps, a bridge.

I started writing this blog and many others months ago. Tens of blogs occupy my drafts section but I keep coming back to this blog or should I say, “this blog keeps coming back to me.” And so I must complete. Even though I must live in the fear that this blog might not be perfect and objectively not the best use of your time and emotions, I must be done with it.

Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I find solace in that thought. It resonates with how I try to create. Write a lot and then aggressively edit. Click a lot of pictures and then aggressively pick. Choose what has value. Though cannot assure you if I can impart perfect value in return for what you invest in me. But then :

Continue reading “i’m CONDESCENDING”

The Fundamental flaws with IGTV

Instagram introduced IGTV, a platform for sharing long-form vertical videos, competing for your internet video appetite with YouTube. This will be a native video sharing platform for all instagrammers and IGTV’s success depends on leveraging the network effects of Instagram, or as I like to say, “Facebook’s Instagram.”

The dual-nature of Instagram’s network

We exercise a sense of exclusivity to our lives as we form relationships with people. Facebook’s aim was to represent this exclusive relationships online and provide every conceivable way to exchange digital content within these pre-agreed confines. But the exclusivity we wanna exercise to our online content is highly subjective, the nature of which is vaguely defined and is crudely labelled as “friendship”. As a result, this exclusivity watered down into irrelevancy as people accepted every friend request that came their way. This made sharing things on Facebook quite uncomfortable for many.

Private accounts is hugely popular among the Faceboook-first social media generation who migrated to Instagram. Now, people got a second chance to define the exclusivity they prefer for their online content. A sense of caution meant they invariably used the Private Accounts feature on Instagram. But mostly they use this exclusivity to largely restrict access based on pre-existing relationships, not unlike Facebook.

But this was very different from how people used to form relationships on Instagram. When it was originally conceived, the message was “follow if you like the content”, common across all content-first platforms like Youtube or Twitter which IGTV directly intends to compete. Private accounts ask the question “follow if you know the person”, very much like Facebook.

I will be exploring this dual-nature of networking on Instagram as IGTV intends to capitalize on the network effects of Instagram. Continue reading “The Fundamental flaws with IGTV”

Everybody is wrong about the Notch

The Notch gives, and not takes away, useful space. Software can help make that apparent.

Why is the Notch such an infamous design decision from Apple? People wished for the notch to go away more than they wished for the top and bottom bezels to go away on the iPhone 7 or even the new, Galaxy.

The Notch makes it look like you’re taking away some screen from the user, a cut out from our perfect rounded rectangle. Design making a limitation of engineering apparent. BUT, the notch allows for more pixels to be used by the software. So why do people wish it away? Continue reading “Everybody is wrong about the Notch”

The best way to consume Blogs

If you are someone who has not done much reading all their lives, picking up that book, owning your learning and developing a consistent habit to read can be a daunting task. I was one of them, but then Blogs changed me. A 300-page book can feel a bigger commitment, a 2-3 page blog may seem a good baby step.

Some of the really smart bloggers digestify, and simplify knowledge from books and observations into blogs.

Publishing on the internet means there are no publishers to convince. No editors trying to save their ass. Which is great for humanity. But it also means you have an endless stream of virtually infinite blogs at your click. And there’s no gatekeeper. You’re all on your own. Continue reading “The best way to consume Blogs”

The Case for Physical Keyboards on Phones – Why I use a Blackberry in 2018?

Last year, BlackBerry did what it should’ve done a decade ago. It switched to Android OS on a Blackberry carrying a Physical Keyboard – called the KeyOne.

Physical keyboards is still an essential hardware for modern day computing. It’s a device which is not broken, just not as necessary for a smartphone. A Touchscreen reproduce the effect of a keyboard/mouse on a display and more. It was the obvious tradeoff for a device characterized by compactness.

Why we still use Physical Keyboards?

Continue reading “The Case for Physical Keyboards on Phones – Why I use a Blackberry in 2018?”

Why Vlogs is one of my favourite Art Forms?

Have you ever ran to the nearest mall to see your favourite actor in flesh n bones? Or couldn’t stop narrating how you once ran into the National Team Player in a Hotel Lobby? To me, these stories has always felt hollow. Incidents like these don’t count as a memory in my diary. I need more. Maybe a brief conversation with that person, a live performance, or a good speech. I guess I can safely say I have never indulged in typical fandom. Until, I discovered Vlogging.

Continue reading “Why Vlogs is one of my favourite Art Forms?”