“Strike the nail aright, boys,
Hit it on the head.
Strike it with all your might boys,
When the iron is red.
When there’s work to do boys,
Do it with a will.
Those who reach the top boys,
First must climb the hill.”
– One of your boys
“Strike the nail aright, boys,
Hit it on the head.
Strike it with all your might boys,
When the iron is red.
When there’s work to do boys,
Do it with a will.
Those who reach the top boys,
First must climb the hill.”
– One of your boys
That’s the feeling I woke up with, around an hour ago. It’s taking much more effort for me to breathe. My nose appears partly blocked, and I’m unable to clear it. My tonsils itch, and squeeze my eyes together to stop a sneeze or a cough. Probably both. I take a couple of short, unconscious breaths and then I take a long, deep breath, involuntarily. That is followed by a cough, and an itch around my tonsil area. There’s a weight on my shoulders, probably out of lack of rest. In between the deep breaths, I clear my nose and tonsils, but that doesn’t help. Last night, there was a bout of incessant coughing: a short, dry cough that wouldn’t stop. I’ve made the mistake of stepping out of my room, and not keeping a pollution mask on. Now I need to leave this city. I can’t breathe.
I’ve got the entire setup: plants that remove toxins, air purifiers that remove particulate matter. A purifier at home, and another in the office. I’ve been trying to get a new HEPA filter for the purifier, but the company isn’t taking calls. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re out of stock.
My brother’s running the half marathon today: something he and I had both signed up for. I realized last month how bad things were going to get in Delhi, and dropped out. Yesterday, I skipped going to my favorite event of the year – the NH7 music festival – and I’ll have to give it a miss again today. I briefly stepped outside – close to home – to a literature festival, and found that I couldn’t stay outdoors for too long. A pollution mask still raises eyebrows, but I fear: not for long.
All of this makes me wonder if I’m more fragile; the exhaustion compounds doubts. It makes me less effective at work: I’m doing less in more time. I have moments where I’m my usual aggressive self believing that I can get something done, and then unconsciously, I begin feeling tired and procrastinate and eventually give up. The list of things I have to do feels overwhelming – it usually is, but I always find a way of dealing with it: I always find solutions, sharpen my focus, and get shit done. Over the past few days, I’ve been repeatedly thinking about giving up, or stepping away for bit, because of this constant, incessant exhaustion. But will I be able to come back fighting again? For once, instead of blaming myself, I ought to realize that it’s the environment. It might take a few weeks to get that clarity and drive back, but it won’t come back while I’m here. I knew that earlier in the month, when I fled to Kerala and Bangalore. That time away from the pollution and exhaustion made me overconfident: I knew that, like last year, November-end was going to be worse, and I still came back. You can’t beat quicksand by staying in it. I need to get out.
I’m chronicling this today to remind myself next year of how bad it gets, so I won’t make the mistake of coming back too soon. Which leads me to the other important question: should I move out of Delhi, and if so, where do I go? Getting out of Delhi is one thing…should I stay out? The one thing on my mind is the high entry barrier for moving, and the hours it adds to your day when you’re not staying with immediate family. The efficiency that brings is something I’m not keen on losing, but I’ve done this before. Perhaps I can do this again. I’m not unfamiliar with the idea of starting over…though I’m still not sure.
One of my favorite TED videos is of a talk in 2010 on “how to start a movement” by Derek Sivers, which highlights the fact that movements only form because people come on board, take ownership, and bring others on board: hence, the first follower is critical for starting a movement.
This write-up in mint covers our approach when we, quite frankly, in a state of panic, began the fight for Net Neutrality in India. Started calling for help, friends called friends, people took ownership and leadership roles, and worked together to help educate people, and convince them to support a cause that is essential for the future of the Internet in India. Every time there was something to do, many people would raise their hand. There wasn’t a first follower, per se, just many leaders. The fact that many of us are entrepreneurs and friends meant that there was mutual respect in each others ability and judgment.
But before this movement began, I had the opportunity, in 2012, to meet Derek Sivers at the INK Conference, and pose a slightly more tricky question… something I had been thinking about in the aftermath of the occupy wall street movement. It’s one thing to start a movement, how does one sustain it? How do you ensure that something doesn’t fizzle out, that people don’t get tired or lose enthusiasm. Derek may not remember this, but he and I spent some 30-45 minutes discussing this, standing outside the hall where the INK talks were in progress. The answer we came to was: organization.
At that time, it was just out of intellectual curiousity, especially because I’d been observing another volunteer driven model/movement: Wikipedia. The Wikimedia foundation is a volunteer contribution dependent organization, but has a high degree of churn, with volunteers becoming inactive or leaving often. They deal with it by merely bringing new volunteers on board, but more importantly, by keeping the volunteers engaged and involved. For this, they have a core organizational structure which manages the relationship between volunteers and Wikimedia, ensuring that edits and contributions continue. Without an organization, Wikipedia wouldn’t be as vibrant. Wikipedia > Occupy Wall Street.
I write this because many of us are exhausted. Some of us spent a considerable amount of time and effort, often at the expense of our professional engagements and personal lives, to contribute to a cause that we believe is truly important. When you have the kind of impact that SaveTheInternet.in has had, those opposing it – especially those with the kind of resources that telecom operators have – tend to bide their time. They wait for the issue to die down, and then make their move. It’s taken a considerable amount of sustained effort and vigilance for us to get to where we are, and ensure that we’re there when we are needed. Some of us have gone back to work, but many of us are there when needed. All of us want to spend at least some of our time contributing to things that matter to us.
As I write this, I’m overwhelmed by the past week, which has included both challenges at MediaNama and Savetheinternet.in: any one would have been tough enough; both, mean that I’m now burnt out. It’s the same for many of us, and at times it’s as if we’re taking turns getting burnt out.
It’s also clear that a lot more has to be done, in terms of monitoring, strategising, co-ordinating, and more importantly, research and tech. Many of us are also keen on addressing other issues we care about – some of us were involved in the battle against 66A (arrest for statements on social media), Section 79 (taking down of online content) and Section 69 (secret blocking) of the IT Act, and a few of us are concerned around developments related to privacy. We do find people turning to us to raise issues of importance to Internet freedom, other than Net Neutrality: The draft encryption policy and Porn Ban are two other instances. The only way we will be able to make a meaningful contribution here is if we get organized.
When this began, I was opposed to getting organized, as in setting up an organization, as was suggested by many wellwishers: a loose collective of individuals coming together to fight a cause was ideal, because once it was over, we could all go back to our lives. It’s now fairly evident that it was never going to be that easy: this isn’t over and other battles are upon us.
We need a structure, with people working full time on these issues, supporting research being done by research organizations, and creating tech and tools to monitor and ensure that no one is messing with the Internet in India. That structure will allow some of us (including me), to work on things so that when needed, we are at least half-prepared, and don’t have to kill ourselves trying to do too much too quickly. If we don’t put that structure together, this will all die. We have a responsibility to ensure that the support we’ve gotten for supporting Internet freedom isn’t for nothing. Getting something to protect Net Neutrality itself could take a year (or dozen; hope not), and there’s no way we can last that long without a structure and an organization in place.
I last interacted with Anupam a few days ago. We’re hiring at MediaNama, and because he knew what it’s like to work with us, and he’s always been a part of the MediaNama family, I had reached out to him. As always, my mail mentioned that he’d be welcome back, because it was like he never left. He would always laugh that off slightly embarrassed because he was much happier doing what he was doing. I knew it, and he knew I knew it.
My first memory of Anupam is when he had come to our office in Delhi for a job interview. He loved tech, and wanted to write about gadgets. I convinced him that’s there’s more interestingness in writing about tech business than gadgets. He worked with us for two years, and I particularly remember an instance when he returned happy from a press conference, because he had the trickiest questions, and had thought of things the company hadn’t expected. He took great pride in that, and I took great pride in him. I don’t recall a single instance where he said no to work, and I learned yesterday from his father how that passion for work and tech ran through his very being: it kept him excited, and he took that attitude of forming his own opinion and speaking his mind, with him, when he left MediaNama. By the time he left MediaNama, he was running it, and it felt like he would be here forever. Only one thing could, and did make him switch: his love for reviewing gadgets. His father told me he’d stay up late at night working on reviews because his readers expected it.
I don’t think anyone else knows this, but AppNama was started for Anupam. One day, he and I sat down and discussed what we would do if we were to start a gadgets site: that way, he would get to do what he loves, splitting his time between MediaNama and the gadgets site. Eventually, we figured out that the gap in the market was in reviewing apps, not gadgets, and though we ran it for a while (and revived it again to shutter it again later), his calling was still in reviewing gadgets.
He was always excited about things and developments, sometimes opinionated about people, but always measured with his words about himself. We stayed in touch over twitter, and there was the occasional call (I remember one conversation where he had called for advice, and we chatted for a few hours, and I again tried convincing him about returning). We met up every now and then at events, and with Rajat and Balu for beer.
In all of this, Anupam never let on how fragile his health was. I only found out after our annual 10 day break, that he had had health issues while on holiday. He had been, I learned yesterday, careful about letting on that it had almost been fatal. I’m only guessing here, but he probably didn’t want to be treated differently because his health was so fragile. He’d had a heart condition since birth. He was careful about staying healthy because he needed it; he also had spirit: his sister and father told me yesterday about how he would come out fighting because he wanted to live. His existence was so fragile that he cherished health and life, which we take for granted. Yesterday, Anupam passed away due to that heart condition, in his sleep. He’s still alive in our memories, and he is missed.
Delhi’s got the most polluted air in the world, but I didn’t need a newspaper report to tell me that. Around the end of November last year, I began finding it difficult to breathe. I felt like coughing all the time, and would wake up tired in the morning, having felt as if I hadn’t slept at all. Work and productivity suffered consequently, and I had to take afternoon naps to have enough energy for work, and needed the lights in the room off, because my eyes wouldn’t be able to stand the light. It was terrifying.
1. The App
I chanced upon this app for measurement of air quality. I read up on air pollution and the PM 2.5 levels, which were hazardous, and forced my dad from going for his morning walks because pollution levels were the highest in the mornings. This might be because we stay near Ring Road, and the trucks ply on Ring Road towards the Azadpur sabzi mandi. It took some convincing to get dad to stop going for his walks. I would tell him the pollution levels multiple times a day, and finally got him to download the app, which he began checking regularly. I began avoiding stepping out, except between 3-7 pm when the pollution levels were tolerable.
The app no longer provides info on PM 2.5 and PM 10, and frankly, the lack of publicly available information on pollution in India – not just in Delhi- is worrying. We can’t hide the problem by hiding the data. By sharing the data, we can create consensus for policy change (for example, trucks that only pass through Delhi at night should be forced to take a different route, farmers in Haryana should be penalized for burning their fields to clear them, instead of manually removing stalks after crops have been reaped), and maybe encourage people to change their habits.
2. Pollution Masks
Looking at the post-Diwali smog, I decided to buy pollution masks, the kind I’d seen in China. I bought these. I found that there was an immediate effect. I’d find it easier to breathe with the mask on, and the coughing would stop. It would look funny, so I wore them indoors and in office, and in the car. Not something I was ashamed of – needing a pollution mask – but it would invariably divert from the conversations I was meeting people for. This is going to sound funny, but my glasses kept fogging up with the masks, and I hated that.
Then, it rained.
When I stepped out after rained without the mask, I could sense how fresh the air was. The rain had allowed the particulate matter to settle, and I can’t find words to explain what it felt like to breathe in that cold, fresh air without a mask on. It felt fresh. I stopped wearing the mask.
3. Air Purifiers
I began searching for air purifiers. Spoke to my brother who is in that business, but at an industrial level, and I still couldn’t figure out what to buy. Too many models, not enough people aware of what one needs and what helps. Last Sunday, I met Barun Aggarwal of BreatheEasy at a party, and he suggested two things: firstly, the this Air Purifier, which I have bought. It is expensive, but I have gone through a period of three months every year from March to May, over the last two years, where I find it difficult to breathe when asleep. I don’t think a Sleep Apnea machine is a solution. It an allergy and I intend to get a medical checkup this year, but it’s also important to have better air. I’m planning to buy an Air Purifier for office as well.
Barun Aggarwal also suggested that I install some plants like the Mother In Law’s Tongue in my room because it produces oxygen at night. His point way, and I’m not sure if I remember this correctly, but CO2 levels increase to 2000 ppm at night, and 1000 ppm is optimal. This plans increases oxygen in the room, and can help you sleep better, and have more energy the next day. I’m looking for ways to improve my productivity and energy levels, given that I work at a really fast pace, and if this helps, great.
While researching online, I remembered this TED video from Kamal Meattle. It was “interesting” then, but I never thought I’d need it. Now I do.
So, I’ve got four potted ‘Mother in Law’s Tongue’ plants in my room, and I’m putting some others as well. While searching for more info, I came across this NASA study which lists which plants do what, when it comes to cleaning the air. The ones I’ve chosen are ones I already have at home:
Together, they address benzene, formaldehyde, tricholoroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia, and one of them produces oxygen at night. Apart from Mother in Law’s Tongue, I’m putting the rest in office as well.
Lets see how it goes.
Been a few years since I did an MBTI. I used to do these regularly, to assess how I’m changing as person. It appears that I’ve gone from being an ENTJ to an ESTP.
I’ve been obsessed with the lifecycle of news for many years now: with both surfacing archival content, as well as resurfacing existing news.
I’m troubled by the short lifecycle that a news story has, and dependency on two factors:
– Visibility: The reach of social media, which is limited by two factors. Firstly, the transience of social media, given that both facebook and twitter have an immense number of updates that users have to go through, and a single update will get lost in the deluge. Secondly, personalization and the throttling of reach. Facebook virtually killed reach around July/August 2013, which means that publishers are forced to pay for reach on a platform that they initially popularized. It was bait-and-switch by Facebook, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Twitter does something like this too.
– Intent: If you’re found only when a user is looking for something that you’ve written, then that limits your reach because you’re competing with Wikipedia. Discovery is in Google’s hands. Tweaks of their algorithm can kill a publishing businesses.
So how do you deal with this, and help readers learn more? Invariably, it means doing two things:
1. Different story structures:
The ContentSutra model, which I was inducted into by @Rafat, was part news, party aggregation, part opinion. It was 2006. I naturally gravitated towards linking back towards historical content to provide readers with more reference material, and this was expanded upon with MediaNama where we began with doing fewer but deeper stories and linking to stories both internal and external. This means that you follow an almost Wikipedia like approach to structuring a story, enabling users to discover and explore more stories. This benefits a publication in that users visit more pages, spend more time with the publication, and/or pay for archival content. In this way, the structuring of a story helps increase the lifecycle of the story.
Another way of doing this is to create timelines to provide context.
With news being commoditised, readers will go where they believe they’ll receive maximum value for their time. If you consistently provide value, they’ll turn to you more often, and linking to more stories internally or externally does that.
2. Different discovery mechanisms: With the new MediaNama design, we’re bring tags to the top, and using plugins to highlight popular content by day, month and year. The key approach with the plugins is that the story page is the homepage, and by showcasing related content in the left sidebar, we’re helping readers discover relevant, related stories.
The tag pages are design in a card based layout, and possibly the best designed of our pages, created to help discover more content. They help readers more on a particular company and topic. They’re still not ideal, in my view, and we’ll have to figure out iterations that deliver more context. The basic idea here is that the tag page is the homepage for that issue/company etc. Ideally, I’d like to have surfaced job posts for that same company or topic, company announcements, a key events timeline. That was a plan for MediaNama before it began, and I think this is where WordPress limits us. Drupal can allow this – a job board, an outsourcing board, a company page with announcements uploaded. The richer the detail in the tag pages, the greater their lifecycle and relevance.
It’s also in line with the “body of work” approach we take to editorial: each story is, the way we look at it, a part of a connected history. Over 20 stories on net neutrality, for example, give you complete context on what’s going on.
The one problem that this doesn’t solve for me is surfacing some great, relevant archival stories. For example, the 2008 guidelines for MVNO’s provide learning on how the government was thinking about them then, and while I know that I can look those up and link to them, the thing with the digital industry is that most people don’t have historical or cross-segment context. That’s where we, as editors, come in, I guess.
The thing I’ve always loved about the people I follow on Twitter is what they bring to my timeline: their curation, perspective, and criticism helps me learn. They bring a variety no editor can, but of late, my timeline has become rather unidimensional: it’s almost entirely about politics and news, and the OOTD (Outrage of the day). The problem with the outrage is that it usually makes for great conversation, and now dominates offline conversations if you have many friends who are active on Twitter. Which I do. I don’t want to be the one asking ‘so, what exactly happened?’, which is true of many of us.
But we need room to breathe, to think. Something a mentor said in a conversation earlier this month: he schedules his email and news reading because he needs contiguous free time to think. I also feel we need contiguous free time to do, which is a luxury that someone in my line of work (entrepreneur + journalist) doesn’t get.
So how do we deal with this? We take social media breaks, and schedule our usage, and block people who do the telemarketer thing: poor targeting with no respect for the other persons time.
Scheduling doesn’t quite address the other compelling problem. One thing that @mrajshekhar said to me a few years ago constantly worries me: at a time when I had become completely consumed with medianama, so much so that it was the only thing I’d talk about, Shekhar told me that I need to change, lest I become too unidimensional, which I never was. I’ve tried, not always successfully, but I’ve tried and keep trying.
The same thing, though, is happening on Twitter: the people I follow have become too newsy and too caught up in things of immediate concern (not necessarily of immediate importance). There are those who’re constantly posturing, sermonising, outraging, whether through tweets or retweets.
I was discussing this with Rishi Majumder in Mumbai, when we met at the Prithvi Theatre Festival: Twitter used to be my primary source for gigs, and for interesting things to do. Now, I invariably miss these gigs because of the flood of news, even from friends. I’m going to do two things, and I hope people won’t mind: I need more than a little room to breathe, and to discover more stuff that doesn’t feel like work. News does.
The third thing is that for my own sanity, I need a bit of positivity around me. There are people who’re negative and bring you down by what they say, not just to you. Then there are those who are positive, and make you believe that good things are possible. I need that bubble right now.
I’m going to create two lists: one for newsy folks, and one for temporarily unfollowed, for those who are going on a rant. This means I’m going to unfollow some people, and can only hope that they don’t treat it like a break-up (I’ve had that happen to me thrice already).
Then I’m going to follow people who do the artsy thing, because that’s the part that’s being crowded out.
p.s.: In case it wasn’t evident, I think I’m becoming to newsy too. Time for me to change too.
I’m constantly thinking of processes, especially editorial processes, that allow for room to innovate. It’s difficult to quantify editorial processes because the output is creative. I’m not sure of how long form publications like the Caravan do it, and I’ve heard great things about Jonathan Shainin (who’s now with the Guardian), and how, sometimes, his feedback on an article would be longer than the article itself. Things are very different for a news and analysis publication like MediaNama, because we’re mostly doing news, and then a little more.
I’ve looked at style guides from various international publications (donated to me by a benevolent friend), and I found it surprising that the focus was significantly on maintaining parity in formats and the usage of certain types of phrases, and seeking certain types of information (when it comes to financial reporting). What they didn’t appear to focus on, was questions. This might have to do with the kind of reports they do – which are largely short, for a general audience (or a general business audience), and on the basis questions they ask. With so much information alredy at our disposal, a significant part of our work is making sense of information. Our style guides (called #NAMAstyleguide) are mostly about structuring of stories, providing formats, but more importantly, to look for information and provide an analysis that helps change perspectives on the development. As a publication, in order to make readers think, we first have to make our journalists think. Of course, other processes that we have in place ensure that a styleguide is almost never needed, and but it helps to have documentation around how we want to think. So, our style guides essentially focus on the kind of questions we want our stories to answer for readers. While some style guides are still not complete, some have options of 10-15 questions that a story can answer. Not all of them need to be answers, but I feel that questions provide a great sense of direction.
As we expand editorial (we’re currently a team of 5, though I’m going to be write less frequently), and begin working with freelancers, the ambiguity and decision making around many things makes the entire process cumbersome for everyone. The way we work has to change too – in terms of reporting structures, roles and responsibilities. I’m aware of instances, particularly around research and events, where we’ve messed up, I’ve messed up, or allowed things to be messed up. Each screw up brings with it its own learning, and it’s important to define processes more granularly, and change processes with each iteration. What I consciously worry about is the risk of templatization in a manner that doesn’t allow flexibility. Still much to figure out.
At an Airtel event a couple of months ago, someone from their network team explained to me why connections don’t really work very well at toll booths. We were in Gurgaon, a few months after the Gurgaon toll booth had been shut down to allow free passage of non-commercial vehicles. Before that happened, you had to add around 15-20 minutes to your ETA, to get through the toll. Both sides of the toll saw hundreds, if not a thousand cars waiting to go through, during peak hours. It’s not just calls, the Airtel exec explained. Each phone sends out multiple pings to multiple towers for multiple things (I forget which), because of which, the towers get overloaded because during peak ours, too many phones (and people) reach there at the same time.
‘Ping’ is a phrase some of use also use, when asking someone to contact us: “Ping me”. Every message we receive is a ping. Given how connected we are, there are multiple ways of being contacted: via Twitter (message, DM), Whatsapp (messaging or groups), email (or multiple emails), phone calls, text messages.
Each ping leads to a decision that your network makes, and at certain times, the number of pings on your network can be overwhelming. What’s more, as an entrepreneur and a journalist, and someone who is open and accessible, these pings come to me from many many sources, each of a different order of priority, each with a different set of expectations, and expectations of detailing of response.
Each ping is a decision. Even deferring a decision is a decision, every response can lead to more, so each ping can lead to multiple decisions. Decision making is often tough, and too many decisions can be tiring. Some people view my lack of response as arrogance, but I can’t help that.
To deal with pings on my network, I do two things: Firstly, try and reduce the number of pings that reach me. Secondly, respond to them in a manner that makes sense, and take decisions quicker and better.
Reducing pings: Taking control of your time
1. Set up processes to ensure that only important pings reach you: At one time, I used to get around 250 emails from companies and PR agencies each day, many of which were irrelevant. I have over 1200 gmail filters that I update religiously. Most emails go straight to trash. I check trash according to my convenience, and move to inbox the relevant emails. For the rest of the mails (everything from marine fuel, diapers, films releases, book launches, face creams etc), this process saves me a click per mail. A lot of pings avoided. Almost all PR agency mobile numbers are blocked (I love Xiaomi’s MIUI), because the process I prefer is: email –> email again –> SMS –> Assume I’m not interested.
2. Act to reduce the number of pings: In a similar manner, you can choose to mute Whatsapp groups, ask people to not cc you on twitter discussions (it’s sometimes perceived to be rude, but it’s important), untag yourself from Facebook updates. One action saves you the trouble of sifting through hundreds of updates.
3. Make things asynchronous: People expect immediate responses to messages. That’s often not possible for you, because if you did that, you would spend most of the day responding to people, and responding to their responses. Making things as asynchronous means looking into things at specific points in time. Turn off most notifications on your mobile phone(s) and check only when needed. Don’t auto-sync email to your mobile device. I’ve disabled call waiting on my phone. One thing at a time, and if it’s important, the caller can message. Schedule the time that you spend on facebook and Twitter (instead of being always on). Shift to a read-only mode on social media, unless you really have time for a conversation. Ask people to switch a discussion to email, so that you don’t have to respond in real-time.
I defer reading and responding to mails when there is something important that I’m working on, and I’ve struggled to make this a norm: of checking email only in spurts, instead of real-time. I’m reminded of my uncle Deepak Pahwa, who, when on holiday in the pre-email era, would only allow calls from office for an hour in the morning, and an hour in the evening.
The important thing here is: You’re outnumbered, and need to take control of your time. Because if you won’t, others will.
4. Set up processes to allow others to make not-important decisions for you: To address the email issue, we set up a email@example.com address which goes out to everyone. This way, someone apart from me can make a decision on something that isn’t of significant priority to me anymore. We also set up a Google Doc for Work in Progress (i.e. stories that we’re working on), wherein journalists can stake claim to certain stories (so we don’t have multiple people working on the same thing at the same time), and any inputs can be shared voluntarily without being requested.
We also set up a peer review system for stories, which means that each individual helps someone else. This addresses the issue that hierarchies face, where the boss becomes the bottleneck because he has to take too many decisions and keeps deferring them. The added advantage of this is: if you’re critiquing someone elses work, it makes you think, and helps you get better. Responsibility is collective.
There’s also a MediaNama stylebook, where we’ve outlined broadly how to approach specific types of stories. Again, it’s supposed to reduce my involvement (and reduce pings that I receive), and not many of us refer to it often enough, but it’s there in case someone needs help on how to approach a story.
One of the bigger challenges is delegation upwards, but I do think I have managed to reduce the number of pings I get, by following these rules. Importantly, I hope it also means that those who work with us get used to making more decisions, and become better at what they do.
In part 2, when I get the time, I’ll look at something that I constantly struggle with: decision making. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on reducing pings on network, or how you’ve done this, please do leave a comment.