How thieving grannies got me to Best of Blogging.  

Posted by Dino Gane-Palmer né Ganesarajah in ,

 DG's guide is simple: quit ploughing your pension into online betting, grandma! ©

Towards the start of my career I worked in a team that investigated technical problems on online gambling websites. We'd get calls from grannies who claimed their betting account had been hacked. "From 8pm to 12:30am, it was me who was playing on the account", they'd say, "but from 12:30am to 4am, it was someone else... please can you return my account balance to what it was at 12:30am". Investigating the call, we'd find that from 8pm to 12:30am the account had been racking up and winning money on the online slot machines - lots and lots of money. Then, quite suddenly, from 12:30am it all spiraled downward - losing money fast on those same slot machines. Could it really be that someone hacked into this granny's account and gambled away all her winnings?

In this team I worked in, we kept online journals of every problem we were investigating. We journaled a lot - the the eight of us would average writing 30 journals a day, each. We did it because the journals proved extremely useful. When that granny called up again, a quick search revealed that we had a serial fraudster on our hands. When we didn't know how to solve a problem, we quickly thought of new approaches by looking at how others on the team had solved similar problems. Most of all, journaling forced us to commit. We had to write down and commit to a plan of how we were going to investigate the problem. Then we had to do it.

For me, the habit of journaling from the early part of my career has developed into a way of working. Through the MBA application process, the team seems to have consisted of bloggers going through the same MBA admissions process. We peeked at each others' posts to see what was going on - who has interviews? who has been admitted? what are their profiles? The posts of MBA applicant bloggers of the past have been just as useful as those journal entries investigating online gambling problems. I know I've used Jag Paw's essay advice and taken heed of Ameya's thoughts on essay reviewers. ClearAdmit's Best of Blogging awards have become particularly useful for spotlighting where to look. So, I feel honored to be ranked in these awards for 2009 - thank you ClearAdmit and all those who voted. Congratulations to everyone on the list: particularly Tieny, whose lovable personality and passion for Columbia has always shone through.

For those embarking on the MBA application process, just know that you too don't have to suffer at the hands of thieving grannies and other tricksters to need a reason to start blogging. There are plenty of other reasons to blog. But that's another thought for another day...

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10 comments

congrats on the win! you deserved it :) so we all should aim for theiving grannies to improve our blogs right...

30 April 2009 at 06:13

congrats on the win! you deserved it :) so we all should aim for theiving grannies to improve our blogs right...

30 April 2009 at 06:13

Congrats DG. You've got the coolest blog out here (thanks to the grannies?)!

30 April 2009 at 10:02

Congrats DG. You've got the coolest blog out here (thanks to the grannies?)!

30 April 2009 at 10:02

Superb Blog, well deserved recognition!..

As to the fraudster, I'm intrigued. Was it Granny whodunit, or was it Granny's Chav grand-child?...

30 April 2009 at 18:30

Superb Blog, well deserved recognition!..

As to the fraudster, I'm intrigued. Was it Granny whodunit, or was it Granny's Chav grand-child?...

30 April 2009 at 18:30

Thanks Chocs, Ahembeea - congratulations on your own success in the BoBs.


Le Redacteur: yeah, it was granny. These tricksters didn't typically fit the stereotypes we'd expect...

30 April 2009 at 22:43

Thanks Chocs, Ahembeea - congratulations on your own success in the BoBs.


Le Redacteur: yeah, it was granny. These tricksters didn't typically fit the stereotypes we'd expect...

30 April 2009 at 22:43

aww, thanks, D.G.! if i were a betting man, i would've put the odds on you or soni to win (can we get OMGparishilton to handicap the race for us?) cuz soni's been around the longest and has the most readers/comments while yours is updated most frequently and easily looks the best overall (like an actual website). i guess the lesson i learned from this is that, just like in writing government consulting proposals, absurdly long and mindless rambling wins the day ;)

3 May 2009 at 02:52

aww, thanks, D.G.! if i were a betting man, i would've put the odds on you or soni to win (can we get OMGparishilton to handicap the race for us?) cuz soni's been around the longest and has the most readers/comments while yours is updated most frequently and easily looks the best overall (like an actual website). i guess the lesson i learned from this is that, just like in writing government consulting proposals, absurdly long and mindless rambling wins the day ;)

3 May 2009 at 02:52

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