Out of nowhere, just sitting there, playing the new tower defense game on my iPad, and BOOM. It hit me…

Why am I so bothered when I don’t get every single kill?

I had perfected  (HA!) the, “I’m a perfectionist, and that sometimes becomes a distraction,” for the classic interview question: what are some of your weaknesses?

And although it sounded cliché, I was not lying either. But it was something a college professor said to us as an example, and it stuck with me.

Interestingly enough,

The video games I play, no matter how sophisticated or simple, almost always have these incentives for obtaining perfect scores:

  • Getting 3 out of 3 stars to unlock the bonus levels.
  • Achievements for getting 100% coins
  • Achievements for not taking any damage.
  • Achievements for completing every level with the perfect score.

I can get pretty crazy with these at times. I even go as far as resetting a level, after 20 minutes, 5 times in a row, just because I missed the a perfect score by getting a 98%.


Next time I’m at a job interview, and asked about my weaknesses, I will just have to say “playing video games competitively have turned me into a perfectionist.”

It’s been a couple of days.

So I decided that maybe it’s time for another post. Asked my girlfriend for suggestions, and she said, “Why don’t you post about the window pictures you did?”

And I thought, “That’s a pretty good idea!”

The whole thing started on a cold winter morning. February 8th,  to be exact. I woke up, looked outside the window, decided to snap a picture and post it on Instagram.

Everything went smoothly until the caption… And completely out of original ideas, I just time stamped it; “Feb 8, 2015. 10:10 am”

I continued doing this for a few days. Didn’t think too much about it… I just did it! (Thanks Shia!)

A few days went by.

On February 11, 2015, I opened my Instagram page and noticed something unusual. With the page forming 3 columns, and new pictures being posted from the left side of the screen, I had two pictures that were aligned horizontally (on top of each other) that displayed almost the same time of the day, in the morning.


“This is my chance to do something that’s never been done before,” I thought to myself! “I will be the pioneer to the greatest Instagram trend of 2015,” I fantasized, believing this will be a game-changer.

My goal was to take one picture a day of the same view,rotating between three different periods; morning, sunset, and night. By rotating every three days for each picture I took control of the three columns on my page.

Fucking brilliant!!!

The initial wave of reactions came after the first week. There were major signs of frustrations almost immediately. Peoples’ confusion and curiosity lead to insults and jabs. None were taken personally, of course, as this was slowly becoming my own little case study on The Human Behavior towards the Unknown & Unfamiliar.

Of all the challenges, the toughest was explaining myself to my fellow followers; which mostly consists of only friends. Facebook friends. In fact, the reaction from people was the most intriguing aspect of this “project.”

Not missing even a single day was a big deal!

On one instance (April 18th) I was not available to take my sunset picture. I decided I’d rather post the sunset of where I was, instead of missing an entire day. This caused an unforeseen storm in the comment section.

“Dude…what happened???”

“I can’t believe it”

And someone even used the word Disgusting.

The negative comments never bothered me. This was something I started doing for myself–for various reasons:

1. Principle: I wanted to practice developing habits, and doing things over and over again no matter the disruptions.
2. Photo-journal: this is pretty easy to see. And it goes hand-in-hand with #3
3. Data: time stamping the images gave this a very data-like feel. Being obsessed with collecting datasets and observing trends, this made the whole thing fun for me.
4. Art: I’m sure there is art in there somewhere, if you look close enough.


This project continued for three months. I stopped right before a trip to Dubai, on May 8th. Why that particular day? It seemed appropriate. It felt right. It was the three month mark, and I was to miss a whole week’s worth of data. This was the sign I had been waiting for.

The most inspiring takeaway from all of this, for me personally, was something a friend hinted:

The beauty is that every picture is different. The pictures are from the same view, but the distinct and subtle changes only become noticed with attention. Every one makes their own observation.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I recently came across a note that I had typed in my iPad a while ago. It’s been over a year since my last post and, having this content on hand, I figured I’d fulfill my new year’s resolution of one blog post a month. So here it goes.


During my time in college I started to become more and more interested in social media. And being a marketing major, Social Media Marketing became a passion of mine.

I started to notice patterns in successful online personalities. For instance; Ray William Johnson, a pioneer YouTuber, had a show called equals 3 (AKA =3). There were two episodes every week (I think Tuesdays and Thursdays), and he always posted them right on time. If he didn’t, he would acknowledge and maybe apologize about it.

This pattern is much more visible with YouTubers, as they upload their content on a specific day and time. However, the same goes to every other social networking website or app. Humans of New York on Facebook. Viners like KC James, Curtis Lepore, Destorm Powers.

Maintaining an active online platform for your users must keep the content, creativity, and consistency into consideration with every post. And I believe by successfully implementing the following steps, you can increase the number of audience through loyalty.

This is the core of building an audience. What is the message that’s being sent? The answer to this question is depended on the purpose of your page. Wether it’s for a company, small business, or just personal account, what is it that you want to post and why are you posting it. Content must have a positive correlation with the purpose of your page. Posting irrelevant content damages your brand; waste of time, and loss of trust–losing followers is so much easier than gaining them. So many times have I seen YouTubers or Viners discretely try to commercialize their accounts; it always backfires. You have to prove with your actions that you know your followers are smart.

How do you keep your audience interested? What are you doing to distinguish yourself from competitors? Using innovative approaches to each channel of social media not only builds loyalty in audience, it also helps with gaining exposure. Online word of mouth travels so much faster and more effective. In an era dominated by the digital natives, creativity is highly valued and respected.
The most important element to building an audience. Realizing and believing that your fans and followers are smarter than you can be the strongest motivation for them to come back. Mistakes never go unnoticed; this is the Internet. Consistently posting the right content builds trust between you and your audience. However, overposting and underposting will have a negative affect on your page. Being strategic with the timing of your posts is key to maintaining and growing your audience.
Familiarizing your audience with your page’s personality is a process, and trying to accomplish it will take some time.

For this week’s beer I chose one of my favorite and on by far one of the most famous Lambics in the world. I’m always excited to introduce this lambic to my friends because I know their reactions will be predictably hilarious.

The incredible Framboise Lambic–particularly the one with raspberries added.

This lambic, while lightly carbonated, is extremely flavorful–every sip is very sour–and the red color of it makes it seem like anything but beer. In addition to the taste, the smell of raspberries from this beer is very strong too!

Due to the strong fruity smell and taste of it, some people might not enjoy it as much as others. “This is juice, not beer!” ~ My roommate 

I personally think this beer sits very well with people who aren’t much beer drinkers. HAVING SAID THAT, I know that if you truly have an appreciation for beer you will enjoy it very much.

Overall, this Belgium lambic to me is more than just beer; it’s an art!

The taste, smell, and packaging of the Framboise makes is something to remember; whether you love it or hate it, you will talk about it.

I’ll give it a 4/5.

HOWEVER, I can never drink more than one of these in a sitting.

I’ve been meaning to make this idea of mine into a reality for quite some time now, and I’m excited to be finally starting it.

For my very first beer I chose one of my favorites that I’ve just recently been introduced to; BABA from the Unita Brewing Co in Salt Lake City, Utah.

I chose this beer for many reasons, but by far the most important reason is the name; BABA بابا (my Iranian/Persian friends know why)

BABA is an organic black lager which makes you feel good drinking it (anything organic makes me feel good about myself).

Although it’s a black lager, it’s very smooth and lightly carbonated making it easy to go down.

The flavor is subtle, light, with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I can easily drink a couple of these bad boys in one sitting.

Overall, this is very tasty organic beer that you can especially enjoy in winter.

I’ll give it a 3.5/5

AND, don’t forget the AWESOME slogan; EARTH, WIND AND BEER


“Damn, it feels good to be a gangster,” the Geto Boys hit song has been playing in my head…

Received an email about a compliment to “Write More” on Yelp today. But there was more to it:

“Hope you saw your review in the Weekly Yelp last/this week (it’s a Pick of the Week.) Congrats!”


It’s pretty freakin’ awesome to have my review about one of my favorite coffee shops in Philadelphia, Old City Coffee, featured on the 4th of July Yelp Weekly Newsletter, as the pick of the Week.

It made my day.

Click HERE to check it out!



I’m super excited for this achievement, but I’m not surprised that Yelp has made me feel so ‘included’ with recognition. There’s always a force that pulls me back towards Yelp. Wether it’s the likes on my tips, direct thank you messages from owners of restaurants, or THIS.

Being ‘stuck’ in the no-Yelp-land of Dubai, I gave foursquare a try. I stopped using it after my third tip. There is just not NEARLY enough options as Yelp, and as a part-time Yelper I was expecting MORE!

But there is quite a handful of reasons why, to me, it’s a no brainer to use Yelp over foursquare:

Website: This is where Yelp really owns foursquare. If I’m looking for a restaurant (or service), I google it. But then I pick the link to Yelp. The informative pages on Yelp are what I’m looking for. I don’t just find tips and reviews about a location, I also find: the dress code, opening hours, noise level, payment methods, etc. All the little things that matter so much but we barely think about them.

Mobile App: The Yelp app, with all of its glorious user-shared data, makes a great source for information. And in today’s mobile world you can fully rely on Yelp to find great places. It’s super easy to use and, once you get a good hang of it, it can be very addictive.

Reviews: I like likes! And Yelp has made writing reviews interactive by giving the option of voting Cool, Useful, and/or Funny for reviews (which has been the incentive for me to write more). Another cool feature of the reviews is the fact that you can go back and edit them. The world knows you’ve edited your review, but if you changed your opinion about somewhere you would probably want people to know.

Elite Membership: This was really the hook that caught me. It’s like an exclusive club, only for people who are effective with sharing their personal experiences. You don’t have to be perfectly on point with your criticism, because obviously people have different opinions, but being good a story teller is a huge plus for this. (I know, I’m working on it..)

Compliments: Yet another approach of Yelp creating an interactive hub for its users to keep each other around, socialize, and write more reviews.


With all the offered features of Yelp, there’s not a close competition between Yelp and foursquare. The only competition, in my opinion, is unavailability of Yelp in countries that foursquare is available, like Dubai. They really need Yelp here. Nearly everyone uses foursquare and no one even knows about Yelp.

I’ve been a registered member of Heroes of Newerth (HoN) since Summer of 2010. Right when this game was increasing in number of players and winning awards. In addition to that, as a Defense of the Ancients (DotA) enthusiast, I was having a ton of fun playing HoN. I even forced a bunch of my friends to join!

Today–I hate it.

Wait, that’s not fair–let me rephrase that:

The gamers’ community of this game has made me decide not to play this game as much as I’d like to, and used to.

Allow me expand on that:

Every time I give HoN another chance it disappoints me on a different level. I don’t have to win to enjoy a game. Actually, even winning is not as much fun as before.

It’s all because the gamers’ gameplay isn’t improving, their competitive attitude is fading, and personalities are negatively changing. There’s a couple of reasons for that:

Better trolls than supports: wards are 100 golds each. “Ward or lose,” simply means, “The difference between winning and losing costs 100 golds which I’m not willing to pay.” If you act like an asshole, everyone’s going to talk talk to you like you’re an asshole.

Kills over wins: whether it comes up during picking heroes, or a team fight, you can tell who’s there to support their team, or their K:D ratio.

“AFK–Please kick me”: either your team doesn’t speak your language, you didn’t upgrade the courier, or you didn’t stun the right target. Excuses  (BTW, Brasil, and Russia, I’m sorry anyone who doesn’t speak English is ‘supposedly’ from your country)

Everyone’s a noob: I’m all for self-confidence in gaming. It makes players want to prove themselves. But calling everyone noob doesn’t justify your terrible gameplay.


Enough with complaining.

HoN can still be fun when my team consists of players who are willing to put in effort for their TEAM to win. After all, it is a 5vs5 game. And I’m not talking about a game with fully warded map, and a support healer who’s just there to keep me up. No! I’m talking about:

Good communication: If you want to gank, talk about it, plan it, and EXECUTE it properly!

Positive attitude: So what, you took one for the team! Big whoop, wanna fight about it? Gotta keep in mind–not every death is a bad thing. If you didn’t plan to be the bait, and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but now your team ends up with a genocide, how is that a bad thing?

Sharing is caring: That 100 gold you spent to ward, or the 200 to upgrade the courier, is helping everyone. Not just the people asking for it.


HoN is great as far as keeping an updated game. But they can’t control their players and it’s  impacting everyone. Ignore lists aren’t always the answer–because I’m getting ignored for unnecessary reasons–and I never know if anyone’s ever doing anything about my reports.

Help the players who want to improve this game by listening to them. It’s that simple.

And don’t delete my brother’s suggestions on your forums; that’s just not classy.


I’ve been at Flip for a little bit over a month now. It’s getting really fun!

Over the last 30 days I’ve worked on several BIG projects! Projects that are live now. And that’s the best part–going online, looking at them, and knowing I’ve been slightly a part of it.

But day after day I’m getting tasks that are teaching me more than just the practical side of every procedures:

PRIORITY: Really means Time Management.

  • Which tasks should be on hold? How to fully shift focus to a completely new task?

CONCENTRATION: This is a mix of staying focused, paying attention to detail, and desire to deliver excellence.

  • The worst habit I developed in college was to count the last five minutes of the class, and as soon as it was time march out!
  • My first week at Flip I began to unconsciously feel the need to get out of office by 6:00. Although this was an easy habit to kick (unlike smoking, that’s why I never started), it made me think: It’s the little things in college that had the biggest affect on my after-college life.

COMMUNICATION: “I’m not angry–But this had to be done an hour ago, and you’ve been doing it wrong.”

  • First off, who are you talking to? A client? A MAJOR client? Colleague? Your boss? Your boss’s BOSS?
  • How Important is your message? Not every message is VERY IMPORTANT. Because if they were, then you wouldn’t need a scale to qualify your messages as VERY IMPORTANT.
  • Are you communicating via email or in person?
  • And finally, now this is the hard part; how is the person receiving the message going to feel? Happy? Angry as F**** [1]? Knowing in advance might give you a slight advantage–PLAN B.

My internship is teaching me a lot about digital media. But I’m learning a lot more on the side. A bit of self-discovery, as well as a whole new SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis for myself. My next job interview–I already have so much to talk about.


[1] You read it wrong… It’s frogs.. FROGS..!









I’ve begun my internship at Flip for about three weeks now, and I’ve been learning so much everyday! Before starting here, I had somewhat an idea of what I’d like to do after graduation, but boy was I off! I mean, not really off, but you know how they say, “The more you learn, the less you know.” It’s been like that!

A little back ground on Flip (in case you haven’t clicked and read up on them in their website); Flip does a wide variety of digital work. Anything from web development, social media consultancy, and search engine optimization, to mobile app development. And they’re good at what they do! So good that they’ve been the largest (and easily the best) interactive advertising agency in the Middle East. Oh, I almost forgot to mention they’re located in Dubai!

What’s my major?

Marketing, with a minor in management information system. And after this short time of being here, I’ve been working on some projects at Flip that I would have never thought I will (I’m not here to brag. I only do that in front of my friends).

I had originally planned to make a blog of my journey in Dubai, and my time at Flip. Now I found out I have to do it for my school (Temple University) as well. And with all the cool stuff that I’ve been seeing and learning, I have enough motivation to start writing it down.


And like I said before, the more I’m learning the more I understand the great perspective of digital media.

I promised myself I’ll be creating a blog; damn it, here I am!

I’ll be merging community.mis.temple.edu/acejalali here soon. Hopefully sometime before I graduate, which I will be by the end of this year!

Okay, now here’s a list of things I’d like to blog about:

  • Myself
  • My internship
  • My school
  • Video games (How they RULE!! and SUCK!!)
  • Social Networking
  • Social Media
  • Why Facebook fails
  • What I like about Instagr.am
  • Why Twitter is cool, but kids are ruining it
  • Beer
  • Food

I crossed out myself, for now, because I wouldn’t like to have a blog up that talks about a 22 year old student who grew up in Iran, goes to school in America, and has an internship in United Arab Emirates. Not Yet. Soon…

What I’d like to make out of this blog is to gather everything of MY interest, and put it in one place, and work on my critical thinking and writing skills.


Here we go..!!!