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Metis Talent Management brand new website goes live

Last fortnight was a joy, as we came to the launch of Metis Talent Management's website. Metis is a Singapore based organisation that advises clients on Talent Management with a primary focus on Talent Development and Organisation Design. Best wishes to team Metis!

The other great thing is how folks at Metis approached this by going in for a full overhaul, including getting a new logo and brand colours. Do leave your comments on what you feel about the website and the logo!!

THIS NEW YEAR, SEND OUT TALKING EMAIL GREETINGS

Imagine the conventional email greetings that we send out this part of the year. This new year consider replacing the text by greetings in your own voice using your computer and a standard PC mic and a free software combo of Audacity and an mp3 converter . It is pretty simple and can be done without much of a pain.Record your greetings in your own voice and export the recording to mp3 format using the software combo mentioned before. Attach and send it by email. Some mail services, such as Gmail even sense that the attachment is an audio mp3 file and directly offer to play it.

I see good potential here to surprise faraway friends whom we may not call, but still may want to wish them in our own voice. Sorry, no voice-merge here!

For Installation help on Audacity here. Fellow blogger Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspirationhas written a very useful poston voice recording using such software and I recommend all readers to spend a minute on very tips provided by Amit.

SLIDESHOWS ADD VALUE TO YOUR SITE, TRY ZOHO

Of late I have come across professionals who want to add slideshow onto their blogs or business websites.Zohoprovides an interesting feature which allows you to embed slideshow onto your website or blog in just a few steps. If you use your desktop to make slides, Zoho Show works fairly well. However, it also allows you to create presentations from scratch using its own online interface, as well as embed them to your blog or website such as one shown below.



Steps to embed a ppt onto a blog like this are very simple. A. Signup for Zoho Show. B. Upload your slides or create your presentation online C. Once done, click on 'action', you would see a menu bar like shown below

D. Once you have clicked on and see the some code, copy it completely. E. If you want to add to a blog like this, do write your blog in the text editor and then click on the Edit Html button above. Paste the Zoho code at the place where you want your slideshow to appear.Publish and your are up. It may appear complex, b…

TSUNAMI:REAL GOOD SITE TO KNOW ABOUT QUAKES

Today is the anniversary of 2004 Tsunami that devastated the lives of people across many on the coastlines of Asia. As news about a possible Tsunami in the Phillipines trickles in, here's a good site to refer to. It is the US Geological Survey site's Eathquake Center (recently redone, but how recently not sure). You may like to check out.The home site is very informative and worth spending a few minutes.It's here.

Technorati:

FINALLY, BLOGGER IS OUT OF BETA

Google today announcedthat its popular blog platform Blogger is moved out of Beta. It is been called as New Blogger. Of late, Google has been rapidly migrating blogs on Blogger to Blogger Beta, which is now been called as 'New Blogger'. The 'New Blogger' has some nice features but the migration for many users like me have not been without trouble. The timezone was reset and in case ofmy Hindi blog, the language was changed back to English. But nevertheless, some nice features. I suppose the feeds location changes too, though for few days Google would redirect your readers to the new feed location.Next few days would be worth the watch in blogosphere.Pour in your reactions.

AFTER LAPTOPS, NOW DESKTOPS ON FIRE!

A Computerworld story recounts how NEC desktops, atleast two two of them, set themselves ablaze in Japan this Oct and Nov.While this is something to be concerned about, the story does not mention the environment in which these desktops were being used, and whether any user action was responsible for this. Thankfully, NEC is not a major name in Desktop business. Look at the cheek, they have quickly mentioned that the faulty components were not made by NEC, but outsourced!

GOOGLE NASA TIEUP:WHAT DOES IT MEAN

Google seems heading deep in space with its tieup with Nasa.Google will be able to make previously unavailable pitcures from Nasa's library to its consumers and Nasa would be able to leverage GOOG's huge computing facilities and expertise in this area. Nasa will provide high quality pictures of Moon and Mars, as well as that of the international space station.Sounds like a win-win for the space enthusiasts.

WEB 2.0: 'TIME' NAMES 'YOU' AS PERSON OF THE YEAR

In 1982 Time rated PC is the person of the year. That was the hardware bit in the computing business getting recognized. Things have indeed moved forward and the focus is now on the net and PC is on the sidelines, enabling things as they happen.The focus is on content.Web enthusiasts have been using newer platforms(are they really new indeed?) such as blogs, mashups etc self expression and have felt good about it. Now Time magazine has announced that the Person of the Year 2006 is 'You', crediting the users for enriching web with their content and for having great influence on vox-populi. This is mainstream recognition that Web 2.0 has arrived. This should also silence critics who have often spoken of Web 2.0 as a geeks' hype. BTW, here's an interesting wiki on Time's Person of the Year here.

MICROSOFT TO ATTRACT TALENT DIFFERENTLY, DIFFERENTLY FROM GOOGLE

After Google attracted considerable flak in blogosphere over its vague stance on its Google Wordmasters Challenge contest results, others have thankfully decided to do things differently.
Microsoft has recently announced Web Rockstars contest ( for web designers and developers). In contrast to Google Wordmasters Challenge event, things are a little different here. Rules and regulations are known to potential participants and so are the prizes. 10 winners get XBox 360s and an unspecified number get to travel to MSFT's Redmond Campus. Results will be declared on 31st Jan and possibly you may not even need to send your SAE to them to know the results. Related: FINALLY, WHO WON GOOGLE WORDMASTERS CONTEST?

CALLING MARKETING, RSS ON YOUR WEBSITE IS GOOD ROI

A website is supposed to be the webmasters baby, isn't it? Not quite true. This post is for Marketing professionals. Ever noticed the below icon on any website of late?


We are going to talk about it. Modern day communication is characterized by short attention span and over exposure to diverse communication sources and cues.

It is perhaps too much to expect all people interesting in your company as an investor, analyst, career seeker, media person to get to know the updates on your corporate website site as they happen.They need to come and check as often as they can, on which, apply your judgement. Email again is an active response item, which means someone has to revert as soon as they can, and this can be very repetitive and prone to errors.

As a company, you would be interested in making sure the right media guys do not miss out your all important press release, a potential talent does not join the rival because he did not have the time to go through all the career openings in the…

WAL-MART JOINS INDIAN RETAIL REVOLUTION

Wal-Mart, world's largest retailer(turnover USD 315 BN, Mcap USD 193 BN and employing employing 1.3 MN people in US) recently moved a step forward to enter India. According to a Confederation of Indian Industry report, there are 5.5 outlets per 1000 Indians, which is the highest in the world(Figure that out for a billion Indians!). It speaks volumes about the size of these outlets and their capacity to offer the best to their customers. It also means that distribution costs are very high for companies retailing via these shops. Last few years of GDP growth rate in the range of 8% means that there is much higher attraction in entering this market (Infact, it is nudging 9% levels now). Indians are shopping than ever before. The Indian shopping season, which centers around Diwali, was a record for cellphone industry this Diwali as estimated one million phones are reported to have been sold on one single day!(Market leader reportedly Nokia sold over 4,00,000 phones on Oct 19). The inter…

FORD ORGANIZES JOB FAIR FOR ITS OWN EMPLOYEES

It is common knowledge that 103 year old Ford Motor Company, one of America's crown jewels, is in deep financial trouble. It has hired Alan Mulally (US $2 million salary + US$16.5 million other compensation according to this wiki) to salvage the situation. It is trying it reduce its workforce and has succeeded in pursuading 38000 employees to agree to accept buyout packages. It is even organizing job fairs for its employees and hiring motivational speakers to pursuade employees to leave. You might want to check out Detroit News here for an event report.
Employees are getting hired by CIA, FBI, Fire Service, Railways etc. Employees visiting the fair are even getting a DVD that contrasts the likely future of those who choose to continue with Ford vis-a-vis those who choose to pursue opportunities outside.

MY VIEW:'THE GOOGLE STORY' BY DAVID A. VISE

It is perhaps a very tough task to write about a company such as Google, which somehow has become part of our daily life in many ways. I recently read David A. Vise's The Google Story after resisting it for quite a while. I had earlier read John Battelle's The Search and left brief commentson this blog, but not quite kept my word to write more about that.Battelle's book is more about the core theme of Google which is search, arguably. He focuses a lot on other 1000 lb gorillas of the net, whereas David Wise is more focused on Google and Google alone.


It is perhaps, very tempting, but not an easy task to write about Google as a company. This company did not exist 10 years back, and now commands a market cap of USD 155 BN.(Snapshot taken from Google Finance). A company such as Microsoft which has been in existence for generations now(yes, in tech world 1975 is several generations) and unquestionbly a pathbreaking pioneer and market leader has an M-cap of about USD 294 BN.


The …

USABILITY, WHAT THE HECK?

14 Nov was billed as World Usability Day.(In India, it has traditionally been celebrated as Children's Day). So what exactly is the big noise about Usability.

Ever come across a gadget you had to struggle to make use of? Or, a door lock that you had to struggle to open because the lock system was so complex? Or, a TV remote that refused to help? Or, the car fob with so many buttons that you do not know all the functions. Well, in the words of World Usability Day website it is all about 'making life easy'. Succintly capturing the dilemna, it says:

"Why doesn't this work right? What am I supposed to do with this now?"

Usability, undoubtably, is something that affects us in our daily lives. It is about user experience in using a product, rather, the ease of it. Imagine,your cousin gifted you a new mobile but you found navigation so clumsy that you had to put it back in the box and started using the old one.

As products get more complex and manufacturers come under p…

WITH IE 7.0 YOU CAN HAVE MULTIPLE HOMEPAGES

Internet Explorer version 7.0 (IE 7.0) was recently made available for download by Microsoft. Many users have already made the switch from IE 6.0 to the latest version. Many reviews have been written about it, emphasising on the look and feel. There is a very exhaustive review at Computerworld which readers may like to go through, especially those who are yet to move to this version. Most of these reviews have mentioned about the introductions of tabs as coming in quite late. However, there is a killer of a feature in tabs, that makes your web experience much superior to other browsers such as Opera(I like the pink!) and Firefox, which have had tabs implemented for a while. This is the concept of multiple home pages.

So when I start IE 7.0 on my machine, it opens not one but three tabs(see the view) and loads three different sites which I have set as the respective homepages. Likewise, when I am browsing with an tab, and I click on the home icon , it opens three more tabs which load th…

CRICKET:WHAT, BCCI DOES NOT EVEN HAVE A WEBSITE?!

All I wanted to know was BCCI's history, official version and looked up on the web. Unfortunately, I failed.In this age when class VII students(perhaps even younger kids do so) host their own websites, I was astonished that a search for BCCI official website on Google made me no wiser. Am I to believe that world’s richest cricket board does not know what a website is? Yes, I am talking about Board of Control for Cricket in India, the body that governs cricket in India.

ICC, or International Cricket Council, has its own official presence on the web. 'Poorer' boards such as Cricket Australia, England and Wales Cricket Board, New Zealand Cricket have their own websites, where they have variety of content pertaining to the game. Pakistan Cricket Board too has a website.

Is this not snootyness, or plain and simple disregard for public communication, that an organization that conducts the most popular sport in India does not feel the need for official content on the web(suppose I …

FINALLY, WHO WON GOOGLE WORDMASTERS CONTEST?

Google organized Wordmasters Challenge in several cities in India recently (30th September,2006). Word is that close to 3000 people participated in this event.
(See Harshad's report on the event here) The winners are supposed to be declared today.Wonder who won it and what did the winning entries look like. Does anyone have a clue on this?

Updated:Nov 9 , 2006:I just decided to send a self-addressed-stamped envelope to Google. If and when I get a response, I will update this post.

Updated:Nov 16 , 2006: One week and no response received. Yes, a self-addressed stamped envelope with a covering note was indeed sent to Google's Bangalore office on the address specified in the event leaflet. Snailmailed on 9th Nov. So much for the mission to organise the world's information and make it accessible to everyone :)

Updated: Nov 29, 2006: I did send a second letter to Google, this time by courier, assuming the previous postal mail failed to reach them. The contents of my letter to Googl…

WHO USES ONLINE WORD PROCESSING ANYWAY?

Google has come out with a new service called Docs & Spreadsheets.(The docs part comes from a company called Writely that Google acquired some time back) That left me wondering. Who is the targetted user for this? A person who has a PC and internet access, but not have a word processing programme. Or the roving sales guys? Appears quite an unlikely scenario.
Luckily, Google Docs & Spreadsheets is not about word processing or about doing spreadsheets. It is about collaboration, and word processing, if I may say, is just incidental.In typical Google style of understatement, this is quite feature rich, allows multiple users to collaborate on the same doc and mail it off .



The 'docs' part is reasonably okay, but I still cannot visualize a scenario where I would use it.It is compatible with other Word Processing such as MS Word and Star Office etc, allows you to save the doc in PDF mode(a good value add). The spreadsheet part, to say the least, is quite sad. As Amit Agarwal p…

SEND TEXT MESSAGES FROM YOUR NOKIA USING THE PC

Most phone brands nowadays give a software on a CD or through their website that helps you back up your phone data on the PC, transfer music and images, as well as help you synchronize the contacts list with the email programme.

These programmes connect your PC/laptop with phone phone through cable, infra-red and Bluetooth.

Nokia PC Suite offers all of what I mentioned in the opening sentence.

However, I have been using another, less talked about feature on the PC Suite, which I consider the star of the pack. It allows you to type your messages on the PC/laptop screen as you would type anything else, and then send it out to the phone network by transferring it to your phone on one click. Not only that, it will also pick up the phone numbers so you do not have to specify the destination number, only type the name as you have them on your phone, and it would suggest the number by reading from your phone. Want to send to multiple friends, well, this software would give you the same flexibi…

BLOGCAMP INDIA AT CHENNAI: BEST THING TO HAPPEN ON A WEEKEND

On 9th & 10th September, I was Blogcamp India and went through an amazing experience. Large hall, almost 200 or participants, and a spirited coalition of organisers led by Kiruba Shankar, a leading blogger himself.A hall that was WI-FI litup courtesy SIFY, and presence of celebs ( more on that later) and people from all over India, indeed from US and UK as well. It was billed as Unconference, meaning, very flat format, choose-your-own-role type.

I met Amit Agarwal, India's most famous blogger ( His business card reads: Go to Google.com , Type Amit Agarwal, Click I am feeling lucky) who flew in from Agra, the city of Taj Mahal.Unassuming and very accessible, Amit was seen to be as eager to meet others as others were to catch up with him.

I met some other bloggers, and discovered we worked for the same company! Among them was Jammy, who writes amazing humour with a straight face.
Then there was Atul Chitnis, the senior daddy of blogging, who has been at it since the nineties. . By …

WHAT'S KNOWN ABOUT YOU? - PART II

What is known about you: That’s the question I left in my teaser last time. A lot, is my answer.

It is widely known that most sites, including commercial sites analyze visitor data for references. Marketing departments do analysis of what is drawing visitors to the site, what they are buying and what they are not. This data is used to manipulate content and offerings and plan promotions, pretty much as the shelf-movement data is used in FMCG companies to analyze buying behavior. Welcome to web traffic analytics.

Blogmeisters will do well to learn a leaf or two out of this practice. But you can give appropriate cues only if you know who your visitors are. On the left side panel, you would find a greeting message, which also tries to guess your city and country, and in quite likelihood, would have got it right. Blog as a medium is not so evolved at this point to natively allow dynamic content generation. But the day is not very far off, and even if you do not know the visitor profile, the…

WHAT'S KNOWN ABOUT YOU?

In my next post, we would cover what information ordinary looking website such as this blog gather about you, and what they know about you, most of which you never thought is being available to anyone. Also, how this information is being used for better targetting. Beware, Big Brother is watching you, and unfortunately, it is largely available free of cost.
Somewhat like Google.com, which on Indian Independence Day ( 15 August 2006), not just figured out that I am from India, directed me to Google.co.in where it offered me Independence Day greetings!!!

I shall be back with more.

BLOGGER'S MEET AT CHENNAI

Finally, the Blogging Capital of India, Chennai is having its own bloggers meet. Titled BlogCamp, it will be held in the campus of IIT Madras. Some of the stars of blogosphere, such as Robert Scoble (former employee of Microsoft, currently VP of Podtech and perhaps the best known corporate blogger) are likely to be present apart from our own desi stars.

The event itself is perhaps the first of its kind in India. The details are available at the event website, http://www.blogcamp.in

FREAKONOMICS: SOME THOUGHTS

I finally read Freakonomics the fourth time!. As I have mentioned in my previous post, this title is an international bestseller. Levitt is an accomplished economist, and Dubner is a journalist. The title gives the impression that this is an economics book and you would be burdened with intepreting curves and lines. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Read the complete title carefully, it reads 'FREAKONOMICS- A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything' This book analyses some day to day phenomena in life which we tend to ignore. The authors have applied some statistical techniques to analyse some situations/happenings and that's about it of the Economics. (But then, statistical tools are used in studying genes as well, and that does not make genetics a subfield of Economics!). The only term from the field of economics is the the role of 'reward' on our actions and what are these rewards.

Example, what is the correlation between a lawsuit of the si…

UP NEXT - FREAKONOMICS

I have read Freakanomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (by Levitt & Dubner) three times so far. Frankly, still trying to figure out what this book is about! Wait till I gather my thoughts. Should not be very long, possibly this very week.

"SHIFT- INSIDE NISSAN'S GREAT REVIVAL" - READING

In 1999, Carlos Ghosn ( Rhyming with Phone) was among the leaders at Renault. He had a well established reputation of an achiever, having worked in Michelin as well as Renault. At that time, Nissan was struggling to stay afloat. Nissan and Renault came into an alliance in which Renault took a 44 % stake in Nissan, and Carlos was marshalled off to Japan to change Nissan's fortunes. He took over as COO and later the CEO of Nissan.That explains the context of title of the book.

Born in an Brazillian family of Lebenese descent, Ghosn was a brilliant student and received his advanced education in France. This book is co-authored with Phillipe Ries and was originally written in French. Under Ghosn's leadership, there has been a stark change in Nissan's fortunes. So much so that Renault called him back to lead Renualt as CEO, while holding charge as CEO of Nissan. Today he is a widely respected name in business transformation.

When there is talk of a business transformation of th…

BLOG BANWAS!

Some News Channels reported couple of days back about an Internet Blackout of Blogs in India. Could not believe it and so tried accessing this space from my home and failed. Despicable. And ill considered too, since I am still able to access this space through Bloglines.
Suddenly the India-Pak relationship on the Blogosphere saw a thaw with Indian's rushing to access blogs hosted on Blogspot through anonymizers such as pkblogs.com and its progeny inblogs.net. So much so, that their servers became dead slow last evening.

Thankfully, good sense seems to be prevailing with some reports suggesting today that there is likely to be a corrective action in the offing, not too far away. Read this ET report if you want to know more details.

Once again, hope the govt techies start focussing their energies on preventing online fraud and to make it safe for people to bank and do shopping on the internet. And please leave the blogosphere to bloggers.
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Updated July 21, evening …

हिन्दी लेखन

हिन्दी लिखना एक टेढी खीर से कम नहीं, ऐसी आम धारणा है। किन्तु क्या आपने प्रयास भी किया क्या? मैंने हाल में गूगल पर ढूंढा तो पाया कि कुछ अच्छे साइट हैं जहाँ आपकी मदद की सहज व्यवस्था है। रमण कौल की साइट सराहनीय है।यदि हिन्दी लिखना चाहते हों, तो यहाँ जाँए।

INNOVATION- A CLICHE ALREADY?

The word INNOVATION is part of daily management lingo. People mean different things by this word. To see what I mean by this difference, look at the dictionary meaning and thesaurus meaning for INNOVATION. Are they indeed the same? I bet you would find the thesaurus meaning much more stretched in meaning.
We will start a journey at this blog to comment upon the latest known thoughts on Innovation. We shall start soon with a book by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble titled 10 Rules for Strategic Innovators: From Idea to Execution. If you have any thoughts, let the debate begin right here! To me however, plain and simple, a hand wound charger for a mobile phone is ample proof that Innovation is alive! It also suggests that innovation has a context. This device might appear utterly useless to most of us, but do go and check the villages where there are power supply issues ( No I did not mean Delhi, though I agree the resemblances are close!) and the marginal importance of such a contra…

ENCOUNTER WITH A SKETCH ARTIST!

At recent annual festival of the company I work for, met a bunch of brilliant sketch artists. They could draw your sketch in just about 20 mins andright there. No wonder, there was a rush and after a forty minute wait, I got the chair too. Leave it here to judge you if this is indeed me, but I was mighty impressed. The reproduction here is through the lens of a phone, and therefore is not the very best.

FINALLY - BLUE OCEAN STRATEGY

Authors - W Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Finally Amercians have some competition from Europe!

Chan Kim and Muaborgne are academicians at INSEAD, Europe's best known B School.They are credited with bringing out a new classic on management, which fortunately is not blessed with the same geographical myopia as suffered by most American Authors suffer, who choose to quote only American companies as having displayed excellence. From this perspective this book is a welcome change. This is the first book in recent years from Europe on the subject of business excellence that has become mainstream(Published by Harvard Business School Press). Check out their website.
Much against the creative proclivity of not mentioning books by other authors, this book actually notes the presence of books such as Good to Great and Built to Last. Kim and Mauborgne point out that though many authors have attempted to study companies whose success appears to be durable, sevaral of these companies have faltere…

IS SOMEONE WATCHING YOUR CHEESE?

Chances are that the page you are viewing knows your location in the world. Or Atleast the country. Is someone watching you? Well, someone somewhere always seems to see something about you, which you never intended them to see( Phrase inspired by "Wardrobe Maul-functions" at Lakme India week recently).

Have fun. Will soon write about a much raved book called "Blue Ocean Strategy" by Kim & Mauborgne. Sounds promising in the first few pages. They have obserations about companies, not people, and they too seem to have observed about others what was never thought to be visible.