IT News


Today I came across this “new” site for management innovation exchange where leaders, managers and commoners like me read & contribute ideas.. It’s like a social media site where managers chill and enlighten (or get enlightened) “virtually”. The vision they have goes something like this …“an open innovation project aimed at reinventing management for the 21st century. The premise: while “modern” management is one of humankind’s most important inventions, it is now a mature technology that must be reinvented for a new age.

What struck me was an interesting article by Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies (his interview is featured in The New York Times). Now, how many CEO’s would admit to the World (I’m not saying everybody in this planet reads NY times here), “I am not the smartest or brightest leader… but my job is to ensure that everyone is enabled to do what they do best“.

Spying on his teenage kids… he realized that this is the age of Facebook where people do stuff and share pretty much everything online… so why not apply that to managing a company. This resulted in his staff doing presentations online and receiving 360-degree feedback open to 50,000 employees !! Him asking for solutions to all his employees in his blog…

This is the age of collaboration where companies and customers collaborate, interact and create value…  Some of the most successful companies have been doing it for a while… like Starbucks, Dell ….many more. Whether we like it or not pretty much all employees in any organization are active online these days (and some during office hours too) so why not use their online presence creatively & constructively for the benefit of the organization ?

Here is a piece by Digiredo on how to make Web2.0 work in corporations.

Speaking of which I should ask my boss to blog and lead us ‘virtually’… definitely not like this…

It’s been quite a while since I have put up a blog post… (24/10/2008 was my last post !!)… A lot has happened…

1, I have finished my Masters

2, In my first full time job now

3, Experimenting a lot with  social-networking tools… So this is where I talk about the reason why Im writing this post.

There is just so much to be shared !! With Web2.0rrhea and explosion of social networking… I couldn’t resist writing again and sharing stuff I find interesting !

Recently I went for this Web2.0 Idea sharing session @ MDeC, where I learnt about couple of new sites… like hootsuite, posterous, mixpanel to name a few. Very interesting I say. The session was useful not because I got to know these sites but  more importantly how these tools can be used to derive value for yourself, your company… Right now I am working on integrating these tools in my company either in the website or project management. or just experimenting… and by the way follow me on twitter @ch00b, lately I socialize more with the twitterati 😉

Over n out for now.

Online auction giant eBay has launched a microlending website that lets people invest in entrepreneurs in poor communities around the world and get a return on their money. Unlike micro-finance organizations that make interest-free loans to people in developing countries, Microplace.com offers investors profits for funding folks trying to build better lives, said founder Tracey Turner.

“You are actually investing in the world’s working poor,” Turner told AFP. “And for the first time you get a return on investment. You can take the profit and invest in more people in a virtuous cycle.”

Turner’s vision of MicroPlace began taking shape in 2005, after she lived for a time with a Kenyan family comprised of a single mother caring for three children.

The Kenyan woman bought a sewing machine with 100 dollars she borrowed and started an in-home business making school uniforms for local children.

The woman paid the debt and managed to send one of her sons to college in the United States.

“When you are out in the field talking to these women whose lives are transformed because of 30 dollars or 10 dollars, then you are part of the movement forever,” Turner said.

California-based eBay bought Turner’s business plan in June of 2006 and the website launched October 24 of this year.

Website visitors can browse investors by country, seeing pictures of people seeking loans and reading about their business goals.

MicroPlace connects investors with micro-finance organizations in the various countries. MicroPlace scrutinizes the organizations to check their legitimacy.

Turner said rates of return are modest but that investors at the website see value in addressing global poverty. Lenders shoulder the risk that loans will not be repaid.

“The eye-opening thing for everyone is that repayment rates by the working poor remain unbelievably high, north of 98 percent,” Turner said.

Thousands of people visit the website daily and hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans have already been issued, according to MicroPlace. In keeping with the holidays, some have made gifts of loans by issuing in others’ names.

“What gets me out of bed in the morning is the idea that when you invest in a person it really honors them and enhances their dignity as a human being,” Turner said. “Which is different than a hand out.”

MicroPlace gets fees from microfinance organizations that get money through the website. Money is moved through online financial-transactions firm PayPal, which eBay owns.

“I think it is important everyone from the investor to the person making baskets in a village makes a profit,” Turner said. “The beauty and magic of micro-finance is that it is scalable. That is the only way it will scale.”

EBay has promised that any profits made by MicroPlace will be invested in other initiatives for social good, according to Turner.

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife have channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into microloans through their own foundation and are investors in online microlending website Kiva.

Kiva specializes in connecting altruistic lenders with aspiring business people in developing countries.

In 2008, Kiva plans to begin offering modest interest rates on loans, which at present are interest-free.

“The industry is growing like crazy right now,” Turner said. “It is a new kind of asset class. It is a wise investment.”

Courtesy : Yahoo News

After Google lost its bid to invest in Facebook. It has come up with a bigger n better plan under operation Maka maka. Blog post from TechCrunch reveals some details here. OpenSocial is Google’s answer to Facebook. The development model is very much in line with the Free/Open source model were developers from across the globe contribute. The API’s developed can be used in different websites like Hi5, Friendster and other social networking sites. Google’s goal is to make the applications developed 100% open to all platforms, in the case of Facebook its 98% open. Furthermore Facebook uses a different mark-up language that makes it writing apps more difficult. Apparently there was a secret ‘Facebook issue’ meeting and most probably there will be an announcement on November 5th.