Friday, January 4, 2008

IdeaBlob Best Idea Yet

This is the site Ideablob mentioned in the Firing Up FeedBurner post . According to that post, the posting of Ideablob had received 19 clicks which was just one below first place position. As of today it has received 51 clicks, more than twice of the former first place.

The are no illusions as to the impact of this weblog on the world of Web 2.o, so if it is the best used site for this weblog it is because of its own usefulness and popularity. I can only imagine what it is doing at other sites. It also supports Barger's point .

1. A true weblog is a log of all the URLs you want to save or share. (So is actually better for blogging than

It also not only provides funding for business oriented entrepreneurial efforts but social-entrepreneurial efforts as well as the following post from Entrepreneurial Mind demonstrates.

The Entrepreneurial Mind: Social Enterprise Latest Ideablob Winner
A social enterprise is the latest monthly $10,000 Ideablob winner.

Marci Bossow Schankweiler of North Wales, PA is President and founder of Crossing the Finish Line (CFL), a Blue Bell, PA-based non-profit organization that provides excursions for young adult cancer patients and their families. Schankweiler founded CFL after her first husband passed away from cancer at the age of 30. She plans to use the prize money to help fund a home for cancer patients near Orlando, FL.

Vote for Andy

This also came from Entrepreneurial Mind

One of our students here at Belmont is a finalist for this round of voting. If you haven't been to the site, think of it as a monthly American Idol for business ideas with voting taking place at the website.

Andy Tabar is one of our student practicing entrepreneurs trying to build his web-based business. It is easy to vote. Just go to the website and register. After you have go back to the main page for and vote for Andy's entry "Expand my global tech company" idea. Please go to and vote for Andy!!

So, since I am getting a number of hits on this I am going to post Entrepreneurial Mind post on to see if I can't get at least a couple of vote for Andy. Supposedly voting is open to January 7 though it may be too late.

But it is not really that simple

New Therapy for Stroke Patients

Also looks like a great idea.

Idea Description

Utilizing newest neuro-science/mind-body medicine/quantum physics, I would present a non-invasive, cutting-edge complementary therapy for stroke patients.
Data destroyed by stroke, exists in other areas of the brain in different forms. By contacting parts of the brain previously less directly employed, but still connected to stored data, we reach out to old functions by recognition of past action, impression, perception and emotion. Once accessed, new pathways are created to retrieve information.
Stimulation by light/touch/smell/laughter/nature/art/music..allows the brain to access alternative routes leading to the back doors of lost information affording a more rapid return to function.

This idea appears to have more votes. I have to wonder though to what degree has this "technology" been tested so that the question of licensing can be better addressed. If it is viable, should IdeaBlob be the source of funding or are there more relevant sources of funding out there? Being even an "armchair-virtual" venture capitalist is not all that easy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Define Who You Are For Yourself Before Defining For Others

A previous post dealt with having, "your organization's portrayal or public face firmly established in the mind of all of your members." What that is can be based on one of two foundations either:

  • What You Love
    • or
  • Who You Are

Sam Davidson gives his perspective on advise from Penelope Trunk of Brazen Careerist.

CoolPeopleCare | Penelope's Advice: Do What You Are
Should you do what you love or do what you are? What if both of those change?

Penelope Trunk, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago in Madison,has just written what I think is her best piece. She trashes the common career advice of, "Do what you love." She takes to task the impossibility and unfeasibility of this advice, claiming that:

"Often, the thing we should do for our career is something we would only do if we were getting a reward. If you tell yourself that your job has to be something you'd do even if you didn't get paid, you'll be looking for a long time. Maybe forever. So why set that standard? The reward for doing a job is contributing to something larger than you are, participating in society, and being valued in the form of money."

Sam continues his philosophical musings.

CoolPeopleCare | But What If I Love Entrepreneurship?

Should I do what I love or do what I am? But what if I want to make my passion my profession?

Yesterday, I highlighted Penelope Trunk's recent condemnation of the career advice, "Do what you love." In its place she suggests that people "Do what they are." I agreed.

But I soon began to think about entrepreneurs. Many people embrace the notion of entrepreneurship in order to do what they love. They start jobs and companies in order to turn their passion into their profession.

So are they being misguided? Should they be steered away from trying to base a business on something they love?

Or should every entrepreneurship course be prefaced with Penelope's advice, steering budding starters away from basing a concept on a love and instead basing it on who they are?

Or, by only changing one word in a tired maxim, is Penelope really just saying the same thing?

The Businesspundit questions the ability of some of his generation's ability to meet the challenges of being an entrepreneur.The Businesspundit: Not Built For Business: Are We The Greatest Generation?

David Brooks calls the years when members of my generation wander in their 20s "the odyssey years." We move between careers, get our traveling itch done and experiment with startups. Ben Casnocha, an entrepreneur who hasn't even reached his "odyssey years" yet, encourages exploration but not without setting goals-no doodling on Taco Cabana bags and Twinkie wrappers, people. In the August issue of Maxim, Mark Cuban championed an even more daring quest in a feature on "CEO Secrets."

As this post is already getting long enough, I am going to make additional comments at another post.

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Simply the Best: Maeda’s the Man at RISD

From Fast Company can also be found at

Simply the Best: Maeda's the Man at RISD

  • John Maeda, MIT Media Lab guru, artist, designer, computer scientist, author – in short, a guy who comes about as close as it gets to being a Renaissance Man, circa 2007 --- was just named the new president of the Rhode Island School of Design, one of the most prestigious design schools in the world. It's a great day for RISD – but also for the design world in general.

This is the TEDBlog post on John Maeda

TED | TEDBlog: John Maeda named next president of RISD

  • Technology has outpaced humanity, I wouldn't say tenfold, I'd say a millionfold. ... Meanwhile, we're still trying to figure out, what is this stuff for? I think that arts have to advance the culture of knowledge around technology. It hasn't happened yet, but it has to happen.

Design seems to becoming an integral part of not only web 2.0 but the larger economy as well. There is some evidence that I am being too optimistic but the way I am beginning to see design is similar to the way I am beginning to see marketing. Which is no longer as a secondary, stand alone function but a function that permeates other functions of the organization. So then, is one aspect of marketing design that it effectively communicates a truth about you and your organization? I am going to have to do some more thinking about where design and marketing conjoin and where they don't. John Maeda makes the fact that there is a relationship between design and web 2.0 obvious and the nature of that relationship continuously creative and surprising.

Resolving To Learn More About Web 2.0

New Year is the time for resolutions. I find that best kind of resolutions to undertake are those you were going to do or are doing anyway even if it wasn't the end of the year. I resolve to continue learning more, especially regarding web 2.0. Below are some of the web 2.0 tools with which I would like to get more familiar. This gets added on to the list of web 2.0 tools and other areas of interest I was going to learn in 2007.

SquidBlog » Blog Archive » Two years later, the SquidUpdate
  • Quick, What's Squidoo?

    Squidoo makes it really really (really!) easy to share your favorite stuff online, discover great recommendations, earn a little dough and even give to charity. All for free. What's your passion (insert: hobby, job, favorite music, holiday wishlist, pet stories, marketing tips, sports heroes, and so on)? Don't get addicted, we dare you.

Seth's Blog: For scholars who just can't wait
  • We built a new front door that makes it easy for you to build a scholarly page, filled with details, facts and more on Squidoo. And of course it will be indexed all over the web...

This is another one that I want to learn in 2008.

Wiki - Free Wiki Websites - Wetpaint
    • New! Just Add Wetpaint!

      Learn about Just Add Wetpaint, the turnkey professional services solution offered by Wetpaint to build your robust brand-centric community online.
    Here An example of a website created with the wetpaint wiki maker.

    Victoria City Style Council

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    Organizational Permeability: Breaking Down The Walls Between You And "Them" And You And "Us"

    This weblog is going back to its initial purpose of finding articles and weblinks that help to create personal beneficial paradigm shifts. One of the more important areas to learn from has been marketing. As with so many other topics of interest, the definition of marketing has become "New" again and seems to continue to expand. My main source of insight and inspiration has been Seth Godin but others also contribute to my education. My take on the following isn't really "marketing", its more communication and collaboration. Each of the following links though provides some important insights as to how to best nurture both both internally and externally whatever organizational aspect you are trying to enhance.

    Seth's Blog: Meatballs and permeability

    When your organization starts freely sharing internal data (like rolodexes and schedules and cost info) and allows easy use of motivated outsiders, things get faster and cheaper and smarter. That's one of the side effects of organizing around the new marketing as opposed to organizing around the factory.

    This strikes me as creating not only an organization knowledge base but an organizational identity as well.

    The Entrepreneurial Mind: Is Web Changing the Nature of Customer Relationships?

    The TaxingTennessee blog has a post about an interesting analysis at the Lunch Over IP blog based on Doc Searls' The Cluetrain Manifesto. (Lots of links, I know, but this whole blog thing is supposed to be a conversation after all).

    It is arguably not only a conversation but one that is as open as possible. There are limits to be sure but increasing communication within in organization up and down the organizational levels and beyond the organizational limits seems to be a requirement for organizations to grow and thrive.

    ROI? Not With Those Ads You Won't...

    If you haven't been around forever, you don't have as much money as a companies like Coke or Pepsi (who bombard consumers with brand messages so hard and consistently that it's a wonder the subconscious hasn't caved under attack), distinguishing yourself, making people care, and making them remember who you are can be tough. Before you agree to pony up thousands for a pretty face, a catchy tune or just the services of one more run of the mill advertising firm, make sure you think about how effective your portrayal of your brand message is within the already over crowded space that is the consumer's mind.

    This suggests that you already have your organization's portrayal or public face firmly established in the mind of all of your members. Knowledge is power is a well known adage and all too often managers develop their power by denying others knowledge. Even when knowledge is shared, if its the wrong knowledge in the wrong market its not going to do anybody any good.

    Seth's Blog: Your ads are not for you

    Here's the puzzling math of advertising, offline and on:
    • Everybody doesn't read, remember or click on your ads.
    • Nobody isn't the right answer either.

    In other words, you don't get 100% attention when you buy an ad. In fact, you don't get 50% attention or even 1%. If you're very very good and very lucky, it might be .1% but it's more likely to be one in 10,000. Which is exactly the right number, it turns out, to make advertising work.

    I am beginning to believe more in "niche" marketing. You don't have to beat out Britney Spears for Google hits your just need to get your message in front of those who need to see it as stated below.

    Seth's Blog: Frequency, Frequency, Frequency and the paradox of the Net

    I think there are two strategies that are shaping up online.
    The first: burn your permission. Every time you have something to sell, either buy enough ads on popular sites to achieve frequency, or just burn out your core base by repeating your message over and over again. At least you'll make enough money to be able to rebuild your audience later.

    The second: go easy on the frequency and embrace your audience. Give them what they want (interesting, new stuff) instead of what you need (frequency). Play for the long run.

    My natural inclination is to go for the second though I realize there are times when the first is more appropriate, but I would tend to error towards the long term if left to my own devises. You can target your audience, and you can create two way dialogues.

    Seth's Blog: The joy of the commons

    Garr Reynolds shows us the joy of the commons. Basically, he's written a book (the book) about presentations and PowerPoint and put entirely too much effort into it. It appears that it has taken him tens of thousands of hours, tweaking endless invisible details to bring us this piece of work.Because the market is crowded, he overdelivered. Dramatically. And it shows. I've built a page about his book and his work. I can't imagine someone who gives presentations not being positively impacted by this book. Well worth it.

    In the end, it is not only what you say but also how you say it.

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    Monday, December 31, 2007


    Since my account was a significant contributor to the last post and to my overall weblog experiment I decided to also share my two unsolicited network links. For their own reasons these to sites decided to connect with my account. I am not complaining by any means, I am just not sure why they decided to link to me. I am glad if anybody gets any benefit from what I do. The euforic site is in both French and English.

    espaarni08 by Risto Päärni
    euforic by euforic

    Firing Up FeedBurner

    I have written a few posts about HitTail so it's about time I did one on FeedBurner.

    One of the constraints of this weblog experiment that has not been stated up until now is that nobody knows about it who is web comfortable in the day job/real world. So who the people who are subscribing to this weblog are, I have absolutely no idea, but they did not come from local friends or family. More important is that the growth from zero to a whopping 18 tops is organic without any particularly focused effort. It is as if one threw a message in a bottle into the cyber-sea and received answers from all over the world. The level of connection on the web is truly amazing.

    All of my hits on FeedBurner come from feeds not site visits. In fact, it would seem that nobody has ever actually visited my site. Not that I blame them, most of my connecting is through the Google Reader, at least my initial connections.

    More people are finding items of issue through my account. The number of people find the Listing all ideas - Ideablob: where ideas grow at my account continues to get bigger even though I never actually got around to posting the article from Entrepreneurial Mind.

    The regular feeds picking up my site include:

    The bots looking over my website include:

    Name Hits learn more about Hits
    Another Google Bot

    Another Googlebot. There are multiple versions, some prepend the Mozilla string in their user-agent, like this one. Googlebot is Google's web-crawling robot. It collects documents from the web to build a searchable index for the Google search engine.


    This content was viewed within the Lijit service


    Moreover polls xml feeds for use in a number of applications such as an enterprise news aggregator

    Technorati Search Bot

    Technorati is a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere - the world of weblogs.


    This is the crawler for the blog search component of search engine Ice Rocket

    Snapbot 2
    FeedBurner Feed Insurance

    When you see this user-agent, you know it's working!


    Sphere is a blog search engine




    I don't know if the I am getting more hits from Lijit because I signed up with them or not. The Sphere hits were from my account. This is fine with me and fits in with the philosophy of this weblog in that it is suppose to be about the links to intriguing and informative websites. Below are my top 1o all time most popular links or posts.

    Transcending Economic Castes 20
    -- Staff Bios-- Center for Social Media 19
    Listing all ideas - Ideablob: where ide 19
    New York Law School: Professor Beth Nov 18
    Finding The Style For A Sucessful Caree 2 12
    World changing paradigm shifts come fro 13
    Slashdot | Fair Use Worth More Than Cop 13
    Web 2.0 For The Over 50 - A Good Experi… 13
    Attempting To Tag Intelligently 1 12
    Getting One's On-line House In Order 2 11

    International Web Star Is 15 Seconds Of Fame Off And On

    My HitTail hits are not getting me any monetizing blogging suggestions lately but it continues to come up with some fascinating connections. This time one of the posts was picked up by MobusTV. It is a Spanish language site. Here is the English translation and who they are.

    The link at the site is under the Here Comes Another Bubble portion of the

    Miriam Reyes entrevista a Anil de Mello sobre lo que ha representado el 2007 y sus predicciones para el 2008. Links: La salchicha de Leds y Here Comes Another Bubble

    There is always the chance that it will be gone before anybody looks it up though. I had a very temporary link with the BPS Research Digest blog, linked before dinner gone after dinner.(Now surprise it is back up near the bottom of the post or it is gone you can check). Hopefully it will stay up though to be truthful I would understand if it didn't. This is not a professional research blog.

    In the hopes of maintaining my international status with MobusTV, I offer the following update

    digging diigo

    I am beginning to like diigo more and more. I was already impressed with the diigo webslides such as the one used with the post on Civic Media. I finally figured out that the way to update tags across all of my tagging systems is to open up the original diigo bookmark from Firefox and add in the new tag. Better yet I can also forward the article I am tagging to my blog with a relevant part of the article in tow to my blog. The last two posts were created using this procedure. The Self Promotion versus Selfless Promotion post was a quick grab but the next post on social-entrepreneurship and healthcare in Africa combined a number of different articles using this method.

    As the issue was more complicated, it took a good deal more thought for me to put it together. That is only in terms of creating the narrative, I still have to work on increasing the efficiency in creating these posts as well from the html perspective. I am starting to develop a look that I like and my desire to insure that all links open up in new tabs or windows makes putting it all together more difficult. Of course, I could learn CSS but that is a longer term prospect.

    A good deal of the content is repeated but I still feel as though it is an advance in understanding some of the issues this weblog has been exploring as well as an advance in how to present them. What I need to work on now is inserting comments and sticky notes onto the articles I am blogging about and find new ways of connecting them all together.

    Sunday, December 30, 2007

    Best Intentions Unintended Consequences

    The Los Angeles Times had an article that called into question whether the Gates Foundation was having a net positive impact on healthcare in Africa.

    Unintended victims of Gates Foundation generosity - Los Angeles Times

    The Gates Foundation, endowed by the personal fortunes of the Microsoft Corp. chairman, his wife and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren E. Buffett, has given $650 million to the Global Fund. But the oxygen valve fell outside the priorities of the fund's grants to Lesotho. Every day, nurses say, one or two babies at the hospital die as Mankuebe did -- bypassed in a place where AIDS overshadows other concerns.

    Mixed effects

    The Gates Foundation has targeted AIDS, TB and malaria because of their devastating health and economic effects in sub-Saharan Africa. But a Times investigation has found that programs the foundation has funded, including those of the Global Fund and the GAVI Alliance, which finances vaccines, have had mixed influences on key measures of societal health:

    * By pouring most contributions into the fight against such high-profile killers as AIDS, Gates grantees have increased the demand for specially trained, higher-paid clinicians, diverting staff from basic care. The resulting staff shortages have abandoned many children of AIDS survivors to more common killers: birth sepsis, diarrhea and asphyxia.

    The article provided the impetus to go back and look again at the Vivian Hoffman paper. The paper raised questions about the real impact of social-entrepreneurs, such as the Acumen Fund, had on helping the poor. The post links to a Marginal Revolution post and from there to a New York Times article that questioned whether direct distribution of the nets of the nets was best or were social entrepreneurial programs. Similar questions of effectiveness arose from the the Fast Company article regarding Grameen Phone Company.

    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported Global Fund seems to see this either as a public relations problem, if we want to be cynical, or as a problem of self-definition, they can't be all things to all people or perhaps something in the middle. There does seem to be some truth to the later proposition that they can't be all things to all people but it is arguably a matter of balance. Because it's Bill Gates cynicism seems far easier than it might otherwise.

    The LA Times did do a follow up report on the Global Funds dispute with their article. The Global Fund not only has their own piece criticizing the LA Times article, they also have a letter from the National Aids Control Commission of Rwanda.

    I have an issue with attempts to find fault to create a story, which the LA Times article and the Fast Company article seem to lean too much towards in my view. The New York Times article and Vivian Hoffman paper though seemed different. My second reading of the Hoffman paper did provide a better understanding and impressed upon me again the uncomfortable perspective that going in with a decidedly social-entrepreneurial slant as the best intentions to provide assistance without fully understanding the culture could have unintended but detrimental consequences. What I don't know is what course of action, if any, have been taken by the social-entrepreneurs to address these issues. This is not, of course, the same as arguing that traditional government centered policies are automatically better.

    Within the LA Times article they make a statement which is apparently in conflict with what I got from the Hoffman article.

    According to UNICEF, malaria kills relatively few children. Birth-related problems, pneumonia and diarrhea are the top causes of child mortality. All are treatable but occur at high rates, in part because resources are concentrated on AIDS, TB and malaria, The Times reported.

    This is in contrast to the Vivian Hoffman paper,

    Malaria kills over one million people annually, 90 percent of them children under the age of five (World Health Organization, 2004).
    What I found at the WHO website, which provided more insight, is that the key health dangers for children are:
    • From one month to five years of age, the main causes of death are pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and HIV. Malnutrition contributes to more than half of deaths.

    • Pneumonia is the prime cause of death in children under five years of age. Nearly three-quarters of all cases occur in just 15 countries. Addressing the major risk factors – including malnutrition and air pollution – is essential to preventing pneumonia, as is vaccination. Antibiotics and oxygen are vital tools for effectively managing the illness.

    • Diarrhoeal diseases are a leading cause of sickness and death among children in developing countries. Treatment with Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) combined with zinc supplements is safe, cost-effective, and saves lives.

    • One African child dies every 30 seconds from malaria. Insecticide-treated nets prevent transmission and increase child survival.

    • Over 90% of children with HIV are infected through mother-to-child transmission, which can be prevented with antiretrovirals, as well as safer delivery and feeding practices.

    • About 20 million children under five worldwide are severely malnourished, which leaves them more vulnerable to illness and early death.

      About two-thirds of child deaths are preventable through practical, low-cost interventions. WHO is improving child health by helping countries to deliver integrated, effective care in a continuum - starting with a healthy pregnancy for the mother, through birth and care up to five years of age. Investing in strong health systems is key to delivering this preventive care.

    This does argue for taking a more comprehensive approach to children's healthcare in developing countries but it does not argue that it is being caused by “in part because resources are concentrated on AIDS, TB and malaria, The Times reported.” Amy Smith of MIT, who is recognized for finding low tech solutions for global problems informed us that smoke from indoor cooking was the number one killer of young children.

    Meanwhile, Acumen Fund has been recognized by Fast Company as one of its top 45 Social Capitalists: Acumen Fund.

    The increasing gap between rich and poor is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. Half the world lives on less than three dollars a day while 250 individuals hold more wealth than the bottom two billion. Creating a sustainable world means reducing that gap.

    Aid alone will not end poverty. Traditional charity often meets immediate needs but is not designed to enable people to solve problems over the long term. Poor people seek dignity, not dependence.

    Acumen Fund identifies and supports enterprises that provide health, water, housing and energy to the poor. We bring capital, knowledge and talent to accelerate markets for the poor, having seen their power as customers who are willing to pay for affordable, quality services that can change their lives. We have seen this working with our portfolio enterprise in South Asia and Eastern Africa.

    While Iqbal Quadir has become the head of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT.

    Acumen's founder Jacqueline Novogratz, Iqbal Quadir and others working in this field have also been topics of contemplation in this weblog and have been included within the Pearls of Paradigm Processing Social and Economic Paradigms.

    No final conclusion, just an ever increasing realization of the complexity of the issues. As Emily Oster, the University of Chicago economist, pointed out we need to look for root causes in not only understanding poverty and poor health care -- but also other issues such as the price of coffee, and the routes of long-haul truckers.

    In short, there is a lot we don't know; and our assumptions about what we do know may keep us from finding the best way to stop the disease.”