Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blogging to Save the World from My Laptop

One topic I keep repeatedly going over is why I blog. The basic reason was as a learning tool, which I learned was readily shared with others, which I found I enjoyed doing. My other blog was created in part to apply what I had or was learning to a worthwhile cause.I picked the Millennium Development Goals because I was impressed with the cause and the people who are associated with it. It also provides the maximum potential leverage for my efforts - blogging to Save the World.

Now that brings up the potential of being labeled a slacktivist because my BrianDRPM persona does all of its activism online. The trouble, if you can call it that, is that the more you explore, the more you get drawn in by the good work that is being done by so many others. I do find my conflicted about so many doing good works on-the-ground while I merely provide some minimal support through this blog.

My real life/day job persona does have the potential of doing some good for the community for which I work, but I do think about leaving city government after retirement (which is not that far away) to perhaps work for a nonprofit. Yet I can't help but thinking that Web 2.0 will play a larger role in non-profit activism in the future. Even from that perspective there is still a great deal to learn but fortunately many to learn from.

Those internal conflicts aside, it does seem that Web 2.0 is not only taking a greater role in defining activism, especially global activism, but the this online global activism is redefining or reformulating how we use Web 2.0. So the question seems to be, how do we make Web 2.0 an optimal tool for the causes we wish to support and how do we use it do define our own roles in those efforts?

The efforts of one of my Orkut friends and the person who was essential in putting together the Stand Up and Take Action Against Poverty and for the Millennium Development Goals campaign in India is summarized below.

He is also competing in the India Yahoo UnCannies and has been nominated under the online advertising category.

Stand UP Take ACTION - social media for social change

I also checked out some of the competition on

  • has a traffic rank of: 203,381
  • has a traffic rank of: 187,730
  • has a traffic rank of: 268,934

Related Posts (from my other blog)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Innovation versus Idiots How to stay on the right road

Still catching up with some of the older pending posts in my draft bin. Found some from Harvard Business Publishing, especially this one by Bill Taylor.

The article of particular interest was Wisdom of Warren Buffett: On Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots in which he provides a hour-long television interview with Buffett in which he talks about the "natural progression" of how good new ideas go wrong. The "three I's":
  1. Innovators, who see opportunities that others don't.
  2. Imitators, who copy what the innovators have done.
  3. Idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich.
Taylor tells us that, the problem, in other words, isn't with innovation -- it's with the idiocy that follows.
So how do we as individuals (not to mention as companies and societies) continue to embrace the value-creating upside of creativity while guarding against the value-destroying downsides of imitation? The answer, it seems to me, is about values--about always being able to distinguish between that which is smart and that which is expedient. And that takes discipline. Can you distinguish between a genuine innovation and a mindless imitation? Are you prepared to walk away from ideas that promise to make money, even if they make no sense?
So if Buffet warns us of the path to economic destruction, but what do we need to do to keep on the right road? Scott Anthony provides another insightful post, again from Harvard Business Publishing in which he discuses the Three Steps to Innovating in Struggling Industries.
  1. Lower the cost of testing.
  2. Creatively tap into outside resources.
  3. Ruthlessly prune the portfolio.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Entrepreneurship Opportunities through Science

I have been digging through my older and almost forgotten pending draft posts and found some that I still think worthwhile posting. Sometime ago, November 2, 2008, JANET RAE-DUPREE wrote in the Unboxed feature of the New York BUSINESS section Times warning us that It's No Time to Forget About Innovation. The main point of the article and the book is that we need to do some long term thinking. This blog allows me to do some meta-thinking about many of the issues discussed in my Milestones for a New Millennium, as well as those being dealt with in my real life/day job such as economic, entrepreneurship, social-entrepreneurship and innovation.

The sour economy is bad news for corporate innovation and technology, and it could spell trouble for years to come.
“We’re focusing on the short term and we’re not planting the seeds for the future,” says Judy Estrin, former chief technology officer at Cisco Systems and author of “Closing the Innovation Gap.” She suggests instilling five core values to entrench innovation in the corporate mind-set:
  1. questioning,
  2. risk-taking,
  3. openness,
  4. patience and
  5. trust.
All five must be used together — risk-taking without questioning leads to recklessness, she says, while patience without trust sets up an every-man-for-himself mentality.

That still leaves open the question of how do we take the innovative idea on the napkin to commercialization in the market place? These video from MIT World » : Innovation to Commercialization: Using Government Funding to Kick Start Your Start-Up provide some possible pathways.

ABOUT THE PANEL DISCUSSION: Hosted by the MIT Enterprise Forum, moderator Bruce Gellerman elicits some key dos and don’ts from a National Science Foundation small business program officer, and from tech CEOs who have benefited from the government’s programs.

The MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. builds connections to technology entrepreneurs and to the communities in which they reside. The Enterprise Forum produces a series of educational programs about entrepreneurship through a network of 24 worldwide chapters. Anyone interested in or involved with technology entrepreneurship is welcome to participate and join together to form the Enterprise Forum community.

The primary objective of the NSF SBIR/STTR Program is to increase the incentive and opportunity for small firms to undertake cutting-edge, high risk, high quality scientific, engineering, or science/engineering education research that would have a high potential economic payoff if the research is successful.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Still 50 ways to better social media

This blog started off exploring pathways into the world of Web 2.0 and found a myriad of pathways available through social media which involves learning, experimenting and then using either here or at my other blog Milestones for a New Millennium.

One source of information, insight and inspiration that I discovered during these web-explorations is ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership and their blog Acronym which has been a source of posts for this blog. This particular post by Kristin Clarke was done last year, but the 50 Ways to Use Social Media for Better Marketing still works (I will bypass any discussion of procrastination). Kristin reblogged something that Chris Brogan did, so this is a re-re-blogged post. I could have just connected to the Chris Brogan post, but I wanted to let people know about ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership. I think, as someone who is still learning, that it is worthwhile to remind ourselves of these points when trying to create a media program that takes advantage of the web's connectivity.

I am a longtime fan of the interesting e-newsletter by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), and one reason is because of its practical how-to and trends coverage. Check out this succinct piece titled "50 Ways Marketers Can Use Social Media to Improve Their Marketing" by Chris Brogan from the July 14, 2008, WOMMA newsletter. This would make a great education session sometime, now that I think about it. Feel free to post other tips.

50 Ways to Take Your Blog to the next level is another useful post on social media from Chris Brogan.