Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Wiki World

Ever wondered what the result of a combination of open-source, collaboration and lots of information would be? If you still haven’t guessed it, it’s the WIKI world. A wiki is an open-source web site that allows any user to add or edit content. That leads us to the WikiWikiWeb which is an ocean of such sites with wiki technology and wiki jargon like WikiGnome, WikiFairy and WikiGremlin. By the way, wiki means ‘quick’ or ‘super-fast’ in Hawaiian.

Curious about what all this means. Check out wikipedia.com. Published in many languages, it is a free, open-source encyclopedia. The website claims that the English version alone consists of more than 92.8 million words. There are over 745,000 articles in 83 languages. The search feature helps you locate articles of interest.

It is amazing how so much information, which can be edited by anybody, is streamlined, verified and presented in a proper manner. Want to know how? Go to wikipedia.com. There is detailed information about how all the information is managed.

Wikipedia is a wonderful lesson in collaboration. It is very difficult to see this level of collaboration is social and business environments. If only such a medium exists to allow people to collaborate - members of a community, employees of a company, suppliers, customers and more. Wouldn’t the world be a wiki-er (faster, smoother, better) place to live in?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Global Warming

Recent reports present a very bleak future for the environment. Global warming has once again taken the front seat in the media. A fresh series of storms and disappearing life forms have all been attributed to global warming. It is predicted that global warming will redefine the face of the Earth and also the lives of its inhabitants.

Apart from climatic changes, global warming has a tremendous impact on the economy. The monetary losses sustained due the impact of global warming are enormous. Considering the damages done by storms, this is absolutely true. And the indirect costs, like insurance, would also sky rocket. Insurers believe that the annual cost of global warming will hit $150bn a year - that's five times the annual earnings of the entire population of Nigeria.

Maybe it is already too late to reverse the damage that is already done. But, it is never too late to change our way of life and protect the Earth from future damage. Experts recommend using alternate fuel sources and energy-efficient appliances. For more information on such recommendations and also on government policies to control global warming check out the Greenpeace website.