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Friday, November 17, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Have you ever noticed how 'digital' our lives have become? Utilities, TV, radio, newspaper, food products, transportation, education, entertainment and more: they all have been digitized or digitally controlled. It isn't just the products that we use, our lifestyles have become digitized too. Our means of communicating with family, friends and coworkers have all become digitized. Face-to-face meetings are dwindling. We talk about telecommuting, virtual offices, virtual families, on-line avatars and on-line communities as the way-to-go. I see us all being drawn into the depths of a digital world where individuals are nothing but screen names and feelings are simply icons. Relations are built and destroyed by keystrokes and mouse clicks.
On top of this, business models designed to benefit from such 'digital' worlds are becoming very popular and successful. A combination of successful 'digital' economies and 'digital' people will give rise to large digital societies. Is this all part of evolution, from prehistoric to digital?
For now, we worry about the how fast-food is making children obese, while the same children are laughing, crying, playing, running and living life, all without moving a muscle.
Tags: Digital Lives Evolution Digital Society
Posted by Arun at 2:07 PM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Search has existed for as long as there has been life on Earth. Search began as a means of survival for animals and humans. All living things searched for the basic needs of water, food and shelter. Different search techniques evolved in the process, like tracking the footprints of an animal would lead to food.
Once the basic needs are satisfied, new needs evolve. We are always seeking something. People seek friends, jobs, knowledge and wealth. Companies seek customers, suppliers and other resources. If a need exists, then we need a means to satisfy that need. And we seek the best way to do that. Therefore, we are always in a 'search' mode.
Over the years, as technology evolved, so have our needs. New search tools were born in the process. Books gave rise to indexes and tables of contents. The telephone gave rise to telephone directories. Every new technology generates new information and hence a need for a tool to manage that information.
With the volume of information that has been generated since the advent of the Internet, it is no surprise that we all seek efficient search tools. And companies that provide such tools are successful. Rest assured that when the next big technology comes, we will still be searching.
Man is a 'search' animal and the search will go on!
Tags: Evolution Search
Posted by Arun at 9:29 PM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Writely is now Google Docs and Spreadsheets. I've been on Writely for only a week now and I was glad to see the familiar Google interface today. In the meanwhile, I had tried one other online wordprocessing and spreadsheet tool, thinkfree.com. This one includes presentations too, which Google lacks. Thinkfree seems to have a richer interface, but is definitely slower.
Like Om writes in his blog, Google definitely has an Office suite ready. I agree that it was time that Google did a cleanup act on all their offerings. Google Reader seems much better now like several bloggers are reporting.
This post is from the new Google Docs & Spreadsheets. It still doesn't let me post to my Blogger (beta) account.
Tags: Writely Google Docs and Spreadsheets Google Reader
Posted by Arun at 12:17 PM
Monday, October 09, 2006
With all the rumors going about the Google buyout of YouTube, I was almost convinced that Google will back out, given the risks of potential copyright issues. But, I guess everybody thinks differently. TechCrunch reports that it has officially confirmed this afternoon that YouTube was bought for 1.65 billion!
Tags: YouTube Google
Posted by Arun at 4:03 PM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I've finally activated my Writely account after reading this post on webworkerdaily.com. I've always been a Microsoft Office user. With all this talk about getting work done 'online', I've tried several tools to maintain to-do lists, project management tasks, calendars, bill payment, etc. But when it came to documents I was back to Office. Reading reviews about online wordprocessors or spreadsheets did not really motivate me. What intrigued me this time was the appreciation for a lack of features. When was the last time somebody appreciated you for not adding a feature.
That got me wondering, how much of Office features do I really use? Very little. I'm so used to seeing all these toolbars and menus that, I simply can't work without them. It's funny considering that I may have never used some of those features and probably never will. Anyway, now I'm typing away on Writely and we'll see how much I like not being loaded with features.
Oh, I just realized that I can't post to blogger.com if I was in the beta version, which I am. That's one feature I would have liked.
Tags: Writely Online Tools
Posted by Arun at 4:50 PM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Wall Street Journal’s article on Facebook talks about the popularity of such sites and refers to them as ‘Web Hangouts’. That’s an interesting term to use. I understand that creating virtual work environments could increase productivity by removing geographical and time constraints. But, where does online social networking take you (except for billions in advertising revenue for companies)? What happened to all those concerns about kids spending more time in front of TVs and computers? Now they are going to stay away from ‘real’ friends and create virtual friends.
Are we moving towards a virtual society, where nothing is real and everything is online and virtual. Soon there will be web families with a web dad, web mom, web sister, web brother and every other web relation.
Posted by Arun at 2:14 PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Just read, Tony Conrad’s post on webworkerdaily.com. He talks about how his company works around a virtual work environment. Teleconferencing, IM, blogs, wikis and other online tools allow employees to communicate with each other and work on the same projects from remote locations.
Tony Conrad also talks about steps they’ve taken to manage ‘culture’. What concerns me is that they use the same online tools to manage culture that they use to work. To me, that would only create a ‘virtual culture’ and there’s nothing wrong about that. I think virtual companies should focus on developing virtual cultures and not even try building traditional cultures. Eating pizza, while on a conference call, does not constitute a pizza party. That’s a ‘Virtual Pizza Party’.
Tags: Virtual Companies Virtual Culture
Posted by Arun at 4:24 PM
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Go2Web20 is a great place of start exploring the Web 2.0 world. There were several that I recognized and a lot more that were new to me. Two things caught my attention, the site names and their logos. Somehow, they had a distinctive Web 2.0 touch to them.
Here's another amazing collection of logos on Flickr.
For an analysis of the fonts used in some popular logos, visit FontShop, which declares lime green as the Official Color of Web 2.0.
Tags: Web 2.0 Logo Design
Monday, September 18, 2006
In the several months since my last post, there have been vast changes in the 'Web World'. Web 2.0, online communities, AJAX, mashups, telecommuting and more, have become the buzzwords. Life ticks by so quickly and every new moment presents us with newer technologies, concepts and ideas. Staleness has been replaced by anticipation, enthusiasm and excitement.
To keep in pace with this ever-changing world, I've re-christened this blog, Life Ticker. I've also introduced a live ticker, that shows my life ticking away. The Life Ticker, should make you realize that the difference between the past, the present and the future is so small, that it is almost non-existent. The future effortlessly becomes the present and the present slides into the past. What is 'in' today, is 'out' tomorrow. And this applies to society, the economy, technology and everything on this planet.
In the end, only the past will remain, to be looked upon by the generations to come. We can only hope, that what we do in these fleeting moments of our 'present', will make our 'past' a memorable one.
Tags: Life Ticker Past Present Future
Posted by Arun at 11:08 PM