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Is the Print Media Dying? March 29, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Blogging, Business, Internet, Issues, Media, Print.
9 comments

I have written about this before. People are getting their news, views and reviews online. Bloggers are increasingly the new media and are capable of influencing the opinion of their readers.

The readers themselves are a community that contribute to the news. Compare this with the print media.

Take the example of Churumuri. Its a blog that is fed by people from the journalistic field and has built up a loyal following. People like Anand Balaji are Journos who now share their views on their blog.

Heres an interesting take on the Print Media by Don Dodge.

The businessman in me thinks theres a new business model here 🙂

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Open Source – Here to Stay March 9, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Brands, Business, Innovation, Internet, Open Source, Software, Trends, Wordpress.
10 comments

Some time ago, I attended a TiE meeting where some of Silicon Valley’s top VCs participated in a panel discussion. One thing that stands out from that meeting was a comment that said “All companies trying to develop and sell software products in the traditional manner will be wiped out and replaced by Open Source”.

This got me thinking. Six months later, I am convinced that what they are saying is true.

Over the last few months, I have been installing more and more Open Source packages to help us in our business. This includes HR Systems, Resume Management, Knowledge Base. All of them I have found on Open Source. Here are my observations:

1. The very nature of Open Source ensures a better thought out product. People comment on features, beat down on useless software. So if you look properly, you’ll find very good products.

2. I have found installs are much easier and documentation is very good (at least in the ones that I have installed)

3. Extending functionality is easier.

4. You can ask for features that you want and if it makes sense they’ll add it for you.

How do they make money? Typically through support, customization, and consulting.

One of my favorites is WordPress. Really love their famous “Three Minute Install”. Especially like the message that comes up after their installation that says something like “Installation complete. Sorry to disappoint you but thats all there is to it..”

In addition to blogging on WordPress, I use it a lot internally on our Intranet for collaboration, Knowledge sharing, and Knowledge Management.

Google takes a swipe at Microsoft March 4, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Google, Internet, Microsoft, Trends.
8 comments

Google has announced Google Apps for your domain that will include Mail, IM, Calendar AND office productivity tools. The service costs $50 per year.

I have always been a big fan of hosted application services especially for productivity tools like email. Beats installing it on your in-house servers and hiring people to manage them.

Microsoft has started changing its licensing policy as well. Whether its in anticipation of competition from companies like Google and Zoho or whether they realize that market dynamics are changing, it augurs well for the end user.

NeedGrub – Find your Food February 28, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Entrepreneurs, India, Innovation, Internet, NeedGrub.
10 comments

A couple of days ago one of the comments by Sash on Bangalore Blues was about a website called NeedGrub that rates and reviews restaurants.

I checked out the site and it is cool. One one side it has restaurant reviews (hopefully more reviews and restaurants will get added as time goes on). The other cool thing I found was the integration with Google Maps to find directions. Looks like currently they have Chennai and Bangalore covered.

Try it out. Join up and contribute.

Interesting Video : Master Plan – About the power of Google February 16, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Google, Internet, Privacy.
4 comments

Spooky. Watch below.

Spinvox and WordPress Mobile – Blogging on the move February 8, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Blogging, Business, Innovation, Internet, Mobile, Spinvox, Wordpress.
2 comments

Things have gotten better (or worse).

WordPress has a trial version of a Mobile Interface that allows me to post from my mobile phone. The interface is still a little cumbersome but not bad. If you have a phone with a browser such as Opera you can user the interface at http://m.wordpress.com”

Talking about taking blogging to a new level, check out Spinvox. They convert spoken voice into text for email, SMS, or Blog. Their product Speak-a-Blog converts your spoken words into text and posts it on to your Blog.

I tried out their Voice to SMS demo. The conversion was pretty cool.

MS Office has serious competition February 1, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Innovation, Internet, People, Tools, Web 2.0, Zoho.
2 comments

With the emergence of services from companies like Zoho, and Google Documents, the much protected “Office Productivity Tools” bastion of Microsoft is under attack. Both these services offer Web based word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation tools (Zoho only).

Zoho is especially interesting for me because of its Indian connection. Raju Vegesna is the main Evangelist and one of the chief Architects of Zoho.

Stay tuned for Zoho’s new release the Zoho Notebook.

New Search Engines January 29, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, India, Innovation, Internet, Search, Trends.
6 comments

Check out Guruji. Its a India specific search engine that launched a few months ago. Its still evolving but has come a long way from when it started. However it still hasn’t replaced Google as my search engine of choice.

Microsoft has launched Ms. Dewey based on Live Spaces. Its an interesting interface but totally worthless as a serious search engine. Check it out if you have some time to spare.

For all you developers and coders looking for sample code, the coolest search engine is Krugle. Check it out.

Social Commerce – The Holy Grail? January 18, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Business, Innovation, Internet, Social Commerce.
10 comments

Social Commerce.. that seems to be the Holy Grail now. Communities like MySpace, Orkut etc have built huge social networks. Now how can that be monetized? Currently its only advertising and as social sites grow, the advertising largesse will get spread around.

Looking at it from an individual’s point of view, how do social networks help me… rather help us?

As an example, lets take a look at the Blog Group that I have gotten to know.. I have met people I didn’t even know a year ago … there would have been no other way to meet. As a group, we went to a play (ok the rest of the group did.. I didn’t), went to a restaurant.. so we are enabling some commerce.

Now here is a thought. Because I know person X, I would value his/her recommendation on a particular product and be inclined to buy it. Maybe the next step would be when we as a group are able to negotiate a better price with a vendor to buy something. So, suddenly this group becomes a “buying” entity with negotiating power.

I think thats a start… now how can we monetize it as individuals?

No wonder the so called social networking sites are seeing huge valuations.

Wikipedia – The New Search Engine? January 17, 2007

Posted by Vijay in Google, Internet, Search, Tools, Trends, Wikipedia, Wikis.
5 comments

Several industry analysts feel that Wikipedia is well positioned to become the preferred search engine to Google and others. Heres an interesting article from Jack Schofield of the guardian.

I do agree that Wikipedia has lots of good information and not mere links. It is after all an online encyclopedia. While a search engine gives you links, the Wikipedia actually gives you the information (or story) you need in addition to links. In addition a Wiki page is actually based on inputs and corrections from multiple people making it more complete. Its collaborative structure makes the information more relevant.

Wikis are also being increasingly used in the corporate world as Knowledge Base repositories.

UPDATE: As if on cue, Wikipedia search engine WikiSeek is launching.