Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Eating a Bhut Jolokia - The World's Hottest Pepper

Monday, March 30, 2009

Stop Searching for yourself : Twitter Changes to give you @mentions

Now people you can stop searching at http://search.twitter.com for mentions of your name. Where previously the tab in your home page was called Replies , it is now labeled "@shashib" (in my case) and clicking on that tab will bring you to a page "Mentions of @shashib" . Cool now you can thank all the people who mention you at the beginning , end or middle of any tweet. I like this :)

From the Twitter Blog:
"We're updating the Replies feature and referring to it instead as Mentions. In your Twitter sidebar you'll now see your own @username tab. When you click that tab, you'll see a list of all tweets referencing your account with the @username convention anywhere in the tweet—instead of only at the beginning which is how it used to work. So for me it would be all mentions of @biz"

Kim Hart Gets in A - Washington Post

If you are among the declining breed of readers of the print edition of the Washington Post then you would have seen that the "Download" column of Kim Hart http://cli.gs/TgnWEr has moved to the "A" Section of the newspaper. Starting today the Washington Post no longer has the business section on weekdays.

Reading the print version of the paper is a habit from my childhood growing up in India. Those days the paper did not have sections and usually my brother and me would fight for the sports or the comics section and end up sometimes tearing the paper much to the chagrin of my dad. Fast forward to the Bellamkonda household of today, there is competition between us for the Style section.

Whether in print or online the Washington Post is a paper that I respect. When I first came to this country I expected all newspapers published in the US to be of this caliber. In India there are several National newspapers with editions from each town. Indian Express, The Hindu, Times of India come to my mind. Some well know regional papers are Asian Age, Telegraph, Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald, Deccan Chronicle. Of course this list is only the English language papers. Regional language papers have their own readership.

What stood out for me about the Washington Post is the coverage of international news and I have only seen that increasing. I did hear that the Washington Post has offered a buyout to its staff and I fervently hope that this is just a sign of the economy and not a shift in the way we will see reporting change.

I like the fact that the business section is in the A section of the post, I can read both the news in one section. Luckily I don't have to fight for it with anyone yet.  I do wish they would include some news from the Indian Stock markets. I like the fact that the Business part of A section is going to get more local so I look forward to a expanded Kim Hart column.

The 5th Annual New Communications Forum :April 27th - 29th, 2009: San Francisco, CA

I am honored that along with Geoff Livingston SNCR Fellow  I will be presenting Online Reputation Management – Best Practices & Lessons Learned at the NewComm Forum 2009 April 27th - 29th, 2009: San Francisco, CA. I love San Francisco . The last time I was there I had a good time meeting a lot of folks and speaking at the Social Media Club SF/SV.

I am looking forward to  NewComm Forum '09  . The last event of Society of New Media Communications and Research - 3rd Annual SNCR Research Symposium & Awards in Boston. The presentations were full of research and findings.

Since I am speaking I get a special offer for friends and colleagues to register for NewComm Forum '09

  • $100 discount if you use the discount code SNCRFRIEND, or
  • a $200. discount off of a Full Access Pass to both NewComm Forum and the Inbound Marketing Summit with discount code NCFCOMBO2 .
    A one-day NewComm Forum FlexPass available for $395. Register at 
    NewComm Forum '09

See previous post about the coverage of the SNCR summit on the Network Solution 's Blog

Beth Dunn's coverage on Small Dots Blog

NewComm Post on Network Solutions winning the SNCR Excellence Award for Online Reputation Management

Small Business Success Index : Big Optimism from Small Business. Where do you stand?

I wanted to share the news of a Small Business Success Index (http://www.growsmartbusiness.com) that Network Solutions and the University of Maryland conducted and more than 1,000 small business owners were interviewed by phone. 3 things that are key in my opinion from the Small Business Success Index findings.
- The single biggest competitive disadvantage of America’s small businesses today is in meeting
- The bright spot for American small businesses is in the impeccable service they provide their customers. They have what it takes to retain current customers and treat them with care.
- Small businesses with a commitment to Internet business solutions feel they are highly
successful in improving their profit margins 16% more often than small businesses that employ minimal Internet business solutions.


Please check out the study at http://growsmartbusiness.com and give me some feedback. I was involved in setting up the site to house the study so any feedback is appreciated. There is a survey on the site that you can take and score yourself too. Looking forward to your thoughts.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Conficker on your computer - update

Conficker is a malicious software program that grabbed global attention when it began spreading late last year and quickly infected millions of computers with software code to convert them into a powerful computer known as a botnet. I have received a few question from friends about what this is and what should they do to combat it.

 

Update: German researchers score Conficker detection breakthrough from ZDNet blogs

Just days ahead of an April 1st activation date for theConficker worm squirming through the Windows operating system, security researchers at the Honeynet Project have scored a major breakthrough, finding a way to fingerprint the malware on infected networks.

Read more

 

In today's ( March29th 2009) Washington Post Rob Pregoraro writes in an article "Combating Conficker"

 

If you've set Windows to install Microsoft security patches automatically and have kept your anti-virus utility current, you should be safe. So if you haven't been downloading those updates, now would be a swell time to start.

On April 1, copies of Conficker may download extra-malicious code -- to do what remains unclear -- so you'd better make sure your PC is clean before then.

The Internet Storm Center, a project of the Bethesda-based SANS Institute, maintains a list of links to Conficker-removal tools from numerous security-software developers (http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid =5860). Since Conficker can stop you from getting to that page and those links, you may need to borrow an uninfected machine to download a removal tool. Some vendors also have set up alternate Web addresses that Conficker doesn't know about; for instance, try http://fsecure.com or http://bdtools.net for free Conficker fixes from F-Secure and BitDefender.

If you are more tech savvy then visit the blog of The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) http://blogs.technet.com/msrc/default.aspx to learn more about Conficker.

Many security experts around the world are coming together to work to combat Conficker. Read Brian Kreb's blog Security Fix also at the Washington Post

Security software maker F-Secure has put together an interesting and entertaining FAQ on Conficker, which I highly recommend that anyone worried about this threat go read. F-Secure also has a free cleaning tool available at that link. Byron Acohido at USA Today has compiled a veryreadable timeline of notable events in Conficker's brief history.

According to http://blog.borgnet.us :

The existence of the botnet has brought together some of the world’s best computer security experts to prevent potential damage. The spread of the malicious software is on a scale that matches the worst of past viruses and worms, like the I Love You virus. Last month, Microsoft (0) announced a $250,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the Conficker author.

Botnets are used to send the vast majority of e-mail spam (0) messages. Spam in turn is the basis for shady commercial promotions including schemes that frequently involve directing unwary users to Web sites that can plant malicious software, or malware, on computers.

Botnets can also be used to distribute other kinds of malware and generate attacks that can take commercial or government Web sites off-line.

One of the largest botnets tracked last year consisted of 1.5 million infected computers that were being used to automate the breaking of “captchas,” the squiggly letter tests that are used to force applicants for Web services to prove they are human.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NextWeb meetup - Darlington House - Marc h 2009

A few folks met at the Darlington House on March 19th. The Darlington House is the former Childe Harold and Bruce Springsteen played here many years ago.

Brett ( http://www.mashable.com ) and Janine (@AvidGroup http://www.theavidgroupnyc.com/ ) from NextWeb ( a @Mashable property) were in town from New York and organized this meet-up. The NextWeb’s NY Web 2.0 Meetup has become one of the largest and fastest growing networking organizations in New York City.
The first event in DC was at the Darlington House in Dupont Circle on March 19th where I lead the dicsussion and some great folks stopped by.

Doug Hadden and wife of Freebalance.com (in the pic above) is an awesome walking encyclopedia. Brett Petersel had just run into at SXSW for the Guy Kawasaki/Kirtsy party. So we continued our SXSW reminiscences. Chris Abraham (www.abrahamharrison.com) is as entertaining as ever. Mark D. Drapeau (@cheeky geeky and markdrapeau.com) is full of humor and of course we all wishe no secrets spill from him otherwise this blog post may not exist ( That's a joke so there is no need to cuss me in the comments here :)


Alex Vertiz and TJ Master are old hands at ethnic marketing and had their own war stories of telecommunications. Alex gave me a lot of tips on international call providers. As a follow-up I also gave Google Voice another try.
Darren Harper was the voice of conscience, an awesome guy I hope to run into at future meet-ups. @moseshawk has a cool blog http://www.rememberxyz.com/ , I enjoy sitting and talking with him after a DC meetup.

Even though @ddcmd did not turn up in his signature cap, I still recognized him. He told us about a interesting personal project.

I look forward to the next meetup from NextWeb in April.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Participate in Walk MS on April 26, 2009 in Reston

MS stops people from moving. The National MS Society exists to make sure it doesn't. That's why a few of my collagues at Network Solutions are participating in Walk MS on April 26, 2009 in Reston. During the event, thousands of walkers and volunteers will join forces to raise funds and awareness, and move us closer to a world free of MS. 

MS interrupts the flow of information from the brain to the body and wears away the control a person has over his or her body. When someone is diagnosed with MS, it can dramatically affect their daily life. 

All donations to Walk MS support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and offer hope to the many thousands of people affected by MS in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. 

Our team fundraising goal for Walk MS is $3,000.

To make a donation and/or join our team Tracy SEA to NOVA , please visit; http://cli.gs/G1aSjG

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

SXSW : When in Texas do as Texans Do


DSC_0855, originally uploaded by jstorerj.

When you visit a store like Allens Boots two times in the same day it is difficult to resist the urge to buy a Stetson and boots. The first time was a lunch by Dell and Mack Collier as the special Guest. The second time and this time Guy Kawaski encouraged me along with folks at the Alltop and Kirtsy party.

How do you like the Swami Cowboy look ?

See RichardatDell's pic

David Alston Radian 6 took this pic

Photo courtesy JIm Storer @jimstorer

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You can't choose mentors - They choose you ! Linda Rabbitt at GWU

GWU Hotmommas' Project Award Ceremony by you.

I am lucky to be part of this list of Hotmomma Project judges.  The Hot Mommas® Project is an award-winning women’s leadership program housed at the George Washington University School of Business. The project mission is to increase self-efficacy of women and girls across the globe through exposure to role models. The Hot Momma's project is building the world’s largest women’s case study library to produce not just vignettes, but credible academic tools that can be utilized in a classroom environment.

GWU Hotmommas' Project Award Ceremony by you.

The keynote by Linda Rabbit was very engaging. She shared her life's ups and downs and the challenges she faced as she rose from life as a housewife to chairman of Rand*  a commercial construction firm specializing in tenant build-outs and building renovations.   Founded by Linda Rabbitt in 1989, rand* is ranked 2nd largest woman-owned construction company in the nation and the 8th largest interior construction company in the metropolitan area.

  • Be a people person
  • Always dress for the position , it really matters
  • You cannot choose mentors , they will choose you if they see a spark in you
  • When faced with challenges keep focus on your goals
  • To maintain a life balance you may have to give up on somethings < Linda Gave up on reading novels but she reads business books
  • Times like this with the economy calls for getting the team together to brainstorm Audacious ideas.

GWU Hotmommas' Project Award Ceremony by you.

Kathy Korman Frey GWU's adjunct professor  Announced the prize winners . First prize winner is Saranne Roberts comedycures.com, 1st Runner up : Brenda Galilee Rhodes and 2nd Runner -up LaSara Wakerobin Firefox

GWU Hotmommas' Project Award Ceremony by you.

 

Kathy has interviewed an estimated 15,000 executives during her career including Ted Leonsis. She is the founder of the consulting firm Vision Forward (www.VisionForward.com) and its business curriculum initiative, The Hot Mommas (TM) Project (www.HotMommas.org). Since its inception in 2001, Vision Forward has become known for its high success rate in helping businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations achieve goals and track results using an education-based approach.

I have been living in the DC area for the past 12 years but I must say this was my first visit to GWU. ( yes ! shame on me !) btw the Nominations for the 2009-2010 case studies can be submitted now .Please visit http://www.hotmommasproject.org/home.aspx

Monday, March 09, 2009

Gail Goodwin needs your support for the GlobalHugTour

Gail Goodwin @inspiremetoday on Twitter is busy preparing for our worldwide project, the Global Hug Tour. She and hubby  are leaving in September, flying 31,000 miles around the world in a small prop plane to deliver 100,000 hugs and share $1,000,000 with important causes. (http://GlobalHugTour.com). I have met Gail twice IRL and she is quite inspiring and I am not sure where the energy to do stuff comes from. If you can help Gail please do. her appeal is reproduced below :

We've identified charities where a small donation of $10 will make a difference. We're offering the public an opportunity to "Sponsor a Hug" on our website for just $10. The entire $10 will be donated to show the power of a hug worldwide in a very tangible way..... i.e. - One hug in Chicago will feed three homeless people. Two hugs in Cambodia will pay the educational expense for a child for a year. One hundred hugs in Chennai, India will fund the cost of heart surgery to save a life. Each city has it's own cause and it's own example of where the hug ($10) will make a difference.

I'm looking to tie in some celebrities in the US cities that we're visiting on these dates...

NYC- 9/9-12

Dallas- 9/13-15

Nashville 9/15-17

Los Angeles 9/17-20

Chicago 1/16-18, 2010

Washington, DC 1/9-1/12

Through social media, we've asked the public, "If you could hug anyone in the world, who would you like to hug?" The top 50 winners are listed below.

I'm writing to ask your help in making an introductions to any of these celebrities as we have an amazing opportunity to offer!

I'd like to speak with these celebrities and/or their representatives, and ask them for permission to auction off their hug on e-Bay, with 100% of the proceeds going to any one of the 50 worldwide charities.

Knowing the tangible difference that just one hug can make,  I'm reaching out to those that may be able to help us. I'm also attaching a one-page that I invite you to forward, with or without this email, to anyone else you believe could be of assistance.

We'll handle all of the details. All the celebrity has to do is give us about 15 minutes of their time to show up, give one hug, pose for a photo and that's it. But those 15 minutes will change the lives of many worldwide in any one of the 50 charities. We're anticipating some of the celebrity hugs will go for big bucks.

We would greatly appreciate your recommendation for the best way to approach these celebrities as well as recommendations you may have for others. We'd especially love any introductions you can make, even if you pass this email along to others that you believe might be able to help us.

There's no money in this for you or for the celebrity, but knowing that a few minutes of your time may actually help save a life could be a reward in itself.

Our Top 50-

Alicia Keys

Angelina Jolie

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Beyonce Knowles

Bill Clinton

Bill Cosby

Bill and Melinda Gates

Bon Jovi

Bonnie Raitt

Bono

Brad Pitt

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Willis

Dalai Lama

Demi Moore

Desmond Tutu

Ellen DeGeneres

Elton John

George Clooney

Halle Berry

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jay Leno

Jennifer Aniston

Jessica Simpson

Jimmy Carter

Jodie Foster

John Travolta

Johnny Depp

Jonas Brothers

Julia Roberts

Kate Hudson

Keifer Sutherland

Keith Urban

Leonardo DiCaprio

Madonna

Matt Damon

Michael Douglas

Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana)

Nelson Mandela

Oprah Winfrey

Paul McCartney

Queen Noor

Richard Branson

Ryan Seacrest

Sandra Bullock

Steven Speilberg

Tom Cruise

Tom Hanks

Warren Buffett

Will Smith

Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us make a big difference in the world. I'm in front of many corporate sponsors next Monday through Wednesday, and would like to have some celebrities on board prior to then. We greatly appreciate any assistance and/or recommendations you have to help us make this happen. I can be reached on my cell at 720-346-4476 or via email. I look forward to talking with you soon!

Gail Lynne Goodwin, Ambassador of Inspiration

www.InspireMeToday.com

gail@inspiremetoday.com

720-346-4476 cell, 720-379-5137 office

twitter.com/inspiremetoday

linkedin.com/in/inspiremetoday

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Real-life role models in business and life honored at George Washington University School of Business on March 9, 2009.

I was honored to be a judge in the Hot Mommas' project .The Hot Mommas® Project is an award-winning leadership initiative raising self-efficacy of women and girls through exposure to role models.  Kathy Korman Frey, is the founder of the Hot Mommas Project and George Washington University School of Business adjunct professor of management. You can read some of the case studies here http://www.hotmommasproject.org/casebrowse.aspx

In concert with International Women’s Day, dynamic women from around the world are descending upon Washington because of their association with the “Hot Mommas Project,” an initiative housed at the George Washington University School of Business which produces “role models on paper.” These women will be honored on March 9 at a Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Linda Rabbitt, CEO and chairman of Rand Construction, a member of the Washington Business Hall of Fame and a former Washingtonian of the year. The event promises to be a powerhouse of inspiration for women in business, and those who support them.
The Hot Mommas® Project is an award-winning leadership initiative raising self-efficacy of women and girls through exposure to role models. The project produces Harvard Business School-modeled case studies with unique twists including personal challenges such as work-life balance and “aha moments” of the protagonists. “Unique twists is kind of an understatement. Some of our case studies at HotMommasProject.org will make your jaw drop,” said Kathy Korman Frey, founder of the Hot Mommas Project and George Washington University School of Business adjunct professor of management. “Saranne is a stage-four cancer survivor who started a major charity. Kelly is a high school drop-out who went on to home school herself and start a successful marketing company. Many of these amazing women are traveling from around the globe to be with us on March 9. The energy in the air will be electric.”

The Hot Mommas Project case studies form what is now the world’s largest free case study database, thus supporting the initiative’s major goal: Providing access to authentic role models anytime, anywhere, at no cost.
Ms. Rabbitt’s speech at the March 9 event will be followed by an announcement of the Hot Mommas Project 2008-2009 case study competition winners. The winning case authors will be published in a leading Prentice Hall textbook and featured in PINK magazine in addition to receiving thousands in prizes from sponsors including SEPHORA, Beijo Bags, David & Golaith, ENCtees, Green Valley Spa, MovtivMode consulting, artist Morten Fadum, and others.
The Hot Mommas Project is an independent venture housed at the George Washington University School of Business. It is included in the mission of the GWSB Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The project is supported in part by a gift from Linda Rabbitt, a GW alum, and software developer FMS, Inc. To attend the event, email info ( @ ) HotMommasProject dot org dot

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Online Media Boot Camp Economic & Brain Stimulus Package: A chance to win a FREE Ticket!

Customers and prospects searching the Internet for products, services―and conversation―and the world of marketing has changed forever. Your company, brand and industry are being discussed online… Are you prepared? We know times are tough, but we also know that business owners and marketers/communicators need to get a leg up on competition (whether you are competing for business or that new job). Now is your chance! We have three tickets available…will you be the lucky winner?

Online Media Boot Camp is April 9th, 2009 in King of Prussia, PA. The three lucky ticket winners will be picked on March 27th!

For more details visit: www.onlinemediabootcamp.com

  1. Want a chance at winning a free ticket to the Online Media Boot Camp (a value of $349), you have to be nominated by someone else.
  1. A person can be nominated in one of four ways:
    1. A blog post
    2. A video
    3. On Twitter
    4. Via an e-mail sent to OMBC (beth [at]onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com).

    All four must include: Who you are nominating and why. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.

  1. If you nominate someone, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100. (Code: OMBCFTW)
  1. If you are nominated for OMBC and you want to go to OMBC, you must do one of the following to accept the nomination:  
    1. A  blog post
    2. A video
    3. Or send an e-mail to OMBC accepting the nomination (beth [at]onlinemediabootcamp [dot] com),

    You must state that you will cover all travel costs, that you will attend and why you deserve to win. You must include a link to the Online Media Boot Camp (www.onlinemediabootcamp.com) in your post. If you tweet it, use the #OMBC hashtag.

  1. All posts, videos and e-mails of those nominated will be posted to the OMBC blog too.
  1. The three winners will be selected by the OMBC speakers. Criteria includes: creativity, passion, honesty, statement of how online marketing/social media will help you as a business owner or marketer/communicator/etc. and any other items that you think make your case to win a free ticket.
  1. If you are nominated for a free ticket, but don’t win, you can buy a ticket for $349 after 3/16. A savings of $100. (Code: OMBCFTW)
  2. If you win a free ticket and have already purchased a ticket, we’ll refund your money. Or, if you are feeling generous, you could give your purchased ticket to a friend…

It’s that simple! Have questions? Contact Online Media Boot Camp on Twitter: @onlinemedibc

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

SocStarDom2 at John Hopkins on March 9th

image

Monday, March 9th from 6-8pm

Johns Hopkins University Montgomery Campus
9605 Medical Center Drive
(far right building when you drive onto campus)

 

Event registration : http://socialmediastardom2.eventbrite.com/

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson, aka @marketingMisfit, is organizing #socStardom2 in partnership with Robin Ferrier of Johns Hopkins University's Montgomery Campus. The original #socStardom (a hashtag coined by Mayra) was in January 14 and was also done in conjunction with Robin. The January #socStardom was entitled "If You Build It Will They Come?" and featured influential marketing guru Rohit Bhargava and PostSecret.com blogger Frank Warren. That event, hosted tby Network Solutions, was a big hit and the room @ JHUMCC was packed. A good time was had by all. If you missed it, you can see view the #socStardom recap on Mayra's blog here: http://cli.gs/Dmdemz
For #socStardom2, there will be a new fire side chat format and the speaker, Dave Evans (@evansdave) -- a social media marketing columnist for the ClickZ.com Network and author of Social Media Marketing: One Hour a Day who's coming to our area from his home state of Texas -- will have center stage and will simply come to engage in fun, interactive discussions with the audience.

As an avid social media enthusiast, Mayra hopes to develop other such free programs for the Washington metro area in the near future. "I am hardly the social media know it all," says Mayra. "Rather, I see myself as a conduit, facilitating the learning for the people by the people ... me included!"
Come hang out with me, Mayra, Jill Foster, Robin Ferrier, Joe Logon and many others next Monday, March 9 from 6-8pm!
The best part, besides all the sharing, learning, fun and networking, is that this is a FREE event! Here are some links to get you on your way:
More information about the event:
http://cli.gs/gPDN73
Free registration:
http://socialmediastardom2.eventbrite.com/