Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Michael Arrington taking leave from TechCrunch

I have been reading Tech Crunch for a long time and respect Michael Arrington for being fair. It is fairly impossible to please everyone and I am not surprised  that TechCrunch has its critics. In a civilized world there is always a need for  opposing views as a step to learnging and getting better. There is no cause to get personal and I am shocked at what Michael Arrington revealed in his post.  Michael Arrington has done a good job in using the social media first to turn a blog into a publishing machine and built up an audience, many times put a link to the opposing arguement in his post . See the Network Soloutions post from a few month's ago. The community needs to gather to make sure people are not intimadated for writing their vies and hope this does not happen to other influencers.

Micheal Arrington said in his Post 

"I’ve decided the right thing to do is take some time off and get a better perspective on what I’m spending my life doing. I’ll be taking most of February off from writing, and decide what the best future for me is while sitting on a beach somewhere far away from my iPhone and laptop. "

Everyone needs to do this some time and get a fresh perspective of life. Michael I am sure you will be back with better and bigger things. Good luck.

Are you saving more now ? Talk to Nancy Trejos from the Washington Post

Nancy Trejos looking for some folks who may have made some changes in saving habits die to the current economic situation. Here is the message from Nancy:

How Americans are now saving more and spending less. Economists are expecting the savings rate to increase from below zero to as high as 5 percent. So I am searching for some savers! Have any of you or your friends recently (as in the last few months) started saving when they had not before or stepped up their saving habits because of the economic climate? If so, and if they live in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area, would you be willing to ask them if they would talk to me?

Please let me know if you would like to talk to her and I will send you her email.  If you have any personal finance questions, you can send them to her too through her column . Want to something more than just 401k and credit cards head over to her column and send her a question. Feeling shy I can connect you if you leave a comment here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Twin Tech 3 : Networking Begins on a Bus

Kim Hart wrote an  article Washington Post Article on Twin Tech 3 and a new idea to do some mobile networking

Peter Corbett of Istrategylabs doesn't wait for executing ideas. In June 2008 when Zach Goldfarb of the Washington post wrote about Washington DC as aTwin tech town  :

two sides of the Washington technology coin. On one side were the established technology companies, many of them serving the government and business customers -- and on the other were the young start-ups hoping to make it big in a Web 2.0 world.

In a few days Peter had his thoughts organized , he met NVTC and got together with them to have the first Twintech in July just a month after Zach Goldfarb had pointed out the distinct groups. Twin tech goal
The Potomac Region's technology community keeps growing and innovating with each passing day. Keep the pace by grabbing a drink with the leaders in broader technology community: do a deal, find some talent, or just hang with your friends

     Now these are times that require innovative ideas and there are others who are always thinking of new ways to network and be social . Bob London of London Ink a virtual Marketing , creative and program Services firm in Washington DC got a few folks together with the idea of taking the Twin Tech3  attendees from Northern Virginia  to Washington DC . advantages avoid the terrible traffic, nasty DC parking and horrible weather, a few of these enterprising souls chartered a Reston Limousine bus from Reston to DC with a stop in Tysons along the way with  beer/wine, munchies and invited other attendees.

Pictures from the bus

I enjoyed meeting a lot of great folks on the bus. Cheryl Dickenson, r2i ( Awesome person, met her earlier that day at the TelecomHub meeting) Jeff Wite of mySBX, Kevin Levitt of  ComScore, Kim Hart of The Washington Post, Elizabeth Shea, Lisa Throckmorton, Stephanie Stadler of SpeakerBox, Larry Roe of LeverPoint, Bob London of London, Ink, Kristine Jacobsen of Surety. Kathy Albarado of a Helios HR a local HR company.

Elizabeth Shea of Speakerbox  described the bus idea  :  A few NoVa folks got together and “sponsored” a bus down to TwinTech with two stops in Reston and Tysons Corner – we filled it with food, beer/wine, drinks and loaded up 40 people to attend the event!  

Reston Limousine gave us a screaming deal and even donated three raffle prizes of free limo service, wine tours and a trip for 2 to New York. Huge hit! It was really fun – at 8:35 when we pulled away from the event, people didn’t want to leave! I think we’re onto something new.

Biznow covered the Twin Tech 3 bus here


Photos from Twin Tech 3


SPONSORS for this bus tour
London, Ink 
SpeakerBox Communications:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ustream : Live at 2 p.m EST Secretary of the Smithsonian Wayne Clough's "installation ". Admin going online aggressively?

My blog post this morning on the article in yesterday's Washington Post about Smithsonian's Web 2.0 efforts attracted Ustream's attention and they let me know that UStream will be powering the live stream today of Wayne Clough's installation as Secretary of the Smithsonian and Regent's Meeting at beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Hon. John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States will be in attendance at the ceremony, and perhaps other officials from the new Obama administration. I take it as a sign that this administration will use a lot of mew media tools to get the message across. See the show right here or go to beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.


Live Videos by Ustream

Why sharing your pictures can get you into the Washington Post

As I took the print edition of the Washington post off the grass this morning, I  found 2 of my pictures of the Twin Tech 3 bus. I had met Kim Hart of the Washington Post on the bus. I was there as a guest of Bob London of London Ink.  Read more about the bus in the Washington post article . The pictures are not in the online version and only in the print version.

During my conversation with Kim Hart I had told her that all my photos are free to use under creative commons.  So my wife and daughter will be happy now and I can get the "family budget council" approval for spengina little more on photo equipement. A few months ago we discussed this in David Berkowitz article  in Inside the Marketer's Studio. Another factor is that it is also important to upload the pictures as fast as possible as many of the events reporting is time bound. Some of my picures have been used by bloggers, sites like ,, Flickr groups etc.

What do you think? Do you share the pictures online.

One of my pictures on Tech Bisnow
Want pne of my pics? See my Flickr Feed 

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I don't know you : LinkedIn Connections : Top benefits of Linkedin and tips on inviting more people

Top benefits of Linkedin and tips on inviting more people
I have been a member of Linkedin since 2003 and that was my first foray into Social Networking. I have built up about 1.1k contacts and here are the top benefits
Linkedin Answers
  • Asked 13 questions and answered 45 questions
  • 50% of my questions related to information I needed for my job
  • Most answers were to help people with my expertise.
  • 2 of the people who answered my questions were featured in the Washington Post for that topic
Connecting people
  • Connected old friends, colleagues to each other
  • Connected headhunters to prospects 3 times
  • Connected vendors to companies 2 times
Vendor contacts
  • Used Linkedin in 2 times to find biz dev folks at companies for partnership enquiries
Job Hunt
  • I am still at my job so I cannot say it helped me find a job but the fact that an average of 1 person a day checks my profile out and i appear in 5 to 10 search results a day may be of some value :)  There is of course a funny story where I came up in a search for a job opportunity for another opening at Network Solutions and they were excited till they saw my name and I was already in the company :)
Recommending Service providers
  • Service providers  can be added to Linkedin only if the user recommends them or the business can ask their customers to recommend them. You can ask for a recommendation to your business on Linkedin. I have recommeded 3 service providers who i was very happy with.
Getting visits to your blog or web site
  • You should make sure to add your web site, blog and other activities to your profile. People interested in your profile will click through to your blog or website to check it out.
  • If you notice most Linkedin profiles have the words "My Company", "My Blog" , "My Portfolio" in the section labeled "Websites". If you want to customize this you can edit it by changing the drop down to "Other" which gives you an option to add your own text label to the URL. See my previous post on Linkedin Tips
Inviting other people :More than 8 months ago I sent out invitations for connections using my contact list on Gmail. Not a very wise thing to do but I chose people from the list with whom I had a few interaction. I am kind of a friendly guy and usually people I meet in real life at conferences or seminars turn out to be great contacts. I realized life is not always like that , a few people marked me as " Don't Know" . Among them were the following unnamed people:
  • - A gentleman who sat in the adjacent chair for 2 days  and spoke extensively and we exchanged cards at a local search conference and without my approval added me to his newsletter. The day I got his newsletter , I saw his response to my Linkedin invite was " Doesn't know".
  • - One guy actually was looking for a job and I sent him an invite to tell him of a offer i knew in my invitation :(
  • - Someone who works for my company and Linkedin gives me a list when we login of people from your company who join Linkedin.

Now this was a few months ago and since then I prefer people invite me to my sending out invitiations. I know it sounds one sided but I do not want to get on the other side of LinkedIn. They are nice people and I always get good responses from support. My recent interaction with support was when I once again got a restriction on inviting people by adding a email address. ( Linkedin usually allows you to add contacts into your network without knowing the users exact email address) I thought the restriction was bug because I had not sent any invitations that were marked " Doesn't know". then I realized that some of my old invitiations were being looked at by people now. Some of them logging into Linkedin recently as Social networks are a craze. What I did after interactions with Linkedin customer service is to withdraw all outstanding invitations. I saw many of my invitations had :bounced" . The only outstanding invitation I have kept pending is Guy Kawasaki. ( of course I know him ). I have never marked an invitation " I don't know this person" , I have never had any reason to do so. I will still encourage you to connect with me on LinkedIn
Better still if you find something good to write about me then please give me a Linkedin Recommendation.

Here are a few tips from LinkedIn support about Invitiations.

1) Only use your invitations for individuals who you know.
2) The reconnect feature should be used solely to reconnect with individuals that you personally knew through a mutual employer or through attending the same educational institution.
3) If there are individuals that you wish to connect with, but they do not fall under the two categories listed above - we then encourage you to use our other features which include InMail, OpenLink or Introduction requests.

Invitations are the foundation for all members and should be used as a valuable commodity to build and strengthen your personal network.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Babson College MBA does well for himself

Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Toyoda, son of Toyota honorary chairman Shoichiro Toyoda and grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda, will be the first founding family member to become president in 14 years.The Toyoda family owns 2% of the company. Toyoda,  holds a master's degree in business administration from Babson College in MA. Atleast one other Babson Collegian I know is Simeon Margolis who is an entrepreuner in the mobile world with utterz and now Monkey Bed Media

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama Inaugural Speech Jan 20th 2009 In Wordle #inaug09

barack-obama-inaugural speech- jan20-2009


Newsweek text of the speech:



Wordle: Barack Obama Inaugural Speech Jan 20th 2009

On Rohit Bhargava' s Personality project: On the other side of the camera for a change :)

Being faceless doesn't work anymore. The Personality Project is an online collaboration to uncover the many ways that personality matters for brands and individuals to stand out. The site is inspired by the new marketing book Personality Not Included.
I was honored to be on Rohit Bhargava's list for the Personality Project where he has interviews with people who have excelled at their business by adding perosnality to the mix. Please give me feedback on the way I answered the questions and other ideas you may have on making my job better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What Are hand warmers?

Since I had the question after seeing a lot of tweets about DC area stores running out of Hand Warmers. I got the answer from Ellen Di Resta @elldir with this link

If you are short of time here is the description from Amazon for Heatmax HotHands:

Designed for skiers, hunters, fishermen, golfers, or anyone who works or plays in the cold for long hours, the Heatmax HotHands-2 Hand Warmers are air-activated and will provide up to 10 hours of soothing warmth inside gloves, pockets or wherever you feel a chill. All Heatmax warmers are made of natural materials, including iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal, and wood fiber. When exposed to air, these materials react together to produce heat through an extremely fast oxidation (or rusting) process. Users should allow 10 to 20 minutes for the warmers to reach their optimal temperatures.

What Time is the Inauguration in the rest of the World #inaug09

If  you were wondering what time the Presidential Inauguration was in your country here is a handy list from ( IWhat Time is the inauguration in the Rest of the World

We Are One: Presidential Inaugural Committee's photostream

I am glad the stream of pictures from citizens and govenrment continues to grow on Flickr. This is the official stream from Presidential Inaugural Committee's photostream

Other flickr streams of friends:


Andy Carvin @andycarvin


Where to send your Inauguration photographs from Washington #inaug09 readers are sending in their photographs from Washington and elsewhere. Images are organized in the order they were received. To participate, send an e-mail to, attach your file(s) and tell us your full name and the location pictured. Files must be in the JPEG (.jpg) format and no larger than 5MB.

MSNBC or submit your story here

CNN iReport When you're away from the computer, you can e-mail photos and videos with your mobile device to

Flickr group collecting all photos of Inauguration Day, Flickr also organized a meetup  January 20, 2009 at a Washington DC-area Flickr meetup.

NPR  Inauguration Report: Dispatches From Listeners

Smithsonian : Submit your photo to be considered for click! photography changes everything, a Smithsonian Photography Initiative online program that explores how photography shapes the way we understand the world. The current call for entry, ‘History in the Making,’ looks at how photography has influenced the recent elections and inauguration. The Smithsonian is Flickr's partner on the Flickr Commonsand has just posted additional historic photos of past inaugurations.


Do you know more places for people to send their content? Please comment here and let others know.

Inauguration 09 @jjgardner3 goes downtown

Inauguration 09, originally uploaded by jjgardner3.

I am envious of my friends who are visiting downtown several times these days. I am warm at home with a few trips to the grocery store and eagerly looking for Twitter news and TV news of the activities.

Jimmy Gardner ( has some great pictures on his Flickr stream
here is a slide show courtesy of Jimmy Gardner.

Other flickr streams of friends:


Andy Carvin @andycarvin


Presidential Inaugural Committee's photostream

Washington City Paper

Anyone else ? I am sure 3million people taking pictures today and tomorrow.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

US Airways Crew saves 155 lives by landing in the Hudson River

Flight #flight1549 from La Guardia to Charlotte NC today landed in the Hudson River and all the passengers and crew were safely rescued. See Twitpic 

How Twitter and Flickr covered it

Some Flicker pictures


Twitter eyewitness account

As I was flying from Las Vegas on Tuesday night I sat in the emergency exit and wondered about how I would operate the exit if needed. I am glad the flight 1549 episode had a happy text book ending. From the coverage on TV I see that the passengers behaved marvellously and helped each other. The crew stayed back inside the plane till all the passengers were out of the plane.


Capt Sullenberger was a US Air force pilot who now flies for US airways and did a great job keeping the pane flat till it hit the water and keeping it afloat as long as possible. 3 cheers to the crew fir saving these lives.


The stock of US airways was up 7% before the news of the crash hit. Here are some things I am going to do:


a) Learn swimming

b) Pay attention when the crew demonstrate the life jackets

c) Always read the flight safety instructions

d) Smile and greet any pilot I meet and shake hands if protocol allows.


Advice to Pilot Sullenberger - dude you need to join SouthWest. You are a hero !

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Painting contractor recommendation from the Washington DC area

I sent this call for help to my network on Twitter and Facebook

"need a recommedation for a reliable painter in the DC , Maryland area"



Linda Dickerhoof "please share with me when you get it!!" ( I am doing that through this blog)

Melanie Mitchell  "Pete Ferry with Remodel Virginia ( They do a lot more than paint and I've used them for several projects but Pete is nice, reliable, honest and fair which is tough to find in that business sometimes :)and of course they also just paint if my answer wasn't clear :)!!!

webconsigliere: @shashib - I have used and strongly recommend him. Feel free to contact me with questions

kasrael: @shashib (expand) Perhaps this may help?

kevindewalt: @shashib for DC-based service providers I recommend Consumer's Checkbook,


I will Update this post if I get more recommendations. Please feel free to comment here and make your own recommendations. Thanks.


pmhesse: @shashib Jose Leon has done a great job for us twice. 301-918-4907

Small Business articles and conversation widgets


You can add these widgets to your website if you want to provide your visitors with more content. This brings the latest articles from and to your readers. Click on get widget and add to Facebook, Blogger and many other sites.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

W.E.B Griffin's New Book Black Ops

I love all this books and have read almost all of them . I prefer books on Tape since they are easy for my commute between Maryland and Virginia. I loved the WWII series and the series of the Philadelphia Police Department. DO the marines really drink Famous Grouse ? I look forward to this new book . You can buy Black Ops on Amazon.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Paying cash at Local Business

I was looking at a secret posted on where the owner of a Christmas tree firm never told the buyer his credit card was declined and let them take the tree. I remembered it because the sacrifice of the small business selling Christmas trees is greater than just those words.

I have been using credit cards for over 15 to 20 years mostly as charge cards. Credit cards saved me from going to banks, ATMs to withdraw cash. Another advantage was that everything I spent on a credit card was recorded and I could conduct a post mortem of expenses and make changes.

The economic recession has given me a new New Year resolution. When I visit a local Small Business I am going to pay cash. When a customer uses a credit card at a business there is a processor fee anywhere between 1 and 5 percent, In addition there may be merchant account provider fees. You have to also consider that the small business may also be paying a transaction fee which maybe .25 to .50 cents per transaction.


A New York Times article last November says that Small Business is lobbying for legislation to compel banks to negotiate fees and sponsor a "“credit card bill of rights for merchants.” This blog post is prompted by a visit to my local barber shop today. The cost of the haircut is $14. if I paid by a card specially a rewards or mileage card I estimate the traville BArber shop loses $1 (.70 in provider fees and .30 in transaction fees - just an estimate) I was really happy to pay this business in cash. What are your views ? Do you think you should pay in cash to help Small Businesses specially in these hard economic times. I am going to pay the locla laundry also in cash moving forward. Please leave a comment with your views.


See my Yelp review of the Traville Barber shop. You should encourage any small business that gives you good service by reviewing them on sites like and your own blob

How Should Parents Teach Teens About Credit Cards?


Nancy Trejos is a Washington Post Columnist and is always looking for fresh ideas and questions from people for her weekly personal finance column. During a recent conversation she said she is looking for people in their 20s or 30s who were in credit card debt and were able to get out of it. She would like to talk to this person about what she or he did to pay off that debt. Any one reading this post want to get featured let me know. Shashib at gmail .com or you can write to trejosn at directly.

She interviewed me for the Sunday Post and I got very good info from the experts who answered my Question. Excerpts from the article :

Okay, that might sound kind of dangerous considering how much we have heard about teenagers (and let's face it, adults) getting into trouble with credit cards. Aren't there members of Congress who want to ban credit card companies from marketing to college students and young people in general?
read more | digg story

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tech with a purpose : Volunteering for GreaterDC Cares #DCCARES

Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs is helping the Greater DC Cares with a way to get help and support from the tech community. Please take a look at the wiki Peter has setup:   that has information about projects that can help non-profits.

I was browsing through the wiki and the projects in the Web Design Category are very interesting . They appear simple and could be completed pretty soon. Along with a feeling of having done something I am sure the DC tech/blogger community will definitely pitch in to promote the people or organizations who help in this effort. I know Peter Corbett definitely will and he has a lot of ideas :) .Greater DC Cares serves as the hub of the non-profit community in DC - they provide service to all the smaller non-profs (shelters, soup kitchens, etc.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fourth Annual Small Business Summit 2009 New York February 3rd 2008

One the conferences I have steadily attended for the past 3 years has been the Small Business Technology Summit. I am looking forward to learning from the experts, meeting new people and grass roots small business owners and of course taking a lot of pictures.  if you can make it to the Fourth Annual Small Business Summit 2009 New York February 3rd it will be great.

See the coverage I did at the Small Business Technology Summit in 2008


Fourth Annual Small Business Summit 2009

How to Find and Keep Customers for Life

Join us for the Fourth Annual Small Business Summit, produced by Prime Strategies Once again, you’ll be coming together with your peers in the small business community to learn, share and connect. This year’s theme is “Business & Technology: How to Find and Keep Customers for Life.”

This year we’ve gone back to the basics, but kept the content, energy and fun you have come to expect from us. As the only small business summit BY small business FOR small business, it’s our continuing pledge to bring you just what you need when you need it.

Topics for discussion will include:

  • Customer Stories: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  • Your Online Presence: More Important Than Ever
  • How to Get Free Publicity Through Media Coverage
  • Business Survival Techniques from a Navy Seal
  • and much more

At the Summit you'll get to see the latest technology, hear from experts in both business and technology, meet other wonderful small business leaders, and maybe even take home one of our fabulous prizes.

This year we are offering an optional buffet lunch - please be sure to choose the Program plus Buffet Lunch ticket type when you register if you would like to participate. All attendees are welcome to the lunchtime speaker session, whether you opt for the buffet or to step out and pick up a bite to one of the many nearby eateries.


Hope to see you there.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2008 In Pictures

Starting the year with a Tweet-up at Jimmy's in Herndon

Susan signing autographs - What's Elvis doing behind her ?

February 2008: Educating myself about the 2008 election process by joining these Geeks at a Bar on Super Tuesday.

Super Tuesday Meetup at DC

Attending my first Social Media Breakfast with Jeff Pulver

Jeff Pulver and Shashi

Meeting Small Business Guru Anita Campbell at Small Biz Technology Summit
( Planning on going to the 2009 event )

Small Business Technology Summit 2008

Jonny Goldstein - Jonny's Par-tay survives despite having me as a guest but Jonny Soon moved to Philly :)

Jonny's partay -

Meeting @technosailor for the first time at Social Media Club DC( No this is not technosailor but my Facebook friend Jessie Newburn :)

Facebook friends to offline moment

Meeting Guy Kawasaki and going on the Network Solutions Small Business Networking tour Miami and Charlotte

Meeting Guy Kawasaki On the Network Solutions Small Business Networking Tour

Getting all star eyed at South by South West  2008 - Austin Texas

Blogger Social and meeting online friends offline - New York  organized by @ck and @drewmcclellan

BloggerSocial organized by @ckepiphany & @drewmclellan

Podcamp DC remembering your "grass"roots


Techcocktail DC - Geeks and startups continue networking (must attend)

Tech Cocktail DC - Frank Gruber, Qui DIaz and Eric Olson

Rohit Bhargava enthralls audience at Bus Boys and Poets for the Network Solutions Small Business event

Network Solutions Event with Rohit Bhargava for Small Business( authors Geoff Livingston and Rohit Bhargava)

Blog Potomac - Friends, friends and education ( attending the next one

Blog Potomac 2008

Graphing Social East :

Graphing Social East with Nick O'Neil

Vacation to India

Hyderabad Pictures - Me , my camel and business

American Institute of Writers ( Thanks @kristenking )

AIW seminar

Podcamp Philly

Podcamp Philly 08Podamp Philly

Gnomedex 2008 - Seattle

Gnomedex 2008 - Chris Pirillo

Blog World Expo

Bwe08 : Mike Shinoda and Shashi Bellamkonda

Poptech 2008 meeting

Pop!tech Day 3

PubCon Lasvegas 2008


Social Dev Camp 2

Social Dev Camp 2 - Baltimore SDC2

SNCR Symposium Boston

SNCR Symposium Boston 2008

Visit to the Zappos Office

Visit to the Zappos office

Wired Offices in San Francisco

Visit to the Wired Offices

Laptopless in Machu Picchu - Lost City of the Incas

2008 trip to macchu picchu peru 374

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Machu Picchu Pictures


Slide show of Machu Picchu

You can find all pictures here

Some videos here

The lesson here is also that the way we share media is changing and you are probably using these tools to share pictures with friends and family as well. It’s a pain to do this all individually and picasa is one of my favorites for uploading to Youtube , Windows Live Photogallery for uploading to Flickr. I think I would love it if there was a application that worked to send this stuff from your camera to any of these places all by itself maybe like eye-fi . I want to put them on Facebook too and even back them up to a cloud.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Meeting a 12 yr old blogger at

I met my good friend Adam ( for lunch and he had brought his son Addison along. Addison told me very proudly that he had 2 blogs and Smart and I think his blog was featured in the Washingtonian magazine. very good for being 12 years old and doing this.

Of course we had a 10 year old who created a website for feeding hungry kids about whom we wrote about on the Network Solutions Blog :

AI generated summary of 60 minutes AI edition

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on April 17, 2023, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapid...