Saturday, December 03, 2011

[VIDEO] Celebrating life - Flash Mob at Mumbai's CST Railway Station

I want to thank my friend Rozeanne Weissman for sending me the link to the video below and the background of this happy-to-watch-and-celebrate-video.

I visited India and Mumbai this July  and definitely saw the energy of a country that has a promising future. Young folks willing to try hings new and celebrate freedom. So happy to see this flash mob was successful specially in a place that was so seriously affected by terrorism three years ago. 

I wish I was there in the flash mob too ;) 

More coverage at these links below:

Global  Post: Mumbai: Flash mob gathers at CST station (VIDEO)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free Virtual Conference :Digital Marketing World: Social Media Marketing from @Marketingprofs

Register for FREE admission to Digital Marketing World: Social Media Marketing taking place on Dec 9th organized by Marketing Profs.

Among the speakers are Natalie Petouhoff, Matthew T. GrantKathy Herrmann and Jennifer Cisney

Sessions include:

  • Why Aren’t You Podcasting?—learn the business case for podcasting, why it belongs in your social media plans, and how to get started
  • Blast Through 3 Social ROI Myths That Can Hold You Back—learn what facets you can (and can’t) measure, and the real return you can expect from your social media program
  • MarketingProfs Classic: Seven Keys to a Successful Blog—learn how to build a blogging strategy, tie it in with other social media interactions, and measure results

More details and registration at Marketing Profs Event Page

Note: I am on the Program Advisory Committee for the forthcoming conference SocialTech 2012 - B2B Social Media Marketing Distilled that is taking place March 29th to 30th in Seattle WA. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Thanksgiving Week Participate in Small Business Saturday #ShopSmallBiz

This Saturday Nov 26th is Small Business Saturday put together by American Express to help Small Business across the country. The campaign has some great resources on their Facebook page at  and encouraging folks to visit their local business on Nov 26th is Small Business Saturday.

My list for Nov 26th  Small Business Saturday around Rockville/Gaithersburg and Potomac are:
  1. Shady Grove Eye and Vision  I have been a patient for over 10 years.
  2. Bombay Bistro Rockville Very nice Indian restaurant that I have been associated with for over 14 years including working there initially.
  3. Spice Xing in Rockville  Excellent Indian food in the Rockville town center
  4. Sushi Oishii  Love the Sushi and at lunch time the Bento Box. 
  5. Traville Barber shop been going there ever since they opened in the Traville shopping center
Special mention to my neighborhood Indian Grocery store Guru Groceries and Chaat House

Also check out the special offers at

Special offer from American Express: American Express wants to help you make a difference. Get a one-time $25 statement credit when you register an eligible American Express® Card and use that Card for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th. Registration is limited. Terms and Conditions apply.

Klout Perk:  I also got a $25 Gift card from American Express and Klout by virtue of being a Klout Influencer. I was not obligated to do anything in return. I am small business evangelist and love helping small business and this post is a result of that.

Send Real Flowers to Friends and Family using Facebook

Real Flowers: Send flowers to your friends easily using Facebook during the Holidays

This Facebook app is very timely for Thanksgiving Day and also for the upcoming holiday season. Within a few clicks instead of sending a virtual piece of code that looks like a flower you can now send "RealFlowers" - the name in itself is a nice marketing play. As soon as I added the app to my Facebook page i got a list of friends who have birthdays this week . Choosing one of the friends would allow me to send flowers. You would need to know their physical address as well  and if you do not know their address you are probably a cheapskate and have not sent them any flowers before.If you want this to be a surprise there is an option for that as well
I found a good use for this as I suddenly remembered my wife's birthday is this week and I had not thought of a gift for her.  

The credit card process was seamless, I wish they would recognize the number and automatically slelct the card type ( Visa, Mastercard etc). The other surprise was the $12.95 service fee which I hoped would have been mentioned upfront. Bottomline if you are like the person in the TV ads who has forgotten the anniversary or birthday like me, here is a easy way to send flowers while pretending to be on Facebook so your near and dear do not know. It's probably one of convenience as well as  rumor is that half the Facebook population of 800 Million is on Facebook everyday, so it is another convenient  way for them to order gifts socially for their online and real friends  with Real Flowers.

Continue reading on my column at Timely Facebook App to send Real Flowers to friends and family using Facebook .

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tablet ! Tablet ! Everywhere - Blackberry Playbook may be discounted this week

This is a good season to be a Tablet buyer. The good news is that you have a lot of choice, and the bad news is that you have a lot of choice !

Amazon has shipped the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet which sells for $199. I have only seen it in stores and read reviews. One that I read yesterday is from eWeek  "Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the world’s smallest vending machine disguised as a tablet ".  Generally a good device for doing what you need when you are away from your computer and before bedtime.

Now comes the news that Best Buy is selling the
BlackBerry - PlayBook Tablet with 16GB Memory for $199. I have some experience with the BlackBerry Playbook ever since RIM sent me one to use and try. As soon as I unpacked it my college going daughter ( Yes! I have a college going kid) snatched it from me and off it went to classes and lectures. It is a wifi only device and was a perfect light tablet (14 oz.)  for carrying on long walks going between classes. The 7" screen was good enough to hold in your hand and it had all the document software you needed and connect with your computer to transfer notes.

Of course I have now retrieved it back after a game of tag when the Family got a new iPad2 in a sweepstakes held at the Shady Grove Eye and Vision Patient Appreciation Day. Now I have the Blackberry Playbook , My wife gets the new and shiny iPad2 ( Wants it more for the Facetime than anything else) and my daughter gets the iPad1.

What I am loving about the Blackberry Playbook

  • Very easy to type  and write notes.
  • Easy browsing with multiple tabs
  • If you are a Blackberry Phone owner the sync between the device and the Blackberry phone is seamless ( I have not tested this)
  •  The navigation is a different from the iPad and once you figured it out it is very nice
  • You can record good quality video and also use the front facing camera to video chat

What the Blackberry Playbook could do more:

  • For non-Blackberry users the browser seems to be the only way to check email. Blackberry is probably going to remedy this in an update early 2012.
  • There are fewer apps and even fewer free apps. In the upcoming OS update Blackberry has hinted that they will enable a Android App Player which is a huge development and opens these devices to the entire Android market 
  • Social Sharing : I could not find an easy way to share links from my browser which is very important for me.
Bottom-line : If you are a Blackberry phone user and want a easy device to handle when you are not near a computer and the phone keyboard is too small, this is a good tablet to have specially if the price is $199. Do you have a Blackberry Playbook? What do you think of the Tablet wars?

Monday, November 14, 2011

DC Men Style Store : Lost Boys Expands to A Black Room

As you know this blog does not usually write about Men's Fashion usually. This is different. I met Kelly Muccio when she was still working on starting Lost Boys DC and we met at a Small Business Event organized by Network Solutions in 2008. I am so happy to see Kelly's success with Lost Boys and she announced that she is expanding her store and opening a Black Room.

Kelly also participated in a small business video cast in 2009 with Network Solutions. See clip below:

  I have not been to Lost Boys even though I know I should ( I need the advice) See what people are saying on Yelp:
The owner, Kelly, is an incredible fashionista herself and knows how to make you dazzle in the clothing she sells. You'll need a heavy wallet when shopping here but when you see yourself or your man in these clothes, you'll know that it's worth every penny...and you'll be back for more. Just ask Marc H or LOST BOY, Kevin L! The owner, Kelly, is an incredible fashionista herself and knows how to make you dazzle in the clothing she sells. You'll need a heavy wallet when shopping here but when you see yourself or your man in these clothes, you'll know that it's worth every penny...and you'll be back for more. Just ask Marc H or LOST BOY, Kevin L
Watch live streaming video from networksolutions at

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How I troubleshoot my internet connection?

Your internet connection depends on several players. 

  •  ISP (Internet Service Provider) could be your phone company, cable company
  • Modem, sometimes rented to you by your ISP but best to buy one on your own and connect to your ISP's line. 
  • Router either WiFi or Ethernet that is connected to the modem and provides connectivity to your various devices inside the house
  • Your computer or laptop that is connected using WiFi or a Ethernet cable to your router.
My house configuration:
  • Comcast is my cable and internet provider
  • Modem is a Linksys modem
  • Router is a Belkin 
  • Lenovo, Asus, iPad, Blackberry Playbook, Samsung Android Phone.
When the internet goes out here are the steps I take:

Step 1: Power down the Belkin router and then power down the Linksys modem . Wait for a minute and power it back and see if you can connect to the internet.  If not go to Step 2

Step 2: Remove the Ethernet cable connecting the modem to the router and connect it to the Ethernet port on my laptop. Check if I am able to surf the internet. If I can surf the internet then this tells me that the cable company's connection is fine and go to step 3. If I cannot surf the internet, I call Comcast. Usually the automatic voice prompt will send a signal to my modem  or will let me know if there is a system wide issue n my area.

Step 3:  Go to my modem dashboard accessed by going to and see if the router shows the internet is connected. Restart the modem. in many cases use the option of " Clone your MAC address". This usually fixes the issue.

I wish there was a automatic way for all the companies involved in giving me my internet connection figuring out that my connectivity is down and fixing it even before I notice. I guess that technology is far away or maybe too expensive to provide.

This process I outlined above will usually take me 10 to 15 minutes. The frequency is usually 2 to 3 times a year for me. Hope you are having great connectivity. Please comment and let me know if this post has been useful to you.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

DC area marketers interested in learning about video marketing check out this Nov 10th event

 Register at
 Explore industry best practices in online video marketing hosted by Poptent. Learn how brands are leveraging online video to increase engagement and drive ROI. Hear from industry experts Ronan Keane from XO Communications and Neil Perry, President of Poptent. Cocktails: 5-6pm Dinner/presentation: 6-8pm

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Dancing With Digital Natives receives a Finalist spot in the General Business category in the USA Best Books 2011.

Got the exciting news that the book Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That's Transforming the Way Business is Done, edited by Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi has been honored as a "Award-Winning Finalist in the General Business category of The USA "Best Books 2011" Awards, sponsored by USA Book News"

I think you will enjoy the chapter I wrote in this book Thanks @mmanafy I had the privilege of writing a chapter " The Social Media Imperative: Learning to Engage Digital Natives Where They Live" for the book, You can take a look at the sample chapter on Infotoday,com 

The contributors to this book include the editors Michelle Manafy and Heidi Gautschi, as well as Mary Ann Bell, Shashi Bellamkonda (me) , Sarah Bryans Bongey, Jami L. Carlacio, Albert M. Erisman, Brynn Evans, Susan Evans, Lance Heidig, David Hubbard, Richard Hull, Marshall Lager, Christa M. Miller, Emilie Moreau, Carolina M. Reid, Michael Russell, Peggy Anne Salz, Arana Shapiro, Dan Schawbel, Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, and Robert J. Torres is an online publication providing coverage for books from mainstream and independent publishers to the world online community. JPX Media Group, in Los Angeles, California, is the parent company of

A complete list of the winners and finalists of The USA “Best Books 2011” Awards are available online at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Attend " How to Sell Social Media to Your Organization" - Nov 15th 2011

I am very thrilled to be talking to an excellent group of people brought together by MDB Communications and Capital Communicator on the subject "How to Sell Social Media to Your Organization". Register to attend ad get details at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#cibc11 Creativity in Business Conference October 23, 2011

#cibc11 Creativity in Business Conference  Photos
 I attended this conference as a panelist on the Social Media Panel at the invitation of the conference organizer Michelle James CEO/Chief Emergence Officer
The Social Media Panel was moderated by Jen Consalvo, COO & Co-Editor of Tech Cocktail and co-founder of Thankfulfor

My fellow panelists:
Maxine Teller : MixTMedia and my fellow Washingtonian Tech Titans
Peter Lamotte - President of GeniusRocket Jesse Thomas CEO and Co-Founder of Jess3

The audience participated in a big way and the session was largely an exchange of ideas and stories of creativity along with some tips on starting and engaging using social media tools for creative entrepreneurs. Jen Consalvo did an awesome job moderating the panel. Along with the audience I learnt a lot from my fellow panelists as well.
I was very happy to see Annalie Killian who flew in for the conference from Beijing ( She lives in Australia). Her advice over lunch was very striking when she said too much connectivity can kill creativity. When you consume too much you are not making time for yourself to reflect on what you are learning. She knows and her story of she organizes a creativity festival in Sydney where all company employees attend called Amp. Follow @amplifyFest to get more details  Storify curation of tweets from the Social Media Panel at #cibc11 Creativity in Business Conference October 23, 2011.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On Small Business, a new Web channel to debut October 24

Tune in to the Biz Talk with Josh show this Thursday October 20, 2011 and hear Josh Smith interview Dion Haynes managing editor of Capital Business about the launch of On Small Business, a new Web channel that will debut on on October 24

Listen to Biz Talk with Josh show your computer on Thursday October 20th or CBS Radio Washington DC 1580 AM

On a previous  Biz Talk with Josh  show I participated with Elizabeth Shea, President and CEO, Speakerbox Public Relations a business technology sector PR firm and we discussed Small business use of Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You don't make money when someone comes to your business the first time

An interesting discussion from the Knowledge at Wharton channel. Discussing are :

  1.  Social Media Leadership: How to Get off the Bench and into the Game, author Michael F.Lewis, chairman and CEO of business services company ILD and consulting firm Social Strategy1
  2. Wharton marketing professor Eric Bradlow and Steve Ennen, president and chief intelligence officer of Social Strategy1 

The concept of listening, customer service and a Employee Satisfaction index are all mentioned in this conversation. Learn more at Social Media in the C-Suite: Listening, Learning and Creating a Strategy from the Top Down - Knowledge@Wharton

  1. >

Friday, October 07, 2011

Did you read - Becoming Ginger Rogers " by Patrice Tanaka @sambaga

Details of the book at This is my first attempt to make video book reviews. Please let me know what you think and also what books you would recommend i read and review. Thanks

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

More than one billion downloads of the Google Earth

You thought Google was just a search engine ! Google today announced that the Google Earth desktop client, mobile apps and the Google Earth plug-in had been downloaded more than a billion times. Google Earth enables you to to explore the world in seconds, from Earth to Mars to the ocean floor.

Google Acquired Keyhole Inc in 2004 and in 2005 called it Google Earth mapping the surface area of the Earth covers around 197 million square miles. Now you can be an armchair explorer.

The Google blog has this story:

Professor David Kennedy of the University of Western Australia, who’s used Google Earth to scan thousands of square kilometers in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Professor Kennedy has discovered ancient tombs andgeoglyphs dating back at least 2,000 years, all without leaving his desk in Perth. My friend Steve King of the small business research firm SmallBizLabs told me a story of how roofers were using Google Earth to measure the roof of a customer without needing to climb the roof. I am sure exterprising businesses will find a wway to use technology to their advanatage. You can see Google's collection of stories at

See the promo video for Google Earth's 1 Billion downloads

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Appearing on the Biz Talk With Josh Smith Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tune in to Biz Talk on October 6  at 9 a.m when I will be Josh Smith's guest on Biz Talk With Josh Smith talking about engaging customers on social networks like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter help increase customer loyalty and spread your small business message to a new audience? Can it help you expand your business, create jobs and increase sales?

We will be joined by Ms. Elizabeth Shea, President and CEO, Speakerbox Public Relations. Ms. Shea's firm specializes in PR for tech-based businesses, and she frequently speaks on topics such as social media for CEOs, content marketing and business-to-government (B2G) communication strategies, as well as social media return on investment (ROI)


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Brian Solis' New Book :The End of Business As Usual on pre-order

Brian Solis' new book is available for pre-order The End of Business As Usual: Rewire the Way You Work to Succeed in the Consumer Revolution at Amazon. I  have read his previous book "Engage" and will definitely be checking  out his new book.

The End of Business As Usual explores each layer of this complex consumer revolution that is changing the future of business, media, and culture. As con- sumers connect with one another, a vast and efficient information network takes shape and begins to steer experiences, decisions, and markets. It is nothing short of disruptive.

 Learn more at 

Roku Box Facebook offer for this weekend

Hat tip to Mario Armstrong for this offer. Roku has a coupon for Facebook Fans of the Roku page

Roku is a box that connects to the internet using your wi-fi and streams on your TV. They have a lot of channels and I am considering buying a Roku for broadcasts from India. Do you use Roku? What is your opinion? 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Google+ API announced and Stream+ App Launches

Hat tip to for the info that Google has a API for developers to use public streams of Google Plus. More info on this at the Google Developer Website.  and the announcement by  Chris Chabot, Google+ Developer Relations on the Google Plus Blog.

One of the first app is Stream + available at that lets you see all the posts that you shared in your stream in a easy format with categories automatically listed. Granted this is work in progress but the fact that you can now use API access to Google Plus will give rise to many new apps and also integration into existing apps.

I could not find any other apps yet  and let me know if you find others. What kind of app will help you ? I defintiely want one that show me all the +1 I have done across the net in a catalog format.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keep up with the rapidly changing world of media!! Disruptathton Social Media on Sept.27

Disruptathon Social Media is set for Sept 27th at The Washington Post Company.It is a platform for identifying innovative ideas and the people and companies behind them. At the event, the innovators make presentations and the attendees evaluate them.

Disruptathon and The Washington Post Company are bringing together over 20 of the most disruptive social media companies in the world for a day-long session dedicated to business, marketing and networking.

Register and enjoy the event that also includes dinner and an open bar.

When and Where:
Tuesday, September 27, 2011 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
The Washington Post Company
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20071

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lance Ulanoff Appointed Editor in Chief of Mashable

Mashable Connect #mashcon 2011Mashable announced today promoting Adam Ostrow (left in pic)  to the position of Senior Vice President of content and executive editor, and appointing veteran technology journalist Lance Ulanoff to the position of editor in chief.

Mashable also added two new channels,Entertainment and U.S. & World.

Congrats ! Adam and welcome Lance. Looking forward to great times ahead. More details Mashable or Marketwatch

Monday, September 12, 2011

OTSW speaker series in Washington, DC 21st September

Speaker series is sponsored by the Open Text Social Workplace bringing together some of the people who have informed, inspired and amazed them to talk about how to become more purpose driven and pursuing a meaningful purpose.

The event is on 21st September at 8:30 am and this time it's Michael Edson, the Director of Web and New Media Strategy for the Smithsonian Institution talking about the expertise he has covered.

Event Location Willard Intercontinental Hotel 1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC, 20004 United States

Schedule September 21, 2011 Start time- 8:30am End time- 10:00am

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Q&A with small biz expert Ramon Ray on Facebook, Sept.8th

Network Solutions is introducing an event to share tips and advice with the small business community called Lunchtime Q&A with Small Biz Experts on Facebook.

The inaugural Q&A will take place this Thursday, September 8th from 12:00 PM — 1:00 PM ESTwith featured guest host Ramon Ray on Network Solutions Facebook Page:

Spend an hour on Facebook page sharing tips and informtaion to improve your businesses. People interested can post questions on the wall starting at 9:00 AM EST 9/8 or join the Q&A live at the scheduled time.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Up for the DCWEEK2011 Blast! Nov.4th-11th

Digital Capital Week 2011 is an event that has got everything from learning, working to partying, a festival in the capital region focusing on bringing together designers, developers, entrepreneurs and social innovators of all kinds through parties, panels, keynotes and projects.
you can be a part of the festival by submitting events and projects and DCWEEK is providing $10,000 in grants to DC artists.
To know more about the event details like when and Where.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

PostSecret App Coming tomorrow: Share your secrets from your smartphone

A crowdsourced PostSecret app that makes it easy to share a secret ( of course secretly/ anonymously) is making an appearance this month. PostSecret is the world's largest Blogger blog and the  largest advertisement-free Blog in the world.publishes 20 secrets it receives from people all over the world every Sunday.

I met Frank Warren founder of PostSecret  a few years ago and admire his work in inspiring students on openness and communication. I am glad
From the press release :

The PostSecret App was crowd-sourced over a two-year period with the 80,000 member PostSecret community creating the guidelines to ensure that PostSecret App secrets be shared safely in a culture of openness and mutual respect.
The PostSecret community members also assisted in developing the International Suicide Prevention Wiki (ISP Wiki), the most
comprehensive and current listing of suicide prevention hotlines and “chat-lines” in the world. The (ISP Wiki) will be an important part of the PostSecret App and is available for free to any individual or organization to incorporate into other apps so users can always find help and hope near them.
The PostSecret App will be available for purchase from the iTunes App Store for $1.99 in September. For more information about the PostSecret app, please visit
See a preview / trailor about the PostSecret App.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Interactive Map of Hurricane Irene Path and other resources

Use the link as it opens up a browser window . Embedding the map is not working well .

Interactive Map of Hurricane Irene Path and other resources


 This is a project and brings in resources from weather, relief agencies, power companies to give you a good view. I chose a random address in Gaithersburg

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Are you heading for the Optsum conference! Sept.12th and 13th

This September, Glendale Arizona is the venue for the New media Optimization Summit where attendees will gain critical, new Internet marketing and communication skills through comprehensive workshops covering all aspects of online marketing, public relations, and internal and external corporate communications

Shashi Bellamkonda our editor is also presenting at this conference

Shashi's session:
Date: Sept.13th
Title: Listen To Your Customers (If You Want Them to Listen to You!)

Renaissance Glendale Resort & Spa
9495 W. Coyotes Blvd.
Glendale, Arizona 85305
United States
(623) 937-3700


Monday, September 12, 2011 8:00 AM - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 6:00 PM

Social media optimization, is a process or methodology for bringing forth publicity via social media, web sites, and online communities. New Media Optimization Summits event is all about how to put the social media to work in a business, it's a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience, you won't just listen, you will see, here and do.

Special offer: $50 discount off the regular $425/per person price use special discount code is: ShashiB and register at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake 5.8 magnitude in VA USA : What to do in case of an Earthquake

More details

Advice from Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Marcia McNutt in the Washington Post :

“When something like this happen, everyone has to remember, more than half of the states in the U.S. are considered earthquake country. When something like this happens, remember what to do in the case of a seismic event. Duck, get under something sturdy like a desk or a doorway, get away from falling glass. Make sure that you are not in the way of falling objects like pictures, bookshelves, books, anything that’s not firmly connected the wall.”

Read the whole article in the Washington Post

Advice from  FEMA: What to Do After an Earthquake #earthquake

From Montgomery County:
Do not call 911 for information about the earthquake, only to report an emergency.

If you smell gas or suspect a gas leak:
Leave the area immediately and go to a location where you no longer smell gas, and report the leak by calling 911 (If Fire Rescue is not already on the scene).
In any event: Do Not:
 Light matches or smoke. Avoid use of all open flames.
 Try to locate the source of the gas leak.
 Use any electrical device, including cellular phone, I-pods etc.
 Turn light switches On and Off.
 Re-enter the building or return to the area until it has been declared safe to do so by Fire Rescue Personnel

This sounds very geeky but here is what I did as the tremors continued beyond a reasonable time :

1) Yelled EARTHQUAKE loudly to all my neighbors in the office

2) Luckily the tremors subsided so did not run out

3) Tweeted "EARTHQUAKE"!/shashib/status/106061208968380416

4) Checked the USGS website It was not reported yet as it was too early and so I reported it on their page

5) Checked Google and found the image above 5 minutes after the quake.

The 2011 100 Small Business Influencers Announced

2011 Small Business Influencers -
Small Business Trends and are today  announced the Small Business Influencer 2011 Champions and Honorees.

As per the organizers the criteria for judging included the following:
"... a person, company or other organization that has made a meaningful and lasting impact on the North American small business market. Impact may mean (i) providing products widely used by significant numbers of small businesses, or (ii) influencing significant numbers of small businesses by being a thought leader, or (iii) providing information or services of note to significant numbers of small businesses." 

GOOD NEWS :  I am very honored to be in the list of THE 100 SMALL BUSINESS INFLUENCER 2011 CHAMPIONS and want to thank the communitySmall Business Trends , , all the judges and Network Solutions  for the support.

For the complete list go to the announcement page at and the list of Honorable Mentions

Awards Ceremony
The official Awards Gala on September 13th from 6-9pm at the New York Institute of Technology Auditorium on Broadway in New York City. Influencers, nominees, judges, members of the media and the small business community will join together for an evening of celebration, networking and fun. Click here for more information on the event

Follow t #mocial on Aug 25th for a great Mobile discussion

Event : #mocial chat at 2:00pm EST on 8.25 with Matthew Shadbolt of @Corcoran_Group by @bdionline #bdi1

Where : Virtual online from your computer. Go to or follow the hashtag #mocial on Twitter

The tweetchat will focus on mobile social in the real estate industry featuring the guest speaker Matthew Shadbolt, Director of Interactive Product and Marketing for The Corcoran Group. He is the man responsible for the the interactive output and advertising for The Corcoran Group, Manhattan's largest real estate brokerage. Check out the Tech Savvy Agent article including an in-depth video interview with Matthew about The Corcoran Group's Brand, Mobile and Social strategy.

You can follow the conversation by searching the hashtag #mocial in Twitter’s search box and you can join the discussion by making any tweet that includes the term #mocial.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Twenty years ago I was living in the USSR and was on a trip back home to India when my friend Deviah M A showed me a "teletype" with the breaking news of a coup in Moscow. By the time I landed back in Moscow a new beginning was taking place. I lived in the same place vut became a resident of the Republic of Russia. This was indeed a new beginning. Many of us expats stuck together and new media began to open up. I watched CNN all day on my days off as it was the only English language TV station. I was on Radio Maximum - Moscow in the Morning - Chef's Corner with +Cami McCormick (Now a heroic reporter with CBS Radio) Another Moscow buddy +Dan Roam became a award winning author. +Karen Johnson profiled me in the Moscow Magazine It was not all rosy- Crime increased (my house was burgled and +Joanne levine covered it for Moscow News ) food became expensive, the rouble got devalued. I learnt lessons in economy that no university could have taught me. I became familiar with Prof. Jeffery Sachs and his advice to the Russian Government. In the late 90's I moved to the US and just came back from a vacation in India. THe economy engine in India is running in full steam, friends and relatives are thinking nothing of spending $40 on shirts and over $250k on homes. I see a lot of young employees who are cheerful and happy having achieved the middle class prosperity dream. After 20 years having watched economy changed in a different part of the world I wonder what is in store for us in the US. Dr. Jeffery Sachs - Do you have any answers?
From Wayback Machine

Friday, August 19, 2011

9/11 Tribute Motorcycle Parade

9/11 memorial motorcycle ride Virginia August 2011
Today about 1800 motorcycles passed by the road I usually take to get back home. I heard about the 9/11 Tribute Motorcycle Ride first when all the local radio and newspapers were warning folks of the traffic delays. The organization behind the rally is at  and is doing a tremendous job paying tribute to the brave men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. I was happy to ride alongside them for a short while and watch the numerous folks who lined roads and bridge son the road to cheer them.

The route was brilliantly organized and I wish these heroes good luck as they continue their journey from the DC Area to New York. Some of the pictures from the parade route I was part of :

Startup event in the Washington area!September 15th from 6-10pm

Social matchbox startup launch 2011, a grand event held by Washington area Startup Founders, Investors, and Community Leaders that provides a launch platform for new web and software product companies to gain exposure to early adopters, major media, bloggers, investors, and to compete for a chance to win the Community Choice and Founders’ Choice Awards from their peers.

The event will include ten startups launching new web and software products on the East Coast. To reserve your seat visit the Social Matchbox registration page

Event location

US Navy Memorial Heritage Center
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW,
Washington ,DC 20004


September 15th from 6-10pm

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So you want a mobile app? There's a class for that Aug 26th at Alexandria VA

Hurry! as I am writing this post there are only 16 seats left for this Free class

So you want a mobile app? There's a class for that 
Learn the basics of mobile application development strategy, cost, and how an app can help your business
 WhenFri, Aug 26th, 2011 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Connect 113
113 S. Columbus St., Suite 100
Alexandria, VA

Register at (community marketplace for offline classes.)

Thanks for the tip Kristian Bouw

See you at the Content Marketing World 2011, Cleveland OH Sep 6-8

We would like to tell you about a great conference next month in Cleveland , OH on Content Marketing put on by Joe Pulizzi of Junta42.

Shashi is planning on attending and other thought leaders like
Anita Campbell and Jim Kukral. Lot of great speakers like David Meerman Scott, Kevin Smith and Sally Hogshead are leading the conference. Detailed info available at Content Marketing.

Content plays a key role in all of your web marketing, that is how u communicate online. At content marketing world you will learn how to transform your marketing department into a storytelling factory, engaging your prospects and customers in all the right channels with the right messages– including social, mobile, email, online and even print and in-person strategies.
Conference Location.

Renaissance Cleveland Downtown,
24 Public Square,
Cleveland, OH 44113.
Tue, September 6 To Thu September 8th
Register at

Monday, August 15, 2011

The lights of New York City while enjoying #140ConfTails.

Here is a event tip for New York. If you have been a fan of #140conf and are following #140OnBoard from Jeff Pulver . Jeff writes : 

While we were planning on having a trip to Philly tomorrow from NYC, the plans have changed and instead we are doing an evening event in NYC where our guests will see "the lights of New York City while enjoying #140ConfTails." :)
If you are available to join tomorrow evening, the costs is $0 (free) but you need to RSVP as soon as you can over at: http://140DrinksOnaBus.eventbrite.comJoining us will be our friends from #TechDrinkUp.
Tickets available for the first 60 people who sign up NOW

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Windows 7 Student Loft at Tysons August 12th to 16th

Nice to see that Windows is having a roadshow for students at Tysons Corner and a 10% discount ( Not sure if that's good) but a place to check out the new stuff that Microsoft has.

August 12th to 16th

1961 Chain Bridge Rd
Tysons Corner, VA 22102

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trip Report : Kingdom of Bahrain : July 2011

The Bahrain World Trade Center one of the tallest Building in Bahrain 
Bahrain is a archipelago about 3.5 times the size of Washington DC  and is closest to Saudi Arabia, linked through a causeway and a bridge.  The main industry is banking with a sprinkling of industries like,  petrochemical processing plants and Aluminium. Bahrain is also home of the US 5th Fleet  See the CIA World Factbook on Bahrain

This was my first visit to the Middle East. The trip from Washington DC to Bahrain was about 15 hours of flying time plus a 3.5 hour layover in Dubai. US citizens can get a tourist visa on arrival, but I had gotten one online from On arrival you have to fill up a Disembarkation card at the arrival hall of Bahrain airport.. Not having been told about this on the flight, we had to make trips back and forth from immigration.
As soon as you step out of the airport, the humidity hits you and if you are wearing glasses they are foggy and take a few minutes to clear.
Having been born in India, my first impression, Bahrain resembled India but with cleaner and broader roads. With very cordial and friendly people. We visited :
Al-Fatih or Grand Mosque :  This is the largest mosque in Bahrain and is very welcoming to people of other religions to visit. The largest fiberglass dome in the world, in the prayer room, is worth a visit.  Ladies are given the abaya that they should wear within the mosque. You can also watch the prayer if you are there during prayer time.

National Museum of Bahrain : The history of Bahrain is over 6,000 years old and the artifacts and the interactive map make it a very interesting place to visit. My knowledge of the Dilmun and the burial mounds and the fact that traders came from the Indus Valley civilization several thousands of years ago was enhanced by what I learned at the museum.

Bahrain Fort : Made of limestone and clay, this was interesting because there were no sign boards explaining the history of such an important site. See more details on the fort at the Bahrain Tourism site.

Other things to see and do :

  • Bahrain International Circuit 
  • King Fahd causeway connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia
  • Gold Souq Bahrain 
  • Arabian food
  • Eat Street / Las Vegas Street ( a street close to the American naval base full of US fast food chains)
  • Day trips to Hawar Island
  • See some oil wells from the road

Have you been to Bahrain? What did you think?

Friday, July 08, 2011

Getting ready for the longest flight of my life Washington DC to Dubai on United

N788UA B777-200 United

I have been paying a lot of attention to the UA 976 United's Flight from Washington Dulles to Dubai which began service on October 26th 2008. The folks at Flyer Talk have some  pretty good discussions the experience in this thread United's IAD-DXB flights [Experiences, Questions, Etc.] I am excited that I am going to experience the flight myself tomorrow. It is 14 hours to fly from Washington Dulles IAD to Dubai DXB and I have been that each seat has a entertainment console and service is pretty good. I will be among 90 odd passengers in the Economy Class and the flight has a total capacity of 253 passengers. Since this plane has to carry a double crew, they may have a section fo the crew as well. The good thing is that the flight leaves at 10.18 at night which means if you can get 8 hours sleep you only have to worry about a 6 hour waking time.  I travel a lot and occupying myself on a flight is not a problem. I only wish there was Wifi on board the plane as well.

United in it's new avatar is expanding internationally and just launched  a new service between Shanghai and Los Angeles with a offer of triple bonus award miles. United flies to Bahrain with a stop-over in Kuwait. If my plans for next year materialize I may even take the flight 897 from Washington Dulles (IAD)  to Beijing (PEK). There is certainly a fascination to visit countries and long flights or not I am thrilled every time I fly to a new place.

Flying between Washington DC and  India : Usually when you travel to the southern part of India from Washington DC your choice is to fly with a stopover in Europe or in London. A few times I have flown to London and then the middle east and then on to India.Since June 24, 2007 Qatar Airways started flying directly from Washington Dulles to Doha and then on to other Asian Destinations. They have a connection to Hyderabad, India so that is a flight my parents and a lot of my friends have taken and have said it is a good experience.

Routes me and our family  have flown  to and from India in the last decade.

Hyderabad- Mumbai-Paris-Washington DC
Washington DC - London - Dubai - Hyderabad
Hyderabad - Frankfurt-Geneva- Washington DC- Brussels-Frankfurt- Hyderabad
Hyderabad- Doha - Washington DC- Doha- Hyderabad
Washington DC - London - Dubai - Hyderabad
Washington DC- Amsterdam- Hyderabad

Some of my tips for travelers specially on International flights:

a) As far as possible try not to have a transfer within the country of origin or destination.I never want to transfer within the US or within  India.
b) As soon as I board the flight I change my watch to the time zone of the country I am visiting
c) Drink a lot of water on the flight and get up from your seat to go and ask the crew for water and you get your exercise and a chance to move your legs.
d) Try to get as much sleep as possible
e) After you land try to get in the routine of your destination , you may be tempted to sleep or wake up at odd hours.

Have you done any long flights? What has your experience been? Let us know .

Photo credit : Mark Murdock Flickr photo

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...