Web 3.0 Roundtable With Sramana Mitra

I’m a big fan of Sramana Mitra, who is considered by many to be an expert on  Web 3.0.  On Oct 21st I had the pleasure of attending the Web 3.0 Roundtable given by Sramana.  The hour-long webinar was an online product strategy roundtable featuring Sramana Mitra and using Dimdim‘s open source web conferencing platform. During the session, entrepreneurs pitched Sramana their product ideas in a 3-minute presentation. She reviewed the material in real-time and provided 3-minutes of feedback on each plan.

Here is some background on Sramana.

As an entrepreneur CEO, Sramana founded three companies: Dais (Off-shore Software Services), Intarka (Sales Lead Generation and Qualification Software; VC: NEA) and Uuma (Online Personalized Store for selling clothes using Expert Systems software; VC: Redwood). As strategy consultant, Sramana has consulted with over 75 companies, spanning from large public companies and private startups. Her current focus, is primarily in the realms of Web 3.0 and Enterprise 3.0, and related infrastructure.

Sramana is also the author of Entrepreneur Journeys, Volume One (2008). This book presents an intimate glimpse into the world of technology start-ups through candid conversations with a dozen of the most innovative practitioners of our time. Offering readers an inside view of how to navigate an entrepreneurial path, Sramana synthesizes candid conversations with her own incisive analysis, to create a unique set of case studies.

Sramana displayed her vast knowledge of entrepreneurship and business during the roundtable.  She advised each participant with great feedback – sometimes good and sometimes bad.  Her two primary criticisms were:

  • to think about the customer/client and remember the product or service should focus on value-adding
  • what differntiates your product from other existing products/services

Here is a link to the video: http://tinyurl.com/5gasms

My students (in the business management course that I teach) and I attended the roundtable; and they throughly enjoyed it. I used the roundtable as a learning experince for myself, and for my students by  having each student pitch me their ideas for their final project, which is a business plan.


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10 Questions to Ask Before You Start Blogging

Photo Credit Somewhat Frank via Flickr

Photo Credit Somewhat Frank via Flickr

Hubspot has a great post on blogging.  As I am continuously trying to improve my blogging by adding value and substance to my blog posts, I found  Joe Pulizzi’s post to be very to be a constructive.

Here are 10 questions I frequently ask bloggers just getting started:

1.  Who are your primary and secondary targets for your blog?

2.  What do you want to tell them?

3.  Do you understand what the key informational needs of the audience are?

Here is a link to the complete post, Before you Start Blogging, Ask Yourself These 10 Questions.

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Social Media Classroom: a New Web 2.0 Education Platform

SMC Logo

Last week ReadWriteWeb highlighted Social Media Classroom (SMC) a new web 2.0 platform for education.  SMC is a free open-source Drupal-based web service for teachers and learners.  SMC is an web classroom format that integrates social media tools such as :

  • blogs
  • wiki
  • chat
  • social bookmarking

The Classroom also includes curricular material: syllabi, lesson plans, resource repositories, screencasts and videos.  The Collaboratory (or Colab), is what we call just the web service part of it.  Educators are encouraged to use the Colab and SMB materials freely, and we host your Colab communities if you don’t want to install your own. 

This website is an invitation to grow a public resource of knowledge
and relationships among all who are interested in the use of social media
in learning, and therefore, it is made public with the intention of
growing a community of participants who will take over its
provisioning, governance and future evolution.

Read more about Social Media Classroom here.

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200 Tools for Surviving the Economic Crisis

Image provided by Marcopoulos via Flickr

Image provided by Marcopoulos via Flickr

Mashable has compiled a list of over 200 useful tools that are sure to come in handy during this – shall I say it? – “recession.”  The tools fall under categories such as:

  • budgeting
  • job search
  • transportation
  • travel.

They are all neatly assembled in one blog post.  Here are 10 of my favorite tools from the list:

TheCorporatePlaybook.com – A site that helps college athletes make the transition from school to the corporate world. The jobs range from everyday jobs to those in the sports field.

Mint.com – A completely free financial management tool that offers nice perks like integration with numerous banks, retrieves new transactions daily and even puts them into categories for you automatically, sets budgets that will warn you when you’re close to going over and much more.

eRideShare.com – Assists you in finding rides for daily carpooling, cross-country travel, running errands, or even to special events & club meetings.

RideAmigos.com – Use the RideAmigo’s RideMatcher system to enter your trip or commute, and find people with a matching schedule that you can share a ride with. The service also shows the environmental impact reduction of the people sharing a ride. Also offers a corporate version, which restricts results to people within your company.

RepairPal.com – RepairPal assists you with getting estimates for repairs, finding well reviewed shops and keeping track of your car’s maintenance.

FuelMeUp.com – 82,000 gas stations around the United States, and their prices are updated three times a day to reflect the latest information.

.MyCoupons.com – Has over 4,000 stores you can look up by name. Also has message boards for sharing more codes, rates how well codes have worked, and a whole lot more.

Farecast.Live.com – Microsoft powered service to search multiple sellers and predict for you if you should buy your ticket now or hold off for a possible price drop.

HotelsCombined.com – Search over 30 hotel reservation sites in 12 languages from one convenient interface.

AgentBoost.com – You post a listing for a property you plan to sell and agents have five days to bid for your listing.


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Learn How to Become an Alpha Blogger

Image by Phil Moore

Image by Phil Moore via Flickr

Are you blog posts worth link backs?  Do your blogs provide valuable content?  Are they educational and informative?  If your answer is no – there’s a good chance you not an Alpha blogger.  Being that I’m a blogging neophyte, I hardly consider myself an Alpha blogger either – but as the saying goes, “knowing is half the battle.”  In a conscious effort to become a better blogger, I subscribe to a variety of different blogs (check out my blogroll). I’m a firm believer that you become a better writer by reading, so I read every blog I possibly can.  Whether your an enthusiast like me or a professional you can always improve on your craft.  So, I have provided links to two articles that are sure to send you on your way to Alpha blogdom – 8 Quick Ways to Write Article for Your Business and Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb.

In Hubspot’s 8 Ways to Write Quick Articles for Your Business Blog, Pete Caputa presents eight ways to write an article in under 20 minutes.  Possibly your already using one of the methods such as remixing content you have previously written or aggregator blogging – but there are other ways such as link blogging and running a contest that make this post a must read.

Successful blogging never occurs in a vacuum. Only 1/3rd of a successful blogger’s time is spent writing. They’re not usually sitting down in a quiet room with a pad and paper to write. They’re reading, commenting, networking, and spending a good majority of their time interacting online with people who have similar passions. The unexperienced blogger might think that this process would take even more effort and more time, rather than less. However, by interacting with other people, ideas come easier and words and paragraphs begin to flow.

This second post is from Copyblogger Five Grammatical Errors That Make You Look Dumb by Brian Clark.  In his post Brian points out 5 grammatical errors, that are sure to subtract from your credibility as a writer.  Read this post to ensure that you avoid them at all costs.

While we all hope what we have to say is more important than some silly grammatical error, the truth is some people will not subscribe or link to your blog if you make dumb mistakes when you write, and buying from you will be out of the question.


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Innovative Poverty Plan

As I thought the topic of Blog Action Day 08 – Poverty, it was only natural for me to think in terms of presidential election.  In less than three weeks America will have an opportunity like no other country in this world, to elect Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America.  Of all of the issues that have crowded the electionsphere Poverty has received little limelight. It is, in many ways, regrettable. Not simply because the number of those living in poverty – 37.3 million in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – warrants attention.  Because, the Senator from Illinois, has a plan to end proverty in the United States. Because that plan, according to Harry Boyte, founder of the Institute’s Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the University of Minnesota – “would be really innovative.”

Boyte says Barack, “sees a need for “catalytic government that enables citizen action rather than displacing citizen initiative.”  It is an effort, Boyte says, that constitutes and anything-and-everything approach when it comes to fighting poverty.

Barack Against Poverty

Barack Against Poverty

Barack Obama and Joe Biden‘s Plan (watch Barack’s video)

  • Expand Access to Jobs

  • Make Work Pay for All Americans

  • Strengthen Families

  • Increase the Supply of Affordable Housing

  • Tackle Concentrated Poverty

Barack Obama’s Record

  • Tax Relief for Low-Income Working Families: Obama created the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income working families in 2000 and successfully sponsored a measure to make the credit permanent in 2003. The law offered about $105 million in tax relief over three years.
  • Housing: In the Illinois State Senate, Obama championed multiple pieces of legislation to help low-income families find adequate affordable housing.

My role is to work persistently to to ensure that Mr. Obama is elected President of the United States on November 4th.  And although, I am aware that his plan is domestic in scope, we must start at home first – in our neighborhoods, cities, states, and country.  What’s your plan?  I’m in, are you in?


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How to Manage Your Social Profiles and Create Virtual Business Cards

Doriano “Paisano” Carta’s post on Mashable is so good I just had to share it. Even better

Wayne Sutton Twitter Profile

Wayne Sutton Twitter Profile

are the reader’s comments about on Doriano’s post.  Make sure you read through the comments, they’re loaded with info and advice on managing your online profile.

Seriously, take a look at Wayne Sutton’s comments.  Wayne’s Twitter profile is referenced in Doriano’s post.  And get this, Wayne commented via a video created using Viddler!  There is way too much info for me to cover it all – your going to have read it for yourself.

Here is a copy of Wayn’e video comment.

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