Sunday, January 24, 2010

Groundswell - A must read for anyone who is into social technologies

Have your read a book and wondered why you did not run into that book so far ?

Groundswell
is one such on Social Technologies - a book that you will not keep aside until you are done with it and refer it many times.

What is Groundswell ?

A Social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than traditional institutions like corporations.

These technologies include blogs, member-driven news sites like digg.com, social networks like MySpace and Facebook, and user-generated content like YouTube and Helium. Tools like del.icio.us, which lets people see and share Internet bookmarks with each other, are part of the trend.

These are all the elements of a social phenomenon- the groundswell - that has created a permanent shift in the way the world works. Like it or not, we are all part of this Groundswell revolution, if we are permitted to say that.

The book starts with clearly describing what this social phenomenon called Groundwell is, why it is important and the ways and means to approach it analytically, systematically and success-oriented.

A must read for anyone who is trying to understand what these technologies are, which technology is appropriate to achieve your objective. The book stresses that it is important to know one's objective before choosing a technology.

I cannot stress the value of this book!

If you want to rent or buy the book, reserve your copy @ eveninghour.com.

Friday, January 15, 2010

To be or Not to be a Author

So these days we see the 'guy next door' become an Author and also be a hit at it. May be you also got tempted to write a book or a poem.

Two questions pop up : Who can become an Author ? What does it take to be an Author ?

To answer the first question - anyone can become an Author - if you are able to write a story or even a one-liner, then you are an author. This blogging-era has pretty much made every one an author. But is that enough ?

Well.. No if you want to be known as an Author. Just being able to write something is not enough. One needs to be a 'saleable' author. So the actual question is - What does it take to be a 'saleable' author ?

Good writing skills is the start. Or may be its the vision that is most important. Critical reading skills is as much necessary to understand other's works. The important soft skills include being a self-starter and the motivation to continue on the task started.

That may be just the start.

So next comes the toughest part - to market YOUR book. Many of us think the book would just sell by itself. But the actual job starts after you complete writing the book - starting with publishing the book. And then getting the work known to the people. Unless one takes the effort to publicize about the book, how will any one know about it!

There you go - that's the very high level jist!

So do you have the energy, patience and the perseverance to take it all the way through - from the concept to putting it on a paper to getting the book published and finally to get it across to the readers ?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Why do we have festivals ?

So why were festivals introduced ?

Is it merely just the celebration of good over evil ? Or does it have another tacit reason - was it introduced by some set of 'intellectuals' so that people will get a break from their regular schedules, altercations forgotten, moods refreshed and fueled up for another few weeks or few months ?

Just a thought!

Happy Bhogi! Happy Pongal! Happy Holiday!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Starting a new book

Just picked up Lisa Jacksons Lost souls.

Are you one of those people who find making through the first few pages really hard? Who is interested in reading the color of the walls, the description on the exquisite long drapes or the protagonist's lace on the dress.. dragging boring!! Sometimes after reading a book I feel damn! the book could have been easily trimmed to 100 pages instead of the 300 pages.

Anyway I have read other Lisa Jacksons books and do find it good. Lost Souls is also picking up good, one of those books that you cannot keep away from. Hoping it finish it soon.

One good book changed it all !

A picture speaks 1000 words! What about a motion picture? It should be speaking millions and it surely does. What matters is if the feel got carried over!

I am one of those buffs who prefer to watch a movie in 3 hours rather than spending a few days on reading the same content. I always felt that fiction is always for those who have plenty of time and have a reading hobby. Or else why would any one spend days to read a book, especially when one is of the belief that all the good ones get adapted on to the screen.

Before I give my conclusion on this, I should give you a piece of my mind too.

Reading is not something I hated. I am a die hard fan of Sherlock Holmes, have read and by hearted all Charles Dickens novels! R.K.Narayan stories, EM Forster works etc were all consumed by me at an exciting pace. I loved reading but I stuck myself to usually classics or tech books or business books, but never really into fiction.

A few years ago, I chanced up on Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. I reluctantly started reading it because I had nothing else to do except that. I finished the book that night staying awake till very late in the morning. I loved it. All the action, the logic, the mystery and the plot! Robert Langdon really kicked into me. But that was pretty much it until after a few months. I happened to get into a book store for a tech book and came out along with collector’s edition of Da Vinci Code. The next day I was at a book library collecting all the Dan Brown novels and finished all of them. The conspiracy theory in couple of them really got into me that fiction is not junk at all. That kick started the reading habit of fiction for me and now I am addicted. Then followed Michael Crichton, Frederick Foryseth, Jefferey Archer, Sam Bourne, Ayn Rand and I am continuing to add day by day.

I have to confess here that I still cannot take all kinds of fiction. I still have to over come the bad habit and judging on the book with in the first few pages. That does not happen in movies. Even if the movie is mediocre in the first half, a viewer will still end up liking it if the film manages to leave a very good impression by the time the film ended. Of course, not counting those who have a habit of leaving the film within 30 mins if the film is not interesting! I know a few of us do. Read the word “us”. So I am a little impatient. J And that is why I call it a bad habit.

As I said, I browse for latest book, flip through the first few pages and if I decide on reading it, I stick to the end even if the book sucked after that. I guess the saying that first impression is the best impression is still circuited somewhere in my brain.

All said, now that I am stuck to reading, I make it a point to read the books before I watch a film to see how they adapted to the screen. To be honest, some times book fare well and some times the film. But whatever it is, one good book changed it all for me.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

You can't live with them, and you can't live without them!

Do you need any prizes for guessing who it is ! :)

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - the most famous relationships book ever published written by John Gray.

The first chapter starts like this:

Imagine that men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

And the couple of next paragraphs talk about how they fell in love and ends saying that for years they lived together in love and harmony.

And the story goes as follows, quoting from the book:

Then they decided to fly to Earth. In the beginning, everything was wonderful and beautiful. But the effects of Earth's atmosphere took hold, and one morning everyone woke up with a peculiar kind of amnesia-selective amnesia!

Both the Martians and Venusians forgot that they were from different planets and were supposed to be different. In one morning, everything they had learned about their differences were erased from their memory. And since that day men and women have been in conflict.

Friday, January 8, 2010

When was the last time you read a really good book

When was the last time that you really read a good book and it stayed with you for a while.

I must say it has been a while, I am typically not a picky reader..I would read any book if it is interesting enough, but typically hard to please reader for a book to really stay with me as a good book.

The last book I read was Envy by Sandra Brown. It started off slow. My friend gave it to me saying it was a good book. I have read some of Sandra Browns books and I did like them. I probably had the pre-notion that it was going to be a really good book since my friend and I have the same taste in books. Turns Out it was an OK book.So sticking to the same author's books does not work sometimes..What say!!!

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is possibly the first detective a child hears about! 'The Hound of Baskervilles' - Does that ring a bell ? Most of us would have read at least the abridged version of it. This is one of those rare cases where the character is ubiquitous and well-known than the author himself.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes, wrote four novels and fifty-six short stories that feature Holmes. Though the first story, A Study in Scarlet, was published in 1887, Sherlock Holmes became extremely popular from The Strand Magazine published in 1891.

Irene Adler is the only woman that impressed Holmes. She is mentioned in multiple Holmes stories and also makes a personal appearance in "A Scandal in Bohemia".

Today, a new movie of Sherlock Holmes was released. It has been a treat for all the Sherlock Holmes fans. Can't expect any less from the famous director - Guy Ritchie. The director and the actor Robert Downey Jr have recreated Sherlock Holmes.

And thus Sherlock Holmes comes back to the limelight.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I don't serve markets. I create them! -- Akio Morita

There are three types of companies: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what's happened -- Anonymous.

Thus starts the book on marketing by Kotler - "Kotler on Marketing" - How to create, win and dominate markets.

An excerpt from the book:

Responsive Marketing vs. Anticipative Marketing vs. Need-shaping Marketing

Responsive Marketing : This is a commendable form of marketing when there exists a clear need and when some company has identified it and prepared an affordable solution.

Anticipative Marketing: It is another feat to recognize an emerging or latent need. Anticipative Marketing is more risky than Responsive Marketing; companies can come into the market too early or too late, or may be totally wrong about thinking that such a market would develop.

Need-shaping Marketing: The boldest level of marketing occurs when a company introduces a product or service that nobody asked for and often could not even conceive of. No one in 1950s asked for a Sony Walkman, a Sony betamax but yet Sony, under its brilliant founder and Chairman, Akio Morita introduced those.

Morita summarized his marketing philosophy in these words:

"I don't serve markets. I create them"!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I GET IT! All you want to know about everything

A New weekly magazine aimed at children but equally informative for all.



Did you know that chocolate triggered the invention of the microwave oven ?


Before the microwave oven was invented, microwaves were used in radars by the military. In 1945, Percy LeBron Spencer was researching microwave radars at the American Raytheon Co. He discovered that the chocolate in his pocket had melted even though he wasn't near a source of heat! This led to the invention of the microwave oven.



Of course, it goes without saying that EveningHour has I GET IT! magazines - the new and the old versions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Start

Today marks the beginning of blogging on EveningHour.com