Perspicacious Priyadarshi

Thoughts, Observations, Interpretations

Archive for Observations

23-Year-Old Mark Zuckerberg Has Google Sweating

What’s the only company that scares Google? Facebook.

Just as Google has become what some people call the operating system for search, Facebook is turning itself into the operating system for social networking. While Google knows what millions of people are searching for, Facebook has something the search giant hasn’t been able to grow: a network of connections between people that creates a viral distribution platform unrivaled by any portal or search engine.

Read more…

read more | digg story

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Open Source: Opening in a Big Way in APAC

Here’s an item on how Open Source is making big waves in the APAC region.

Open source accounts for between 25 and 70 percent of all software in Australian, Chinese, Indian and Korean companies, according to a recent IDC survey.

In an interview with ZDNet Australia sister site ZDNet Asia, Wilvin Chee, research director with IDC’s Asia-Pacific software research group, said: “Businesses are using a variety of open source software, ranging from infrastructure software and storage to enterprise applications such as CRM (customer relationship management) and ERM (enterprise resource management).”  “If you want to roll out a low-cost infrastructure in India and China, open source is definitely the way to go,” said the IDC analyst.

read more | digg story

Are you ready to be an iPerson?

iPhone has arrived. The hype and hoopla sorrounding this lastest mobile convergence device is so big that it seems the much polpular Apple iPod will also be overshadowed by iPhone’s popularity. It’s a phone. It’s a music player. It’s a camera. It’s a communicator. In short it’s a device that will redefine the way we have been staying connected with our mobile devices. In an interesting article on the lastest gizmo, Prof. Ezra Shapiro, a former art director and computer journalist checks out how much of our expectations have been met by iPhone .  Please find the detailed article: iPhone: Ready for your toolkit or not (http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=31&aid=125819)

Say hello to iFuture of convergence.

Talk about hype. In the last six months, Apple’s iPhone has been the subject of 11,000 print articles, and it turns up about 69 million hits on Google. Cultists are camping out in front of Apple stores; bloggers call it the “Jesus phone.” All of this before a single consumer has even touched the thing…. Also check at NYTIMES’ website: iPhone Matches most of its hype @ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/27/technology/circuits/27pogue.html?ex=1183867200&en=e69c089c4d547a48&ei=5070

Apple has once again hit yet another goldmine. Wonder what will it be for MS Zune?

iBye. iWishes.

Writing for the Web: The Future

Here’s an interesting  interview about the future of online content.  According to Chris Nodder, a user experience specialist for the Nielsen Norman Group, it’s looking pretty bright.

Web-usability expert Jakob Nielsen has said for more than a decade that writing for the Web is different than writing for print. Nielsen has promoted the use of the inverted pyramid, short paragraphs, bulleted lists, subheadings, and hypertext. Even though some of these guidelines conform with traditional journalistic teachings, not all journalists know about them or use them on the Internet — and some reject them entirely.

But on the Web, 10 years is an eternity. And new questions have arisen. With the growing prevalence of audio and video online, what is the future of text? Will the guidelines for online writing change when screen resolution improves? Will the inverted pyramid kill creative storytelling?

To read the full interview, please visit: http://www.poynter.org/content/content_view.asp?id=119978

Looking back…

In 2002, when a journalist with India’s primier IT weekly-Express Computers, contacted me for a story on Technical Writing, I had already been retrenched twice.  When I began my tryst with the IT industry as a Journalist, I had absolutely no knowledge of Technical Writing. I wrote cover stories, interviewed prominent IT personalities, reviewed IT books, and covered IT events. However, just one year later I joined a CMM Level5 IT services company as a content writer and got an opportunity to write for project documentation. Fortunately, I have been involved in all the activities in the IT industry that require writing and editing.  Technical content writing, web content writing, end-user documentation, marketing communication collaterals, presales and bid documentation, knowledge management, etc.  In between 2000-2002, I lost two jobs. Thanks to the downslide of the IT industry. Finally, I managed to get a stable job with a decent designation and salary at HCL – the Indian IT major. When this story was published I was comfortably positioned at HCL and had documented for a couple of international projects. Here’s what Express Computer had published on Technical Writing as a Career Option.

Technical Writing as a Viable Career Option

-Punita Jsrotia 

Ever thought about what goes into creating the user manuals or instruction brochures of your music system, mobile phones or even the car maintenance guides? Most of us just manage to glance through the item, leave alone going into the technical details.

Since such information is meant for the layman, simplifying the jargons associated with any particular product or process is the key function of technical writers. A bridge between technology and its users, technical writing is also the ‘science’ of designing, validating, and packaging the information created to meet a certain objective. The irony of the situation is that in spite of playing such a crucial role, not much work has been done to assess the number of technical writers in the country. The IT industry, which absorbs a major chunk of technical writers has also shied away from giving due credit to this work.

In today’s customer-centric business model , the very process of acquiring and losing deals depends on the effectiveness of the technical writers. According to Priyadarshi Tripathi, consultant, HCL Infosystems, “Any organisation that is conscious about the information/messages catering to its customers, employees or business partners employs technical writers who are specialists. ” Pradeep Henry of Cognizant Technology Solutions adds, “ For a software services organisation, its user manuals and technical write-ups act as its public face and reflects its level of professionalism.”

Technical writing as a niche profession

At a rough estimate, there should be at least one technical writer, for 30 programmers. But in spite of their growing need, not much has been done to popularise this profession. Although, technical communication has been in existence for a long time, its emergence as a niche profession is only a recent development. According to the figures furnished by the Society for Technical Communication (STC) there are roughly 1200/1500 technical writers in India, while US has over a lakh of technical communicators. Many experts cite the lack of awareness as a key reason (both among the corporates and the individuals) to make it a potential career prospect. Technical writing as a field has various segments, like documentation specialist, instructional designer, proposal writer, resume writer, copywriter, marcom specialist, or even a technology journalist. But not many people are willing to make it a full-fledged profession.

According to Tripathi, in spite of having an abundance of talent, the problem is the lack of a proper organised system or infrastructure to groom them into potential writers. “Unlike the West, here the emphasis is on ‘on-the-job training’. We hardly have any institution offering certified courses on this subject. And this hampers the growth of the profession,” he says. Anissha Aggarwal, assistant manager-Technical Communication, TCS (Delhi), agrees. According to her, the lack of certified courses increase the initial training period of the individual considerably. The veterans in this field generally have a background in English literature with a technical background, because of the popularity of on-the-job training, technically qualified people are preferred over people from other fields.

For rest of the article, please visit: http://www.expressitpeople.com/20020805/cover.shtml

But that was then. Five years later, the Technical Writing professions in India has grown leaps and bounds. Every jobsite in India has hundreds of postings for technical writers. Organizations, not just IT companies, but also those in to Banking, Retail, and other areas are employing Technical Writers.  Definitely things are upwardly mobile.  

Smart Business Communication Strategies for Small Businesses

You have fructified your idea. You worked hard. You now have a business, small in size but big with ambition. If you assume that a smart execution of your idea would do the talking with the world and bring you business, think again. You need to adopt some smart business communication strategies. Please go through my friend: Andrea Morris’ 101 Ways to Market Your Small Business.

Here’s a snippet of what Anrea has written in her enriching and powerful prophecy:

Are you a small business, consultant or entrepreneur? Looking for ways to market your services to bring in more sales?

I don’t need to tell you that a big reason 8 out of 10 US businesses fail is because they don’t have sufficient sales to sustain their business – I’m sure you’ve heard that a million times.

However, if you’re like most entrepreneurs the thought of “selling” makes your stomach churn. When we do a word association with “salesperson”, most of my clients say things like “sleazy”, “untrustworthy”, “pushy” or “unethical.”

In fact, a recent Gallup Poll indicates that sales people really do have a bad rap – with sales/marketing being 3 out of the 4 least trusted professions.

So you NEED to sell and you don’t want to be a salesperson. Easy enough. Read More>>

A simple yet extensive list of items you should initiate to market your business initiative. I am sure you will be successful. Communication certainly empowers businesses. Big or small. Andrea believes so. I too.

Even This Shall Pass Away

Remember Jim Carrey’s movie The Truman Show? That was during the summer of 1998. When the Internet was slowly catching up in India. Silicon valley based Indian dotcomers were about to make it big. The Truman Show depicted the life of an individual who was live, on-air for 24 hours of his day. The world was watching everything about him. When I saw this movie in Delhi then, it was quite a fanciful idea to me. Zero privacy life. Ah what a life it would have been? Was it awkward? Was it comfortable to be the object of focus of millions of eyeballs? Eyeballs? Ah another jargon that became prevalent during the heydays of the dotcom era. Eyeballs were important then. Later it was the business model. Such a life on the focus of eyeballs is nothing new. I remember there was jennycam.org that ran successful since 1996 to 2003. Jennifer Keye Ringley a young woman allowed herself to be viewed to millions of internet surfers 24 hours a day for seven long years. Her effort marked the beginning of an era which witnessed the blurring of social norms or privacy and exposition in public. Thanks to technology. The rapid changes in the information and communication technology arena have enabled the human race to break all the conventional moulds of communication. The communication models have changed. The medium has changed. The taste of people has changed. Convergence has mitigated the differentiation between what should be shown and what not. The definition of relationship has changed. People now are more interested in reality programs than filtered programs. Big Brother is yet another program which has caught our fancy. So popular it is now that an altercation between some celebrity housemates led to international protests against racism. Only technology can do such a thing. However, even this shall pass away. I keep telling this to myself. Yes! even this shall pass away. Again it is technology that will do such a thing.