Daily Archives: July 28, 2009

On being human, or one of my favourite quotes from Robert A Heinlein

From Quotes

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

(Emphasis mine. Found via kottke.org)

A very simple and personal use of Web 2.0

My fellow Web 2.0 consultant, Aaron Kim, recently left IBM. Typically when someone leaves IBM, we have a going away lunch where we allow everyone to sign a card wishing the person all the best as well as chipping in for a gift for the person. Now seeing that Aaron has worked with people all around the world, and being that we were both Web 2.0 people, I thought we should take a Web 2.0 approach to things!

Instead of sending around a card, I set up a blog, Aaron Kim’s Leaving IBM Lunch, and asked people to comment/wish Aaron the best on the blog. (As well as providing them with information such as how to get to the lunch). As for a going away gift, using a combination of the ChipIn! service and Paypal, I collected money for Aaron and then transferred it to him after the event.

All in all, it took me less time to do all this than it would have taken to shop for a card! Plus, the benefit was that people from Australia, Japan, Spain, the UK, California in the U.S., and of course Canada, could all participate.

To make it even better, another IBM web 2.0 expert, Jamie Alexander, inspired Aaron to take the gift money and provide it to Kiva. The money raised for the gift is now helping entrepreneurs in El Salvador, Nigeria, Ghana, and Cambodia. You can read more about this at Aaron’s blog.

Best of luck, Aaron. And for people who think using Web 2.0 technology is too difficult…well, as you see, it can be as simple and as effective as this.

The Man Booker 2009 longlist is out

Some of the “usual suspects” are there (Byatt, Coetzee) as well as some new authors. If you don’t know what to read these days, you could do worse than starting with this: Man Booker 2009 longlist