Posts tagged: blogging

The topics I'd wish somebody would start blogging professionally for: Investment, Fund Management and Financial Analysis

By , August 28, 2008 2:36 pm

I just received a question from Darren Rowse from Twitter today.

Darren Rowse's question on Twitter

So to answer his question, I’d like to share what I’m thinking:

1. Investment in emerging markets

The reason is that emerging markets behave in a different way from those of developed countries. Theory of macro-economics or technical analysis cannot be applied without customization. I’d wish somebody would write about this topic, beside Nam Le at Cofieu

2. The career of a Financial Analyst, especially in Fund Management, Banking and Securities

…Because this is my chosen career path.

I do read Jason Vu‘s and Khoa Pham‘s blogs regularly though.

How about you? What is your answer to the question?

Click here to update your life to those who you care about and receive updates from them in one flick with Plurk

By , August 26, 2008 11:29 am

Update quicker, more conveniently and more centralizedly

First of all, you want to stay updated with your family, friends and other networks. Conventionally, you can use phones, emails, IMs or face-to-face to communicate.

But there are 2 issues with the conventional channels:

  1. The updates are scattered through everywhere
  2. You only update significant events. How about other every little stuffs you do that matter to your beloved and make you an interesting person?

One solution has come: Plurk

And here comes Plurk

What is Plurk?

Plurk is a FREE web service that allows you to update your activities, receive updates from your connections on a timeline graph.

What is timeline?

Plurk Timeline

Plurk is not just text. There is the time flowing and the messages look like they float it is interesting and fun to follow.

For navigation, there are 4 ways to navigate through the timeline:

  1. drag with mouse
  2. scroll with mouse wheel
  3. use the arrow button graphics at both the right/left end of the timeline
  4. keyboard arrow keys <= =>

Updating your activities is one important way to increase your Karma.

What is Karma?

Karma is the point you receive when Plurking. You can see the short list of Karma in this picture:

Plurk Karma list

For more details, you can go to the help page for Karma at http://www.plurk.com/Help/karmaHelp

Karma scores are calculated 3 times a day, 12:00 am, 8:00 am, and 4:00 pm Universal time.

What is Karma for?

With Karma, you can

  1. Customize your profile and change your mascot
  2. Use more emoticons
  3. Maybe more in future

How to increase Karma

  1. Plurk regularly, but not more than 30 plurks per day
  2. Invite friends
  3. Update your profile
  4. Plurk interesting stuffs to get responses
  5. Get more fans

Also, beware of actions that lower Karma

  1. Losing fans
  2. Friend request rejected
  3. Spam
  4. Inactivity

Other features

You can also share links on Plurk. Long URLs are shortened.

Clique is simply a group of friends. Maybe 5 of your friends play on the same soccer team, or maybe 3 of your friends work at the same company. Cliques help you manage your audience so that you can send plurks to only the friends who need to be notified.

Badges are included on your profile whenever you achieve certain milestones on Plurk like “Reached Plurk nirvana”, “Invited more than 10 users”, “Has more than 50 fans”, “Translator”…

You can view interesting Plurkers at http://www.plurk.com/browse

Why Plurk

So comes the big question: why do I have to use Plurk?

Firstly, it solves the problem: update and get updates. Plurk centralizes all your updates in one place. Plurk is quick. Plurk is fun. Plurk is real-time and is with an interesting interface.

Secondly, Plurk can be used as a micro-blog. Imagine you’re so busy to write a long blog post. With Plurk, you can note down quickly and easily.

Next, Plurk is a powerful tool to make announcements to your followers.

What’s more, Plurk is a place to make new friends who share the same interests as yours.

What are other reasons to use Plurk that I haven’t thought of?

Tools for Plurk

There are some handy tools that make Plurking more exciting.

  1. Firefox Sidebar gives you a Twitter-like interface in a sidebar.
  2. Ping.fm allows you send updates to Twitter and Plurk simultaneously as well as other social networking services like Facebook, MySpace, Friendster…
  3. Karma Trends shows your karma accumulation progress.
  4. Mobile Plurk is a version of Plurk on Mobiles.
  5. FriendFeed Tab adds a Plurk tab to your FriendFeed page.

What are other things I can look at?

The press page: http://www.plurk.com/press

The blog of the team: http://blog.plurk.com/

The Plurk team: http://www.plurk.com/plurkteam . You can view amix, deniz, alvin, dima

So what’s next?

I won’t let you stop here wondering what to do. Just CLICK HERE and start Plurking with me.

The e-Learning 2.0 experience

By , August 22, 2008 3:29 am

The blog craze started in 2004, MySpace came out in 2002. From then till now, Web 2.0 has penetrated deeply into our lives.

You may have heard the buzz: it’s all about communications, exchange information and expressing the ego.

Have you thought of utilizing all those things for learning?

Recently I’ve been very aggressive on the net to see how we can use the applications for learning, and here I am with my key findings:

The requirements

Let’s imagine a very familiar study scenario: you’re assigned into a group to do a research on topic X.

Traditionally, the group would rely on emails, phone calls and IM to communicate and collaborate. Have you found these media difficult to classify your information?

This is how I would use Web 2.0 for learning

1. Search for information with Search EngineS

Obviously, information searching starts with search engines.

I have some hints for this:

  1. Don’t just use Google. Try Yahoo! search, Live search, Ask search and other engines. They give different results and thus, relevant information might be found from ones other than Google
  2. Try Google on different region settings. google.com/ncr (international version) yields different results from google.com.vn
  3. Try different keywords and keyword combination. Also, exploit the operators
  4. Also search for images. At least Google, Yahoo! and Live support this. Images are useful for illustrating your ideas and, in some cases, give you additional information.

Watch a slide show on Google services:


2. Ask your questions

Use Q&A service such as LinkedIn Answers to ask questions and receive information from professionals.

Watch a video explaining LinkedIn

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/RXVcq7Xg6JU”][/gv]

3. Make information comes to you with RSS

Normally you go out for information. Think about making information come to you?

Use RSS for this.

Watch a video explaining RSS

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/AwtmOPdrEL8″][/gv]

For example, if I’m looking for “globalization”, I would take these steps

  1. Go to wordpress.com/tags/globalization
  2. Get the RSS of this tag
  3. Subscribe the RSS into a feed reader like Google Reader

Then check with the feed reader everyday to see if relevant information comes in.

You can also use Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate the feeds. Click here to view videos on Yahoo! Pipes

Try exploring different sources of information you can use this trick.

4. Share links with bookmark-sharing sites

If I encounter useful webpages, I would want to share it with my group mates.

Using email would bury the link under heaps of other information. Sharing through IM stands the risk of losing the message when the program lags.

So I would bookmark the site using del.icio.us and use the function “links for friend” to share the link.

Watch a video explaining del.icio.us

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/r9s5hc3MJZo”][/gv]

5. Blog your group’s findings on group-blog powered platform

WordPress supports multiple-author. I would want our group members to blog our research everyday on our blog. This is not superficial. It helps us

  1. Collect information, thoughts, findings, analysis and intermediate conclusions
  2. Track each member’s progress
  3. Present to the lecturer our growth

5b. Share micro details

This is optional though. Some information might be very detailed and we want quick sharing methods. I would connect my mobile phone to Twitter and quickly update my thoughts on the way.

Watch a video explaining Twitter

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ctXq1mKL7tk”][/gv]

6. Schedule activities with Calendars

Schedule activities such as meetings, field trips with Google Calendar

7. Watch and learn

Go to Youtube, not to entertain, but to learn from podcasters on the topic.

For example, this video is useful to understand Web 2.0

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5nN-U0sDZNc”][/gv]

8. Compose Collaboratively

Use Google Docs to compose the documents. This is very convenient in such that

  1. No email chain flying around
  2. Single repository of document
  3. Better version control
  4. Many collaborators do the job concurrently

Watch a video explaining Google Docs

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/eRqUE6IHTEA”][/gv]

9. Build wiki to store develop information knowledge

Wiki is great to understand new concepts and link the information to get the big picture.

Watch a video explaining Wiki

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/hczDZXPfYn8″][/gv]

10. Relationship building

Facebook is good to build relationship with your work mates.

11. Publish your research

Publish your research as presentations on slideshare or documents on scribd to share your knowledge engage in discussion on the topic.

12. Consolidate them all into one page

There are just so much!

How’re you gonna navigate around them all?

Well, one solution is to use a homepage service like netvibes to put all these services together.

Why all these?

Too complicated? Well here are the reasons why I would do it this way

  1. Better organization of information. No email confusion
  2. Exhaustive analysis. You write on the way so no information is missed
  3. Better collaboration
  4. Man, isn’t it fun?

I know it would be much easier for you just to email. But how much time have you spent searching for information later on? I’d rather spend the time to get things organized first, then make it easier later to focus more on creating contents.

And I’m pretty sure of one thing: just next year, this entry will be outdated because many new services will come out. Semantic web, mobile apps are just a few to predict.

It’s not a fashionable fad or a time-killer, it’s a shift in the way we can be more effective. Do you want to miss the train trend?

Digital Divide

But you know, all these will never happen if digital divide hasn’t been closed.

Technology proficiency and more importantly, community habit is a big gap. I want my team to do so, but other teams may not, so some of my team members may argue “why do we have to!”

With the internet connection speed in Vietnam, using Google Docs et al is insane.

Today, a world that is flat is till a romantic dream for me.

Resources

I’ve already tried out these services. Kindly see mine as example of how things may end up evolve: taitran.com/blog/resources

The e-Learning 2.0 experience

By , July 23, 2008 3:29 am

The blog craze started in 2004, MySpace came out in 2002. From then till now, Web 2.0 has penetrated deeply into our lives.

You may have heard the buzz: it’s all about communications, exchange information and expressing the ego.

Have you thought of utilizing all those things for learning?

Recently I’ve been very aggressive on the net to see how we can use the applications for learning, and here I am with my key findings:

The requirements

Let’s imagine a very familiar study scenario: you’re assigned into a group to do a research on topic X.

Traditionally, the group would rely on emails, phone calls and IM to communicate and collaborate. Have you found these media difficult to classify your information?

This is how I would use Web 2.0 for learning

1. Search for information with Search EngineS

Obviously, information searching starts with search engines.

I have some hints for this:

  1. Don’t just use Google. Try Yahoo! search, Live search, Ask search and other engines. They give different results and thus, relevant information might be found from ones other than Google
  2. Try Google on different region settings. google.com/ncr (international version) yields different results from google.com.vn
  3. Try different keywords and keyword combination. Also, exploit the operators
  4. Also search for images. At least Google, Yahoo! and Live support this. Images are useful for illustrating your ideas and, in some cases, give you additional information.

2. Ask your questions

Use Q&A service such as LinkedIn Answers to ask questions and receive information from professionals.

3. Make information comes to you with RSS

You go out for information. Think about making information come to you?

Use RSS for this.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/AwtmOPdrEL8″][/gv]

For example, if I’m looking for “globalization”, I would do this steps

  1. Go to wordpress.com/tags/globalization
  2. Get the RSS of this tag
  3. Subscribe the RSS into a feed reader like Google Reader

Then check with the feed reader everyday to see if relevant information comes in.

You can also use Yahoo! Pipes to aggregate the feeds. Click here to view videos on Yahoo! Pipes

Try exploring different sources of information you can use this trick.

4. Share links with bookmark-sharing sites

If I encounter useful webpages, I would want to share it with my group mates.

Using email would bury the link under heaps of other information. Sharing through IM stands the risk of losing the message when the program lags.

So I would bookmark the site using del.icio.us and use the function “links for friend” to share the link.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/r9s5hc3MJZo”][/gv]

5. Blog your group’s findings on group-blog powered platform

WordPress supports multiple-author. I would want our group members to blog our research everyday on our blog. This is not superficial. It helps us

  1. Collect information, thoughts, findings, analysis and intermediate conclusions
  2. Track each member’s progress
  3. Present to the lecturer our growth

5b. Share micro details

This is optional though. Some information might be very detailed and we want quick sharing methods. I would connect my mobile phone to Twitter and quickly update my thoughts on the way.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/ctXq1mKL7tk”][/gv]

6. Schedule activities with Calendars

Schedule activities such as meetings, field trips with Google Calendar

7. Watch and learn

Go to Youtube, not to entertain, but to learn from podcasters on the topic.

For example, this this video
[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5nN-U0sDZNc”][/gv]

8. Compose Collaboratively

Use Google Docs to compose the documents. This is very convenient in such that

  1. No email chain flying around
  2. Single repository of document
  3. Better version control
  4. Many collaborators do the job concurrently

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/eRqUE6IHTEA”][/gv]

9. Build wiki to store develop information knowledge

Wiki is great to understand new concepts and link the information to get the big picture.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/hczDZXPfYn8″][/gv]

10. Relationship building

Facebook is good to build relationship with your work mates.

11. Publish your research

Publish your research as presentations on slideshare or documents on scribd to share your knowledge engage in discussion on the topic.

12. Consolidate them all into one page

There are just so much!

How’re you gonna navigate around them all?

Well, one solution is to use a homepage service like netvibes to put all these services together.

Why all these?

Too complicated? Well here are the reasons why I would do it this way

  1. Better organization of information. No email confusion
  2. Exhaustive analysis. You write on the way so no information is missed
  3. Better collaboration
  4. Man, isn’t it fun?

I know it would be much easier for you just to email. But how much time have you spent searching for information later on? I’d rather spend the time to get things organized first, then make it easier later to focus more on creating contents.

And I’m pretty sure of one thing: just next year, this entry will be outdated because many new services will come out. Semantic web, mobile apps are just a few to predict.

It’s not a fashionable fad or a time-killer, it’s a shift in the way we can be more effective. Do you want to miss the train trend?

Digital Divide

But you know, all these will never happen if digital divide hasn’t been closed.

Technology proficiency and more importantly, community habit is a big gap. I want my team to do so, but other teams may not, so some of my team members may argue “why do we have to!”

With the internet connection speed in Vietnam, using Google Docs et al is insane.

Today, a world that is flat is till a romantic dream for me.

Resources

I’ve already tried out these services. Kindly see mine as example of how things may end up evolve: taitran.com/blog/resources

10 major types of blog

By , July 22, 2008 11:36 am

Major types of blog

Corporate blog

A blog, either used internally to enhance the communication and culture in a corporation or externally for marketing, branding or public relations.

An example: Official Google Blog

Product blog

A blog to update for particular products.

Example: Facebook Blog

Professional blog

A blog written for professional research or thought.

Example: Tai Tran’s Blog

Authority blog

A blog about specific topic(s), written by expert(s) in the area(s).

Example: Copy Blogger is a blog guiding you on effective blogging

Community blog

A centralized blog that facilitates communication between a community. This is increasingly replacing forums.

Personal blog

Blog on personal life of the writer.

Tumble blog

A tumblelog is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary.

Example: Tai Tran’s Reading Achiever

Micro-blog

Blog with very short texts and links.

Example: Tai Tran’s Twitter

Link blog

Blog that only contains links

Types of blog are platform-independent

Blogs are platform-independent. No one prevents you from using WordPress to micro-blog. However, there are recommendations of the platform suitable for each blogging purpose.

What is Social Media?

By , July 19, 2008 8:48 pm

An explanation on Social Media and how Business should catch up.

From Marta Z. Kagan


[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7IOpt-xCDmk”][/gv]

Technology As Innovator

By , July 12, 2008 2:16 am

Putting invention(s) to practice

Innovation

Re-organization: costs and risks

Traditional Progress vs. Innovation

Origins of Innovation

Supply-pushed Manufacturer Innovation

Formal R&D
Management Innovation

Individual Creativity - Managerial Vision - Organizational Innovation

Demand-led End-user Innovation

User Innovation

Technology As Innovator

Technological Innovation

Technology creates value

When the old economy has been saturated, technology comes in place

Business Innovation

A Commitment

Bridging technology and business

Types of Innovation

Content-centric Social Networking

By , December 19, 2007 8:26 pm

Content-centric Social Networking

Social Networking is definitely fun, but some players are feeling lost

Haven’t even experienced Social Networking fatigue…

It is predicted that Social Networking will reach its peak in around 2009 before experiencing gradual decline.

2 years is too far away, at least to an average user. Why not have all the fun today?

The truth is, I am really enjoying Facebook and all it’s got: relationship-centric network, mature core functionalities, rich applications, nice gifts, intuitive design…

Mini-feed is also a great idea! Whale done, Mark! With it I can explore what my friends have just been doing and so can they. A great way to know more about other people.

…but I just realized one important piece is missing

You can explore what your friends do daily on Facebook. Very good already…

Consider it more deeply, have you identified what are missing here?

You don’t know what your friends do in real life. Furthermore, you don’t know what they THINK!

Knowing one’s activities on one platform is great, but would it sometimes drive you to the assumption that you know what others are doing and thus spend less time interacting with them via more traditional but human way or reading what they have to write?

How do people express their ideas? Via what they have to write down (Blog!), or take photos on (Photoblog!), or produce video clip for (Vidlog!). Less likely via sets of pre-designed virtual gifts 🙂

No, I don’t mean that gifts don’t represent the hearts. I still treasure each and every gift my friends have been giving me, but I’d appreciate it more if they simply write in their own words or post their own design.

Because we’ve been bringing content to Social Networks…

I have emphasized many times that Social Networking is totally different from Blogging. However, due to the two facts that they are born so close to each other and that several sites offer both simultaneously such as Live Spaces or Yahoo! 360, the two are often mistaken to have to be together.

Let’s, for now, consider them cousins anyway. Who should follow whom?

It happens all the time that Blogging has to follow Social Networking, mainly because:

  • The number of people ready to send pre-defined gifts outcrowds the number of those willing to write about what they think
  • The inertia to connect with quick messages outdoes the urge to share well-thought ideas
  • Social Networking activities are less time-consuming and less effort-consuming so they are done more frequently within the day. On the contrary, Writing takes time and efforts and Reading is usually done for once. In comparison, users visit Social Networking sites much more often than they do Blogs. “More times of visits” makes the impression of “being bigger”. Smaller ones always have to follow bigger ones don’t they?
  • More times of visits per day means more ads generated and higher click-through rates. Subsequently, more revenues for site owners and more investments are expected.

User-generated contents, if applicable, may be integrated into Social Networking profiles via RSS and/or addons. Correct me if I’m wrong, though it takes much more time and efforts to write posts, the section containing these posts is not the center of the majority of Social Networking profiles, and is often depressed by the higher density of other quicker and painless activities.

…but why not the other way around?

After following me down here, is there any reason you can think of to do the other way around, which means to bring Social Networking functionalities to Blogs?

Shaking head?

What’s the point?

Any profits doing so?

Large Self in Community

I’m answering this question: Yes! There are.

Those serious about publishing their own content will not be hindered by limitations. The will to write will push the authors to overcome the (possible) difficulties.

How the world floats

We’ll see how people do the hard job of bringing Social Networking to Blogs.

MyBlogLog: more than merely $222 per blog

MyBlogLog builds communities around blogs and provides bloggers the ability to be updated of activities of their connections. Activities here are content-centric: read and comment.

The recent $10 million acquisition by Yahoo! has raised interests in MyBlogLog. MyBlogLog reports 45,000 registered blogs. A simple math gives us the price of each: $222. An innocent question comes following: will Yahoo!’s ads cover this cost?

Come on! Don’t pretend to be that naive. An acquisition doesn’t necessarily offer tangible benefits today or even next year, but the truth is that the concept and foundation of the seller then becomes more powerful in the strong hand of the buyer.

Acquiring MyBlogLog belongs to a grand strategy of Yahoo!. “MyBlogLog – a Yahoo! service” will not generate handsome profits alone, but will do so greatly when the platform is integrated with other legacy Yahoo! services such as Flickr, del.icio.us, Mash, Yahoo! Blog platform.

I am bringing networks to my blog with MyBlogLog.

DiSo: what should always have been

Distributed Social Networking is the next ambition of Open Web community. It brings

Distributed Social Networks centered taitran.com

Visualize this:

  • All things are done on your site without having to push your content to a small box in your Social Networking profiles
  • You can add other bloggers as friends instead of simply putting them in your blogroll
  • You can offer people your RSS feeds
  • You can see your connections’ updates such as: Tai reads ‘Kafka on the shore Review’ on Lisa’s blog in 19/12/2007
  • You have your status on your blog
  • You see and can choose to pose list of recent readers of your blog
  • You can send friend requests to other bloggers
  • All things are done on your site. No tight boxes in other places

What does this mean? It means your content is the center of your site. What takes the most of your time and efforts deserves meritorious position.

How does it sound?
How do you feel about its future?

I know you care, so please just share…

Webnerations: From Web Service to Web Platform, and how their Business Models evolve

By , November 8, 2007 7:45 pm

We thought Web Service was good. It certainly is!

Web Service has brought the economy to the web. There is no need to repeat what Amazon, eBay, Yahoo! and Google all have done.

Windows Live Centralized Point

Web 2.0 and a different approach

But another approach is rising fast. Web service providers now make their product a Web Platform.

They build up a very good core based on solid philosophy. Then they provide API for developers to build applications on.

Browser

With their defeat by Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5, Mozilla temporarily withdrew and launch their next hit: Firefox.

As in September 2007, market share of Firefox reaches 35.4%, according to W3C.

One important reason why Firefox has become this popular is due to its extensions gallery. A huge collection of well-done small web services are offered for free by developers worldwide.

Many of Firefox extensions are done to support other web services such as Google Search, Blogging, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, digg, Amazon, eBay.

Gradually, the browser becomes one of the largest centralized points of the web.

Social Networking

Talking about Social Networking today, we have to praise Facebook immediately.

Facebook is also doing very well to provide their API so that applications can be developed on a very good and mature skeleton.

Most successful Facebook applications support networking purpose such as free gifts, messages, testimonials, collaborative games.

The goal of a social networking site is to become the home of as many activities of users as possible.

Content Management Systems

WordPress, Joomla, phpBB have been building communities around them.

Themes allow personalization.

Plugins allow customization.

Most of all, the platform allow monetization.

Conclusion: Web Platforms

Looking at these obvious examples, we see that Firefox, Facebook, WordPress et al offer a very solid and useful core and highly flexible and open API on which applications, extensions, addons, plugins, themes can grow and develop.

They have become Web Platforms to Web Services.

These Web Services in turn make the Platforms new and ever-changing.

Future: Information Depot

In near future, or maybe now already, we’ll see these central points become Information Depot in Semantic Web.

When a web seller wants to approach specific market segment, it should know what and how the potential customers are like. How? From Information Nodes such as e-Commerce sites and Social Networking sites. It would go to Amazon to get information on the customers’ buying preferences, and go to Facebook to get information on the customers’ networks and personal interests.

Can you imagine what happens next? These Information Depots will be able to manipulate the information in whichever way they prefer, not limited to making the information available, for prices.

Conclusion

We’re moving from separated glamorous isles to metropolitans on the web.

You will be able to do many things on a single website. Enjoy the sweetness it brings, while not lowing your guard on diabetes.

Contemporary History of Self-Expression on the Net

By , October 30, 2007 2:03 am

Evolution of self-expression on the net

Source: Problogger, Why Twitter Isn’t a Waste of Time

Panorama Theme by Themocracy