Business Value Of Web 2.0 Tools Hard To Measure

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, July 29, 2007 0 comments
Business IT pros said Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, generated the highest value while blogging produced the lowest, the Forrester Research survey shows.

While Web 2.0 technologies are beginning to take root in businesses, measuring the value of the cutting-edge tools remain elusive for most companies, a research firm said Friday.

Nearly two out of three IT decision-makers surveyed by Forrester Research said their companies used traditional value metrics, such as return on investment and total cost of ownership, to evaluate success or failure of Web 2.0 deployments. Yet, rather than point to hard facts, such as support center calls offset by a self-service rich Internet application or Web site traffic from an RSS feed, respondents more often pointed to softer benefits, such as business efficiency and competitive advantage as the true value of Web 2.0 in their companies.

As a result, Forrester believes that many businesses will shy away from adopting Web 2.0 tools, or wait to expand their use, until they are able to better quantify the business value. The researcher's finding was in line with a recent survey by InformationWeek, which found more than half of business technology pros either skeptical about blogs, wikis, online social networks, and other new Web tools, or willing -- but wary -- about adopting them.

In the magazine survey, business technologists were concerned about security, return on investment, and the staffs' skills in implementing and integrating new Web tools. Forrester, on the other hand, found that busy IT departments are likely to pass over Web 2.0 projects without tangible business value justification. As one large company CIO quoted in the Forrester report said, "We've got so many things we are asked to deliver for the organization right now ... if you can't put together a good business case that has some cost benefit justification, it's difficult to get those types of efforts launched."

Forrester surveyed 275 IT pros on their firms' Web 2.0 implementations and found that Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, was the highest value technology, with nearly one in four reporting "substantial value." RSS was most frequently used for corporate communications or content aggregation, while one in three respondents said it was used for external marketing.

Blogging, on the other hand, impressed the decision-makers the least, with only 11 % saying it had substantial value. Nearly half of the respondents, however, found moderate value in blogging, an indication that the technology drove good, but not transformational, value, Forrester said. The analyst firm believed the findings pointed to a misuse of blogging. "Many business users still associate blogs with personal diaries, and some firms use blogs simply as a way to surface existing content, muting the effect," the report by Forrester analyst G. Oliver Young said.

None of the Web 2.0 tools matched the value of another technology that took root with consumers -- instant messaging. Fully, 37% of respondents reported substantial value from IM, compared with an average of just 16% for the other Web 2.0 tools.

The survey focused on companies that had deployed RSS, podcasting, wikis, social networks or blogs. Forrester found that companies that had deployed all five got the biggest bang for their buck, while those that deployed two or three tools saw the least average value. "This suggests that firms need to adopt a 'critical mass' of Web 2.0 technologies before the deployments truly start to pay off," the report said.

Respondents also said that no single Web 2.0 technology was maximized until other, complementary technology was added. Blogging, for example, was less effective without RSS. Forrester, however, could not find any "killer combination" of tools.

Because of the absence of a clear favorite combination, the most likely driver of adoption was positive feedback from users. If decision-makers saw high value from one tool, then they were more likely to take on a second, third or fourth, Forrester said.

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Vaastu remedies through Fenghsui

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, July 22, 2007 0 comments

Some minor changes could still be made without carrying out major structural changes by implementing some basic Feng Shui cures.
The general guidelines of Vaastu and Feng Shui are basic thumb rules that need to be looked into while designing a home according to these methods. However, these are basic tenets and not specific to the individuals who occupy the space. It is always better to design homes and offices specific to people occupying the space, but if you are already in a place of dwelling that has deviated from the prescribed Vaastu or Feng Shui norms, some minor changes could still be made without carrying out major structural changes by implementing some basic Feng Shui cures.

In a city, the facing directions of the plot or house can't always be chosen, so irrespective of the facing directions, use some of the following tips to counter the ill effects of the positioning of the main doors: If your main door faces south, paint it deep maroon, shades of pale yellow or shades of vermillion red.
Place plenty of green and tall healthy plants on either side of the door and place a pyramid above the main door to transform the bad energy. If your main door faces north, suspend a six-rod allmetal wind chime over it. Off white, pale blue and light teak are good for doors facing this direction. If your main door faces east or southeast, the principles of Vaastu recommend placing a single decorative urn filled with water and fresh flower petals to the left of the door from inside. Also place fresh flowers and plenty of plants inside and outside the southeast door.
If your main door faces west, the door brings in the evening sun and this can be controlled by suspending faceted glass crystals near the main door, which refracts the evening light and reduces the harshness and with it, the the spectrum of colours transforms the energy around the doorway . If your plot has missing corners, then it's possible to have a rectangular-or square-shaped site. The simplest method is to recreate the missing corners inside the house with regard to the specific direction and type of energy.
For example, if a portion of the north and east segments are missing, then placing a water feature or urn of water with flowers at the northeast sector of the living room alleviates the ill effect. Placing tulsi plants at the northeast sector of the plot or even in balconies (in small containers, not heavy ones) can transform any bad energy into positive and good energy. Similarly, jasmine plants can bring in a flow of good energy with a wisp of its fragrance.

Spielberg Endorses Clinton in Her Race for the Presidency

Posted by Vipul Mistry Sunday, July 8, 2007 0 comments
Famous Hollywood film producer and director, Steven Spielberg, has decided to endorse US Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton for the democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Barack Obama seems to have been a Hollywood favorite, which in turn created some tension in Hollywood, since the industry appears to have close ties to Hilary and of course former President Bill Clinton.

In February, billionaire mogul David Geffen, and former Hilary ally, decided to extend his support out to Obama. Geffen helped sponsor a fundraiser worth $1 million dollars for Obama. Speilberg actually helped co-sponsor this event, which brought in $1.3 million dollars for Obama.

In recent weeks, however, Spielberg has turned his favor towards Clinton as he, along with television mogul Haim Saban, hosted a beautiful reception for Senator Clinton at the home of News Corporation President Peter Chernin. Together, with another celebrity filled event, a total of around $1.1 million dollars was raised for Clinton.

Many will agree that Hollywood plays a crucial rule in influencing how the people vote. Therefore, many believe that with this strong source of support, Clinton will enter the race with great momentum.

Murdoch finally gets Wall Street Journal

Posted by Vipul Mistry Saturday, July 7, 2007 0 comments
Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal, is almost close to completion. The Business, a UK magazine, reported unequivocally that Murdoch has succeeded with his $5-billion bid for Dow Jones, quoting sources acting for the Wall Street Journal owner’s board. The announcement, said the magazine, is due next week.

Media and M&A watchers here jumped on the news-break, as it was bylined by Andrew Neill, former editor of the Sunday Times, and known as a key Murdoch lieutenant and now chief executive of Press Holdings, which owns the magazine. The magazine is part of the Barclay Brothers-owned Telegraph group in the UK.

Soon after the break, agencies reported that a spokesperson for Dow Jones said that the news is ‘incorrect’ and quoted unnamed sources that the discussions are still on about issues like pricing.

News Corp is expected to pay $60 a share for Dow Jones stock, a 67% premium on the $36 a share price in April before news of the bid leaked, the magazine said. The chances of Mr Murdoch’s bid success jumped after Pearson and General Electric decided against making a rival offer.

Younger members of the Bancroft family are believed to have pressured their relatives to accept the offer, the Guardian reported. It quoted News Corp insiders as saying it is ‘much more likely’ that a deal will be reached with the majority of the Bancroft family, after the Journal’s managing editor Marcus Brauchli gave cautious support to an agreement, backing an independent committee to safeguard editorial independence.

The deal, said reports, is expected to include measures for the editorial independence and integrity of the Wall Street Journal. The Bancroft family, it is reported, are unwilling to be seen as selling out the editorial independence of the WSJ.

The arrangement, which includes an independent panel with veto power over News Corp’s decisions to appoint key editorial people, is a tougher version of the one put in place by the British government when Murdoch bought The Times and The Sunday Times in 1981, reports said.


Diana concert a 'perfect tribute'

Posted by Vipul Mistry Monday, July 2, 2007 0 comments
Simon LeBon
Duran Duran were the second act to perform, with a trio of hits
The charity memorial concert for Diana, Princess of Wales was "the most perfect way of remembering her", Princes William and Harry have said.

Prince William told the 63,000-strong crowd at London's Wembley Stadium his mother would have enjoyed the tribute.

Sunday's gig marked the life of Diana, who died in a 1997 Paris car crash, on what would have been her 46th birthday.

Sir Elton John brought the concert to a close after sets by stars including Sir Tom Jones, Take That and Rod Stewart.

Prince William and Prince Harry opened the six-hour show and returned to the stage at the end of Sir Elton's final set, praising the artists for an "incredible evening".

"Thank you to all of you who have come here tonight to celebrate our mother's life," Prince William said.

"For us this has been the most perfect way to remember her, and this is how she would want to be remembered."

Concert-goers give their views about the Wembley event

Proceeds from the event, broadcast to 140 countries, go to charitable causes favoured by the princess.

Prince William, 25, added that he hoped the show had raised "enough money to make a difference".

The princes later mingled with the stars of the concert at the after-show party at Wembley Arena.

In a video tribute, ex-South African President Nelson Mandela had earlier praised Princess Diana's "energy, courage and selfless commitment" as he urged the crowd to "support the work that continues in her name".

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair and ex-US President Bill Clinton were also among those who recorded video tributes to Diana.

"I think that in William and Harry, the qualities that made Diana special live on," said Mr Blair.

Earlier in the concert Prince Harry paid tribute to fellow soldiers serving in Iraq.

Prince William and Harry on stage at Wembley
In years to come, if you ever get tired of running the country, you can come and work for me producing TV shows
Simon Cowell to Princes William and Harry

The 22-year-old was due to be deployed in Basra, in Iraq, this year, but military commanders decided it was too much of a risk.

"I wish I was there with you. I'm sorry I can't be. But to you and everybody else on operations at the moment, we would both like to say 'stay safe'," he said.

Sir Elton, 60, who famously performed a reworked version of Candle in the Wind at Diana's funeral, opened the concert with a rendition of Your Song, performed in front of a giant photograph of Diana by Mario Testino.

He was followed by '80s stars Duran Duran, who played a trio of songs including Wild Boys - which they dedicated to the princes - and Rio, one of their mother's favourites.

Lily Allen
Lily Allen was a crowd favourite
The English National Ballet - of which Princess Diana was a patron - brought a change of pace to the day, a reminder of the princess's love of ballet, while the theatrical theme continued later with a medley of hits from composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Status Quo, Sir Tom Jones, Will Young and Joss Stone all took to the stage in the afternoon.

But rumours that Robbie Williams might join Take That on stage proved unfounded.

Some of Princes William and Harry's favourites followed, including a poignant moment when P Diddy dedicated his track I'll Be Missing You to the princess.

"Ten years ago, Princess Diana went to a better place," he said. "Today we celebrate her life and I dedicate this song to her."

The evening wrapped up with entertainment from comedian Ricky Gervais, who was forced to improvise when technical problems caused a minor delay to Sir Elton's closing set.

English National Ballet
Ballet stars performed an extract from Swan Lake
Earlier, Prince Harry had made a joke at the expense of the Extras star, saying: "When William and I first had the idea, we forgot we would end up standing here desperately trying to think of something funny to say.

"We'll leave that to the funny people - and Ricky Gervais."

Simon Cowell, a judge on The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, paid tribute to the princes' efforts in organising the concert.

"You've put on one heck of a show," he told them.

"In years to come, if you ever get tired of running the country, you can come and work for me producing TV shows."

source : bbc news