Narain is the founder & CEO for 360 Degree Interactive, a web services firm based in Chennai, India. This blog is about his personal views on Web 2.0, RoR, Social networking,Digital media, interactive advertising, SaaS, Service Oriented Architecture, India Inc, rural education, Web standards, mobile 2.0 and more.

Wednesday, November 30

Snakes and Rubies

From the event called Snakes and Rubies

On December 3rd, Ruby and Python developers from all over Chicago will gather at DePaul University to hear two of the leaders in the Web 2.0 movement debate the merits of each other’s frameworks.

Adrian Holovaty, one of the creators of the Django framework for Python, and David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails framework will answer questions about their work and the future of Web application development.Hand picked questions submitted below will be selected by a moderator and presented to Adrian and David at the meeting.Learn more and RSVP!

Now this is interesting debate to look for. Two frameworks gaining rapid attention and changes the traditional way of working and they answer & debate on the merits of their frameworks for the worldwide developer community. Good to see, i think, this is the first time, such an event is happening. If you are in & around Chicago dont miss this and post as many questions as you want for the developers to answer.

Sunday, November 27

Internet Connected Components

Robert Scoble is trouble defining the alarming increase of "mashups" and internet based applications like Flickr, Google Maps and so on and terming them as "ICCs" [Internet Connected Components]. Nice name actually. While Microsoft called them "gadgets", Google just simply says them as APIs and Flickr call them "bits" truely they are revolutionising the way applications are meant to be written.

What is interesting is the way they are altering the internet landscape. Today i have a choice of providing location information with Yahoo! Maps, Google Maps and Virtual Earth from MSN and makes communication easier, faster and effective. With the introduction of SSE from Microsoft and the astonishing growth of RSS Feeds & Web 2.0 technologies the day is not too far off where everything in the planet will be mashedup and that will be an interesting scenario to watch.

Monday, November 21

Wiki Movies ?!!

This is via a commoner for digg | and slashdot. This is an interesting experiment. Someone is using Wiki's to write a 10 minute movie screenplay. Titled as "Evening of the Reanimated Corposes" this is supposed be the world's first wiki movie. Brilliant piece of execution of understanding technology & utilising it. I can see an extension from here in the future. Blogs once for all changed the way Journalism and now we have "citizen journalists" and the way news we gather has gone for a fundamental shift. Similarly, i think, there can be a way out for entertainment companies to utilise mobile film makers, screen writers, audiences worldwide in making the movie and you already will have a ready audience whom, will bring in their own sets of audience and will revolutionise the way movies & entertainment being built. Technology brings interesting ways to utilise.

Blogger Rights

There is a new association called Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to protect bloggers and digital rights and outlines the rights of bloggers. The outline is based on the US law for now. From their introduction

"From the Internet to the iPod, technologies of freedom are transforming our society and empowering us as speakers, citizens, creators, and consumers. These technologies are increasingly under attack, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is the first line of defense, protecting our civil liberties in the networked world. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990—well before the Internet was on most people's radar—and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights."
Learn more about EFF | Legal guide for blogger

Technorati Tags: blogging | digital rights | freedom of speech

Tuesday, November 15

UXMatters launches

User Experience design is a rarely known field in India. Worldwide, with large application development teams, UX Designers are the guys who makes the decisions on how the application needs to be tweaked for common users. Don Norman has written a fantastic book on this "Emotional Design".

There is a new ezine launched exclusively for UX Designers and professionals called UXMatters, sponsored by Spirit Softworks. It's interesting to note that, off late with the entry of iPod and other design led devices, emotional design is a big industry. I hope this ezine will provide enough ammunition to those who are in this industry.

Will there be a "Dell" for mobile phones?

Going thru Technology Review's article on how Nokia and other leading mobile manufacturers are looking at Nano technology to be embedded in mobile, this question loomed large?

Today a mobile phone comes with some definite features along with a great number of add-ons. Unfortunately, customer preferences for the mobile phones are continuously changing. Youths particularly are changing their mobile phone on an average of 180- 240 days. With this, why dont someone can look at "custom-building" mobile phones. Today the technology available for mobiles phones are available globally. Functional features like camera, video camera, MMS, organiser, office tools, FM radio, music functionality are available with almost every phone. Customers may/may not like all the options in a single phone. What if someone can take up and customize the mobile phones the way we wanted it and package it and give.

With Chinese manufacturers, the outer mobile case, batteries,chargers can be easily brought under "economies of scale". I am unsure about the Camera part, but again that is also doable. Rest all have their own proprietary and open source alternatives. Companies like Real,Macromedia will give their media players for free. Groud level functionality of a mobile phone can be done anywhere [voice,data,sms etc]

The mobile phone growth will happen in developing countries, where cost & functionality matters more. Like Dell revolutionised packaged PCs, will there be someone to revolutionise the packaged Mobile phones?

Technorati Tags: Technology review, Nokia, Mobile phones, Nano technology

Monday, November 14

Google Analytics

Urchin morphed into Google Analytics. Sometime ago, Google bought the web analytics solution company Urchin. For starters, Web Analytics is a big game in the bad world of web development. How your site ranks up, no. of users came to your site, what operating system they used, which country are they from and so on and so forth. Web Analytics is a very important part of web development to measure the success of a website.

Formerly available for $199, Google Analytics is free with their basic web analytical information. Google Analytics has been neated integrated with AdWords makes it perfect if you are using pay-per-click Google search marketing programs. All you have to do is go to Google Analytics and sign up with your gmail account and fill the four step process and copy + paste the code given in the final step. That's it. You can start tracking your website's performance.

I am unsure, how far Google Sitemap is integrated with this Analytics tool to provide seamless integration of listing the website and tracking the same. Analytics provides some fanatastic features for free for starters. By providing site statistics, Google wants webmaster to come back to Google more frequently and also stirs the web analytics industry.

I have used Urchin for one of client website years ago and it was impressive. I have just added to our own website and post my feedback on the demographics Google Analytics gives us.

Technorati Tags: Google, Web Analytics, Urchin

Saturday, November 5

iPod Shorts says Burger King has put in a series of "shorts" aiming at the new video iPod. Read the news. Sometime back, I have blogged here about the future of "shorts" as an alternative advertising medium for advertisers. It is now catching up the mainstream. There is a tremendous scope in creating "shorts" unlike the yesteryear's 30 second ad commercials. Shorts liberate creatives from limiting the message to 30 seconds and provides a vehicle to advertisers to create more memorable brand promotion. This can also be extended in the latter phase to Mobisodes are Small screen advertising.

With RSS Feeds and syndication, "shorts" can be directly accessible via any website or devices like video iPod or syndicated thru feed readers. It is exciting to know the possibilities of technology, as I am a firm believer of providing exciting options for the customer to opt for any forms of advertising or brand promotion.

Technorati tags: shorts, ipod, advertising

Thursday, November 3

Can an Indian city become sillicon valley ?

Sadagopan has teared the Indian hype about Bangalore. I for years strongly believe, there will be only one Sillicon Valley in the world. Bangalore for all the more reasons overhyped. The city is pathetic. Sillicon Valley is not just a place. It's a place full of ideas & experiments. Where Ideas are transacted into innovative products & services. Unlike Bangalore, where you will see swanky offices without additional parking space, too many one ways, narrow roads and tech coolies roaming the city. People will certainly get offended if I say, tech coolies are what Bangalore is all about. The truth is, Sillicon Valley is a place for experimentation. How many experimentation is happening in Bangalore ? India offers cheaper tech labour and our operating costs are less. We have certainly have some brilliant brains around. Few brains can't change the mindset of an industry or country.

To be fair to this statement, Badri talks about the investments to be made on IIScs, IITs and IIMs. India can't talk about competence with fewer brilliant brains. As C.K.Prahalad says there is money in doing business to poor. Unfortunately Indian techpreneurs neither takes the advice of doing the business with poor nor on technology. We as Indians although having a fair amount of basic education, we are very much poorer up in the ladder for technical & scientific education. India needs to invest atleast 50,000 crores in making this country really a power to reckon with the tech industry. Unfortunately we spend more than 80,000 crores for our defence and not for basic education & higher education.

A close look at the number of patents registered from Sillicon Valley and Bangalore will clearly give you an idea of how much we invest on R&D, Experimentation, Investing in new ideas and so on. To become the tech capital of the world is not just about having an army of coders, we need thinkers, ideators and an ability to take risk. Unfortunately, as Indians, we lack on all these and we can't claim that Bangalore or any other city for that matter, can become the next Sillcon Valley.