Saturday, September 23, 2006

Capital Irrigation

when we think about connecting the next billion
people to the internet, its important to keep in
mind why those billion people want a connection.

buzzwords don't work in this conversation, if
the internet doesn't equate to some fundamental
need fairly directly its going to be hard to
convince another billion people why they want it.

so, it may be useful to talk about the internet
in terms of its ability to deliver money. how can
rural villagers tickle these pipes to make
money flow out of them.

some interesting sites which can be used to get
money out of the internet:

Amazon's Mechanical Turk
allows people to simply log on and start answering BPO
style questions on a web page. People can get additional
certifications which allow them to answer hire value questions.

Ether a personal call center
service lets individuals register themselves as experts in a
particular field and set the terms under which they are willing
to answer questions.

elance.com rentacoder.com odesk.com An increasing number
of sites helping individuals land jobs that can be performed
via the internet.

Kiva.org & prosper.com
let individuals apply for a loan to regular people on the Internet. Kiva is focused on microfinance and helping small entrepreneurs get started.

GlobalGiving.org lets NGO's submit
loan applications directly to the Internet.

DrishteeHaat.com EBay E-Commerce, DrishteeHaat is focused on
helping villagers sell crafts online.


---

Given the potential of the internet to be a source of capital for
its users, its worth examining the different business models Internet
Operators may use.

Freelance BPO / Call / Dev Center.
Now that individuals can connect with potential employers fairly
directly, there is a role for an upscale internet cafe type operation
which provides its users with an SLA which guarantees VOIP level
connectivity, and probably a dedicated virtual machine such that
they could setup their environment and store data in a secure persistant
way.

Internet Agent.
While the Dev Center is primarily concerned with enabling people
to actively earn money on the Internet, Internet agents simply represent
the internet to people working in the real world. So these would be
individuals familiar with the net and access to a connection possibly
as simple as a cell phone. They would talk with their customers and help
them represent themselves to the Internet. This could take the form of
selling goods via e-commerce, requesting a loan thru a service like kiva,
government assistance, or ngo assistance thru something like globalgiving.


***


I'm excited about the airjaldi(.com) coming up
in October. A number of friends are coming by
with interests in different aspects of the rural
internet equation. Its going to be lots of fun.

Laura Drewett & Ian Howard will be running a
workshop on Financial Engineering for rural
internet providers. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

happy

> have you ever wondered where you´re coming from?
> and why you are here?

the first half of last year
i basically sat around different
parts of india, wondering what
i was doing, what i wanted ...

i think its a particular neurosis
that comes from being free
and not having to worry about
basic necessities

i felt that if i couldn't figure out
in some sort of definitive way
what i wanted, then i wouldn't
know if i had it, and couldn't work toward it
in any kind of systematic way.

some things that came up for me:

i am still driven to create.
i want to make the world a better place
i want to be happy & healthy now
i dont want to sacrifice present health & happiness
for future dreams and ambition

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vlogger In Residency Program

Its looking like im going to buy a flat in the San Mateo Ecovillage.
Its a gorgeous funky spot on the water in San Mateo. It just sorta seems
like too much my scene to pass up, even if I'm living in India.

http://www.greensolutions.org/smcc.htm

As I'm living in India tho, I don't really need a gorgeous funky spot
in silicon valley to live so I thought I would use it to support
Video Bloggers who are interested in useing their craft to make the world
a better place.

This idea is just being formed - I haven't even closed on the place yet,
but I think it looks likely enough that I put together a simple wiki

http://vloggerir.pbwiki.com/

and made alittle video intro
http://blip.tv/file/70482

Friday, September 01, 2006

Swajana

I've been working on this project for alittle while, and its beginning to bear fruit.
The basic concept is simply to use internet video to bring awareness to those parts of the world that need attention, and those people who are actively working to address the situations there.

My goal is to increase awareness of the diversity of people and lifestyles around the world, to evoke empathy for people living in remote areas by sharing their lives with people online, and to facilitate communication between the first and third worlds by providing very direct means for talking, giving, trading, lending, teaching.

The first project we've engaged is the dharmasala mesh network and conference http://airjaldi.org coming up in october. Videos are now available at http://swajana.blip.tv