Thursday, October 30, 2008

Web Services Track

I've been playing with setting up Drupal for a website to manage the cyborg boyscouts -

This was one idea for a series of exercises which would help students develop their online profile and familiarize themselves with web services.

Create familiarity of the different web services freely available. By using web services regularly we can come to understand what the current trends are and what makes a web service useful, easy to use, nice to look at and popular. By systematically using the different publicly available web services we will also develop a rich internet profile.

Initial Assignment:
- create an account on
- create an account on
- upload a profile photo to blogger and write a short profile description
- create an account on Google Analytics:
- add the javascript to your blog template html
- create an account on

- every month we'll all look at a new web service. specific instuctions for what to do with the service will be provided, and we'll have a mailing list / forum which we can use to talk about the service.
- when signing up with a new web service give them your otherinbox email id.
- when evaluating a new service at least twitter about it with your initial reaction, and if you like it or find it interesting write a longer blog entry about it.
- for each web service, on the profile page link back to your blog
- when possible and attractive add a badge of the web service to your blog sidebar.

- favorite 15 videos
- comment on 2 videos
- subscribe to 2 channels
- create a playlist

Social Networking:
- Create accounts on the major social networks Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, Ryze.
- Upload a profile photo into each service
- Fill out at least 3 profile questions on each service
- Add 5 friends on each service
- Upload 5 pictures on one service

MicroBlogging twitter & friendfeed:
- find 30 people to follow, make sure this includes at least 10 people you know, and 10 people who are famous / popular
- twitter twice a week on either what you are doing, some website that looks cool, or some current event
- set up the twitter to sms connection and twitter once from your mobile phone
- create an account on FriendFeed
- add all the services you use to it.
- follow 10 people on FriendFeed

- Create your profile on LinkedIn + photo
- Enter work history on LinkedIn
- Recommend 2 people on LinkedIn
- Get 1 recommendation on LinkedIn
- create an account
- select 5 events you're 'interested' in
- upload 2 events that are happening in your city that aren't yet listed

- think of what you feel the most serious issue facing the world or your community is and write a short blog entry about it ~300 words. Include links to 3 websites which deal with this issue. Embed a photo which conveys some part of what you are saying.
- add a links to 5 of your favorite sites to the permanent side bar of your blog

Mailing Lists:
- create a mailing list on Google Groups called 'friends-of-myname' make it announce only
- add all your friends to it
- at the next big holiday send a mail to everyone wishing them a happy Diwali, letting them know how you're doing, and inviting them to look at your blog.

more to come ...

Cyborg BoyScout Workout Handbook

In order to fully assimilate the fleshy beings into the global super organism proper neural pathways must be deeply established.

With insufficient neural trenching recruits forget their duties and start reading email or xkcd - this is often referred to as ADD.

Repeated time bound exercises providing quick 'wins' while challenging subjects helps establish proper ...

I give up. In more normal talk -

There has been a bit of talk about this in programming circles. Pragmatic Dave coined the term Code Kata. Steve Yegge has his own suggested exercises, and Coding Horror also recommends 'Teach Yourself Programming in 10 Years'

What I'm looking for are simple exercises that could be given to students interested in programming every week or every month which would over time help to establish in them good programming practices.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The BoyScouts of CyberSpace

I like the way the boyscouts provides an extracurricular structure to train its members in skills outside the scope of the traditional schooling system and encourages leadership and community involvement at the same time.

The main mechanisms they use are:
Merit Badges
Service Projects
Rank Advancement
Boy Scout Advancement

Merit Badges typically have both a knowledge assessment component
and an activity component.
Explain to your counselor the following:
a. The major parts of a computer system
b. How the types of files used to store text, sound, pictures, and
video are stored in a computer's memor

Do THREE of the following:
a. Use a database manager to create a troop roster that includes the name, rank, patrol, and telephone number of each Scout. Show your counselor that you can sort the register by each of the following categories: rank, patrol, and alphabetically by name.
b. Use a spreadsheet program to develop a food budget for a patrol weekend campout.

From my memory of being a boy scout I remember our scout meetings primarily orienting around studying or doing activities necessary for the merit badges. The merit badge requirements were always relatively small, but several were required for a given merit badge. Then we'd study for the test and felt some sense of accomplishment when we had done each of the activities, passed the test and received our badge at awards ceremony.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Startup Season Bangalore Jan 9 & 10. Submissions by Oct 30 Bangalore, December sometime
TiECon Delhi Oct 22 - 24
Innovations Pune Jan 10 & 11. Submissions technically closed but form is still working, so submit soon.

These are the major startup showcases I'm aware of. Any others ?
Interesting that of these 4 events. 2 are in Bangalore, Innovations Pune,and TieCon is in Delhi. Mumbai, Hyderabad & Chennai all lack a major event at the moment, tho Proto cycles thru Chennai regularly.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Web Services for Startups

I asked the pune startups mailing list what web services they use.
Here are some of the responses.

business planning and board management

Project / Task Management

Web Conferenceing / Screensharing

Bug Tracking / Issue Mgmt
Atlassian hosted Jira
LightHouse Apps


Hosted Version Control

Mailing List Management
PHPList - mailing list manager

Google Analytics
Google Alerts
Google Docs

I'm alittle suprised not to see any entries for CRM. Do real people use it ?