BarCamp goes to India – BarCampDelhi is on March 4th

barcampdelhiHere is the description from their website:

BarCampDelhi is BarCamp’s first foray into Asia and we are proud to be the torch-bearers.

BarCamp is a new kind of technology ‘unconference’- organized by attendees, for attendees. It’s an open, welcoming, once-a-year event for geeks to hang out with wifi and smash their brains together. It’s about love and geekery and having a focal point for great ideas.

The theme of BarCampDelhi will be “Next Generation Internet: Web 2.0, mobile computing, and other cool stuff”.

Go to the BarCampDelhi website or to Amit’s website to learn more.

I am personally very excited that there will be a Delhi BarCamp. Let me count the reasons…

Delhi is the city I am most connected to in India – Its the city I have been attached to since childhood. I love the city, love the history, the vitality.

So far, tech in India has mostly been a South and West thing. In the South we have Bangalore, Madras, Hyderabad. And Mumbai and Pune in the West. Delhi has many BPO’s. But far fewer of high tech companies.

We (Uzanto) made a leap of faith when we decided to setup in Delhi. Apart from pragmatic reasons such as the fact that I know Delhi best, we figured that Delhi has good tech people. Its just that they need to go to the South to find good jobs. If you do interesting work (especially when you are building cool products), and are a good place to work – you will be able to find good people. So far, that has been true. We have been able to find good people in Delhi and look forward to growing there. And its been great to see other startups like Tekriti .

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Marc Andreessen explains why we need user experience folks

ning signHave you ever looked for a succint, catchy way to explain why we need user experience. Why folks who know like talking to users need to be part of the software development process? Do you need video evidence? Well, Marc Andreessen is glad to help you out. While talking with Jonathan Schwartz about Ning, his new startup he says: (~ 6.56 min):

“Ideally we’ll never meet any of our customers. We actually had to take the sign down from our front door because one of our customers actually stopped in, uninvited, and said, ‘Hi, I love your service.’ And we’re like, ‘why are you here?’ And so down came the sign.

“Drop-bys like that should only happen in sitcoms as far as I’m concerned… The consumer internet businesses in a sense are ideal businesses from the standpoint of never meeting your customers… If you do it right, you will never meet any of your customers!”

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The tag-cloud replaces the basic menu – Is this a good idea?

tagcloud menu I knew someone or the other was going to do this – its too obvious an idea. “Lets try replacing all site navigation with a tag cloud!”. I just came across this on the FlockSucks website – its by a company called 83 degrees – you can tell from their name that they go in for all things hip and Web2.0.

I have my own opinion on the topic, but am going to wait till you express yours. What do you think? is this a good idea? Is this the future?

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Neuroscience comes to the Superbowl – Further evidence that the brain has become a popstar

fmri brain I almost choked over my morning cup of coffee when I saw an instant experiment about the brain response to Superbowl ads on the Memeorandum front page. An instant-science experiment, what the heck is an instant experiment? The goal of the study was to simply watch some people react to the SuperBowl ads while they were in the magnet, and draw some inferences regarding effective ads.

Recently, I have been struck by how often I come across articles about fMRI research in newspapers and popular blogs. Articles that earlier used to remain confined to Cognitive Neuroscience Journals. A weekend article in New York Times comments on the same trend. As if just to highlight this point, there was a another article in the Magazine section about scientists looking for the deception center in the brain using fMRI. Quoting from the New York Times from whom I stole the phrase “The brain becomes a pop star”.

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Why Google wants to get closer to you (and why it bothers me more than Yahoo or Amazon’s personalization efforts)

Notice how much personalization Google has been putting out recently:
Personalized Search, the new release of the Toolbar has personalization, Google News now has recommended stories

Its clear why Google is doing this. Personalization is the next stage in the evolution of many products. It helps develop a closer relationship with users and get to know more about them. And most importantly, it provides a clear reason for Google to collect data and link it one individual. People do not want their web searches to be logged – partly because it does not provide any value for them. But we are fine with Amazon knowing a lot about us because there is a direct benefit in Amazon having our history. Google now wants the same type of relationship with you – its dear user. There are many business reasons for Google to pursue personalization.

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