March 2006 Archives

Visting the Whitehouse

PIX12.jpg, originally uploaded by ralph.poole.

I was in Washington DC today, standing in front of the White House taking pictures with my cellphone camera. The President Bush arrived by helicopter amidst lots of drama and media attention. What a scene!

I have blogged about FutureMonitor before, but I continue to be impressed by the content posted and the editorial care that Chris Meyer and his team are taking to make the site valuable.  Since I am particularly interested in Trend Scanning, one of the sections that I recommend is the bibliography of Articles and Reports on discerning trends.  The discussions are also beginning to generate a lot of paricipation and comments, making for interesting moderated conversations.

In an email today, Chris mentioned that the site has entered a public beta and that new content is being added regularly.

I had a great dinner at the Paternoster Chop House in Paternoster Square near St. Pauls in London. Above is a picture of the wine steward who kindly recommended two fabulous Australian wines: 2000 Keyneton Estate Henschke, 72% Shiraz, 20% Cabernet, 8% Merlot. This was a big, chewy Shiraz; just what I wanted and a big surprise. The other recomendation was 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon, John Riddoch, Wynns Coonawarra, South Australia. I will try to find it when I get home.

Google Finance delivers

For a quick overview of a public company, Google's service, Google Finance provides an excellent performance summary of a company, its stock market performance and key financial ratios.  The site is loaded with links to other sources of information on the company and it provides historical financial statements from Reuters.  This is not an in depth profile, but, like Valueline or Standard and Poor's tear sheets, Google's new service provides the most important facts about a company.


Principia Mathematica (1687) by Isaac Newton

Married Love (1918) by Marie Stopes

Magna Carta (1215) by members of the English ruling classes

Book of Rules of Association Football (1863) by a group of former English public-school men

On the Origin of Species (1859) by Charles Darwin

On the Abolition of the Slave Trade (1789) by William Wilberforce in Parliament, immediately printed in several versions

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft

Experimental Researches in Electricity
(three volumes, 1839, 1844, 1855) by Michael Faraday

Patent Specification for Arkwright��s Spinning Machine (1769) by Richard Arkwright

The King James Bible (1611) by William Tyndale and 54 scholars appointed by the king

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) by Adam Smith

The First Folio (1623) by William Shakespeare

Comment is free - and interesting

Lunch over IP  recommends Comment is free, new blog started by the Guardian:

"The British newspaper The Guardian one week ago started a new collective blog, called Comment is free. Commentisfree For it they recruited more than 100 smart people across the political spectrum, who post when they want about the subjects of their choice writing as many words as they like. There is an editor in charge, to get some coordination and some "hierarchy" - and help out those of the 100 that didn't have previous blogging experience - but copyediting is limited to checking for libel. Comments by regular columnists from the Guardian and its Sunday sibling Observer are also posted on this "open-ended space for debate, dispute, argument and agreement", as the "about" page puts it. The quality of the contributions is impressive.

Georgina Henry is the editor, who made the switch to blogging after 16 years spent on the print side, and she posted today her lessons-learned-in-the-first-week dispatch".

FutureMonitor debut

FutureMonitor is a new platform for discussing the future.  Chris Meyer and his colleagues at Monitor Networks and the Financial Times  have designed a compelling new site that aims to capture insight about the near-term future.  By near-term future, they mean trends that will matter most to business in the next two years.  The team is very ambitious; they want the collaboration to be... "the primary source of insight into the future, generated through on line conversations with people who are shaping the future every day".

So far, a small number of users are contributing to the site and posting on a small number of example topics that have business implications.  As the site opens up to more discussion and a wider variety of views, it will become much more interesting.  Right now, I am participating in a conversation on who owns the content that one posts on collaborative web sites like Flickr or

Tonight I looked at the tags that describe my blog on Technorati.  Amongst others, which I would expect, is "thoughtfulness".  I am surprised and happy, that my blog has been tagged with that word.  I am an advocate of considered thought, in fact, it often takes me a while before I have formulated a position on a topic.  I usually do not have quick, sharp witted answers to questions.  I hope that I am thoughtful and I am flattered that, for what ever reason, the algorithm that selects tags for Technorati, thinks I am too.

Employees blogging what they know

I think that this is an excellent argument for business blogging. 

A Learning Circuits Blog post titled �Blogs as knowledge management�� speculates that �Blogs are knowledge objects that can make bottom-up (i.e. useful) knowledge management a reality.�� To explain the point the post inserts the following quote from David Weinberger��s blog:

I continue to believe that for many companies the best path to blogging is by using them internally as a knowledge management tool. The dream of KM has been that people will write down what they know. KM regimes, however, have assumed they would have to discipline people into doing that. Blogs entice people to write down what they know and to share it widely. A project blog or a department blog not only surfaces and shares knowledge, it also makes it searchable and archives it. And once a company gets used to internal blogs, it's only natural (if anything about a corporation can be said to be natural) to open up some blogs to trusted customers and partners, bringing them into the intellectual bloodstream of the organization. And then why not open some blogs more widely? Thus companies inch their way into the blogosphere.[Smart Mobs]

I spend a lot of time in London and a lot of the time I am hungry.  This weekend I was in the mood for Vietnamese food and all I could find was the normal puff pieces in city directories. Until I discovered culinary hags in london.  What a great food site.  The recommendations are unpretentious and the food writing is straight forward and honest.  In fact, the Vietnamese restaurant I finally went to was great.  Cafe East was in a dismal part of East London, but the food was great, just as they said it would be. The hags share my obsession for good Pho and this little restaurant really delivers.  No beer, however, which I missed.

Now I am looking for recommendations of a good Indian / Nepalese restaurant.

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