Cherubim, originally uploaded by Maries Musings.

Sweet Cherub,
bringer of love.

How dost thou understand,
the working of the human heart?

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High in the Sky

High in the Sky, originally uploaded by Maries Musings.

I was awed by the beautiful cloud shapes on this gloriously sunny day. The shape of this palm tree contrasted with the blissful existence of the clouds.

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Web 2.0 and why poking each other on Facebook is the “IN” thing.


The world is evolving. The internet which was just a source of information and services before (the days of Web 1.0) is now a formidable giant thanks to a certain something called “Social Networking”.

So, what is social networking and how did it come to be so important?
The advent of Orkut , MySpace, and not to mention the now enormous Facebook began this phenomenon.
It is a known fact that humans are social creatures. “No man can live as an island”, holds especially true in a world made much smaller thanks to brilliant telecommunications and a certain something called the www. However most people working in corporate environments and office settings are increasingly finding it hard to do just that.This is because being social means, being yourself.It becomes difficult for a person working in a typical corporate setup to display his personal identity and thus baring a few eccentrics, most people today have glorious institutional identities which could be far different from their actual identities.

Institutions are formal, rigid and hierarchical resulting in employees being polite and having frozen smiles on their faces all day long. A person’s institutional identity results in the actual behaviour of the person being kept under lock-and-key. Even under informal and seemingly casual situations, such as team dinners and parties or casual Fridays, only the extremely naive persons let their real personalities shine through.The remaining are seen repressing their true identities as that is considered the appropriate thing to do in formal situations.

Contrast this with the ability to show off one’s personality on social websites. Here you can pass comments to your heart’s content and have people side with you,
or openly disagree with you or talk about something totally unrelated as well. This becomes a forum where you can air your thoughts and feelings without having to watch other peoples reactions to it.
Haven’t we all been in that situation where we were part of a group and wished we had something intelligent or cool to say? What if,  God forbid,  we blurted out some morbidly absurd trivia? We would have to stand there and take in the rejection of our social peers.All that is cut out on a website.

There’s also the ability to keep in touch with acquaintances we would have ordinarily have forgotten about. Egs;

  • An old school friend you thought was nice, but a tad boring and you never got around to speaking to him in school?
    Make up with him by commenting on his photographs.
  • That office colleague who can always get you the best tickets to social gatherings, but always seems a little too clingy?
    Comment on her status posts to let him know what a star(?) she is.
  • Did you reach late for an important do hosted by your mother-in-law?
    Apologise profusely on her wall and send her an e-gift of a bunch of roses.Also comment on how she makes the best pot roast in the world!

Little wonder then, that big players in the global economy like Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are all haggling for the piece of the Social Networking pie.
Yahoo – Flickr, Google has Orkut, Buzz and numerous others. Microsoft paid big bucks for a small piece of Facebook.

And it doesn’t stop there, besides the well-known sites like Facebook, Orkut, MySpace and Twitter.

There are networks for

  • Business people – LinkedIn
  • African americans – BlackPlanet
  • Doctors – Sermo
  • Dog lovers – Dogster.

Not to mention frivolous, laughable names like Xanga, Tickle, Fropper, Nexopia, Adoos, Jhoom, Yuku, Zorpia, Backwash and Fubar.

So How are corporates reacting to this? More in part 2.  Stay tuned!!

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Web 2.0, Social Networking and the Human Psyche


I’ve been away. Yes, I haven’t posted something worthwile in quite a bit. But now I’ve got food for thought and fodder for my brain, resulting in the following set of articles on the social e-revolution called web 2.0.
Analyze with me, and read on!

Web 2.0, Social Networking and the Human Psyche

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Thought for the day – Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over the obstacles of life  and adds significance to all you do.

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Thought for the day – Character.

You cannot dream yourself into character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.

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Adversity – Thought for the day

Face adversity promptly and without flinching,and you will reduce its impact.

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Matroyshka Dolls

Matroyshka Dolls, also called a babushka doll.

A definite addition to my wish list, these cute nested dolls have become a fascination with most girls (big and small) worldwide. How did this tradition begin, and whose wonderfully creative idea led to one of the most common, yet beautifully philosophical knickknacks in the history of accessories?

 The story begins in a cold workshop,”Children’s Education” situated in Abramtsevo estate new Moscow, in 1890. A noted industrialist and a patron of the arts of the region named Sava Mamontov would hold creative workshops where folk craftsmen would gather and share ideas.

On one such workshop, someone brought along a figurine of an old japanese man , Shichi-fuku-jin.There was a legend that the first doll of such type on Island Honshu where Shichi-fuku-jin was brought from was made by unknown Russian monk. This sparked an idea, which would go on to become a phenomenon.

The name matryoshka, comes from the russian word Matryona, a common name among peasants. It comes from the latin root,Mater or Mother. In peasant families, the mother of the house was usually a rotund and portly woman, and this was artistically implemented to portray brightly painted wooden figurines made in a such way that they could be taken apart to reveal smaller dolls fitting inside one another. Initially matryoshka types were rather different: they portrayed both male and female characters. But in present-day the matronly form of the doll is most popular.

Metaphorically speaking, the dolls represent the matryoshka principle, or the nested doll principle. This principle reflects the patterns seen in most man-made and natural objects. The ability to have something inside something inside something else. For eg; an Onion, you can peel away individual layers to reflect more layers.

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Google Buzz – Boon or Bane?

I checked out my mail account today, and stumbled on something rather neat. Or as one would call it buzzing.
Yup thats right, I’m talking about Google Buzz. The (now so-familiar-that-a-five-year-old-knows-what-it-is) search giant Google is now trying to go head to head with other greats like Twitter and Facebook.
Google Buzz offers a way of keeping contacts up to date with your current status, in much the same way as the other two sites.Google Buzz has just been rolled out and is to be an integrated part of Gmail accounts.
Not only that, Google claims its easier to connect with people while using an integrated approach towards others site, G-users generally use such as Flickr,etc.

But is it all that its hyped up to be? There seems to be one issue, your Buzz friends list is public by default.
This means that the people you converse with using G-talk or G-conversations, is now public knowledge.Although Google says that buzz is an application of choice,
nowhere is it mentioned about this massive privacy flaw.

But also what worth mentioning is the almost similiar product, the G-wave.Some of the features of Buzz and Wave are so similar, its thought provoking, as why two separate products?
Both services are supposed to help you create conversations and give you a richer experience around Web-based media like videos, images ,and regular text.

I wonder if Google Buzz will impact, or make a dent in the traffic to Social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook and Twitter.
Guess we’ll have to wait and watch. Do let me know what you think. Would you enable buzz, and log off Facebook?
I’d say I’d wait until Mafia wars or Farmville is available on the G- platform.
Check out Google Buzz on the G-Blog

Try Buzz here

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Thought for the Day – Exuberance

Nothing ever succeeds which exuberant spirits have not helped to produce.

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