Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cool Hunting

I am reading a book called 'CoolHunting'. It's more about social networking and how to spot trends and find the next cool thing like the IPod or IPhone. It is similar to Malcolm Gladwell's ideas in his book 'The Tipping Point'. But 'CoolHunting' is more on visually showing social networks in Internet sites like Face Book. It also recreates networks visually from emails and phone calls. For example, using emails from Enron executives to determine who was involved in fraud by checking clusters in the visual web.

It is an intriguing method which may be useful in looking for terrorist for example as I read somewhere that Internet and email figure prominently in their operations. What I like about the book is their ideas on networking and their ability to visually present the web of connections. It is an interesting book though a bit academic in some parts. But it explains the phenomenom of social networks and alliances in the Internet. I have tried to mind map the social network in my office in order to see clearly the 'political' relationships of the people I work with. It is a good way to understand the politics to help oneself maneuver into the correct path.

I think understanding political relationships and the stakeholders in a project can only be described visually using tools like mind mapping and concept charts. It is useful to survey the landscape of relationships within the office so one can be adept in the politics of the stakeholders. It can help one prepare strategies or tactics to overcome any mischief due to these relationships. So I think it is a good book as it emphasises on the visual aspect of describing these interactions. I always like reading about politics and history, to understand the relationships between great people and now we have an objective method to describe it visually.

Last night I participated in a speech evaluation in another Toastmaster club. I will evaluate another speech on Saturday morning and participate in a speech contest in the afternoon. My topic for the contest in 'Being Outsourced'. I won my club's contest earlier this month and I am now the representative for the district area contest. It is a good outlet to express my anxiety.

I got a call from my old boss during the meeting last night and I was not able to speak to him. It seems my posting to another country is taking shape. I feel I am in the verge of a new adventure. I usually have this feeling after every 5-7 years when I feel tired of my present state and I start reminiscing and analysing the previous years. I have been doing so in the past months, taking strength-finder tests and looking back at my experience. I hope it has prepared me for the coming challenges after doing this self-analysis.

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