>Inside the Google machine

>Here is a video I found online at the TED talks. It was shot 5 years ago this Februrary during the annual TED Conference in California. Here Sergey Brin and Larry Page talk about cool new products and services that are being rolled out by the Google Machine.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sergey_brin_and_larry_page_on_google.html

Services like Adsense and Orkut among others. At the time of the the video being shot, Orkut had only 100,000 users and almost 60% from USA. It also talks about their concept of letting their employees spend 20% of the time building cool new apps including the just released Google News among others.

The video is just five years old, yet it seems like a life time ago. In these preceding years, Google and its products have changed the way we use internet, transact and communicate with each other. It is amazing how the internet world has grown and changed around us these years and how technology is becoming more intertwined in our lives.

>Comprehensive List of Leadership Blogs

>I cam across this list recently while surfing the web for some relevant content. Here is a list of 100 blogs on leadership ranging from, youth, gender and religious, development and management of leadership skills. Check it out, you might find something of interest in there. I know I did.

http://www.bestuniversities.com/blog/2009/top-100-leadership-blogs/

Warmer Winter in Islamabad

It is just me or was it a warmer Islamabad this winter? The temperatures here in December/January usually drop to around zero at night, but this year, they hovered close to 7 degree centigrade. There was no frosty dew in the morning, and nor did we need to scrap our windshields clear before we headed off to work.

I think the cutting down of trees in the recent past by CDA (Capital Development Authority) to make room for high rises and roadways did the trick. An estimated 3,000 trees were cut to make room for construction. The loss of vegetation in the past few years is now having a toll on the weather as the winters are no longer cold.

I am guessing, but this year onwards, it will be much much hotter summer and temperatures will rise above 40 degrees centigrade on a regular basis. Global warming will affect us Islamabadis a bit more this year than before.

>Facebook bridging the gap – literally

>It is amazing how Facebook is able to bridge the gap between long lost friends. I got a pleasant surprise when Salman rang me up on my phone here in Pakistan from USA. We have not talked, seen or met each other since 1990 when we graduated from our high school (Aitchison College) in Lahore and went our separate ways. I, like many of my class mates, left for USA for higher studies and he, like the rest decided to study at a top medical school in Pakistan. This was before email and internet was prevalent. We remained in touch but too infrequently and eventually lost track. In the preceding years, we switched numerous jobs, cities and countries with me finally ending up in Pakistan and he taking up a job as a medical practitioner in the USA.

Quite recently a classmate of ours (thank you Asim) initiated a Facebook group for the Graduates of 1990 from Aitchison College and that led for us to connect with many long lost friends. Salman was among them. Social Networks are not just a great idea but a wonderful way for us to connect, meet and bridge gaps between long lost friends. It is also a wonderful method for us to spread the word and share ideas, thoughts and visions with common friends.

Facebook has grown to over 100 million users since its launch just a few years back. If it were a country, it would be the 12th biggest country in the world behind Mexico (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004391.html). Considering its size and its phenomenal growth, it has immense influence over thoughts and lives of people from all over the world. It commands an eco-system within the Internet eco-system; a sub-internet world that that functions on its own.

I have come across teenagers who cannot live without their Facebook. They appear to eat, drink and breath Facebook. There are activists and social causes influencing and connecting disparate people to the same issue. It has friends and alumni connecting in ways previously unimaginable.

The future of social networking is bright and the power that it brings to the world is beyond what could be imaginable. As this technology moves to cell phones, we shall see an explosion of its use and further innovative ways to connect will be explored and created. So stay connected and enjoy the ride as it will only get better.