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May 22, 2008

New role, new project, new website, new start

Writing about web page http://www.warwickdigital.org.uk

“Its been a while since I blogged on here” is this or something similar the most common opening line to blogs? Well this is true for me.

As the title says, I have started a new project here at the University of Warwick, moving away from my WMCCM project. WMCCM was concerned about helping small business with eBusiness adoption and very successful I think at it. 6,000 SMEs online etc etc

However, things move on and new challenges and a change can only be a good thing.

The Warwick Digital Laboratory (WDL) or Digi Lab is a new new significant programme for the University of Warwick led by WMG. Whereas WMCCM was about eBusiness, the Digi Lab is about eBusiness plus nine other areas of specialist digital technologies. A bit from our standard material:

“The Warwick Digital Lab is a £50 Million pound initiative to facilitate major collaborative research opportunities, create effective knowledge transfer between academia and industry and generate new knowledge and skills with an impact on business, society and the economy”

So its very busy around here ahead of the offical opening of the project and the ramp up of the SME programme which I am the Head. We move into the new building on the 7th July 2008.

One of the initial things are doing is building a full web 2.0 website (whatever that means) for the Digi Lab and a tender will be released soon. So watch this space!

June 20, 2007

Social Networking and the demise of myspace??

Writing about web page http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/20/rumors-of-the-decline-of-myspace-are-exaggerated/

I don’t really get myspace, its too gimmicky, full of content that I cant really view at work and don’t want to see at home.

However as a business model myspace works, their traffic is admirable, their user base phenomenal especially considering the number of with click throughs to paid sites they get.

Different social networking websites fit different age groups and demographics. Bebo the young, myspace teens to twenties, facebook university to mid thirties (although this is moving quickly to older age groups with the risk of making it uncool to their original young user base) and LinkedIn / Ecademy post-university professionals wanting to do business.

There is a need to continue to be a space for different social networking sites to meet the requirements of demographics as there is no individual model that currently fits across all segments.

According the FT, Rupert Murdock (the owner of myspace) is concerned that he is loosing much of the growth in social networking websites to facebook. This simply the late adopters (the over 24’s) coming on board the social network bandwagon after the yoof (early adopters, under 24’s) came to myspace in their droves…

May 17, 2007

Another Google Map Application

Writing about web page http://www.mapmyrun.com/

Applications of the Google maps API seem to being getting more better and more varied:


May 08, 2007

Another month, where have i been?

Well, no where “new” but here is where i have been already, doesn’t look much does it? 42 countries apparently and long way to go until I reach the magic 100.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

April 01, 2007

Time travel?

Time goes fast, never slows down especially when you think it will… Its been an age since i last attempted to update the kramblog, in mid January in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.

I was planning to put down a few thoughts / observations about my current trip to India for the Sixth Commonwealth-India Small Business Competitiveness Development Programme for SMEs. My intrepid leader kindly suggested that I should go on his behalf. And I have learnt so much during the last week, hopefully sowed the seeds for future continued work the CCM project and made new friends from all over the commonwealth. So thanks for the opportunity JB.

That reminds me, the last week has been an continued round of “vote of thanks”, praises, thank yous, welcomes, goodbyes, thanks so much of the opportunities, extended gratitudes, appreciations… Speech after speech including Dr Kram doing impromptu TV interviews and addresses in front of 200+ people including a sea of “hungry” Indian press reporters. Whenever we thought that the speeches were done for the day, a new whole series of 24 started up again. Having said that, we were so well treated by our hosts, like true kings.

There is so much to cover over the last week during the Commonwealth-India Small Business Competitiveness Development Programme and I am ready rambling on. From the commonwealth secretariat website:

Theme: SMEs – An engine for Poverty Alleviation, Employment Generation and Export Development The Sixth Commonwealth-India Small Business Competitiveness Development Programme (CW-India Programme) is an institutional capacity building programme being conducted by the Secretariat’s Special Advisory Services Division in partnership with the Coir Board (Ministry of Agro & Rural Industries, Government of India) and Export-Import Bank of India. The overall focus of the CW-India Programme is to promote sustainable competitive small business/SME development across Commonwealth countries, with a skew towards learning from the Indian experience.

So here is a brief list of what went on, observed etc:

  • Airport at Kochi – Do all the men in India have moustaches?? I didn’t spot one without at the airport (and very few subsequently during the rest of the trip). If so there must be more in India than the rest of the world put together??
  • Being an SME is a developing country is a hard game, near life or death?
  • The airport had so so many signs and was relatively quite, I was expecting disorganized chaos
  • Kotchi is extremely Humid and hot (38 oC one day)
  • Is it Cochin or Kochi, depends really!
  • The airport might be quiet, but Kochi town isnt. Its smelly, the traffic the worst i think i have even seen specially in terms of the pollution in back of a auto rickshaw. What will Mumbai (or is that Bombay) be like?
  • You can do a lot with the coconut tree including making yarn, mats, plates and quench the first of 70+ hot and thirst delegates from 34 commonwealth countries. I think the group must of went through about 1000 in the week!
  • India is the place for business now, if you have a business and your now thinking about collaborating with India you must do so NOW.
  • The QE2 isnt as big as it used to be… It was docked in Kochi on the Sunday on part of a around the world cruise

Time has gone again, and AK is here to take me on a tour around Dubai, until later whenever that is?

India 2007 with the Commonwealth 2
India 2007 with the Commonwealth 3

India 2007 with the Commonwealth 1
India 2007 with the Commonwealth 4

January 19, 2007

T4– Team Sheen (Mark & Karl)

Remaining teams tucked up in Bamako hotels. T1 Volvo dead in Timbuktu so catched a lift here.
Chinese and challenge awards and prizes last night, selling last cars today.

January 14, 2007

T4– Team Sheen (Mark & Karl)

Ian & Sam, Nathan & Frankie, Ray & John, Anna & Fillipe arrived in Timbuktu after 9 tough days in desert, just tucked into fab steak and chips and cold beer!

T4–Team Sheen (Mark & Karl)

Just arrived Timbuktu

January 13, 2007

T4 – Team Sheen (Mark & Karl)

At Lere, Mali with Ian & Sam, Nathan & Frank, Ray & John, Anna & Filip, waiting for visas to be sorted again! Aim to be in Timbuktu by Sunday night.

January 10, 2007

T4 – Karl Allegro

Karl Allegro, Sheen, Bodgeit, Landrover, Umm and Nathan’s Merc at Mali frontier. Paula (Shap Ahoy) and fiesta took easier road to Bamako. All well.

T4 – T8 (Nathan)

T8 at the Mali border at Nara doing customs after 2 days driving in the back of beyond. 5 of us now, Merc, Volvo and the 3 4×4s. All safe and cars running well.

January 09, 2007

T4– T3 Shap Ahoy (Nick & Tim)

16:45, three of us just enterd Mali.

January 06, 2007

Teams in Nouakchott, Mauritania

Hi Everyone,

All teams [apart from George] arrived last night from Dakhla to Nouakchott after a 850km drive through endless desert roads. A number of car related minor breakdowns yestersday but ok.

We all stayed together in the Auberge la Dune hotel and had loads of essential pizza in nearby resturant. Hard to believe that Nouakchott is a capital city as no or very limited mobile coverage, cant use credit cards anywhere and no cash points!!!! Very sandy and windy here… Mauritania is such a friendly place though.

This morning Nathan and Frankie off to fix mercedes after tyre problems, Mark and Karl hanging around nice hotel drinking cafe waiting for Nicola to fly in. Together heading off from airport to catch up the rest of the teams who all left in convoy this morning.

Aim over the next couple of days to head towards Kiffa and then Sunday to Nema for fuel and provisions.

Monday to Nara and then a couple of days later onwards to Timbuktu. We will have again limited mobile and internet access until maybe Timbuktu on the 11th or 12th.

Until later,

Mark, Karl and the all T4 teams.

January 05, 2007

T4 – T2 (Nik & Tim)

Nik & Tim are in Nouakchot no phone access (text by Jenny)

January 03, 2007

T4 – T8 (Nathan & Frankie)

All arrived at camp in Dakhla safely except UMM which is a day behind

T4 – Karl Allegro

Sheen, Bodgit, Scarper and T5 heading towards Dkhla. Heat rising. Fillipe and Ana catching up after car troubles.

T4 – T8 (Frankie & Nathan)

T8 Frankie and Nathan off to Dakhla have picked up two fares as we are driving a Moroccan taxi. First dunes now, teeny bit of fun off road yesterday.

T4 – T5 Pauline Volvo

Nearly all teams made Bedouin Desert camp at Layoune, fun sand driving to it with plenty of playing! Full moon so not so many stars. Playing on departure led to discovery that we have wrong size brace. That’s 1 each as yesterday grounded on rock playing in more sand. All’s good with Mavis she’s handling it well.

January 02, 2007

T4 – T2 (George & Eleanor)

Team 2, George and Eleanor are in Rabat tonight. Hoping to get Mali visa tomorrow then follow on.

T4 – T8 + Frankie

T8 & Frankie arrived safely for New Year’s in Sidi Ifni. Now on the road to Layoune, straight, hot and dusty. Just had lunch with Mark, Karl, Ian, Sam and others

December 07, 2006

mobile camera

I find the cell phone is really fun and amazing. You can not only use it to make a phone call or send a text message, but also take photos and videos as long as it has a mobile camera. Nowadays, the quality of the photo taken by the cell phone has been improved greatly due to the improvement of the mobile camera. It only came out 100 thousand pixels when the first mobile camera born, but it reaches up to 5 million pixels now. Moreover, the software support the camera is also being updated with the development of the camera and has more and more functions such as edit the photo took just now. Since I have a mobile camera phone, why do I still need to carry a digital camera when I take a trip outside? On the other hand, I won??t carry the DC all days, but I carry my mobile phone everyday, so I can take a photo whenever I want. It makes my cool!

December 01, 2006


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