Tag Archives: Web 2.0

Be in the know! It’s you own health!

This is a guest post by: Rick Jones
Rik Jones is a self-described Technology Evangelist who’s writings can be experienced on his blog at www.surching4me.com

This post explain (in-depth) the idea by Google Health (Read more here) and how it will help you to stay in the know of your health conditions.

During the recent U.S. Presidential Race there were several recurring issues that were hot topics on the plate of every candidate. At the forefront was the issue of health care in the United States. Debates raged around the issues of privatization over national health care, insurance and pharmaceutical costs to an already struggling system.

There are some however, who are not waiting for politics to provide the solutions. This group is looking to reduce the costs of health care one challenge at a time. More importantly by providing all of us the methods to take back our health from an industry that seems in complete disarray. In this arena anything is possible.

One of the key elements highlighted in the incoming President, Barack Obama’s health care plan is to focus on modernizing the U.S. Health Care System to lower costs & improve quality of care. The idea is simple; Health information technology investment aimed at reducing unnecessary spending that results from preventable errors and inefficient paper billing systems. In his administration’s plan, they are predicting that this will contribute in cutting the typical family’s heal care costs by $2,500 (US).
This term “modernization of health care” is not solely part of his heath care policy, but also it is documented in his Administration’s Technology policy paper. This is exciting news for the Technologist. One area of focus is that of migrating the management of medical information from a paper-based process model to that of an electrical one. This could prove to be a boom in many areas of Technology and as with any surge in a new technology field, getting in early is key.

Historically, pharmacies have been the public’s exposure to controlling their medical services. In reality, this was nothing more than acting as a messenger for the physician by delivering a paper prescription to a pharmacy then picking up their prescription. The evolution commenced with the expansion of pharmacy services as more and more traditionally retail stores opened their own pharmacies. Now these traditional pharmacies are fighting back by going electronic. First by establishing networks across their pharmacies providing a convenience of picking up prescriptions from any one of their stores.

CVS has recently raised the bar and positioned themselves inline with the incoming Administration’s goal of moving towards the electronic management of medical information.

CVS now allows the patient to manage their prescriptions on-line to include access to historical prescriptions which could be made readily accessible for the patient to provide to their physicians. On top of this, additional services have been made available to include information for the patient on Diet & Nutrition, basic Medical information and the ability to look up medication in their Drug Information Center.

If you haven’t noticed by now a trend is emerging. A trend that started with the likes of WebMD.
Actually treating individuals with respect and providing information to them to allow each person to take responsibility for their own Health Care. CVS and others are now taking this from the simple WebMD Informational approach to that of actual practical usage. At the end of the day in any instance it all revolves around the management of Health Care data.

What might appear to be an interesting retail battle shaping up for your personal health care management needs might actually be nothing more than a marketing exercise for a much larger player. One that has years of experience in the management of information and data. That 800 pound gorilla in the room also known as Google.

Currently

running in BETA, Google has introduced Google Health. According to the website, Google Health claims to put you in charge of puts you in charge of your health information. safely, secure, and free!

Not limiting themselves to simply providing an individual with the ability to manage prescription information, they have created the Google Health Advisory Council with membership spanning the Medical Industry, Government and Retail industries to focus on the difficulties individuals and health care providers face everyday with the current limitations in operating in today’s medical environment.

Google is also reaching out, looking for partners to assist in developing the means for individuals to access not simply prescription information but all medical records for management in one location. Giving the individual a power that continues to elude the medical industry to this day.

Naturally, the two most protective areas of anyone’s life are: finances and medical information. Google Health is an undertaking that would have never made it this far without an extensive set of policies designed to address the protection of this sensitive information. It is far too extensive to go through here so if you are interested in understanding how your information will be protected you can review Google Health’s Privacy and Policy page.

But wait…. There’s more!

It is one thing to have all of your medical information conveniently located in one place. But another to actually do something with that data. Information is only truly as valuable as the functions you can perform with it. This is where it begins to get “Fun.” Through APIs and security Google offers the opportunity for 3rd party services to interact with your profile information. As a test and for example, I created a profile with the fitness site LIVESTRONG.COM. From this site I can manage meals, workouts and track almost anything I choose on a daily basis in the day-to-day active lifestyle I am attempting to develop. At the same time they also offer a convenient iPhone application which I can use to track meals when out and about, not to mention actual workout information in real-time. Yes, more information relating to my personal health.

It is at this point where you gain the benefit through linking the information in LIVESTRONG with that of Google Health to again give you a centralized set of data to provide you with more control of your own health.

At the end of the day, that is what it is all about. Taking back control of our lives. For far too long we have all relied on the medical industry to tell us what we should do, what medication we need to take (despite the rumored kick-backs some physicians get for pimping products.) More importantly, we as responsible individuals need to become more informed on general health issues so that we may be able to focus on preventative medicine rather than become victims of an expensive health care system that appears more focused on operating as a business than as providers of a valuable service to humanity.

It is refreshing to know that this issue is
finally getting the attention it deserves and my hopes are that the efforts of CVS and Google spawn a new era in a healthier society.

For more on Google Health, read more here.
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Introducing Google Health


Still under beta at the time of writing this article, coming from Google Labs, a new approach by Google to help the public with their medical history. The way I think about it is that this new tool will help you take back control of your life.

How?
By providing more than just medical history management tool for you.

You will get many options as soon as you sign in with your Google account (with a very strict privacy policy):

1. Store and manage all your health information in one place. And it’s completely free.

2. Start tracking a medical history and learn about your conditions.

3. You can import your medical records.

4. View your history.

5. Find out how medications might interact (Which is very useful) as Google Health will automatically check any interactions may happen between your drugs, allergies and stored conditions. Then provide you with tips, all in one place.

6. Make your health information work for you.

Refill prescriptions online, ask for a second opinion, or get personalized health information based on your profile.

7. Search for doctors and hospitals. integration with Google Maps and info is seamless from within Google Health (My personal favorite option in this tool).

You can sign up (Or sign in) for a Google Health account by going to the Google Health Homepage.

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Web 2.0 workspace (Twitter)

After Facebook workspace, comes the next giant: Twitter!
Scouting the “non-virtual” real world of web 2.0 workspace,Β  the behind the scene of Twitter is here.
Twitter quickly becoming already became a huge social media player, big corporates like Dell and big news media companies are using Twitter to reach out to their clients and viewers.
If you are reading this, chances are that you came here linking from my Twitter update (Tweet) on my Twitter page.
As of the time I am writing this, there are 4390 Twitter followers that’s getting my updates (Including any new blog posts). That’s close to half of the number of RSS subscribers that I have for this blog. In a very short time Twitter became as powerful as it is.

Why is Twitter powerful?

It’s not what the software does, it’s what the people do with it. And Twitter was built based on sharing.

If you’re not following me on Twitter yet, do so by going here.
And if you are not an RSS subscriber yet, do so by going here.

There will be a lot more talk about Twitter in the near future, but for now, I bring to you the workspace of Twitter in this photo gallery:

Photos credit: “kohtzy” and Scott Beale / Laughing Squid @ laughingsquid.com

Web 2.0 workspace (Facebook)

facebook1

Remember when you were young and waiting for the school’s field trip of the candy factory tour?

Well, I do πŸ™‚

Now I can’t wait to go to trade shows with my favorite Web 2.0 companies to visit their tiny booth.

So..
I figured to browse the visits and photo galleries all over to bring you the “behind the scene” actual workspace of some of the popular Web 2.0 offices world wide in a series of posts. Each post will contain photos of a Web 2.0 company. I am starting this one with photos of Facebook SF (The last 2 photos are from the brand new Facebook NYC).

Enjoy! πŸ˜‰

Images credits: All images on this post are properties of obvious photographers!

Elance: The Untapped Job Market!

Simply put, it’s the eBay of jobs!
Being a computer geek/blogger I got many jobs from elance.com in my early days (not that early though).
Elance.com allows people worldwide to buy or sell their services and products, or even talents!

Here is how it works:

You subscribe to elance, a small monthly fee will be charged, you view jobs posted under your expertise, you bid a reasonable price for the job and the job’s poster might choose you based on experience (and of course your low bid), then you communicate with them, finish the job and get paid. That is it.
For example: I subscribed to elance in the beginning as a web developer, Then I was able to view and choose between 250-500 jobs posted at that time, choose a programming job that I thought fits my skills, the lowest bid was $150 for the entire job, I bid $145 and was awarded the job, talked to the job’s poster, she explained in more details what she needed, took me about 40 minutes to finish what she needed then submit it, she was happy with what I’ve done and paid me instantly using PayPal.
In this example, it took me less than an hour from start until I got paid, between searching, bidding and working on the job. Some jobs take a bit longer depending on the bidding ending date, or how big the job is.

As a freelance writer, I found it better for me to get a copyright (or ghost) writing jobs better than programming or web developing.
However, elance offers way much more variety of jobs, to name a few: Programming & web developing, Sales and marketing, graphic designing, writing and translation, finance and management, even legal advice is offered there as a job category.

At the time of writing this article here are some facts you may need to know:

  • In the last 30 days there were 20,180 jobs posted.
  • There are 134,658 experts on elance.
  • The amount paid and work done since 2005 is of a value of $139,020,239

That means, that no matter what you do, there is a job related to you that you might want to grab the extra cash from.

In time you will build your reputation and gain trust all over the site, and job posters will preffer hiring you even if your not bidding or ask for a higher prices on their posted jobs.

Is it worth to subscribe?

Simply: Yes. My own average jobs is worth $250 per article. average writing jobs today is 7000+ taking only 2 jobs a day will equal $500 (a day!), with a commitment to do it for 30 days (considering being lucky finding 2 jobs a day and being awarded the jobs) that would be $15000 per month, the subscription as of today is $30 a month. So, I think it is worth it.

Of course elance offers a lot of advice from bidding to accepting the jobs, and it’s all available for free as soon as you log in (The Elance University!).

Did I mention that basic posting of a job is for free!

Learn more about elance here.

Comment below with your thoughts and don’t forget to get the RSS or follow me on Twitter πŸ™‚

Create your own Social Network (Introducing Ning!)


Ever dream of having a social network that’s about your own band or another social network just for your company and your co-workers?!
Ning.com allows you to do just that.
“Ning” is a Chinese word for “Peace”, co-founded by Mark Andereessen and Gina Bianchini, and launched in October of 2005.
Ning.com allows you to create a social network just like myspace or facebook including any feature that you can imagine from blogs to forums to sharing photos and videos.
Your own created network could be about your family members or about your company or even your school’s basketball team! There are no limits of what you can create a social network about.

At www.Wahol.com There will be at least 2 classes about setting up a Ning network and other services like Ning. So make sure to sign up soon, it’s free!

In late 2007 Ning added support for OpenSocial, a project started by Google that I think would be the future of social networking.

No matter what your specific interests and no matter if you have any technical skills, Ning’s unique feature of allowing anyone to create their custom network about a topic or need or just to interact with fans or even raise awareness, is just great to have and is simply Web 2.0 at it’s best.

You can create networks for free that will be ad supported by Ning or you can create and brand a social network without ads in exchange for a small monthly fee. (A study I did before shows that it’s around $50 a month per network on Ning) and we will go through details of how to have your own branded social network for free, or whether to choose Ning’s paid branded network for your business in a near future class at www.Wahol.com

Ning.com now hosts over half a million networks.

Of course you can join our own network of Guru Of Sales right here: http://guruofsales.ning.com/
Or join our Wahol.com network here: http://waholnetwork.ning.com/ just remember that they are both under research testing right now, so I might not be active on them for quite a while, but I will notify you on twitter, so if you’re not following me, do so, by going here: http://twitter.com/guruofsales

Create your network and comment below with a link to your network and I just might become your first member to join πŸ™‚

My turn to be interviewed (and ice cream!)

Yes it is my turn to be interviewed, as you can tell from my YouTube channel, I interviewed almost everyone else, and I am proud to announce that my first public video interview (About my business) was made by (non other than) Yaro Starak himself, the same person that brought to you the always resourceful blog: http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/
Yaro interviewed me in New York when I insisted on meeting him (As one of his loyal fans) and the video just went live last night (Again perfect timing).

Here is the video:

I know I looked nervous in the video πŸ˜‰ but the good thing is that when Yaro tagged the video on YouTube, he tagged it with keywords like (Ice Cream) which just happened to be one of my recent tags on my new personal video blogging serious on YouTube as well, called: Alex’s Random.anias! so the videos actually relate on YouTube immediatly. Just perfect timing.

Speaking of videos and tagging, I am revealing a bit more about the Online training school to all of you right now: Yes I will include sessions about video blogging, tagging, and even some tips to have all your YouTube videos to be available in high quality.

So stay tuned for more details about the school by subscriping to the Guru Of Sales RSS feed.

Great news: Twitter on TV along with the debate tonight!

Follow me on Twitter!

I just got the newsletter from Biz Stone (Twitter founder) and I am passing the great news on to you:

I have already written about the makeover here.
I also wrote about what Biz called the election fever on Twitter here.
Tonight there is a debate between Palin and Biden and here is what Biz said:

Tonight we expect the most activity Twitter has ever seen as
vice presidential hopefuls Sarah Palin and Joe Biden debate live
from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. The folks at
Current TV are making history by broadcasting Twitter updates on
live television during this debate. Will you see your updates on
television? Be sure to tune in or watch the streaming version of
Current TV’s “Hack The Debate II” at http://current.com/debate

This could not be any better in terms of timing. Aside from that I will watch for my tweets tonight on TV, I think that this is the perfect opportunity to reveal just a bit more about the Online school that I announced last night, yes, there will be another big part and multi-sessions on mastering the art of Twitter and other micro-blogging/status updating services.

Of course you can start following me on Twitter here or by clicking on the Twitter logo on the top of this article, and I hope you will be watching for my tweets on TV tonight and feel the POWER of TWITTER πŸ™‚

Update: I have to mention that the Twitter live updates will be available on Current TV channel Online at the link above or by checking your Cable/Satellite listings here.

First official Guru Of Sales Online school announcement

Yes you read the title correctly, I am proud to finally announce the long awaited GuruOfSales Online school.
This announcement comes after I finally received a letter today that all my teaching materials where copyrighted and protected.
I have been hinting about this for quite a while now to friends and colleagues, and already have a huge list of people ready to start a new era of learning and working online.

The Great News Is:

It’s 100% FREE for you the student.

No catch, no gimmicks, no money involved at all, you have my word for that.

The official start date is 11/1/2008 and it will be 6 months long 2 or 3 times a week.

Here is what you will learn: uh… wait.. I am a marketing and sales guru, I think I will reveal details within the next 30 days to create the buzz needed for this school.
All I can tell you right now that it will be rich in videos, podcasts, reading materials and of course it will have a it’s own URL (Will be revealed soon) and I promise great entertaining content a’La Guru style πŸ˜‰

Oh, one more thing, if you’re not already subscribed, then go ahead and subscribe here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/guruofsales this is the only way you can keep up to date of everything about the school.
You can also follow me on twitter here: http://twitter.com/guruofsales but I won’t reveal as much info as I will on this blog.
Ciao for now πŸ™‚

Banks learning from Web 2.0!


I am sure that everyone is aware of the bad economy crisis in the U.S., and I am sure that every stock in the market went down on 9/29/08 (except for Campbell Soup!).
I also know that some companies went up the following day (Mostly advertising/Marketing related companies). But I know for sure that my industry is still going strong, this is the best time for people to start selling stuff on eBay, or for bloggers to start writing or double their writing for articles, news companies powered by (Fill the blank company ad) are the most visited right now.
My bank (Wachovia) got bought out! (But my money is safe) so, I guess I will keep going πŸ˜‰
I got to the park with a nice espresso frappuccino from a near Starbucks and luckily (wink, wink!) there is WiFi in the air all over the park (Thank you NYU students), going through my RSS feeds for this morning I found a funny and sarcastic picture of how banks are copying our Web 2.0 cool stuff!
So, I shared the picture.
Enjoy ;-p