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What would YOU do without the Internet?

June 29, 2005 at 12:00 pm PST

I went back and re-read my post-honeymoon posting from last week and realized that I had not addressed the more important question: “what would I do without the Internet?” Answer: I’d be absolutely lost.

There seem to be many conversations and discussions about how the Internet contributes to the ills of society, i.e. phishing, censorship, etc. I don’t want to sound polly-annish, but I would submit that there are lot more positive things that have come about from the Internet than negative. I have started a decidely, small list in this vein. Maybe I focus on the positive, not the negative, in general, but I’ve always been a glass half-full kind of guy…

1. I met my wife online…for this I am eternally grateful, as I honestly don’t know if I would have met her otherwise.2. I can scan four papers in the morning in about 30 minutes…of course, east coast papers are generally online at 9:00PM PT, so I can even get a jump on my day starting then…thank you NYTimes.com, Washingtonpost.com, and MercuryNews.com for being free…WSJ.com, well, thanks for being online.3. Who was the guy who played the kid in “Time Bandits” and what has he done since? Thanks to the internet I now know. My quest for knowledge has been sated. (FYI -- He can currently be seen in a small role in “Cinderalla Man.”)4. I can IM a colleague in DC or Brussels with a question and get an answer almost instantaneously.5. I can send an article to friends, colleagues and family and I don’t have to use scissors.6. I do my banking and bill-paying online -- WHICH IS THE GREATEST THING EVER, as I can never seem to find a stamp.7. How do I get from point A to point B? Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, or Google Maps.8. I need to book a flight to Chicago for my wife’s (saying “wife” is still very new to me, but fun!!) family reunion. For me, Expedia or Travelocity. Sometimes, usairways.com or united.com.9. Flight, hotels and cars for my recent honeymoon…all booked online.10. This fascinating blog entry…all done online… : )

Post some of your positive uses of the internet and let’s try to give the Internet a bit of its due rather than jumping on the “internet is the root of all evil” bandwagon. Isn’t it interesting, that most of those who are saying the internet is a bad thing are using the Internet to say it? My advice to them: dust off your printing press.

Op-Ed: RX for Fixing Healthcare: Technology

June 25, 2005 at 12:00 pm PST

I wanted to bring the following op-ed to your attention. It was penned by the head of our medical consulting group. He speaks about how technology can streamline systems and processes in the healthcare industry and not only make healthcare delivery more efficient but even make it better.

Here is the bio on Dr. Jeffrey Rideout: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/about/ac79/health/ourleadership.html

Here is the article as printed in today’s San Jose Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/11974248.htm

Summertime and the blogging is easy…

June 22, 2005 at 12:00 pm PST

Happy first day of summer!!!

I just returned from my honeymoon and was completely “off the grid” for the past three weeks. I must say that is was a pretty good feeling. Being connected is a part of my job, as is it is a part of my life, but not having a computer, a cell phone or a PDA for three weeks was…well, liberating. I’m happy to be back at work and plugged in and I obviously could have been plugged in on my travels if I so chose, but I would highly recommend re-booting your connectivity from time to time -- yes, I realize this is heresy from a Cisco employee… : )

I was in Amalfi, Italy staying at a convent that St. Francis of Assisi built in 1222 and I had connectivity there, so I’m guessing I could have connectivity pretty much anywhere. There was wireless in my hotel in Rome as well as Florence and in Marbella, Spain as well. Ubiquitious broadband connectivity is still not here and certainly mobile broadband connectivity is quite a ways from being here, but I must say that even though I did not have connectivity for those three weeks, the fact that I could have had it had I wanted did put me a bit at ease…I’m wondering if I would have had connectivity withdrawal if I really was in an area where I couldn’t connect…here’s hoping that I never have to find out, as knowledge of connectivity is comforting to me.

California’s Maverick — CA PUC Commish Susan Kennedy

Thought you’d be interested in this recent profile on CA PUC Commissioner Susan Kennedy who is leading the charge to revamp the state’s telecom policy approach.

Read the full article here or cut and paste the url into your browser:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-kennedy22may22,1,6539821.story?col

Internal Debate on Blogs

May 20, 2005 at 12:00 pm PST

Normally I wouldn’t do this type of navel gazing, but I would relish some feedback on the power (or lack thereof) of corporate blogs. And, yes, I have read the BusinessWeek cover story. The reason I’m looking for some general feedback is that my team had an internal discussion on the efficacy and importance (or lack thereof) of blogs. I was arguing for, of course. I had a colleague arguing against.

“What’s the point?” this person asked. “It seems like make-work to have everybody on the team blog.”

“I can only do so many meetings and phone calls a day,” I replied, “but a blog can get an idea across to hundreds a day and since we are in the business of trying to influence public policy I think blogging is a natural.”

“They’re stupid,” said this person.

“In the time that you have just taken to (gripe) about blogging, you could have written a blog entry,” said I.

My boss directed a question to the blogging nay-sayer, “Have you ever read a blog?”

“No,” said this person.

“Ignorance is bliss,” I said under my breath.

So, please help me and my nay-saying colleague by giving me any feedback on the power (or lack thereof) of blogs in the corporate setting…especially if you have any thoughts around blogging on the public policy side. Thanks. And, happy blogging.