Looking for a Programmer for a Wired Story

Prashant Kothari has written to me asking for assistance for Dan Pink for locating an Indian programmer to do a story on. Writes Dan:

I’m looking for the Everyman (or Everywoman) among the Indian programmer set — someone whose is the living, breathing embodiment of this seismic economic trend we were discussing.

I’m not looking for the greatest programmer the subcontinent has ever seen. Nor am I looking for the most ambitious and intensely driven person in this cohort. I’m simply trying to find someone who is both representative and interesting — someone who’s doing fairly high level work (of the sort that might also be done in the U.S.) and who’s making a nice living off his or her efforts.

The ideal person is probably in his or her 30’s or 40s and who thanks to his own efforts, education, talent, etc, is now fairly firmly planted in the middle (or upper middle) class. And ideally, this person has a spouse and children as well.

I’m trying to avoid people who are with the large established IT firms (Infosys, Wipro, etc.) — and instead trying to find someone who works for a smaller operation or for some company that’s flying well beneath the radar.

That’s one reason that I’m focusing my search on Pune, Cochin, and Chennai — and avoiding Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Delhi.

Anyone know Someone?

Countering Spam

Technology Review paints the doomsday scenario about spam, quoting John Mozena: “There are 24 million small businesses in the U.S. If just 1 percent got your e-mail address and sent you one message per year, you’d have 657 additional messages in your in-box every day. That is our nuclear-winter scenario.” So, how to fight spam?

The first involves the rapid adoption of spam-blocking-and-filtering software by consumers, corporate networks, and Internet service providers. Anti-spam software is expected to grow into a $2.4 billion industry by 2007, up from about $650 million now, according to a Radicati Group forecast. But that alone won’t win the war. The second, newer approach involves instituting more drastic changes in the way e-mail and the Internet work, perhaps imposing new costs to send messages or developing the ability to trace e-mail messages like phone calls.

The third tactic is a legal one, involving not only better law enforcement and prosecution of spammers but even a ban on all unsolicited commercial e-mail. To beat back the persistent, rising tide of spam, it’s probably necessary to engage on all three fronts at once.

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RSS Power

Tim Bray has been writing about RSS [1 2 3]. He gives some examples about how RSS can be leveraged for banking, sales tracking and weather, and also discusses the potential pitfalls.

I have been writing for some time about how RSS could be a disruptive innovation going beyond blogs, with a specific focus on enterprise events. (See my post on Information Refinery from last July.) Thats where the focus should be. In fact, for all practical purposes, the actual weblog pages are useless for me – I only need the RSS to flow into my Info Aggregator. I don’t need to access the blog pages to read what people are writing. The RSS ecosystem is going to be more important than the blogging ecosystem. Blogs will become by-products of the RSS ecosystem. Wait a while and we will make some RSS magic happen!

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