Do you go to church on Sunday?

I discovered the Unitarian church a few month ago and have been attending the service whenever I can. Ironically, what drew me to church was not because of any religious reasons; rather, it was seeking a community outside of my circle of friends. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of friends to hang out with and my calendar is typically 95% full, I was looking for something more, something je ne sais qroi..

 

So one day my hubby and I decided to give Unitarian church a try. We joke about going to a Unitarian church because it believes in everything and it believes in nothing. The ‘believe in everything’ part interest me. I grew up as a Buddhist while my hubby grew up as a catholic. Neither one of us are super religious but we both believe there is a higher power and would like to seek something spiritual.

 

We entered the church with people greeting us with a genuine smile. The church was beautiful! The light yellow coloring with columns connected to 2-sided balconies reminds me of across between Caribbean style mixed with French country. What I love about the service is the music. Every week, a rich and diverse range of music is introduced. I wish I have prettier words to describe it. From drums to saxophone, piano, guitar, choir, or the whole ensemble. Without a doubt every time the music wows me!

 

The preachers always tells personal stories everyone can relay and it’s mostly funny. But through the laughs you somehow walk away learning something new. I always ended up taking notes because someone will either say something wise that speaks to my heart, or something funny that I think it’s worth repeating.

 

As for today, the quote I noted was:

‘I’ve never been so cold and so happy at the same time! ‘

~ About attending Obama’s Inauguration

 

As for signing up to volunteer at the church to be more involved with the community? I have not decided yet. For now, we are simply happy Unitarian church goers.

First comes SharePoint, then comes Wiki

wiki1

First comes SharePoint,

SharePoint! A Microsoft product you either hate or love. Microsoft states,
Your organization can use Office SharePoint Server 2007 to facilitate collaboration, provide content management features, implement business processes, and supply access to information that is essential to organizational goals and processes.
I partially agree with that statement. I think SharePoint can be a great tool for document repository. As for collaboration, it works for a small team with minimal documents. When used appropriately, SharePoint is also useful for content management. There are powerful features of SharePoint; the problem is that it is not intuitive. You almost have to be a SharePoint expert to appreciate all the SharePoint capabilities. Oftentimes documents are buried under multiple folders. It is difficult to get a dashboard view of the projects and documents housed in SharePoint. Bottom line, SharePoint is not the Holy Grail.

Then comes wiki …

Now we’re talking collaboration. Wikis are designed from the start for participation. Wiki is defined as a web based social collaboration tool that allows anyone to edit and contribute content. Wiki allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Usually, editing a wiki space is just a matter of clicking the edit button on any page top or section header, much simpler than track changes in Word.doc or editing via SharePoint.
Wikis provide a platform for people to work together, build knowledge, and make connections. Like anything, wiki has its limitations also. Although we are now seeing more plug-ins for open source wikis to enhance features. Currently, there is no way of directly embed PowerPoint slides into the wiki. A way around it is embed PowerPoint slide into Slideshare, then embed Slideshare in the wiki. Same thing with videos, it needs to be embedded via YouTube. Doable, but could be better. Click here to see some great ways companies can use wikis.
Overall, wiki is a great tool for open collaboration while SharePoint is a great tool for document repository.

Kadidid thoughts

Whenever I come across something interesting, I’d say to myself: ‘I need to blog about this’. But then the day goes on and I find myself getting trapped in my bottomless list-to-dos. So I am taking matters into my own hands and going just blog about the random things that I want to share. Let’s call it Kadidid thoughts. Warning: These thoughts have no common relationship. For those who knows me, my thoughts are typically random as my mind goes a million miles a minute.

 

1. Wordle is such a cool tool. I use it to make the word pic above.  

 

2. I don’t like the new Facebook look and feel. I am happy to know that I am not the only one .

 

3. Watch out for Google’s Beta Knol – part wiki, part blog, and part social computing platform though it is most often being compared with Wikipedia. Read more?

Facebook for Spies?

Social networking has been a hot topic for the last few years. Increasing number of corporations are adapting social networking into their business infrastructure. Most recently the social networking buzz landed with the government.

 

U.S. Intelligence agencies have created a social networking site called A-Space. It is designed for analysts across 16 intelligence agencies across the nation.  Instead of sharing opinions on perhaps the latest movie on Facebook, A-Space users are sharing information about al Qaeda and other national security related issues. For the first time spies can have a chance to think out loud and share top secret information amongst their peers.

 

Like other social networking sites, the goal to A-Space is to promote community and connectivity by assessing all the information available – to the spy agencies that is.

 

Food for thought:

If the intelligence community is already embracing social networking, why are there still so much resistance on adapting to social networking strategies in corporations?  Things that make you go hum..

 

Oh by the way,  the information on A-Space is highly classified, only intelligence personnel with the proper security clearance can access the site. Looks like 007 is still the way to go for a sneak peak of the Spy world.

 

Read more about this topic.

 

Are there more women or men using Social Networking Sites?

Gender and Age Data of Social Network Users
I found some Interesting data around the gender and age of the social nework users.

  • Between ages 14-24, there are more female than male users on all major social networking sites
  • Between ages 24-34, you can see shifting from male to female as the majority users, Specifically Flickr, Hi5, LinkedIn, and Friendster 
  • From ages 34 – 44, we can see the reverse trend as female social networking users become slightly less than male users . Since this is the popular age group for people to get married and start a family, perhaps women are busier juggling between work and family. hmm..  perhaps men should be encouraged to help out more around the house so that women can spend more time social networking. Just kidding, or am I 🙂 ?

Click here for detailed information.

July 4th weekend – My trip diary to the French Riviera

My weekend started with a quick run at Cap d’Antibes along the Mediterranean, my favorite funning path in the whole world.  (imagine this view the whole path, then add the sound of small waves hitting the rocks)

In the evening, we went to a great party hosted by HP where there was great music (by HP bands) and delicious food. To continue the July 4th celebration, we went to a cowboy party at Monaco. (Monoco is about 40 minutes away from my sister’s). We spent the weekend there, hanging with the posh posh. I don’t have the desire to be like the people in Monte Carlo when I grow up, Knowing a few works for me 🙂

This is my last weekend in France before going home. I had a great time the last 2 weeks. Thanks for allowing me to share my travel experience with you.

Day 7 & 8 – My Trip Diary to the French Riviera

We woke up early for a day trip to Marseille, which is a 2.5 hour train ride. The city is very different than the Côte d’Azur. It is the 2nd largest city in France, after Paris. Though it doesn’t offer the Eiffle Tower or the Louvre museum, Marseille is for people not afraid to discover a real place with real people, where you can see how the French really lives.

Our train ride home was scheduled for 10pm. After close to 3 hours of delay, we arrived in Antibes (our stop) at 2 AM. Unfortunately, somehow we missed our stop and ended up in Nice. At 2:30 AM in the morning, there was no taxi, no bus and no more train.

While finding a solution to home at wee hours in the morning at the Nice train station, we were both exhaulsted and nervious. We met some colorful people to say the least. The most memorable person in particular, was a woman named Antoinette. She hates her name because of it sounding so formal. Antoinette was holding a plastic bag with half of watermelon and some peaches while chatting with a man at the bus stop outside of the train station. As she was describing the bus schedule to us, I realized that she was very pregnant. Antoinette was extremely friendly and offered to walk us to find the street we were looking for. During our walking conversation, we learned that Antoinette sleeps during the day in order to avoid the heat (as most people do not have air conditioning) and hangs out during the night when it is much cooler and quieter in downtown Nice streets. Not a bad idea. I don’t know if she has a job or family, all I know is that this tomboy like curly bown hair woman who smiles with a dimple made me smile in an otherwise uncomfortable situation.

Ultimately we got in touch with my sister Pei’s friend who lives in Nice (but without a car). We crashed in his place for 4 hours until the next morning when the bus is available to take us back to Antibes.

Day 8 – I slept most of the day and was still tired when I got up.