Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Web Secret #286: The first website

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for, and that includes the World Wide Web, which allows me to access the Internet.

In April 2013, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the day CERN published a statement making World Wide Web technology available on a royalty-free basis - forever.

Think back, what were you doing in 1993?

To mark the occasion, CERN brought the world's first website back to life. That was the start of a project to preserve as much about that first website, created by Tim Berners-Lee, as possible.

The project is called "The First Website" and its goals are not only to restore and preserve the hardware and software used to serve it up, but to also recreate the experience of visiting that first site twenty years ago.

For the record, the original IP address for the first web server was

Geek out.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Web Secret #285: PivotPlanet

Since 2003, PivotPlanet,  has been pairing people interested in switching careers with mentors who can teach them how to start.

In an article in the New York Times, Brian Kurth explained that he got the idea for PivotPlanet in 2001, when he was 34, freshly downsized, and trying to figure out what to do with his life.  He realized “that there is value in test-driving your dream job before you do it.” Effectively,  he pioneered the concept of  turning “mentorship into a consumer product.”

PivotPlanet lists mentors in about 200 fields, from psychologist to pet therapist to television host. Mentors charge an hourly fee for their mentoring. Much of the mentoring is telephonic or video conferencing based.

Whether you want to give a leg up to a new clinician or you're ready to move on to your next career adventure, go get 'em!

A simple, but powerful idea.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Web Secret #284: We come from the future

I wish I was a futurist, one of those scientists who predict the future. But that is not going to happen. I am too analytical, too much in the box. You come up with the idea - and I will operationalize it - to perfection. Just don't ask me to generate the idea.

But I do understand the implication of new ideas when I see them. And I like to be exposed to new concepts, even if they terrify me. There is one website that does that (terrify me,) on a regular basis. It's called AKA "We come from the future."

Before I tell you more, here is an example of what you can find on io9:

The editor in chief of io9 does a good job of explaining the site.

There is no question that some of io9 is Entertainment Weekly style trash. But if you stick to the science topics, you will be rewarded. Take, for example, "What Will Human Cultures Be Like in 100 Years?"

io9 - it's like when you were a kid and you peeked under the bed at bedtime to see monsters.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Web Secret #283: Google Crisis Response is the most visited website in the world.

The odds are that during the course of this day, you will access a Google product. Just by visiting my blog you are on Blogger, a Google product. Google also owns YouTube. Google is everywhere.

There are some advantages to being the biggest kid on the block.

For starters, you have the money and the infrastructure to build products that are free and helpful to the public. Since Katrina, Google Crisis Response has worked to make critical information more accessible around natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Google's contributions can include: public alerts providing a warning before disasters cause damage, and information on how to stay safe, updated satellite imagery of the disaster area, charitable donations to organizations on-the-ground, and Internet based products designed to organize and coordinate critical response resources and information.

I want to use this post to showcase an especially important tool Google created in the wake of the earthquakes in Haiti: the Google Person Finder. Google Person Finder is a web application that allows individuals to post and search for the status of relatives or friends affected by a disaster. Websites can choose to embed Google Person Finder as a gadget on their own pages. Person Finder is free, and it has been launched in over 40 languages.

What's in it for us?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a health care facility, even an individual practitioner can access the Google Crisis Response toolkit and become a better crisis responder. For example, Person Finder allows any EAP to have an expanded role and increased impact as part of the services provided during the aftermath of a major critical incident.

Check it out.