Exams lock Akida out of Uganda return leg

first_img0Shares0000Harambee Starlets striker Esse Akida in action during the African Women’s Cup of Nations first round tie against Uganda at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 4, 2018. Photo/TIMOTHY OLOBULUNAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 6- Harambee Starlets forward Esse Mbeyu Akida has not travelled with the team to Uganda for their African Women’s Cup of Nations Qualifier first round return leg tie due to school commitment.Akida, who returned from injury to play 60 minutes of the first leg in Machakos on Wednesday, opted not to travel to concentrate on her exams on Monday at the Kenya Methodist University in Meru. “It would have not been practical for me to travel to Uganda and come back fresh for the exams so I didn’t have much of a choice. But despite my absence, I know that the team is capable and they will bring back good results,” Akida told Capital Sport.The forward has been Starlets’ best pick upfront alongside the duo of Neddy Atieno and Mwanahalima Adam and in her absence, head coach David Ouma will need to devise a new attacking plan to win the tie.Kenya carries with them a slim 1-0 advantage from the first leg on Wednesday and heading into the return tie, a draw of any kind will be enough to sail them through though Ouma said he will be going for an outright win.“For now I will play my cards close to my chest because the return tie is coming in very soon. But we have to weigh the situation especially in attack where we need to come out better. I am confident that we can go there and win,” the coach said.The team will be playing the match at the Lugogo Artificial Turf Arena and despite having little time to train on a similar surface, Ouma is confident he has a squad that can quickly adjust and play well.“I am not worried about that because it is not hard for these girls to adjust. Most of them play their league matches on similar surfaces so it won’t be anything new for us,” he noted.-Uganda confident-Just as Kenya is, Uganda’s Crested Cranes are confident they can overturn the result and progress to the second round of qualification. The winner of the tie on Sunday earns a ticket for the ultimate qualification round match against Equatorial Guinea in June.Traveling SquadGoalkeepers; Poline Atieno, Brenda Achieng, Maureen Shimuli.Defenders; Wendy Achieng, Dorcas Shikobe, Dorris Anyango, Elizabeth Ambogo, Lilian Adera.Midfielders; Cheris Avilia, Carolyne Kiget, Sheryl Angachi, Corazone Aquino, Carolyne Anyango, Pauline Musungu.Forwards; Mwanahalima Adam, Juliet Auma, Mercy Achieng, Phoebe Owiti, Neddy Atieno, Cynthia Shilwatso.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Cowboys learning the ropes of business

first_imgKINGSVILLE, Texas Once upon a time, in the Wild West, all it took to raise cattle was land, grass and cowboys who knew how to rope the critters. Now, it might take an MBA. Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Institute for Ranch Management is offering what university officials call the first ever master’s degree program for ranchers – sort of a Harvard Business School for cowboys. In addition to graduate-level business courses, students are schooled in rangeland specialties, including animal nutrition and wildlife management. During a Friday noon session over brown bag lunches, a laptop computer beams a long list of letters and numbers. It’s an equation, Les Nunn tells his colleagues in cowboy hats, for getting the most beef out of your pastures’ grass. Nunn’s Power Point presentation, “Searching for the Economic Optimum Stocking Ratio,” follows another student’s profit-loss analysis of a government incentive program for land conservation and another’s stab at formulas for sharing land between hunting lessees and livestock. The King Ranch, which endowed the institute and allows students to do fieldwork on its grounds, epitomizes the kind of modern ranch the school wants its students to be able to manage. At 825,000 acres, it is the largest ranch in the United States, so vast it appears as a dark spot from outer space, so unspoiled it has more species of birds than the Florida Everglades. It includes a small school district for its employees’ children. It originated several cattle strains and is considered the birthplace of American ranching. Cattle to corporate But these days, cattle raising is only a small part of the ranch’s operations, which include oil and gas leases, ecotourism, hunting tours, a publishing company and a retail arm. The ranch also farms cotton and citrus. Its corporate headquarters is in Houston, 200 miles away. David Delaney, vice president and general manager of ranching operations, said he spends at least 60 percent of his time in front of a computer, managing all the operations with charts and spread sheets. Much of the other time he’s out hobnobbing, “being the face of the King Ranch.” Yet he still knows each of the ranch’s 160 pastures, and a stop with students to view grazing heifers turns into an impromptu lecture about the merits of various feed grass. “I would have gone to this program if it had been available at the time,” said Delaney, who grew up in Virginia and started out wanting to be a vet. “But there was no such thing.” Students already have helped the ranch by using computer modeling to show which deer to develop to attract hunters, determining how many heifers to expose to each bull to maximize breeding, and developing an electronic identification system for animals in advance of the federal National Cattle Identification System, which is due to start in 2009 to track diseases. The institute opened with two students in 2004, who graduated in 2006. Dunn said plans are to keep each class at four students, who enroll as fellows and receive free tuition, university health benefits, and a modest living stipend for the two-year program. Summers are spent doing internships at ranches across the country. The class size is kept small to ensure the institute remains elite and is able to place its graduates in jobs, Dunn said. While students will be equipped to manage megaranches like the King Ranch, Dunn said they will also have the blend of skills needed to manage federal parks or wildlife refuges. Current students range in age from 29 to 43 and come from Texas, Oregon, South Dakota, Florida, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Eager to learn All said they embraced the business training and were able to rope in the math and complex theories with relative ease. “Honestly, from the first day I met with the landowners, I felt like I was lacking in business skills,” said David Rios, who has a degree in wildlife management and had worked as a hunting lease manager at a ranch near his hometown of McAllen. Delane Atcitty, who comes from a Navajo reservation in Tuba City, Ariz., said he hoped to work in the field a while before bringing his new knowledge back to the reservation, which has plenty of horses and cattle but little in tourism or other pursuits. Doug Wilmeth, from New Mexico, said he had worked in various segments of the industry from calving to packing and wanted “to be able to tie it all together.” Dunn said graduates could expect to be recruited for $50,000 to $75,000 to start, with salaries going up over time. Meanwhile, ranch families may have gotten so big and spread out over the generations that the best way to handle management is to outsource it. “The land that ranchers manage is really precious to all of us,” Dunn said. “We produce food for all of us, and we produce recreation. Ranchers really have a unique role in society, and this little institute is trying to ratchet that up.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It’s an exclusive club, coming with the promise of a job after graduation. The first graduating class had two students; the current class has four, with seven students enrolled in the program this year. Twenty students applied for a slot. New era for ranching The program signals a new era for the occupation. In the past, those aspiring to careers in ranch management might have pursued degrees in animal science or agriculture and rounded out their r sum s with on-the-job training. Today’s ranchers also need business and wildlife-management skills. “You can’t just be an animal nutritionist and horse person and manage a ranch any more,” said Barry Dunn, a former South Dakota rancher who holds a doctorate and heads the program. “The market for most of ranching’s history has been a commodities market,” he said. “But now the markets are moving into specialized (fields) – whether it’s hunting or specialized beef production, like Nolan Ryan beef. All of that just adds more and more sophistication.” last_img read more

Hospitalized man charged with murdering his children

first_imgProsecutors on Friday filed a potential death-penalty case against a man for allegedly burning his two children to death in a vehicle set ablaze in a downtown Los Angeles alley. Dae Kwon Yun, 54, was charged with two counts of murder with special circumstances of multiple murder and murder during commission of an arson. Prosecutors had not determined whether to seek the death penalty. No arraignment date was set because Yun remained hospitalized with severe burns to his face, hands and legs, authorities said. Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said Yun did not have legal counsel yet because of his hospitalization. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventYun allegedly placed his daughter, Ashley, 11, and son, Alexander, 10, in a sport utility vehicle and set it on fire April 2. According to police, Yun was in the car and then rolled out. Yun had recently separated from his wife, police said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Sickout staged by utility workers

first_imgBURBANK – Nearly all of Burbank Water and Power union electrical workers called in sick Thursday, in what officials called an outbreak of “blue flu” spurred by a continuing impasse in contract negotiations. Some 150 line crew members, electricians and workers in communications in the power plant and dispatch shop called in sick – out of a total electrical union workforce of about 160 – about 8 a.m., leading officials to enact contingency plans to keep power going to 45,000 homes and 6,000 businesses. “I’m not pleased that there’s been this kind of action while we’re still at the negotiating table,” said Burbank City Manager Mary Alvord. “Sure I’m disappointed. This is serious business. A lot of people in this city could be put at risk.” No power was disrupted, but some work orders scheduled for Thursday had to be canceled, including work on Media Studios North business park buildings where some 700 Yahoo! employees are expected to start moving in Monday, said Ron Davis, BWP’s general manager. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “It’s an inconvenience to the community,” said Davis. “It’s not like it took anyone’s power out. For one day, it’s not the end of the world. But once you go past 24 hours, I have a difficult time continuing operations.” Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 did not return repeated calls for comment. One worker, who declined to be identified, said the work action was voluntary and was not sanctioned by the union. “This did not happen, as far as the union’s concerned,” said the worker. “Each member took it upon themselves to call in sick. We’re trying to make a statement. We take great pride in our work.” Union members, he said, are expected to vote on a contract proposal next Wednesday, but he is doubtful it will be approved. “We don’t want to strike,” he said. “We enjoy our jobs. We enjoy working for the city.” Some 1,000 city employees have been working without a contract since July. Union leaders are asking for an increase in pension benefits. Union workers currently get 2 percent of their annual salary times the number of years they’ve worked when they retire at age 55. They want 2.5 percent, which would boost the average annual pension from $14,600 to $20,000. Boosting pensions would help attract and retain workers in a competitive job market, union leaders say. The proposed pension increase would boost pension costs $1.7 million a year, said Judie Sarquiz, the city’s management services director. The city’s total annual payroll for the 1,000 employees covered by three unions – the Burbank City Employees Association, the Burbank Managers Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 – is about $61 million a year, she said. Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 jason.kandel@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Didata expands in the UK

first_img5 February 2009IT solutions and services company Dimension Data has acquired Teksys, a British Microsoft infrastructure and licensing services company, for an undisclosed sum.In terms of the transaction, Teksys will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the Johannesburg-headquartered company, operating as one unit with Dimension Data’s UK Microsoft solutions business.Dimension Data Solutions group executive Steve Joubert said the transaction was aligned to the group’s objective of increasing its capabilities and footprint, and provided both companies with significant benefits.“We have looked for ways to expand our current Microsoft professional services capability in the UK to provide the full spectrum of Microsoft-based services, covering software advice, design and deployment, and related support services,” he said in a statement this week.“The 81 skilled and experienced employees of Teksys and Dimension Data are now a highly Microsoft focused team.”Providing new servicesTeksys is a Microsoft Gold-certified partner and also holds Microsoft Large Account Reseller status, with a client base including national and international brands. The company also holds certifications in advanced infrastructure, networking infrastructure, information worker, licensing, security, and mobility.“The Teksys acquisition paves the way for the group to immediately provide its UK clients with new services around virtualisation, data centre design, software asset management and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007,” said Dimension Data Europe CEO Russell Bolan.“Our skills around a number of Microsoft’s unified communications technologies and systems management are also greatly bolstered.”Global partner relationshipsTeksys’ Alan Watkins, who will become MD of the merged business, said that being part of a global, financially strong organisation with a track record of over 25 years bode well for Teksys’ clients, as they would be able to use Dimension Data’s global partner relationships and broader solution sets.“We have a very talented and experienced group of people, who have built Teksys into what it is today,” he said. “This transaction represents and exciting opportunity for them to become part of a global team and expand their career horizons.”SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

SA landscape display takes root in UK

first_imgThe main entrance of the British Museum peeks over a display of Strelitzia reginae, the bird-of-paradise flower. The South Africa landscape takes shape. (Images: Kew) MEDIA CONTACTS • Steve RuddyKew head of garden development+44 20 8332 5000RELATED ARTICLES • Kew shows Africa’s plant wealth • SA scientists find plant barcode • Adopt a tree in Africa • World honour for SA botanistJanine ErasmusA recreated South African landscape, on show at the British Museum until October 2010, is giving Londoners a taste of the country’s rich biodiversity, and expats a taste of home.A joint project of the museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the landscape is designed as a celebration of South Africa’s wealth of natural treasures. It coincides with the International Year of Biodiversity as well as the 2010 Fifa World Cup, which gets underway in Johannesburg in just under one month.The two institutions are aiming to promote understanding and respect for various cultures, and to heighten awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation around the world.The exhibit – which has a desert-like feel with sand, rocks and plants adapted for arid conditions – has been set up in the forecourt of the renowned historical and cultural institution and runs throughout the European summer, from the end of April until 10 October.Sponsored by Barclays, it’s open from 9h30 to 17h30 every day, and is free.Visitors will be able to wander among the indigenous plants and trees before moving inside and learning more about the country through the museum’s extensive South African and African galleries.Indigenous plantsAll plants and trees included in the display are native to South Africa.Highlights are the magnificent bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) – popular in flower arrangements, the prolific and dainty blue marguerite daisy (Felicia amelloides), and the quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) – which grows in dry areas of South Africa and is favoured by the San Bushmen as quivers for their arrows.Other inclusions are the strange-looking bottle tree (Pachypodium lealii), the elephant’s foot yam (Dioscerea elephantipes), the mountain aloe (Aloe marlothii), hop bush (Dodonaea viscosa), red hot poker (Kniphofia caulescens), sweet thorn (Acacia karroo), and the cheerful yellow “Star of the Veldt” (Osteospermum hyoseroides), also a member of the daisy family.These curiosities are interspersed with a colourful display of popular South African plants, such as the African lily or agapanthus, the pelargonium or South Africa geranium – not to be confused with flowers of the geranium genus – and the prolific grower Carpobrotus, popularly known as sour fig. This plant has bright pink flowers and succulent triangle-shaped leaves, whose juice has a multitude of medicinal uses.Selected related items, such as rock art recreations and restios, which are part of the fynbos kingdom along with proteas and ericas, are scattered among the foliage.Careful planningKew’s Garden Development Unit head, Steve Ruddy, supervised the installation. All plants were shipped with the necessary permits and were sourced with the help of nurseries in South Africa. They underwent a strict examination to eliminate the risk of transporting insects or diseases, and were then wrapped with great care before being shipped to the UK in a temperature-controlled container.The journey by sea took a little less than the anticipated three weeks and the plants arrived in late March. Landscaping, which began on 29 March, took four weeks to complete.While construction was still underway, the UK weather threatened to turn frosty, forcing botanical staff to protect the ill-adapted plants with a cover of fleecy cloth.Once the landscape is dismantled, the plants will be given to the council of Camden, the London borough where the British Museum is located, to be planted in the area. Kew, meanwhile, will take in any specimens that may not survive the notoriously gloomy UK winter.A number of events have been planned to add value to the exhibition, including talks by Kew and British Museum experts on rock art, traditional uses of plants, conservation and more.African plant wealthEarlier in 2010 Kew reported that East and tropical Southern Africa were treasure troves of the botanical world, yielding more new species in 2009 than anywhere else. Of the 292 new species, two were discovered in South Africa. The greatest number – 67 – came from Tanzania.The botanical institution has a number of projects running in Southern Africa, with the cooperation of partners in the region. These include the Millennium Seed Bank project – which is helping to save endangered plants in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia by conserving seed, ongoing research into propagation of threatened plants, and a database of South Africa plant DNA.One of Kew’s most significant projects is one based near Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape province, which is promoting the sustainable use of plants for traditional purposes such as medicine, clothing, food and craft.The communities in this area have been hard hit by HIV/Aids and the demand for traditional medicine, to complement antiretroviral treatment, is high. Careful management of resources will ensure that there are enough plants to meet the needs of every patient.last_img read more

Zulu gets technical

first_imgPhiwayinkosi Mbuyazi, author of The WIBY Kids – How It All Began, and its subsequent Zulu version, AmaYIPHENDLEYA – IsiQalo Sakho Konke, has combined his love for languages, science and technology to provide children with new Zulu words through which to explore the modern world.(Image: Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi) Through his work, he wants to keep the Zulu language current by expanding its vocabulary, promoting mother tongue education, and encouraging people to read indigenous language books.(Image: www.barnesandnoble.com)MEDIA CONTACTS• Phiway Mbuyazi Mbuyazi Publishing+27 82 448 4742RELATED ARTICLES• Sea life explained for young explorers • Cards celebrate SA’s languages • Local Wikipedia chapter is African first• The Iliad goes local Wilma den HartighA South African electrical engineer turned author has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology terms.Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has combined his love for languages, science and technology to provide children with new Zulu words through which to explore the modern world, encourage a generation of enquiring minds and preserve his mother tongue.Through his work, he wants to keep the Zulu language current by expanding its vocabulary, promoting mother tongue education, and encouraging people to read indigenous language books.“I wanted to write in Zulu about subjects no one else was writing about,” he says. “I knew that in technical fields there is nothing written in indigenous languages.”He wants to change perceptions about indigenous languages, and with the new words give people tools to understand and discuss contemporary science and technology in their home language.Becoming a language activistThe 41-year-old author, who also studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University, decided to leave his day job to write a science and technology book for children.The WIBY Kids – How It All Began, and its subsequent Zulu version, AmaYIPHENDLEYA – IsiQalo Sakho Konke, tells the story about four South African teenagers, Kwethu, Jo, Scott and Bobo, and their journey to learn about mathematics, science, technology, philosophy, history and culture.With the book Mbuyazi wants to show that anyone can cultivate a dream and an innovative mind.While writing the Zulu version he also developed a brand new Zulu numbering system that lends itself to being spoken and translated into other languages with greater ease.“It isn’t heavy science,” the author says. “The WIBY Kids are to science and technology what Harry Potter is to magic and wizardry.”What was 31 000 words in English, translated to 28 000 Zulu words of which 480 are brand new.Once the English version was complete, he started translating the book into Zulu, but he soon realised just how difficult it is to write about science in his mother tongue. It was possible to write extensively about a variety of technologies in English, but this was not the case for Zulu.“This is what is contributing to the demise of the language,” Mbuyazi says. “IsiZulu will eventually become extinct because there are not enough books written in South Africa’s largest official language.”Schools are also increasingly teaching only in English, and there is hardly any literature available in indigenous languages.“What is written for indigenous languages is only for the schools market,” he says.Mbuyazi says this insight led him to create hundreds of new Zulu words to explain popular science-related concepts and words such as planet, Internet, airport, explorer, print, spark plug and even mathematics and technology.He also developed words to explain contemporary phrases such as reduce, reuse, recycle and global warming.Expanding the Zulu vocabularyMbuyazi went about researching the development of indigenous languages, and found that Zulu has anglicised many English and Afrikaans words.But coming up with new words was a difficult process. “I thought long and hard about how to translate English words into Zulu,” he says. “I do wish it was a thumb suck, but that is not how it was.”It took at least five times as long to finalise AmaYIPHENDLEYA than it did to write its English counterpart.He made use of several methods such as learning about a particular word’s origin or creating a word that relates to its function, what it looks like, sounds like, or even based on its movement.This is how he created a new word for ‘planet’.“In Zulu we have the word umhlaba which refers to the earth but there aren’t any other words that refer to Jupiter, Mercury, Pluto and the like,” he says.When he explored the original meaning of ‘planet’, he saw the English word is derived from the Greek planitis which means to hover or wander.“If you observe the movement of the planets, they appear to hover around the sun, which is why I named them umzulane which means going round,” he explains. “This shows the connection between the new word and its English translation.”He created the new Zulu word for ‘print’, gxifa, by drawing on the sound that printers make. The new word for ‘recycle’, buyafuthi, is a combination of the Zulu words for ‘bring back’, buyisa, and ‘again’, futhi.Mbuyazi hopes that through the book he can get more people talking and reading in Zulu.“When I was a child I used to read a lot and this made me passionate about Zulu. I’m afraid of it being lost in time, if you don’t keep on talking it,” he says. “We have to keep our mother tongues alive. People discount the importance of their home language and I want to change this.”• Slideshow image courtesy of help2read.last_img read more

Harlow named Farm Bureau organization director

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ivory Harlow of Chillicothe has been named organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and will serve members in Fairfield, Hocking, Pickaway and Ross counties. She will work with the county Farm Bureaus to address issues important to members and their communities.Harlow previously was a program specialist with the Center for Cooperatives at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. She received her bachelor’s degree from Strayer University, a master’s from Ohio Christian University and is working toward a masters of business administration at Ohio State University. Harlow served four years in the United States Air Force.She and her husband, Kip, own and operate a mixed livestock and forage farm. She has been active in Ohio Farm Bureau’s Young Agricultural Professionals program and American FarmBureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program. She is a Ross County master gardener and is active with the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, American BoerGoat Association, Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and the FarmerVeteran Coalition.Ohio Farm Bureau’s mission is working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities. Learn more at ofbf.org.last_img read more

Socialtext, Groups and the Context of the Social Web

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#enterprise#news#Products Socialtext is one of the smarter companies we cover in the enterprise space. The people there have an intellectual bent. Co-Founder Ross Mayfield is a thought leader and one of the original pioneers of the social Web. He’s one of the thought leaders. And the CEO, Eugene Lee, is one of the more eloquent people we run across in the interviews we do.Socialtext came into the market in 2002, long before blogs bloomed and years ahead of what we know of as the real-time web.As a result, they have an established client base. They were one of the first, if not the very first, to offer wiki technology as an enterprise product.Today, they announced a new version of its software: Socialtext 4.0. It’s a far cry from its original technology. This is the era of the real-time web. And Socialtext has had to adapt. Socialtext has done a pretty decent job of keeping up with the pace, which seems to be quickening in the Enterprise 2.0 space. Most noteworthy is its new group capabilities. It’s like a threaded, real-time stream. Groups can be organized so there are main group hubs with additional groups that come out of it. Group can be public or private. We are seeing this kind of approach more often from companies like Yammer, Socialcast and Jive Software. It just makes sense. A real-time stream is useless if it is one river of news. You need to channel the real-time flow so you can see its context. It’s why people use desktop products like Tweetdeck to follow Twitter. By setting up channels, you can follow specific communities and keep in context the real-time stream flowing by you at any one moment. In the enterprise, the needs are different. You need more capabilities so groups can interact and people can move quickly between conversations. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair alex williams 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Mayfield takes it a step further. He says Socialtext is making it ridiculously easy to add groups. Of course he has a vested interest in promoting Socialtext. But true to his roots, he traces the concept back to the early days of the social Web, providing context for where we are today:“Back around the time in which social software was defined and when we started enterprise social software, Seb Paquet introduced the notion of Ridiculously Easy Group-Forming.Weblogs have a potential for group-forming like no other medium. However I’m convinced that much of it to this day remains untapped. I’d like to explain an idea that I have been bouncing around for a while. It might well be a reformulation of what others have said previously. I believe that implementing this properly would give a nice boost to the blogosphere’s social aggregation capability.Basically the goal is to push the threshold for group creation to an unprecedented low. I think Reed’s Law should be refined to state:The value of a group-forming network increases exponentially with the number of people in the network, and in inverse proportion to the effort required to start a group.”That’s a context for anyone to consider in the enterprise space these days. Related Posts last_img read more

Top 10 Startups of 2010

first_imgRelated Posts 2010 was a good year for Web startups. Deal flow, particularly at early stages, was active, and even though valuations were high, investor dollars were seemingly at the ready. Of the companies that made headlines and that led some of the major tech trends of the year, many were startups: Zynga (social gaming), Groupon (group buying), Foursquare (location-based networks), Tumblr (micro-blogging), and GetGlue (semantic Web), to name a few.In pulling together our list of the Top 10 Startups of 2010 for ReadWriteWeb’s “Best of” series, we’ve decided to look beyond some of those big names and “established” startups (the term gets applied so broadly). Rather than lumping together new companies no matter their age or size, no matter whether they have an acquisition offer by Google or have a Hollywood biopic about their founder, we’ve decided to restrict our list to those startups who were founded or who launched in 2010.We chose some of these startups due to their great features and impressive momentum. We chose some for addressing important consumer and business pain-points in particularly innovative ways. Whether any of these companies are the next Facebook or Google hardly matters. These startups left their mark on 2010, many of them helping to foster some of the most important trends of the year.In no particular order…Instagram: Photo Sharing Goes Viral I can’t look at my Twitter or Facebook stream without seeing a flurry of shared links from Instagram. And I even confessed in October, the app has made me an iPhone photo addict. audrey watters Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting ReadWriteWeb’s 2010 In Review:Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2010Top 10 RSS and Syndication Technologies of 2010Best BigCo of 2010: FacebookTop Trends of 2010: App StoresMost Promising Company For 2011: SimpleGeoTop Trends of 2010: Internet TVTop 10 Startups of 2010Top Trends of 2010: PrivacyThe free app allows users to snap photos, apply one of 11 filters, and then quickly and easily publish them to a variety of social networks, as well as follow, comment, and like within the app itself. The new camera that came with the iPhone 4 this summer spawned a lot of great mobile phone apps, and Instagram is hardly alone in the photo-sharing space. But it has had incredibly viral adoption – growing by about a 100,000 users a week after its release in October according to a thread on Quora, with rumors of 1 million users to date.Quora: High Quality Q&A Did you notice that reference in the Instagram entry above? “According to a thread on Quora.” It’s something we heard a lot this year as the Q&A site, founded by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo, became an important new communication and knowledge-sharing tool for the tech industry. Quora launched in private beta in January and opened to the public in June. As with Instagram, Quora is a startup in a crowded space; there are no shortage of Q&A sites. But Quora has attracted a very high caliber of respondents during its beta, particularly those “in the know” in Silicon Valley, and the site has become a real treasure trove of news and advice. Quora allows you to subscribe to topics, users, and questions, and the ability to vote up good answers, along with the ability to offer edits on questions and answers, have helped to build a smart network on the site.Flipboard: Curated Reading, Built for the iPad We already recognized the startup as one of this year’s Top Semantic Web Products, but Flipboard – along with the iPad – helped usher in a change in the way in which we consume Web content. The free app lets you curate various feeds – RSS, Twitter, Facebook – and presents them to you via a beautiful, touchscreen UI. Rather than scrolling through the Web as we have been trained perhaps to do, Flipboard allows us to more easily browse and read. Having acquired the semantic technology startup Ellerdale, Flipboard’s technology delivers a more personalized reading experience.Chatroulette: Spontaneity, Chat… and Dicks Flash in the pan? Maybe. Launched in late 2009 (too late and too obscure for the “Best of” lists for that year), Chatroulette took off in early 2010, and at the peak of its popularity this year, Chatroulette boasted a million-plus users. Chatroulette connects you randomly with another person via your webcam, so you can chat via text, audio, and video with a stranger. If you don’t like the conversation, the “Next” button places you with someone else. A post on Techcrunch surmised that the site was “89% male, 47% American, and 13% perverts,” the latter figure seeming a tad low based on my experience. Despite – or maybe because of – the dicks, the site gained a lot of buzz, spawning a number of memes as well being a topic on South Park – high honors. Chatroulette also spawned a number of clones as the idea of random, spontaneous encounters became popular.Rapportive: The Gmail Plug-in I Am Thankful for Every Day Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote this headline back in March: “Stop What You Are Doing & Install This Plug-in: Rapportive. And honestly, I’d issue the same command today. Rapportive replaces the ads in your Gmail side bar – which is cool enough right there – but then, it fills that space with a wealth of info – a picture of the person who sent you an email, their job title from LinkedIn, recent Twitter messages they’ve sent and more. It’s become an indispensable tool for me, giving me background information right within my browser for the people with whom I communicate via email. Rapportive demonstrates some of the useful tools that can be built with our social data.Diaspora: The Anti-Facebook, Crowdfunded When ReadWriteWeb first coveredDiaspora in May, the group of 4 NYU students were raising money via Kickstarter to fund their idea for an alternative to Facebook. Diaspora sought to build an open-source, decentralized social network, one that respected users’ privacy. Continued dust-ups this year over Facebook and privacy, along with the fact that Diaspora’s challenge to Facebook simply made for a compelling story, gave the group a lot of press.Within days of ReadWriteWeb’s first story, the funds raised via Kickstarter skyrocketed from $8000, just shy of its $10,000 to almost $200,000 from over 6000 backers. Diaspora released the first version of the developer code in September, and launched in private alpha in late November. The expectations for Diaspora were set quite high, with all the buzz and funding it received, and while those may be difficult to meet, Diaspora certainly represents the power of crowd funding, as well as an interest in making sure the social Web is not centralized in one company.Hipmunk: The Power of a Good User Experience Oftentimes we put up with painful experiences as consumers simply because there are no good alternatives, and we can lull ourselves into thinking that those unsatisfactory ways of doing things are just “how things are done.” So when I first heard about Hipmunk, an airline flight search engine, I wondered “Why?” There are already many ways to search online, ways to bid for your tickets – albeit none of them great. But it’s better, I suppose, than dealing with an airline directly.But one look at Hipmunk – even better, one search via Hipmunk – and you can see how smart entrepreneurs can enter an already-crowded space and disrupt it with a great user interface and a great user experience. Rather than forcing you to click through pages of results to find the right flight, Hipmunk gives you the results on one page and allows you to have a pretty granular level of control over exactly the things that make a flight feasible for you – price, time of day, number of stops, for example.LearnBoost: Bringing the Teacher Gradebook to the Web with Open Source Like Hipmunk, LearnBoost is tackling a space that may not be particularly sexy – Web-based classroom administration tools. But tracking grades and attendance is an important, if not cumbersome, responsibility of teachers, many of whom still use the paper-and-pencil gradebook for record-keeping. In fact, LearnBoost co-founder and CEO Rafael Corrales sees that paper gradebook as the startup’s main competitor, and so LearnBoost has built a product that is not just beautiful but incredibly easy to use. LearnBoost seems to really understand educators’ needs, something that is incredibly important in education technology. LearnBoost is free, it supports data portability, and it integrates with Google Apps, for example, and the company has been very responsive since launching in August to update the product to suit the needs of those using it.But LearnBoost doesn’t just receive kudos for its work in education technology. The company has been a leader in developing a variety of open-source tools, including Mongoose for storage, Soda for acceptance testing, and Socket.io for real-time communication. For a new company, LearnBoost has an impressive following on GitHub.Square: The Future of Money is Mobile We may be slightly cheating to squeeze this one into a 2010 list, as Square, the brainchild of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, allows you to accept and pay via physical credit cards using a card swiper that plugs into the headphone jack of your mobile device. The hardware and app are free, but Square takes a small cut of each transaction.Square spent most of 2010 in private beta and had its share of hardware and security problems, but the addition to the team in August of Paypal veteran Keith Rabois marked a big win for the company. Square now says it’s processing millions of dollars of mobile transactions per week, and boasts some avid users – small businesses and independent merchants who are looking for an easy and mobile way to manage credit card transactions.InDinero: The Mint.com of Young Entrepreneurs Describing a startup as the “Mint.com” of something felt like one of the most overused phrases in pitches in 2010. But in the case of InDinero, the description actually works, as the company really does aim to provide a similar sort of real-time financial dashboard to small businesses. Unlike traditional accounting software, InDinero is easy to set-up and use, and the analytics it offers provides small businesses with a wealth of important data.But a nod to InDinero isn’t simply recognition that the company addresses an important business need or that it has gathered impressive traction – and funding – since launching this summer. It’s a nod to co-founder Jessica Mah, who founded her first Internet startup at age 13, entered the University of California, Berkeley at age 15 to study computer science, and now at age 20, is the CEO and architect of a profitable Internet company. Yes, of course, all the startups in this list were founded by incredibly smart and talented entrepreneurs, but Mah is particularly inspiring.Selecting 10 top startups for 2010 was not an easy task. Do you agree with our assessments? Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments who you think should – or shouldn’t – make the list. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#2010 in Review#Features#web#Year in Review A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more