Monthly Archives: January 2007

links for 2007-01-17

links for 2007-01-13

links for 2007-01-12

Car talk blues

Today’s NY Times has an article in the business section, G.M. Sees China, and the Chinese, in a Chevrolet, that begins:

YANTAI, China — Yang Luzhou, who lives here in an industrial town facing North Korea across the bay, is about as far as can be from Americana.

He is even farther from John Mellencamp’s “Our Country,” the flag-waving soundtrack for Chevrolet’s latest marketing campaign in the United States.

But just the other day, the classic “Bear Went Over the Mountain” and the Confederate anthem “Dixie” wafted through the factory while he fiddled with a Chevrolet Aveo car door on a General Motors production line.

“I never thought I’d be building Chevrolet products,” he said. “I never heard of the Chevrolet brand when I was growing up.”

G.M. is hoping to change that for future generations of Chinese. It is counting on Mr. Yang, 27, and his 2,300 fellow assembly line workers here to help produce 200,000 cars this year as part of a giant bet to turn the Chevrolet brand into a household name in China.

It’s good news, certainly for the Chinese, that GM is trying to grow its market. But here at home the picture is not so rosy.

I was in Clare, Michigan, last weekend visiting my sister and her family. While there I learned that a local plant would close down, Mid-Michigan plant to close its doors. The plant was a supplier to Ford, and employed 139 local workers.

Losing 140 workers might not seem like much, but Clare’s population is just over 3000 people, so the economic impact will be substantial. The county unemployment rate was almost 10 per cent in 2004 and I understand it’s not any better now; it’s still among the poorest counties in central Michigan. Indeed, one of my sister’s favorite local restaurants was forced to close its doors just a few days ago due to lack of business.

This is a local story, but I learned some facts about our nation’s education system a few days back that show it is much more than a local problem:

20 million low-income children in K-12;12 million are not learning basic skills

58% of low-income 4th graders cannot read

61% of low-income 8th graders can’t do basic math

That’s bad enough. Here’s the real car talk kicker:

Half of all 17-year-olds lack skills needed to get a job in a modern auto plant.

Though I’m a big fan of the PBS radio show Car Talk since it’s so much fun to listen to, I can’t find any humor in this “car talk.” Just the blues.

Blogher – where the women bloggers are

Courtesy of the NOSI discussion list at NonProfit Open Source Initiative, I just got the following post from Chris Bailey, a fellow member of the list:

> Susie’s Blog — A Nonprofit Techie Who Loves Chocolate and Open Source
> Software
> By Beth Kanter, 6:55 pm, Tue 9 Jan 2007
> Susie Halksworth is the Resources Director at AFL (formerly the
> Cambridge Independent Advice Centre), a not-for-profit organisation
> based in Cambridge, focused on advice and ICT projects. Her blog,
> Susie’s Blog – Winning hearts and minds over to FOSS (Free Open Source
> Software) is an excellent example of how professionals in the
> nonprofit technology field use blogging for professional development.

Nosi-discussion mailing list

Part of blogher, Social Change, Non-Profits & NGOs is devoted to blogs for NPO’s and NGO’s.

Susie’s blog can ge found at Susie’s Blog: winning hearts and minds over to FOSS.

Susie’s Blogroll includes the blogs of Beth Kanter, Beth’s Blog: A place to capture and share ideas, experiment with and publish links about nptech, educational technology, information design, visual thinking, creativity, ICT in the developing world, and much more.

The roll also includes the blog of Paul Webster, Regional ICT support, railway coffee, and more!.

If you know of any other blogs related to volunteerism and open-source, please feel free to include them via comments to this post.

blogher is itself very interesting. According to the “about” section,
About this community

Join us! Together we’re building a guide to women bloggers. In 20+ popular topics, you’ll find lists of blogs by women and constantly updating guides to what’s hot, written by our contributing editors.

You can also find out all about BlogHer Conference ’06, from registration to sponsorships. Our 2005 inaugural conference sold out with 300+ attendees and national press attention, and was made possible by our amazing sponsors. BlogHer Con ’06 will double in size.

A not so gaping void

I ran across a reference to a post in the blog gapingvoid: “cartoons drawn on the back of business cards”. It’s written by a chap named Hugh MacLeod.

I found the reference via one James’s blog posts, On Jon Udell, freedom, talent management and the New Patronage economy, as Hugh has popularised the notion of “microbrand.”

I was going to write about this, and I’ve kept the tab open in my browser for over a day, but to be honest, I don’t really have the time right now.

I also realized that I had come across this blog before. And it had the same quality then that it has now — it is very, very witty.

So if you want to see a very creative blog, venture into the void. You’ll have lots of company, as I just noted his blog has a technorati rating of 137, which is an amazing accomplishment.

The cartoons are also fun – a nice lagniappe

links for 2007-01-09

links for 2007-01-03

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