Sunday, May 27, 2007

Breaking News: BlogCatalog to support DonorsChoose

Following the successful BlogCatalog Buzz organized by Mona; the friendly people from BlogCatalog decided to use the same strategy promoting their website while as the same time making it a good cause. They decided to support the charity DonorsChoose and created a specific challenge to raise money:

Give to DonorsChoose

Is that right for a company to use charity as a way to promote their business? It might look a little bit questionable at first. Where do their "real" intentions rest? Are they using charity to generate more revenue for the business or are they using the business to generate more revenue for the charity. I find this dilemma quite difficult to answer.

Turning charity in a marketing exercise for businesses looks undeniably a little unethical, still if it brings far more revenue than a charity working on their own why not do it? It's a win-win situation!

I must say if I was a business owner myself I might actually do it. I do feel business owners are in a way extremely lucky to have extracted themselves from the common necessities that everyone else is stuck into (in French we call this “boulot metro dodo”). Not that they don't deserve their success - on contrary they are the energy that pull society forward - but because we are all part of the same community they have a duty to give some of this success back.

Being French and living in the United Kingdom, it is a little frustrating that in this instance the choice of charity was limited to the USA. That goes against the main principle of the World Wide Web doesn’t it? I wish I could pick something in United Kingdom or France. Still I like very much the idea of using the blog communication medium for the promotion of a charity and also I really like the concept of these new charity schemes where you choose where the money goes:

Anyway, despite the slight ethical and political issues lurking being it, this social marketing exercise has surely pulled the blogger community closer together and channelled this energy is something much bigger and I feel much better which I would like to call “a social charity”.

You can be part of this generous event by going to:
Help Public School Kids by Funding by Participating in a DonorsChoose Challenge
Thanks a lot for your generosity.

Go smell the flowers

Leaving everything you own and knew behind you is far from easy

I have been dreaming of being financially independent for a while now.

For me this means having a source of income that covers my living expenses and does not require to actually be there and working. What is the point of working 50 to 60 hours a week and not being able to enjoy it anyway? You may as well free yourself from material belongings and extract yourself of the rat race; you will have plenty of time and energy. Then you can go and smell the roses anywhere in the big world.

The trick is that you have been very likely brain washed by the society and don’t think you can do it: well think again. It is not so hard. Many people do it now. I’ve got in touch with a couple who have done exactly that. They left the corporate life behind and went explore the big world out there.

Jim and Emma can provide you the insights you need while you plan the biggest move of your live. You can check out their blog or better subscribe to it. They will also release a book towards the end of 2007, keep an eye for it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Football bloopers

I thought we should have a little post for the people bored watching the final:

FA cup final: Manu versus Cheslsea

My wife is a Manu supporter; not really a happy bunny right now!

I am just wondering, is that me or watching 22 idiots running after the same ball is boring? Maybe it's because I am French and therefore can't get involved (although there is a couple of French players on the pitch) or maybe it is because the first half was dead boring.

The second half is looking more like a real football game (you know the ones where they actually could score a goal) sadly Manu is still struggling and so I am. My wife is a Manu supporter; not really a happy bunny right now! She is so involved she talks and shouts at the TV. What an amazing sight!

My hears got nearly pierced by the fierce frustration screams coming from what used to be my lovely wife. I am now hoping that Manu will come back in the game in the extra time; if not I might have a grumpy wife for the rest of the week-end.

Luckily she doesn't drink alcohol!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy won: long live the new president?

It beats the French "job for life" dream. This is real, not a dream: about 5% of unemployment!

As an expat this whole campaign feels very remote. I must admit once again I didn't vote. I didn't know who to vote for anyway: "soft left or hard right?". Tough choice eh. Well it is too late now; no need to wimp. Nevertheless, the $10,000 question remains: "Will Sarkozy be able to pull together and unite the ever-so fragmented France? Or will we see an even larger social gap form in France?"

I sincerely hope that Sarkozy can take the whole France through the necessary economic reforms required and give a decent job to the whole population. I lived now nearly 8 years in UK. I can vouch for it: more flexible employment laws bring more jobs. Before jumping to your gun and throwing at me the usual old "job for life" argument listen to that:

I came to UK barely able to speak English (well proper English - English, I could speak text book English but that is different). I was welcome anyway. They gave me a chance. I struggled and still do despite this I can find jobs because employers know that if it does not go too well they can get rid of me relatively quickly (and trust me they do).

The result: I have worked for 3 different companies, done 3 different jobs, multiplying my salary nearly by 3 in about 8 years without - and that is the best part - not a single day out of employment, right mate, not even one. It beats the French "job for life" dream. This is real, not a dream: about 5% of unemployment!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring is back, I am in the garden again

Not easy to get back to the swing of things.

Gardening is a messy and tiring past time. I've emptied the old dead flowers and plants from last year pots, reseeded the dying lawn, cut the trees that grew too much.

Still, there is lots to do. The fence need replacing, thanks to our great weather, the patio slabs need refitting, and obviously the pots need new flowers.

Sadly this is not a picture of my garden (see ProLight for details). But I am hoping it will soon look like that ;-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Le Pen didn't make it: I am happy!

I don't need to burn my identity card just yet

I was so ashamed last time when Le Pen made the second round well I didn't vote so that was why. I felt it was my fault. But you have to understand when you have lived abroad for so long these things look so remote and at odds.

You must understand that I am also not big in politics - well more precisely - I don't have much confidence in the current class of politicians. Clearly having to choose between a corrupt man and a potential fascist was rather challenging . I suppose corrupt was better, at least he didn't burn the country funds on mammoth public project like his predecessor.

Maybe the new generation i.e. Sarkozy / Royal will do better. In any case with nearly 10% of unemployment my poor country need a miracle. Can Sarkozy / Royal change the situation? Have they got the guts to take decisions for the good of the country even against the electors opinions.

One thing for sure, I don't need to burn my identity card just yet, I might even renew it. As for coming back home, well not really. Why would anybody want to go back to a country in such a poor state! Sorry guys you have to wake up, you live in country frozen in history. Things have to change drastically, if not it is not going to go any better.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Technical Account Manager at BEA Systems

I have joined officially BEA Systems in mid-November as a Technical Account Manager.

As a TAM in BEA Systems, I am responsible for the success of our key customers, from small to the very large ones.

This exciting position entails providing guidance and advice on various technologies (BEA and non BEA), helping customers plan for the future, address technical issues and more generally supporting customers during pre and post deployment of the ALUI Interaction portal making sure they are completely happy and successful.

Check out my LinkedIn profile for more details.