Sunday, November 9, 2008

Why Do Indians Get Boned For Green Crads

Dear President Elect Obama,

A few days ago, the latest status report from the INS came out. If a person from India, qualified with *at least* a Masters Degree or equivalent work experience (around 2+ years) applied for a Green Card in June 2003 they are now eligible to get it. This means that they would have been waiting in line, patiently, for almost 6 years, chained to their current employer, fearful of getting fired or doing something wrong and losing their job, because then the wait resets!

In comparison, if you are a European with equivalent experience, you get your Green Card right away. If you are a less qualified European, you would have had to apply in May 2005, almost two years later! Finally, if you are an unskilled European, you are at about the same place as a highly qualified Indian.

And here's the kicker: Most of these Indians with Masters Degrees got them from US Universities. If you kick us out, or force us to leave because bonding ourselves to the same employer for 6 years can get a bit stifling, you will lose US educated and trained talent. From whatever angle you look at this conundrun, it doesn't seem to make sense. The only reason I can think of is that the INS is prioritizing Europeans over Indians and Chinese, and the only reason you can think about for doing this, is because the INS is trying to maintain some sort of racial equity in the makeup of immigrants to the US, an equity in which Europeans are more equal than Indians or Chinese.

As a President, you will, hopefully, have the opportunity to fix this. Please do. Giving us Green Cards can only help the US as we start companies and employ people (usually US citizens) - note that we can't start companies on H1-B visas. It would be nice to be free of the INS bogeyman and feel welcomed into this country.

Even John Doerr seems to agree

Thank you,
Rushabh Doshi

Friday, November 7, 2008

America 2.0

Numerous articles have been written about how Obama's victory was a victory of the Internet as a medium for reaching out to people. Elections in this country (and thus slowly around the world) are never going to be the same again. Three things, in decreasing order of impact, but increasing order of coolness:
1. YouTube: Obama's campaign used YouTube very effectively - diligently posting every single video out there for people to watch on YT. They have gotten ridiculous numbers of views on these videos, never mind all the auxilliary videos that other people made about campaign or parts thereof or Change - all basically selling the Obama brand. The numbers on his YouTube page are absolutely astounding. 1.2M views, 2.3M views - absolutely nuts. YouTube's importance as a medium for communication, (mostly) without restriction, and its gobal reach can only make this an even more important medium in the future.
(Full Disclosure: I work at Google on YouTube, but these opinions are mine and do not represent the views of Google or any of its subsidiaries or employees (other than me))
2. Twitter: Obama's twitter updates were good, but not great. They were more propogandaish and less extemporaneous, the way the rest of the world uses twitter. I think by 2012 campaigns will have fully figured out how to make use of twitter and we will see a *lot* more tweeting going on. In case you missed out, some of the best election time comedy was played out on twitter via FakeJohnMcCain and FakeSarahPalin.
3. Flickr: I only found out about Obama's flickr page today, and its fabulous. The pictures on flickr are so "in-the-moment", its unbelievable. If you wanted to show the "human" side of Obama (not that he has any trouble with image-management), that flickr site is all you would need to point people at. I can only imagine that someone like Flickr will grow as a medium for pictures that are not official and are not shot by professionals at Time and other places.

Technology, or rather, the Internet, has forever changed the way elections are run; the way campaigns get the word out to people.; the way money is raised. I truly appreciate how much the Obama campaign "gets it" as far as tech is concerned. Case in point: is up and its barely two days after election night. This is truly government that moves at Internet speeds. I can't wait for January. I truly hope that Obama makes good on his promise to open up Government and bring the best of the Internet - openness, speed, flexibility, instant communication and response - to Washington. This really is America 2.0.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Sold on pingg

I used to host my election night party - send out
invites, manage the lists, you know, the usual sort of thing that one
does while hosting parties.

Pingg is *excellent*. Goodbye evite. I have wanted to kick evite to
the curb for sooo long, I'm ecstatic that I'm finally able to do so.
Pingg provides an unparalelled dashboard to see what the current
status of all the attendees is, manage things like sending reminders
and such. It is very, very usable - about the only quirk was not being
able to easily import my address books from gmail - I used their
import feature, but it could use some work. Other than that, it was
absolutely fabulous.

Party Throwers Unite!!! Ditch stupid evite for pingg.