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January 15, 2008

Blogging Means Business

Glenn Hubbard
Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics
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Welcome to Public Offering, the Columbia Business School blog!

The World Wide Web has evolved at such a tremendous pace, often in utterly surprising ways — it is hard to believe that just 10 years ago no one had yet used “google” as a verb, sent an email invitation to another person requesting declaration of their friendship to the world, or even remotely considered penning a Wikipedia entry. And yet, up to now there have been very few academic institutions to embrace tools like blogs and user-generated content to support and further their work. And I don’t just mean message boards and online course discussions, but a true communication medium that draws upon a community’s knowledge and ideas in order to stimulate thought.

I am proud that Columbia Business School is using technology to foster exchange in our community, which includes students, faculty members, and alumni in every part of the world. Moreover, it is my hope and expectation that this blog will eventually grow to serve the wider business community.

The Web is now designed and produced by all of us. YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter — they are all platforms for you to exchange ideas and to build your personal and professional network. Think of this blog as a resource for topical, relevant business information and commentary — another tool in your arsenal as you do business.

Glenn Hubbard
Dean and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics


by Tim | January 15, 2008 at 9:54 AM

I'd like to be one of the first to congratulate Columbia Business School on the milestone of being one of the first major educational institutions to embrace technology as a way to reach out to the local and international community. As a prospective 2009 MBA candidate, I look forward to starting my Columbia experience early through the information and community spirit this endeavor will accomplish. Having lived most of my working life as an expat in some of what could be called the more 'technologically challenged' parts of the world, I've successfully used blogs as a means to find my way - and find friends - in the local community. Sometimes more importantly, blogs also prove to be an invaluable source of information for the world outside the closed and often secretive society I'm currently in. Good luck with this timely and valuable initiative.

by Rajeev Kohli | January 15, 2008 at 11:59 AM

This is a wonderful initiative. Universities are in the business of knowledge creation and dissemination, in the market of ideas and opinions. Efforts like these --- blogs, wikis, and open course initiatives like those at MIT --- can shift dialog and ideas in education to yet another level. I am truly delighted.

by Doug Cress | January 15, 2008 at 9:59 AM

Hi Glenn. The web certainly has the potential to facilitate more personalized interaction. Its something I've seen transform media -- it's good to see businesses (and the University) emphasize a similar approach. Look forward to seeing how this blog evolves.

by Ben Rosen | January 15, 2008 at 3:02 PM

Terrific redesign and rethinking of what the Web can do for the school and all its constituencies. I look forward to further enhancements. Ben

by Osifo Akhuemonkhan | January 15, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Congratulations to you Dean Hubbard and the Columbia Business school for your innovation in business education. Once again Columbia Business School under your direction has shown that it can talk the talk and walk the walk in terms of identifying and capturing opportunities. Providing a means of interaction between the business school community at Columbia and the rest of the world will keep Columbia a step ahead of its peers. I look forward to exploring Public Offering and being an active participant in its discussions.

by Joaquin Grech | January 15, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Great initiative. This adds Columbia to the list of universities to promote an open platform for dialog. I would also like to add my vote to Rajeev Kohli's comment. The open course initiative at MIT caught my attention several years ago and it's definitely something to learn from. Excellent work and I predict a successful future for this site.

by Shuiyuan Luo | January 15, 2008 at 4:57 PM

Congratulations on the innovative way to bring together the CBS global community for a greater future! I look forward to being a participant and perspective leader in the growth of the CBS's Public Offering.

by paul chiu '94 | January 15, 2008 at 6:15 PM

great dean hubbard. in this all electronic world, can anyone do anything without the web anymore? look forward to contributing.... in the meantime, my blog's at: http://chiuindex.blogspot.com/

by selden | January 15, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Late is better than never. Columbia may think it is first, but only in the context of those at the back of the pack in terms of adopting new technology. Blogging is 4 years old. I guess if you are far enough behind, you think you are ahead.

by Octavio Villegas, 77 Toronto, Canada | January 15, 2008 at 7:20 PM

Very well surprised today with this new CBS tool that makes feel us as just one step apart.

by Eric Gebaide '96 | January 16, 2008 at 1:12 AM

Congratulations Dean Hubbard. You may remember, or could ask Safwan, that back in 1995, the newly formed Internet Business Group also made CBS the first B-school in the country to host a conference on the nascent Internet with over 400 in attendance from all over the country. The school wasn't as supportive then as it could have been, but its wonderful to see it trying to get in front of the wave again. Go team go!

by Ahmer Zahid | January 16, 2008 at 3:02 AM

To me this comes in continuation of Dean Hubbard?s speech on changing business world of 21st century. Columbia Business School makes an innovation here in exploring and materializing opportunities that promote knowledge economy- a major driving factor in global business, today. It highlights the role media can play in polishing interpersonal and communications skills, enhancing our expertise in multidisciplinary aspects of business landscape. I look forward to actively participate at this platform.

by JF Menu | January 16, 2008 at 5:24 AM

A grand bravo for such an enlightened and forward looking initiative. It will greatly reinforce the ties between the school and its alumni.

by Judy Udeze | January 16, 2008 at 6:08 AM

I must join Ahmer Zahid in commenting on your speech about the 21st century MBA. It was an insightful and challenging speech. I had the wonderful opportunity to read it being a 2010 Columbia MBA hopeful. This blog, I believe will draw people of like minds together to discuss matters that are both unique and thought-provoking. As a blogger, I look forward to visiting regularly and sharing my experiences with the world.

by Thomas McLaughlin | January 16, 2008 at 9:17 AM

Congrats to Prof Hubbard and those who've worked hard to launch this, but a contrarian view's required if this little venture is to bring the web's astronomical noise-to-signal ratio a bit closer to earth. Along with an explosion in information, blogs, Google, Spacebook etc have created a tsunami of nonsense and BS. The consequences for society have been at least as malign as they are positive. By transferring massive advertising wealth from quality media to Google, this brave new world has given our democracy a sharp decline in investigative reporting, foreign reporting and quality news reporting overall. Political discussion on the web is a swamp of tribalism and witch hunts in which the smirk 'n' sneer mode of discourse reigns, the first straw is always the last straw, and fringe political candidates fueled by conspiracy theorists can vault to the top of the fundraising league tables overnight. The main reason for this mess is that and popularity-based search algorithms and a million online Hyde Park Speaker's Corner platforms are useless when it comes to selecting and serving any kind of unstructured data that requires a large degree of judgment: not just political info but also info on health and medicine, economics, child development, etc. In other words, Google's fine for telling you a local pediatrician's office hours but useless in helping you find a good pediatrician. Blogs may lead you toward insight, but you have to navigate oceans of crap and nonsense to reach it. For this GSB venture to add real value, instead of adding yet more noise to a web that's already noisier than the runway at JFK, it will need to devise how to use social filtering and collaboration techniques to serve up relevant and insightful information.

by jon shrair | January 16, 2008 at 11:29 AM

Dean Hubbard: Congratulations on this terrific initiative. I know that it has been in the works for a long time but I'm sure you and the school will soon reap the benefits of your actions. Columbia Business School is a wonderfully special place, and this effort shoulodgo far in helping to establish it as such. Happy New Year!

by Ed Saphar | January 16, 2008 at 1:16 PM

Tom McLaughlin's comments vividly serve to point out the problems our new communication freedom has yet to solve. Yet having this medium to share his thoughts with such clarity is also an example of the value this "brave new world" of the internet has in advancing the dialog of responsible thought and ideas. My congratulations to Dean Hubbard and all at Columbia B-school for this initiative. Now it will be up to us who use it, to contribute responsibly.

by Leon Winer | January 16, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Good idea. Should provide a means of exchanging ideas, successful business practices, discoveries and other wonderful things.

by John Paul (Seung Bo) Lee | January 17, 2008 at 5:50 AM

Congratulations to Columbia for taking the initiative to creating this. It provides a terrific opportunity for people from all over the world (like me in Seoul) to gain insight on various topics, and interact with the global Columbia community. I'm also an applicant for the Class of 2010, and during my research and school visit, I heard many times that the entrepreneurial spirit was everywhere at Columbia. I guess 'Public Offering' proves that it is indeed true. I hope I'll be able to join the other applicants above in gaining the chance to experience Columbia first-hand starting this fall.

by R. Glenn Hubbard | January 23, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Thanks to everyone for chiming in. All of the comments have been great. I like what Ed Saphar wrote: "Now it will be up to us who use it, to contribute responsibly." It was important to me to have a blog where readers could leave comments, since the benefits of providing a platform for productive dialogue about big issues outweighed any of our reservations about potential flame wars. (We also have a delete button.) Always great to hear from electronics pioneer Ben Rosen: "Terrific redesign and rethinking of what the Web can do for the school and all its constituencies." I couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement! And from CBS Professor Rajeev Kohli: “Universities are in the business of knowledge creation and dissemination, in the market of ideas and opinions. Efforts like these—blogs, wikis, and open course initiatives like those at MIT—can shift dialog and ideas in education to yet another level.” I also love this comment by Paul Chiu '94: "Can anyone do anything without the web anymore?" Time will tell on that one. All the best, Glenn

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