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On-line Marketing and Management since 1991
Interests: Sailboat racing, bridge.
Recent Activity
We were down for 2.75 days. Our Amazon hosting team told us next to nothing about what was happening or if it was going to be fixed. We had no idea when or if our site would be available. Without this information, we could not decide whether or not to try to restore from our backups and then try to recreate and reload several days of data. This event will most likely hurt Amazon's reputation in the cloud serving area for quite a while. Fortunately, we did not lose any data and the outage occurred during what in the US is a holiday weekend (Easter). We apologize to our users--who were very patient. We thought we were well covered for most types of problems. The past few days have given us new ideas on how to better back ourselves up and increase our reliability. We owe a public thank you to our tech team--who did all they could to restore service. We probably also owe thanks to the team at Amazon who finally fixed the problem. I suspect they experienced as much anxiety and stress as we did, during this event.
Our Amazon's cloud service has now been out more than 36 hours. During this period, our site has been down (and our blog takes a long time to respond). We have done all we can to fix the problem--it is entirely out of our control. Amazon has been poor about responding to our requests for help and has not communicated when we can expect a resolution of the problem. As a result, we are stuck waiting for them to fix things. Cloud serving is a generally good thing. It reduces the cost and environmental impact of using server computers and normally provides superior performance and up time. We have used cloud support since we first launched our company, three years ago. This is the first time we have had this type of problem. We will need to evaluate other sources for our hosting and we may need to distribute our... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at CSRHUB
Thanks for the useful link. Re good & evil. Nice people--folks with good hearts and great intentions--can have diametric views of what is right and wrong. I don't think a site like CSRHUB should preach a perspective and pass judgment. Instead, we should provide data, encourage transparency, and promote discussion. That is why we built user-based profiles into our site. Each company's rating gets adjusted to fit our users' ethics and standards. This clarifies the basis for value labels like evil and good--and allows our users to understand some of that complex mix you describe.
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2011 on Avoiding the Cowardice of Groupthink at CSRHUB
We recently offered ratings data from our CSRHUB CSR ratings tool on which countries have the most socially-responsible and sustainability-oriented companies. I thought I’d carry this analysis a step further, and see how company CSR scores in the US varied by state. While the scores vary, there is no clear connection between CSR scores and the social condition of states. We hope this may change as we get more data on smaller companies. Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2010 at CSRHUB
It is easier not to report, not to examine one’s own prejudices and practices, and not to state one’s views publicly. However, the issues addressed by the B Corp process—and by the whole area of CSR and sustainability practice and theory—can’t be avoided. We are part of a community that intends to change the world and we need to show that we have whole-hearted dedication to our cause. How could we or any other business who believes as we do, not want to engage in this process? Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2010 at CSRHUB
Want to know how your company’s social performance compares to that of its closest competitor? It can be hard to get even a general idea, without a lot of digging. The good news is that there is a lot of data available. The bad news is that the sources are scattered and they use a lot of acronyms and jargon. We appreciate the hard-working people who ask tough questions of companies to get us this data. It is better to have crowds of ratings than to stand alone. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2010 at CSRHUB
What if the Chief Technology Officers of leading global technology companies turned their attention to solving climate change? That’s exactly what they did at the FiReGlobal conference in Seattle several weeks ago, which I attended to hear several of these technologists address “the most critical problem facing the planet – the climate catastrophe”, and offer solutions. Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2010 at CSRHUB
When people find out I am involved in a site that tracks Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ratings, their first question is generally, “Who is the top company in CSR?” I believe that CSR and sustainability measurement cannot be done without an understanding of the bias of the person who is doing the measurement. When you use our system create your own profile (you need to register first, but that is free), you get to see who your top five companies are. You also get a new form of transparency and an easy way to exchange and compare your views with others. After all, we may not all agree on what is “right,” but we should at least know why our viewpoints differ. Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2010 at CSRHUB
In what could be climate justice's first legal case to proceed to the circuit courts, the plaintiffs are using the same argument that worked against the tobacco companies, conspiring to spread false scientific information, against some of the nation’s largest producers of oil, gas, and electric power. The Native Alaskan Community Kivalina is built on melting permafrost and its 400 members and 107 buildings have to be relocated, at a cost of $95-400 million. The fact that the case has proceeded so far is yet another validation that that CSR factors — E, S and G — are inextricably linked. Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2010 at CSRHUB
Do companies lead countries towards Social Development? Should there be a connection between data sets such as the UN Human Development Index and CSRHUB's ? One could hypothesize either that countries with a good HDI score produce socially positive companies or that socially positive companies help foster a business climate in their countries that addresses human development. Either way, we could see a correlation between our average Community rating (which contains information about community development, philanthropy, human rights, supply chain issues, and product quality) and the HDI. If companies follow the standards of their country—and improve as their countries improve—we should see the gap between the HDI score and our score close up, over time. If countries follow the example set by their leading companies, we might see company scores continue to improve and the HDI/CSRHUB Community score gap stay the same. We will try to revisit this analysis a year from now, and see how things have changed. Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2010 at CSRHUB
Names have important foundational significance, and like many (all?) startups, Bahar, Stephen and I agonized over our name, and bought numerous URLs. We actually began our business as EkoHub. Recently my partners at EKOS and I did a quick study of the names of CSR reports in the Fortune 100. Of 63 reports, about 49% are referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility or Corporate Responsibility, and 30% are called Sustainability reports (with many derivations on these terms). So for now, we’re betting on CSRHUB rather than EkoHub, and moving forward as a hub for CSR ratings and information. Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2010 at CSRHUB
Can businesses maximize both their profits and the social benefits they create? Or, do economic and social profits compete with one another? 100+ years of literature and lore have trained us to believe that businesses can’t optimize both their profits and their social benefits. However, a number of people seem to believe that this paradigm can be broken and businesses can start to operate in a "virtuous quadrant." Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2010 at CSRHUB
The GIBN folks are taking their Solution Labs program to a number of locations. If you are interested in CSR and sustainability, you should consider joining a session and contributing your ideas. I know they would welcome your participation, and we’ll benefit from the information they capture and disseminate via their Wiki. Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2010 at CSRHUB
Bahar Gidwani is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
After two years of hard work, we launched CSRHUB's alpha site this week. There are pages on the site that talk about us, about our data sources, and about how we build our database and set up our "schema." However, these pages probably don't give you a sense of what we want to accomplish. We like the idea that we can help offset the power of corporations and their ability to command attention from media and investors, with a transparent, easy-to-use information hub. We hope you will tell us more about what you would like us to do and what you feel we should not try to do, as we move forward, together. Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2009 at CSRHUB