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I agree with you Denise. There is a great need for steady employment among women in the US. Peggy (the trainee) has put together some information on womens employment on the Research page on this wiki. She also found some interesting information on co-ops on the same page. I would like to find out where we could find the data entry contracts that you mentioned. I think that would be the perfect starting point for VAs in training. I am wondering too whether we should separate wikis for Global and US GVANs. It might make sense for planning purposes. There is a lot of planning that would need to go into the US organization.
I would like to see the US GVAN as a nonprofit with a social entrepreneurship outlook. I can see it having great success in CT, with great national potential.

Great ideas by Andrea OkrentowichAndrea Okrentowich, 22 Feb 2009 17:37

After looking at the GVAN wiki, what are your thoughts?

I changed the side pannel. we can also add more links later.


I need to know if I can change these items into idividual pages and links:


Source for Change and Source for Change
Case Study
Amul Model
Virtual Assistant Stories
A Bit of Traction for Rural Indian BPO and GramIT:The Rural BPO—initiative towards the transformation of Rural Indian Economy
Why Virtual Assisting? blog by Andrea Okrentowich of Creative Nonprofit Solutions
Americans want to keep jobs in America and Should Technology Vendors Be Included? questions posed by Anil Srivastava

Homecare could be a huge opportunity. The innovation in technology makes possible homecare for the elderly and chronic patient. Buddibot is developing many innovative remote monitoring applications. Read Genesis of Buddibot.
Google can be a great resource for VAs and possibly a strategic partner/investor in GVAN provided we can show what's in it for Google?
The question of financing of GVAN is uppermost in our minds. Inclusive capitalism seems like a possible model. In this context Fabindia model would be of interest.
Shimon Teller questions on satellite connections for GVAN.
Virtual Assistant Directory (VAD) is an useful way of creating profiles of virtual assistants and the service they provide.

I need a picture of the world, ppreferraly one which represents unity among countries, such as hands holding around the world or people from different countries standing on the world. Something like that. The problem is all the free photos I have found have the logo of the picture company on it. Do you know where I can find free pics without logos, or do you have a photo that is accessable?


I would also like to change the main page by turning the topics that are related into their own page. Such as the items under Noteworthy. That way things are much more organized. Once the pages are in place we can make links to these pages from the main page.


I agree, I will take care of the pictures and work on a possible logo. I look forward to seeing the changes that you create.


I like the idea of adding pictures and logo on GVAN wiki. I will update the left menu and will
get back to you.


These are very good questions. I think we need to focus on collaborating with various potential clients that could be providers. Maybe create a database which will then allow us to match them with VAs. Also once GVAN is up and running we can create a database of available VAs and their respective niches - such as healthcare etc.

I completely agree. We need to create a logo, which has not been discussed as of yet - as far as I know. I was thinking we could add some generic VA pictures - such as the ones on my website Creative Nonprofit Solutions How do we go about changing the formatting of the left panel?


Anil and Andrea: i think the following changes need to be done for improving the GVAN
1) Remove the left panel to make the main window frame bigger and with less confusion due
to the options on left panel
2) Add our own options on a smaller left panel that consist of GVAN related pages, and the top
menu bar for tools related to GVAN website such as forums, blogs, etc
3)Add images, graphics and logos to make it look better
4) anything else?

When I first read the GVAN paper I was excited. Here was an idea that could truly build a value chain and create opportunities at all points in the chain. We need to flesh out the points, the various opportunities and value propositions, some SOP's and Quality assurance mechanisms and then take the idea out for a trial run. (I like to be able to test ideas in the real world). So some conversation starters:

1. Who's got the work? Will GVAN host a central database of jobs and "farm" them out?
2. Who's going to do the work? ( How many levels of VA's can GVAN Support?)
3. Who's going to ensure quality? Do we any successful models that we can emulate/fine tune?
4. Who gets paid what? How does the money flow? Who controls the money? How do we ensure transparency?
5. How do we include the bottom 4 billion ( 50% of them are women)

It is important to think provocatively to help us generate ideas. In that spirit let me offer up a definition of a Virtual Assistant:

A VA GOES where no person has gone before regardless of distance and time zone.

How? with good intentions by cramming the intentions into bits and manifesting
them in distant physical location(s)

In this process, may stumble, trip, do just right, exceed or fall short much like Physical Assistants do in real life.

The stumbles, trips and such are often offset by the far reaching reach :-)

Technology is ever changing, VAs must stay knowledgable about the most advanced technology available. It is for this reason that GVAN should look into becoming affiliates with technology companies, such as openoffice and microsoft. These are also companies that could sponsor the start of GVAN and could be potential funders.

One idea that I had is to implement subcontracting. Many times in the VA practice, owners of a VA practice will subcontract work to other VAs. I myself am a subcontractor for other VAs. What we do is network with VAs in other niches; for example one VA will specialize in Administrative services, where another will do transcription work. When a client of the administrative VA needs transcription work, the VA will subcontract that work to the transcriptionist VA for a percentage of the price. In most cases, the subcontracted VA will make a hire percentage.
If we were to implement such a system, American VAs could accept jobs, possibly ones outside their niche and then subcontract to VAs in India, that way everyone is making money.

The purpose of this Wiki is to bring together a community of practice around the GVAN background document and resulting from the review further develop the idea for implementation bringing together all those individuals and institutions who would like to contribute to the planning and/or participate in the implementation.

There are many ideas that went into GVAN over the years. Starting with a simple notion of providing gainful employment to women working at the edge of the network to the need for societal applications of information and communication technologies (ICT).

We hope that your participation would take GVAN forward to many implementations in many different settings.

Anil Srivastava

Why this Wiki? by Anil SrivastavaAnil Srivastava, 03 Oct 2008 18:35
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