December 2007

December 27th, 2007

Light Reading

For those of you who haven’t had enough to eat during this holiday season, here are a couple of interesting morsels to chew on…

My grandfather was a pediatrician, and, truth be told, he had pretty decent handwriting so I tended to scoff at that old cliche about doctors drafting indecipherable scrips. Well, he may have been an anomaly. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog had a post today about how more docs are admitting that their handwriting is a leading cause of medical miscommunication — according to a survey by health information company Thomson Healthcare.

If you believe men really are funnier than women (I’m not even going to offer an opinion on that one…) a UK researcher thinks he may have determined the reason why: testosterone. Thanks to KevinMD for bringing this one to light…

And finally, for those of you who have eight minutes to spare, here’s a really cool animated video of the inner life of a cell. (Thanks to Impactiviti.)

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December 21st, 2007

What do you know…

More and more people are Googling themselves — but most still don’t realize just how much of their personal information can be found online. According to a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 47% of internet users have searched their own name online, up from about 20% last year. But what was really intriguing was that 60 percent of internet users say they are not worried about how much of their data is available on the web. According to Pew, it could be that they are simply unaware.

*Roughly one third of internet users say the following pieces of information are available online: their email address, home address, home phone number or their employer.
*One quarter of internet users say a photo, names of groups they belong to, or things they have written that have their name on it appear online.
*Few internet users say their political affiliation, cell phone number, or video appear online.

As Fard JohnMar points out in a recent post, this ignorance should cause some people in the health industry to take pause — especially as more online tools become available for doctors and patients alike to share intensely personal information such as diagnoses, test results, medical histories and other health data.

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December 14th, 2007

Now – about that monkey…

By Marc

caves.jpg Ok, I know this has NOTHING to do with Johnson & Johnson, health care or the price of beans, but I just had to pass it along…

(For more on Johnson & Johnson’s operations in India, see my previous posts here and here…)

I had one day to myself in Mumbai before my flight home to New Jersey, and, after consulting a guidebook, I decided to visit Elephanta Island – which is a 45 minute journey by steamer from the Gateway to India in Mumbai.

Covered with a dense forest and devoid of any large scale modern construction, Elephanta Island was a welcome reprieve from the crowded and (thanks to the predilection of Mumbai taxi drivers to lean on their horns) noisy streets of Mumbai. Once off the boat, I took a short walk up about 200 stone steps to the site of ancient Hindu temples carved into the basalt rock that formed the island. A UNESCO site, the main temple “cave” is dedicated to Shiva, and includes magnificent tableaus depicting an assortment of tales about the diety.

A remarkable site – and well worth the 200 Rupee boat ride.

When leaving the cave, I noticed a family of monkeys sitting on a fence rail overlooking a ravine, and thought it would be a nice shot for my daughter.

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December 14th, 2007

More on India

By Marc

taj-hotel1.jpg As promised, here’s some more on Johnson & Johnson’s operations in India courtesy of my friend and colleague Anil – who was a terrific host, showing off the sites and flavors of Mumbai and introducing me to the wonderful spectacle of Bollywood. (I saw Om Shanti Om – and still can’t get the title song out of my head.)

We’ve all heard about how American companies are moving or beefing up operations in India as they aim to take advantage of India’s strong economic growth, rising incomes and favorable demographics. For some businesses, it is their first experience with sizable operations there.

But this isn’t the case for Johnson & Johnson – which can trace its roots in India back to 1947. Since then, the company’s operations have grown and broadened, encompassing not only consumer products, but prescription medicines, medical devices and diagnostic tools. In total, these businesses employ close to 2,000 people.

I don’t want to steal any thunder from Margaret’s Kilmer House blog, but to give some sense of the history of the Indian operations, here are a few key dates:

1948 – The company started marketing Johnson’s Baby Powder, which was manufactured by a local company, British Drug House, in Mumbai.

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December 10th, 2007

Impressions of India

By Marc

gateway.jpg Johnson & Johnson’s operations in India celebrated their 50th anniversary earlier this year. I know this because last week I was liberated from my office in New Brunswick and traveled to Mumbai where I met some of the people who manage the company’s businesses there.

It was an incredible trip. While there, I not only had some fascinating conversations with my colleagues, but also walked through the touristy section of Mumbai up to The Gateway of India, saw my first Bollywood film, and even got to visit the ancient Hindu cave temples on nearby Elephanta Island (Where I was attacked by a soft-drink loving monkey. Twice. However, that’s a story for another day…) But from the first morning that I gazed out over the city from the comfy confines of my hotel, it was clear to me that Mumbai is a city of great contrasts –the cityscape is dotted with modern tower blocks overshadowing aging and in some cases, crumbling, low-rise housing and grand yet faded buildings from India’s colonial past. As I learned more about India, I realized it too has many faces. While it is clearly a land of incredible opportunity, it also presents some significant challenges.

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December 4th, 2007

Looking Outside Our Own Backyard

This week, I enjoyed the chance to look outside our own “backyard” here at Johnson & Johnson and see what other companies are doing in the social media space. I attended a conference called “Convergence 2007 – The Future of Advertising, Communications & Media” in New York City and heard from some similar companies in the consumer space: Toyota and McDonald’s.

Bruce Ertmann, corporate manager of Consumer Generated Media (CGM) from Toyota Motor Sales, USA, walked through how the company’s move into CGM began about 18 months ago. Toyota didn’t have its own turf in the blogosphere, but knew it was a space it needed to address. The company initially jumped into the mix on other third-party sites like and AutoBlog when its 2007 Toyota Camry encountered some transmission problems and the company wanted to respond in a simple, transparent way. Such monitoring and responding has continued.

Success won Bruce more support and this June Toyota unveiled their own Open Road blog. Here’s a note from Bruce’s initial post:

So whatever we want to call this rapidly expanding consumer-generated media, it’s all about the conversation along the open road, it’s about listening to those who think your products rock as well as those who think they stink.

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