Start A Blog

I sound like I’m from 2004, but start a blog! Loren Feldman, who usually goofs on Silicon Valley, makes an excellent speech why you should start a blog. In the world of social networks, blogs are the decentralized form of them. Be passionate about what you write and people will discover you. Even if no one visits your site, at least you’ll get practice writing.

Join A Group and Meet Someone New

Yesterday, I wrote a post about unconventional method of sharing ideas. My idea was about building a better way to meet someone new. It has actually sparked some interest, so I’m excited. Just the fact that people are reaching out means that there is a demand to talk to someone you’ve never met offline.

Similarly, my friends over at MyMomIsAFob are trying doing the same, by making wiki’s with the good ol’ pbwiki. I like their initiative so I figured I’d help spread the word.

The first one is College Tweetup. This is a list of people on twitter and which colleges they go to. Tired of A-list bloggers not responding to your tweets? Twitter is much more fun when you can find someone who actually replies to your replies. Moreover, I think twitter is more meaningful when you actually have some information about the person’s background. Like I said before, Facebook is not really a good place to meet new people, at least for the way the young people use it. However, Silicon Valley folks seem to use it like teens use MySpace, add everyone. Anyways, follow a fellow college student or add yourself on the list.

Cal Startups is the second wiki, aimed to connect Berkeley students who interested in finding other entrepreneurs. The general consensus is that the campus is too big, and it’s hard to meet others. Let’s get the programmers and UI designers together, and make something happen.

Well, that is all. Goal of the day: talk to a stranger.

Meeting, Not Networking

One of the things I’ve always liked doing is meeting people. I’m not talking about meeting people in the sense of specifically networking. While there are huge benefits to networking, people start picking and choosing who they want to talk to – the ones with the most economical value. Instead, I’m just simply talking about meeting people you normally don’t.

Growing up in a middle-class family and attending the so-called “good” schools, I realized that most people, while different, were largely the same. Prestigious university pride themselves of diversity, but at the end of the day, most people in your class come from similar background and strive for the same corporate future. We talk like each other and act like each other. My view of the world was largely confined to students like me. The older I become, the harder it is for me to relate to others. Or in other words, I really don’t know much.

Many of college graduates are trained to become excellent blue-chip workers. We have trouble understanding people who don’t follow our paths. We live inside a little bubble. We don’t understand the lives of people who become plumbers or people who try to start a local restaurant.

In the world of entrepreneurship, the community is a little more diverse. There is the college dropout, as well as the blue-chip professionals. There are young entrepreneurs as well as more seasoned professionals. Unlike the narrow path of education I was brought up with, there are multiple ways of achieve your goals. I think that getting to know people around you will better help you understand what you are trying to achieve.

Go out and meet people. Maybe you will realize the path you were on isn’t exactly what you wanted. Or maybe it is. Either way, you discover a little more about the world and how to live life.

SoCal Earthquake, Twitter and the Portability of Communication Mediums

Twitter and SoCal Earthquake

The 5.4 magnitude earthquake that struck near Los Angeles is old news now. However, after reading articles about twitter’s ability to break news fast, I realized the importance of having multiple communication mediums. Sometimes, it seems like having a phone, blog, AIM, Twitter, and Facebook seem overly redundant, but redundancy is all too important in times of crisis.

As you probably know from my previous post, my cell phone broke yesterday, thus, losing my entire phonebook in the process. Being the great son that I am, I did not memorize my parent’s cell phone numbers. So, after I heard about the earthquake, I wanted to call them. I called the home phone (the only number I memorized); no one picked up. I could not reach them. Even though the earthquake was only 5.4, I started to worry.

So, I turned to my next sources. Email. I tried searching through if I recorded a cell phone number, nope. AIM. My parents don’t use instant messaging, so that was useless. Facebook. Again, parents don’t use facebook; however, I messaged my brother to ask for the number. If he’s anything like me, then he probably won’t receive or respond to my message for a few hours. Skype. I rarely use. Twitter and blogs. Yea right. Eventually, I was able to contact my aunt, who told me everything was alright.

Good thing I had all those sources to turn to. However, most these communication mediums are mutually exclusive. While this isn’t bad, things would have been a lot different if some of these communication devices were directly intertwined. For example, what if my mom had her cell phone stored at some central location, and I can contact her through many services, such as AIM, Facebook, or VOIP. Okay, some of these services already support that. For example, you can send some a text message through email. However, it’s such a hassle! No one uses it because it’s not easy to use. It does not make sense; it’s broken.

I want a solution that makes communication portability dead simple. Easy enough for my parents (very computer illiterate) to use. Any ideas?