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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Plea for help from young sci-fi fans

Today I sent this email to the Columbia University Science Fiction Society:

Hi Sci fi peeps, I'm one of the founders of, the Columbia University Listing of Professor Ability. If you have a sec, I'd like to ask for a bit of your time to help me in my new effort to improve students' lives. I'm trying to invent the future here, and I figure sci fi-loving students are great people to ask about it!

I've been involved with a couple of startups over the years. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... and I'm working on one now related to rapid communication -- trying to explore the world of social media messages that is changing so fast.

Can any young people (I'm an ancient 34 years old) tell me about what students are using to communicate these days?

If it would be easier to tell me this on the phone, please call me at the number below or email or text me your number and a time to call you. 

(If you want some free drinks, I'll pick up your tab if you'll answer my questions about how young people are using tech!) 

I've had lots of fun with Facebook over the years, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that there's one all-powerful platform controlling everything.

What newish apps are you using?

What do you do on your phone in a boring lecture? What do you do on your laptop during a boring lecture? Do you even have your laptop? 

Do you take notes on your phone in class? Do you write notes in pen and scan them at all? 

Do you do anything to digitally collect highlights or page references in the course of reading and studying? 

He who collects your tagged notes owns the universe... so, you use any info collection apps like evernote? 

What dating apps are people using? How do you avoid everyone you know being up in each other's business? 

Hope someone is interested in talking! Tech innovation itself can only take me so far -- at the end of the day, after all, these networks are made out of people!

[phone number redacted]

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