Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Digital Efforts Have To Be About Transforming NYC Into A Small Town

I don't know Kirk Love. I have never met Kirk Love, although I hope to some day. The guy shows up in my Gchat window on and off, and it is because one day I pitched him to come in as an angle investor. Why not? He said, no thank you, I can't, but nice meeting you too. (The Google/Facebook Of Microfinance, My BusiCopy Cofounder Anuj Bikram Thapa)

I started following him on Tumblr because he was on David Noel's list of people to follow. David Noel is out of Berlin. (My Tumblr Just Got An Upgrade) Just from following Kirk on Tumblr I had seen many, many pictures of his wife.

Lilian Riveros met Kirk on an online dating site. Apparently they clicked enough when they met in person to end up married. Lilian is a New Yorker, of course, a Paraguay native.

One day I saw Lilian at a microfinance event put together by Women Advancing Microfinance, WAM, for short.

I recognized her right away. Like right away. How do you look at someone who you have seen many, many times? I gave her that familiar look. She must have sensed it. She walked right over to me. And we made small talk.

"I follow your husband on Tumblr," I said.

Tumblr had turned New York City into a small town for me. That story of meeting Lilian in person captures it for me. Digital media has to turn this big city into a small town. And most of that is about how the city citizens will use social media in their personal lives.

For the first few years of my life I grew up in this village in southeast Nepal in a family that was called the Gandhi family of the village. (How My Grandfather Became Mayor The First Time) One morning in my teens home for vacation from the capital city I woke up realizing I had diarrhoea. Less than an hour later when I walked over to the part of the village where the teashops were, I had this elderly person ask me, "So how is your diarrhoea? Are you feeling better now?" I was taken. How did the news travel?

That is my idea of a small town feeling.

Roadmap For Digital New York City

Moral of the story: online dating works.
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