Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Amit, Super Swabbed

Mike Bloomberg, Amit Gupta

I showed up at the New Work City space in Chinatown on time - 9:30 PM. And I left past midnight. The people who were doing the swab thing were busy the entire time I was there.

Events: Week Of October 10

The first person I met was Nick Gray. Nick Gray! This was my first time meeting Nick Gray in person. This is quite an amazing person. At times it can feel like this dude is a mutual friend to everybody who is somebody in the New York tech ecosystem. If Nick Gray did not exist, the New York tech ecosystem might have to create one. He is one of those people.

"Oh my God, Oh my God, it's Nick Gray!" I said. He was out on the sidewalk eagerly waiting for people to show. The venue was one floor up. This dude was so feeling it.

Nick Gray: Bollywood Moves (2)
Nick Gray: Bollywood Moves
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BollyBrook Says Hello

I was born Indian. Nick Gray chose to be Indian. We are both Indian through and through.

He was in a somber mood. I tried to cheer him up.

"It is good to see you too, Paramendra," he said simply.

The Huffington Post: Help Amit Gupta: $30,000 Reward Offered For Bone Marrow Match

This whole thing has been an amazing social media success story. But it has also shown social media can be an echo chamber.

There are enough brown folks in New York City and in New Jersey to find a match for Amit Gupta. And there are enough mass based Desi/South Asian organizations in New York City and New Jersey to push the number into thousands, tens of thousands.

The tech crowd is only managing hundreds, and that is not good enough. But it is managing to raise thousands of dollars, and that is great.

The swab thing is so, so super easy.

How much time do we got? It is a race against time, right? It is time to go past social media. Keep using it, but now use it primarily to raise money. I guess there are costs involved to do the swab thing.

Now we have to treat it like a political campaign. We have to start making phone calls. We have to start knocking on doors in the right neighborhoods. We have to reach out to mass based South Asian organizations in the region. They might not know Amit, but they don't have to. Every person who swabs and is not a match is a potential match to some other member of the South Asian community down the line. That not Amit angle is the one we have to push now.

Raise money among the tech, social media, smartphone crowd. Reach out to the non digital, non social media, non smartphone crowd for a potential match. We should be able to organize some events by next weekend.

I want to reach out to people like Nick Gray and Tony Bacigalupo to see if I can get a little more involved.

It can not be all that hard. Google up "South Asian organizations in New York City, New Jersey" and start building a list of people to call up, office holders of the top organizations.

If there was a match somewhere in the tech/digital crowd, we would have found it already. It is time to reach out to the true grassroots. We are not it.
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