Friday, June 19, 2009
Life 3.0 - The webpage lives on!
It was quite a shock to hear about the untimely and implausible passing of Dr. Rajeev Motwani. I cannot claim that he was my mentor, but I did meet him several times, had exchanged many emails with him, had coffee with him on University Avenue, was introduced to several people by him, and also presented once to his team at Stanford. He was always friendly, helpful and insightful. He'll be missed.
Over the past weeks since his passing, the Web has had an uncanny way of bringing him up! First, of course, all the Tweets and disbelief. Then the articles and blog posts. Then, when launching a search transliteration feature, I visited a Kannada website for testing, and his photograph featured on the front page! Searching in my personal email, emails from him surfaced. Saw a reference to Sergey Brin's blogpost at work today!
Visting his Facebook page, there were messages that were as recent as an hour old! Unfortunately, he was gone before he could sign up for his user-friendly URL.
The new Social Net doesn't even require anyone to validate posted messages on their pages - we can keep a conversation going right through his webpage!!
This is a new world, where your public legacy extends even beyond your contributions and accomplishments! Rajeev's Facebook profile, Randy Pausch's "Last Lecture", and Jim Gray's Wikipedia page ("born 1944, lost at sea January 28, 2007") are living entities!
What will your web page say about you when you aren't logging on anymore?
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Your thinking on this is a Tribute to Rajeev that's as original as only you could get.
Only the other day, long before I heard about this from my husband Vedant (Vedant Sampath, who was Mots' friend from UC Berkeley, wonder if you two know each other?), I told myself that I'd hate my FB account to be deactivated if I died. I'd want Vedant to impersonate me as my spirit. I'd want to have my friends make fun of me as they did when my status said I had the wine flu. I'd want my friends to continue to ask me for wine recommendations, which, I could truthfully assure them, would be heavenly:)
A very considered post on your part, Rajat.
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