My relationship with Yuvi

I’ve had a lot of people ask today how I am involved with Yuvi, the blog – stat Analyst Superhero 🙂

I “met” Yuvi some time ago, when he was looking for a digital camera.  I gave him money so he could get one.  I thought that would be that, and Yuvi would go on to take pictures, and show others his world.  I expected my relationship with Yuvi to end there.  I had gotten lucky in a poker game, and I shared some of my winnings.  It was that simple.

But Yuvi started posting comments on my blog, and we started chatting on IM.  I realized what an interesting person he was – and I wanted to keep in contact with him.   I love smart people, and Yuvi is smart people.

Yuvi is 16, and I am almost 46.  It’s a seemingly odd relationship – unless you spend a lot of time in Internet relationships.  Yuvi and I have never met, but that doesn’t keep us from being friends, chatting a lot on MSN Live Messenger, and basically sharing our daily activities.  We were brought together by a love of curiosity.  By wondering the “what” and the “why” of things.  I have a lot of iFriends – people I know only through online interactions.  Yuvi is one of them.

In any case, we became friends.  We actually know each other well enough that I can often predict what Yuvi is going to type next – enough so that in his Engadget post he calls me the “Psychic Mind Reader”.  I don’t read minds.  I do know people though.  And I’ve come to know Yuvi pretty well – to my benefit!

So one day Yuvi was describing to me this desire to do an in-depth analysis of Engadget.  Almost immediately I realized the barriers he had for completing this – Yuvi is on dial-up – with a limited monthly bandwidth. Engadget is a HUGE blog – the largest in the world, perhaps.  Yuvi needed infrastructure.  Yuvi needed help.  Before he asked for it, I offered it – it wouldn’t cost me anything, and I was really interested in what he was doing.

I have a few big-ass servers on Rackspace – with all the bandwidth Yuvi needed.  It was a serious case of the right need meeting the right provider at the right time. So over the past two weeks or so I ran Yuvi’s code on my server, and gave him feedback, got new code builds, and he finally got a complete data dump.  Yuvi is extremely good at looking at an error and knowing exactly where in the code he needed to apply a fix.

I can’t tell you ho many CPU cycles this took – but it was a LOT.  The fact that it ran as smoothly as it did cemented my belief that Yuvi is a savant of sorts.  At least when it comes to scraping blogs for stats.  Nobody does it better.  Nobody.  Not Google.  Not MS.  Not Technorati.

So what is next?  Well, for starters, I want to find support for giving Yuvi a college education – here in the US, if that is what he wants.

I would also love to build a Social Networking site for global mentoring.  I have some thoughts on that, but they aren’t fleshed out yet.  Until then I just want to keep being Yuvi’s friend – and to watch and help him grow – as both a programmer and a global citizen.

I’m very proud today to call Yuvi my friend.  My life has been enriched through knowing him.

Rob

Comments

  1. Fantastic Story*

    I popped by StatBot + it is impressive to see the Mountains of Data displayed visually from some o these Huge Social Blogs + sites*

    I’m anxious to see the Flickr one*

    ;)) Peace*

  2. @vibhash – thanks – I signed up or the beta. Will be interesting to see what they are doing (I would also love to talk to them if they wish).

    And yes – the Internet is changing the way people interact — in much more fundemental ways than jus tthe technical aspect of the engagement. The Internet is breaking down barriers that might have taken a hundren years to change. Even more than Airplanes or the Telephone, The Internet is making the world a MUCH smaller neighborhood!

    Thanks for commenting,

    Rob

  3. Thats the beauty of Internet…it brings people who are miles apart from different age & nationality together.

    When we meet someone online we don’t really think weather the guy is of 15 or 45.

    Social Networking Site for mentoring is a very cool idea, infact I know one guy named Shen who is trying to make a Jobs Portal which was more like a Social Networking site for mentoring (http://www.babajob.com/)

    Cheers.

  4. BTW – Working with Yuvi (and an unamed kid in Jordan) have shown me what’s needed – this list isn’t pulled out of my butt 🙂

    If Yuvi and I had a site like this we would have saved hours (days?) of time, and done a better job of communicating!

    Especially considering the time zone differences it is important to built a very communication-centric solution!

    Rob

  5. @Deannie – Thanks 🙂 I am very early in the thought process on this – but basically I am thinking of trying to do with people what SETI@HOME does with computers – use some valuable spare bandwidth. From people like me, and you.

    Imagine a site where you match up young people with the appropriate mentor, based on the same sort of algorithms dating sites use. Then you prepare (in real time) a complete work space for them – screen sharing, file sharing folders, a white board, on line text and voice chat, video chat, and an easy way to link in others, and build the “community of caring”.

    I know – it’s a bold ambition. But so was Google :)!

    Rob

  6. Rob, you have a gift for mentoring. How can I help you flesh out your idea more?

  7. Okay, I just got to the mirror site at:
    http://www.dotcache.com/http://blog.yuvisense.net/2007/05/29/engadget-analysis-part-i-posts-words-comments-categories/

    It is cool to see Yuvi’s star rising. I think that getting him an education in the States should be a no-brainer. Someone should pay him to come to school here!

    What I loved the most about the analysis was about content. It showed that Engadget needs to cater to its audience a little better by covering more features and gaming, while dropping a bit on cell phones.

    I agree with one person that Yuvi should come up with a pricing model to do this for other sites. After Engadget, this would seem like a cakewalk.

  8. All links to Yuvi’s site say it has been suspended. Was his bandwidth for the month exceeded? I am looking forward to seeing what he did!

  9. Well, uhm, I might sound like a broken record stuck in an infinite loop, but, well, Thanks Rob!

  10. Keith – I added you to my MSN IM client. Feel free to ping me!

    Rob

  11. Chris – I could not agree more. I know there are thousands or “Yuvi’s” out there… I want to meet them all. Help them all – learn from them all.

    Rob

  12. It always amazes me how many awesome teen geeks there are and how they (dare I say “we”) are so often ignored. It’s great that Yuvi is able to get the exposure that he certainly deserves for his awesome work!