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Friday, August 30, 2013

Mashup Generation

In my younger days, I played role playing games, wrote fan fiction, and hung out on bulletin boards using my modem and phone in the days of the pre-Internet era.  Today, my eldest daughter role plays while writing serial fan fiction with friends on an internet site that is essentially repurposing the infrastructure used to manage a forum, all on her cell-phone.  She lives in the generation that invented mash-ups, and can take four unrelated concepts, throw them together, and build something not just novel, but also quite usefull.  She and her friends think nothing of spending hours writing stories together over the internet.  And I've read this stuff.  I'd pay real money for some of this in e-book form. They are not only creating their own entertainment, but also learning and practicing great skills, and creating an economy all their own.  I'll show you my stories if you show me yours.

This gives me hope, especially if we can get this generation to apply those same skills to some of the more challenging problems we face.  Imagine if your healthcare providers used an internet forum in real-time to discuss your case.  What would that look like?  It might feel foriegn to doctors of today, but to those in my daughter's generation, it will be as natural as breathing.  If only we can get out of their way.

   Keith


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