Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Got Jelly?

Jelly.com is Amit Gupta’s answer to breaking up days of solitary computer work with a day of shared workspace with other techies. Every two weeks, people bring their laptops over to his small apartment to work on job or school projects, from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

His home has a wireless connection. There’s no fee and no dress code. Some days there is a lot of brainstorming and resource exchange; other days it’s uneventful chatter.

Gupta started Jelly with his previous roommate, Luke Crawford, March 2006 in Manhattan. They designed the Web site that explains the “semi-weekly, informal co-working sessions” and did viral marketing through blogs and other social networking sites. Registration is required. The Web site features a video of actual Jelly session participants. The Web site is named after one of the ingredients to a popular morning and afternoon snack. Jelly has spread to other cities under different names. Someone in Philadelphia set up Cream.


With so much boundless creativity and technical know-how, one would think reuniting the majority of New Orleans’ scattered families would be a snap. There’s TV, radio, My Space, You Tube, Flickr and Photobucket. Can’t some national organization devise scheduled video interviews at public schools and libraries across the nation? Using grassroots tactics, couldn’t folks forward email of photos and contact information of relocated adults? How about setting up a My Space page and the Friends are all from New Orleans?

Care must be taken to protect children and weed the predators. One Law and Order 2007 season episode dealt with the case of a black sexual predator who traveled to the flood-ridden city to kidnap two or three siblings. With careful tweaking, this crusade to reunite families could identify and reclaim abducted children.

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