Monday, May 17, 2010

Popularizing People Being Nice: Randy & Roadify

“We’re trying to harness goodwill and generosity for a practical purpose,” he said, “trying to popularize the idea of people being nice to each other.”

I loved that idea, loved Randy’s energy. He is the head of marketing for Roadify, a community-based transportation alert system that is enlisting people to “give to get,” to give information on parking spaces and bus schedules in order that they might get information on parking spaces and bus schedules when they need it.

Helping people help other people to help themselves? That's a no-brainer.

And that's why I gave Randy a gold star.

Randy and the Roadify team, including Roadify creator Nick Nyhan, are trying to build on their ideal that “people will help each other if given an easy way to do it.”

I am myself a big believer in that idea, agree that it has to be easy. “If it’s easy, yes, they will do it,” I said. I wrote too long about convenience foods, the short-cuts that we are all willing to pay for, even at the great cost of our health or the environment, to believe that selling people on doing the hard things, the things we should do but don’t want to, is at all simple.

But Randy is willing to work hard to help figure how to make it easier for others, that is obvious. He has community organizing in his blood, with a background working on AmeriCorps then on the Obama campaign, where he met Nick. He just finished reading Bill Clinton’s book, Giving. He himself is so passionate about the concept of giving that he has thought about tattooing the word “Give” on his body... Clearly, then, it is a true mantra, not just a mission statement. Would that his sincere efforts pay dividends, for Roadify, for Randy himself and for the world.

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