Sunday, January 02, 2011

An Hour with an Honest Stranger

Last week I got the chance to have lunch with fellow economist, blogger, and friend Justin Landwehr. One of the things I most appreciate about Justin is his ability to give and take honest feedback. In fact, I originally met him through his "call to all missionaries". We met, talked about God (and eventually economics). In our last lunch we got on the topic of how beneficial an hour with him or me might be for someone we don't know. Would we be better than average at improving their life? I concluded that outside of celebrities and professional counselors I could improve the lives of people more than the average person (I am a teacher after all). Justin, in true form, took it seriously. Here's an advertisement he recently created on Craigslist:
Do you know someone who could desperately use an hour with a tech-savvy 25 year old?

Or maybe you want to learn more about how you can use the Web for managing your finances, finding the cheapest airline deals, keeping a calendar, managing files and receipts, etc.?

My mission is to open people’s eyes to the potential of the Internet in their personal lives, and to help them find the services that best meet their personal needs.

What you can expect: I will come to you (provided you live reasonably close to me) and sit down and ask questions about what you are currently using your computer for and listen to how you would like to use it and address any questions or concerns you have. Then I will walk you through some of the services that I think will be most useful to you to make sure you feel comfortable using them. I do not expect to accomplish much in an hour, so I will leave you with a sheet providing useful tips for better browsing and keeping your computer healthy, and a list of recommended services by category.

I will accept payment in the form of cookies or a simple “thank you”.

I have a full-time job in RTP, and I am just doing this as a side hobby. As a result, I cannot promise to fulfill all requests. Please send an email stating why this would be useful to you (or someone you know) and what kind of help/advice you are looking for.
If this sounds worthwhile to you I suggest you take him up on it. Also, I wonder if he would do more good if he just promised honest feedback, not necessarily any expertise.


  1. Thanks, H. My latest post is looking for other one hour ideas.

  2. I look forward to the responses!


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.