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  • ENABLING GLOBAL CONVERSATIONS

    You know all those things people say about not taking life for granted, you never know what's going to happen tomorrow, life is short and so on. While you can appreciate these pithy quotes intellectually, you never can quite grasp the true meaning of it. Until something so shocking happens that in one swift moment you don't just understand it, but it hits you in such a forceful way, you wonder why it took you so long to live like you actually understood it.

    It started off like many lazy Sundays do, with a leisurely breakfast and a session with the Sunday papers. And then we got the call. Someone we are very close to us (will not reveal the identity of the person to maintain her privacy) had been diagnosed with cancer. We don't have a history of cancer in the family. The person had none of the risk factors we typically associate with cancer, she was not a smoker or a heavy drinker, she was a life-long vegetarian who worked out five days a week, and she was young, so very young. This couldn't be right? Surely this was a joke, and we would all remark upon it on some future lazy Sunday and talk about that scare we received a few months back!

    But there was no doubting the diagnosis. It had been checked multiple times. Not only was it cancer, but it was a rare type of cancer with too few cases in the past to make an accurate prognosis. We swung into action right away. We were lucky that we had access to very competent medical care. Friends and family, did what friends and families do in these situations: help, wherever and in whatever way possible.

    I started mining the Internet for as much information as possible. As anyone who has done any research online quickly discovers, there is no dearth of information. In fact, quite the opposite, and sifting through hundreds of thousands of web pages to discover a genuinely helpful nugget, was a lengthy and tedious job. Often the best insights came from others who were fighting the same battles as you were. Friends, families, and patients shared freely and we all made a genuine effort to help each other. The one thing that constantly frustrated me however, was the fragmentation of information. I would go into a particular forum and find some really useful insights, and then go to another one and find out something else that was useful, and this process would go on.

    I started thinking of a more efficient way for people to discover each other so that no one misses any bit of critical information. Can you tap into discussions on a clinical trial in India, a patient's experience in Australia with experimental therapies, and the latest news on a radical cancer drug in the United States? Can you do all this without checking out dozens of forums?

    You couldn't do that back then when I was researching the disease, but you can now. Introducing Hudooku. It's a global communication platform. By using a simple to install bookmark or browser extension you can tap into conversations from multiple websites. Information will no longer be in silo on the sites that it was created in. All information will be crowd-sourced and curated. No longer will you be subjected to millions of responses to questions, useful information will bubble up to the top and the amount of information will be both manageable and relevant. And while we strongly believe that there is an obvious use-case in healthcare, we invite anyone interested in connecting with people of any common interest to use the platform. The more people use it, the richer the platform will be. We are willing to grow it slowly to keep it relevant.

    Making connections meaningful again. Wouldn't that be an amazing thing to happen to the Internet? We think it is, and we welcome you to the Hudooku community. We hope you find what you seek.