Sunday, December 26, 2010 Launches

OK well sorta. For now is hosted as a Ning network. (I can't exactly build a social network site in a day.) Although Ning is designed for an online social network, that is not what I'm after, but for now it will serve the purpose of having a site where users (daygage players) can register/login and get instructions on what to do next. Since I'm in the process of creating Day:Gage, registration will be restricted to those that have seen me on the subway, and are Followers. I want this network to be for those of us that ride the F together. I'll still be blogging here, but I'll focus most of my energy on  If you've seen me on the F in the past and want access, email me and I'll tell you how to get in.

Last Thursday morning 4 people pulled out their yellow papers during my commute to work. I thought that was awesome! I moved them to the next level, in addition to 2 others that pulled out the old green flyer (all crumpled :) ).

Eventually we'll need a custom site to do what I envision, but that will take a lot of time and money. I could possibly build it myself, but I started a new job about a month ago that has kept me very busy. Love and Peace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Last Friday I began Day:Gage--my new approach to making a social network on the subway. I'm going to redo this site to reflect this and direct most of my future posts to those of you that see me on the subway and provide practical information on how to play. More information will come.

On Friday I handed out the flyer below. If you've seen me on the F and really want to help me launch this forward, please send me an email. Otherwise, you can follow me on twitter @daygage and I'll tweet my location right before I get onto the train, if you want to catch me that way. I'll be starting at 4th Ave/9th St. at the second car and moving rearward one car each station or so. See you on the subway!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Green Flyer Out

The past two weeks I've been handing out green flyers as below (and as you see in the Rocketboom video). I decided to move on to another idea, so I won't be handing those out anymore. It's amazing to me how when I printed these flyers up I thought it was such a great idea, but after only a week of using them I recognized its shortfalls, and will now be tossing the leftover few hundred into the trash. However it has helped me come up with a much better idea that I am excited to put into motion next week. Each failure leads me toward something new that's increasingly more practical. And I expect my upcoming idea to go through many iterations too before it's successful. "I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  -Thomas Edison

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Subway Recordings

This past week I recorded myself on the subway. I'm going to work on improving my speech, in content and delivery. Please help me with this. I've already noticed a couple things that I was completely unaware of, like making swallowing/clicking noises when I speak, and that when I talk to people on the subway (and probably elsewhere) I sound standoffish. I had no idea! Here I was just trying to give people their space and not be clingy, but I'm coming across as not caring. Should my speech be longer/shorter? Do I need to explain more? And more importantly, how should I improve my tone and attitude?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


This past Monday Ella Morton and camera guy Matt Finlin of came out to videotape me. As you can see they make awesome videos, and this helps me spread the word. Matt's a great videographer and I highly recommend him and company to anyone in need of filming.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Being First

I've noticed something interesting on when I make my subway pitch: It takes courage to be the first one to ask me for a card. No one wants to be first because you're facing the scrutiny of the crowd, but once someone makes the leap, then all the dominos fall and everyone else asks for one. And the reverse is true too; if nobody asks for a card right away, then it becomes increasingly unlikely for anyone to stand out and ask for one when the collective already made the decision not to. This reminds me of a video I saw on TED about the significance of the first follower. From now on I'll attempt to hook an interested person right away with good eye contact, so they immediately take a card getting everyone else to follow. (Refresh page if you're having trouble playing/pausing video.)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Self Doubt

I've been refraining from making posts about my thoughts and insights since starting The Underground Connection, because I've always felt there are enough blogs about people's thoughts on life, and I didn't want to add to the pile. I wanted this blog to just document the evolution of my subway idea. But I changed my mind. As my good friend pointed out, if I don't keep posting, I'll lose readers, which indeed did happen during a long dry spell. Losing readers is counter-productive toward advancing my cause. So from now on I'll be sharing lessons learned from my morning activity.

This past Monday morning I was hit hard by self doubt. While waiting to get onto the F, I was thinking I can't do it. I thought maybe it's not possible to affect subway culture. I thought the subways are too crowded to start talking. I should just quit. But then I realized something. I always hear these negative voices before I start my morning routine. Never during, or after. And I realized I cannot trust myself before go-time, because it's just my unconscious trying to trick me out of doing something stressful. It's amazing how when you're scared to do something, you can logically convince yourself out of anything. Sometimes the fear just feels like exhaustion, so I could tell myself I'm just too tired today to do what I want to do. So I made a promise to myself that I will never back down before going out, no matter how well I rationalize that it's bound to fail. I will do it anyway. Curiously, once I jump in, the negative thoughts vanish and I make little successes every time and my outlook becomes completely positive. I tell myself then that this is the voice to remember.

I'm going to apply this lesson to all areas of my life. If I need to do something stressful like talk to my boss, I will do it first, and then judge its success or failure. Don't listen to the voice that tries to talk you out of something just when the time comes to act.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am going to be trying something different every week, and maybe every day because as I do different things I improve in some way. I've been toying with the idea of using some sort of game or challenge to get people motivated to join me on the subway. Specifically I want people to hold up colored construction paper showing me and everyone else on board that they like what I'm doing. I discovered SCVNGR which is a platform to create and perform real world challenges for real world rewards (like a free cup of coffee). So I am trying to think how I can use this to challenge people to take action and do something that helps get this subway community going. If any of you can think of what exact challenge I should create on SCVNGR and what reward to offer, please let me know. I plan on handing out fliers on the train this week describing this problem to see if anyone can help.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stepping It Up

So I just did 5 consecutive weekdays of pitching my idea on the F line. I wasn't consistent with the time, but they were all around 9am. If you like my idea, I need your support. If you can take the F train during that time please let me know, so we can arrange to be on the same train, and then I would like you to hold up a colored paper when I get on board. This will increase my ability to draw more people in. Or if you know someone that rides the F train during that time please spread the word.

For those that don't have construction paper, I am going to start carrying them with me on the train so you can just ask me for a sheet when you see me.

I have come to realize that in order for me to be successful in doing this I need to ramp up my confidence, attitude and charm. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself" -Tolstoy. So I have been thinking I need a coach. I would love to get John Keegan to train me. I saw him speak once and he's got the skills. But he charges around $2000. Maybe I'll take up a collection one day to help me pay for this. If I can affect 1000 people to willingly chip-in $2 each, I will have enough for his program.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Plan

Here are the specifics on how I plan to go about achieving what I want to do. If you haven't already, you can read my post Moving Ahead where I describe what my goal is. This post does overlap somewhat with that one, but I'm directing this post to those who actually see me on the train. This is for you so you know what's going on and how you can get involved.

Stage 1:
I will be on your train every weekday making my pitch. [For now I will be riding the F train from Brooklyn to Manhattan, getting on at 8:45am at 4th Avenue / 9th Street. I will get on at the last car and move up one car each station until Delancey St, then I will get off (around 9am) and get on the next F train, enter at the second car and move back each station until 42nd St. I will never be in the first car, so if you want to escape me that's where you should go.] I plan to get some kind of interaction going by seeing you repeatedly and vice versa. 

To start I would like to know who you are. So please do the following: Get a piece of colored construction paper like this. Bring it with you on the train and hold it up when I get onto the train. Let's make it color-specific. Use the following colors to communicate with me:
Orange: Just curious to see where this goes.      
Yellow: Really feel some movement like this is needed. You feel there should be interaction on the subway.
Green: You love this so much and are ready to participate with me! You'd be comfortable with me coming up to you on the train and I can point you out as a member of our group.
Red: You hate what I'm doing and want me to stuff it.
In the future I plan to use colored paper for other types of interactions (And then this will turn into the armband idea where we communicate different things based on colors and patterns of our armbands). I will announce how many oranges, yellows and greens I've seen on your train, so you get a sense of how this is growing too. Once I hit about 8 greens on one train, we'll be ready for Stage 2.

Stage 2:
Once I see there are enough of you, we can make up to all ride the same car. So now we have a group of say 8 of us riding together and interested in connecting on the train. I will lead the group and come up with daily objectives. We can start really easy and light, and maybe I'll post in advance the daily objective so we all can be prepared, like one day talk about food/restaurants, or one day share a challenge we are facing at work, etc. (I will need your ideas with this.) I also plan to incorporate the ideals that I had originally envisioned where we interact for the sake of mutual exchange and ways in which we can help each other. Once we are all comfortable with this, I will leave you on your own and start Stage 3. 

Stage 3:
I will repeat the process on a train one earlier, i.e. take the 8:40 train instead of the 8:45. However this time I will ask a couple of you from the 8:45 to help me seed the 8:40 so we get new people involved more quickly. In truth there will be some overlap between these 2 trains anyway, since not everyone's schedule is perfect, mine included, not to mention the train's. I will then repeat the process on the 8:50 train again bringing some of you along with me. And keep branching out until we have the rush-hour uptown F covered. Then I will move on to other lines that are near or overlap the F so I can tap my biggest fans to help me out on those lines for a few days. In this way we can tackle the A, C, B, D, N, Q, R, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Stage 4:
At this point we have 12 lines covered with maybe 7 time slots per train and say 12 people per train involved daily, so as a group we are 1008 people strong. I think that's enough to have momentum build on its own in unpredictable ways. People will start hearing about this, there will be press about it and we can go from 12 per train to 35, and then spread to other lines like the J, Z, M, L so that's 16 lines and with counting both directions is 32 lines, with now maybe 10 time slots each. So that's (35 people x 32 lines x 10 timeslots) over 11,000 people! At this point the group can become far looser and branch out organically. We can start connecting with others in the group whenever we ride the train, anytime. How? Armbands! :) Whenever you get on the train and are interested in connecting with someone random just put on your armband and there's a decent chance that someone else on the train has one too. Since your colors signify your objective, it makes for an easy icebreaker, e.g. wear blue if interested in talking about food, green for seeking advice, purple for help with your business/career, you get the idea. And then we can move this off the subway, to the bus, to the supermarket, to infinity and beyond!

So to recap, if you've seen me on the subway and want to participate just bring a sheet of orange, yellow, or green construction paper (no red please).