Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this man?

I’ve been trying to get in touch with Vern Raburn. You remember Vern, who was an early employee at Microsoft, Lotus, and Symantec. Vern was very involved in pen computing, ran Paul Allen’s investments, created the first Very Light Jet — the Eclipse 500 — and most recently sold Titan Aerospace to Google. That’s a busy career. Well I’ve been trying to get in touch with so far no success.

I contacted a couple old mutual friends, but they’d lost touch with Vern, too. I saw he was on LinkedIn so I tried to connect. No luck. Then I upgraded my LinkedIn account so I could send Vern e-mail, to which he didn’t reply.

Oh Vern, where art thou?

But that’s not the real point of this column. The point is what happened seven days after I e-mailed Vern and he hadn’t yet replied. LinkedIn sent me a refund of sorts. The message I’d sent hadn’t been answered in seven days so it wouldn’t count against my monthly quota of annoying messages I could send to people to whom I wasn’t already linked.

They gave me credit for the unanswered message then suggested other people I might contact who are like Vern Raburn.

If it actually worked this could be the apex of social networking. If you can’t find the one you seek, here’s the next best thing — nearly as good. Except it wasn’t the next best thing. It wasn’t good at all. Half a dozen names and snapshot pictures were on my screen, some of them men and some women.

Vern is not a woman.

Some were software executives and some aerospace, but nobody had invented the Very Light Jet, nobody had worked for Paul Allen, nobody had been interviewed in Triumph of the Nerds.

I wasn’t just disappointed, I was offended.

Then I wondered who LinkedIn would say is like me?

Heck, in my mind I’m pretty much one-of-a-kind, but what if I’m not?

Who is like you???

There’s an Australian rock group, The Whitlams, whose big hit around our house is a song called Up Against the Wall that includes this wonderful lyric:

Some say, love, it only comes once in a lifetime.

Well, once is enough for me.

She was one in a million, yeah.

So there’s five more just in New South Wales.