Advice messaging – personal learning, at scale

We’ve launched our whyalog conversation engine, which is a free turnkey system that lets anyone instantly build and launch their own app to offer a special kind of advice messaging. It’s ideal for teachers, counsellors and anyone who wants to offer ongoing personal advice in a modern way, at scale. Like everything we do, it’s free and is ideal for both volunteers and entrepreneurs. So yes, you can charge clients if you like – for advice services like coaching on weight loss.

A whyalog is a conversation designed to understand, then help. The simple framework is deceptively powerful in helping students identify goals and obstacles then get creative about how to act.

What’s working / what’s not / what would it take?– Starting from these fundamentals, the system offers a library of ‘conversation elements’ you can customize for your needs. Most good advisors re-use the best tips, questions, links etc. Ours leverages this simple truth and bakes it into a messaging platform that lets users engage easily for a back-and-forth volleying that’s helpful in understanding.

Users can respond with gestures (ie swipe right for yes), which helps the system quantify and categorize answers so it can help suggest the next line in the dialog.

It even works with voice responses in 80 languages*, so it allows anyone interested in helping others – through mentorship, coaching, teaching etc.  (*There’s a small fee to Google for use of the natural language API).

The app builder is live now in a fledgling alpha version. So write if you’d like to try it now or in beta.

See more here.



With distinguished speakers and a vibrant set of presentations, the Novotel Toronto Summit was a great exercise. Author Robert Calderisi provided his candid insight into Duff's excessive optimism. Robert's book 'The Trouble With Africa' details his concerns of why aid isn't working. The panelists' advice was that the Duff Young Foundation needs to start with a smaller footprint (a couple of tiny structures) in a country that would be easier to launch (than Liberia).


-LOCAL food production

-CANNING local fruits and vegetables

-BAMBOO farms and plant nurseries

-GOOD DESIGN sensibility for bldgs

-URBANISM instead of sprawl

-LOCAL manufacturing, local materials