The poster for sponsorship of Northern Voice 2007 arrived this weekend. And it is pretty good. Mt. Lehman Credit Union is one of the sponsors of the event and last year our marketing materials were posters and buttons. Our sponsorship was not viewed as the ‘normal’ marketing means to bring a lot of business to the credit union. It was more to assist the Northern Voice conference in establishing a tone for the conference. How to do that is sometimes difficult because you need to really understand the group or audience that participates. And really how does anyone really understand blogging? The ‘culture’ or ‘tone’ of the conference is really set by the participants and the interaction of the people. Reading the blogs of the people who are putting this together does give you a good idea of what Northern Voice is and why it is different than say Gnomedex.
NV is much smaller and tends to focus on what I would call relationship blogging and the blogging community as it evolves.
Blogging is relatively new and it does tend to change. There are some things that you do and somethings that you don’t do. Kindness is appreciated. Openess to critiques is important. Acceptance of positive comments with humility goes a long way. Small graphics should always add to the discourse. Good writing comes from practice and is not a genetic condition. And blogging should always be fun.
When you put this all together blogging seems to be like graffitti or street art versus the paid old school media. Blogging tends to be honest enough to be disruptive. It is interesting that you can see ‘tagging‘ on buildings and signs throughout the Lower Mainland. It is an identity for some. And the blogging community uses ‘tags’ to associate groups or ideas. Blogging allows for events, cultures and ideas to be ‘interpreted’ and discussed. The poster Basco5 did for us hopefully is like that. A piece of work that can be interpreted and discussed and is fun. So how does that fit with a Credit Union?
Banking has changed. You don’t need to go into a branch all that much anymore. Technology has allowed this to happen. Some see this as increased revenue by decreasing staff (look what the Bank of Montreal announced last week). That seems to be a very short term position. What is needed in banking is the constant vigilance that banking needs to be established as a relationship. You trust me, I trust you. And you can only have relationships with people, not machines or technology. (see Jacques Ellul – The Technological Society). A lot of times banking is based on trust. An institution that ignores this has missed what people really want.
Sponsoring this event was really to say that the credit union is a 65 year old institution that supports relationships of trust. Northern Voice is a 3 year old conference that is doing exactly the same. We are not much different.