Work exemption

So what happens when you start a month long holiday? You begin a long list of things that you want to do. This list proceeds to be longer than one page and seems to grow like a bad fungus. One the second day of your holiday you realize something. You are using typical work processes, such as lists, to begin to define the time you will spend on a series of supposed important events. You question yourself as to why are you doing this. This is a holiday. It is meant to be something that isn’t work.

Here is one of the OED’s definition for holiday:

  1. a. A day on which ordinary occupations (of an individual or a community) are suspended; a day of exemption or cessation from work; a day of festivity, recreation, or amusement.

That said, how many of us can quickly flick on the ‘no work’ switch? It seems to me we are creatures of habit and when you are constantly refining your scope of work for a year you tend to get habitual in what you do. The question will now be how long will it take me to move from these structured work patterns to one of ease and serendipity. (Even that question has the attribute of a business decision – how long?).

Then there is the defining moment. Does it really matter? Time for another coffee. It’s work exemption day!

What is happening to blogging?

Besides myself there are a lot of blogs that are in hibernation at this point. It seems strange but a diet of Twitter seems to have evaporated the desire to write. Taking the bit of thought of many people seems easier than spending time following someone’s complete train of thought on a subject. Are we becoming enamored by small bits of text in a quick series? This will date me but I remember the show Laugh-In. What made is so unique and unusual was the shortness of each film clip. It made a huge impact and had the effect that a one room TV scene became almost obsolete. MTV hit us with even shorter clips to  coincide with each drum beat of music. Now Twitter seems to be the snippet induced mind candy. Yesterday was my 3rd anniversary of Twittering and there has been a evolution in usage and acceptance. At the start was the challenge of how long it would continue, just like blogging and email. The answer probably will always be whatever technology or system we use will continue as long as it is relevant to those that use it. Maybe for some of us we just need to write more.

AT&T versus Rogers

First this is not a post about Canada versus the U.S. It is a post about cellular and wireless service in two areas of North America.

Since getting an iPhone over a year ago it took some getting used to in changing carriers from Telus to Rogers. There is the good and bad in both but overall Rogers has been a good supplier of cellphone services as they are used by the iPhone. What one takes for granted is the availability of service access. In your everyday working world which is usually limited in a geographic area things are pretty good. The phone reception is always 5 bars and 3G is always available. When traveling in Canada it has never been a problem to have good service wherever I have been. The caveat here is that others may not have the good luck to be in a good reception area of Rogers. Peoples personal history may vary.

With AT&T it is a different story. No matter where I have been in the last 12 days I have never seen 5 bars. I constantly see the dialogue box pop up ‘Network Lost – Your selected cellular network is no longer available…” You have the choice to Dismiss or go to Settings. Dismiss is the only choice you can make if you don’t want to waste your time. I have yet to see 3G service, only E. To put it bluntly I am not a happy camper when using their services. Rogers hooked me up with a US plan before coming down here so the cost is expensive but not ridiculous. Without the plan it would be a nightmare.

What happened today really showed me the extent of why people are fed up with AT&T. I was in the middle of Santa Fe and at 11 o’clock had to make a conference call. But first I have to find an area where I could get some decent bars. Just behind the art gallery we were at was a residential street where I wandered about 75 feet up and down the block to make sure there would be good service for the duration of the call. At one end of the 75 foot walk the cell phone service would drop. Now if you have ever been to Santa Fe you know there are not very many tall buildings downtown. It isn’t like you are in the middle of Manhattan. The question is why is this service so bad? Aren’t the wireless wavelengths regulated by some public body that at least has some standards that are maintained? Does AT&T offer its customers a rebate on dropped calls? How can a company that is this large offer such crummy service?

Apple should allow a little free enterprise here. Owners of iPhones should be able to choose which supplier they want, not be forced to make due with a minimal practitioner. The only way we as consumers have a say in economic terms is to be able to vote with our dollars. When we can’t do that it really becomes a cancer to a system that we don’t need.

Is this a trend in blogging?

I am just reviewing my Twitter feed and come across this

@rshevlin I’m considering pulling a Shevlin and saying sayonara to my blog. Half a visit per minute spent on a post may not be worth it.

What is happening here? First Shevlin and now the Warrior?

I can understand the need to move on, to see the limited resource of time diminish to the point of re-establishing one’s priorities but really that should be the main reason. Take some time off. Post a big blinking sign on your blog that you are on vacation and give us some lame excuse but please don’t quit. I mean how are you going to synthesize those diatribes into 140 characters?  You can’t! What is going to happen to all those great ideas and thoughts that swirl around your cranium? They have to go somewhere or your head will explore. 

Seriously though, and for purely selfish reasons, one puts together a group of blogs of some very intelligent and interesting people from every walk of life. For a few minutes every day you get to read what others are thinking and doing without any editorial bias from any unseen source. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad but they are always read. They make sense and if they don’t you get to comment and contribute. They break down an individual barrier that we all struggle with, that of thinking we are alone in our thoughts. That someone from Boston or North Carolina or Iowa could make such a connection to someone in B.C. is a remarkable experience and one that I place a high value on. There are times someone hasn’t blogged for months. Then suddenly they appear again. Sure there are some that will never blog and that is ok. Maybe this is just a phase that blogging must go through. Like it isn’t centuries old is it. 

One of my favourite authors is Robertson Davies. Over the years I have read his books, sometimes more than once. When he passed away, there would be no more books and that was sad. I have one book left of his that I haven’t read and that is being saved for a some warm summer days in the not to distant future. When someone like the CU Warrior says he maybe quitting I can appreciate his position. It isn’t like he won’t be around anymore. It is that there will be something missing. Life gets like that as you get older. Things are missed. We need to remember to celebrate the moment because that gets to be very important.

Saturday before Christmas

Colder than it has ever been in Vancouver since I can recall. If it stays like this the lineup at the stores for skates will start with every body of water an ice rink.

Day 3 of Christmas holidays is going well. Not much to do and not much planned. There is the Blackhawks – Canucks game to go to tonight. This will be my first hockey game this season and I am going with a die-hard hockey fan. It would be nice to get to Dix’s before the game.

Anyone finished all of their Christmas shopping yet? If you have one can only think you are the prepared type for this holiday season stuff. I didn’t want to say anal.

Ron Shevlin has hung up his blog as of yesterday. He will be missed. He had some great stuff there and it will be missed by a lot of people. I think anyone who blogs for more than a few years has that question in the back of their mind as to how much longer. The excitement seems to wear off and at times it becomes a chore. It does push you though to get something out. Procrastination is the enemy of blogging.

Here’s wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Year’s. That should cover anyone who I forget to send a card to, right?

More Cowbell

Sometimes you step into something that becomes a bit surreal.

Last week I tiwttered about listening to an old song that had a cowbell, asking about any other songs that had cowbells. There were some responses with one stating had I ever seen the SNL “More Cowbell” piece. I hadn’t ( if I had I would never have tiwttered that question! ) and quickly found it. In fact there was a fair bit about cowbells. There is even an iPhone app called More Cowbell.

To get the ultimate experience with the tragic little device here is some ultimate cowbell usage. The Olympics are coming here in 2010. Now there will be excuse not to have a cowbell on the downhill races.

The moral of this story, never be afraid to ask a question on Twitter. It will lead you to a mountain of totally useless information.

Financial meltdown

While driving home tonight I heard a Texas professor on the CBC talking about what has been happening on Wall Street these past few days. He spoke of a model that was broken and not working. He then mentioned the return to an older model where banks would hold their mortgages until the person having them repaid them. What a novel concept! To actually know the person you are lending to and to hold the debt with a charge on the property for the full amortization period!

For all 66 years of the credit union I work for this is the model that they have and it has served them well. Oh it isn’t glamourous and you can’t grow by 10% per year but it is safe and it is secure and after the last few days that is what a few people on the street didn’t consider very important.

Where it goes from here is anyones guess. The last bad economic time that we had with depleted housing prices, inflation and loss of jobs was the early 80’s. That would mean that anyone who is 40 years old or less didn’t live through that time as an economic entity i.e. too young to have a job. No one wants a return to those times. The problem is that a younger generation has lived in a constant growth and prosperity era. What goes up sometimes comes down. I wonder how most will manage if indeed it does get worse. Aesop had a fable about the tortoise and the hare. It is always interesting to see who won that race.

Innovation and where it comes from

People ask me how we handle development work at the credit union. There is no simple answer or formula that one can recite as to how ideas flourish into a product, a process or a service. You wonder if they sometimes appear out of thin air.

Today was a prime example. Our e-statement project is finished, done, complete. Next Wednesday the interface will be in place for actual use by the members. All the components were developed in house except for the web site interface which was done by Central 1’s MemberDirect people. What does it do? It puts a link on the web site to a monthly PDF which is an exact duplicate of what the members have been receiving in the mail in paper form. For all the benefits it saves money and paper. But then as we talked about it, something happened.

Why not have a link for an up to date, real time PDF statement? If it is the 10th or 20th or whatever date in the current month, why not just click and a PDF created on the fly and delivered. Your transaction of 1 minute ago would be included. That means besides the depository of a few years of statements on your account, you could get a real time version statement anytime. As all of the methods and code were built, it looks like it would only take a half a day to do that. That means before Wednesday of next week this added feature will part of the launch.

But where did that idea come from? From a simple suggestion that with our ability to trigger real time transactions we could move that forward to being part of triggering real time statements. Was it valuable? I spoke to a few people and yes it was valuable. In fact it would make some businesses very happy in reconciling their accounts on a daily basis. The beauty of the whole function is that we aren’t using an outside supplier to do this on a month-end batch basis. What has been built is real time in-house the ultimate IT mantra. Expanding what we can do in real time gives us the idea for another product. If statement processing had been done by a 3rd party we would have been stuck in thinking in a ‘batch’ mode and never contemplated doing it differently.

I believe that innovation comes from dynamic thinking. Thinking how something can be done now and not later is important in what you have to offer. In today’s instant age much is possible by keeping everything fluid. It is important that you work in the environment you want to live in. There is always another step. If I ever have to get into a lifeboat I want a life preserver now, not pink plastic water wings later.

Batteries, hamsters and daisies

This morning my MacBook Pro started to freeze up. There was no response to the keypad or trackpad no matter what. I tried booting about 6 times all with the same problem. Dug out the CD and rebooted but again it didn’t work. Holding the ‘C’ key down wasn’t being seen by the Mac so it started to boot from the hard drive again. The only solution left was to take the battery out and let the machine ‘die’ from a complete lack of power. After putting the battery back Voila! everything is back to normal. It wasn’t that scary as I did have a current backup I could get to.

I wonder if sometimes life could be like that. Brent’s post today talked about him feeling like a hamster. I don’t know about you but his words rung pretty true. You tend to just get stuck with all the noise around you. Then you realize most of this crap is not life threatening, it is just noise. I just wish I could remove the battery and get a quick restart but that isn’t going to happen. You need to take care of what needs to be taken care of, just slow down and become human again instead of machine like. We need to remove ourselves of the A + B algorithm that becomes our existence and get outside and pick a few daisies. So if you get to do that today make sure you are barefoot and don’t step on the worms!


Everyone is on there way home or soon to be headed in that direction. BarCampBankDallas is over and once again one sits back and slowly begins to digest what took place since Saturday morning.

The topic of the iPhone and what it can and will do for the financial service industry was discussed at length. The opportunities for development of products and services with this device surfaced again and again. In essence this device gives you some dimensions (where you are, where others are, push technology, enterprise development, etc.) that either were not available or unanswerable in the past. If Jobs is right in suggesting that the iPhone could reach 60% market share then this device could become as common as the iPod. When hardware and software arrive at this new technology plateau who knows where it will lead.

Regulators and regulation and what that means to this industry was considered in a number of sessions. No one likes this segment and though it is necessary sometimes it is very hard to see some reasonable means of dialogue with this group. It seems a continual challenge to find the resources in order to comply with these demands. Much of what we have and continue to do has not changed much but in the regulators eyes that does not matter.

There was an excellent mix of attendees with no single group becoming the main focus. I really appreciated the responses and input of so many people. Everyone there had a passion for the business and you could see that. The food was great and the venue was very different. There were a number of ‘creatures’ (stuffed animals) in the centre area that became part of few discussions. I had never seen a stuffed giraffe before.

People will ask me ‘Was it as good as Seattle or New England?” I have a hard time comparing each event because they are so different. They are all equal in some fashion but also different just based on the agenda and people. The first BarCampBank was exciting because it was new. Those that follow are exciting because you can understand what will be occurring. You not only measure what you learnt and discussed but also view the unmeasurable, the relationships that you have renewed and those new ones that you have made. To me that might be the most important aspect of BarCampBanking.

These relationships create that network of like minded individuals that for the most part are exploring technology, people and markets. They have the common desire to make something better, to change something. There is little if any of a defeatist attitude. You share stories, dreams and the realities of the business you live in. Larry Hooper was the only non-FI person there and it was great to hear his take on things. I think the story he shared is one reason why we continue to strive to do things better.

Did I come away with any great ideas? Certainly. The most important thing though was to hear that your ideas and your plans were being challenged and validated at the same time. You will only get that kind of response at a BarCampBank.

It was an enjoyable event. Good to see everyone again. Good the have some great food and experience that Texas hospitality.

Victoria Day Weekend

This has been somewhat of a strange weekend. On Thursday I was feeling pretty bad so left work early. Friday I was sick but unusually so was Marjun. For the past 3 days we have been at home not going anywhere or seeing anyone. That has never happened before. Very different and not like us. My wife is an extravert beyond comprehension so it is really tough for her.

Besides reading ‘The Wind-up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami and delving into the finer points of the Nikon, convalescing is extremely boring. You have limited energy don’t do much of anything. Sitting outside has been nice except when having to listen to the neighbour next door tell the world through his cell phone every business deal he has conceived is brilliant. This megaphone neighbour has this dog who has an extreme dislike of me. I like dogs having had everything from Bulldogs to Daschounds but with this pooch there are no warm and fuzzy feelings. In fact all the neighbours don’t like this dog. It is like a spoiled child that does no wrong even though there is more evidence on everyone’s lawn than we care to clean up. But Mr. Businessman thinks nothing wrong. This is a continuing narrative.

The time of BBQs has begun in earnest. You can hear the clank of empty propane bottles being taken to vehicles. The wire brushes are scraping in earnest. Depending on which way the wind is blowing it is either hamburger, ribs or steaks. I think we are having Maui ribs tonight.

And what will Victoria Day have in store for us? Here’s hoping some movement farther than the front door.

Expectations and realities of BarCamps

Yesterday Tim, William and I had a conference call about the upcoming BCBBC. During the conversation we talked about the Seattle Bar Camp Bank and how we viewed it. It was interesting to hear that we all wanted to repeat Seattle’s success by having something similar.

But are BarCampBanks always similar? The format and the way the event is held is unique and it contributes a lot to its success. No one owns the agenda. You vote with your feet. Sessions can continue until everyone says its over. Discussion, dialogue and conversation are great ways to communicate, debates aren’t. Relationships have already been created through Internet means (blogs and Twitter). Meeting people face to face after you have know them online is a phenonemal experience. Venues can add to the flavour of the event. It is a time of incubating ideas. It is the Olympics of conferences. No talking heads telling you what you already now. Inexpensive. Unbelievable value. The points are numerous and everyone who attends can give numerous examples as to why they will attend again.

But each one that I have attended is unique. And I keep trying to nail down what makes it so. There is a climate of networking and relationships that form at these meetings based on the individuals present. The BarCampBanks are made up of such a wide range of characters that they can’t be the same just by the fact of who attends. Maybe it is because we don’t really have such a strong expectation of what will come from the event. We already know that will happen. The expectation is the excitement of the discussions, the passion shown by everyone, the energy in just being in a room with such remarkable people. We thought we came seeking a holy grail but found that each of us had the capacity to create something unique in our relationships and our being together for this short time. The time you have is limited and you want to make the most of it.

BarCamps cannot really be explained. You could add numerous paragraphs to the above and still just touch on what they are. You have to be there and experience a BarCamp to understand fully what it is. With everyone being different you realize it really is the people that are important here. The focus is us. And that is so different from those expensive, boring, talking head, self-appointed expert sessions we have all fallen asleep at.

The dangers of self-promotion or what clothing does the Emperor wear?

I am going to go out on a limb here. I have been reading a lot of blog posts over the years but there seems to be a stream of self-gratulation that is fast becoming a river. Some posts take a point, expand on it, and offer some thoughtful critique and whether you agree or not, bring home that the world really is round not flat. That the world we live in has various meanings and perspectives and not anyone group has all the answers. They are usually intriguing and thought provoking.

Now, I see much more subliminal writing that purports to have a unique point of view but really is representing a business. Hans Christian Anderson wrote a fairy tale ‘The Emperors New Clothes’. Though considered a fairy tale there is a school of thought that says the stories were satires on the Danish way of life. There seems to be a similar set of clothing being offered in the blogosphere. The bias is for business, and the posts do not necessarily distinguish the framework for further discussion. Sure we can all throw in little ads of our accomplishments but when the blog becomes solely a business grandizement and that under the guise of an individual, it really isn’t a blog. It is more a subliminal message of a business.

What eventually will happen is those blogs get glanced at rather than read and eventually they get dropped of the daily reading list. I am glad there are more and more blogs being written because the choice to read something mentally stimulating is important.

Some interesting spaces

I’ve been here a week now, over the jet lag and getting used to the sounds and sights of Denmark again. Funny how you start noticing the little things that you miss after you have been away from somewhere for a while. It’s great fun practicing your Danish, sometimes you make it other times you get this puzzled look. After a few times you just start speaking in English.

The weather has been typical, a few rainy days and a few sunny but mostly on the cooler side. The wind can howl like it did earlier today and presented us with some wet snow.
Yesterday we went to the State Art Gallery and saw an exhibit on frames. Very interesting. Up until the 1600’s the framemaker made more than the artist!

There is a piece by Kroeyer that I can’t find in the directory but here is one of women in a sardine factory. The most amazing thing about this artist is his use of light. You can sit and look at his work again and again as what they represent is so seemingly real. Here is another one “The Iron Foundry“. And there were a few Mattise, Munch, Picasso, etc. paintings which gives the gallery such an interesting look and feel. It wasn’t busy and you could take all the time you wanted to.

Tomorrow morning we head off to Barcelona for a week. The forecast is for sun and tempatures in the mid-teens (celsius). I was in Spain (Ibiza) in 1971 when it was under Franco’s dictatorship. There have been massive changes there. And we will keep our intake of Sangria to a maximum minimum right?.

Some final thoughts on Northern Voice 2008

This has been the 4th year I have attended this conference and there is a difference on how I feel about this one as compared to the others. This time a number of the faces were familiar so in some ways you took the time to “catch up” with what has been happening in so many of these peoples lives. The names are too numerous to mention but you always recognize the faces. Flickr has over 3,000 photographs of the event! If you aren’t in that photostream it is because you weren’t there.

The conference is always remembered by the people who attend it. They really make what it has become. Everyone is pretty comfortable discussing all aspects of the digital world we live in. The conversations can become pretty intense. Maybe that’s why when its over everyone’s brain is very tired. It is that intenseness and passion for the subject that is so rewarding. You give as much as you can and you end up getting back more.

I keep my notes of the conference in my Moleskine. This year I have 19 pages of words, ideas, URLs, and miscellany. Those notes will be key in today’s reflection of what is happening on the Internet. There will be a few more blogs subscribed to from the people you have met, a few that you will read more often and probably a few more readers of your own blog. The social fabric continues to get woven.

We all tend to want to measure things in terms of success (it was a successful event). I have never thought NV as a success. It is more a happening, an idea exchange, a period of incubation of thoughts and words. By attending you are propelled into a different realm that everyone who participates understands by experiencing it. It isn’t something you can necessarily write about or listen to. You have to experience what took place. And experiences are made with people. We are social animals. We like to be with others to share, understand and have a venue to express what we think and believe. And that is what Northern Voice does.

Our national anthem has a phrase “the truth north strong and free”. I sense that in a fashion at NV. The strength is from who we are, the free is our ability to express it. Thanks to everyone who was there.

Social Bookmarking and the dilemma of choice

At the recent Northern Voice conference Alan Levine made a presentation of WordPress Web sites that don’t look at all like a WordPress blog. Jim Groom also had a presentation about this. Alan had a tag on that he used to keep track of these sites and suggested anyone use it if they also found examples. There were a few people that mentioned work they had done in this area, Alan hit the sites, tagged them, and the source of the information was complete. It was the first time I had seen that happen at a public session.Wikipedia has an interesting introduction on social bookmarking that deserves reading. The article mentions other sites including Simpy and Ma.gnolia. There are a vast variety of features in them all but it brings up the Twitter vs Pownce debate again. Trey twittered William’s quote this morning — community beats cool. With the plethora of web apps available does one choose to use something because it works, works better, has more features or there are more people using it?I would like to use Pownce but there are so few of us there that everyone has drifted back to Twitter. (Flock does a decent but not perfect job of helping one keep informed about the feeds.) So community has outweighed function with that choice. One of the problems we all face is filtering. There are volumes of information pushed out onto the web daily that make it impossible to keep up with. Here again the ‘wisdom of crowds’ comes into play. The use a common social bookmarking service could filter and highlight for all of us those areas of interest. I would love to have an RSS feed of informative bookmarks suggested by friends and peers on a daily basis. It can only add to keeping current on so many important subjects. But again who does one pick?, Ma.gnolia, Simpy or ??

The first day of Northern Voice 2008 = MooseCamp

The first day of NV08 was pretty good. Of course there were sessions you couldn’t get to but there certainly was enough to keep you busy.

The Enterprise Social session had a good attendance and talked about wikis in the enterprise and how to successfully grow and use them. One aspect of wikis which was noted again and again was that search of all kinds sucks. But the biggest question was how do you get people to use these tools? What exactly hinders their use? It was interesting to note that the successful use of a wiki in an enterprise situation was conditioned on both the top and the grassroots contributing and there had to be a balance of both. It wasn’t like it would take hold just because it was introduced.

Citizen Journalism was interesting but it was also a presentation by CBC. The ‘motherhood’ culture predominated. Sure you can send stories and news to them but they will control the content. I don’t think they get it. By it’s nature citizen journalism uses the ‘openness’ of the web as one of its strongest points. To have it funneled and used by a large public media outlet takes away that strength. It was interesting to see how the CBC have now silently changed into beginning to understand what is happening. A few years ago blogging and alternative sources of news were largely ignored and discounted. But the giant will move slowly.

Photocamp was great. Lots of discussion around light.

WordPress and your problems was everyone moving into specific groups with resident experts leading the discussions and helping everyone with their questions. Jim Groom led our small group with some amazing information about plug-ins and presentation schemes.

Alan Levine had a session ‘More Than Cat Diaries’ that showed some web sites that don’t look like blogs but are running on blog software. The tag ‘notcatdiaries‘ on gives numerous examples.

That was it. Voxant was buying the beers and handing out T-shirts at the local bar so a bunch of us headed over there and continued discussing the day’s event. By the end of the day my brain hurt. And now we move into the second day.

Why I am changing from Twitter to Pownce

This is a tough decision. There are a lot of people that you connect with on Twitter but in the last few weeks I am getting frustrated. Using Twitteriffic is good but there seems to be missing posts. Conversations and threads have holes in them or you miss someones’ single brilliant post. I ended up flipping back to the browser to get some completeness in posting and that was a step back.

Caleb (that creative genius) mentioned Pownce so I tried it out. Sorry to say this but this is what microblogging and Twitter should be. Here’s what impressed me:

– I don’t have to constantly condense my message if it doesn’t fit. Sure Twitter keeps things short and limited but it was taking more time to fit the message than write the message.

– I haven’t tried this but you can grouo your friends. The possibility of sending a message to a specific group (family, work, bloggers) was something I had only wished for.

– has a number of additional features that could prove useful (event posting, file transfer, links).

– introduction to Adobe Air which is very well done.

– etc.

So to all my fellow Twitter family members you maybe should start exploring. What was that byline in that TV commercial “Try it, you’ll like it!”

How do you sponsor a blogging event?

Once again the credit union is part of the group of sponsors for Northern Voice 2008, Vancouver’s best blogging conference. We got involved 4 years ago and every year it is a challenge. How do you present your message to a group of bloggers? These aren’t the beginners, they are what blogging is all about. Lots of attendees rank below the 50,000 Technorati level. An extremely intelligent and intriguing group of people.
This is what we end up doing -we commission a poster, craft a bunch of buttons, give away a couple of these posters (they get to be hot items) and give someone a free registration to the event. This year we are also giving away two hockey tickets (Canucks – Detroit game this Saturday night) at Thursday’s dinner. After that you just attend and enjoy.

2222362543_156f23a315_m.jpgAttending creates so many ideas that it leaves you drained after two days. The event always is about the people. Whoever shows up makes it what it has become, a blogging event that is about the person and the idea.

This year Basco5 asked for input as he was designing the poster. There were some great comments on Flickr and by the end of the 4th draft there was more than enough feedback to arrive at a finished product. Interesting that some of the ideas for design are coming from some attendees. See what social media leads to.

This year we understand Vancity is also a banner sponsor. This is great. The largest CU in Canada along with one of the smallest participating in a blogging conference. I remember telling some people in the CU system the first year we were a sponsor. They thought we were crazy. Yup that’s the credit union I work for — real crazy.

Consumer posting

Jon Derum has an interesting post on his blog about giving people the ability to post comments on ‘blog bars’ (computer terminals at places of business). We really haven’t seen much of an evolution of this idea. We have a Mac setup at the end of the wickets where anyone can sit down to use it to have Internet access. When people know about it they sometimes use it. Some use it on a regular basis, others don’t bother. It does seem to be an issue of time though. People come in to do their ‘banking’ and are prone to move on once the task is completed. They don’t necessarily come to have access to the Internet or to the point made, spend the time to post a comment.

What is very interesting is to see how this ‘service’ will evolve. Will the ubiquitous iPhone/iTouch change when and how we will comment? Will free community wi-fi sites change usage? What happens when ATM’s become web based? Something is going to change, that is for certain.