Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is discussed in a recent Atlantic Monthly article – “The Web 2.0 Bubble” by Michael Hirschorn. He talks at length about MySpace and Facebook and tends to make the statement that Web 2.0 = social networking. Sure the big guys are trying to grab a piece of the Web 2.0 hype but probably for all the wrong reasons. Networks and links, groups and friends, exist because we are social animals, plain and simple, and when technology allows us to do this easily and without taking public transit then we will avail ourselves of the gift. It is not a bubble just another evolution of what is happening on the web.

The key question is what is it moving into? Where is this taking us this time? There are endless resources now available that take a huge amount of time to just keep up with. Techcrunch for example. This is a great site that keeps volumes of information available to view what is being released. The complexity of what is offerred continues to be amazing. What we thought impossible 10 years ago is a reality. But is seems that everyone is racing to get the magic app on the web. They want to be the next Flickr, Technorati, or del.icio.us. Is this that what the churn is about? To get an app ready for the big sale? Probably, but in the meantime we mere mortals are awash in a techcircus that delivers entertainment and awe to those that remember lesser days.




At the recent Northern Voice 2007 there was a presentation about the Toronto transit-camp and the possibility of one in Vancouver. If there ever was a city that needed something like this it is here. You can’t change the system overnight but there is the possibility of changing little things, bit by bit.

Here is Karen’s post.

There is always the challenge by those at Transit to think this is a challenge to what they do. I think Karen and Will stated at the beginning of their presentation, it was not a complaint session, but an attempt to make what we have better. If that key element is maintained much can be done.

Why do I get enthused about transit? Never used to but something changed. It is a great way to be part of the community. You can hear and see people. You can walk among them. Everyone has the energy to be going somewhere. Plain and simple. A car is like an island moving down a concrete river. No human interaction at all just rubber, gasoline, concrete asphalt and whatever is on your sound system. A vehicle seems devoid of anything.

productimage.jpeg The Discomfort Zone by Johathan Franzen. Great little book that tells stories of the author when he was a child. Reading it is like remembering your childhood. So there were others that felt very uncomfortable about going? Being found out that you were different resulted in Social Death. Good description at the time.

The poster arrived

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 EllulThe 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.

Northern Voice 2007

The nicest blogging conference is being held at UBC this year. It is an incredible event because there are such interesting people to meet. You can expend a huge amount of energy keeping up with the speakers and events. And it is a lot of fun. The credit union I work for is helping to sponsor the event with others again this year. Of course it is going to be tough to beat the positive response we got from everyone for our buttons and poster but there are a few things in the works that will make it interesting.
Some would ask why would a small credit union in the Fraser Valley sponsor an event such as this? If it does anything is brings a quiet message to everyone that the credit union movement is alive and well, that it is paying attention to what is happening in the online world and that specifically this credit union has the understanding of what blogging is and what it should be. There is a relationship established in blogging between writers and readers that removes the filtering of any 3rd party influence. And because of this communication people can grasp the signfigance of the stories and ideas presented. It is a new medium, it is evolving, and business should pay closer attention to the voice of the citizen. The other benefit of being there is the creative influence of the attendees. The ideas just flow. If you get a chance (I don’t know the status of the registration but it does fill up quick) consider going. You will not regret it.