Conferences as Community Gathering

Rather than treating attendees just as an audience for lectures, conferences should be a community gathering that invites people to make it an awesome experience. Here are some thoughts on how to include community in your traditional conference format, starting with a bit of history about unconferences.

Committed to building Vancouver’s startup community

I’ve been in an introspective mood lately. It’s 2014, 10 year since I returned to Vancouver. 10 years of working with web technology and community building. What has changed about Vancouver, and where is it heading? How long does it take to level up a startup ecosystem?

Build more startups in Vancouver

Last Thursday, Jesse Heaslip wrote ‘Two Problems with (Vancouver’s tech community) and Three Ways to Fix it’. If you don’t know Jesse, know this: he’s crazy-irrational-passionate about the Vancouver tech community. For proof, I offer the fact that he organized 40 tech events that were attended by 1600 people in 2011. Talk about impact! Jesse lists the two problems as: 1. How do we get companies to the stage where there is interest from acquirers? and 2. How do we get those companies to stay? First of all, for a really great backgrounder on startups in Vancouver and the various...

Reinventing the wheel one directory at a time

I just saw this GrowLab post about an initiative to get local companies to get listed and link to a directory of Vancouver companies. Now, I definitely think we can do more to celebrate being based here in Vancouver, as we digital creatives go out to sell to the entire world, but I hate seeing us once again starting yet another directory from scratch!

Vancouver’s Talent Are Like Raw Resources

I had a brief clip air on Global TV BC this evening, commenting on the news that Facebook is opening a temporary office in Vancouver. Here’s a link to the written article. Thanks to Greg for tracking down the Global TV News Hour clip (starts at 15:20). I do think that the difficulty in getting a US Visa is a contributing factor to make Canada / Vancouver an attractive place to put an office. It was back in July 2007 that the Microsoft opening an office news broke. Looking back, the Microsoft office out in Richmond was basically a non-impact...

How to Play Instagram

Gowalla is like Lego used to be—it’s a tool without any rules.Travis Smith Inspired by Travis' post about How To Play Gowalla, I present you with my version for Instagram. What is Instagram? It’s an app for the iPhone that lets you apply effects to pictures you take and post them online. As well, it’s very easy to share those pictures on other social networks. For me, Instagram has become the most fun and engaging online community experience since I started using Flickr just as it was getting started. I think it’s no accident that both center around photos. So,...

I want to vote with my dollars that the Vancouver tech community is important

Allen Pike posts about how important homes for startups are and what his experience has been like here in Vancouver. Here’s the closing sentence: Bringing startups close to one another is, dollar for dollar, more helpful to the Vancouver ecosystem than tax breaks ever could be. Allen Pike, Homes for Vancouver Startups Once again, I realize that my gut agrees with this 1000%, and it has for years.

What is an unconference?

Mitch Joel laments the ‘Death of the Unconference’, saying “This past month, I’ve seen a handful of events that are billing themselves as unconferences when, in reality, they’re just very shabby and cheap events.” I don’t doubt that the term unconference has been co-opted. But I disagree with Mitch’s take on what the one, true unconference actually is and means. Maybe we should backup at this point and actually explain the core concept of an unconference. An unconference typically starts the day by gathering all the participants in one room, and those that want to lead talks pitch their sessions....

On coworking: you cannot make a profit selling community

That last one’s important. We’re not communists, we’re not anti-capitalists and we’re not running some kind of pep club. It’s just that we’ve thought about it. You cannot make a profit selling community. via I saw this via Dave Pollard on G+ and nodded my head most violently as I read through the whole thing. (I could spend a week just posting each of the paragraphs of of Tozier’s post) Tozier starts by talking about how different labels / terminology start getting corrupted in a mass market to mean different things. It has happened to coworking, and it is...