Day 1 at Net.Finance.

Net.Finance 2008Today was a good day. I’m too tired to write much. I was extremely pleased with the way my presentation went. The hard work paid off.

If you’re looking for good Net.Finance coverage, my peer at Westminster Savings Credit Union is partially live-blogging. Meet the fantastic Ed Brett and his Small FI Blog.

Oh, and how did I miss that Michigan First Credit Union started a blog? It’s all about their community engagement, and is called MI Community Space. Did you all know that? I met James Anderson at Net.Finance last year, and spoke with him again today. A highly impressive individual.


Also, check out Rob Cottingham’s latest cartoon with a reference to our Webby Nomination.

I’m off to Net.Finance.

Net.Finance 2008I leave today for Scottsdale, Arizona to attend and present at the Net.Finance conference. This will be my third year attending Net.Finance, and I always come back with some great new ideas to implement, lots of ideas to share with my peers, some new friends and colleagues from across North America and a nice time away in a sunny climate.

This year, it’s especially nice because this is an important first anniversary for me. It was a year ago when I presented at Net.Finance about ChangeEverything.ca, and my journey on the conference circuit began in full force. Presenting at conferences has become a real passion for me. I get to share knowledge, meet lots of fascinating people, attend conferences that Vancity simply doesn’t have the budget to send me to, and I get to perform in front of a crowd, which is something I truly enjoy.

This year I’m presenting on Corporate Social Responsibility As Key Differentiator, which is a fancy way of saying social marketing and social media. I’ll talk about how Vancity’s community focus takes an increasingly strong role in our advertising and marketing, how we can leverage that community work into successful use of social media, and how it positively impacts our triple bottom line.

I gave two practice sessions to my peers at Vancity on Friday, and feel ready to go on stage and present in Arizona.

And this year at Net.Finance marks another nice anniversary. It was a year ago, in April of 2007 that I changed my blog’s purpose and focus from a place to put humourous links for my friends (with a whopping subscriber base of 8 readers at the time [thanks Ruben]) to a place where I discuss social media, corporate social responsibility, online branding and banks and credit unions (and now have a subscriber base of 140 or so readers [thank you]).

It’s been profoundly rewarding, enlightening and social. I have met some great people through my blog, taken part in some amazing discussions, and have received some very useful feedback on my work. It’s something almost indescribably wonderful.

So now I head off to Arizona, with five more major conferences ahead of me this year, an excitement about my work, and some extremely exciting projects ahead.

So thanks for reading, let me know if you’ll be at Net.Finance, and I hope to break 500 connections on LinkedIn by the time I return.

Vancity is carbon neutral.

Vancity is carbon neutral
There are so many reasons why I love working at Vancity, and now I have another really big one.

We announced today, after having it externally audited and verified, that as of December 31, 2007 Vancity is offically carbon neutral. In fact, we are the first North American financial institution to become carbon neutral.

So what does that mean?

It means we’ve tracked our footprint to assess the amount of carbon we emit.

Then we focused on reducing our emissions as much as we possibly could.

And finally, whatever carbon emissions we could not reduce, we purchased high quality local offsets to bring us to carbon neutrality.

This is a huge accomplishment and has been a major focus of the company for quite some time. In fact, we achieved our goal a full two years ahead of schedule by getting our employees across the organization involved and engaged in the issue.

A truly great announcement, and I imagine we’ll garner quite a bit of press coverage about it.

Vancity is carbon neutralI especially love our new limited-time carbon neutral logo on the website.

ChangeEverything.ca is nominated for a Webby Award.

Webby Awards
I am so pleased and excited to announce that ChangeEverything.ca was nominated for a Webby Award.

This is such an incredible honour, and follows on the heels of being an Official Honoree last year. Please vote for ChangeEverything.ca for the Webby People’s Voice Award.

It is worth noting that the four other sites nominated in the category of Social Networking are:

Perhaps you’ve heard of some of them. It is mind-boggling to be nominated against some of the biggest developments in social networking of the last year or two. Amazing also to be the only company-created social network, up against a bevy of startups.

Equally impressive is the lineup of judges who selected the nominees and will select an ultimate winner.

The Academy is an intellectually diverse organization that includes members such as musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, political columnist Arianna Huffington, Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser, “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, R/GA Founder and Chairman Robert Greenberg, Virgin Atlantic Chairman and Founder Richard Branson, Crispin Porter + Bogusky Partner and Chief Creative Officer Alex Bogusky, and The Weinstein Company Co-Founder Harvey Weinstein. Members also include writers and editors from publications such as The New York Times, Wired, Details, Fast Company, Elle, The Los Angeles Times, Vibe, and WallPaper. The 11th Annual Webby Awards received over 8,000 entries from over 60 countries and all 50 states and generated over 750 million media impressions worldwide.

It is pretty much exactly two years since we started developing the site from a concept, and so rewarding to see where Kate has nurtured and engaged the community of over 3,000 registered users. I am also heartened that we are the only socially responsible community in the running. Proves you can do well by doing good.

UPDATE: I added a link to where you can vote for ChangeEverything.ca for the People’s Voice Award.