So I gotta admit, although I was totally excited about BarCampBankSeattle, I was skeptical about the concept that those who show up are the right people, and whatever is discussed are the right things to discuss. It sounded a little too airy-fairy for me (and I can handle a lot of airy-fairy). And yet it totally works.
The day has a structure we decided in the morning and we strayed from that structure in exactly the right way. If a session loses focus, people leave. If a session needs to go on for longer, people keep discussing.
It truly is an amazing group, and it’s great to be a part of it. This is also a great structure for smaller groups who really want to cross-pollenate. Kudos to Jesse Robbins and Ben Black for putting it together!
Quick update. It’s great to meet Jason Knight of Wesabe.com and hear his thoughts. He spoke of choosing a platform, because no one can afford to develop for everything that exists. He feels that the iPhone is a better platform for them than Facebook. Not that he’ll ignore Facebook, but the ‘always with you’ experience of the iPhone is more compelling to him. Very interesting, I hadn’t thought of those two in the same space, but to him there’s a choice to be made.
BarCampBankSeattle is off to a roaring start. I wasn’t familiar with this Open Space model, but people started by proposing different sessions they were interested in and then started grouping and discussing. Some really impressive thought leaders here, and we’re all mashing up, running ideas.
One session that kicked things off for me was “Credit Financing of International Relief & Development Projects” and we discussed some very interesting and innovative ways to get funding to needed projects in developing countries.
I’ll blog the notes into more of a thoughtful post later. Powerful stuff.
Watching the explosion of content, and users, at Facebook, may be the most interesting thing we’ve seen since the rise of the commercial Web in 1995/1996.
Jim writes about the opportunities that exist for FIs to sponsor Facebook applications like ChipIn. Jim documents how ChipIn works really well using screenshots. Nicely done. It’s exciting to watch this new explosion of financial services within Facebook. It really democratizes how people can access money.
And I’m not just mentioning this because he gave Vancity’s Bike Share a nice plug (although it didn’t hurt).