Come to TransportCamp on October 30th.

My friend Jeremy Osborn invited me to an interesting event called TransportCamp: A Sustainable Transportation Unconference.

Here’s how it is described on the website:

TransportCamp is an unconference, created for exploring the following theme:

How can transportation be a catalyst for building more vibrant communities in the Lower Mainland?

I love this BarCamp model applied to areas in need of collaborative thinking. I’m signing up.

Here are the details:
Where: BCIT Campus Downtown, 2nd Floor 555 Seymour Street Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 3H6
When: October 30th, 8:30AM – 4:00PM
Why: To network, generate ideas, and organize around sustainable transportation!
Cost: $25.00

Here’s where you register. See you there.

A note to those attending BarCampBankBC.

BarCampBankBCOkay, what is this BarCampBank thing about?
With BarCampBank coming up this weekend, we thought it would be good to let you know what we’re all in for.

The first thing we’ll do on Saturday morning is a quick round of introductions, so we know who we have with us. Then, those of us who want to create a session will write it up on a piece of paper and stick it on a grid made up of times and rooms. Once we have the sessions on the grid, the people who wrote them up will give a short pitch to the rest of us.

Then we’ll vote with our feet and join the sessions that interest us. If no one comes to a session, it’s cancelled. If someone wants to take up two time-slots in a row to create an extra long session, that’s cool. If you’re in a session that you’re not interested in, leave it and find one that you like better. The conference will be developed organically by all of us together.

What often works well is to propose sessions around the things you want to discover and learn, not the things you have to teach. Curiousity is the name if the game.

All participation is welcome (well except for pitches for specific commercial products or companies, and long-winded presentations). Participation, however, is not mandatory. If you want to listen more than discuss, that’s up to you.

We are lucky to have a great mix of local BCers and people who have travelled from far and wide to participate. Some of us have been to a BarCampBank before, and many have not. We have all the right people and expertise to create a truly amazing weekend.

We hold this philosophy to be true:
The right people will show up and the right things will be discussed.

Pecha Kucha
At the end of day one, we’ll have a Pecha Kucha, where each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds, giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. If you want to do one, come with your presentation on a USB key.

Thinking of live blogging or taking photos?
We welcome all ways to record the sessions. Update the wiki, blog it, upload photos to flickr. Tweet away! We’ll all be using the same tag, which is:
bcbbc08

Anything else?
Oh yes, breakfast will be provided both days, and lunch will be provided on day one. On September 20th, we’ll start at 9am and wrap up at 5pm. On September 21st, we’ll start at 9am and wrap up the whole thing at 1pm. Please come on time, so you can participate in creating the sessions.

We’ll be at the BCIT Downtown Campus, 555 Seymour Street.

We look forward to seeing you here!

PS: Here are two great resources.

Discount code to attend Finovate.

Finovate 2008Last October I was lucky enough to attend and live blog at the inaugural Finovate conference. Finovate was started by Jim Bruene, who writes both NetBanker and Online Banking Report. No slouch, he.

I loved attending Finovate 2007, and live blogging it gave me a great perspective on what I was seeing. The format is simple: each presenter gets seven minutes to present their solution or product. No PowerPoint, no speeches, just live demos so everyone can see what they do. You can read my blog posts here, here and here

Jim wrote a post on NetBanker the other day giving the details of Finovate 2008 with all the presenters listed. It’s a great lineup!

This year, Finovate 2008 again happens in New York on October 14th at the Crowne Plaza Times Square. The cost is $995 USD, but if any of my readers want to go and are planning to book by the end of August, the Finovate organizers have given me a special promo code to pass along.

The first five people who go to finovate.com, and use the discount code “azaroff55” will get $250 off the $995 conference cost. It’ll definitely be an event worth attending!

A month ’til BarCampBankBC.

BarCampBankBC registrationI’m starting to get really excited about BarCampBankBC, which is happening the weekend of September 20th here in beautiful Vancouver, BC. It should prove to be an amazing coming-together of some great minds in the world of banking, credit unions, social media, technology, innovation and social responsibility.

With just a month to go, we have 62 people who have signed up on the wiki, but only 30 who have registered and paid. Now 30 is still a pretty decent number, but…

…if you’re thinking of coming to BarCampBankBC, please take a minute to register now!

It’ll make the lives of the three organizers, me, Gene and Tim, a little easier.

Thanks, and see you there!

PS: I’m about to go to Alaska on a cruise with Amy and Ivan (my wife and son), so if I don’t publish comments quickly or at all, please forgive me!

PPS: It’s almost exactly a year since the first North American BarCampBank in Seattle, where so many great relationships and conversations started. A great milestone!

Changing Everything on ChangeEverything.ca

When we first launched ChangeEverything.ca, it was a hectic and amazing time. Not enough time to get everything done. One of the areas I felt we could do better was site usability and overall design. Kate and I always felt like we wanted to go back and make some improvements.

So this year, we blocked out some budget and started working on fixing some of those areas. Among the areas we focused on were:

  • improving the registration flow
  • improving the workflow for adding changes and blog posts
  • grouping social features together so people discover each other and interact easier
  • putting a sharper focus on the people, and not just on the text
  • making the site, well, just prettier

It was a complete pleasure working with Kirsten Hall, an extraordinary usability consultant here in Vancouver, the amazing Tim McAlpine and his team at Currency Marketing on the front end design, and Affinity Bridge a great Drupal development shop in town.

The process, like the original creation of the site, was charmed. Everyone worked together well, there were no real hiccups, and people had a lot of fun.

The upcoming design changes, including as mock-up of the new look and feel, were announced on ChangeEverything.ca today. We’re looking for Beta testers, so check it out and help out if you want.

Otherwise, I’ll let you know when everything launches in September!