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.

For credit union employees on LinkedIn.

I’ll be honest with you, I am not quite sure what to do with LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn started this service a little while back, and I thought it would be cool to create a group for all credit union employees on LinkedIn. But then I wondered if I was the right person to create such a group.

So I passed the idea to my friend and EverythingCU marvel, Morriss Partee. Morriss went ahead and started the group.

I’m not sure where it will go, but if you’re a CU staff member who uses LinkedIn, go ahead and invite yourself to this group and let’s see what develops.

And if anyone has any thoughts as to where it can evolve, let Morriss or myself know (and if anyone wants to create a little icon for the group, that would cool too!).

UPDATE: To join the group, click here.

Hitting four hundred.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a total LinkedIn nut. Between LinkedIn and Facebook, I’m at peace with most of my social media needs (Twitter helps a little too, but I could live without it).

I think LinkedIn is the best possible representation of my professional life: my experience, my connections, my reputation, my accomplishments. It’s truly putting my best foot forward when I meet someone I want to know better professionally. It also helps me keep my connections open for a lot longer, whereas previously they would have fossilized after a few months.

Just now, Shawn Ward, co-founder of the social personal finance service Geezeo become my four hundredth connection. A fun milestone.

@Shari: 168 is nice too…