Listen to the Credit Union Innovators podcast.

Credit Union InnovatorsTim McAlpine at Currency Marketing has been one of my favourite contributors to the credit union blogging world for months now. His posts are incisive, smart and often provocative. And now he is creating a series of CU podcasts, called Credit Union Innovators. Here’s how Tim describes it…

The format of this and future episodes will be interviews and conversations with people that are doing good things for the credit union movement. Credit union leaders and employees and partners to the movement including vendors, technologists, strategists, designers, specialists, marketers, developers, speakers and members. Anyone with passion for the credit union movement and with something to say.

The really great news is that the first podcast features Gene Blishen of Mount Lehman Credit Union. Gene is an amazing inspiration to me. He is an incredibly important resource for the entire credit union movement, and his credit union is a real pillar of the community. He understands the mission of his CU perfectly and keeps his focus exactly where it should be: on his members. He’s well worth listening to.

You can hear the podcast here:
Podcast 01: Credit Union Innovator Gene Blishen.

Or subscribe to it in iTunes.

Black Hole Blog.

An article in the newest (September 2007) edition of Enterprise Magazine features an interview with me. Black Hole Blog covers social media and how credit unions can embrace it. I talk about how CUs can respond to bloggers, and the writer, Laureen Griffin, also writes about

She also interviewed Gene Blishen and Trey Reeme.

I’ve seen a few articles like this, but I thought this particular one was insightful. It must be hard to write an article that is at once basic and also helpful, knowing that your readers will range from those who don’t know social media at all, to those who are eager to try it out.

I like this quote a lot:

If a member of your credit union was standing in the middle of a town square in front of a rapt crowd, praising or criticizing your service or products, would you go outside and listen? If you could go to free credit union conferences to learn about the biggest innovations in credit union marketing, would you go? If your credit union could be the Roman Forum of the community, where people shared their concerns, and spoke from their hearts, would you do it? If you answered “yes,” then you are ready to dive into the blogosphere.

A nice way of framing the issue, I think.

tinfoiling on the virtual human experience.

In a post I made a few days back, I tried to articulate some of the issues I’ve been thinking about our web site design to enhance the member/user experience.

Gene at tinfoiling left a comment in which he said:

The online experience seems to revolve around the person, their personal networks and being able to keep things the way they want to. Our products need to capture these elements.

I was intrigued, but his short comment on my site obviously didn’t capture the depth of what he was getting at, so I asked him to expand on his own site. Much to my delight he has.

Here’s Gene’s response on tinfoiling.

His theory, and I hope I do it justice is that web design as we’ve been dealing with it is a bit of a boondoggle, avoiding the key element of what the customer wants. And it goes back to our product design as well. A huge idea really, and I gotta admit, I’m still fully wrapping my head around it.

Colin, as usual, had a great comment:

Product – my take: forget about it. It comes last. Banks have been product centric for ever, and that doesn’t work when you get into experiential design.

A great conversation. I had no idea the doors I was opening when I started…