Why BarCampBank?

One of the interesting things about coming to an event like BarCampBankSeattle is trying to explain it to people who have no framework with which to contextualize it.

What’s a BarCamp? Why a BarCamp for banking? Why not just have a regular conference? What are you doing down there in Seattle? Why on Earth would a grown man go to Banking Camp?

It’s only now struck me that with new tools emerging to allow for greater online collaboration, whether you’re talking about BaseCamp, Facebook, Del.icio.us, LinkedIn or Second Life, the needs for in-person collaboration is changing. For people who are not using these new tools, nothing has changed and therefore they don’t need new ways of interfacing with their peers. But for those of us who have embraced these new tools and found that they have significantly improved their ways of collaborating and working together, we want our real world events to change too.

Along comes BarCampBankSeattle. I wouldn’t be interested if a traditional conference was organized this way because you’d be in a room full of people who want content served to them, just like people who are used to traditional web experiences (the irony of a term like “traditional web experience” is not lost on me) want content served up to them. They aren’t used to co-creating and collaborating.

So the idea of BarCampBank – that the right people are here and the right things are being discussed – really works because the people who have opted in to this process are all on the same wavelength when it comes to collaborating and working together. The guys at Trabian are leaders in this space, because their employees live in different cities and still work together through tools like AIM, Twitter, blogs, Facebook, BaseCamp and so on. So a loose, informal heavily collaborative event like BarCampBank makes perfect sense to the people who are here because we want new models for in-person meetings that fit into our new working relationships.

The penny dropped and it’s amazing to be here.

I’ll format my thoughts properly and post some content this week – I promise.

Twitter as a marketing tool?

I have to admit, when I first came across Twitter (I think it was Shari Storm who first invited me to the Twit) I wasn’t impressed. But something about it has kept me coming back.

I recently came across a neat example of a business using Twitter to market itself. A restaurant in Buffalo uses it to promote its daily specials. Very nice.

Here’s a great and very thorough article on iMedia Connection about what makes Twitter so sticky and how it can be useful. Well worth a read.

Oh, and by the way, here’s me.

Facebook and Twitter

I’m not very good at keeping up with my Twitter. I guess I’m just a poor Twitterer. I like the concept of microblogging but I’m not much of a text messager, nor do I go to Twitter very often to update via the web. Now that I’ve been sucked into the wonderful world of Facebook and am loving it, I found out about a site that will update your Twitter status when you update your Facebook status. It’s called fbtwit.com and it seems to work great.

The nice side benefit is that when you update your Facebook, and your Twitter status is also updated, you can use Twitter’s status widget on your blog to tell everyone what the hell you’re doing.

Thanks to Alexandra Samuel for this tip.