Tag Archives: community

Riff: Event Wrangling & Community Magic

(CC) Randy Stewart, blog.stewtopia.com. Feel free to use this picture. Please credit as shown.
If you are a person that I have taken a photo of, it’s yours (but I’d still be curious as to where it is).

A riff in reply to a conversation with Isabella Mori and others (FB iirc) about the notable conference/event/happening called Northern Voice and the reasons it sparked such goodness.

My thoughts about what makes events successful and satisfying: 

It starts with people wanting to be “part of something bigger than themselves” but then must be coupled with the reality of “getting things done” from logistical standpoint.

This is where communities so often struggle/fall apart with diverging visions – once dreaded money enters the scenario, the fun dissipates.

With this is mind, I find the best solution is finding ways to do things for “cheap and cheerful”… like in someone’s cabin, outside in a park, whatever venue is free, or no venue at all (as we did for True North Media House during the Vancouver Olympics).

As far as this organizational wrangling goes, (and this is something Northern Voice did so well), is having well-delegated committee to move things along.

I do know that there was different strong opinions within the organization, which can be useful, but as soon as any organization starts going to much into the “philosophical” boundaries of the event and/or starts pandering to sponsors, rather than letting the event happen organically (“event” being used very loosely here and could be replaced with campaign, activation, happening, be-in or whatever), the magic dissipates.

Northern Voice was magic because of the freeform parts like “Moose Camp“ and there was an element of randomness which was embraced rather than resisted.

Sponsorship was lightweight and clear and not over-bearing, and the fact that “almost anyone” could be a presenter was super important as many people had their first chance to express some selves in front of a crowd at that event.

This is a big difference from the various models of “sponsors get to speak” or a bunch of free speakers and then paying some out-of-town knucklehead to show up and do their stump speech and fly out immediately afterwards. #NotAGuru

The other part is of course is the undefinable “moment of time” which provides a container for the magic to happen.

In this case, we were obviously on the verge of something new and undefined and unbearably interesting. Certainly this timing is hard to duplicate except when the gut/heart/head all tell you the time feels right – and looking at these warm sentiments expressed by such lovely people here, maybe this is a time in which something is needed (again).

“It” will be different sure, but the difference makes it unique for its moment in time and the community which builds around it.

And remember, this doesn’t have to turn into an organize/branded/annual/sponsored event. It can just be a “potluck/salon/hang out” with wisdom sharing baked-in.

My experience wrangling suggests: Keep *it* lightweight, as simple as possible, focused on the one critical thing (personal expression or what have you…) rather than let the organization organize for the organization’s sake and get bogged down in the *business* of the organization.

Note: Social Media “Revolution” (On many fronts, the revolution has waned…)

A note to someone re: social media’s “potential” and loss (or dilution thereof):

On many fronts, the revolution has waned, lost under a fog of sugar high likes and viral broken dreams, but you and your comrades are the résistance!

Make interestingness, tell authentic stories, learn your audience one hog at a time, and the rest evolves through a natural course to beautiful outcomes.

When life gives you lemons, simply go get some limes… They are far tastier (not to mention green being a more interesting colour than yellow).

Show the way forward and viva la résistance!

Scrapbook: Dave as Tintin Character (gift from Hootpals), 2012

Scrapbook: Dave as Tintin (gift from Hootpals), 2012
Scrapbook: Dave as Tintin character (gift from Hootpals), 2012

Related: 

a Hootsuite community team illustration done in Hergé style. A treasure! 

Me as Tin Tin for Halloween, circa 1979, Guilford, Surrey (no one really knew who i was but whatever… musta been the glasses :))

Connecting Communities / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Indeed, I love connecting communities and so very happy 25 people (!) foreign dignitaries are coming to celebrate the wedding festivities in Okayama, Japan. Especially pleased that various times and places of my life are well represented: bearded renegades from Canada, lifesavers from Indonesia, a catch a beauties from Utah, padawans from the Hoot days from scattered places, hot dog couples and various drifting explorers. Oh, and the legendary mountain man from Nagano via Minnesota and the south Indian Ocean.

My hope/expectation is everyone will go home with new best friends and cultures will be intertwined to form relationships to last additional lifetimes. Yes, all will receive #FreeHugs.
 
PS Also note, we are at the maximum capacity, actually well beyond… for the shrine ceremony and fancy lunch, but the party is at a goat farm in a barn so room for more last-minute add-ons in addition to the 100+ already confirmed. As such, 100 deluxe gift bags are underway but not guaranteed #trying.

Notes: What i Seek in Community / Places to Live

When the wheels fell off life due to illness, deaths, heartbreaks etc (circa 2015), i scribbled notes in a notebook naturally with intentions about where to go, how to live. I visited many places seeking safety, creativity and community. While my notes didn’t reveal the plan per se, the exercise was valuable to discover what i wanted/needed/capabilities. Published as a “note to future self” to remind the importance of stating intentions from the heart (with assist from the head).

What I Seek in Community

  • Golf carts for quiet transport like Caye Caulker
  • Island but with easy access to mainland like Gabriola
  • Ganja like Jamaica
  • Strangeness of history like Pelilu
  • Minimal dogma in religion like Bali
  • Community centre and market like Pender Island
  • Village of shops but not a strip mall
  • Visitors come and go from guesthouses, tours, inns like Berkshires
  • Music, recording studios, concerts, festivals like Salt Spring(?)
  • Access to natural medical services & quality food
  • Post office

Places to Live

Req: Anonymous, Creative, Safe + Community

  • Torrey UT /Larry’s Land
  • House on Gabriola
  • Thai/Viet/Cambodia
  • UK Protectorate (Falklands, VI)
  • Japan (Okayama > south)
  • Nova Scotia (Cape Breton) or other Maritimes
  • Portugal / Spain / Greece
  • Victoria if no other option – too “perfect” for action Dave

Social Marketing Kung fu: Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow

Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow

These note cards are residual evidence of a “lunch ‘n learn” and/or other spiel presented in some context or another.

As it goes, i can’t cover all of my Social Marketing Kung Fu(n) topics o’ wisdom in one session, so i make a “game show” where attendees choose their own adventure by choosing from these little prompts.

Shared here for future reference.

PS You can hear loads of my spiels about topics including: marketing, start-ups, PR, renegade social community building etc. via the Community Feasthouse podchannel if inclined.

 

“Art Technology Are Old Pals” Talk Transcription (Wordcamp Vancouver 2010)

Transcription of a talk called “Art and Tech are Old Pal” at Wordcamp Vancouver in 2010. Video no longer exists (thanks to blip.tv) but audio exists, as does a “round-up” of photos, tweets, artifacts, and so on. See “Consider Perusing” below.

Dave: I bet you’ve had a lot of knowledge today, so you’re probably pretty exhausted.  I’m pretty wiped out but that’s mostly from the speaker’s dinner last night.  Thanks to the organizers for bludgeoning us the night before.  I really went there.  This will be fine.  I’m just going to pop in for just an hour or so.  It turned out to be longest bus ride of my life on the way home.  Overall, we’re good.  So, Mr. John Biehler on keyboard. [applause]

So, I do my best thinking in the bath because you can’t do anything else.  When you’re in the bath, there’s really nothing else you can do.  You certainly can’t use your iPhone unless you put it in a little Ziploc bag.  You shouldn’t be using your laptop.  That’s just dangerous.  I can’t use my vaporizer because I’d be electrocuted.  So really, all that’s left to do in the bath is thinking.

Recently, I was in the hospital.  Hit me the slide there, John.  While I was recovering and having my scrambled eggs and stuff like that, I got to thinking about what a strange conundrum.  What a strange piece of place of history that we live in with this tool.  I was thinking about coming to talk to you guys.  I had to have something because I really couldn’t think about it because I really couldn’t do much of anything.

I started thinking about how weird it is that all of a sudden art and technology were seeing these fruitions of time where all of a sudden a lot of you are making tools, writing codes, I went and sat in some of the things, and John’s talking about Map and all the new innovations of WordPress 3.0., I use the free WordPress.com, so I’m just letting you guys figured out how to build the tools.

But, all of a sudden, we’re replacing time that guys are making tools.  You’re also expected or in some way producing content for these things.  All of a sudden, you have this new publishing platform in front of you.  I started thinking, because I’ve always been caught in space between art and technology as evidenced here with my King Tut exhibit there, that was pretty good and that’s the important part of taking risks, just proof and point about when you make art, you got to take some risks.  

Continue reading “Art Technology Are Old Pals” Talk Transcription (Wordcamp Vancouver 2010)

Trainspotting: VIA Rail’s “the Ocean” Heads Out of Moncton, New Brunswick

The VIA Rail train “The Ocean” – from which i just disembarked – pulls out of Moncton, New Brunswick heading west towards Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

This train is Viarail’s The Ocean which goes between Montreal and Halifax… In this case, dumping me off in Moncton, New Brunswick (from Truro, Nova Scotia) last summer when I explored eastern/maritime Canada seeking a new home Unsuccessfully — I did find many find communities between Montréal’s mile end, Quebec City, Halifax’s north end, St. John’s Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia… to name a few but turns out I’m #Pacific through and through. Note: met wonderful people in each place… So much more #friendly & open than #Vancouver indeed – also way way thriftier place to find a home and exist.

Swipe for multiple views of this fine (by 1960s standards anyway) conveyance.

Strong squad indeed we are, @invoker

Coupla renegades on a mission in the rain. Solid session with this hard-charging co-conspirator from so many clandestine endeavours. Strong squad indeed we are @invoker!

So many stories from breaking down walls (literally and figuratively), rolling out busses, sparking revolutions, acquiring frenemies and exploring new lands.

“Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion” from boldkick

My pal and long time collaborator at Hootsuite, Chris Trottier and his new crew at “boldkick” – a new social architecture bureau, wrote this little tribute post about me following a talk at Victoria, BC, Canada’s Social Media Camp where i discussed how the “Internet has a Short Memory”. I am truly touched by he and Cindy’s kind words – i am very fond of them as well.

Excerpt pasted below for the record along with a link to the original post.

Raised on a diet of hockey, punk rock, and fanzines, Dave “Uncle Weed” Olson has been writing about his experiences for almost as long as the Internet existed.

A master storyteller, Dave Olson thrives in building communities. His work revolves around being an all-around creative. He is a writer, a podcaster, singer, a multi-hyphenate superstar. Looking at his own website, it’s both surprising and inspiring to see one person who has done so much.

It all leads to one thing, doesn’t it? Passion.

It’s been such an overused word, but it always rings true to the people who have it. Dave’s lifeblood is community, something that we at Boldkick strongly resonate with. Did we mention he’s from Vancouver, too?

As a traveller, Dave Olson has had a handful of experiences with different people with different backgrounds. In a quick interview at Toque and Canoe about his suitcase, Dave Olson shares about his souvenirs in his travels.

“I keep little ephemeral paper objects. Ticket stubs. Crappy postcards. I’ll take an empty scrap book and make it real time on the trip. Then you return home and BAM, the whole trip is documented and you can share it with your friends. I was on a train in the rain in Spain (ha ha) and had my scrap book with me and I ended up partying with all of these great folks. Great way to bridge those cultural gaps. I also like to bring back coins. Little things. I like tiny things.”

Source: Get to Know Dave Olson: A Glimpse of Uncle Weed’s World Full of Passion – boldkick