Rob Cottingham's blog

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Bard on the Beach: ChangeEverything.ca's first contest

Our friends at ChangeEverything.ca want to send some lucky Vancouver-area bloggers to see a free Bard on the Beach performance:

Blog about changing your community, and you could find yourself at Bard on the Beach, courtesy of our Blogging for Change contest!

Just add a blog post to ChangeEverything.ca related to our current change theme of Change Your Community, no later than 5:00 PM PT on Wednesday September 13th 2006 for your chance to win a pair of tickets to the Sept. 17th Bard on the Beach presentation of Measure for Measure.

And if you haven't checked out ChangeEverything.ca yet, we hope you do. Not just because we built it for Vancity, and not just because Vancity is such a kickass community leader in these here parts, and not even because we're thrilled with how it's turning out, but because we'd love to know what you think.

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BarCamp Vancouver

BarCamp Vancouver last weekend was inspiring and inspired.

I caught John Ounpuu's introduction to Sutori, a site that gives consumers a place to share stories of customer satisfaction and, probably more often, dissatisfaction. James Sherrett previewed the intriguing AdHack, which will allow people to upload and publish their own ads for products they love... and reap the benefits if the companies behind the products like what they see.

Kate Milberry walked us through the history of tech activism, the wonderful Dethe Elza explained how you can wield Python to warp OS X to your will, Alex explained how you can use tagging to do the same thing to the entire world, and I offered seven tips for better tech presentations. For us the day ended early, but I gather from the blog posts I've read out that there was plenty more where that came from.

With so many conferences geared to monetizing this and finding venture capital for that, it was great to see something organized out of the sheer love of what emerging digital technology can do for people. Congrats to everyone who made this happen.

 


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YouTube meets The Man

Targeting your video message to the community you want to reach

I had a great conversation on Saturday night with Kate Trgovac on Sean Holman's Public Eye Radio. The topic was Petro-Canada's foray into the video-sharing world of YouTube, a project Kate got rolling for them before moving on to her new gig. (The videos purport to explain why gasoline prices are so high.)

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Rob talks about Petro-Canada and YouTube: CFAX 1070

Just a quick note – I’ll be on Sean Holman’s Public Eye with Kate Trgovac, to talk about Petro-Canada’s YouTube gambit. We’re on at 8 p.m., right after the news. That's 1070 kHz on your AM dial in sunny Victoria, or listen live online.

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Changing everything at Vancity

Announcing Vancity's Change Everything: an online community conversation on change

Think "financial institution", and you likely think of pinstripes, vaults and armed guards. Oh, and a powerful, deep-seated aversion to change.

So it'll probably startle a lot of people to see the latest project from Vancity, Canada's largest credit union. ChangeEverything.ca is an online community targeted (but not limited) to residents of Vancouver, Victoria and B.C.'s Lower Mainland. We spent the past few months building it, and launched a few days ago.

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Rewarding public-interest programmers

Via Jason at Communicopia, news of a new award for those who create open-source software that helps make the world a better place. It's the $10,000 Antonio Pizzigati prize for software in the public interest:

The new Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest will honor individuals who, in the spirit of open source computing, develop outstanding applications that help nonprofits become more effective in their ongoing efforts for social change.

”Within the world of public interest computing, no significant prize has up to now existed,” said Tides Foundation Director of Philanthropic Services Tod Hill. “The Pizzigati Prize aims to honor people working in the field and help create real solutions for activists working for positive social change.”

The prize is named for Tony Pizzigati, a promising young activist and software consultant who was killed in a car accident in the spring of 1995.

An announcement of the first winner is slated for later this month, and it will be worth checking out. The advisory panel for the award includes the brilliant Katrin Verclas (newly of N-TEN), Network for Good’s Joseph Mouzon and the E-volve Foundation’s Allison Fine.

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NetSquared: Online tools changing offline politics

There's a panel on right now with three fascinating thinkers and doers in online political activism: Joan Blades, Amy Goodman and – facilitating – Micah Sifry. Here are my very rough notes.

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Fast Company profiles social networks (and quotes Social Signal)

You can catch some of Alex's thinking on social networks in the latest issue of Fast Company. It's part of a great piece by Anya Kamenetz on what social networks mean for business, government and social enterprises:

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CBC dips the whole foot in the podcasting waters

Okay, so it isn't the revolution. But it's a big step forward for the CBC as Radio One unleashes a whole bunch of new podcasts on an unsuspecting public.

Every day will bring a new edition of a particular podcast:

  • Monday - The Best of Ideas
  • Tuesday - Dispatches
  • Wednesday - The Best of Outfront
  • Thursday - The Best of The Current
  • Friday - The Best of As It Happens
  • Saturday - Quirks & Quarks
  • Sunday - The Best of DNTO

That enough for you? Wait, don't answer – there's more, updated with varying frequency:

  • CBC Radio 3
  • Sounds Like Canada: The Digital Extra
  • CBC Radio Editor's Choice
  • Words at Large
  • Word of the Week

Still got some room on that iPod? There's also a weekly roundup of stories from every region of Canada.

The upshot is a dramatic multiplication of the CBC's podcast offerings, with a promise of more to come. This has to be pretty gratifying for the broadcaster's in-house tech visionary and podcast evangelist, Tod Maffin, who's done a lot to make this happen. Online communities around each podcast would be a natural next step, but this is terrific progress.

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Monster mashup: get the latest on the programmable Web

One of the most powerful aspects of the new web (some people say it's the defining aspect) is how so many web sites are actually applications that can share data with each other. One simple example is a blog, which can share its content with other blogs or with news aggregators.

Social Signal on...

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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