Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leadership in a Connected Age Info

Yesterday's Leadership in a Connected Age conference at Champlain College was a blast!

Go here for more info: including attendees to follow on Twitter. Soon we will be posting CCTV's' coverage of the keynotes.

"A greater vulnerability than legacy assets is a legacy mindset." - Steve Shepard

Friday, May 22, 2009

Town Meeting Remote Participation

This is a photo of the computer screen of a 2009 Middlesex Town Meeting remote participant. Yes, it's true! This person was able to participate from home, by watching a video of the meeting, seeing a live chat feed, and calling in to add his voice.

Our fabulous panelist from the 2008 Snelling Center e-State Symposium, Greg Whitchurch, recently sent me some information about this year's Middlesex Town Meeting. Middlesex is working hard to help residents participate in Town Meeting even if they can't make it to the physical location.

This work could be used as a model for other towns looking to use technology to make Town Meeting more inclusive.

"At this year’s meeting, Middlesex voters experienced a first: During traditional floor discussion, the microphone was passed to a telephone, whereby a voter who was participating from home due to medical issues was able to voice his opinion.

Middlesex’s Remote Town Meeting Participation Task Force is working to facilitate town meeting participation by those who physically cannot attend (such as those with limited mobility, or who are abroad in the military), while maintaining an efficient and vibrant town meeting for those who are in the meeting room. How does Middlesex feel about the idea? The response from those attending town meeting offers a hint: the room burst into spontaneous applause.

Remote town meeting participation in Middlesex would not have been achieved without hours of volunteer effort by Greg Whitchurch, along with Lauri Scharf, Chris Reilly, and valuable support from John Riley. Thanks to VITL in Montpelier for the loan of the conference phone. With a web link, a two-way visual connection was also available."

The above image is one I pulled from Greg's photos of the meeting. Here is a link to a web album with this one and more.

Thank you, Greg, for your good work on the Middlesex Town Meeting!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Kanter: Can Nonprofits work more like clouds?

Good blog post by Beth Kanter entitled Can Nonprofit Organizations Work more like Clouds?

A quote I liked from Mark Pesce:

If you can permute your organization so that it looks more like the cloud, you’ll have an easier time working with the cloud. Case in point: because of ‘message discipline’, only a very few people are allowed to speak for an organization. Yet, because of the exponential growth in connectivity and Web2.0 technologies, everyone in your organization has more opportunities to speak for your organization than ever before. Can you release control over message discipline, and empower your organization to speak for itself, from any point of contact? Yes, this sounds dangerous, and yes, there are some dangers involved, but the cloud wants to be spoken to authentically, and authenticity has many competing voices, not a single monolithic tone.

And later in Beth's post, this advice:

As a Leader - become deeply aware of - and truly mindful about - the scope and reach of interconnected markets and flows of information. Understand how people are connecting, talking, sharing information. Be prepared to listen deeply, be responsible, accountable and transparent.

As a Manager - become knowledgeable about online work systems and how the need for collaboration is changing the nature of work, generally - and the nature of managerial work specifically. Learning how to be an effective coach is all-important.

As an Employee - become more aware of the changing nature of work, and the traditional structures of authority. Develop a clear understanding of how to be both empowered and valuable and of service. Understand how to navigate on one's own through a constantly shifting landscape of work.

As a Citizen - understand the possibilities and responsibilities inherent in open and public dissemination of information. Understand and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship in a country. Understand how to have influence via electronic participation and collaboration.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Trying Twitter in the Classroom

A University of Texas professor uses Twitter in her classroom. A video worth watching.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Technology as an afterthought

An excerpt from an article on Tech&Learning called Passionate Voices by Ryan Bretag.

Educator Ryan Bretag interviewed a group of students about how teaching and learning should look in the 21st century. I like these two paragraphs:

"The concept of technology was really an after thought, it seemed, for many of them. This wasn't because it lacked importance but a belief, when asked, that technology was basically a given. In other words, technology was a key part for making all of the above happen but it was something they wanted to be transparent within the classroom, a multi-dimensional learning space they wanted to be 24/7/7.

Through connective technologies and participatory media, students as pre-professionals, a current and diverse curriculum, and learning could occur to create a well-educated person capable of success in the 21st Century. However, it was made clear with plenty of agreement that technology alone will do very little and that it should never be the only thing, done for its own sake."

Monday, April 27, 2009

NYT Article: Customer Service Volunteers

Enthusiastic power users are helping others for free. Check out the NYT article.

It's good to remember the 1-9-90 rule when it comes to online participation.

"About 1 percent of those in the community...are super-users who supply most of the best answers and commentary. An additional 9 percent are “responders” who mainly reply and rate Web posts, she said, and the other 90 percent are “readers” who primarily peruse and search the Web site for useful information."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leadership in a Connected Age

Register now!

As the State of Vermont approaches its goal of 100% digital connectivity, business and community leaders must constantly adapt and change the way they communicate, get work done, and participate in the public life of their communities.

Half day workshops
April 28, Lyndonville
May 12, Springfield
May 19, Montpelier
May 26, Middlebury

Full day conference
June 9, Burlington

Steve Shepard explains the series in 90 seconds here.
Steve Shepard talks about Google Voice here.