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September 2004
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November 2004

Working to grow...

I have spent most of the week trying to do a brain shift. I am going from thinking of my business as a modest effort to almost believing that I can help people learn how to better use the Internet on a very large scale. I don't want to be a tycoon necessarily, I just want to be extraordinarily competent at what I do. And see what comes of that effort...

Doug Kaye of IT Conversations is my new hero. IT Conversations, Doug's extraordinary contribution to a more equitable distribution of knowledge, continiues to offer some of the best recordings of conversations and talks with innovative thinkers - nor just in technology, but in many different fields and disciplines.

I live in small town North America. I sometimes used to wish (rarely, but sometimes) I lived in Silicon Valley or in New York City or in some global centre where I could ,more easily attend the best seminars and conferences. Doug has made it a lot easier to access the "best" stuff, or at least a wider range of stuff that show up in Kamloops.

IT Conversations latest recording is of a talk by Alex Steffen at a conference called Popdex. It's an incredible listen - all about the precarious situation in which humanity has put the planet earth and some amazingly hopeful initatives, largely out of the "developing world. " which aim to help us fix this huge problem.

Lastly. this evening, I just want to do a cyber shout out to our local chapter of Amnesty International. I had a chance to attend one of their meetings to talk about the genocide in Sudan.That got me on their email list. And they do amazing work.

Interprovincial Blogger Meetup...the Calgal comes to Kamloops.

As mentioned previously in this space, I am a big fan of Vicki Smith who blogs out of Red Deer. Vicki emailed me earlier this week saying that she would be passing through Kamloops with her husband on her way to Hornby Island. I lept at the chance to meet the two of them. They were thinking of staying the night in Kamloops but instead found themselves last night, for various understandable reasons, in a hotel in Revelstoke about 2 hours east of her. At 3am or so, the fire alarm went off in the hotel and Vicki and Ron told me that they learnt some strategic lessons about placing clothes so that they are easily found in dark unfamiliar hotel rooms. They also mentioned a flashlight is a must have travel companion.

In any case, they reached Kamloops and we had a wonderful breakfast. I was a little miffed that Ron beat me to the bill but that just means that they have got to let me treat them on their way back through. We talked tech, a little politics, and I had a really great time meeting such great people. What's still weird to me is that Vicki and I know each other, but we had never met in person. When I showed up at breakfast, I was kinda wondering if I should say "great to meet you" or ""great idea about Catholics and Kerry". I chose the first but how much longer will it take for us to seemlessly step from online friendship to offline friendship. For there to be no real seperation.

Vicki and Ron are heading to Hornby to meet someone who Vicki has been corresponding with and considers a friend for 10 years. Interestingly, they have never met in person either. I am sure it will work out perfectly. It is interesting to wonder, in the age of the Internet, about any strangeness about meeting someone for the first time who you already know so well. Vicki, was there any of that?

Shaw cable marketing - peril to the environment?

Woke up one morning this past week to find loops of tv cable hung on doors in my apartment building. Marsha grumbled and kicked the loop on our door and the piece of paper attached so they flew across our little foyer as we left our place.

I too found the loop of tv cable a bit wasteful. We have a cable that we could plug into out TV if we wanted Shaw's free trial. We are going to end up having to find a way to dispose of that unwanted loop.

It's a little intrusive as well. How did the Shaw sales rep get into our building? Who let him in?

Not too good in my view. Maybe its time I switched high speed Internet providers as well.

Trying to get to Kamloops City Council...

It's going to be a sign of some really good organization on my part if I ever get to the public gallery of a City Council meeting this year. I am really interested in sitting in on a few meetings, or at least parts of a few meetings - just to see how a meeting works. I have been asked by a few people if I was thinking of running for Council next year and I am not yet sure.

If I don't get to meetings this year, I am going to have to starting in January. The passions I am most involved with this year, entrepreneurship and technology, are starting to totally take over the rest of 2004.

Kent Wong , photographer extraordinare, sales trainer extraordinaire.

I wish my friend Kent Wong had a web site only because then I could link his name to it in this post. Kent gave a fabulous, tip rich talk on sales and marketing today. I was there scribbling furiously into my steno pad. Kent owns Kent Wong photography in Kamloops - a very successful photo studio. What has impresses me about Kent is that he works very hard at becoming very good at everything he does AND that he is very confident to ask people a healthy fee for his excellent work. To put it succinctly, Kent does not sell himself short, I like that.

I try and take away at least one good thing from every seminar I attend. And I took away a couple of things from Kent's. One nugget involved remembering to do the important small but classy touches - congratulation and thank you cards where appropriate - remembering milestones in peoples' lives and thanking people for having touched your life in some way.

The other nugget was to figure out your target audiences and to be where they are. Marketing in the right places. attending relevant community eventss. etc.

I also liked that most of the people in the room with me today were technically competitors but they, through their strong professional association, were working together to share valuable information.

Great stuff! And if you want to hire Kent as a photographer or as a sales trainer, you can email him or call 250-372-8651. He is one of the very best and he will travel.

Free Business Building Ideas from "Uncle Max"

Gerry McRae can't really slow down. After closing down Kamloops International College, a local ESL school, Gerry started writing down all of these various small business maxims and philosophies. Initially he wanted to sell memberships to a web site and online discussion forum where entrepreneurs could get and share knowledge that would help them grow. I guess memberships were going a little slow and, this past week, Gerry decided to change his own business model. Gerry's website with a catchy name , Uncle Max Says, now offers all of its comprehensive content for FREE. If you like what he is doing, consider clicking on one of the ads on his web sites.

We interrupt this blog makeover with an actual post...

Hello world! I know I am not the very best expert on blog colour schemes and font sizes. This little place on the Internet is a place that I feel comfortable with frequent and perhaps even outlandish experimentation. In my most humble opinion. I am not at outlandish yet, but watch out.

In other news, I was a little unhappy that I could not see General Romeo Dallaire speak last night. (I was happy, though, to be running my course that evening). He was in Kamloops as part of the UCC homecoming week. General Dallaire is a man whose insights on his experiences during the Rwandan genocide I would have loved to hear. especially with regard to the current genocide occurring in Sudan.

All this renaming business at our up and coming University reminded me of the first time I heard the acronym UCC being used to refer to the University College of the Cariboo. In my boarding school and McGill University days, UCC to me was Upper Canada College in Toronto, one of Canada's most elite high schools according to recent media reports. And it was a bit confusing for me when I got back to Kamloops.

So, I think the administration at our UCC was even more justified in pressuring the provinicial government for a name change.