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March 2009

Northern Voice 2009 - my thoughts...

I love Northern Voice. It is simply the most satisfying conference I attend each year. Yes, the conference is centred around blogging and social media. But, its really about much more than that. Its about a bunch of people using technology to be more human. Yes, there is sessions that talk about the business side of blogging, but even those feel much more like a late night conversation over drinks as opposed to a structured presentation in a board room.

I had to miss my first day of Northern Voice ever, in 5 years. Saturday, I had to go to Williams Lake to participate in an info session on something else I am passionate about - a new electoral system for BC.

My impressions on Friday:

  • Stewart Butterfield is one down to earth technology leader
  • Chris Heuer has some important messages on advertising online
  • Bruce Sharpe has put together list of resources for audio and video online
  • Roland Tanglao is still doing yeoman's service evangelizing mobile cell phone video.

I also was struck that this is the first Northern Voice where my laptop stayed firmly in my backpack. Thats what an iphone can do for you!

I am really bummed that I missed my friend Rob Cottingham's Saturday keynote. By all accounts, it was really incredible (see twitter stream at the bottom of his wife Alexandra Samuel's post)

I also missed spending time with my friends Robin Yap and Jeffrey Keefer, who could not be at Northern Voice this year.

The City Budget Process (in 4 bullet points)

As city hall works it way through the 2009 tax setting budget process, here is roughly how it works:

1) City staff have many meetings refining proposed budget for Council consideration.

2) City Council then has a couple of meetings to look at the budget, typically focused on what are called supplementary or additional items.

3) There will be one public forum on the budget at Henry Grube Centre, held March 10th 2009 at 7pm.

4) Council approves the final tax rate sometime in late April.