Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How are we using the Internet?

Google "the Internet has changed everything". You don't find one article from one field, you find a ridiculous number from a wide set of fields. It seems no matter what you do, or who you are, you just might have had the urge to say "the Internet has changed everything for me".

Some people refer to the Internet revolution in contrast to the industrial revolution but I think that's a gross underestimation. I'd compare it to say, the advent of human language. It's barely begun and if used correctly can give people near telepathic communication across any practical distance. And that's just Twitter. ;-)

The burning question I have is "are we using it right"? I mean "right" in two specific senses. 1) Are we using it in the most effective way. 2) Is the impact we make with it good for us.

In my personal experience I encounter people who swim in online technologies like fish in water. I also happen to have the good fortune of being connected to some incredible souls who I want to fix the world and who, I believe, have the wisdom and know how to do it. Unfortunately these wise souls more often then not are not the ones who take to the net like fish to water and vice versa. I know brilliant marketers and communicators who have never asked "what impact will this product I'm promoting have on society as a whole". I know social visionaries who won't respond to email and think social media is for kids and a waste of time.

Bringing these people face to face and making them listen, really listen, to each other is one of my personal missions. If you fall into one of these categories I want to invite you to an event. If you fall into both I really want to invite you. If you fall into neither I really really really want to invite you to the Unconference for Social Good:


Please follow the link and learn a bit about it. It should be a really interesting day!

It's been over a year now since this unconference took place and I can honestly say that that day has impacted my thinking and action on a daily basis ever since.

There has since been another unconference last month called the Unconference for Post Partisan Politics that involved some of the same players. While I am involved in the hosting initiative, 1 Calgary Centre, I was unable to attend the unconference proper, so i can't really comment on how it impact. I'm not sure if initiatives like 1 Calgary Centre can be credited to the Unconference for Social good, although many of my connections that led me to it were forged on that day, so perhaps at least in part we can say it did.

I look forward to many other initiatives that are currently brewing with cone of my fellow co-unconference attendees. Like EpicYYC and Social Media for Social Impact , just to name a couple. And there's more where those came from.