Vancouver has fast become one of my favorite cities. Everyone I’ve met there has been welcoming, open, giving and involved in a variety of cool projects. Tech geeks, media nerds, world changers, yoga instructors, fashionistas, tree huggers, mountain lovers, it’s a pretty sweet mixing pot of awesomeness. Maybe being Canadian has something to do with their openess. I can’t help but think back to Bowling for Columbine when Michael Moore checks in on some Ontario residents to discover they keep their front doors unlocked. I think there’s something there.
Vancouver is Internet savvy with several rad web development shops. Some people who work at these rad shops organized the Northern Voice conference that I was invited to speak at this past weekend. A very cool event, Northern Voice is a blogging conference geared towards anyone with a burgeoning interest in that world. Unlike some San Francisco web 2.0 related events, many people who attend NV are just regular folks who are not technologists and don’t track their lives using upcoming.org or Twitter, though maybe they will now. These are folks who realize the potential of Internet media to amplify their niche interests, whether they are artists, photographers, school teachers or fashionistas. Real life outside of the SF Internet tech bubble, who’d a thunk?
I was invited to present and lead a discussion on how Internet video is changing the world. Despite the massiveness of the topic and me being all flu’d up, I felt like it went well. Much discussion ensued around politics and whether politicians will be more accountable and authentic as a result of many citizen eyeballs documenting their every move. Or will the perfect liars rise in the political ranks as a result? Scoble said politicians will just adapt to being “always on” by being even more media ready and camera trained. Maybe it is naive, but it seems to me that the more public our public servants are, the better it is for society in general. Rob is also hopeful that it will tilt the scales a bit to honest candidates.
On Sunday after the conference, I escaped north to Whistler Blackcomb with MC and Izzie for a day of spectacular snowboarding. Light snow, much fluffy powder, not too cold, it was a near perfect day. Big ups to MC and her entourage for hooking me up with gear since I was completely unprepared. And major props to MC for treating me like a king when I was all flu’d up. BFF!