Thursday, February 09, 2006

Hard choices come down to values...

I was supposed to be leaving this evening for Northern Voice 2006 in Vancouver, but I have finally succumbed to the fact that I should not go. Yesterday evening, the occasional hacking cough went deeper and now today I am running a slight fever with body aches and general tiredness.

The importance of this great blogging conference is high for me - not only is it a chance to see friends I have not connected with personally for many months, but I was also planning on debuting a very early release of our BrainJams Unconference Community during my talk at MooseCamp tomorrow morning. On both a personal and professional level, I can not begin to tell you how disappointed I am that I will not be there. One of the worst things at the moment is that my head keeps telling me I am good enough to go, and I do indeed feel better at the moment, but my heart says I should stay home...

Normally, like many others I know, I would still go to this conference. However, I have made a commitment to myself to live from principle centered leadership - and stopping the spread of germs is a principle that has begun to mean a lot to me as I see more and more people playing the role of martyr in the work place, riding public transportation and going into work, spreading their illness to countless others. In this age of potential flu pandemics, in a world that is wired as it is, there is no reason, however compelling, to put myself on an airplane and attend a conference, further spreading the germs that inhabit my body - especially with the chance of getting my friends sick.

I respect them and myself too much to let this spread further - so off to bed I go, for rest and recovery, even though choosing not to go means I am also pissing away several hundred dollars (US) for the hotel and airfare costs.

I don't hold any bad feelings for anyone (especially friends) who may have done this recently themselves - I just wish more people would make the hard choice and stay home, despite the perceived social/business value of going out into the world while sick. Personally, I feel bad enough about having gone out yesterday not realizing I was actually sick - so to the friends I saw yesterday down in Palo Alto, my sincerest apologies to you, I hope you have good health and avoid this nasty bug.

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BrainJams25Feb2006 to be held at UC Berkeley

Much thanks to Bill Allison for working very diligently over the last couple of weeks towards securing the UC Berkeley Office of the CIO to sponsor our next event on campus. We are awaiting final contracts on the room before we can announce exactly where on campus, but I can say that the room being secured is perfect for us.

In addition to being very excited to have a space lined up this far in advance (over 2 weeks ahead of time!), I am completely stoked that this simple idea has garnered such incredible support. I am continuously humbled by the fact that people like Bill are out there contributing their time and effort to help make these unconferences happen. Of course, it would not have happened if the UCB CIO, Shel Waggener did not get behind the idea and agree to pay for the costs of the room rental - he and Bill are even encouraging key staff to participate, which should bring a great perspective to the day.

This next event will be bringing together the old and the new (more announcements to come shortly) - so it is particularly gratifying to know that one of the reasons Shel agreed to sponsor the event is because he is working hard to ensure his team is committed to technical innovation while still effectively managing their large, industrial-scale information systems.  That is the sort of leadership that is sorely needed from IT around the world - the reaching out beyond the walls of traditional silos to connect with other types of people, gaining a deeper understanding of what people need from different perspectives.

Kudos and thanks to Bill, Shel and the rest of the IST Department.

With Lockergnome / Gada.Be sponsoring lunch, Rate-it-All sponsoring Refreshments and Laughing Squid as a supporting sponsor covering administrative costs, we are actually able to get everything paid for and set up in advance without the last minute stress we have experienced in the past. This one is going to be fun and probably full, so please go register today...

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Homebrew Flavored BrainJams in Berkeley

Great news to share with you. I have just returned from a meeting with Lee Felsenstein, one of the original founders of the Homebrew Computer Club. Lee has agreed to collaborate with us on a few ideas of mutual interest and to co-facilitate our BrainJams25Feb2006 event in Berkeley, CA.

In many ways, Lee's facilitation was a crucial aspect of empowering the PC revolution that created so many incredible (and large) companies we now take for granted. When I first met Lee at the SDForum Collaboration SIG event a few weeks ago, I was left speechless when I discovered that what we are doing with BrainJams and BarCamp is pretty much just following in their footsteps. Since they are pretty big shoes to fill, I thought it might be a good idea to bridge the 30 year gap between our foundings and try to learn as much as we could from what they did back in the day.

I can't begin to tell you how honored I am that he said yes and how much I look forward to learning from him, and collaborating with him in the near future. Thank you Lee for being so generous with your time today and with the goodwill you are showing BrainJams in our endeavours.

PS - the photo is one that I took wtih Kristie of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of American History - yes, if you did not know previously, what Lee did with his cohorts back in the day via the Homebrew Computer Club is that important.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Swicki TagCloud

Was taking a moment to check the RSS feeds for BrainJams posts when I ended up on Swicki's aggregator search page - forgot I set this up a while back. While it still needs some beefing up, it is actually a pretty cool way to get an insightful look at key concepts I have previously written about across the blogosphere. Well, at least for me it is...

Monday, February 06, 2006

Job Hunting Gets Tougher

From the looks of it, the people wanting to ensure 'Equal Employment Opportunity' (EEO) are really mucking things up for everyone, including the people they want to serve most. From this article on CNN Money, I was shocked to learn of the new requirements for both employers and job seekers which seem extremely confusing and difficult. Perhaps it is even not to ensure EEO, but rather to make it more difficult. Regardless, it is the exact sort of excessive regulation we should be striving to push out of government.

According to the article, one of the elements of the new regulations you need to watch closely concerns:

Keep your resume up-to-the-minute current. "The rules allow companies to pick a random pool of applicants by searching the job boards for 'most recent' qualified applicants," Crispin [Gerry Crispin from CareerXRoads] notes. "In those cases, no one will even look at a resume that is more than two or three weeks old." Yikes.
Hopefully, I won't be searching for any 'real' jobs in the near future...

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