Category Archives: Social Networking

The Cloud Manifesto

The Catalyst for Cloud

I  just spent two great days in Banff at the Cloud Matters conference representing IT World Canada.  The conference had over 175 people and a star-studded list of speakers.  At the end of the conference, I was part of a panel where each member was asked to give three minutes on what we could do to provide a Catalyst for Cloud Computing in Canada.

Our panel consisted of:

  • Jim Love, CIO IT World Canada
  • Timothy Grayson, Director epost Product Development Canada Post
  • Chris C. Kemp, CEO Nebula and Co-Founder Open Stack
  • Peter Coffee, VP/CTO and Head of Platform Research Salesforce.com
  • William Dupley, Chief Solutions Officer HP Canada
  • Harpreet Dhillon, Cloud and Open Source Program Manager City of Calgary
  • Robert Hart, Founder and CEO Canadian Cloud Council
  • Wayne Walls, Chief Cloud Strategist Rackspace
  • Ian Rae, CEO CloudOps

My contribution took the form of a “rant” which I dubbed The Cloud Manifesto – A Catalyst for Cloud.  It was partly original opinion, partly ideas inspired by the speakers over the two days of the conference.    Here it is…

The Cloud Manifesto – A Catalyst for Cloud

Ten points which will provide a catalyst for the movement to Cloud computing: Continue reading

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140 Characters Of My Life That I’ll Never Get Back

I stopped following you today.  You probably didn’t notice.

Nothing personal.  It’s just life.

Why?   As I said — life.  An amazing thing happens when you get over-committed as I have in recent months.  You finally make real decisions on priorities.   When you have too much to do, you do what’s most important — what will cause you pain if it’s not done.   The metaphor I use is juggling.  You can juggle one ball, two and even, if you practice – three.  I guess it’s possible that if you really work at it, you could juggle four.   Maybe there is a Zen juggler who could do five things.   But ultimately, it doesn’t matter, each of us has a limit, no matter how much we want to focus, practice or will it to be different.

So if you can juggle four and life gives you five — guess what?  No matter what happens you are going to drop one.  So what do you do?  You pick.   How?  Well, like most people, I presume that you try not to drop the thing that is most likely to break.   You try to make the drop as painless as you can.

We all do this every day.  More and more we are like the juggler trying to take on more things that we can truly juggle.  And what do we do?    We drop something.   What do we drop?  The thing that will hurt us the least.

Unfortunately, that thing was – you.

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The Nobility of Digitial Community – A Different Look

Community.    It’s a word that we throw around a lot.  But what does it actually mean?   And why do we care?

Let’s start with the last question.   Why do we care?

In an age obsessed by the idea of community, I’m surprised to see that the idea is so poorly understood.  Yet community is one of the the most important words of our era.

One of our greatest desires is to participate in a community.  We need the interaction with others.  We crave the recognition of our friends, our families, our — communities.  In many traditions, the greatest punishment that can be meted out is banishment, ostricization – forced removal from our community.

Our attachment to community is primordial, a driving force, something we crave in at the most basic levels of our existence.

Some would claim that this craving for community is at the root of the force that we all call “social media”.  I would claim that we don’t really understand this –and if we did, our social media approach and behaviours would be vastly different.

Three events converged this week which pushed me to reexamine the ideas that I had about community and social media.  Continue reading

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Will Read Your Blog For Food

There’s a guy who panhandles for change outside the 24 hour drug/convenience store in our neighbourhood.  His name is Al.  Al had been doing this for as long as I could remember – he was a fixture. Day in and day out, he’d stand by the front door holding an old paper coffee cup, bumming for change.  I first talked about Al in a series I did last year.  He appeared in the story entitled “Buddy Can You Spare a Tweet”  As improbable as it seemed, Al had started up a social media consultancy run from his Blackberry.

After that,  I hadn’t seen Al in a while.  Nobody had.  I had asked about him. Weeks went by.  No sign of Al.  Then tonight, I saw him again, in his old familiar spot.  He had his old familiar paper cup which he pushed out as people walked by.  But there was something new.  Now he had a sign.  When I stopped to talk to him I looked at it.  It read…

“Will Read Your Blog for Food” Continue reading

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If you’re really my friend you’ll just call…

I’m writing this while my son Andrew is updating me every 5 minutes to tell me that we should be out shopping.  I don’t know about you, but this year, I feel more than ever like I’m constantly running to keep up.  Oh, I do it with some equanimity, but it’s running nonetheless.

The list of things that I haven’t done, that I have yet to do, is very long indeed.

But I refuse to be daunted by it all.

We are so over-revved, over-clocked, over-worked, over-extended….

If we aren’t careful, we could easily forget to have fun.   So in the midst of it all, I had the chance to get together with my dear friends Suzanne and Brent Ainsworth at the their fabulous Northgate Studio.  We drank wine, we chatted, we ate — we laughed.

And we recorded this song.   So here’s my Christmas gift to all of you who feel a little over-whelmed by it all.

It’s called the Social Media Blues  and if you click on the link you can play it on Radio 3 – CBC’s fabulous indy radio.   Yes, it is a little cranky, as one of my friends commented.  But it’s all in good fun.

Have yourself a “cranky little Christmas”.

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Passport to Innovation at Technicity.ca

Thanks to Doug Ford, most Torontonians know that we live in a very literate city –a city of the arts. We know that our city is home to literary giants like Margaret Atwood, one of the world’s great novelists. They’ve come to see that this isn’t merely of interest to some snobbish artistic elite. They have come to see that at the base of this boiling pot of creativity is economic engine brings that hundreds of millions of dollars into our city every year and creates thousands of jobs.

What many haven’t yet realized is that within this same city is another equally creative centre — one that attracts some of the greatest minds in technology — the third largest technology centre in North America.

Most don’t realize that when they are riding the subway or walking down Yonge street,  they could be standing beside some of the giants of the tech industry.   To take only one example, how many average Torontonians know  their city  is home to Mark Surman.  Who is Mark Surman?  For those who don’t know him,  Mark is the Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, which, among many, many things brings us Firefox.  You might not know Mark, but you would have to have been vacationing off the planet to not know what Firefox is.  But did you know how it’s linked to our city?  Probably not.

In fact, most Torontonians really do not know how much prosperity the tech sector brings to the city.  How much prosperity? Continue reading

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Unplugged

The smart money was on the third day.  I’d go running and screaming for my iPhone and come back to the world as we know it.

The challenge?  I was undertaking at 10 day retreat.   Totally unplugged.  No phones.  No internet.  Not even books.  And – here’s a kicker.  10 days in total silence.  I would talk to no-one.  Totally unplugged. Continue reading

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