Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughts From a Recent Conference on Leadership and Technology (DigitalNow)

Last week I returned from the DigitalNow conference. It is a gathering of nonprofit professionals who have an interest in exploring the way technology can affect strategy. This was my eighth year attending the conference and each time I come away with insights that help me do my job more effectively as well as save my company money. Here are a few of this year's take-aways:

Clay Shirkey, Author of Here Comes Everybody, spoke about group action and how social media facilitates group action, not only online but in person. Some quotes are, "The old way was to gather together in a group and then share. The new way is to share and then people will gather."

"How do we use these tools? These things don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring." Think email and cell phones.

Regarding social media tools such as facebook or Twitter, "In high freedom environments these are more for fun. In low freedom environments these become potential tools."

The example he used was in a Middle Eastern country where people are often mistreated when arrested. Statistically, people are less likely to be tortured if the police know that someone else knows that the person is in police custody. The people are using Twitter to text when they have been arrested so that their friends can contact the police station to inquire of their arrest.

It is very cool to me that this tool that, in the US has often been seen as the bastion of inanity, is serving a valuable purpose.

Poetry About Where I Live

My Morning Commute #3
~Sue Miller

For more than 25 years
They have been there
On the bench out front
Leaning on the front window counter

They talk, smiling, gesturing
Heads shake, arms wave
As opinion are rendered
World problems solved

They look like old men
But what is old after 25 years?
They could not have been old then
(Though I thought they were)

I want to make up a reason to visit
Maybe to listen
Maybe to share
Maybe to solve a problem

But my shoes are not worth fixing
I have no good excuse
To visit Park Street Shoe Repair

Poetry About Where I Live

My Morning Commute #2
~ Sue Miller

I have watched for years
A black lab
Following the children from the farm house
To the new house across the field

A tiny one on a big wheel
Two mothers in doorways
Guardian with child

Two boys
Bouncing backpacks half the size of their bodies
Guardian with children

Teenagers on ATV’s
In a controlled race
Guardian in the wake

On this day, the master has returned home
Unplanned. She is at the wrong house
Racing across the field
arthritic hips, full-out run
Tail high, ears flapping
Joy undiminished by pain
The Master has come home!
Guardian no more

Poetry About Where I Live

My Morning Commute
~Sue Miller
Every day I drive past this little pond
High on the four-lane, pond below, to my right
Reflecting blue sky, or gray
With two duck houses

This year there is a drake, small brightly colored
He sits…
On the front porch of the duck house
In the water, floating

There is no hen
For nearly three months he is there
Beautiful, bright,
Then gone

Weeks later a set of paws rest
In the bare space between water and tall grasses
Paws, gray legs, perked ears,
Pointed nose
Bright eyes

Upright, attentive, the coyote lays
Ready to leap
At the wood duck that is no longer there