That’s One Awesome Car

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Shape the Future at Canada GovCamp

Photo of the Peace Tower in Ottawa: "GovCamp: Ottawa, May 31 - June 1, 2010" Creative Commons Photo by the Poissant Family.

Canada GovCamp is happening May 31 and June 1, 2010 at Ottawa U. and you’re invited!

What is GovCamp?

It’s a gathering of local citizens, public sector employees, service delivery leaders and policy people with an interest in having a conversation on engaging citizens, empowering business and increasing internal efficiencies through transformational government activities across all levels of government (municipal, regional, provincial and federal). It’s neither a trade show nor a product-oriented discussion, but rather a workshop style unconference where participants establish the agenda and explore the themes that are of most interest to them.

Why GovCamp?

We’ve seen a number of great communities spring up across Canada to think about, discuss and build a new relationship with their local governments, often through the use of technology. These activities are accelerated by bringing the community together at workshop-style unconferences such as ChangeCamp and BarCamp. Having participated in these local activities and experiencing the creative energy first-hand, we began to think about how the ideas and enthusiasm we saw at these local events could be shared in a broader context. We thought that it would be interesting to bring together communities across camps, a sort of Jamboree, to explore opportunities to work together on open government activities across multiple levels of government.

To Talk about What?

  • Wouldn’t it be great to call one number and be able to get an answer to government services regardless of which level provided it?
  • Reserve your campsite from one website without having to think about which department managed the site?
  • How about being able to give your input and be heard on government initiatives that start from the speech from the throne and are delivered through provincial programs by you municipality?

These are the types of conversations we are looking to have.

Who Else Will be There?

Confirmed guests include:

  • Welcome keynote speaker Jerry Mechling, from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
  • The opening panel discussion members:
    • Guy Michaud, CIO, City of Ottawa
    • David Eaves, a major proponent of Vancouver’s OpenGov, who’ll also do the end-of-unconference wrap-up
    • Eric Sauve, Newsgator and former CEO of Tomoye
  • Mark Kuznicki, Toronto’s civic unconference organizer extraordinaire, who’ll lead the development of the ideas matrix from which the unconference sessions will be formed

In putting GovCamp together, we’re reaching out to a number organizations and communities including:

Who is GovCamp For?

This event is for:

  • IT People –Technology is one way that governments are transforming how they deliver services externally and internally. Technology people are needed to explore the art of the possible for these new services. Mash-ups, Open Data, social media are but a few of the possible areas for discussion.
  • Policy People – We need you in the conversation so that you can share your expertise on the realm of the possible from a policy perspective. Privacy, Security, Access to Information, Information Management are all key considerations for successful government transformation.  Come share your knowledge on how to make these policies enable new services.
  • Government Services leaders – Ultimately, government delivers value through the many services that are provided. GovCamp is about exploring the realm of the possible for service to individuals, services to businesses and services to other departments. Your voice is essential to inform the community and to guide those ideas that the community may have for you!
  • Community – We are fortunate that there’s a passionate and creative community with vibrant ideas about how they can help create a closer connection between governments, individuals, businesses and even among government itself. Your participation at the Canada Gov Camp will provide you with a venue to share your great ideas and, if all goes well, interact with some of the people that can take your idea further.

How Much, and Where do I Register?

Registration for GovCamp is free! To register, visit the registration page. For more information, see John Weigelt’s blog.

Who’s Behind this Event?

Canada GovCamp is being hosted by the Canadian Association for Information Technology Professionals, sponsored by Microsoft Canada on behalf of the community.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.

Geek Life

The “Social Media Revolution 2” Video

It’s Mesh week here in Toronto! Today, the developer-and-creative-focused MeshU conference takes place, followed tomorrow and Wednesday by the social-media-and-marketing focused Mesh conference. I’ll be in the audience at MeshU, and tending the Microsoft lounge (and the cocktail parties) at Mesh. If you’re attending, please say “hi!”

In the spirit of Mesh, I present Social Media Revolution 2, the follow-up to last year’s Social Media Revolution video, produced by the people behind the book Socialnomics (written by Erik Qualman, who blogs here). Whether you’re looking for little facts and statistics for a presentation, need some infotainment to get the week started or both, this video is for you!

(Want to feel old? The music track for the video is Fatboy Slim’s Right Here Right Now, which is from the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, which is 12 years old. Yowch.)

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.


Hot Dog Bubble Gum

Package: "Fruit Flavored Hot Dogs Bubble Gum. BLOW YOUR LUNCH!"

As Andy Ihnatko (the guy who took this photo) says: “It would take a while to clearly diagram out why I find this product and its packaging so disturbing.”


Happiness is Like Peeing in Your Pants

Sign: "Happiness is like peeing in your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth."Image from Saying Images.

Everyone can smell it, too.


When Muhammad Ali Met The Beatles

beatles and ali

It made for a nice picture, but a less-than-nice story.

Here’s an excerpt from Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World describing the meeting:

Cassius Clay and The Beatles climbed into the ring and, as if they just hadn’t met each other, they went through what seemed like a total choreographed routine. There are wonderful photographs of this, in which he pretends to hit the first Beatle and they all fall down like dominoes and scamper about the ring. Then they go off to their history and he goes off to his. Then, a few minutes later, he called me over and said, “So who were those little [anti-gay slur beginning with “f”]?”

Geek Play

The Geek Alphabet

The blog Geeks are Sexy put together a wonderful alphabet rhyme using Creative Commons “share-alike”-licensed photos on Flickr, which I thought I’d share with you:

geek alphabet

Here’s the text of the rhyme, along with a credit for each corresponding photo:

A is for Away Team, where you should never wear red (mild mannered photographer)
B is for Binary, 1s and 0s in your head (jpstanley)
C is for Cosplay, making cons an awesome place
D is for Doctor, who keeps changing face (great beyond)
E is for Emoticons, that tell you what we’re feeling (neal gillis)
F is for Flickr, whose photos we are “stealing” (tricky)
G is for Gadgets, the way to our heart (slipstreamjc)
H is for Hardware, I took it apart! (jurvetson)
I is for iEverything, love it or hate it (dan dickinson)
J is for Japan, we’re glad Nintendo invaded (oscar mota)
K is for Keyboard, we love every letter (andrew*)
L is for Leias, the more the better! (koadmunkee)
M is for MMORPGs, it’s a magical place (i eated a cookie)
N is for NASA, and the beauty of space (nasa1fan)
O is for Occipital Lobe, we love using our brains (illuminaut)
P is for Programming, ((though lisp is a pain)) (phil_jackson)
Q is for Quilting, and other geeky crafts (athenamat)
R is for Reading, no matter what the path (timonoko)
S is for Science, though the cake is a lie (don solo)
T is for Tabletop, and a 20-sided die (nengard)
U is for Uncertainty, you just never know (neil crosby)
V is for Voltage, oh the places we’ll go! (oskay)
W is for the World Wide Web, it’s more than just porn (shimown)
X is for Xerox, where so much geekiness was born (marc smith)
Y is for Youth, since kids are geeks too (benmcleod)
Z is for Zork, watch out for the grue! (the_tml)

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection.