Community 2.0 and Las Vegas, Baby

For what it is worth, I hope what happens at Community 2.0 does not STAY in Vegas. 🙂 In May I’ll be speaking about online community history and visuals (really catchy title, eh? I need a title consultant) at Community 2.0. I picked this topic because as Etienne Wenger, John Smith and I were working on our book (yes, it is AT THE EDITORS!!) we noticed this beautiful intertwining between technology development and community – how they have impacted each other. At the same time, you know I’ve become obsessed with the visual and I have been wondering how to express this intertwining in a multimedia way – maybe even almost performance-like. Talk about stepping off a cliff with no parachute. But that’s what makes it fun. Why else take a non-paying speaking gig than to learn with friends, right?

It also is rare that I speak at non-NPO/NGO/EDU events, so this will be fun to step into a different stream and see what happens. It will be a culture shockas well in that I will be coming from a week long gig in Ethiopia. So maybe a wee bit jet lagged as well. I’m coming in a day early (not worth flying home) so if anyone wants to do something low-key, let me know. I have marked Monday the 12th for play and prep.

But wait, there’s more…

I’d also like your help. But first the logistical details.

Conference Information
Now, about the conference (and of course, that discount code I can share with you as a speaker). The conference is May 12-15 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV. The website is Your discount option is a 20% discount off the standard price on my behalf. Your personal discount code to share is: SPKRM2005NW. Please pass this along to anyone you know who plans on registering. They can register by calling 888.670.8200, emailing or visiting the website

A Request to You
I’d like to capture a series of written, audio, drawn and/or videoed personal histories about online community. In other words, tell me a story about your participation in online communities. What was your first time? What was the experience that was transformative for you? If you’d like to play with this, email me or leave a comment. My goal is to weave together these stories along with some historical data and trends. I’ll also be capturing personal histories from people AT the conference. If you are going and would like to help with that, I’d LOVE to have you play in this sandbox with me. I’ll buy dinner for the team Monday night, May 12th as my thank you. You would need to know how to either record audio or video interviews, take a good text interview, or draw it. Seriously – even draw it.

Language, usefulness and exclusion

I work a lot inside of communities of one sort or another and they often have their own insider language. You know, jargon. People complain that jargon is exclusionary and it sure can be. But it is also useful short hand within a community and can convey succinctly something with specific meaning. The challenge for us is using that language either outside our communities or with intent to exclude.

But dang, it can be useful. Here is a great example from travel guru/insider Joe Brancatelli who does a lovely decoding for us outsiders. This time it is about talking to gate agents at the airport.

One example: When you don’t see your plane at the gate, don’t ask the agent if the flight is on time. Ask, “Where’s the equipment?” That will force the agent to go to the computer and find out where your aircraft is and when it will actually arrive. If the plane is already at the gate, ask, “When are we scheduled to push back?” Looking for an upgrade? Don’t blindly inquire about your chances. Ask, “How are the loads today?” The agent will tell you how many seats are empty and your number on the upgrade wait list.

What kind of insider language do you use? How do you interpret it for others?

Amazing chocolate airplane and photo by Stevepreneur on Flickr

Aristotle helps me distill this visual thinking stuff…

The soul never thinks without a picture.


Aristotle (384-322 BCE): General Introduction [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

Injenuity’s Ustream Videos from my Northern Voice presentation

This is just three snippets of the 50 minutes we spent together. Scroll back and you will see the slides. Thanks, Jennifer!

Part 1

Part 2 (which at the moment doesn’t seem to be publicly viewable)
Part 3

Rachel Smith tags me – 5 more things

Five Things, or Late to the Party But Hey There’s Still Beer « Ninmah Meets World

Beer? Did someone say beer? In the spirit of appeasing my twitter friends, here are five more, for Rachel. It was learning she loved to weld that made me give in. I am not sure I am going to tag anyone else. How about a variation. If you want to be tagged, leave a comment and consider yourself tagged.

1. My first job in Seattle was in a cookie factory, alternately stacking cookies for packaging or decorating holiday cookies. I lasted a week. My problems? 1. I was too tall for the assembly line and it was killing my body. 2. I worked too fast and the rest of the crew was getting pretty ticked with me.

2. I once had a role in a musical where I was on stage for most of the show but said nor sang anything. Any guesses? (hint: it was a male role. I also played a ghost for one scene. I’m a sucker for character roles.)

3. I don’t like black licorice.

4. I had my first bliss of nature in a stand of deciduous trees, loosing there autumnal beauty upon my head. I danced.

5. I have no tattoos. But I’ve thought about it!