Tag Archives: Technology

CouchSurfing.org is What Social Media is All About

Jet Setter in Montreal

Jet Setter in Montreal

Greetings from my favourite Canadian city, Montreal. This is our second time in the cultural capital of Canada but our first experience couchsurfing.  CouchSurfing has been fantastic so far, not only as a free place to stay and an introduction to an unknown city, but as the quintessential social media site. It’s very essence is about connecting people in real life.

What is CouchSurfing?

For those of you who don’t know, CouchSurfing.org is a network where travellers can connect and find a place to stay  with a local person in cities around the world. There is no cost for the website or for the couch (bed, room or floor) but it is expected that you are going for the social exchange and not just a free place to sleep.

This is how my wife explained it to her mother, “We are going to stay at a stranger’s house. We found the person on the Internet.” (Very rough English translation. :-))

Prior to our visit, I must admit we had some apprehensions about staying with someone we have never met. Other than the profile everyone writes about themselves on the CouchSurfing.org site and reviews from other travellers, …

We Live in Amazing Times!

The Good Old Days (image by Powerhouse Museum)

The Good Old Days (image by Powerhouse Museum)

I am turning 40 years old in a couple of months. There is no more denying the onset of the middle age. I would like to think I am a little wiser for those years, but more important than that I would like to use this post to celebrate how great life really is.

I Walked Twenty Miles to School, Barefoot in the Snow and it was Uphill Both Ways!

When I was a child, I listened to all of those stories grown ups use to tell about how bad it was for them at my age. They were right! Their childhoods were much more difficult. As a child, my grandmother never had electricity or running water. Think about what that means for a moment.

No refrigerators meant that food either had to be canned (actually put in a jar) or eaten immediately. Animals were only slaughtered in the winter when the cold could preserve them for a longer time. My grandmother lived on a farm so there were few stores to buy groceries. Virtually everything was grown or raised on her own farm. Of course, there were no computers, TV or …

The Most Valuable Skills in the Idea Economy

Introducing IdeaDude

Introducing IdeaDude

We live in a time of unprecedented opportunity. Huge companies can be created by a couple of people, a good idea and hard work. Money is not even a barrier anymore, with the costs of hosting and developing web businesses at a fraction of where they were just a few short years ago. A unique concept with some creative marketing can spread the world over. The tools are essentially free and at everyone’s disposal. With a little charisma and hustle, fame and fortune are available for the taking. This is the age of the idea. There are no limits for those with a knack for managing ideas.

Look at the stratospheric success of people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Robert Scoble. Essentially, they parlayed their own self-publishing with free Internet tools into international stardom. They didn’t need the support of large corporations, huge investments and high quality production. They just put in the work day in and day out. An individual with enough focus and effort can really do amazing things. The traditional economic constraints of land, labor and capital hardly matter anymore. To succeed in this era you need to be able to nurture, manipulate, deliver and

Social Media is Not about Technology

My Friends

My Friends

Technology doesn’t change social relationships, it is just a different way to connect with people. People who have many real world friends likely spend a lot of time cultivating those relationships and put themselves in situations to meet and interact with new people.

It is easy to add “friends” to the social media sites you subscribe to but there are different levels of friendship. Thousands of online friends may be a great way to keep score and impress people but they are much more distant acquain-tances than real friends. You don’t mind asking the friends you meet every weekend to help paint your house, but you are unlikely to call your old co-worker from 10 years ago to come and lend a hand.

The same is true for online friends and relationships. Close friends can be called upon for favors, assistance and advice but not before there is a history of mutual sharing and benefit. Asking some stranger online to buy your offering or subscribe to your blog on the first contact is akin to asking a stranger on the street to come and help you paint your house this weekend. The internet is not so different to …