I must say I am very impressed with this year’s line-up for GTEC (October 15-17), which is the largest government/technology conference in Canada (held annually in Ottawa). For those unaware, GTEC Week is a “substantive, value-packed learning opportunity strategically developed to meet the current needs of senior executives and policy makers, program delivery managers, technical managers, and professionals from all levels of government” as defined on the official GTEC website.
The focus on Web 2.0 is finally front and centre, where it should be. Hence, this year’s theme: Government 2.0. I have seen the keynote speaker, Don Tapscott, speak on numerous occasions (many of you have probably read his book, Wikinomics) and I must say he never ceases to impress me.
GTEC isn’t the only thing lined up for us here in Ottawa regarding Social Media (and how we can integrate it with the Public Sector). On September 26th, Mitch Joel will be conducting a full-day IAB Canada course on Social Media, which I highly recommend for beginners and experts alike. I unfortunately, will not be attending due to a “March Madness” equivalent September month in terms of due client marketing strategies and reports. Nonetheless, I have committed to a few major out-of-town conferences this year, which I am very excited about. One of them is the unconference entitled “PodCamp Boston 2“, which is the follow up to the original PodCamp (derived from the widely popular BarCamp concept). This is where the Web 2.0 “Who’s Who” from around the world gather to discuss, share and learn about everything having to do with Social Media. It’s a little hike from Ottawa, but my intent is to bring back lots of ideas so that we can organize a smaller-scale version here in Ottawa for people unable to travel for whatever reason (Montreal and Toronto each have their own PodCamps).
I think the whole concept of user-organized “unconferences” is absolutely genius and I would love to start one up here in Ottawa. Especially if it were to focus specifically on applying Web 2.0 concepts to improve service delivery in the Public Sector (a unique niche with lots of opportunity for improvement). Did I mention that these “unconferences” are FREE? If you think quality takes a hit, think again, just look at the list of attendees and proposed sessions for this year’s PodCamp in Boston. Sponsors can take care of food and other amenities. However, at the end of the day, content is king, I couldn’t care less about the hors d’oeuvres , especially if I’m not paying a cent. If you’re interested in helping me start something up here in Ottawa, let me know!