Official Carbon Voyage Blog

I’ve now started up an official Carbon Voyage Blog which will have all of the press releases as well as some more informal bits and pieces about what the company is doing. Also, we’ve now set up groups on LinkedIn and Facebook so feel free to join!!!

We’re now a week into our beta launch and fortunately there have been no major problems with bookings thus far, and more importantly we’ve had some really good feedback about the website and ideas about the service which is something that you can only start getting once people are using the service.

Other than that, EYP launched in Dublin last week and following that, we have some terrific momentum going there. The team that is running with things there is absolutely fantastic, and we have an exciting next event coming up in April. Following our launch in Dublin, we are planning additional launches in three more European cities before the middle of the year – so lots of work to do!

And finally, if anyone is in London next Wednesday night, come along to our next EYP event.

Organising myself

At the start of the month, I mentioned that I was trialling Plaxo to assist me in managing my life. I guess even though I would not describe myself as a pure web worker, the reality is that I spend over 50% of my work time using the internet and the various ‘cloud’ tools that exist. The Plaxo experiment didn’t work particularly well initially – which I now discover relates to an inability to synchronise with Hotmail if you have more than 999 contacts. I’m also wondering if you can still synch Plaxo with LinkedIN as I can’t find the Synch Point in Plaxo Plus. There was a good article in Mashable yesterday about synching with Google services with a mobile – and on reflection, I am becoming more reliant on Google. Am now looking for a good virtual PA so that I am really getting into the spirit of being a web worker!

In other news, we have now launched WeWantToSee which will hopefully turn into a great repository of ideas from people all around the world about what they want to see changed in the world. The content is still small, but I look forward to seeing how it looks as we get closer to the EYP November Event.

Last week, EYP had an absolutely great wine tasting event with Vavasour, a NZ winery. Their Malborough winemaker, Stu Marfell, entertained and educated a group of EYP members on the intricacies of wine making and how to produce particular styles and flavours. Stu is an up and coming winemaker and has been named as a Top 10 Finalist in the 2008 Wine Society Young Winemaker of the Year.

And finally, I read this great article in the BBC this week about the International Congress on Islamic Feminism. It makes a very interesting point about how religion is often heavily influenced by culture which perhaps detracts from the original intent of the religion’s founder(s). Anyway, a very interesting article.

Technology stuff…

So I am looking at some options for EYPs technolgy platform at the moment as well as some of the social networking tools that are out there. A few of the bits and pieces that we are looking at include Kickapps and Webjam. With a group like EYP, we will always try and use the latest social media tools, including Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter and Viadeo. These are all great, but there are drawbacks – particularly wtih Facebook and LinkedIN… Facebook groups become problematic once you have over 1,200 members as you aren’t allowed to invite all your members to events, LinkedIN groups do not provide massive options for communicating with members (although recently this has improved) and neither is particularly useful in getting a good handle on who your members are – which is incredibly important when chatting with prospective sponsors and the like. We have around 7,000 members already, so we need something that can deal with a reasonable sized audience!

About one year ago or so on Gigaom (I think), there was a fantastic overview of social networking platforms including Kickapps which proved immensely useful for a consulting gig I did – hopefully a new overview of similar quality will come out soon which will make our job easier in finding the right thing to use. There was a great quote from Om Malik in Feb 2007 that said “It is time to start thinking beyond the web-page paradigm, and think of social networking as part of a larger “experience,” one that starts to blend the best of online and offline worlds.” In our case, we are seeking a good online presence to work alongside an already powerful offlne presence to build a really compelling proposition for our members. Of course, it is made more complex by the fact that many people are joined up on multiple social networks. Thus an important aspect of this going forward is to see whether our platform can easily integrate with other tools – I know for example that with KickApps, we can have widgets for WordPress and Twitter.