|"Every resource you need for your success must be in your network, or your success can't be achieved."|
The Network Ambassador
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My first web site, NZDances, was by far the largest and most popular regional dance site in the world. In the very early days of the Internet there were no search engines, not much in the way of standards and the network of web developers was a huge team of part time beginners like me.
I build over 1000 pages over 4 years, with the help of over 700 people who willingly contributed their time and expertise to help me. Besides over 60 other sites on the Internet gave me links to my site, and I willingly returned the favour.
This was my background to what we now call online networking. I didn't really "know" the people who were helping me, except that they understood what I was trying to do, and they thought that they could help.
Ryze was perhaps the first social networking site on the Internet. When I first saw it I didn't appreciate what I was being shown. I didn't join. That was a mistake. Since then I've put a lot of time into helping other people not repeat my error. In 2010 I began to withdrawn from Ryze, closing down my three networks.
I did some work on Ecademy in the next year. I'm was very impressed by the effort of the Chairman of Ecademy, Thomas Power, for the effort he has put into making Social Networking available to many people and in building the understanding about what it is that we are all doing. (Anybody who thinks that's obvious doesn't understand at all.) But Ecademy also failed.
Like most people, I found LinkedIn a bit meaningless in the beginning. Other people helped me, and I decided to help other people. I became an "open networker" accepting connections from everyone. Soon I had one of the largest networks in New Zealand.
Then I started a LinkedIn Group called Open Future New Zealand (originally Kiwi Scrum), so that New Zealanders could more easily find each other.
I'm strongly connected in many other places too. Twitter, Xing, Ning, Viadeo, Hi Five, Internations, Ecademy and TwoStep as examples
I became quite committed to the ideals of Four Years. Go. I worked to extend understand of those ideals across the world. But Four Years. Go. was also overtaken by history.
In my local area I've begun to build Street Groups, based on areas of about 30 houses. I've discovered that as well as being useful to connect people across the world, the Internet is a great tool for connecting neighbours.
This web site, Open Future, is my main personal effort to make a difference in the world. There are thirteen icons on the main page, each one representing changes we need to make in order to make the future more "open". The number of changes we need to make is multiple, there could be eight or thirty, or fifty thousand. Business as usual will not continue because it's unsustainable. We could potentially create a future that gets better over time. Sixty years ago we thought we were doing that. It turns out that we've been trashing the planet. We didn't realise that all our "wealth" was really a free gift from the planet, that is being withdrawn and the environment declines.
In the last year I've discovered food supplements, that have improved my own health. That surprised me. I'm now very curious about where this new knowledge leads. I'm looking for clues about how to reach higher levels on the health ladder. Previously my mind has been closed to the possibility that taking a food supplement would do anything except cost me money. Having discovered one product that "works" I'm now engaged in research about personal health care.
If you look at the Personal Services Page, I talk about the necessary process of personal development we all need to pursue. This is a task we all try to avoid. It's is like training for a marathon. You start slow and you work for a long time, and eventually you develop the inner strength to do amazing things. There are no shortcuts. "You can be a champion", but you have to transform yourself, and only you can do it.
On the Business Services Page, I challenge businesses to embrace the Internet. That means embracing new learning, innovation and inevitable change. For businesses this is scary territory. Businesses are avoiding the issue. The problem won't go away, it just gets more urgent, business has to face some unpleasant facts. Frankly the number of requests I've actually had is small. The potential is excellent and growing. Continued neglect of the issues is a death wish. Our future can be "open" or "closed" and I believe that we really do have a choice.
Online collaboration is a two way affair. There needs to be a willingness to trust on both sides. I built a large network because away back with NZ Dances I had a large network that was very useful to me. Now I've got a large network again, and too often it's not used. There is power in social networks to change who we are and to change what's possible in the world. That's a task that lies ahead of us.
Please feel free to comment my work here.(4) Comments