I've never been much of a socializer myself which is a bit ironic because I am fairly public online. I guess in my mind, there's safety in my anonimity because my personal social circle is not particularly large. But I digress… While I've always wanted to attend such events, I never had any real facility to go. It's hard to go to any event not knowing anyone. Fortunately for me, I was lucking enough to be invited by Byron, a friend I met through work. So I went to Wired Wednesday in Toronto last night. It was an event hosted by Red Wire and the plan is to host it once a month. The format was relatively simple. Mingle for about an hour followed by start-up presentations and then key note speaker. The three presentations last night were ParkingSpots.com, Rypple and fonolo.
ParkingSpots.com is a great idea especially in Toronto where parking downtown is scarce to begin with and cheap parking is close to impossible to find. The premise of the site is simply to match parking seekers with parking providers where the parking provider can be anyone such as Joe Citizen to Corporate parking. They breakdown parking needs to hourly and monthly parking. The idea is great especially for those who are looking to rent out an unused driveway or unused spots as additional income. It's also a cheaper means of finding monthly rentals for those who have to commute in everyday.
We didn't get a chance to see Rypple but the premise was to provide a more natural way to provide performance metrics to individuals. I believe that it can be used for personal or professional use. It could also potentially be another means to measure reputation as well. I signed up for the beta and am waiting to hear back.
Fonolo was the most interesting of the three presentations last night. It was a phone crawler that helped you weave through the insane phone support structure that most companies have today. The idea was to be able to select a company and select an action. When you got to the point where you are ready to chat with someone, I believe that it would find a way to call you. That would generally save anyone a bulk of time. The killer feature here is that it could record your conversation with the CSR so you would have a record of it. Future features would include being able to playback to the CSR and publish the conversation to YouTube. I love this idea because it finally puts control back into the hands of the consumer.
The keynote speaker last night was Mark Evans. I've been a big fan of Mark Evans, if anything because he's Canadian. The topic was the relevance of social media in a corporate world. A couple of interesting facts were that Dell pushes a tonne of sale information through Twitter and IBM has over 15000 internal bloggers.
I'm looking forward to the next event.