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Rob Paterson

Exactly Carman - Is it no wonder that many who live in Atlantic Canada get it so well - certainly on PEI we still live the old life where everyone knows everyone. Of we don't but maybe we are only 1-2 steps away.

I was in a public meeting last night with 70 people. I knew at least 30 of the people directly. Even at the supermarket I might routinely know 1-3 people.

Reputation becomes critical - both helps and not. For older Islanders who your parents are also gives people context - can also be a problem.

Everyone knows who you vote for and extramarital affairs are very dangerous!


LMAO... I've heard Halifax referred to as "The largest small town in the world" that is "Big enough for a symphony, too small for an affair".

Mark Dykeman

The reason I used the "sandwich board" image was because the sheer amount of information about connections, interests, and contributions would probably fill a sandwich board - both sides and in small print. :) The other point I was trying to make is that the sandwich board is a way to publicize information about yourself that normally spread by word-of-mouth in previous decades. Online profiles do that work for you.

In the past, people knew everyone else in smaller communities through face-to-face contact or word-of-mouth spreading of information, but that took time. Some people had the benefit of "insider" status through long tenure, friend, or family connections in that community. However, the background information about you as a person, accurate or not, spread by physical presence and word-of-mouth.

As we both know, some small communities welcome strangers more than others do and have different tolerances for diversity.

In the Web 2.0 world, I feel that most of this "background" or identity-establishing conversation is electronic or, increasingly, by checking a person's online credentials: their blog, their social network, their social media activity (including comments), etc. This is especially widespread because of the geographic separation of participants that's been incorporated into communities of interest. This fills the "identity gap", if you will, and it can be pretty cool because you get a feel for a person's identity by what they say and do, not just from other people's feedback. We certainly do put a lot of stock in that feedback, though.

Getting back to your point: I think that Web 2.0 has made it easier to build these communities of interest that parallel clubs or small town markets, particularly prior to the advent of cheap and simple long distance communication. What's particularly cool, though, is that now it's far easier to belong to multiple communities and to find like-minded people if your thoughts and interests were out of step with your neighbours. Thus, I think there can be less pressure to "conform" to norms and mores when they come into conflict with your own needs and interests. It also makes it easier to find a community that fits you.

Didn't mean to turn this into a blog post, Carman!


Schweet, once again I think you've triggered me to want to blog about yet another topic Mark..thanks a lot. I had enough to do! *-)

ron macinnis

Carman: I love what you said here: "there was a level of connectedness and community that was somewhat baked in."
"Baked in" is perfect. Did you steal it?
Problem is, I think our entire mental processing system is "baked in." We are creatures ruled by the hard-wired old brain, while the more reasoning multiple-processor new brain spins away above on logic-driven conversations like this.
We still use acetylcholine, cholinesterase inhibitors, etc. every time we open or close a single and gate or a nand gate. (remember those terms?)
I like Hugh's insight that "human beings don't scale."
So what do we do? Continue to pile on the information, blissfully adding one more wave to the sea? And thereby making the waters of confusion deeper?
Or do we try to find a path into the centre of the mind to which ancient spiritual paths lead...and then quietly present a reasoned message for consideration.
Maybe Ray Kurzweil's book "The Singularity is Near" is now old fashioned. It's about as thick as I am high, and I am on my second year of trying to get through it. But by its sheer volume it provides clear measure of the conplexity of this question.

Thanks for this blog, Carman. It keeps my wheels spinning.
And my processor hot.
Which I need like another hole in my head.


wow... thank you very much for the thoughtful contributions. Much appreciated.

I'll be brief... (I'm typing this on a demo Macbook Air!)...

Mark - no worries about 'turning it into a blog post'! I'm grateful for the contribution and thinking. You touched on another VERY interesting point when referencing the ease with which we can now "belong to multiple communities and... find like-minded people if your thoughts and interests were out of step with your neighbours". There is a real edge here... we've shifted / are shifting from organizing in terms of communities of geography to communities of interest. No question. And I think this is driving a significant level of change in a multitude of areas.

Ron - I don't know if I've stole 'baked in' or not! Just one of the terms I use.... mmm... wonder where I first picked it up? All in all, a lot of food for thought here.

Thanks folks.

Mark Dykeman

@Carman - isn't "baked in" a phrase that Seth Godin uses in "The Purple Cow"? :)


Hey Mark... I'm not sure! It's been a while since I read Purple Cow (although a re-read wouldn't hurt).... here at the agency we're always referring to creative ideas as either half or fully baked too... and my mom's maiden name is Baker... so, lot's of baking references in my past / present! Who knows... the only thing I'm certain of is that I didn't invent it - just can't remember where I first picked it up!

ron macinnis

Question about what I have read on your blog so far re advertising placement.
And I am sticking my philosophical neck out on this one.
If, as I have proclaimed, we are, as a society, overloaded (see all the social stats for proof), and if, as I have proposed, one can speak with reason to that little "quiet place" inside us all (if one can touch it) and be heard, then pray tell how did last year's Newfoundland tourism camaign work in the end?
I hear various stories.
And this year they have pulled that all back some...
The answer to this for me would be telling as the campaign got universal attention in the circle in which I travel.
Lay it on me, Bubba.


Hey Ron... I'll try to send some thoughts to you regarding this on the weekend... it's certainly an interesting study. cheers.

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