Phillip Smith

Getting smaller? How so? To what end?

I was noting to a friend a few weeks ago that I’ll be making an announcement shortly about some changes in direction for Community Bandwidth and yours truly. The gist of the note was that I have renewed my commitment to being "agressively small" (thanks to Mark Surman for that phrase) and for Community Bandwidth that means that 2006 is all about getting smaller. Of course, this friend asked, "Getting smaller? How so? To what end?" And this is basically what I responded:

  • I’ll be working more deeply on fewer projects, keeping my focus on quality and relationships
  • I’ll be working independently almost exclusively, balancing my role between architect and craftsperson
  • I’ll be focusing my efforts on a very narrow set of issues that are important to me, mostly independent and progressive media organizations, as well as initiatives that explore how they can collaborate more effectively
  • I’ll step out of leadership roles and try to act only as a coach, catalyst, and collaborator
  • I will be aggressively small and carry a big blog

So, it seems appropriate to launch my new personal blog on that note and to fill it with some ideas that I've wanted to have an excuse to document for the last year or so. Of course, I wish I had a better sense of humour so it would all make for fantastic reading... so, as a reader of this blog, I commit to thee: I'll do what I can to keep it from getting too dry (and, if you have suggestions, send them along).

Here are my other commitments to you, the Reader:

  • This blog will explore ideas that sit squarely at the intersection of technology and progressive social change
  • This blog will not become part of the echo chamber of "seen elsewhere" circular references to the top 10 ideas of 2006 or any other year (Meaning: if I don't have something relatively significant to add to a conversation, I won't blog about it)
  • This blog will be about embracing a path toward egoless leadership -- where ideas are cheap and execution is one of the few things that matter (and getting the ideas out into the world provides me with more incentive to get moving on them myself!)
  • And, finally, this blog will be divided into three main sections: for clients, for colleagues, and for Canada.

Information for Clients will share experiences for novel or strategic uses of information technology toward the challenges faced by social-mission organizations.

Ideas for Colleagues will invite conversations that investigate how we -- as non-profit technology assistance providers (in our many forms) -- can build our own capacity to work with the organizations that we are in service to.

And Inspiration for Canada will attempt to create some new conversations around the state of non-profit technology assistance in Canada.

The blog will be your friend. It will cuddle you at night. It may even talk back and be annoying at times... but this is the way of my blog. Please take a moment to leave some constructive and encouraging feedback... because, as a stalward of media freedom, I shall exercise my freedom to censor your comments liberally! Just kidding... the only rules are:

  • Stay on topic
  • No abuse or abusive language
  • This is not your soapbox (if you want one, go get one!)
  • The top comment poster -- as defined by frequency and insightfulness of comments -- for 2006 will win an iPod Nano (or some 2006-7 equivalent)


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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