eHampshire 2006

I was keynote speaker for the eHampshire 2006 conference at the Guildhall in Winchester today.

Other speakers and panelists included

  • David Lennan (Chief Executive of Work Wise),
  • Peter Knowles (BT’s teleworking Director),
  • Peter Thomson (Director of the Future Work Forum at Henley Management College),
  • John Rees-Evans (Head of Economic Development at Hampshire County Council),
  • Tony Corbin, (MATISSE Project Manager),
  • Patricia Vaz (South East Regional Director, BT),
  • Prof. Glenn Lyons (University of the West of England)
    and more.

My talk was on (guess what?) Web 2.0 and Virtual Worlds. I hope I managed to evangelise more than I confused and frightened. 🙂

Some highlights…

  • My ‘Metaverse Evangelist’ title seemed to catch everyone’s attention, and nearly every speaker made a reference to it. I think everyone wants to be an evangelist.
  • It was great to meet Peter Thomson. (My favourite quote from him, which will keep me going through any hard times to come, was “evangelists need faith”.) His very interactive presentation highlighted that the conference delegates thought one of the biggest challenges facing managers regarding home-working is trusting their employees. He also pondered why managers seek to monitor and control employees rather than motivate them to want to be at work.
  • All delegates were given a USB memory stick to take the presentations home with them. It’s just as well it’s a 256MB one, as my image-heavy presentation weighs in at 17MB these days.
  • Peter Knowles from BT said explained why teleworking has such a dramatic effect on absenteeism and sick days “I will hide behind voicemail, working on my email, being 70% productive until I’m better again”. I must confess to doing the same sometimes too, though I have misgivings about the sanity of doing it.
  • Jim Tuckwell, Silver Surfer of the year, was there and thanked me afterwards for the presentation. We chatted about Wikipedia. I want to be the silver surfer of the year when I’m 77.

Interesting facts…

  • 95% of Hampshire’s businesses employ less than 5 people.
  • 70% of businesses in Hamphire use the internet, while only 30% use it to sell.
  • eHampshire’s Hotspots Hampshire initiative aims for everyone in Hampshire to be no further away than ten minutes from a wireless access point. Given that I am currently without wireless at home, I am very much in favour of this sort of project.
  • Patricia Vaz from BT pointed out that a desk costs 10,000 (or 15,000 in London) and BT saves 6,500 for each home worker.

I met a lot of intereting people and heard a lot of interesting things, so all in all I had a great day.

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