OK, my apologies. Just starting up a blog, and then disappearing is not necessarily the best way of ensuring that you keep coming back for more, but I couldn’t get online. In fact, the only way that these words are going to make it from my computer into yours is if I can find a Starbucks. In this globalised world, there is a certain comfort in knowing that whichever town you end up in the US, there is a fair chance of finding a Starbucks. And with it, your favourite cup of coffee and the chance to get online and reconnect with the world from wherever you are. Some call this scary. Others call it progress. I call it opportunity.

One of the things that encouraged me to start blogging is the huge, absolutely huge quantity of information and fantastic initiatives that are out there. Stuff that is essential, fundamental even, for developing new ideas and finding out what others are thinking. But if it is so essential, why do we not include this in job descriptions? How many organisations actively encourage their staff to take 30 minutes each morning or evening and surf? Are we afraid of empowering staff and employees? Are we afraid that they’ll spend the time on hotmail? What about if we included weekly update reports on new ideas and thinking gleaned from the web in our team meetings?

Pushing the idea even further, why do we not ask board members for non profits to spend a mandatory 30 minutes each day on the web? We could give them a couple of basic resources - some great sites and blogs to start with, and then encourage them to set themselves free. It might take a bit of time, but this could be an excellent way of allowing board members (who often have a very insular view of their organisations) to broaden their horizons.

On another note, in my last post I shared some of my thoughts on post-Katrina reconstruction, and encouraged you to visit Architecture for Humanity to see some of the fantastic work they are doing in the affected areas of Biloxi and New Orleans. Since I returned from this stricken area, I’ve been asking friends and colleagues to not forget - not forget the tens of thousands of victims still living in trailers. And this video on you tube sums it up perhaps better than I could ever do.