REI's Rico Simpkins, Online Community Development Manager, speaks about the past, present and future of REI. Up until now, REI's Internet presence has been merchandise-based. REI's new goal is to bring the community they foster in their stores, to the Web, part of which is getting users to share vacation information such as user-generated maps of their travels. In Rico's words, he wants to develop an "online" community that gets people "offline." Rico speaks with familiarity and passion about his experiences with REI, the great outdoors and bringing technology into the mix. During this presentation Rico recalls a particularly unique anecdote about once when to the audible gasps of his coworkers, he attended a company meeting via video conference from his tent. This podcast presentation is interesting, fun and provides a fresh perspective on the sometimes counterintuitive marriage of technology and nature. He also discusses his interest in the technologies that can support his online community such as those from Google Maps, National Geographic and ESRI. The presentation was recorded at Google headquarters on July 15, 2008, and lasts for 16:40 minutes.
Ed. Note: The Web 2.0 Mapping and Social Networks Group is about sharing, teaching, learning and networking around current and future Web-based geospatial and social networking applications and technology. The group meets regularly on the third Tuesday evening of every month at Google in Silicon Valley, CA. Back Five Productions and Endpoint Environmental LLC are the producers of the Web 2.0 Mapping and Social Networks Meetup Group podcasts, which are sponsored by Directions Media.