West Coast Community Leadership Summit (AKA CLS West)

The fourth annual West Coast Community Leadership Summit will be on February 2nd, 2013, at the eBay Town Hall Conference Center in San Jose. Join experienced community leaders and organizers to discuss, debate and explore the many avenues of building strong community in an open unconference setting.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Calling all Sponsors

We did get a late start organizing CLS West 2011. As a result, we are behind where we were last year at this time with respect to sponsors for the event. We do have the following Silver Sponsors so far:

We are still hoping to provide lunch during the unconference and dinner at the evening social gathering afterwards. If your company is interested in sponsoring CLS West 2011, you will find information on the cost/benefits of the Platinum/Gold/Silver corporate sponsorship levels here. You can also send inquiries about sponsorship to this email address:

sponsorship [at] clswest [dot] us

Another thing we are doing this year is giving attendees the option to be individual sponsors of the event when they register for the unconference. There will continue to be the free registration option. We added two paid ticket options. For professional community workers, there is a $100 registration option. There is separate option to be a personal sponsor where you can specify the amount of your sponsorship when you sign up. We are recommending $25 for personal sponsors, but, we will gladly accept lesser or greater amounts.

Similar to the way we list our corporate sponsors, there will be an option (you decide when you sign up) for public attribution of our personal and professional sponsors. Anyone that has already registered for a free ticket can still become a personal or professional sponsor of the event. Send us a request to cancel your free registration first though at this email address:

info [at] clswest [dot] us

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CLS West 2011

Hand 2

Plans are in motion for our second annual CLS West unconference. Registration is now open for this free one day unconference. We will be back at DeVry University in Daly City on January 15th, 2011. We also have Kaliya volunteering her professional services to facilitate our unconference again. Please join us!

If you would like to help organize the CLS West unconference or the Community Dinner that evening, you can join our separate Mailing List where the planning discussions take place. You will also find information on the mailing list about the brief (30 minutes) weekly conference calls leading up to the event.

Finally, we need to move fast to get sponsorships lined up. Similar to last year's event, we have sponsorship opportunities at the Platinum ($2000), Gold ($1000) and Silver ($500) levels. Adobe is already on board as our first sponsor at the Silver level. If your company would like to sponsor CLS West 2011, you can contact us here:

sponsorship [at] clswest [dot] us

Monday, July 19, 2010

To call it a Camp or NOT to call it a Camp, That is the Question

At the recent Community Leadership Summit in Portland, Dave Nielsen proposed that regional unconferences be called Community Leadership Camps rather than Community Leadership Summits. The rationale being that the unconference format we use is closely aligned with the "Camp" brand (FooCamp, BarCamp, CloudCamp, etc...). In practice, I don't think people would spell it all out. So, we are really talking about the term CLCamp. This would then lead to qualification of the regional events by geography appended to that. At least, that is how it tends to work for the other branded camps. In our case, that would mean CLCamp West.

My first reaction was a very strong one against this proposal. However, I have since realized that Dave's proposal only pertains to the unconference events and not all the other activities associated with the existing CLS West brand: Ignites, First Fridays, Special Events, etc...

You see, CLS West is not just an unconference. CLS West is a "community" of community leaders here in the bay area that come together in many different ways. This led to the realization that CLS West needs to live on as the umbrella entity associated with our Ignite events, our First Friday dinner gatherings, and special events like the CLS West Karaoke Holiday Party in the works for December of 2010. =)

So, what we are really talking about is the event name for our next unconference gathering here in the bay area. Regardless of the name, the sponsoring entity/organization will be CLS West. With that in mind, the possibilities that I see for the event name are:
  • CLS West
  • CLSCamp West
  • CLCamp West
Personally, I don't have a strong need to associate our unconference event with the "Camp" brand. I believe the advantages of that association are outweighed by the weakening of the association with the "CLS" brand. Which is why my first choice would be to leave it alone and have our main event simply use our umbrella title of CLS West. However, I could live with incorporating the "Camp" brand into the name as long as the "CLS" brand is kept intact. This means I would be okay with CLSCamp West.

What I am strongly opposed to is calling it a CLCamp. This completely removes the "CLS" brand association. For me, the "CLS" brand represents the concept of bringing community builders together in a vendor-neutral environment. It just so happens that the first ever CLS event was an unconference. Through the activities of CLS West over the past 6 months, we have demonstrated that the "CLS" brand as described here can be effectively applied to other event formats too.

So, now you know my opinions on the matter. Although I spearheaded the formation of CLS West and continue to take a leadership role in the community, I realize that I am here to serve the community. The best way to serve the community in this situation is to solicit your input into the final decision. To that end, I have created this simple online poll where everyone that is a member of CLS West can vote and be counted. We will implement the community's decision whatever it may be.

That's All Folks!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ignite CLS West: YouTube Channel

For those of you that missed Ignite CLS West, the videos of the talks are now available on our very own YouTube Channel. In order of delivery that night, we have:

I am confident that you will find each talk is well worth the 5 minute investment required to check them out. My personal favorite is Sudha Jamthe's talk. If nothing else, you must see her assertion that "I am not funny" at the start of her talk. It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. I was definitely ROTFLOL and I was not the only one. =)

That's All Folks, Van

Posted via email from CLS West's Posterous

Sunday, January 31, 2010

First Friday: South Bay

Announcing a new Meetup for Community Leadership Summit West!

When: Friday, February 5, 2010 6:00 PM

Krillion, Inc.
607A W. Dana Street
Mountain View, CA 94041

Please join us for the very first CLS West First Friday dinner. We will be ordering Chinese takeout from Cafe Yulong and eating at Krillion in downtown Mountain View. Start time is listed as 6pm and people are welcome to arrive then, but, the food will be arriving around 6:30pm. When you RSVP, there will be a chance to recommend a main dish that you would like included in our order. Here is an online menu for Cafe Yulong. This first dinner will be paid for out of the surplus funding for CLS West.

The Krillion office is near the Hair By Heinz salon at the corner of Dana and View streets. The entrance to Krillion is just around the corner from the salon with the entrance actually being on View street despite the street address being 607A Dana. There are several parking lots nearby including one right across the street. There is also plenty of street parking in the area. The location is also 3 short blocks from the combined Caltrain and Light Rail station in downtown Mountain View.

Primarily, this is an opportunity to join other experienced community leaders and organizers to discuss, debate and explore the many avenues of building strong community. At this very first one though, I would like to gather feedback on what people liked about our recent CLS West unconference *and* suggestions for how we can improve it next year.

After dinner, those that are interested can keep the conversation going over drinks at a nearby bar. The tentative plan is to move the gathering to the Tied House at 954 Villa Street from 8pm to 10pm. It is also an option to skip the dinner and join us afterwards at the bar. Unless you are joining us at Krillion before 8pm, it is recommended that you check the @CLSWest twitter stream for any updates on last minute changes in the group's plans before joining us for drinks.

Finally, we are looking for First Friday organizers in San Francisco and the East Bay. I could also use a co-organizer for First Fridays in the South Bay. This is something we will be doing on a monthly basis going forward. The expectation is the organizers for a given locality would become assistant organizers for our CLS West meetup group and arrange a First Friday Dinner once every three months as we rotate through these three locales. If this is something you would like to volunteer for, please contact Van Riper. Thanks!

Learn more here:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We are NOT Family

The theme for our first CLS West event was "We Are Family." During the event proper, there were no complaints registered about this theme by anyone in attendance. However, I have since learned that several local community managers chose not to attend primarily because of this theme and in particular the use of the word "Family." If I had known that earlier, I would have never chosen this as our theme for the event. It is ironic that my intent in choosing that theme was to communicate that this event was open to all and it actually communicated the exact opposite to some people.

I still personally have no problem with the theme as I expressed it, but, I can not control how others choose to interpret it. I subscribe to the hippocratic oath principle of "do no harm." Although I meant no harm, it would be harmful to the CLS West Community to continue to use messaging that refers to "Family." Per my original intent of communicating that CLS West is open to all, the right thing to do is to refrain from that kind of messaging around CLS West activities going forward.

To that end, I have deleted the @CLSWest/family twitter list after first migrating everyone on that list to a new @CLSWest/community twitter list. If you use twitter and you would like to be on our community list, simply retweet this @CLSWest tweet and you will get automatically added to the list within 24 hours.

Also, I had discussed earlier on the CLS West Google Group the idea of having some informal Friday evening gatherings about once a month going forward and referred to them as CLS West Family Fridays. We will be moving forward with these informal monthly gatherings, but, the name has been changed to CLS West First Fridays and they will be scheduled on the first Friday of each month. The first one will be on Friday, February 5th. I've already setup a CLS West Meetup Group you can join to hear about CLS West First Fridays. Once you have joined the meetup group, you can suggest First Friday venues here. You can vote for suggested venues there too.

I already suggested a first gathering in downtown Mountain View for February 5th. The intent is to rotate these gatherings to locations in the East Bay, San Francisco and elsewhere based on your input. I hope to see you all at some future CLS West First Friday.

That's All Folks!

Our Sponsors

There were a few last minute sponsors that need to be included in our final sponsor banner. CLS West was a huge success this past weekend and it would not have been possible without the support of all these sponsors:
If you run into anyone from one of our sponsors, please let them know how much you appreciated their support of CLS West 2010. Thanks!

Friday, January 8, 2010

To All Our CLS West Sponsors: Thank You!

With the late addition of Guidewire as a Gold Sponsor, we have reached our funding target for this event. Due to the combined generosity of all our sponsors listed above, we will be providing a delightful Indian buffet catered lunch at the unconference. Plus, we can cover the costs for professional high definition recordings of all the Ignite talks in the evening. Not to mention the morning/afternoon coffee, some healthy snacks and plenty of beer at the evening Ignite. Nor all the free books we will be giving away thanks to all the book publishers supporting this event. CLS West is less than 24 hours away starting with badge pickup at onsite registration at 9am. See everyone bright and early tomorrow at our first annual CLS West gathering.

Posted via email from CLS West's Posterous

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Yeah! 25 More Free Tickets

We could still use a few more sponsors, but, we have a contingency plan to cover the costs in place now for an additional 25 tickets. If you were holding off from inviting someone else due to the event being sold out, now is the time to let them know about the event. They can register here:
That's All Folks!