BarCampBank c’est fantastique

The worlds first full-scale BarCampBank wrapped up on Saturday in Paris. About 60 Parisian Barcamp made it out (and one odd anglophone from Canada). It was great to connect with the French BarCamp crew – thanks for your excellent hospitality! The community in Paris is still a little smaller than Toronto but seems to be growing fast (and we could learn something, attendees here are a little older and of fairly diverse professional backgrounds).

Famous international partners in crime – Chris Messina and Tara Hunt are quite revered over here. It’s quite remarkable half way around the world from the valley to be surrounded by unconference grids and passionate ‘Pinko’ marketing adherents. (ever get the feeling this camp/social-media-community thing is going to be big?)

As for the camp itself, how do we “2.0 the hell out of banking” was indeed an interesting (and ambitious!) topic to take on.

Major topics of interest included p2p and decentralized financing including a few interesting initiatives in france and the US (fundable) along these lines. In addition to entrepreneurial ventures also ideas of fan-sourcing of the financing of record recording (for example) and possibly sharing in license revenues as a result (neat model… what else could it be applied to?).

Microformats and how they could apply to banking and integration/mashability of financial applications.

I talked about enterprise2.0 technologies from internal blogs/wikis to other webtools (like firestoker…) and their ability to flatten bureaucracies and accelerate innovation … but coupled with the special challenges of banks (security, privacy, entrenched attitudes of middle managers). Some good exchange came of this as a few including Federic were able to talk about their experience/difficulties in integrating wiki tools for instance into their financial institutions.

The last session I attended was on online trust and identity. Some interesting ideas here on separating identity from personality and trust (as these things can be independent). Talked about the importance of trust in communities and reputation online and better systems than credit reporting. As far as identity, there could be bank product here. Who better than your bank (alternatives govn’t or post office) to vouch for your identity online. If banks could build a common api, then they could offer service as proxies or valuators trust or identity (they do already through the kludgy system of credit card authorizations). Alternately there’s community models (RapLeaf comes to mind). In this case, I like the idea of “google ranking” community vouching. It’s not just how many people have clicked to vouch for you (a la ebay) but also what is the reputation of those people, and can we make that a factor too. And then pretty soon we are talking about an open currency of reputation and the whuffie etc.

A bientôt mes nouveaux amis!