smAlbany: An Idea and a Mission

You know, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about, so I wanted to thank everyone who read or replied to my smAlbany blog postings.

Without signaling out any replies (they were all so good in my book!) I noticed a trend that while the term can be a bit annoying, “smAlbany” can also be quite endearing.

I also sensed the feeling that our region has the potential to become a “destination” for new businesses and residents based on our strengths in technology, education, health care, recreation, location and more, if we could only get our act together to promote it.

I believe that this is eminently doable, and we must task ourselves to achieve this goal. I am reminded that throughout history, small groups of individuals have gotten together to effect great change. We have a great tradition of that in our own country -- our chambers of commerce, nonprofits, free school systems (our founding fathers would probably qualify too).

Our local organizations – Chambers of Commerce, BNIs, Tech Valley organizations, some media and politicians & more – have done much to promote our region, but we must do more.

I commend Steve Jeffes who recently started the Albany Professionals Group on the LinkedIn social networking site. He has attracted over 2,000 members in just a few months and is developing a number of workgroups and member activities. It’s a good example of the power of social networking, and the time is now to harness this power.

What I would ask at this time is that each person respond with the one change or improvement that Albany needs to take it to the next level. I would ask for 3 or 5 suggestions but that’s too complicated right now. What I’d like to see is the best, the greatest idea that’s been nagging at you, that you think would make all the difference. We’ll find a way to present these to the smAlbany Mayor.

To paraphrase Arlo Guthrie, with one person you have an idea, with three people you have an organization, and with 50 people you have a movement!

So just think about that when you hear Arlo singing the annual “Alice’s Restaurant” on the radio this Thanksgiving. Think about smAlbany, me and Arlo, and have a Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends.

I look forward to your comments!