Posts Tagged ‘PodCampBoston’

PodCamp Boston 5 tomorrow!

September 24, 2010


PodCamp Boston 5 starts tomorrow, and I’m excited to be going there with my sweetheart, Lesley Lambert. Both she and I will be facilitating sessions on Sunday. Lesley’s topic is Advanced Twitter, and I’ll be facilitating a discussion on Geolocation. I’ve facilitated sessions on Geolocation at RE BarCamp Orlando and RE BarCamp Rye, and my slidedeck for it has been viewed 1,178 times on I’ll be modifying the presentation for the PodCamp environment versus the real estate camp.

This will be my third PodCamp Boston, and lucky 13th camp of any variety.

I love the things that happen at camps, the people, the sessions, the networking, the brainstorming, the learning, the teaching, the sharing, the connections that people make. Being somewhat of a Camp veteran, I especially enjoy helping newcomers have a good experience as much as I enjoy reconnecting with old friends. I also love “seeing” the camp through others’ eyes, especially Camp virgins, but I love veteran’s thoughts, photos, videos, blogs, tweets, and whatever other media is produced.

Here are some links looking back at my previous Camp experiences, including PodCamp Boston 2, where I knew no one going into it, but made some great friends:

Looking forward to what this weekend brings at PodCamp Boston 5!

Confessions of a reformed wallflower

April 8, 2009

When I was a kid, I was painfully shy. Those of you who have met me in person would probably not believe it, but it’s true.

When I met William Azaroff of Vancouver in Manchester, NH a couple of weeks ago to tour America’s CU Museum, and then later that same night went out for dinner and drinks with Matt Davis of North Carolina and Ron Shevlin in North Reading, MA, we discussed that one of the criticisms leveled at us “social media” types who attended and presented at the 2008 Partnership Symposium in Indianapolis was that we didn’t mingle with others. I hadn’t consciously realized that, but looking back, it was true. And I am sad about that.

And though there is no excuse for that, there is a reason for it, and l will explain and tie paragraph one to paragraph two. It’s human nature to greet friends warmly, and not to walk up to strangers to introduce yourself. I try to greet people at most opportunities, and say hi to those I pass in a hallway. When given a choice between giving a handshake or a hug to an old friend, and introducing yourself to a stranger, it’s human nature to greet a friend first, because that’s much easier.

And that’s the amazing thing about social media and social networking. Sometimes you give an especially hearty greeting to someone you are meeting in person for the first time if you have already gotten to know that person online. Because, as Ron Shevlin has pointed out, you can get to know, online, a person who lives 3,000 miles away better than your colleague down the hallway who isn’t online in any meaningful way. When you get together, you already “know” that person. Especially given the conversational nature of twitter, you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about them on a personal basis. When you meet, you don’t need to use small talk to find common interests, you just naturally pick up the conversation that you’ve already been having online, and will continue online later.

I remember my first PodCamp Boston experience; it was the second of the PodCamps that they have held. I missed the first day entirely, but arrived in time to catch the tail end of the official evening party. I met a couple of folks who I had connected with online previously, but felt very much the outsider. It seemed like everyone else already knew each other. Undaunted, I continued to meet people throughout the second day and learn more about what this social media thing was all about.

And so I write this blog post to encourage everyone who is a.) relatively new to social media, b.) naturally shy, or c.) both, to put aside that shyness and to do your best to overcome that feeling of being a social media “outsider” when you come upon a group of social media people hanging out with each other, such as that which occurred just two weekends ago at PodCamp WesternMass. Bear in mind that most people involved in the online social world are exactly that: fairly social. Please understand that although it’s human nature to hang out with friends that you already know, most of us involved in the field really WANT to meet new people. Sometimes we just need a nudge of encouragement.

Remember that everyone in the world of social media was an outsider at first. If you introduce yourself, the folks worth talking to will be more than glad to have met you.

Marketing 2.0 in song

December 8, 2008

There are times when experience trumps youth. But in marketing today, fresh thinking is where it’s at. I had the pleasure of meeting Rebecca Corliss (@repcor on twitter) at PodCampBoston 3, and discovered a wonderful YouTube video of her college singing group spontaneously performing Torn, a capella, on the Boston T. Now’s she’s at it again, showing us that call centers are marketing’s dinosaur.

I LOVE recursiveness, and this video itself is a great example of inbound marketing. By creating a music video which is fun as well as educational, people like me are blogging and tweeting it (35 tweets this morning, just on oughta know, and more than 75 to or about Rebecca), of course all voluntarily. Also note that the lyrics contain the line “search results one, two, and three,” while the video wraps with a Google search on “inbound marketing.” Four of the top five results either belong to Hubspot, or an event sponsored by Hubspot.

Ideas for PodCampBoston 4

July 25, 2008

Chris Penn -First morning's unKeynoteI want to congratulate Chris Brogan, Chris Penn, Steve Sherlock, Sooz, and the other PodCamp organizers for having the vision and creating an incredible PodCamp. It was an amazing setting in the heart of Boston. It was inspiring that an un-conference could be held in such an beautiful space. The scheduled sessions were wonderful, and plenty of room was given for impromptu meetings, gatherings, and mingling in the hallways. The organizers did a spectacular job and deserve a round of applause.

With an event of about 400 attendees, it’s easy to feel like this is a regular conference, and not one where I can directly make contributions. However, I need to remember that while the organizers have experience with these PodCamps, I need to not sit back, take an active role, and share my insights. So rather than expecting others to create the perfect PodCamp experience, I need to pitch in and help. Here are ways that we could create an even better PodCamp:

PodCampBoston Morning TwoWhen I arrived on Saturday night of PodCampBoston2 in October of 2007, just in time for the after-party to be winding down, I saw a live PodCamp twitterstream projected on the wall. The information was eye-opening. Even though I had starting using twitter in a regular way a few months prior, this was still profound. I had never seen it used at an event before; I had only used it at my home or office. I could see, right there on the wall, how campers were talking to each other, saying where they were going for dinner, for drinks after, what sessions they were looking forward to tomorrow, etc. These folks had been using twitter in this way for a while, but as newbie, I had not.

I was surprised that the camp’s twitter stream was never projected anywhere during the PodCampBoston3 weekend. The session on microblogging might have been a good time for it, but it didn’t happen there. Because we all agree that we want those new to social media to get up to speed, an important idea to remember for future PodCamps is to project a live twitterstream in several places. It would have been cool to have a live twitterstream going 24/7 in the upstairs breakroom/dining area and in the main hallway on the ground floor. We could have also shown the camp’s twitterstream during breaks in the auditorium. Another possibility would have been to show it during the conference wrap-up. (I’m sure that would be amusing.) We could have also had a twitter channel dedicated to lunch, dinner and party meet-ups.

There is no better way to get newbies up-to-speed on social media than to show them such a twitterstream, never mind the actual insight that they would get by watching it for a few minutes. For folks new to it, seeing a twitterstream like this is eye-opening. Even if you had heard about twitter, and were starting to use it, you would not have access to a stream like this, simply because you don’t yet know who to follow. This being my second PodCamp, I assumed that all attendees already knew about Twitter, but I was reminded that that is definitely not the case, when someone asked “what is this whole Twitter deal?” in the VERY LAST session of the entire weekend! Imagine how much connecting and knowledge people in that category, (and I’m sure it’s surprisingly large percentage) missed out on!

Not only should we create a spot to project the camp’s Twitter stream 24/7 during the event, we should also create some type of sign-in poster for people’s twitter handles, so that folks can exchange those during the conference. It would of course be voluntary. But I feel there is no faster way to create a better sense of community between veterans and newcomers to PodCamp than to connect them up via the social media tools that we are all here to discuss, n’est pas?

Since, as the PodCamp has matured, we have both veterans and first-timers alike. I think the success of social media and PodCamp is going to be measured by how many more people, especially professionals, come on board. One way to insure both the veterans and newbies are taken care of at an event is to indicate for which audience sessions are intended. Veterans tend towards the hallway and impromptu sessions while newbies go for the scheduled sessions. But both veterans and newbies alike will find value in the rooms and in the hallways if they know what to expect there.

Another way to connect people coming to the camp is through CrowdVine. It’s kinda funny that I first discovered the benefits of CrowdVine via BarCampBankSF, and not PodCampBoston. This Bay Area company has a site than anyone can use for free, to engender connections and networking leading up to, during, and after an event. I assumed that the PodCamp organizers knew about this tool, and had good reasons not to use it for PodCamp, but I am probably erroneous about that.

While Twitter is an amazing way to make connections and friends, I don’t want to have “twitter-level” intimacy with everyone. There are some people, who, brilliant as they are, just tweet too much for me. For those folks, Facebook is the right level of closeness. I can “check in” with them virtually once in a while. Therefore, I would love to see the Facebook page of the PodCamp event be used and populated for friend-connecting, even though it’s not the official site of the un-conference.

One more idea: I know it must be tough to try to capture the combined output of 400 social media types. And while there is an official PodCamp tag (pcb3), I still think it would be worthwhile to set up a central wiki where everyone who has blogged, photographed, recorded, uttered, podcasted, slideshared, etc. from the event could supply their links. I’m amazed already at how many different and wonderful perspectives on the event that I’ve seen, just from the people who I met and connected with. But I connected with less than 1/4 of the campers. My knowledge would be broadened if I had a way to view what others have thought and captured of the PodCamp.

These notes are not meant as criticisms to the PodCamp organizers. Thank you, Chris, Chris, Steve, Sooz, and other organizers. You did an amazing job, and all campers thank you for an unforgettable event. PodCamp is a large undertaking that you deserve to be proud of, and was a success for everyone who participated.

Thoughts from PodCampBoston 3

July 24, 2008

Panel on PR and social mediaI just returned from an incredible weekend of PodCampBoston 3. This was my second PodCamp, both in Boston, and my sixth ‘camp’ of any type. (FacebookCampToronto2, PodCampBoston2, BarCampBankSF, BarCampBankNewEngland, BarCampMoneyNYC). I first heard about “Camps” when I was invited to, then read post-event blogs about, BarCampBank Seattle, the first camp of its type held in North America. Reading about the sessions as they were posted to the web in near-real time, and how amazing the experience was universally for the attendees, made me eager to learn more about it.

Chris Brogan-First morning's unKeynoteMy first PodCampBoston (number 2) was a great experience. Even though I had years of experience in online community building because of my work creating EverythingCU, I was an outsider and newbie to PodCamp. It seemed like everyone already knew each other. I’m fairly social though, and did meet many great people. But never having been there before, especially when a great number of folks had the common bond of having CREATED the first one out of thin air, I naturally had the feeling of an outsider.

Joseph B Martin Conference CenterBut this one was different for me. Because I had met many people at PodCampBoston2, I had many “great to see you again” moments at PodCampBoston3. Also, because I had started interacting online with many people involved with social media in the greater Boston area, I had many “nice to meet you in person at last” moments, including with someone from my neck of the woods in Western Mass. One thing that really floored me was that when Chris Brogan arrived in the morning, he recognized me even though I wasn’t wearing a name tag yet. Wow, he’s good.

Best photo:
Parking Meter – FAIL
by Shelley Greenberg, aka the Spotted Duck

Best quote:
“And that’s where I ran out of Schlitz.” – from @JoeCascio getting to the end of his slides at the distributed microblogging session

Best tweet:
from @limeduck “Twitter can haz revenyoo model pls?” (view original)

Best unexpected delight of the camp:
Free parking in the middle of Boston

Best shirt:
Steve Garfield
(captured by Gradon Tripp)

Runners up:
Adam Zand,
Todd Van Hoosear

Best unexpected person I met:
Stewart Sims, the marketing genius who brought the Rubix Cube to the United States.

Best photo concept: Greg Peverill-Conti attempting to get a head shot of every camper

Best analogy:
Adam Zand for Social Media as High School

Best post-event blog summary:
Five Lessons from PodCamp Boston from the Spotted Duck

Gradon is looking at Suki's answersBest live-tweeting of the sessions:
@Gradon Tripp

Best personal revelation based on what someone else tweeted:
Twitter is like having a room full of friends inside your head (view original) (Fortunately, it comes with a mute button.)

Great sessions at PodCampBoston

October 31, 2007

One of the wonderful things about a PodCamp is that it gets recorded, blogged, and twittered about. While I was there, I heard about some great sessions that I missed (with 6 or 7 tracks going on, it was often hard to choose among excellent ones.)

Sessions I attended: Dan York did one on best practices for conducting interviews for your podcast using VoIP. While he explained how using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), yields a much higher audio quality, I wished he would have covered how to get the best quality out of a simple set-up. The rig he talked about involved a mixer, headset, and two computers running simulataneously. Now don’t get me wrong, I am an audiophile and have a background in music engineering. But I’m not going to rig up a mixer, and two computers (one running Skype, the other recording) to conduct an interview for podcast. That stuff is all well and good, but I also want to know how I can do it with a PowerBook, Skype, and say, GarageBand. Or perhaps all I need is to conference in someone using Utterz.

David Maister is a fascinating British chap. He is a B2B consultant, and made some great points about how to achieve success in business. He gave fresh interpretations on “it’s not about you, it’s about them”. David on how to win business: Don’t tell the other person how great you are, instead start helping them right away. He gave away copies of his latest book at the end, but he gave away his last copy when I was next in line. 😦 Here is a link to a great blog post that he mentioned: Do you really want relationships? Another great quote: The route to business success may be fairly obvious, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Jeff Pulver did a session that talked about his pioneering efforts in VoIP. Essentially, he is one of the people who changed the face of how telecoms work, and talked about some interesting moments being grilled for info in an unmarked building in DC with interviewers who wouldn’t identify themselves. Jeff talked about the importance of following your dreams and passions as an entrepreneur. Jeff was one of the major sponsors of the event, and sponsored part of the space in the convention center as well as the Saturday night party. Right now, he’s still in Boston, being a part of the VON conference, also in the BCEC. Best quote from Jeff during PodCampBoston: “We do most of our best thinking in the shower. Then why are there no showers in offices?”

Two other sessions that I missed, that there was positive buzz about: Laura Fitton’s Killer Presentations session, and Neil Gorman’s session that was originally titled Your Podcast is not a f***ing toaster. The link is to a video of this session given at a conference earlier this summer. This presentation is long, and starts with an excellent overview of the state of media/broadcasting/podcasting today. It then goes into some humor that only seasoned podcasters will find funny. Interestingly, I think podcaster burnout is probably caused by the one-way nature of podcasting. It is hard to always be speaking into a “vacuum”, i.e. speaking without an audience in front of you. Thus the popularity of interviews in the podcasting realm.

Another cool aspect of today’s networking technology, such as Facebook, and the wiki of this event, is that before the event, I saw that a Baltimorean, Greg Cangalosi, was coming north to be there. So I met him at the camp, along with another Baltimorean, David Beaudouin, who also created some good Utterz about the PodCamp.

photo courtesy Jeff O’Hara (blog)

PodCampBoston Wrap Up

October 30, 2007

The best takeaways from PodCampBoston:

0:00 – Utterz – Podcasting via cell phone
0:48 – Pod Group Twitter
1:48 – Lolsaurs
2:46 – StalkerStalker
4:01 – Moo Cards
4:27 – Live Video over Net
5:55 – BarCampBankNewEngland
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