Podcamp Boston 2 wrapped up yesterday, and I had the great pleasure to be in attendance. Many, many thanks go to Chris Brogan and Chris Penn (and countless others) for putting together such a stellar weekend. I hope the other attendees got as much out of it as I did!
I hope to cover a number of topics from the weekend, and do a few more posts in the next couple of days (a “shout out” post in particular with lots of juicy link love for all the awesome people I met for the first time, and all the awesome people I already knew but got to spend some more time with), but let’s begin with a few simple takeaways:
This community is powerful.
See Chris Brogan’s post on one of the “products” of PodCamp, LOL Saur. Basically, some PodCampers put their heads together, and within a couple of hours (seriously) had a new site up paying tribute to those infamous LOL Cats.
The site is…well, it’s not the greatest. The jokes could be better, and the “LOL + something” meme is kind of played out in my opinion.
Chris makes an extremely valid point: it’s not whether the site “deserved” to make the front page of Digg within hours (which it did), it’s that the site was a brilliant experiment showcasing the power of the PodCamp community when they put their creative minds to work. To go from a silly joke to making the front page of a site like Digg in mere hours is pretty huge, even if the content itself isn’t exactly genius.
All about the benjamins, baby.
As I said in my PR Blog Jots this morning, “The idea of money hung in the air throughout the conference as participants wondered about the future monetization of social media, podcasting in particular.”
Nearly every in-depth discussion I participated in managed to incorporate money somehow, and there were several sessions dedicated solely to monetization issues. Podcasting was a hot topic; particularly how to monetize it when it has not yet hit the mainstream. And what was the answer?
That’s a bit dramatic, but I didn’t hear anything concrete, and what concerns me most is why there appears to be so much urgency surrounding the money issue. Why take something that has enriched our personal and professional lives and grow obsessed with how to commercialize it? That may sound hippie-hippie-dreamerish to some, but Mitch Joel rightly points out in his post over the weekend that for most people, podcasting is merely a hobby. Why can’t we just leave it at that? Am I naïve?
Rooming with the lovely Christi Eubanks of Converseon, I spent a lot of time with her and her fellow presenters for Sunday’s “Reputation Management for Digital Natives” session (more on that and other sessions in a future post).
At one point, Paull Young nixed using the word “conversation” and suggested “friendship” instead. His feeling was that conversation had become too much of a PodCamp buzz word.
I’m on the fence about whether conversation is a cliché (my history in politics only reinforces the notion that when you are so sick to death of hearing something it makes you want to vomit, the general public is just starting to absorb it), but agree that highlighting the relationships we form at events like these is essential.
If one thing is certain, it’s that I left PodCamp with many, many new friends. Not “online” friends or “Facebook” friends that I never actually talk to…just friends. They are friends that may also be “contacts” beneficial to my professional life, but they are creative, thoughtful, fiercely intelligent, passionate individuals who I am just grateful to know, regardless of what I do for a living.
As much as I enjoyed every session I attended, I find that the true value of PodCamp (for me) is welcoming new friends who share my passions into my crazy, wonderful, little life.
Welcome! And if I didn’t get a chance to meet you, I’m currently trying to pick the next PodCamp I’d like to attend (seeing chatter about both Toronto and Nashville), so who knows, maybe we’ll get another chance.
Much, much more on PodCamp to come, hopefully soon!