PodCamp London – 2011

PodCamp London 2011

What is a PodCamp?

PodCamps are an open community for new and social media enthusiasts and professionals including bloggers, podcasters, social networkers, and anyone curious about new media to share and learn.

PodCamp isn’t just about podcasting! If you’re interested in blogging, social media, social networking, podcasting, video on the net

I had the privilege of presenting at PodCamp London this past weekend.  I say a privilege because it is not easy mustering up the courage to voluntarily present in front of your peers hoping they get value for their time.  PodCamp (for those not familiar with the format) is an un-conference wherein you sign up to present, you decide on a topic, you schedule yourself in a time slot and then you have 20-30 minutes to disseminate your message.  If the presentation is well received, you may want to do the presentation again or you may choose to do a completely different topic.  The choice is all yours.  The best part about this ‘unconference’ is:

The Law of Two Feet

Simply put: your experience at PodCamp is what you want it to be. At any time, if you’re not learning what you want to learn, if you’re not getting what you need, you have every right to depart the session you’re in and move to a different one, or none at all.

PodCamp is focused on all things new media and social media and is a grass-roots, community based event. This was the first year that I saw a decline in attendance and workshops (much to the disappointment of attendees).  Why did that happen? I am not really sure. Maybe people are not wanting to take the time to share their knowledge with their fellow Londoners… Maybe if it is not a paying gig it is not worth it to the presenter (I know one of last year’s presenters stated that it was just not his ‘target’ market).  Fortunately, I see things differently.  I see it as an opportunity to get people excited about actually using media (social or not). It is an opportunity to meet others that use new media both for personal and professional projects. It is an opportunity to meet “followers”, “fans”, “connections” IRL (in-real-life). It is an opportunity to help others understand why some of us are ‘so stoked’ about new and social media.

A prime example is a session I attended on being authentic in podcasting. It was great. It was a no-holds-bar session about how and why people just say what they want to say on a podcast.  There was an animated discussion on being authentic and being able to drop the f-bomb at will.  My thoughts are that I don’t have a problem with that if your podcast is for personal soapboxing but would be pressed to send out a podcast to my clients with that kind of language. The message from PodCamp: that’s OK. Say what you want to say, how you want to say it, just be true to yourself in your message.  Be not afraid.  It was funny that as I was leaving I came across the two presenters and I told them that using that sort of language would not go over with my clients.  He said, that’s OK just don’t listen to my podcast if it offends you.  I said something along the lines I can accept that as long as you don’t look down on me if I choose NOT to use that technique.  PodCamp: always a place to find interesting banter.

On the flip side, the highlight of my PodCamp experience was taking in what Voices.com CEO, David Ciccarelli, had to say about Facebook and its role in connecting with their clients.  His presenation on seeking 10,000 Facebook fans was full of golden nuggets of wisdom.  I have to admit, I will never miss an opportunity to hear either or David Ciccarelli or Stephanie Ciccarelli speak.  This presentation was a stark difference to the podcasting one because it discussed the application of social and new media for business.  Beating that drum myself, maybe the message resonates better with me because that is what I do – work with various social media platforms (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs) for business.

Their illustrations of how to engage their readership by putting twits on contests and brand promotion/recognition was nothing short of brilliant (kudos, Stephanie).  The thing is, I am not in the business of hiring or being hired as voice over talent but that does not mean, I don’t like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter – because I do. Speaking at PodCamp was not about Voices.com but about sharing the successes that they have had. [note: as I am about to publish this post, I got an email link to the cover story from Business London on Voices.com, read-it here]

So PodCamp is about listening and learning, engaging, teaching and finding out what people are using to express themselves, grow their business or create a presence in the world.  If you missed it, have no fear, those talented fellows that organize PodCamp also live-streamed the sessions, which means, it was recorded. So stay tuned and check in on the PodCamp London website to see the sessions you have missed.


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