PodCampDC 2008 Recap

This is a recap of PodCampDC 2008 which happened on 19 April 2008. If you're disappointed you missed it… well, keep an eye out for the next one! 😉 You can check out some of the PodCampDC pictures on Flickr.

Due to an exhausting couple of weeks, I chose to sleep in and miss the opening keynote.

The first session was Jessie Newburn's talk on "Generations and Social Media". I've met and spoken with Jessie a number of times over the past couple months, but this was the first opportunity to really hear some of the guts and details of the generational differences, priorities, patterns, etc.

As she explained the four archetypes along with their principles, differences, etc, I was skeptical. I started thinking of specific examples and data points that fit the pattern, but I was stuck with a dilemma: Was I remembering those because they agreed with the premise and fit the model, therefore potentially validating it OR is the model correct and the examples appear naturally as a result? So call me a skeptic, but I see data that fits…

If you'd like to learn a bit more, check out her blog and check out what she has to say.

My next session was from Joel Mark Witt entitled "Finding a Place for Social Media". He identified the (huge!) niche between many of the pod/video casters and the existing Hollywood budgets and production quality and posed the question on how we can move farther up into that gap without having to get the huge budgets… ways to experiment and improve quality in creative ways.

As a case study, he described their own guerilla efforts at the Baltimore Zoo to bring a video podcast online. Great pun yes, but how else do you describe it? 😉 The interesting thing that he noted is that they initially began with no budget, no approval, and minimal plan. They took a bit of time to refine, improve, and get it out there and then showed the higher ups. At that point, they already had a budding success on their hands and were able to secure supoort and a bit of a budget. If your organization is considering a video podcast, this might be a good way to get it going… even if by "organization", it means you. 😉

Then we broke for lunch. I had the opportunity to run into my friends Aaron Brazell/Technosailor (sponsor) and Shashi Bellamkonda who represented Network Solutions who happened to sponsor lunch.

The last session I managed to catch was "The Business of New Media" from Paul Vogelzang. This session was *packed* and I ended up sitting in the hallway with a half dozen people while quite a few sat on the floor inside. The beginning of his discussion revolved around Social Media and how businesses are freaking out dealing with it. As a case in point, he used this clip from Letterman:

While it was hilarious to us, apparently Sea World was not happy and wanted to respond in the traditional nasty ways. Luckily, Paul convinced them not too… but being the funny guys we are, Sean Hackbarth and I kicked around a slightly different response:

Dear Mr. Letterman,

While we appreciate your recent attempt at humor at our expense, we must correct you in this matter. We did not use a “lemon pepper sauce” as you claim. Due to potential citrus allergies of our patrons, it was provided as a condiment along with options such as tartar, honey mustard, and a tangy barbecue sauce. With all due respect, we hope your research is more complete next time.

Thank you,
Sea World

As a closing note on PodCampDC, I have one compliment, one criticism, and a huge shoutout:

First, the criticism… The space was terrible. While the individual rooms were sufficiently-sized in most cases, the space being spread between three floors made it quite difficult to see all the faces. I thought camping out in the food room would resolve this, but unfortunately, I'm seeing pictures of numerous people that I would have liked to have met or simply reconnected with, but simply didn't see throughout the day.

That said, the Art Institute of Washington was generous in sharing their space and I know how difficult it is to find appropriate space for these sorts of events. Trust me on that one.

Next, the compliment… My biggest concern about many of these unconf's is the prevalence of the 101-type sessions. If you haven't guessed already, I know how to blog, I know the areas that I'm interested in, and I know the need to introduce newbies to the space. All understood. But the team behind PodCampDC – led by Tammy Munson – did a good job of getting a mix of different concepts and levels into the schedule. They should definitely be applauded on that one.

Finally, the shoutout… As always, the networking and kicking around of ideas are the most important parts of these events. I finally had the chance to meet Chris Parandian of Mobile Diner who harassed me for not writing a post I promised him two months ago. Whoops. There was of course Technosailor and his partner in crime Venture Files author Steven Fisher, Jesse Thomas representing Jess3, new/old media guru Jim Long, my friend and co-conspirator Andrew Wright, the suburb-hating DC Concierge Shana Glickfield, and new faces such as S Dawn Jones of Talk Radio News Service and Chris Condayan who puts together science podcasts… and probably another 20-30 people that I'm doing a disservice in forgetting. It is interesting to see how often Twitter names are showing up on name badges…

Once again, there are many pictures on Flickr available. I haven't seen anything about slides.