PodCamp Pittsburgh 7

PodCamp Pittsburgh is this weekend!

It feels awesome to type that sentence. An event I think about all year, spend months working with great people planning, and now experiencing the conference. This year’s focus on “Building Your Digital Toolbox” has pulled a great group of speakers that really covers all the bases.

If you want to hear me talk more about this year listen on Awesomecast or read on The Civic Commons Blog.

See you this weekend.

Speaking About PodCamp Pittsburgh 7

Friday I’ll be giving a short presentation about upcoming PodCamp Pittsburgh 7 at a Show-n-Tell event at Catapult.

This will be the fourth Show-n-Tell an event that showcases events an happenings around town. I’m excited to be part of the lineup. As an added bonus the event is hosted by Catapult a new shared work space that I’ve been meaning to checkout.

Unblurred is also that evening so swing by if you are planning to be in the neighborhood.

PodCamp Pittsburgh 7

PCPGH7

PodCamp is back and we finally have our dates set for this year’s event. We are returning to Point Park University and are looking forward to our second year in their space. After a first time in a new location there are lots of thoughts about how we can do it better and Point Park was such a gracious host that we wanted to stay another year.

Annual Theme and New Vision

There a fundamental shift happening in PodCamps across the east coast. Where the “traditional” PodCamp is moving a way from the open-ended un-conferece and focusing itself to better serve the attendees. When I spoke with Whitney Hoffman, organizer of PodCamp East, earlier this year we both identified the need for our events to have a clear vision. In the early years of PodCamp the communities were just forming, new media was emerging, and web 2.0 was still maturing. Those of us on the edge have been living in this world for years, but we all know much of the world is behind the curve. PodCamp is the place to fill that gap for the uninitiated.

This year our theme is “Building Your Digital Toolbox.” The fruit of many discussions and brainstorming meeting with this years organizing committee. The average attendee at PodCamp used to be bloggers, podcasters and new media advocates. Over the past few years a shift has taken place. The average attendee is a small business owner, or an employee charged with managing their companies social media strategy, or a marketer looking to find inspiration in the latest SEO trend, or an old school podcamper looking to rub elbows. So PCPGH7 will cater to this more mature audience and aim at producing a higher quality event for everyone involved.

Building your digital toolbox will be the vision statement that drives us in achieving our goals. We would like for attendees to have a clear idea of what they will encounter in each session and what they can expect to walk away with. Finally we also would like to incorporate more interactive sessions. Where attendees can contribute to content being produced right in that session.

Remembering Our Roots

As much as I talk about focusing this year we can’t forget that PodCamp is a community event brought together by the need for people in the new media space to connect in real life. So if this will be your first PodCamp or your 7th, know that you are among good people and like-minded individuals.

OH and Fun. PodCamp is always about having fun and meeting new friends.

Looking Forward

Finally keep up-to-date with the new PodCamp Pittsburgh website. We have four pre-PodCamp evenings planned between now and October 27 so stay tuned for those announcements. Session submissions opens tomorrow and registration will open toward the end of August. I look forward to seeing old faces and meeting new ones this year!

PodCamp Pittsburgh 6 Afterward

Photo by magistrazap on flickr.

Another PodCamp has come and gone. I honestly can’t believe how fast the past few years have flown by. The first time we’ve been in a new location since year two, the third year of streaming sessions and posting them later, and the first time we’ve felt like we’ve had enough space for the event.

Learn . Interact . Apply

At the end of the PodCamp weekend Justin Kownacki and Rob de la Cretaz came to me with a story about an attendee who, after a year, was still contemplating a bog. Their natural reaction is to question the hold up and get started. This lead to Rob and Justin putting together a quick talk about taking what you’ve learned at PodCamp and applying that knowledge to your life. Right here I want to encourage everyone to just start writing. WordPress has an amazing philosophy around this topic and there are a lot of really smart people there working to make sharing your message simple. I’ve got a follow up post in a draft to encourage applying so keep an eye out.

What is Your Project?

I know a number of people are starting new blogs as a result of PodCamp. Please make sure you let me know when you start. If you already have leave a comment or ping me on twitter or Facebook. I’m curious to see what gets created as a result of the event.

One project that I learned about on Sunday is Jennifer Caple’s documentary film project about Kraynick’s Bike Shop. I’ve only been to Kraynick once but it is a really interesting place. Thought I’d give a plug as an interesting project and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Looking toward the future

I have been slow to record my thoughts about this years event because I feel as though PodCamp Pittsburgh is at a cross road. Now don’t interpret that statement as though I feel something is wrong with PodCamp. This year we produced an excellent event that has received an awesome response from attendees. Tons of positive comments and notes keep getting back to me even a week after the event.

Justin Kownacki wrote a list of 12 things he’s thinking after PodCamp which hits on the topics that lead to me think we are at a crossroad. Mainly it has been interesting to see how the event has organically grown over the years. First as a peer to peer learning event that has now become a more traditional conference with focus on 101 to 201 level learning. It is an interesting concept to consider and something that will be on my mind as we look forward to future events.

With that said I’m proud of everyone who contributed to PodCamp Pittsburgh this year and look forward to what the future holds.