PodCamp Philly: An UnConference for UnConventional People

This year PodCamp Philly and SearchCamp Philly teamed up to take over the newly built Tuttleman Learning Center at Temple University for an entire weekend dedicated to all things New Media.  Here are some of the sessions that really packed a punch – and my key takeaways:

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Howard Greenstein’s session What Old Media Can Teach New Media started off with a 3-minute history lesson that identified cave paintings as the “first blogs.” The point?  Media constantly evolves as people seek more effective means of communication. Unfortunately, a dangerous gap in perspective arises when practitioners lose sight of key standards and practices while developing new methods. Old Media and New Media can work together in dynamic and valuable ways as long as special consideration is taken on what works and what doesn’t in a constantly shifting cultural climate.

You Get What You Give:

For Social Media to be truly be effective, the conversation must go both ways, as outlined by Geoff Livingston in his presentation Why Social Media is Different from PR. For this conversation to occur, organizations and their representatives must be informed participants within the community. Too many organizations, both big and small, engage in one-sided communications, and suffer for it. What’s worse, some of them are feigning engagement, while cautiously keeping the incoming volume turned down. The community connection is what Social Media has to offer, but in order to thrive, everyone (including organizations) must be open to participating in the discussion.

SEO is Bringing Sexy Back:

Search terms aren’t about getting audiences to adopt your vocabulary; they are about using your community’s folksonomy. To this point, Wil Reynold’s presentation SEO 101, offered tools and advice on how to effectively reach target audiences through Search Engine Optimization. While everyone can rank well for something in online searches, ranking well in terms of reaching your target audience and getting actual traffic to your site is a far more valuable meter of success. The first step to doing this is being engaged in the community in order to understand how they search for the things you have to offer. As Wil says, “SEO isn’t Sexy,” but done right, it can be.

On a personal note, attending PodCamp was an exhilarating experience for me. Over the course of this 2-day conference, I walked away feeling completely exhausted – from the information overload and the thrill of being a member of an ever-expanding and extremely supportive community. Of particular note is PodCamp’s event format – true to the subject matter of which the conference was based, the sessions relied on audience participation, thereby resulting in a highly engaging and interactive event.

A similar event, BarCamp Philly will be held on November 8th & 9th at UArts in Center City, Philadelphia. I highly recommend checking it out as this event will reach out to a larger community and have an even wider range of topics.

also posted on What’s Cookin’  PodCamp Philly: An UnConference for UnConventional People


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