What is Podcamp? Well, according to the web site Podcamp is a “user-generated conference, or “unconference”, focused on new-media like blogging, podcasting, social media, etc. Anyone who wants to share their interests or experience or get a conversation going is welcome to present, and people in the audience are encourage to participate…” The first PodCamp was held September 8-10, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts and they are now held worldwide, including my very own city of Halifax.
I first heard of it a couple years ago but missed out until this year. Definitely my loss. This year I picked up my ticket back in November 2010 and was lucky I did. The spaces filled up fast and after seeing the sessions that wasn’t surprising. Podcamp was what I had hoped it to be and more.
The day began at 08:30 with registration and a welcome message. The sessions started at 09:00 and my only regret was that for each session I picked there was usually one or more I was going to miss that I know would have been great. After much thought some hard choices had to be made and I settled on what would benefit me the most.
First up was Twitter Unleashed and Live by Kathy Colaiacovo. Kathy is a virtual assistant and provides online support services for businesses she and specializing in Social Media and Online Marketing. She knew her stuff and it shows. Some of the finer points I walked away with included don’t use third person language, write as you speak, keep to 120 characters (not 140), be engaging and authentic, give value, and don’t use text talk. I also picked up some great advice for getting the most out of Twitter – HootSuite and TweetChat. You’d also be doing yourself a big favour by organizing your follows with a List. You can find people in your area using www.twellowhood.com.
Remember, social media is just a buzzword, until you have a plan!
Still wished I had won that iPad!
Now for some more localized stuff. The third session I attended was a talk by Glies Crouch about Social Media Usage in Atlantic Canada. Giles is the CEO at MediaBadger, a digital media research firm. His lecture reveals some pretty interesting summaries on social media in Atlantic Canada (as well as Canada in general). One of the more positive findings was that Canadians as a whole are “starting to leverage social technologies for societal change. Moving from “slacktivism” to more that just signing petitions but driving change by physically taking ideas and concepts and moving those agendas forward in civil society.” I was surprised that LinkedIn saw a 72% increase in use in 2011. Just updated my profile there. Predictions for 2011 – technology will drive social change locally and internationally, Augmented Reality will become a reality, and mobile devices will drive hyper-local content.
– to answer the authenticity question always ask yourself- what would Jesus do?
– is social media forcing business to be more authentic?
– branding! WTF does that mean anyway? Ask ten people and get ten answers.
– are we as skilled online as we are in person in calling bullshit?
My last session of the day was Why You Should Have An App in the App Store and it was presented by Andrew Burke. Andrew has an app out called Remembary. Remembary is a diary for an iPad, like the one I didn’t win. There’s a good review of the app here and it looks like a winner. Andrew was kind enough to share some of the reason he has for having an app in the app store, even if you probably won’t make any money off of it.
Reason 1. You’ll understand your clients better.
Reason 2. It’s a great career move. People will think you’re cool and come to you for help.
Reason 3. The app store is business 101. The feedback loop can be in hours instead of weeks.
Reason 4. It’s a first step to success.
Reason 5. Creation is great!
And to top off the hour he shared some thoughts and lessons he learned developing his app:
1. It’s a long tail. Your app might have some great up front acceptance than slide down a long tail to oblivion.
2. It’s a slush pile. The app store has some real crap.
3. Sales have gravity. You need to put some effort into marketing your app.
4. Marketing is repetition.
5. Use Google AdWords but know it doesn’t work well for apps. Make it a PART of your strategy.
6. Mailing lists can work. Play by the rules! Use MailChimp.
7. Keep looking for leads.
And that sums up the day except for a quick meeting to talk about the event. Suggestions were taken for next year and people were given the chance to discuss what they thought. Another iPad draw and another disappointed me.
All in all this concept is excellent and the reason I wanted to post about it on videojournsit.ca is the importance I place on social media and learning how to use it. If you don’t you’re going to get left behind and the better at it you are the more successful you’ll be. I’m convinced of that. If your city doesn’t have one start it yourself. You’ll be surprised how popular it will become.
I posted a live from the event here.