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This…is…Podcamp Boston 5!

Let’s get geeky!

Originally, I was going to live blog PodCamp Boston 5, a two-day mini non-conference held over at Microsoft NERD. However, I actually wanted to be able to pay attention, so that’s going to be impossible.

Hence, I’ll be bringing you my “as-live-as-possible” report from PodCamp aka #pcb5 🙂

Opening session featured serious bromancing from @chrisbrogan and @cspenn. Happy fifth birthday to Podcamp Boston. You’re becoming a big boy now and it looks like your dads are very proud of you. Cool to note that proceeds from Podcamp go to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Y’all know I have a heart for under-resourced, so I’m glad to see that’s they are donating to such a great cause. Doesn’t allow them to slip from under my radar for charging prices that basically keep the poor from learning, but, hey, that’s a whole other post.

As usual, Microsoft NERD doesn’t fail as a love-hate venue. I love the location and the architecture and the bathrooms, but the feel isn’t as academic or open at last year’s venue, UMass Boston. Also, I couldn’t find my first session room because everything had to be so spread out. Kinda frustrating. At least the wifi’s working with no real snags.

And where are our tee shirts??!??! OK, just kidding, but seriously, what do I have to do to get a shirt next year? Or some swag at all. This conference is so unconference that there isn’t any swag at all! Good thing I went to gdgtLive earlier this week to fulfill my #swagpassion.

Steve Sherlock’s session – Blogging 100/101/102

I’ve never known Steve Sherlock as anything other than “the dude with the pirate cap who checks people in at Podcamp”. Until today. No, his Blogging 100/101/102 session didn’t really touch any new schools of thought, or make large strides in the world of social media, but it did offer a basic, informational guideline for how to make blogging work for you. Touching on things that I’ve wanted to learn more about, like appropriate use of auto-posting to Facebook and Twitter, he worked his way through the basic ins-and-outs of starting with a baby blog and cultivating a community around your blog. I even learned what a singularity is, and why I need one. Very cool. Key point: Content. Conversation. Community = the triforce of blogging success.

Marc Pittman’s session – Social Media for Fundraising and Nonprofit Marketing

I don’t really have any background with Marc Pittman. He wears a bowtie, and I think that’s cool. I wandered into this session because I didn’t want to sit in the lobby, and I enjoyed doing nonprofit social media marketing in the past, so I’m always interested in getting new ideas for my toolbox. This was definitely an un-conference session, where the questions led the content. I didn’t mind, though, since the questions were all things that I pondered over when I was in their shoes. (Note: I hope to get back in those shoes. Hire me for nonprofit social media marketing!) There was even talk of the ::dum dum dum:: long tail and how to accommodate it/them. Key point: Don’t put the tools before the message. Find your audience and deliver to them in ways that make sense to them.

Lunchtime (provided by Boloco ::bleh::)/Roaming the halls…

I spent my lunchtime with @marcopolanco, @bi_expert and @lmrefito talking the state of tech in Puerto Rico, podcasting, bringing your business up-to-date with Twitter and blogging, and how to translate radio into today’s world. Great conversation with these guys and gal. I also found out that I should rebrand my blog as “violently happy with a low level of hostility”. I think that about describes it!

After lunch, I met up with @kevinks the WordPress guru for an impromtu WordPress session in the back of the Mann room. I learned, basically, that I need to be self-hosting to do half of the things that I want to do with my blog. Awesome conversation, and I look forward to getting to ask him tons of questions in the future.

After that (yes, I had a busy morning!) it was ON! with a Girl Power Part 2 session featuring @lesleylambert, @rekiob, @seaweedgirle, @alnarcisi and @dvautier. Much more promising than last year. I will post later tomorrow with all the details from our talk, which I look forward to continuing tomorrow!

I closed out my day with a little powpow with Steve Sherlock, where I got answers to the rest of my blogging questions. Very informative. Will make sure to pick his brain in the future.

With that, I’m out. Tired and craving some Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. I will meet up tomorrow morning for a 10 am Advanced Twitter Tips Session. ::fist pump::

And on to Day Two…

Originally, I planned to get here in time for 10am’s Advanced Twitter Tips session, but I just HAD to go to one of these odd little up-your-butt titled sessions, “Social Media Serenity”. So…here I am!

Erik Fisher’s session – “Social Media Serenity”

OK. I admit it. I only chose this session because I wanted to make fun of it. Surprisingly, this was a somewhat helpful session…with a seriously lame name. I’m a stickler for presentation slide discipline, so I found the slides a little hard on the eyes. But the tips that Fisher shared were definitely ear candy – nice to hear, makes you feel good. I liked the idea about setting a time budget in the same way that you set a budget for bills. (I will say, though, that Fisher lost a chunk of credibility with me when he mentioned “Getting Things Done” as helpful reading. The project manager in me just can’t go with that.) Again, nothing new, but it was good to start the morning in a low key, low thinking class before diving into the real learning later. Key points: Prioritize your time, young grasshopper, for that is the path to happiness. Oh, and multi-tasking is a lie, no matter how many times your boss uses that phrase to get you to work harder.

Leslie Lambert’s session – Advanced Twitter Tips

This was the deal maker session to get me out of my bed on a Sunday morning. I met Lesley yesterday at the Girl Power session. Very cool. Shout out to #TwitterQueens. The Advanced Twitter Tips session provided tips to finding exactly what or who you’re looking for on Twitter. We were introduced to tools like Advanced Twitter Search, Twellowhood and Twitter Local, all of which are super helpful when looking to connect with local people, or people with similar interests. I loved the emphasis on creating community, attending tweetups, and connecting with people in your area using tools. Key point: On Twitter, you’re just an avatar until you start the conversation.

Girl Power Part 2.2 session

More on this later. It deserves it’s own post. Crazy shout outs to all attendees though. We filled the whole Paul room, plus some!

Currently: Sitting in Chris Abraham’s session – How to Effectively Reach Thousands of Bloggers With Your Message

Three minutes in, and it all sounded like a sales pitch. Hmmm…Again, not in love with the slides, but, hey, slide discipline, like common sense, isn’t common. Ok. Eight minutes in, and I’m not really sure what this session is about. Oh. It’s a case study, showing how what he does at his company works for everyone else. Key point: If I don’t take anything else from Podcamp this year, I’m definitely going to remember to “know my audience and research my demographic”.

Well, it’s getting cloudy out and there’s football to watch and Grand Theft Auto to play. Podcamp Boston 5, you rock. Good times, great connections. I’ll see you next year!

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