Wow! It has been six months since I posted a blog entry – way too long. 2010 is a new year and with it comes another crazy New Year’s resolution. I’m going to get back to blogging and start posting an entry per month. Hopefully I make it to February!
Podcamp 2010 happen in Dartmouth last weekend. A series of speakers, most the same as last year, hit the stage at the Dartmouth library for another shot at explaining why social media is changing the landscape of the web. According to the Podcamp organizers the event had record pre-registration, but actual attendance fell a bit short of last year.
As expected the event was very well done – kudos to the organizers. The presenters did a great job of attempting to find a new spin to capture their audiences attention. Unfortunately for me, it all seem a bit old this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve had the opportunity to attend bigger Podcamps in Ontario and the US, there was something about this Podcamp that seem to be lacking. Obviously I’ve been spoiled by the variety a big city experience offers.
I had the opportunity to attend four speaker sessions starting with Joel Kelly’s cry out for social action and finishing up with Carman Pirie’s hyper session. Kelly’s session was a call to the coach potatoes who think that they can push a key and satisfy a need to act. His premise was interesting, but somewhat condescending suggesting people are replacing the act of physically doing with the virtual act of clicking their way to satisfaction. No question that technology is definitely demobilizing people. You need not look any further than the Xbox to demonstrate this one. But when you look at some the world’s most successful fund raising initiatives you inevitability see technology at the center. CIBC Run for the Cure, Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong are just a few examples of how the web can create action. That said, I see where Joel was going, but I’m not sure he got there.
To compound my lack of enthusiasm, the four sessions I attended all seemed to be a bit “yesterday”. Sort of like broken records skipping over the same old things. I kept hearing the same lines – “Social Media is changing the way we think and act. It’s moving the needle on media buying and making it more difficult for advertisers to navigate”. I started to think that local Social Media gurus have run out of things to talk about.
Nothing against the presenters, they did an awesome job, I especially enjoyed Carman’s presentation style – 20 seconds per slide. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to see the keynote presentation. It may have changed my opinion on the whole event. From what I have heard Mclean Greaves did a great job of upping the “WOW” factor by tossing around stories on Hollywood glam. Keynote or not though, Podcamp definitely didn’t have the shine for me this year. It was a bit like skiing in Nova Scotia. Martock seems like a mountain until you hit the slopes in BC and Quebec. After you’ve experienced the real thing it’s hard to go back to the bunny hill.