Thursday, August 06, 2009

A PodCamp Primer

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via PodCamp Boston Podcast by (Christopher S. Penn, PodCamp Co-Founder) on 8/4/09

Lots of folks have written about their experiences at PodCamps past and what they're doing to get ready for PodCamp Boston 4. We wanted to take a few moments to reinforce some things that will help you get the most out of your PodCamp experience, whether this is your first or fiftieth PodCamp.

1. PodCamp promotes the Law of Two Feet. If you're not getting what you want out of any activity, session, discussion, or conversation, get up, walk out, and find something that makes better use of your time. PodCamp is full of people who have rich knowledge and experience from all walks of life. Everyone has something to share, to teach, to learn.

2. PodCamp is what you make it. I compare it to an artist's setup. The organizers, the event, are basically setting out an easel, canvas, paint, and brushes for you. You and your fellow participants determine whether you take home a masterpiece or a blank canvas. Not sure where to start? The best way to experience PodCamp is to make a list of burning questions you have about new media before you go, and then ask around at the event and get different perspectives on your questions.

3. PodCamp is not BarCamp, WordCamp, FooCamp, or *.Camp. PodCamp is probably more structured and certainly organized differently than other unconferences you've been to by design. It was our experience very early on at the first PodCamp Boston that for folks who are new to new media and new to unconferences, additional structure helped them make the transition from their experience with other conferences to a new media conference easier. If you're an unconference veteran, you'll find a day-of wiki and plenty of open space to do as you like. If you're brand new to PodCamp, you'll find enough on the schedule to make you comfortable (or justify the expense to a boss who isn't coming!) while letting you experience the unconference format at your own pace.

4. PodCamp promotes the Law of Null Space. We do our best to pick venues that have lots of open space, flexible seating, and opportunities for ad hoc discussions and conversations. The formal programmed sessions exist only as support for people not already engaged in great conversations of their own. If you and a few like minded folks want to talk about something, broadcast it on Twitter, yell it in a hallway, and gather people to the nearest convenient space to have the discussion you want to have.

Things you can do from here:

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