by Smojoe on March 27, 2013
On Saturday Feb 23rd 2013 I was at Podcamp Toronto. The first familiar face that greeted me as I walked in the door at 9:30am was Karim Kanji co-founder of Third Ocean. “Rob Campbell” Karim announced as he shook my hand. “You showed up early, and you wore a suit!” he said, suddenly suspicious of me. Karim was helping organize Podcamp Toronto 2013 because, like a moth to a flame, he must love the excitement of being an inside man at these things. Taking it all in over two days you can sort the facts out later – identifying new and old trends and most exciting, using new information to conceive new possibilities. Yes I felt a little overdressed right at that moment, but you know, as the day went on I came to believe again that you can’t dress up too much for public events, esp when you’re presenting, and speaking to a crowd of strangers, making first impression.
I snapped this shot of the 2013 volunteers wearing the blue shirts. They’re hard to get. Blue is this year’s colour and these shirts might be valuable as collectibles in years to come due to their relative scarcity in the year they were issued.
Orientation was uneventful as it was essentially a pep rally, with no real information passed. Rogers was giving away some phones in a random draw which meant you had to give them all your information and sign a contract – no there was no contract. But the opening spheel was little more than an opportunity for the organizers to introduce themselves and the idea that Podcamp Toronto 2013 is an unconference. That means the ‘law of two feet’ applies which means if you have two feet, you can use them to escape from any session without raising any eyebrows or upsetting anyone – in theory.
Prior to the opening orientation, I sat down beside a guy who turned out to be David Campbell proprietor of Disco Social which is a Facebook and Twitter media management company that listens and speaks, creates content and studies analytical data on their clients’ behalf. David is the kind of guy you take to liking immediately, as soon as you meet him; he’s smart and a good listener who’s good at getting other people talking.
Here we are sitting together in Mark Farmer’s session, Measure or Get The F#&@ Out! which was by all accounts the most informative workshop on the subject of measuring social media using Radian6 and Sysomos, Hootsuite and Social Mention. The session audience was full of veterans including Sheldon Levine, @40Deuce the community manager for Sysomos who was standing along the back wall, keeping Mark honest in his accounting of company products and attributions, but more on that later * another blog post
The highlights of my day were five sessions where I was listening and learning other people’s thoughts and ideas; this is such a generous knowledge sharing occasion inside what I believe to be a Golden Age of sharing.
I had the good fortune to find and get a good seat in Laure Dillon Schalk’s session on Storytelling with Randy Matheson, Andrew Jenkins, Hessie Jones and Mark Evans at 11am in a mercifully large classroom where there was plenty of seats – but soon everyone was full and there were people watching from along the walls because these heavy hitters have lots of experience and Laurie is a skilled moderator who is more than capable of getting it out them.
I want to include this video as it shows the full house and gives a little taste of what was being discussed and you can see how genuinely attentive the audience is and how focused they are on the panel – this is a moment in time inside the symposium of Podcamp Toronto 2013.
Hessie Jones really impressed me with her account of the same session written on the Ze Art of Storytelling on ArCompany blog,
Randy Matheson also gave a list of Links mentioned at Podcamp 2013 Art of Storytelling which is really helpful for anyone shopping for new storytelling tools. I have discovered a new obsession there: cowbird. What a wonderful little gem, and I’m experimenting with some other discoveries to see about the quality of incoming links for SEO purposes. I may publish my findings here later.
One of the highlights of the day for me was John Leschinski and Keith McNally’s panel entitled Star Trek was a Cool Show. This was a great escape from the cliche techno babble and a voyage into th extreme Star Trek fan-dome. It is refreshing to find a group of people that like something without apologies.
It was also amusing to see the people who didn’t know anything about these guys get up and leave the session in the first ten minutes , right around the time Keith asked John is he sleeps in his Start Trek uniforms, and John replied that he doesnt wear any pajamas. Thats when anyone who wasn’t down with program headed for the door. But this gathering did produce some more enlightened conversation than that, and behold there is an audio recording here,
The five funny guys are podcasting veterans, and they know how to keep the conversation entertaining and the laughs rolling in.. when I chime in halfway through the recording you can hear them mocking me, in my suit and taking notes. Craig pretends he’s me writing a critique and says aloud, ‘Hmmm not the best Star Trek panel I have ever seen.’
Later in the day, I attended and gave a comprehensive account of the marketing secrets passed along by Julia Hidy relating The Art of the Press Release at 4pm on Saturday.
At 3pm in room RSS 162 I took the floor and treated everyone in the room to a rambling account of my own daily deeds making content media for both buzz marking and SEO.
How can I write mathematically stronger media?
The new article marketing – what works. What doesnt work anymore?
Where to go to publish your work?
What to do AFTER you publish your piece?
Yes I discussed how to engineer stories that attract and satisfy both humans and robots, and how it’s so important to promote your media in a particular way by fragmenting the stories over many platforms. I showed the hard proof of ROI – page one rankings – and demonstrated how you I try and lure readers from one place to next and how I watch with satisfaction as they have powerful branding experiences, putting the story together in their own heads, one link at a time.