I feel a little out of place not podcasting my report on PodCamp like half the other attendees were doing but blogging it seems more appropriate somehow. The following is my summary of Day 1 of PodCamp.
12:30 - I arrive at Ryerson late having missed a few of the morning sessions in favour of sleeping in. This is the problem with free events that take place on weekends.
12:50 - Generally I think of myself as a geek. Sitting here waiting for the next session to start I realize I'm merely a peon in the greater geekdom. Given the massive geek factor of this event, I'm actually impressed at the strong female presence both in terms of attendees and presenters.
1:00 - Julien Smith shares his experiences in getting a presence of your podcast on Google. His keypoints: make sure your audio is represented in text form, ideally as transcripts and reciprocate links.
1:40 - Coolest thing I've seen yet is a grade 6 student here with his Dad. I later learn that he is there gathering information on podcasting for a speech and is trying to introduce podcasting to his school. His young age is getting him lots of attention from attendees and is turning out to be a great networking asset for him.
The rest of the afternoon is filled with sessions on a variety of topics. Hugh McGuire of LibriVox tells us about his open project to create a complete collection of public domain books in audio form with the help of volunteer readers. Nina Silver introduces us to the state of podcasting within the Toronto District School Board and talks about how podcasts can make lessons more interesting for students and can also be empowering and motivating for students to produce. Tari Akpodiete gives an intro session to video blogging. I finish up with Leesa Barnes telling us how to plan your podcast. Leesa is the highlight of the day for me with a solid presentation filled with solid advice that I'd say is applicable well beyond just podcasting.
I'm impressed at the scale of this event and how well it is organized. Ryerson students and profs are there recording and streaming the sessions live.
They even secured some coffee, water and snacks for people. It is with great disappoint then that I feel uninspired to come back for the second day. I took away a few nuggets of information from the speakers I saw but there wsa nothing profound or terribly advanced being said. Many of the session topics sounded promising and I think the speakers are capable of much more, but I feel like no one really pushed the boundaries. Perhaps the 30 min session format is too limiting or perhaps the attendees were more interested in the intro level content.
Regardless of my impressions though, the attendees seemed excited to be there and the organizers did a tremendous job. I look forward to another PodCamp once the field of podcasting has had some more time to mature.