Today, hundreds of geeks woke up early, strapped on their laptop bags, and converged onto the Tequila Cowboy bar in Nashville for the 5th annual PodCamp unconference. Nashville has a reputation for delivering some of the best unconferences in the nation, and today was no different. Attendance was a bit smaller (~450 people), but I honestly enjoyed the smaller crowd, as it gave me a chance to get some elbow room in a typically crowded space. The sessions were fantastic (and I actually went to quite a few today instead of just hanging out in the hallway), and there were people there from all different careers and walks of life to meet.
Session 1: Dave Delaney (SNIRL – Social Networking In Real Life)
I’ve always enjoyed hearing Dave speak, and I’m glad I listened in because I missed him speaking yesterday at GoToExplore in Nashville. He talked about his career and how it propelled him (almost accidentally) into networking, but how online relationships quickly moved offline (as they should). That’s why we do Geek Breakfasts and PodCamps and what-not; to foster relationships and then keep up with them via the Internet (between in-real-life visits!)
Session 2: Me (One Web to Rule Them All)
My session was next. It went well, considering I usually do a WordPress session If anyone got video, let me know so I can post it and give you credit!
You can see the slides here:
Session 3: Laura Click (Building a Smart Social Media Strategy)
Laura was highly informative, and basically spoke of Social Media as a tool. She also mentioned how to avoid being a social media “personality” (a Diva, Whiner, etc).
Session 4: Wade Kwon (How to Win Awards and Influence Readers in 439 Days and 668 Posts)
I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard Wade speak, even though I’ve known him for over 3 years now. He spoke of his creation of the Magic City Post, and how (through fostering his readers, posting diverse content, and providing content that people could use), he beat out the incumbent for best Local Web Site in Birmingham.
Session 5: Robin Wallace (STOP Social Media Pollution)
Her audience was highly engaged (and I found out later this was her first time speaking in public). She spoke of how to deliver the right message on social sites, instead of posting irrelevant information.
Session 6: Cal Evans (Avoiding a Goat Rodeo)
Cal’s session was good for me, because it was geared toward people who hire developers. I learned a few things that I could do better to engage my clients (as a developer), and I think I got a bit of understanding of what it’s like to be on both sides of the equation.
Session 7: John Ellis (Target Marketing: Brilliant or Creepy?)
John spoke about remarketing (where Google will serve ads to “persuade” you to either finish an order, unabandon a shopping cart, or sell you products based on your past purchase history). Is it creepy? Is it brilliant? Who knows, but it works well.
So, there you have it – lots of great content from one of the best PodCamps I’ve been to in recent history. I’m highly looking forward to BarCamp in the fall, and (sooner) WordCamp next week. If you’re in town, I’ll be there speaking on Theme Development from Scratch, so make sure you get your tickets if you haven’t yet!