Posts Tagged ‘PCPGH3’

Do you have the answer?

Adam Zand (@NoOneYouKnow) commented on a previous post I made and suggested that we co-present a panel at PodCamp Pittsburgh 3 about how SM is a lot like high school. It didn’t happen due to Adam not being able to make it down from Boston and well, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to jump into my first PodCamp with a presentation.

I’ve been revisiting that ever since, when I see all of the tweets in my Twitter stream about “Top 50 Tweeters,” “Help me get to 5,000 followers!,” or “Who’s the hottest blogger?” – junk like that. Sadly, it really does seem that social media sites are progressing into popularity contests.

Why? I thought the purpose was to create relationships and share ideas, not make it about who has the most followers, comments, linkbacks, whathaveyou. True enough, there’s some vanity involved when we check out our Twitteranks, Twitter Grades, and utilize other web sites that tell us just how we measure up against our fellow social media users. It kind of reminds me of Snow White’s wicked stepmother who consulted that magic mirror to know she was still the fairest in the land. Is that really what we need to keep ourselves going?

There are incredibly smart people out there who are utilizing social media for great things, but why are only a few people called rockstars? Why can’t we all be rockstars?

What you’re doing is just as cool as what I’m doing. We might want different outcomes, but I’d like to think we could all be on the same social level, without trying to one-up each other. I don’t think, however, we can truly be social as a whole until we get rid of the labels and all of these self-serving motives (and yes, I know we all have self-serving interests in a sense) that do little more than try to inflate online social status.

I’d like to take a line that those High School Musical kids so cheesily, yet happily sing: “We’re all in this together.”

They have a point.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts on social media and popularity?

You can also feel free to email me your thoughts and I will post them in comments under anonymous or any way you’d like.


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I don’t have much to say today other than the following:

1. Thanks to all who are stopping by and reading my little tribute to the writer formerly known as PittGirl and The Burgh Blog. I think it’s evident that we’re all pretty sad, but it is my sincere hope that people will just let it go and refrain from trying to uncover her identity. Sure, we have our times when it’s fun to guess, but at the end of the day the woman took a huge risk to allow us to peer into her mind every day and some things are just better left secret.

2. First PCPGH3 meet-up was tonight at the Firehouse Lounge. It looked like a good time was had by all and it was nice to put a few more faces to names. Hopefully, we’ll continue this next month (preferably some place with tons of heat, guys, as it will be mega cold) and have a few more come out. Blogfest 16 is this Friday, so if you’re in the Burgh and you like social media, come on down. Yes, it’s the same night as Light Up Night, but we can drink, yak, and then go watch fireworks.

3. I had my first donation for my little experiment. THANK YOU – you know who you are. I’m only $105 away from my fundraising goal. Won’t you help someone in need this holiday season?

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PodCamp Pittsburgh was not only a public forum meant to talk about social media, but also create it.

While we were off learning in the Sunday morning sessions, Chris Brogan led the charge to create a community-oriented blog that would showcase the best of Pittsburgh from the perspective of its most ardent supporters – its residents. Enter OMGPittsburgh.com.

It’s still in the infancy stage with the lack of a unique header (it’s coming) and just a smattering of posts, but what I can tell you is that already, its authors are sharing community news and their views on what they believe makes this city so great. I even took a moment to briefly recount my little journey here and why I’ve come to adopt Pittsburgh as my home.

The great thing is that whoever wants to have a voice can sign up for an account and post away. I’m not sure how many are signed up currently, but I think it is the hope of the blog’s organizing team that there will be at least 100 contributing authors.

Wow. Think about all of the different viewpoints and stories that could be shared by 100 people. This is something that Pittsburgh needs – an active voice beyond the tourism bureau and tucked away forums. Pittsburgh still struggles, in a way, to position itself to those outside of the city as a place that is growing and thriving. We know it, but not everyone else does. Therefore, it’s up to us with this initial grassroots effort to get out the word and make a case for our city.

Pittsburgh was thrust in the national spotlight recently over the whole Ashley Todd debacle. People, upon hearing the initial story, might have been quick to judge our city as violent and unsafe, but sites like Shopping Bloomfield (the neighborhood where the “attack” happened) and OMGPittsburgh (among others) will tell you differently. Take a look and give us a shot.

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I had the pleasure of attending the third installment of PodCamp Pittsburgh this past weekend at the Art Institute. This was in fact my first unconference of any type involving social media and I must say that I was pretty impressed with the minds who came together to discuss how they’re using social media tactics for business or their daily lives.

I can’t really say that I learned too many new concepts, but what I do know is that I can be doing a lot more when it comes to my own little branch of social media, whether it’s blogging more (as I said I’d do) or exploring other tools such as podcasting and vlogging.

There were so many great sessions and it was hard to pick one for every time slot. I suppose I could have used the rule of two feet to swing into simultaneous sessions, but I can’t say I felt the need to leave the sessions I sat in on.

Here’s a brief recap of some of the sessions I attended:

Cynthia and Mike talk about blogging best practices.

Blogging 201: Blogging Best Practices – Led by Cynthia Closkey & Mike Woycheck, Co-Founders of Pittsburgh Bloggers

Before you start blogging, it’s important to think about your intended goal. Is it for creative expression? Community support? Discussion? From there, you must keep in mind that content is king. Cynthia and Mike also provided tips to help keep that mantra going and the audience involved:

  • Update as often as you want people to visit.
  • Post on a schedule so readers will know to look for it
  • Have consistence in your blog’s tone and style
  • Be upfront about your identity
  • Be clear as to what you will moderate when it comes to comments
  • Attribution is important

Grassroots Podcasting – Led by the Wrestling Mayhem Show and Should I Drink That?

It was a rumble of the minds mixing wrestling and beer enthusiasts alike as the discussion centered on how their respective podcasts started and how they manage to keep them going on a grassroots level.

The entire session can be summed up with this video:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

As an aside, Should I Drink That? has been nominated for the 2008 Podcast Awards so please have a heart and vote for them under the Food and Drink category. If not, I’m sure a nice fellow from Wrestling Mayhem Show won’t hesitate to break legs. 😉

Old + New, Unite! Using Social Media in The Arts – Led by Mike Cuccaro of The Black Sheep Puppet Festival and Kim Chestney Harvey of The Pittsburgh Technology Council

I was very excited to attend this session as someone who has worked in the arts. As the Pittsburgh arts scene is growing, social media provides great opportunity to connect and grow the arts patrons of tomorrow. Mike spoke about the platforms he’s using to promote the 10th anniversary of The Black Sheep Puppet Festival, among them Twitter and YouTube.

Kim, on the other hand, spoke about the Art & Technology Initiative, which is a collaboration of regional businesses and artists. Combining forces with some of the biggest cultural forces and technology companies in the city, this will be an exciting venture for the arts. I’m curious to see what happens. A kick-off event is scheduled for January 2009.

Community as a Full-time Job – Led by Walt Ribeiro

I selected this session on a whim and I must say that it was the best that I attended. Walt has so much energy and fully believes in what he’s doing. We learned that, if you want to venture into social media as a full-time job, it’s not going to happen overnight. Walt shared his story noting it took months to transition into creating community full-time. It’s important to know the audience and cater to them. Once sponsors come into play, you should make it a habit to create content everyday so they’ll know you’re reliable. Make yourself accessible and approachable. Walt’s key message: You’re not building a fanbase – you’re building a friendbase.

The Art Institutes: Social Networking Strategies – Led by Jamie Sterling & Kimberly Blackstone, EDMC

It’s my belief that social media can also help higher ed. institutions engage with their stakeholders, which is why I’m thrilled that EDMC has ventured into social media. Jamie and Kimberly gave a little case study on what they’ve been doing thus far. The Corporation has decided to target an 18-34 age range and is seeing an excellent return on its investment of a little time set aside every day to monitor its pages and engage with stakeholders, namely prospective and current students.

The Art Institutes in social media by the numbers –

  • Facebook – 2,767 fans
  • Myspace – 2,459 friends, 5,585 video plays
  • YouTube – 1,005 video plays, 45 subscribers, 14 friends (since Sept.)
  • Twitter – 56 followers (since July 31)

With continued work, I believe that the Corporation’s efforts will serve as an excellent example for other regional colleges and universities looking to break into social media. Keep it up, folks!

Chris Brogan, "Mayor of PodCamp," speaks to the Saturday morning crowd

Chris Brogan, "Mayor of Podcamp"

In addition, several sessions did live tapings, adding to the spirit of the weekend:

Chris Brogan Constructing Blog Posts and Content (recorded by Brandice)
Walt Ribeiro – Your Weekly Music Lesson with Walt

Dawn Papuga & Missy Sorg – Social Networking/Media 101

Find more content tagged with PCPGH3 here.

There was swag. There were drinks. There were laughs. What was most exciting was meeting some of the coolest people behind the social media movement in Pittsburgh, many of them on the organizing committee for this year’s PodCamp. Funny people, very passionate about the cause. Many people, myself included, wondered what would happen beyond this event since it was a first for quite a few of us. Fortunately, the organizers are keeping things alive with a series of meet-ups until next year’s PodCamp. The first will be held on Nov. 19 at the Firehouse Lounge in the Strip. Hope to see y’all there!

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Heya, folks! Just dropping by quickly (yes, I know it’s been more than two weeks since my last post – no worries, I have posts coming!) to say that PodCamp Pittsburgh 3 is finally here!

I’m definitely looking forward to my first PodCamp – really, my first weekend to learn more about SM and new media technologies beyond the internet. Tonight’s the meet-n-greet portion at AlphaLab on the South Side. If you’re planning to go tonight, or this weekend, drop me a line @RockinPRGirl. It would be GREAT to meet YOU! Look for the girl with the crazy flamingo handbag (it’s the coolest), falling flat on her face (I’m a bit of a klutz, so I can’t make any promises) while talking about God-knows-what.

Happy PodCamping!

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