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Posts Tagged ‘PodCamp Pittsburgh’

One weekend. 72 hours. Hundreds of people, pictures, and videos. 4,320 minutes. Millions of words. That is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to describing the fourth installment of PodCamp Pittsburgh.

There are many stories to be told about the weekend, but I thought I’d just get things started with a short story in pictures.

PCPGH4 001Kelly helps our rockstars make name badges

PCPGH4 002 Brian and Tim wait to greet our rockstars. Supposedly.

PCPGH4 005Even Creation Rex signed up to come, but the jerk was nowhere to be found.

PCPGH4 004 Our fabulous sponsors gather in the sponsor lounge

PCPGH4 008 Oh look! Franktuary stopped by for Saturday lunch!

PCPGH4 009 There were even noms from The Goodie Truck!

PCPGH4 014 Ginny and her butler, Woy, talk about that Burgh blog thing … you know, THAT one.

PCPGH4 020 The 649. Want to know what it is? Come to next year’s PodCamp.

PCPGH4 030Did I mention how awesome Market District is? Totally.

PCPGH4 039 Norm wraps up the day in a really small iTwixie shirt

PCPGH4 036 Well, well, well. Look who decided to show up after all.

So, here’s part of the story through my eyes. What’s yours?

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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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