I missed Podcamp Montreal.
Actually, let me rephrase that, I missed seeing my friends at Podcamp Montreal. I didn’t miss Podcamp. After the 8 or so I’ve been to, I don’t think I’ll actually ever miss a Podcamp.
It’s a wonderful event, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not for me anymore.
Because it’s no longer about Podcasting? – there’s more to it than that.
I’m not bothered that there isn’t much podcasting talk at podcamps. Podcamp has evolved as an event. This evolution has taken it towards other topics like social media. At one point, I thought imposing podcasting-type topics might be a way to keep it on track. I now think that’s a futile position. Podcamp is has become a recognized social media event, and is the place to be if you want to learn/connect with these topics.
The thing is, the direction these topics have gone, there just happens to be a great percentage of sessions on things that don’t interest me. (and I’m not pretending to speak for anyone else here)..
Looking over the last few podcamps, here are some session topics I never need to see again :
- Search Engine Optimization
- Building Audience
- Press Releases
- Public Relations
- social freaking media
- etc… etc..
Are these topics bad? Of course not. I just honestly have no desire to spend any time on them. I don’t believe that you need to be versed in ANY of these topics to be a media creator. You DO, however, need to be AMAZING at several of these if you want to build a business.
I don’t want to build a business from this.
Now I have several friends who either make a living or tell people they do with the topics above, and more power to them. I also know a few oncologists, but have no desire to know more about how they earn their living.
I just want to be super-clear, I think Podcamp is GREAT (I do!), but it has evolved away from my interests, despite the fact I’m thankful it’s there so I can see my friends.
So this Sunday, just to stir things up (cause I tend to do that), I tweeted “What if we leave PodCamp to marketers, and start #creatorcamp .. #justsaying” .
The reaction was surprising. I fully expected nothing to come of it, like many of my tweets (!), but direct messages and my inbox told me I may have hit on something, or at least I’m not alone in feeling the way I do.
So a half joking tweet gets traction. Where can we go with this? Is there somewhere to go? Are there bears there? Won’t someone think about the children?
Valerie mentioned that PAB is kinda like a creator’s camp, but PAB is more about ideas and thoughts than creation. I think there may be room for an event where discussing the creation of media (not the selling, recognition or monetizing) is the goal. I imagine an event where you could learn the basics of audio/video/knitting /photography/woodworking /sculpture/graphics/ etc.. What a treat that would be. Now to be honest, I have no desire to start sculpting, but I’m convinced I would find a session on sculpting more interesting than analyzing web page traffic. That’s how I roll.
The nice thing about doing this in a camp-ish way would be that it would only need 1 organizing principle. Something like :
Your session MUST be about creating something. *
* and by CREATING, we don’t mean revenue, audience, market share, connections, twitter-followers.
At bitnorth this year, I gave a quick talk about organizing conferences, and some of the lessons I’ve learned from co-organizing PAB (and several podcamps!!) and as I was reviewing my notes, the one piece of advice that really stood out was :
“Create an event YOU would like to attend.”
I’d love to attend an event dealing specifically with creation, would you?