Philly Podcamp was held at Drexel University this weekend. I got to attend and present during yesterday's (Saturday) presentation. I've never been to any of the type of unconferences before, so this was definitely a great experience for me. I tell you, the folks that organized Philly Podcamp deserve to great props - Whitney, Jen, Melissa, Chris, Drew and the rest of the team put together an amazing time.
I wasn't even aware that there was a philly podcamp until Corey (and Jen), from the Bucket Podcast, Twittered about needing camping gear for going to Podcamp. I went and checked out the site and was amazed at what had been set up. So I pinged Christine and Bill and said "What do you think? Worth out time?", of course my mind had already been made up, and they both agreed and Bill was going to tag along to attend, too.
I do have an aversion to the "big city" (any big city really, I'm such a small town gal), but I figured I could definitely make the exception in this case. So yesterday morning I set off on my way to Drexel's campus - map in hand to find which buildings I needed to get too. I met Whitney first, because I went to where the opening remarks were to be first, and registration was across the street where the Starbucks was. Immediately, Whitney and her crew of organizers made me feel very welcome.
After I was checked in, with my little bag of goodies, including a Philly Podcamp t-shirt (no Tamar, you cannot have it :P), I stopped and spoke to the Blubrry.com sponsor and also the Comcast Interactive HR rep (she was super cool) while waiting for Bill to make his way to Drexel's campus. Comcast even sponsored free Starbucks for the attendees, that was a really nice touch.
Once Bill arrived and was checked in too, we headed over to the opening remarks the "unkeynote". It was definitely an interesting introduction into something I was really unfamiliar with. It really help to set the tone and understand a bit more about what to expect from the day. Understanding that it was born our of the Podcamp that happened in Boston, helped to put things into perspective as well.
After the unkeynote, it was off to the Podcasting 101 Session that Jen Yuan of the In The No podcast put on. Althought I felt I knew a decent amount about Podcasting already, I figured this would still be a good session to attend to make sure I wasn't missing any of the fundamentals. I wasn't let down, I even picked up a few pointers I didn't know.
Once Jen wrapped up her session, I went up to introduce myself. I was so pleasantly greeted by Jen, I even asked her if she'd like to be interviewed for the Women of Internet Marketing series and she agreed. So you all will get to learn a bit more about Jen and how her podcasting is helping her out in this industry. In the mean time, you can read my wrap-up of her Podcasting 101 Session at Podcamp Philly.
It was then off to Social Networking 101, a session given by Podcamp originator Chris Penn of Edvisors a Financial Student Aid Service, where he also has a weekly podcast called the Financial Aid Podcast. This session was packed, people were even sitting on the floor to get the information that Chris was presenting. Again, even though I am pretty sound in Social Networking, I'm a person that believes you can always learn something new. I definitely came a way with a few things. One of those things is going to be a blog post all in its own and it's about Facebook and what you might not realize about your content, and in light of Rae's recent post about one particular Facebook plugin, this is really timely information.
After Chris's great session - which you can read my wrap-up of Social Networking 101, Bill and I headed off to the famous Philly lunch trucks for some cheeses teaks and sausage sandwiches. One of the few things I like about downtown Philly are the lunch trucks, yeah yeah.. .laugh... but some of these lunch trucks have awesome food! :)
With lunch finished up, I went off to locate exactly where I was suppose to be presenting "Universal Search, Podcasting and Video". After the rooms were figured out, the folks started making their way in. It was a great discussion, and it reminded me how we in the Search Industry that are extremely focused on PPC and SEO, are just that - extremely focused. There are many things we take for granted that people outside our industry just do know until they come to a session like I presented. It was both an education for this presenter and the audience.
After I was finished presenting Bill and I headed in separate directions for two different sessions. I went to "Help! I hate my voice". This was just another great session. Rick Gkasby who headed the session has an amazing voice and the audience took turns making "bumpers" for show lead ins.
Rick also went on to teach us about the different types of mics that are available, did a few pieces about creating recordings and showed the group about creating them with Garage Band. He also gave us some tips on how to speak into the mic, how to adjust the settings of the audio equipment and showed us some filters that can be applied to the recordings. I have a wrap-up of Help! I Hate The Sound of My Voice for you to read too.
Once that session was finished it was onto the last session of the day, which Bill and I both attended on general Search Optimization. Along with the presenters, Dinkum Interactive, it was a great conversation with the group helping to sift through what works, what doesn't and what's important with it comes to optimizing for search engines.
The day wrapped up in the auditorium with prizes being drawn and discussion on how the day went. Final prizes were a tricked out Xbox 360 given by Microsoft and an IPhone given by Viddler.
All in all the day was really an awesome event! I'm very glad for the opportunity that I had to attend the event, and I would recommend it to anyone. Check out my flickr set of Philly Podcamp 2007 Pictures, too