PodcampCT Sessions - #pcct

PodcampCT is tomorrow! Have you registered yet? Have you submitted your ideas for a PodcampCT session?

More and more people are, and with Podcamp tomorrow it is well past the time for me to start organizing my thoughts about whom I want to meet and talk with, and which discussions I want to attend. (For those interested in why I said which 'discussions' I want to attend, as opposed to which sessions, or even worse, which presentations, check out my post, Podcamp Reflections - #PCCT. While you're at it, check out a related blog post about REBarCamp.)

Looking at the list of registered participants, I've been building a Twitter list of PodcampCT attendees. A few other people have been building similar lists. It gives me a chance to get to know some of the people ahead of time, although I must admit, I know a lot of them fairly well already. Please check these lists yourself and find people you want to meet at PodcampCT.

The other thing I'm checking is the list of session ideas for PodcampCT. There are some great ideas and I expect some great discussions. Exactly how the sessions will be arranged, in typical unconference style, will be determined the morning of Podcamp. However, that doesn't mean we can't spend time talking about the ideas, how they might be grouped and other ideas right now. With that, I'm putting together some of the groupings that make sense to me.


Morriss has suggested Geolocation – It’s Everywhere! and Sonya has suggested Location-based social networks. The two sound fairly similar, but there is probably enough to discuss in a few different sessions. Which service is best? What about privacy? Why do this at all? How does this relate to location based advertising? How does it relate to storytelling?

Related to this is a session idea by Giulia, Continuing the Social Circle – Online and In Person Doing things in person takes place at some location. What is the location? What roles do locations play in continuing the social circle?

Suzi had a similar idea, Crossing the Online Border: Taking Conversations Into the Real World.

Barcodes for fun and profit

Barcodes, and especially two dimensional QR codes, are a topic I’ve long been interested in. It is a topic that stands by itself quite nicely. Should we use QR Codes? Datamatix codes? Microsofts 2D codes? Are there advantages to using one dimensional barcodes like the UPC codes? How can you use them to promote your business? What can be done for fun and games with barcodes? Who is doing interesting things with them? To me, one of the most interesting aspects is how this ties together with location. Typically, I see a QR Code in some location. What is the location and how does it relate to a companies location specific marketing?


Another topic that is really important to me is narrative. What is the underlying story of any event, blog post, political campaign, or social media discussion? I have plenty of stories about the importance of narrative, so much so that my business card now describes me as an “Internet Raconteur". There are a lot of different ways to approach this. Andre posted a session idea, The Power of Story in Social Movements. This sounds like a good high level discussion. There are also questions about how it relates to business and other activities. Examples of successful narratives are also worth exploring.

As an aside, it is possible to vote, thumbs up or thumbs down on a topic, and Andre’s session idea about story received a lot of thumbs up, but it also received a lot of thumbs down. I’m curious about why.

Joe suggested an idea that is closely related, What’s your Social Media success story? Perhaps Joe and Andre can collaborate on this

Narrative is especially important in journalism. A good journalist tells a story that people can relate to while providing context and important information. Kirk has suggested Getting Social with the News Media. For me, news has always been social, especially passing around sections of the Sunday New York Times on the beach and getting into lively discussions about the articles. How do news organizations take this experience and recreate it online? This could be a fascinating discussion.

Another interesting take on this is Richard’s session idea, How to engage your community and stimulate dialog?. I guess that reflects some of my own thinking. Community engagement, to me, is based on narrative and discussion. Richard writes about the quality of the traffic, which fits nicely into the discussions about SEO and analytics below.


One topic that has brought a lot of interest are tools related. How do I do this or that task? Perhaps the best starting point is a session Jack came up with, Help Me! I’m New, Where Do I Begin? This should be one of the first sessions. It may help newer people figure out how to get the most out of the day.

Paul submitted Screencasting 101. How do you set up a screencast? What tools do people like to use? I haven't really done any screencasting. I've recorded sessions, using tools like FRAPS on the PC and load-applet on the N900 , but that is about it.

Besides screencasting, there are videos. Michael suggested How to use video sites such as YouTube, UStream etc… Hopefully, people will leave stream video from PodcampCT, share their videos on YouTube, etc. Another important topic related to this is editing tools. What do you use to edit your videos?

Christopher posted Using Audio to Market Your Business: Blogtalk Radio, Talkshoe, Podcasts. This sounds like a great session. My daughter has been doing an Internet based radio show using Blogtalkradio for over two years. It isn’t about her business. If anything, it is closer to a StoryCorps idea. I’ve been interested in looking at how Talkshoe contrasts with BlogTalkRadio. I’m interested in hearing what people are doing with Skype, SIP, Google Voice and other tools. I’m interested in finding out if there are other similar services. Also, I’m curious about how cellphones fit into this. I use Skype, SIP and Google Voice with my cellphone. As with video, editing is also an important subtopic here.

My preference would be to have this be a bigger topic than simply using audio to market a business. Going back to my focus on narrative, I would like to see something like, “What are the best tools to tell your story online using audio?”

Derek suggested 3D Virtual Worlds and Social Media. I really like this idea. I’ve written a lot about virtual worlds. This can also tie nicely into the various discussions about video and screencasting. I am a big fan of machinima and I’d love to see some machinima podcasts. A great illustration of what can be done with this on a very simple podcasting style is Virtually Speaking a talk show done in Second Life and simulcast on BlogTalkRadio.

Betsy has posted Teach me SEO Basics. I often dismiss SEO as snake oil salesmanship, yet I try to use as many SEO techniques as I can. My site is built on Drupal which is well set up for SEO. I joined in a great discussion about SEO basics at one of the WesternMass Podcamps. Charlie, who unfortunately won’t be able to make it, suggested I need more web traffic! This seems to fit nicely into a broader discussion of SEO and other ways of building traffic.

Betsy also posted Teach me How to Understand and Interpret basic online analytical tools. I play a lot with Google Analytics, Compete, Quantcast, Alexa, internal metrics and other tools. It is a great topic that people really need to discuss. It also fits very nicely with the SEO topic.


Much of this relates back to our online identities. Sherry has suggested Handling “handles”. How do you manage multiple Social Media accounts?. Another suggestion I saw, but can’t find now, is about managing email. That one seemed fairly specific about moving from Outlook to Gmail, but I think the bigger and more interesting issues are around how we handle our email, in terms of having multiple addresses, and perhaps multiple personae related to the addresses, how we organize the emails so we don’t get overwhelmed. All of this fits nicely into Sherry’s idea.

Tim suggested a closely related topic, Managing my social media time, or Let’s get real – I’m already busy running my business!

This post was created as a fairly quick perusal of session ideas and adding in a few thoughts of my own. I hope people will spend a little time thinking about what sessions they find most interesting and I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.