Adventures at Podcamp Toronto or How to Organize a Conference for 322 Creative Geeks and Live to Tell the Tale

Podcamptoronto200x75 Having spent the weekend at Podcamp Toronto I don’t know what impressed me more, the incredible organization, the outright giddy enthusiasm from everyone that I met or the fact that all this incredible information (and food!)was available for free. To say that Podcamp Toronto was a resounding success is to make a considerable understatement. With podcasting occupying its current position as one of the most hyped about technologies of 2006-2007 it is easy to get jaded and start to ask yourself what it really all means. Podcamp Toronto was like an adrenalin injection directly into your creative nexus and the effects will far outlast the 2 days that everybody spent within the confines of the Rogers Communication Center at Ryerson University.

Obviously I have plans to produce a podcast for The Rock and Roll Report. That being said, it is easy to get sidetracked from your ultimate goal when you are tackling something like this on your own and instead of producing some kick ass podcast on rock and roll that you want everybody to listen to you are instead spending months trying to discern the differences between various USB audio interfaces and what the hell is the difference between a dynamic and cardoid microphone anyhow? Being at Podcamp Toronto was a creative kick in the ass. The enthusiasm was infectious and everybody I met wanted to help, really help me get my podcast off the ground. There was no bullshit being doled out by anybody which was refreshing in itself.

The sessions that were scheduled throughout the 2 days were quite varied in what they dealt with which was great because you don’t want to spend too much of your time dealing with only technical issues, or financial issues or legal issues for that matter. What was nice is that they comprised a real cross-section of the things you should consider when producing your podcast and they were actually helpful in helping you to make some decisions on what you need to do. It was nice to spend one session discussing monetization options for podcasting and then another debating whether podcasting threatens radio (oh it does…..and it doesn’t) and another session getting all geeky learning about some incredible websites and services that you can use to extend your podcasts’ reach to the world.

If you are ever considering creating a podcast or perhaps are currently producing one, you owe it to yourself to attend a PodCamp. What probably impressed me most was that there was no distinction between those presenting and those attending. Everybody was riffing off of everybody and the exchange of ideas was positively inspiring.

A good podcast, like any creative endeavor requires passion. For those attending PodCamp Toronto that passion was evident in spades. I can’t wait to get started. As one attendee said “just press record.”

Throughout the week I will post my thoughts about the various sessions that I attended. The cool thing is that you can always download the sessions as podcasts and videocasts yourself and check out what you missed. Very cool.