Sharing the PodCamp Experience

If there is one thing I take away with a breath of excitement after attending PodCamp, it always comes down to this one word…sharing.

Sure, if you know what PodCamp is, you realize it’s purpose is to share information, ideas, and input on all things internet and digital media-related.  Want to know how to blog better, how to use SEO to your advantage, how to take your great ideas and podcast them? Come to PodCamp; there’s someone there that can share the insight you need.

If you have experience in something, whether it’s the basics of social media or advanced video podcasting, you are invited to share your knowledge. Anyone can come here to share and there is no limit to the number of topics that can be addressed.  It most often happens that those in attendance are able to teach the presenter and the other participants during the sessions. We all have something to share that can make a lasting impression on those with whom we come in contact.

It’s an amazing experience to be part of on both sides, as presenters and attendees.

The sharing that means the most to me is what happens because of the sessions, in the sessions, and in the hallway outside of the sessions.  It’s the networking and contacts and sharing of ourselves that make PodCamp  what it is.  Meeting other people that will continue to communicate with you all year long brings a heightened effect to what you learn through the sessions.  People that will willingly give up their lunch break to help you fix a tech problem; people that will sacrifice the only free half hour of their self-employed 16-hour day to lend their expertise in an area. Have you forgotten something that you learned while you were sitting in session? Go to Twitter or Facebook, a blogger’s page or a vidcast address and simply ask again. PodCamp Pittsburgh ends up being not only a once a year ‘unconference”, but an all year meet-up (and occasional tweet-up) through social media to continue the experience.

Ask the attendees of PCPGH their best memories of PodCamp and most will share details of an incredible session that taught them something they found amazingly useful.  And everyone will tell you about the people they met and how those people impact them, even after the event is over. Making a connection through the shared experience of PodCamp has lasting effects that can be seen through social media interactions long after the weekend of sessions is over.

There is one last bit about sharing that makes PodCamp such a worthwhile experience.  It is from those that attend and then go out and DO.  They take the information and work it into what they are trying to accomplish.  And they share that knowledge with others. They talk about it and help others learn through them.  Or they take to heart what they learn and share those ideas and new ideas that spawn from it using communication on social media platforms.

I can tell you as part of the outcome of the session I presented, (Motivate Me! A Non-Profit’s Guide to Individual Engagement) I developed new contacts that became more active and focused in using social media, some of whom have become colleagues whom I would not have met through any other means.  I found several new outstanding people to network with,  just by standing out in the hallway and overhearing a discussion on a platform issue.  And while I am able to be a resource to those that attended when they have a question to share with me, I am even more lucky to hear what they have to share with me.

I think that’s the best part of this year round community that springs up from PodCamp. We can discuss and bring out new ideas.  We navigate through the changes and advances made from year to year in the digital world together.  It helps us develop what kinds of topics we might need for next year’s PodCamp, when a whole new sharing experience will bring us together again.

What great sharing experience happened to you at PodCamp?  What ideas sparked you to share more once you came home and started using the information you gained?   What would you like to see shared at next year’s PodCamp Pittsburgh? Let us know your thoughts!

– Melissa

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