Podcamp NYC was an exciting podcasting event organized around un-conference ideas, with something like a hundred sessions and an amazing group of attendees, and unlike some expensive industry conferences, where you end up paying to listen to sales spiels, the unconference format strives to be different, to bring together a community of people sharing ideas, but the scale of Podcamp NYC compared to Podcamp Boston showed signs of stressing the model (can unconferences scale? That’s a discussion for another day).
I spent most of the time walking around the exhibit tables, and in a 60 second video tried to capture a little but of this wonderful event, offering an opportunity to talk with friends and colleagues, and attending a couple sesssions too. The first was a session by Peter Yanke, Vivian Vasquez, and Kathy King on the uses of podcasting in education, providing a good overview of tools, techniques, and challenges, especially in terms of using podcasting beyond delivering lectures, but as part of instruction and homework. You can learn more about this at Podcast for Teachers, a site and podcast providing professional development for teachers with resources, news, interviews and commentary on podcasting and related technology.
Then other sesson I attended was “New Media and Public Radio,” with Jay Brodsky from NPR and some folks from WNYC. They discussed how NPR and WNYC are using podcasting and new media to complement their radio programming. Not only has NPR been proactive in talking up podcasting, but they are linking with other media in interesting ways. From my perspective, convegence means the end of mono-media. There is no reason why any media organization should not compliment with a full range of media. Newspapers have added video, television stations have added web sites, monomedia has become anachronistic.
In the afternoon John Herman and yours truly, led one of the sessions, a discussion around the topic of using cinematic language elements in your video, and we discussed, with lots of insights from the room, media aesthetics and production values. While video podcasts can benefit from effective use of established media aesthetics (why reinvent the wheel?), at the same time, we’re also creating new aesthetic criteria, video on the web is both an extension of cinema, television, and home video, and a new medium evolving its own aesthetics too.
The show brought together many amazing people in one place including (but certainly not limited to!) Jason Van Orden who was promoting his new book, Promoting Your Podcast, offering valuable insights to help promote your podcast successfully; Chris Brogan, co-founder of Podcamp Boston and involved with Network 2, a guide to video on the web; Andrew Baron, creator of Rocketboom; Chris Penn, co-founder of Podcamp Boston and someone who has boundless energy; much of the blip.tv gang was there including Mike Hudack, Dina Kaplan, Justin Day, Charles Hope, and Jared Klett; Joyce Bettencorurt from The Vesuvius Group develops for virtual worlds including Second Life; Shaunna Thomas, Deputy Director of Young People For Knowledge with an emphasis on non-traditional orgnaizers; and a healthy number of people from traditional media companies that have launched or will launch podcasting initiatives were there too. Podcasting has arrived. It’s no longer new, edgy, geeky. It’s here, it’s real, and it’s part of the media mix.
The party at Slate Saturday night offered the oppportunity to catch up with an old friend, Joel Heller, who’s been doing Docs That Inspire, a podcast offering great interviews with filmmakers. Later, when the music started to get too loud for a civilized conversation, Joel and I moved on to Carnival of Dreams, New York’s most excellent restaurant offering vegan, organic, and live food that even a carnivoire can take delight in. Then it was back to Boston on the 3:15am train.