Sunday, January 20, 2013

Podcamp HFX 2013

Who gets up at 7:30AM on a Sunday morning to go listen to people talk about all things interwebs? 

Yeah that would be us. This is the third year that we've been to Podcamp HFX and we all agree that it has grown considerably each year. The sessions just keep get better and better. 

If you haven't heard about Podcamp HFX then I'm going to assume you like under a Twitter rock and tell you that it's basically nerd camp for social media nerds. You can follow the link for a full list of the sessions. 

But like any conference there are always hits or misses and we're opinionated people ... so we're going to rate each session we've attended according to our trusty Jedi Ranking rating system (to view last years click here

Session 1

How to Build an Enormously Successful Blog

TheCaper: After last years great presentation on Klout we could not help but check out Andrew Konoff's talk on building an enormously successful Blog. Andrew is an great speaker and is very entertaining. While I may not have learning anything shockingly new I did learn to think about the type of posts to write and when to post them. My favourite quote from his presentation, "Get good at writing by fucking up constantly"
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master  

ThePubnisian: When I plotted out my Podcamp schedule prior to Podcamp, I initially wanted to go see Show Instead of Tell session but at the very last minute I decided to go see Andrew Konoff session. Not really sure why but I'm glad I did. I seemed to forget how good of a presenter he was. He strength really comes from the fact that he knows how to put it all together, from the research to the actual presentation of the material. I find him very motivating. He's session made me want to go home and write blog posts upon blog post. Makes you believe that you have the power to go and build that incredible blog.. or Klout score. He's the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Podcamp. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master

Social Recruiting – Find Your Next Job or New Hire Socially:

TheGinger: I started my morning with a little lesson in Social Recruiting – Find Your Next Job or New Hire Socially. My main focus in this session wasn’t necessarily to find a new job – I love my current one – but more of how can I apply their input into the career I already have (I’m a student recruiter for a local university). Even though what I was looking for, or rather hoping for, didn’t come out fully in their talk, I LOVED IT! Both Andy and Findley were engaging, funny and casual. I felt at home with what they were talking about and learned a lot. I knew that LinkedIn and Twitter were means to get a job, but they made it seem so easy and that I, an average 26 year old professional, can too find my next job through these outlets. I love coming out of a talk completely jazzed about the topic complete with a bit of self-confidence that what I learned over the last 45 minutes can actually be applied in real life.
Ranking: Jedi Master(s)

Session 2: 

Take This Lollipop

TheCaper: Take this Lollipop is an interactive video that scans your Facebook to make it appear like you have been hacked. While this was an interesting topic it was not an all over great session. Jason seemed a little nervous and his presentation was not overly engaging. 
Jedi Ranking: Padawen

ThePubnisian: This guy won an Emmy. That was the sole deciding factor why I went to see this session. I feel like he may have out geeked us. I think he became aware that we may not all be of his kind and it made him very nervous. Or at least this is how I rationalize his over usage of the word "umm.." He knows his shit and you know he knows his shit but he just couldn't put it into words. He wasn't able to breaking down enough to simplify it for peoples like me. He needs to work on public speaking. Take This Lollipop is still creepy...
Jedi Ranking: Padawen

TheGinger: Le Sigh…. It’s clear that Jason Nickel knows his shit, I mean he did beat out Ellen and the Today Show for an Emmy in his work in Take This Lollipop, which a friend of mine introduced me to back when I was living abroad over a year ago; but the man was dry (and visibly uncomfortable). I get it, some people aren’t as charismatic as other speakers (Obama, the late Jack Layton, Tony Robbins, Me…) but if you’re not cool getting up and speaking to a large group of people, then find other ways to engage your audience so they don’t spend the entire time checking their watches or wishing they had gone to Ross Simmonds’ session. I felt like the entire session was just about him bragging that “hey, I won an Emmy and I worked with Linkin Park” and less about what PodCamp is about, in my opinion, learning and engaging with fellow social media geeks about different aspects of this ever growing and changing world. Better luck next time.
Jedi Ranking: Padawan (because he knows his stuff, but has a lot of growing to do in the realms of putting on a workshop/session

Session 3: 

Hacktivism, DDoD and #Anonymous

TheCaper: I did enjoy this session and Jon Blanchard really a great public speaker. My biggest lesson learned from this talk was I need to change my passwords ASAP and change them to many different phases completely different for every website (looks like I will be busy).
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master  

ThePubnisian: Jon Blanchard should have been the keynote speaker. I couldn't believe that there was so little people in sitting in on this session. Maybe they're all scared of Anonymous. I don't know?!? I've tried to rationalize this in my head but I can't. This guy knew more than anyone else at any Podcamp HFX session I've been to about the internet, it's history, it's workings and it's potential as a catalyst social change (good or bad). Definitely changing all my passwords to passphrases. I learned so much from this session, I have properly digested it all yet.
Jedi Ranking: Yoda, Grand Master

Adventures in Pinterest: a Halifax story 

TheGinger: This was next on my attendance list (and my last) and I was not disappointed. I was curious what Andrea Young and Brigid McWhirter had to say about one of my most loved and cherished forms of social media, Pinterest. I’ve had the joy to work a lot in Pinterest in a business setting last winter so I was “pinerested” in what these ladies had to say. I have to admit, a lot of what they had to say about their experiences and how they got started, I too had experienced in my last job but I was thankful to have learned about how their experience with a contest surrounding Pinterest worked. They had a solid connection with the audience, they had a prop (which I loved - #bigredpin), and I was able to take away information, strategies and tactics that I can use in the future. All in all, I enjoyed this session – but since Pinterest is still relatively new I feel there is still a lot of room for growth before someone can be an expert in the area, which is why I am giving the ranking of Jedi Knight(s).  I’m sure they’ll work their way up with time.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knights

Session 4: 

5th Annual State of Social Media in Atlantic Canada

TheCaper: Last year we skipped this session and I really regretted it, while there was no giant changes over 2011 I do find it very interesting. This data is all collected from public info and looks at what people are talking about in the Atlantic provinces. Some of my favourite tid bits of info were that we love to share pictures of out local area (72% of pictures uploaded were local) as well as we love to take pictures of food. I also found it interesting that women play a bigger role in social media and are 8 times more likely to share info. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master 

ThePubnisian: I love this guy. I'm a sociology nerd so looking at stats and trying to understand what it's saying about certain social groups is my game. It's always nice to get an insight into what is making people tick which helps you understand yourself and your social media usage better. This guy is like Samuel L Jackson's character Mace Windu in the Star Wars Prequels. He's the reason we come to Podcamp.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master. 

Session 5: 

Webcomics & Technology: Beyond the Box

TheCaper: I had no idea what to expect from this session but wanted to check something different out. Well while I did not take allot away from it I did find it really enjoyable. I have to admit I am not a comic reader but it was very cool to see the way typical paper comics and moved into the internet age and have adapted yet again for tablets. I did have a giggle at one of the speakers, Chris Hemsworth comic Last Words.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knight 

ThePubnisian: I didn't really get much from this session. It was cool what what was going on in their field of comics and they knew their material well. I'm not sure what they were even getting at but then again I don't really remember much of the presentation either besides the scrolling. 
Jedi Ranking: Aing-Tii

Session 6: 

What's the big idea? The first question for digital strategy. 

TheCaper: I feel a little HoHum about this session, it was well put together and well presented (with the exception of a small sound issue at one point), it was just nothing new. The biggest point from the session is that the idea saves the day, as well as you have to allow ideas to grow and change. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knight/Padawan 

ThePubnisian: I'm not sure but I think the dude my have been had a little too much caffeine. It was a well put together presentation but it was basically fluff. They only talked about their "big ideas" and did not give any examples of how other people use the "big ideas" in strategy. It came across as "We are responsible for Downtown Halifax Win What You Wish" campaign and we made it great. The thing is, I kinda disagree with their point about it's not really about the medium.. and they did nothing to persuade me otherwise. Like Marshall McLuhan said.. the medium is the message...
Jedi Ranking: Fallanassi

Unfortunately we didn't win any door prizes or the iPad.. but maybe next year. 

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