Monday, January 19, 2015


So PodcampHFX got new digs this year. For those of us who's first time it was in the new Spring Garden library, and for those of us who have been there before, only one expression can sum up our thoughts... whoa! This is not your grandma's old library that smelled of dying books (and probably rats), it's.... beautiful. An amazing design with all the latest comforts of modern society. Well done Halifax, well done.   

The O'Regan Hall is a great space. It's a super relaxing and open atmosphere. There is plenty of room to move around and you don't feel stuck in one spot. The numerous other gatherings rooms were nice as well - the RBC room still has its 'new car smell'. 

That being said, let's get on to the most important part.... our reviews. 

If you don't know how this works for us. We rank based on a Jedi Ranking System. It's totally arbitrary but if you agree or don't agree let us know in comments below. If you think we suck, we appreciate those comments too.   

Session #1 - Does Twitter Build Social Capital - Ryan Deschamps

ThePubnisian: I went to this session for two reasons. One, I remember liking Ryan Deschamps talks before... plus he's like, a founding father of Podcamp in Halifax/Dartmouth. And two, I once wrote a thesis using the analysis of Pierre Bourdieu's types of capital (one being Social Capital)... sorry, sorry, my sociology stripes are showing.  

I was a little hesitant of his subject though. I wasn't sure he was going to use Bourdieu's definition and if so, could he pull such an intellectual topic off to such a broad bunch of people. Trust me, most people tend to fall asleep when you start talking social theory. 
Much to my surprise, he did. He lost a few people at the start. After about 5 mins they got up and left. And yes, I judged them not smart enough  to follow. 
He made a lot of great valid points on how people use social media, especially twitter, to get their message across. 
He needed more time. Like an hour or two of more time.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master 

TheCaper: Ryan Deschamps gave a great presentation he got the audience chatting, and even celebrated not getting through his slides. This session is a great example of what I love about Podcamp; the community that it brings out.
Jedi Ranking: I have to agree with ThePubnisian, Jedi Master

Session #2 - A Simple Formula for Success - Ricky Goodall 

ThePubnisian: So I wasn't sure about this session either. I was wondering how it all relates to the techie side of the coin. It really didn't. But his presentation really blew me away. He made me want to do better with my life. He was so real and authentic. From being homeless like 6 years ago to a mixed martial arts fighter (which I assume is like an UFC fighter guy) to building his own business online in nutritional planning. It was really about the power of intention. He's a meditation coach too. But he's not wishey washey either. He knows what it's like to be down and out. He's been there and he's built himself up. I really got the sense that he really wants to help people. He did not talk much about his online presence but here's to breaking code. It was a refreshing presentation. 

I find that very inspiring. He inspires me to want to put more time in this blog. It's something we've been lacking because we say we're tired from our jobs but it's no excuse. 
He wrote a book called The Elements in which he has a kickstarter going. After searching the web for the link, here it is
He's opening a wellness centre on Agricola called Elevated Wellness Centre
I just want to say that while he did mention some of his projects, he didn't provide us any links or try to sell us anything. I essentially had to take really good notes on the things he was talking about and stalk the internet to find the links. Here's his welcome video on YouTube 
Jedi Ranking: I think he graduated to Jedi Padawan today, and quickly rising through the ranks.

TheCaper: When my friend mentioned going to this talk I almost skipped it, but there was not another one in this timeslot that I really wanted to check out. I was so happy that I attended Ricky Goodall’s talk, he was inspiring and spoke off the cuff. He did not need a slideshow to make his point, his story did it for him.  I walked out of this session wanting to start something asap, now what that will be is still up in the air but I will do something that I love because of RIcky Goodall.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Padawan but not for long he is quickly moving on up

Session #2 - Community Building: Dungeons and Dragons Style Mike Tanner & Drew Moore

The Ginger: I never really like to stick too close to the group as you can see from our past Podcamp reviews - I like to check out different sessions than my fellow blog members which I think is what makes these posts great. This year, sadly, I missed the first session (I really wanted to check out Andrew Breen's Display Ads Demystified and if you went, please tell me about it in the comments below!) but got to Podcamp in time to check out Mike Tanner's and Drew Moore's talk about how they use D&D to build their communities - and I don't mean Dartmouth/Halifax/Fall River communities, I mean people that come together for a purpose or a passion. Since this is my line of work, I was really excited to check out what they had to say but I guess I didn't read the description well enough because I didn't find that this was what they really focused on. I am not a gamer, I mean I play The Simpsons Tapped Out on my phone, but that's about it... so the world of D&D was completely lost on me. Having said that, I loved their passion for the game and their breakdown of the skills you develop in playing such games. I love, love, LOVE that Drew uses this game to help develop grade 7 science, geography, and history classes - and if I was still a teacher, this would have given me so many ideas. I guess in the end, it just wasn't what I had expected but it was still a great talk - very interesting, just not what I, personally, was looking for. 
Jedi Ranking: I feel like I don't know enough about D&D to give these guys a proper ranking but from a novice perspective, they seemed to know their shit so Jedi Knights it is! 

Session #3 - The Future is Phygital, Scary and Exciting! - Giles Crouch

ThePubnisian: We all know that Giles Crouch knows more about the internet that most of us. He usually brings us stats. This year, he decided to switch it up. The first sentence in his session blurb on the website was something about social media is now boring. Which is what I thought of the first 20 mins of his presentation. He talked about papyrus about two minutes too long. 

I feel he may have dumbed it down a little. Which annoyed me a bit. 
But the last part of his presentation was super interesting and much more like the Giles Crouch we have come to love at Podcamp. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master of the High Counsel - I mean, let's not kid ourselves. 

TheCaper: I really have enjoyed Giles Crouch’s presentations in past years and although this year was also good, it did seem a little repetitive. But really I guess that the fact that it is repetitive did speak to the nature of his talk, social media has plateaued and we are not sure where it is going to go next. One negative for this one was his PowerPoint. I personally found it very distracting but maybe that was done on purpose.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master

Session #3 - Digital Branding and Social Media Agents Lindsay Cross

The Ginger: There were literally no seats left when I entered the room and at that time, I knew I had come to the right place. I was really excited for Lindsay's talk and she did not disappoint. Even though I didn't learn anything that I hadn't already known, I really enjoyed the way she presented her content - using interactive tasks and examples. I especially loved her story relating back to the point that "everyone is human" when she spoke about accidentally tweeting her views on a Fergie Fashion Fail from her employer's Twitter handle. It just brings home the fact that once you put something out there, it's there and to always be mindful of that (a fact I tell my team-members everyday), and that everyone is human.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knight

Session #4 - Building a Compelling Story with Video - Mathew Welsh aka Journeyman Guy

ThePubnisian: One, I did not know the Journeyman Films was Nova Scotia based. And two, why have they not been at podcamp before. Seriously, give this guy a bigger room. The house was packed. The RBC room also smelled like new car. I'm sure it probably had not been used before. 

He was a really good speaker and his slideshow was very well put together. Everything fit very well into his presentation, from the videos to his storybook reading. Super interesting. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knight. 

TheCaper: Mathew Walsh of Journeyman Films showed us the difference between just a video and one that tells a story. A video that tells a story is allows you to show a different side of a person or topic and can make something more personable than a not story. I thought this was probably the best quality multimedia presentation of the day that I saw.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Knight

TheGinger: I love, love LOVE Journeyman Films. They're not only great pieces of video, but they're amazing storytellers, so it's only natural that Mathew Walsh came in to talk about just that. I loved the Prezi with the embedded videos around the single word "Story". I loved that he read us children's storybooks to demonstrate his point. I loved the open discussion about storytelling and how it's so human and influential. I loved every part of this presentation and I hope to attend another by him in the future.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master

Session #4 - 3rd Annual Top 10 Hacked Maritime Websites- Jon Blanchard

ThePubnisian: This guy knows his shit. I plan all my other session attendance around his sessions. I'm pretty sure he knows more about the internet than I can even begin to imagine. 

I actually wrote down as my notes "Cannot take notes. Need to listen." 
Then I emailed every teacher I know to change their password to their emails. 
He's the must see event.. but beware, he'll tell you things about the internet that will make you paranoid. 
I disliked how the podcamp people tried to rush him along at the end. He was finishing... leave him alone. 
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Grand Master of the Jedi Order... aka Yoda. 

TheCaper: This is one presentation that I always look forward to, Jon Blanchard is a great presenter. This years focus was really on the ethics of not reporting when some big companies are hacked. My only complaint this year that even though it was a really interesting talk he did go way over his allotted time and I did feel bad for the next presenter.
Jedi Ranking: He is a master, but I almost demoted him for going so far over the allotted time.

TheGinger: This is my first time seeing Jon Blanchard and I'm beginning to think he's a man of many hats but somehow, makes it work. He's a Systems Security Auditor guy and owns his own hot dog stand. I came mainly to this because I wanted to know what 10 websites were hacked in the Maritimes but Jon took a little longer than I would have liked talking about all of the other things going on before dividing into the juicy details - which is likely why the presentation ran 10-15 mins over. Despite the timing, his talk was very informative and quite shocking. It kind of angers me that companies are hacked on a consistent basis and that they don't think to send their consumers or members a notice that they might want to change their passwords - I'm looking at you Scotiabank. Word to the wise - change your passwords often.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master

Session #5 - Stand Out: How to Turn Content Intelligence into Content Excellence- Ross Simmonds 

ThePubnisian: I wanted to go to Tim Bousquet's session. I'm not sure why I didn't. Probably because I didn't want to leave the comforts of the O'Regan Theater/Auditorium thingy and I was going to be late for it anyways.

I really want to try to like this guy, I really do. Apparently, he's friends with everyone at Podcamp except me. But... I knew within the first three minutes that his main objective was to sell me something. I mean, he repeated the words ridiculous intelligence and ridiculous resourcefulness twelve times in one minute. He's like a walking propaganda board for himself.
Sigh, When I know that people are trying to sell me something...  I immediately don't believe a word they say. Like, I don't even believe you like superheros. I'm sure he's a great guy... 
Anyways, I'm not rating him. 

TheCaper: I don’t have allot to say about Ross’s talk, it was fine and his slide deck was great (love the cartoon’s). Ross is a great presenter I just don’t think it was the right topic for me. One small issue I did have was the mention of his new product then trying to play it off like he was not trying to advertise for it. I have no issue with someone using this time to sell something it was just the trying to play it off like he wasn’t that bugged me.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Sales

TheGinger: I like Ross. He's smart, whitty, charismatic, and straight up knows his shit. When you're that good, you're always on and I have to disagree with my fellow NSBloggers, I thought this presentation was great. He provided insight into how he does his job, gave some tricks and tips of his trade, and let us in on some pretty great market secrets (maybe not so secret). I know I learned a lot and so did the majority of the people listening to his talk. He makes digital analytics INTERESTING.... how many people can you say that about? Sure he promoted his ebook in the LAST slide, but who cares? When you're always on, and you're an entrepreneur, you should take every chance to promote yourself and your work. Also, the fact that his talk drew in a huge crowd tells you that this is a guy to know and listen to.
Jedi Ranking: Jedi Master

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