Archive | Conferences/Events

You should go to Podcamp Nashville

The short of it: If you’re reading this [and you’re not my mother, who lives in Florida and has no connection to digital media], then you should go to Podcamp Nashville on Saturday, March 26.

The long of it: Nashville’s got a bit of a schizophrenic bar-and-podcamp scene. While the events are part of the “official” unconference movement, the Nashville events have had a bit more structure than the “official” unconference method dictates. This is all for the good.

For the past several years, the content at Nashville’s Barcamp and Podcamp has rivaled many top-drawer, national paid conferences. The very idea that you can get this stuff for free still blows my mind. If you work anywhere near digital media, you have got to make it to Podcamp.

I think the content is so fantastic for a couple of reasons:

  • The organizers here put a lot more work into the structure and planning of the event than the unconference label would lead you to believe.
  • The digital community in Nashville has grown dramatically in the past few years. There’s a lot of great talent here.

How it works: Sign up now and post your idea for a session. Here are the full details, but don’t mess around — session proposals close on Thursday at 8p.

Then Friday night, they’re drawing the sessions out of a hat and the winners get a slot.

After that, everyone who’s attending will be able to sign up for sessions. You don’t have to choose your sessions in advance, but I recommend that you at least look at the schedule before you show up. There will be too much to choose from the day of.

Show up early. Barcamp and Podcamp tend to have decent swag bags due to the great support they get from the tech community. Don’t miss out!

Where I’m going in 2011

I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few months learning about additional conferences in my field — seminars related to content strategy, information architecture and management, and related fields like web entrepreneurship, user experience and social media.

In 2011, I’m definitely attending SXSW Interactive and GEL. SXSWi is not really an optional conference if you’re in the web industry, but it has the wonderful benefits of being educational, a great networking event and held in Austin in March. I’m just mad at myself that I missed the deadline to propose a panel last summer. Must plan my vacation better this year.

I attended GEL [Good Experience Live] in 2005 or so, and to this day, it’s one of the most inspiring business events I’ve ever attended. So I’m delighted to be able to return this year. As I’ve noted here before, Mark Hurst is one of my web heroes, and the positive, engaging spirit of his work infects his annual conference. No matter your field, you cannot help but go home from GEL smarter, with great contacts and energized to do fabulous work.

I’ve heard that SOBcon is not to be missed from Alli Worthington and Becky McCray both [some real web giants themselves], so I’ll check it out in 2012. [It conflicts with GEL this year.]

All of a sudden, there’s a whole raft of content strategy and information architecture conferences. And throw in stuff related to health care information management [a topic I touch on more and more in my work, and that I’m incredibly interested in personally], and I feel like I could spend half my time at conferences.

What are your favorites? What would I be a fool to miss in 2011?

BarCamp Nashville: See Us Saturday for Content Strategy Throwdown

UPDATE: The panel went really well, according to the backchannel on Twitter, anyway. BarCamp will soon be releasing audio, and I’m hoping ours will be available, but in the meantime, you can get a feel for the panel from comments we have shared on SlideShare or from the resources we listed on Delicious.

ORIGINAL: I’m moderating a panel on Saturday, Oct. 16, at BarCamp Nashville. This event is astoundingly free — would be worth a decent conference fee, and all you’ve got to do is figure out how to park in downtown Nashville [meters now charge on Saturdays, parkers beware].

If you’re wondering about this whole content strategy business, and whether it’s the latest hype, or the way to transform your web projects, see us Saturday at 12:30p in the RockBar.

It’s not too late to register for BarCamp Nashville 2010.

Here are a couple other presentations I recommend, but there are lots of great ones:

BarCamp Nashville: Sign Up Today

Tomorrow’s the first day to pitch speaking proposals for BarCamp Nashville 2010. Last year, I was able to attend just a couple of sessions, but they were great, and topics were really varied….but there wasn’t a ton on content strategy. So I’ll be pitching a session tomorrow. Watch for more details on that.

In the meantime, sign up now to attend BarCamp Nashville. It’s free, and it’s better than a lot of conferences you’d pay good money and travel to attend. [Note: the BarCamp movement calls for a particular style of “unconference” — and except for the first year, Nashville’s BarCamp has not really adhered to that loose, unplanned style. While BCN still bills itself as an unconference, you’re going to find well-planned, well-delivered presentations on a variety of topics, and logistics planning around food and events that put many expensive conferences to shame. It’s an outstanding day.]

Nashville’s digital community is not as well-hidden as we used to be, but I think it’s still fair to say that we’re emerging. I think the great news is, I’ve worked in digital media here for 15 years, and I used to know everyone in town in my industry. I haven’t been able to say that for several years, and I’m networking more than ever.

So, sign up for BarCamp today. You’ll get great ideas and you’ll meet some great folks in digital media.

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