How does Podcamp Toronto 2008 differ from Podcamp Toronto 2007? There is definitely a different feel this year, although perhaps not noticeable on first blush.
Ninja, one of the hosts of Hot Fossils and Rebel Matters, said that things seem even more relaxed than last year. Talking with Martin Cleaver, we theorized that it is less about the hype and more about looking maturely as to what we can do with the tools. Technology goes through a sort of “hype cycle” where it becomes popular and hyped, then swings down into a back-lash, and then corrects itself into a more realistic middle plateau (well, he described this better than me and probably could be served by a graphic).
Photo: by Wayne MacPhail
Regardless, more than half the people here have not been to Podcamp before. But many are arriving with a good level of understanding because they have already been part of the conversation, whether it be from listening to podcasts, reading blogs, watching videos, or otherwise consuming and responding to the new media.
Last year Twitter was the domain of just a few people. This year it seems to be part of almost all conversations–either you are sharing ideas on Twitter or you want to.
This year we have more people discovering the live video stream from the wiki, and sending comments via Twitter to audience members to ask of the presenters. So people like Mitch Joel in Montreal and Andrea Vascellari in Finland can follow along and feel even more engaged.
And this year it is not about “how can I make money off my podcast” (the whole “monetizing” concept that is loathed by many
hobbiest independent podcasters), and more about how to use podcasting and social media strategically to fulfill certain goals, whether they be building a personal following, using for business, or for non-profit organizations.
We seem to be talking less at cross-purposes this year, and tend to be listening and learning more from each other.
Which is really what social networking is all about.