About PodCamp Boston HistoryPodcampers swarmed the facilities at the legendary Microsoft NERD headquarters. PodCamp Boston was once again taken into the hands of conference attendees in a very magical way. (Actually, “unconference’ was the term most preferred by PodCamp Boston goers). But how could a mass organized activity surrounding the concept of podcasting and social media possibly produce the aura of Disney World? Simple: a very clear and very profound (if not previously unheard of) strategy for bringing forth innovation by melding two different spheres of technological experience.
In the years since the initial conception of PodCamp Boston, the world had been greatly enriched by those people who took home the new concepts and encouragement for ideas to their respective states and countries. Christopher Penn and Chris Brogan probably did not realize what a long-running impact their new idea would have upon the very field that they were simply trying to offer access to for people with very limited opportunities to understand or utilize progressive technology.
Because the major bulk and energizing influence of podcasting was historically more relegated to the west coast of the United States, the two big thinkers wanted to show the world that it was not only the west coast that had a dominion over access to tech development. In fact, their concept of creating a tech hub of learning right within Boston was the very thing to break up the “monopoly” of Silicon Valley. Their premise was that learning should never be stifled by location. This unsaid mantra was a powerful and moving force for establishing the first “Podcamp” (a word actually coined from this very situation).
As this conference was birthed in the waters of unconventionality, Podcamp Boston saw several key and productive changes throughout the years. Notably, in 2009, PCB was branded as even more of an “unconvention” with the dawning of changes instituted by new lead organizer, Michelle Wolverton. Her dynamic offering of instituting discussions in place of lectures fueled the fire of creativity within the conference as well as the legendary tradition of “making the conference your own”.
Podcamp Boston truly provided a feast for the senses: instruction in riveting video blogging practices, catered local coffee, live music, and making new friends are among a very few of the guaranteed good times had by all. Truly, the experience shared by all at Podcamp Boston was not one that could have come to pass in any other way. In what dimension would the leaders of the podcasting and social media communities have come together to freely meet with anyone and everyone who had any level of vested interest in starting out on the very bottom rungs of the ladder?
What was even more remarkable was the equity of respect that was shared in welcoming the ideas both small and large of anyone who wandered up to the table. It was in this shared sense of “academic humility” that often many of the best innovations (which were often quite simple) were created. It would not be too much to assume that a common occurrence within the hallways at any PodCamp Boston was the presentation of a question or common problem to a group and then the subsequent creation of a wonderful melting pot of possible and past solutions. Out of said pot would invariably come a new and beautiful concept for a solution to be applied globally.
Perhaps the person who put the pieces together in the best order was an average stay-at-home mom looking for a way to reach out to other moms, and standing to her left, a CEO of a prestigious company offered the wisdom of how to apply it. Within that same group, various coders and app designers were able to instantly create a virtual drawing board of how to get this new “mommyblog” off the ground. An advertising specialist sitting nearby came up with a contractual resolution that took this new business to a reality that the mom never thought possible. These were the types of miracles that were possible at PodCamp Boston.