I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Podcamp Pittsburgh, and as much as I like blogging, the idea of dedicating an entire weekend to an event all about blogging didn’t really seem so interesting. But as I stood there at the PodCamp registration desk and felt the energy flowing through the lobby I began to understand that PodCamp was much more than I thought, and I knew it was going to be well worth the drive to Pittsburgh.
Networking at PodCamp
Because I have spent nearly my entire Internet marketing career working in the Philadelphia area I didn’t realize the opportunites closer to home, but the first thing I realized at PodCamp Pittsburgh was that social media is very much alive in Pittsburgh, and I was standing in a situational enviroment that lends itself perfectly to networking with the Pittsburgh marketers. When you are at PodCamp you meet new people while standing in line for the sessions, during lunch, and even while riding the elevators. It’s so easy to meet new people at PodCamp that you meet people even when you aren’t trying to.
Learning at PodCamp
I have to admit that I thought most of the sessions would be entry level lectures at best, and some of them were. But many of the sessions were actually more like group discussions, and for me the group discussions were the most interesting because they confirmed to me that I was doing many things right with my marketing. And by doing things right I mean from my search engine optimization to taking blog photos to building my email contact lists. For example, Culinary Cory spoke about his experiences as a food blogger. Now I’m not a food blogger, but I do blog about my experiences in the outdoors while paddling a canoe, and I thought maybe I could learn a few things from a successful food blogger. You might ask what do a food blogger and an outdoor blogger have in common, and I can tell you that we have a lot in common because we have similar blogging styles despite the difference in blogging topics. I am doing many of the same things Culinary Cory is doing with marketing and we have many of the same experiences.
I met a lot of other interesting people too. I sat next to a restaurant owner who mentioned she shifted some of her restaurant marketing toward social media, mainly Twitter. She also confirmed that she welcomed bloggers to come and review her restaurant. And Jamie was a novice marketer who was trying to figure out how to apply social media to her Pittsburgh touring business.
In retrospect probably the greatest confirmation that I took away from PodCamp Pittsburgh was that blogging and social media isn’t just another passing trend but it’s really here to stay as a form of communication in mainstream Internet media.
I recommend anyone interested in blogging or social media attends a PodCamp.