Before I begin, I will preface this by saying that I am not good at interacting with people. One-to-One communication is lost on me as I can not bring myself to actually approach people. Thank god for smokers as they’ll talk to anyone- even the people standing by themselves outside waiting for the whole thing to be over. Now when it is one-to-many, me and an audience, I’m fine. My public speaking skills can use some work but for the most part, I can hold my own. The point is I could have gotten a lot more out of this had I been willing to actually communicate with the people there I was so excited to be in contact with.
With that said, things I’ve learned:
- Mac users really do think they’re superior to PC users, and don’t hesitate to pound that into the ground when given the opportunity. Thankfully I have a mac.
- Everyone is concerned with making money, but there is very little concern about content.
- There is a movement afoot that is trying to shoehorn podcasting, videoblogging and other new media into a format that is palatable to traditional forms of media consumption. This movement is in place partly due to short-sightedness of participants, and partly by the corporate interests that are already consuming far too much mindshare at events like podcamp.
- There is a huge amount of bias against YouTube. I heard “America’s Funniest Home Videos” repeatedly over the weekend. What these folks don’t get is that that’s where the audience actually is with web video, and while we’re bitching about finding an audience and getting sponsored, YouTube users are building communities around their homemade content- and lot of which is actually quite compelling.
- Corporate sponsorship frames the conversation at these events. From Network2 to Scion, they were everywhere and they all wanted a piece. The smell of money is now in the air, and everyone is grabbing for it. Of course I am partially to blame, as it was an “unconference“- I should have done more to shift the overall discussion.
- The economics of podcasting is really uncertain, but I can tell you this: There are not enough viewers or advertisers in the world to get everybody paid, and that is the way it should be. The people who rise to the top are going to be the ones who work really really hard, build communities, and define themselves for the space. Not by simply transferring old paradigms onto new contexts. There is big money in TV because for a long time it was the only venue for video and there was a limited number of channels, a limited amount of time. With no limit on bandwidth or time, the potential for ad revenue will drop as media becomes a-dime-a-dozen.
- Alive in Baghdad was one of the few people actually discussing the potential of new media as a disruptive force. Most people were trying to build “channels” and worry about whether pre-roll or post-roll ads were better. Brian is an inspiring individual and this work needs to be seen by everyone.
With all that said, I did meet some really nice people and most of my depression stemmed from my own inability to deal with situations like this. I learned a lot- particularly from the technical sessions on Saturday. Alex Lindsey must have an amazing amount of energy, and he was willing to put up with all kinds of crap to help people out and do what he could. The Tikibar folks too were very gracious and had a few questions for the 54 hour presentation.
I sat in on a session of GeekRiot with Shawn Smith. Don’t know if he’s going to post it or not as some of it was non-optimal. We were just starting to get to a good place when the session ended.
I am going to try to go to the Philly podcamp to rep with BK and Wrestling Team. Hopefully we’ll be a little better prepared to discuss the art of the medium, the potential of it, and the actual future of online audio and video outside of where the money is going to take it.