I went to a wonderful meeting at the Bravo Group last night, for the Social Media Club, started by Howard Greenstein. Howard has started many local chapters of the Social Media Club, and it’s something we need desperately in Philadelphia.
There are an amazing number of interesting people in Philadelphia, involved in podcasting, blogging, and video blogging. My early attempts to start a Philadelphia Podcasting group fell a little flat, but it did help get the Podcamp Philly group started, and I think it would really be better cast as a Phila Area New Media Group, aligned with or in addition to the Social Media Club. The New England Area Podcasters and Boston Media Makers groups are very active, bringing the new media people together on almost a monthly basis in Boston, and I have long been jealous, nay, outright covetous of their well organized and tight knit community, and I want something close to home that emulates this.
The Social Media Club’s initial attendees were largely business and PR oriented. They are smart people, trying to get into the blog/podcast/vcast space, but many could up their game substantially by attending any Podcamp. (Of course, we hope they will all come and participate in Podcamp Philly on September 7, 8, and 9th at Drexel University. ) If you are interested in participating, speaking at, or sponsoring Podcamp Philly, please go to the wiki, or you can contact me directly either through a post here, or by email at ldpodcast AT gmail DOT com.
I learned more in a day at PodCamp Boston than I could have learned in a semester at any college. It was eye opening and mind blowing. I felt like I really undestood what networking was after this event for the very first time. Let me explain.
For most people, networking means having superfiscial conversations with a few people, exchanging business cards, following up with an email, perhaps, but largely collecting cards like poker chips, and saving them for future reference. At PodCamp Boston, I met a ton of people, and have ongoing online relationships that range from business to blogging gigs to just plain friends who I love and admire with no fewer than eighteen people. Imagine, attending one event, and getting to know a ton of people, but in less than a year, having eighteen close friends you would have no problems contacting and connecting with your other “real world” friends, knowing they would not only get along, but develop deep and lasting connections that would benefit everyone. Eighteen people scattered across the Country and Canada, you would happily have over to your home, and would feel comfortable calling them up in a minute if you were in town, to go grab a bite or simply hang. These are netwoking ties that are like T-1 lines- they are strong connections, not tenuous ones. They are the connections that enrich my life, the way I look at New Media, and how I problem-solve.
And it’s funny, because I was pretty shy at first at Podcamp Boston. I didn’t know who to talk to, and felt kind of alone, and perhaps over my head. People I considered Podcasting Rock Stars, like CC Chapman and Julien Smith were there, as well as marketing genuises like Mitch Joel. But Chris Brogan and Chris Penn, introduced me to others, pointed people in my direction (and I had never met them before this), and made this group of 250 people feel like a very small town of like minded people. I could never have imagined how this one day in September would change my life, but I am a different person and see the world from a different point of view now. And it is a richer, more connected, and more meaningful world than before.
At PodCamp NYC, my on line world and my real world, so to speak, will align. My family will be coming up to NYC with me. While this means my husband will be showing the kids the sights of Manhattan while I attend my own version of Geekstock, my family with be able to connect my online friends to real people. I think this will finally unite my two worlds into one unified world, with infinite possibilities opening up as we move forward.