Archive for the ‘PodCamp’ Category


Voting now

September 25, 2006

We have 63 essays to read about PodCamp Boston to vote on the video iPod giveaway. Here’s how it is working. I’ve stripped all identifying data from the entries and numbered them randomly, 1-63. Each of the other organizers excluding me will return their vote for the best essay (best == essay most helpful to us for improving the next PodCamp Boston) and a runner up. 2 points for their first choice. 1 point for their second choice. All entries will be ranked and scored, and the absolute point winner gets the iPod video. If there’s a tie, we flip a coin. Judges will have their results in Wednesday.

iPod nano will be drawn randomly.


PodCamp Legal Stuff

September 24, 2006

Mark Blevis pointed out in the Podcasting User Magazine article that PodCamp does need to make explicit its legal status. It’s a very good and important point, so here’s the legal announcement.

Brand, Name, and Marks

The PodCamp name and all associated marks are protected by US and International Copyright under the Berne Convention. The PodCamp name and all associated marks are owned by Chris Brogan and Christopher S. Penn as founders of PodCamp.

Licensing and Liability

Individual PodCamps may license the PodCamp name free of charge under the following conditions:

  • PodCamps may not charge admission to individual attendees except to defer cost of venue rental.
  • PodCamps must disclose their ledgers and financial statements in full, with the exception of donors and sponsors who request anonymity.
  • PodCamps may not sublicense the brand for commercial purposes except with prior written permission.
  • PodCamps must release content generated at PodCamps under a Creative Commons license.
  • Even though an event may use the PodCamp name and brand, event organizers are liable for any legal repercussions of their events. By licensing the PodCamp name, event organizers indemnify and hold harmless the PodCamp copyright holders of all liability.

For all other uses of the PodCamp name and brand, the copyright holders grant usage rights under the Creative Commons By Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license.

CC License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 License.

The PodCamp name, brand, and all associated marks.
Christopher S. Penn
Chris Brogan and Christopher S. Penn



Session: Podcasting 101 with Apple’s Garageband

September 22, 2006

Christopher Penn presents Garageband 3.0 for beginners.



September 22, 2006

Justin from says hello!


Lessons Learned from PodCamp

September 19, 2006

reprinted from the Grasshopper Factory

Christopher S. Penn, my coFounder of PodCamp did a great write-up of lessons learned for the event at the official PodCamp blog. I thought I’d take a moment to write down some thoughts on the event from my perspective. All of these lessons pertain to things beyond the scope of PodCamp.

Just Starting

When I read the emails and mailing list posts from this time, there were lots of people not really interested in what I was saying about PodCamp. Some of the local folks thought I was suggesting a meet-up, only larger. Others were saying that we had lots of great talent locally. And yet, Chris and I pushed forward to do it.

The lesson here: sometimes people can’t see what you’re saying, or can’t understand your vision. If you see it, press on. Just work harder at explaining the vision in different ways until it clicks.


Asking for money was tricky for me at first. I felt weird doing it. I felt like I knew the value of what I was asking people to support, but that I didn’t have a great way to communicate that value. Further, I didn’t understand early on that one of the core elements to this equation of “Will you give me money?” is “What’s in it for me?” I mean, this makes sense to YOU, but I wasn’t in the business of asking for money. We learned quickly how to appropriately explain the value proposition of the event itself, and the benefits we’d give back to those giving us money.

The lesson: Don’t be afraid to ask, but think through how you’ll explain it, and think through how you’ll show people what they get in return.

Working for Passion

Working on PodCamp was really a lot of hours. Chris and I were putting in something like 40 or 50 hours a week on this work, not counting our day jobs, and not counting our podcasts. (In my case, I produce the back end of three – until recently, as my team has stepped up very well!) It got pretty crazy near the end, working long into the night on sponsor letters, and on nailing down all the little details.

But it was worth it. Working for passion is always going to nail the hell out of working for “a job.” It was such a dream to get this thing from an idea to a fully executed plan. I fell in love with the concept, and it showed. I was well-rewarded for my passion, and I think the team in general worked really well on that level. Chris, Bryan, Steve, Adam, and Sooz all really worked from their hearts, it felt like to me. And I think we all got a little reward along the way for that.

Lesson: no matter what, passion rules, and even in the short term if it seems like it’s not paying off, keep at it. They’re not lying. Do what you love…


We worked so hard on promoting this thing, and at the end of the day, I got about 100 emails after the fact saying, “I didn’t know this was going on.” I think some of those were well-wishers after the fact, but I think it’s also true that the splintered-attention nature of the web makes it downright horrible to try and promote something. We were fortunate to get up on RocketBoom a few days before the event (and then again after). We really did a great bit of work in reaching out through our social networks, but in the end, it took heralds.

Heralds are those types that have big hills and loud trumpets. C.C. Chapman is a herald. Rocketboom is a herald. We had lots of podcasters and bloggers giving us the love right before things happened.

Oh, and for every herald, you need courtiers. These are those types who do things behind the scenes and make magic happen. Steve Garfield and Bryan Person both have really deep ties in several courts, and without them, I doubt we’d have had half the attendance.

Lesson: promote all you want, but without heralds and courtiers, you’ve got nothing.


It was very important to me to call people participants instead of attendants. I stressed at every opportunity during the event that we wanted people to lean forward, to help out, to do the work. This event was by the people, for the people. Chris and the rest of us didn’t set this up to run the show. We just wanted to get the engine moving. It became a big part of the success.

I think it’s hard to tell people an event sucks if you’re given the responsibility of making it NOT suck. I had some great brief experiences with people in and around PodCamp. They all seemed to boil down to falling in love with the participants and what they were into. The more I could identify and love them, the more it felt like we had something successful going on. That mattered to me, and I think other people felt that same love.

Lesson: nothing gets done without people. Show them your love, and everything else will fall into place.

The Future

We’ve got lots of great PodCamp activity already happening. The beauty of it all? Chris and I are working to help each team, but also working to stress that they’re the superstars. They are the front line. We’ll be helpful and give all we can give. But this is an open-source event. It will be just as successful as Boston, based on the efforts of those who organize it. I’m thrilled to death to see such movement. I’m looking forward to helping out and at least participating in each of the PodCamps coming up. (I might have to raise money to attend them all, but whatever).

The future is in participation, no matter if it’s in media or in conferences. I see this the same way you see sunshine and breakfast.

Lesson: you know the lesson.

I look forward to being helpful. Let me know what else you need.

–Chris Brogan keeps a blog at []. He’s coFounder of PodCamp


New Comm Road Episode 014: Five stories from PodCamp

September 18, 2006

In Episode 014 of New Comm Road, Bryan Person, a PodCamp organizer, recounts five stories from PodCamp Boston 2006 and shares five new-media lessons we can take from those stories.

You can also check out the show notes.


PodCamp Lessons Learned : Fundraising

September 17, 2006

Money is the lifeblood of conferences, just as it is for any business. Here’s some of the things that I learned as the money guy for PodCamp Boston.

1. Establish a value proposition early on. Initially, we had just what we’d taken away from BarCamp, which was establishment of goodwill and branding to technology geeks. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to take that to the bank, and as both organizer and corporate sponsor, I wanted more. So the organizers started to think about what we could offer sponsors to take a risk on an inaugural event. What’d we come up with?

* Branding is still important.
* Make sure you give LOTS of link love to sponsors. People underestimate the value of link text in search engine optimization – a well trafficked, established site that promotes a sponsor’s link text is exceptionally valuable.
* UnExpo. This was by far the most controversial idea of all initially. A LOT of people hated it at first glance, asking what would then separate an xCamp from a regular conference. It turned out pretty well, all things considered. In my mind, I believe that there’s a balance between grassroots “damn the Man” activism and crass commercialism. I think you can have a nice mix of both, to give sponsors the opportunity to show things they legitimately believe would be of interest to podcasters.
* Extras. As we started to explore new ways of getting the word out about PodCamp, we kept building new avenues of value for sponsors. We’re still rolling out content on the feed, and interspersing it with sponsors’ promos. The DVD that we’re going to be releasing will have sponsors named on it as well.

2. Find your verticals. Initially, we started asking around for sponsors, and found that the scattered, “hey let’s ask X” approach worked pitifully poorly. We refocused our search and came up with four approaches that worked well.

* If a company has Pod* in its name, ask.
* If a company has i* in its name, ask.
* Figure out who is most likely to be interested in learning about new media, then go out and grab an industry directory and raid it. I used the Boston Business Journal’s Book of Lists, and went after Boston’s top 25 advertising and startup companies. The advertising companies came through the most – KMC Partners, Aloft Group, and Porter Novelli, among others.
* Raid other directories. Take a look at who’s sponsoring BarCamps and the PME and other podcasting gatherings. Ask.

3. Determine what to ask. We started out initially asking for $200, because that seemed to be a reasonably low number to ask for. I found out later on that asking too low actually seemed unattractive, as if the event was smaller than it sounded. Ask high to start, and scale down when possible. Maybe $1K to start?

4. Highball the crap out of your budget. I’ll be honest – my initial estimates for the costs of PodCamp were off by quite a bit. Happily, I’d built in a LOT of fudge factor in cost estimates, so we weren’t that far off from the $9K I’d roughly guesstimated at the outset. Highball everything so you have some buffer, and then you’ll be able to cover the unexpected stuff.

5. Never, ever use Name Badge Productions dot com for anything. I’m STILL waiting for the shipment of name badges and lanyards for PodCamp Boston – and I ordered on August 28. They officially suck, and I will never, ever do business with them again. Memo to self: challenge the charge on the Amex.

6. Feed the wiki ledger from Excel. I set up my private ledger in Excel to auto-create the wiki markup from the spreadsheet. This was a HUGE timesaver, and also kept the ledger clean – if someone had monkeyed around with it, the privaate spreadsheet’s update wiped out the changes. Also, having a private spreadsheet lets you have the flexibility of anonymous donors.

7. Publish the wiki ledger. Transparency is important, and nowhere is transparency more important than when it comes to money. Even if you’re running a surplus, keep the ledger open, because you can be hit with surprise charges at any time, and it’s good to show people how their money is being managed. Be detailed in its usage.

Christopher S. Penn, PodCamp Boston Money Guy


Session: Podcast Formats Panel

September 17, 2006

A recording from Whitney Hoffman of the formats panel talk.



September 17, 2006 weighs in with their audio promo.


The True Power of PodCamp

September 17, 2006

PodCamp: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Shikin haramitsu daikomyo. Every experience contains the potential for the enlightenment we seek, every moment of life has the potential for us to have that “A-HA!” power, when it all comes together. Call it the perfect storm or the alignment of the stars or the will of xDeity, but PodCamp Boston felt like that moment in time. Nearly 300 people came together, a mix of the powerful and soon-to-be powerful, the ready, the willing, the eager. Everyone came to learn, egos checked at the door, and the result was nothing short of amazing.

I’m even more excited to see so many people not only eager for the next PodCamp Boston, but also eager to take the PodCamp concept and bring it to their own cities and towns. I’m all for the idea – PodCamp was essentially a remix of the BarCamp idea, so I see absolutely no reason for other people to remix PodCamp Boston for what’s appropriate in their cities. I’m very excited to see that the UnConference style of collaboration is spreading to other formats as well. We all have something to share, and I wholly believe Dave Winer’s UnConference maxim – the sum of the knowledge of the audience is greater than the sum of the knowledge of the guy or gal on stage.

I don’t talk about it a lot because the two worlds don’t usually mix, but in a lot of ways, PodCamp Boston reminds me a great deal of my black belt test in my martial art, budo taijutsu. Both were experiences that subjected us all to a great deal of stress, to see if we could walk the talk, and ultimately to change us for the better. PodCamp was a crucible. Take a lot of people, energy, and ideas, and mash them together under high speed, high intensity conditions for a few days, and see what happens.

When I took my test in 2004, I literally changed overnight. My whole perspective on the world, on what’s possible, on what I could do, changed that evening. PodCamp has felt very similar. We all got together, shared, grew, and changed – and now the energy that we forged together has been set free in the world. Like a stone dropping into a lake, the power that was PodCamp Boston is spreading, flowing throughout the new media world, and I encourage it with all my heart.

A lot of people have asked me how they can capture and keep the feeling of PodCamp alive. I had the exact same question after my black belt test, how to keep that amazing, soaring feeling going as long as possible. You can’t capture it, but you can create and nurture environments where it can grow again. Think about it like a seed that blossoms into a flower. Under certain conditions, it will grow and thrive. Under other conditions, it’ll die. If you want to feel like you’re at PodCamp all over again, start by organizing or joining a local podcasting group in your city or town. No group? Create one online. Get involved – talk to other people, and above all else, be sharing and giving with the knowledge and experience you gain. Every one of us is at a certain point in our path through life. There will always be people ahead of us, and people behind us. Want the power of PodCamp in your life? Ask the people ahead of you respectfully for their advice and counsel – and LISTEN to them when they offer it. Then pass the lessons and experience you gain to the people behind you if they ask for it, and be generous with it.

That’s the power of PodCamp. Now go out and make a difference.

Christopher Penn, PodCamp Co-Founder & Organizer