Podcamp Cape Town Wrap
So let's step back and take an overall view of the event. Firstly, it was disappointing to see the table's worth of unclaimed name tags (with 100 free Skyrove units). By our table's estimation close to a third of the confirmed attendees did not pitch (Glen, Max feel free to correct me). Sure it was Springbok rugby day, but Glen had been gracious enough to set a 5 o'clock time limit on an event which for all intents and purposes could have been an all weekend affair. Perhaps this is the problem with an event that proudly proclaims that there is no entrance fee? When no bucks have been laid out there isn't the same level of commitment to attend? In the same vein, many attendees left during or just after lunch, eager to get to the World Cup braais. The irony is that this was just the time where people were starting to get into the swing of what an un-conference was. The vibe was uber-relaxed, and participation felt a whole lot less intimidating.
Secondly, there were a couple of talks which seemed more like a sales pitch than discussion openers or network invitations. They could have learnt a lot from Jeremy Nell who entertained, informed and inspired while explaining his 'brand' without attempting to sell anything.
So now over to the positives. This 'little pioneering community' lacks nothing when it comes to enthusiam, innovative thinking, entrepeneurship, intellect and creativity. The excitement that resonated every time a speaker mentioned something that stretched the mind was palpable, and I just know that the 'new media' space in South Africa is going to see the results of those few hours spent in Obs.
While I took copious notes, I would be unable to provide a short summary of all the speaker's contributions. Those that stood out for was Dave Duarte's look at 'The Attention Economy', Brad Shrimpton's little insight into Apple IMC SA, Rowan of MyVideo's look at the quandry facing tose looking ot monetize online offerings in the new media space and of course Jeremy Nell's refreshingly unself-edifying 'talk' on comic-blogging.
I reckon it's a fair generalisation to say that all those attending left the venue enthused, motivated and, where necessary, rejuvenated, ready to get their teeth into the opportunites this 'new media' space offers to those willing to commit to it. To say that this space is still in it's infancy here in South Africa is probably an understatement, but be sure things are changing and do yourself a favour, mark down the names of attendees somewhere safe, these guys are going to become the movers and shakers.
So, hopefully, I have given a balanced take on the Podcamp Cape Town un-conference. Those of you who missed it, missed out, make sure you do not next time such an opportunity presents itself. Glen, Max & sponsors thanks for the commitment, hard work and dough you ploughed into this project. Eishman truly enjoyed the experience and appreciated your efforts.
Looking forward to the next one!
Oh, and one more critiscm ... not nearly enough beer was consumed ... this needs to be fixed next time!