Incredibly proud of the PodCamp community

PodCamp Boston 3 wrapped just hours ago, and I miss it already. The folks who attended made it one of the most amazing PodCamps yet, in terms of energy, passion, and excitement. I’m incredibly proud…

… of you. You made it to PodCamp Boston 3, made it your own conference, made some incredible discussions and shared amazing knowledge. I picked up some fantastic tips for my own work from my peers and shared as I could, but you made it happen. Plus, you helped raise just about $1,000 in cash for the Greater Boston Food Bank. The most amazing thing of all was your energy. Everywhere I went, there were intense, energized discussions, conversations, sing-alongs, and collaborations. Everyone made use of the venue and opportunity exactly as I’d hoped, to engage each other, to share their passion for new media and for making a difference in the world and our communities. As a presenter, I was happy to see more empty seats than normal, because it meant that people were out working together, collaborating, and making the conference their own.

… of my team. The PodCamp Boston 3 organizers – Chris Brogan, Chel Pixie, Sooz, Steve Sherlock, Doug Haslam, Whitney Hoffman, plus a TON of great volunteers all made PodCamp Boston 3 happen. I want to send three special shoutouts to Chel, Sooz, and Steve, who sat registration and skipped a LOT of the conference experience so that all of us could enjoy PodCamp Boston 3. They deserve tons of acknowledgement and recognition for their sacrifices and their dedication to PodCamp Boston, year after year.

… of our sponsors. Instead of raw shilling or crass commercialism, I was so pleased to see premium sponsors Blue Sky Factory and mDialog, plus sponsors Mzinga and Utterz, and sponsors Marketwire, MarketingProfs, Matchmine, ooVoo, Blip.tv, and Blubrry integrate themselves into the event. I saw frequently that sponsor tables were simply unmanned or abandoned, which meant that instead of trying to sell something, the sponsors were participating as part of the community, which was wonderful. I’ve been to a TON of conferences in the last year and a half, all around the world, and I have to say that the companies that step up and support the PodCamp community get it – they understand that community and business opportunity are not mutually exclusive.

… of our venue. Harvard’s team, largely behind the scenes, did an amazing job making sure everything was right, on time, and as promised, except for a technical problem beyond their immediate control. While I can never tell what the future holds, I’d have no trouble recommending or using Harvard Medical School as a conference venue again. The venue was well sized, well laid out with plenty of casual seating, included parking for attendees, and was overall a real treat.

… of my employer and wife. A special shout out to the Student Loan Network, because honestly, how many other companies out there let ANY of their employees create a conference while on lunch break? (incidentally, to my coworkers, that’s why I’ve been so anti-social at lunch the last week or two – sorry!) A double special shout out to my wife, whose husband has been working the equivalent of a second job for 3 months now. Honey, I’m home!

I hope you take to heart the message that Chris Brogan and I promoted this entire weekend. The time for talk only is over. New media, social media, whatever you want to call it, is an incredible power, the likes of which we as humans have never had before. We can affect events at great distances, see beyond walls, know the thoughts of others, influence millions without getting out of our chairs. I hope you take a step back, realize the power you have, and make something of it. I hope you DO something, whether it’s volunteer with a local charity, raise money for a food bank, help homeless kids, whatever your passion is, I hope your PodCamp Boston 3 experience has given you the means to begin improving your part of the world.

As Peter Parker’s uncle famously said, with great power comes great responsibility, and I hope you take advantage of the power you have while you can, while opportunities abound.

Thank you again, so much, for your energy and for making PodCamp Boston 3 such a memorable experience for me as both a participant and an organizer. I can’t wait to see what you do with what you got at PodCamp, and I hope to see you next in Philadelphia for PodCamp Philly.

Image courtesy CC Chapman

p.s. If you have any feedback on my little part of the conference, I’d love to hear about it on LinkedIn if possible.

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