Podcamp Pittsburgh 3

October 17-19, about two weekends ago, I attended Podcamp Pittsburgh 3. Having helped/listened throughout the planning process for the event I really wanted to be sure I showed up. In my last post I talked about heading to the meet and greet on Friday night. Since I had been able to go to the second Podcamp last August, I knew about a quarter to a third of the crowd who came. It was a good time socializing, chatting with people I knew ahead of time, meeting people in person for the first time I’d become social media friends with and meeting new people altogether. The meet and greet was also the first time I’d visited the AlphaLab space, though I’d heard of it and driven past a number of times. Afterward, many of the group (including myself) wandered a couple doors down to the Double Wide Grill to continue the conversation (and for some, drink more).

When I got home I spent some time working on my presentation for the next day, but for some reason or another just didn’t get it done—I’d become too tired to focus. Saturday came early for me, partly because it’s typically a day I sleep in a bit and partly because I’d been up relatively late. I had hoped to be to AiP early so I could help set up and get things ready, but that didn’t happen and it looked like there was enough hands to help anyway. I hung out in the main room for the morning and paid some attention to the sessions but mostly worked on finalizing my two o’clock presentation.

Because I was going to talk about photography in “Worth a Thousand Words: Photography 101” and wanted to be sure I had examples, I put together a PowerPoint (which may be downloaded for reference here—its 20Mb). The material I had seemed to go all right, but I felt like I went really fast even though I tried not to. I covered topics like the rule of thirds, contrast and leading lines. In about 15-20 minutes I was done. I’ve not done many presentations before except for ones at school, so I sort of floundered and answered questions for the remaining 20 minutes or so.  The two resources for tutorials I mentioned in my presentation were Digital Photography School and Cambridge in Colour but we also discussed which applications are useful for photo editing and organizing, kinds of cameras and online photo editors like Picnik, Photoshop Express and Aviary. I hope those who attended learned a few things and will feel better enabled to take interesting photographs.

The rest of the afternoon seems like it was a bit of a blur to me, I honestly don’t really remember which sessions I attended. I think I wandered around some and took pictures, listened in the doorway of a couple and hung out in the lounge. Around 5:30 the after party crowd assembled at Red Star across the Smithfield Street bridge in Station Square. I tried to be social and not just hold down the floor. I did meet a couple new people and spent a good hour or so conversing. We were so busy talking that I almost missed getting a photo of the now-tradition of 649 shots.  This is the only one I took: the bartender pouring the 20 some-odd shots. Nonetheless, it was a good time. I really do need to work on talking to more people and not just standing around waiting for someone to talk to me. I’ve been doing better but suspect I have more to learn.

Sunday afternoon, I arrived just as lunch was finishing and didn’t see a session that looked particularly interesting to crash so I hung out in the lounge some and talked with other attendees who were also there. The second to last presentation I attended was a video recording of a music lesson by Walt Ribeiro. He’s a rather dynamic guy, totally enthusiastic about the topic. Since I’ve had music lessons in some form or another since I was six or seven the topic of time signatures was nothing new to me, but I found his approach and explanation to make sense that would probably click with today’s kids.

One thing I missed from the morning sessions is a group blog project for the Pittsburgh area that is going by the name of OMGPittsburgh. From what I gather, the intent is that many authors from the area would post articles about greater Pittsburgh to highlight various portions and things about the city, visitors and other residents just might miss because they are some best-kept-secret. I think it’s a good idea, so I’ll probably be posting (or at least copying something I’ve written) there on occasion. I’ve got a couple posts in the works about my visits to a couple of the local museums.

Overall, Podcamp Pittsburgh 3 seems to have gone pretty well. I sort of feel like I should probably have gone to other sessions and might have gotten more out of the conference, but I’ve been reading that videos of several sessions have been posted online so I’m definitely planning to check them out. I know I met a number of people and I think I’ve connected with most via my various social outposts on Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, Flickr, etc. but if you haven’t and would like to look me up, follow the links on my about page.

Another cool thing that is a new thing since last Podcamp, in addition to continuing to work with the area libraries, is that we are going to try to have monthly meet-ups. The first of these is 7pm, November 19 at the Firehouse Lounge in the Strip District. See you there!


1 Response to “Podcamp Pittsburgh 3”

  1. 1 Justin Kownacki
    November 4, 2008 at 12:49

    … and if anybody wants MORE PENS, please contact http://twitter.com/gaypgh because I believe Jason still has about 200 of them left over. (When you order swag in bulk, there’s no controlling the outcome…)

    Probably the most apt line above? “I honestly don’t remember what sessions I attended.” Every year, PCPGH becomes more of a blur for everyone. Next year we might need to videotape everything, including the hallway conversations…

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