The Great Parts
1. As a first-time presenter at PodCamp Pittsburgh, I got a ton of encouragement and support. It helped a lot that two of my sessions were panel discussions, and really, I was there more to introduce the topics than anything else. I give my panelists (Eric and Mike did the bulk of the trolls panel, and Lisa, Danielle, and Andy did the bulk of the bully panel) all of the credit. Especially Eric, as he put together the majority of the slides and did the majority of the talking.
2. People actually showed up for my solo session! I mean, only about eight people (I started with more, but I think a few realized they were early for the Troll Panel). But as I was there to talk about blogging about grief, I did not expect a huge turnout. Props to @Mr_Ski_Pgh and @Firemom (also: squeee, I finally got to meet Firemom!) for having great questions. (Adam also had a great question, but I only got his first name.) I really hope that the people who came learned something. If nothing else, maybe they learned they were not alone in whatever grief they have.
3. Also, I did not puke or cry during any of my sessions. I don’t think I visibly sweated through any of my clothing. I survived, and even had fun. (My solo session wasn’t fun, per se, but I think it had value, and I’m glad I did it.)
4. Meeting new people. I can’t list them all here (mostly because I’m afraid I will leave someone out). But if I met you for the first time at either the @alphalab Meet and Greet or at the Saturday Podcamp sessions or lunch — I’m so glad. You are lovely. Thank you for your encouragement, your hugs, letting me play on Team Nice, and/or anything else you did or said to me. You are the best. I’m not kidding.
5. Seeing people I haven’t seen in a while. Most of my interaction with people in social media is through social media, primarily Twitter (with this here blog and Facebook in the distance). Because of my “real life” (mom of three, lovin’ wife, house maven, suburb dweller, full-time employee, etc., etc.) I don’t get to get out more to be social without the media. Podcamp is my big opportunity (even though I can hear my husband rolling his eyes from here) to completely be out IRL with people I like a whole bunch. I got to have more and longer conversations with Pittsburgh tweeps (and some non-Pittsburgh tweeps who made the trip). *Group hug!*
6. I cannot say enough nice things about the organizers, the volunteers, and the people who did the sessions I managed to attend (not enough, and more on that below).
I didn’t introduce myself to enough people. I don’t know who is going to believe this, but I’m actually shy.
I didn’t take any pictures.
I did too many sessions, especially the way they were grouped (one after the other Saturday afternoon). I had started out wanting to do a panel on Trolling and Cyberbullying. Once my panel of five other people came together, we discovered there was so much to say about trolls and about cyberbullying, that we spilt into two sessions. And then I had the bright idea for my grief session. I should’ve held onto that for next year.
I only went for one day. I hired a babysitter for all day on Saturday, and she was worth every penny I paid her. But I should’ve bribed my husband with whatever he wanted so that I could go back on Sunday. That price, too, would have been worth it.
I went to Bar Louie too early. Should’ve followed the cool kids to Las Velas for better food and better drinks. Plus, I haven’t been there since their re-opening. Saturday was a perfect opportunity. I could’ve skipped Bar Louie all together.
Although then I would have missed @mattieflap telling some helpful co-eds that Miller Lite tastes like goat piss. That was pretty funny.
The Upshot: Go again. And get more people to come! I’ve got some Twitter peeps I know could have benefitted from PodCamp, and I’m dragging them next year. (@YouPickToo, I’m looking at you. *ahem*)