In an article for Directory of Boston about PodCamp Boston 4, I talked a bit about some of the big names leading big talks at #pcb4. Though I’m sure the “A-team” will deliver great presentations and lead engaging discussions, they’re not what I’m most excited about PodCamp 4. Rather, it’s the impromptu discussions that’ll develop and some of the lesser known names that have me pumped for today’s unconference.
While talking with Stuart Foster of The Lost Jacket yesterday, Stu admitted a bit of concern that no one will show up to his discussion as he’s talking opposite C.C. Chapman and Marta Kagan. Well, isn’t the whole point of an unconference, especially one revolving around new media, to hear new ideas from fresh faces?
Further, didn’t we all get into social media because it leveled the playing field and allowed everyone and anyone to have a voice? I know that’s a big part of why I love new media, it allows good ideas to rise to the surface no matter where they come from. So at PodCamp Boston 4, I do want to hear from the “A-team” but I also want to hear from the under-voiced. I want to hear from the new. I want to hear from those whom I haven’t heard from yet. I want to hear from the up and comers, the revolutionaries, the diamonds in the rough. This is your chance to shine. Your ideas are just as if not more valuable than the stars of the show.
Here’s three topics I’d love to talk about at PodCamp. Anyone and everyone is welcome, whether you’re a big superstar of the social media scene, a newcomer, or somewhere in between. Tweet at me or give me a call, 617 418 1055 if you’d like to meet up and discuss any of these topics.
How to Use Social Media to Implement Positive Hyper-Local Change
To me, social media is wicked grassroots. All it really takes is an internet connection and a computer, and even those two requirements can be obtained free of charge with a library card.
So, anyone and everyone can hop online and let their voices be heard. How can we leverage the never before seen freedom of voice we all now possess to push positive change on our streets, neighborhoods and cities?
Does Content Want to Be Free and If So How Can Content Producers be Paid?
I’m betting a 100% of the people at PodCamp produce, or at least consume, lots of content for free. And I’m betting a lot of those people would concur that when content is free (as in beer and as in speech, but mostly as in speech), it’s quality is better than paid, restricted content. The power of content comes not only from the content, but also its ability to be shared, analyzed and improved upon.
But, if the ideal mode of content is free, how can we ensure content producers are paid for their time so that they continue to pump out value? As newspapers and other media outlets turn to paid content, this issue will grow in importance. For our communities, free content is ideal but how can we balance that with the need for content producers to eat?
Does Social Media Have a Cult of Personality?
Bringing it all back, a big feature of new media is its ability to give anyone and everyone a powerful voice that can challenge and even supersede the mainstream media. But, as social media has taken off, have we become guilty of replacing one big voice with another? Is that OK, because the new big voices are more open to discussion, or have we fallen back on some of the old traps of old media?
Are big ideas drowned out by big names, and if so what can we do to reverse the course? Are we devaluing our medium by creating new mainstream voices? Or are we showing its true power to allow anyone to make their voices heard across the globe?
Personally, I think it’s a mix of the two. Some voices have gotten mainstream big and might be drowning out others, but at the same time those same voices have propelled the medium into the limelight. I think we need big names to act as leaders and representatives for the medium but also have to be constantly looking for big ideas from the voices that might not (yet) have a huge audience. We should look at the ideas that come out of new media, not necessarily where they come from.
These three topics revolve around things I find interesting. They’re mostly off the cuff ideas, some of which may lack good discussion points but hey, it’s still a bit early in the morning and I’m mostly trying to get the creative juices flowing. If any of the above talking points strike you as interesting or valuable, hit me up and let’s talk! Above all, my biggest goal for PodCamp Boston 4 is to meet and talk with some new people, connect with some online friends in-person and re-connect with others, no matter the context of those talks. Looking forward to some interesting discussions over the next two days!
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