Podcamp Boston 6 Day 1

Chris Penn / Chris Brogan Another year, another Podcamp Boston! Although I hadn’t planned on attending this year, I’ve been on a mission to get out of the basement office and start socializing! I used to get intimidated by these kind of conferences, but over the years I’ve been able to put aside the anxiety of not being “cool” or “outgoing”. Now, I just go to see what happens, letting relationships build naturally over the years. It helps that I also know a few more people in the local scene.

Social Media has never been a top-of-mind topic for me, and so I was fully prepared to spend the the day hanging out in the lounge to work and chat. However, I sensed that the Social Media scene has also backed away from the magic-bullet approach of recent years to embrace one of 2011’s ongoing themes: do the work. I ended up attending a session for every slot during the day:

  • As I have been thinking a lot about business, I thought I would attend Business 101 for Nerds with Whitney Hoffman. It was a little more basic than what I was looking for, so I invoked the law of two feet and checked out The 7 Deadly Sins of Digital Business Innovation hosted by David Wieneke. I caught the tail end of a discussion of social media adoption by old-school business leaders, and I was impressed by the timbre of Wieneke’s reasoned observations. He has a session on Sunday as well, so I think I’ll watch that one from the beginning.

  • Next, I dropped in on Selling Out with David Cutler. This was a good general overview of the mentality and focus one needs for making sales from a positive perspective. Much of this I was already familiar with, and toward the end I asked a question about how people who didn’t share a positive outlook toward sales could get over it. My tone was, perhaps, a bit negative. To his credit, Cutler suggested that I find something that I could get excited about, but also called me on my just not wanting to deal with it. This is true! The larger issue, I think, is that there is a disparity in attitude between people who love to sell and people who would rather be making, and I suspect it is a disconnect of personality and motivation. Packaging the sales mentality with maker philosophy would be, I think, a wonderful thing to figure out. I believe he mentioned something about a book for “right-brained business”, which might be The Right Brain Business Plan. I’ve not read it, but I’ll add it to my pile. (UPDATE: @adjtech commented me today that she had mentioned this book during our conversation in the networking/cookie hour afterwards. It looks like a cool book!)

  • I got a bit of the answer to the “maker vs salesman” motivation conundrum in the next session, Breaking the Bell Curve: Standing out in a Sea of Same, which I attended because I saw a slide from The Bachelor from the outside of the room that promised something funny. I’m glad I went; this was a highly-engaging and entertaining presentation by Tamsen McMahon, that filled in the emotional gap I still had from the previous session. My takeaway was that perhaps I was wrong to NOT consider my existing audience that would, I had thought, lock me into a role that limited my freedom of expression. After listening to McMahon’s talk, my takeaway was that being myself, expressed in the terms other people understand was an acceptable balance. Understanding isn’t necessarily categorization or labeling or parameter setting. It reminded me of what my Wave buddy Colleen has described as You, Amplified, boiled down into something that would fit tersely inside a fortune cookie.

  • After lunch, I checked out Smarter Social Media Monitoring with Tom Webster. This was an eye-opening presentation on the possibilities of using Social Media monitoring to discover and ask substantive questions. He presented a continuum of evolution, from monkey-like click counting to more evolved methods of determining direct/indirect behaviors. This was a highly insightful and engaging presentation, and managed to be funny and irreverent in just the right places.

  • Closing out the day, I attended Chris Penn’s session Designing Social Media Influence, which presented a structured look at the various elements that comprise “influence” in social media. This was an informative overview, and he mentioned a book called Influence that to explains the various means by which we are persuaded. I love that kind of stuff, so I immediately Kindled it. Apparently Penn is something of a gun and MMORPG enthusiast too. Intriguing!


p>Overall, it was a thought-provoking day. I also met a few people and caught up with friends while surviving one of the most humid days I’ve ever experienced in Boston. And personally speaking, it was good to be reminded that there are intelligent, nerdy, insightful peeps all around me. I just gotta reach out and give a little more.

Looking forward to Day 2!

Allison Priole PCB6Whitney Hoffman PCB6David Weineke PCB6 Lunch!Steve and Diane Brogan PCB6


  1. Lani Voivod 4 years ago

    Hey Dave! How wonderful it is to go through the day in your shoes. Thanks for taking the time to post your views and experience. It was wonderful to connect with you at the cookie mixer at the end of Day 1. Hope to see you in a few hours… :)

  2. Allen Voivod 4 years ago

    It was great to meet you there, Dave! You and I shared a couple of sessions and I’d second your emotion on them, and I think I’ve found the serendipitous opportuinties to meet folks like you has been the best thing about it. You’ve come across my radar a few times over the years in the Twitterverse, and it was a pleasure to close that loop and meet you in person. Looking forward to seeing you in the stream, and IRL in the future too!

  3. RalfLippold 4 years ago

    Wow – great to hear, even though way on the other side of the Atlantic in Dresden, Germany. Remember quite well my invitation to come to Podcamp 2009 by Jeff Cutler – even giving a short interview on LockSchuppen. Amazing how times are racing ;-) And the Web enables connections across boundaries in space and time with grace!

  4. Erica M 4 years ago

    Dave Seah and Chris Penn in the same room at the same time! So much brain power, my head’s gonna explode just thinking about it.

A message from Dave:

I really believe we all benefit when we share our own perspectives on common experiences. It would be great if you added your own anecdotes and comments, even if you don't necessarily agree with the premise of the post; that's just good conversation in my book. The house rules are "treat each other with kindness and respect" and "enjoy the flow of ideas!"

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