I am very pleased to announce that, along with some great players (namely Craig and Jon), Halifax is going to have a podcamp on January 25th. The even more interesting news (for librarydom) is that it will be hosted at the Alderney Gate Library with support from MPOW.
So. . . you might have some questions? Like these ones?
What the heck is a podcamp?
Maybe not. Well, each of these is a way of turning the tables on the idea of an “expert” speaker giving information to a curious audience. In an unconference, the audience is the expert and the “speaker’s” role is to listen and/or get as much out of that audience as he/she can. There are alot of ways to do this, but lemme discuss that in a different bullet point.
A podcamp, specifically is an unconference about blogs, wikis, podcasts, vidcasts and other social or “new” media. The idea was first introduced by Chris Brogan. The unique thing about a podcamp is that all the information is podcasted and released under a creative commons license afterwards.
Why a Podcamp in Halifax, Nova Scotia?
I have a few responses to this:
- why not a podcamp in Halifax, Nova Scotia?
- we never had a podcamp in Halifax before.
- based on what I see and hear out in the world, I think there is an opportunity for a New Media Rennaissance in Halifax. A podcamp could spark that IMHO.
- it’s an opportunity to meet other people who are interested/curious/enthusiastic about New Media. How could you not be interested?
- Oh yeah. There will be refreshments too.
What is Going to Happen at the Podcamp?
Ah. This is where the magic happens. To facilitate the podcamp, we are going to use something called “Open Space.” That means that the people who sign up for the podcamp get to choose what will be on the agenda. We will set up a form for people to submit a conversation/presentation. These presentations/conversations will be posted in a matrix on a website and all over the library. On the day, you get to go to the sessions you like and you’ll know where an when because the matrix will tell you. If you are in a session, you can use the “Law of Two Feet” at any time you like: if you are not getting value where you are, you have the responsibility to yourself to use your two feet and walk where you will find value. It’s pretty simple and pretty fun!
Why Would a Library Host a Podcamp?
Well, our mission is “Halifax Public Libraries is the life-long learning centre of the Community and the place people turn to for the discovery of ideas, the joy of reading and the power of information.” Couple of things to highlight there:
- it’s a place, or better yet, a “Place”. Podcamps happen in a “place.”
- the library is about life-long learning. You can learn alot about social media at a podcamp.
- a library’s about the discovery of ideas — podcamps are about discovering ideas too!
- a library encourages finding joy in reading. You can read about what happened afterwards after people blog about it. And, if you want to read something while you are podcamp, well we won’t stop you.
- a library wants to show you the power of information. Social media is a good example of that power in action.
Podcamp isn’t until January! What do you want me to do about it now?
If you are a blogger, podcaster, techy or social media enthusiast who is going to be in Halifax in January, I’d love to hear from you. What I’ll do is exchange a few emails with you (cc to Jon and Craig) to see how we could get get you involved. No stuffing envelopes, promise! We just want your ideas.
Tell your friends, both online and offline that this is going on.
Look out for this blog or the podcamp wiki to see when and where you can register (expect to see the announcement in late November sometime).
Want your business to participate as a sponsor? Just get in touch with me (i’ll probably forward you on to Jon or Craig).
Got any other questions? Please leave a comment! I might answer or maybe there’ll be other folks that do it — but you’ll get an answer one way or another.