Podcamp Montreal is behind us and after having a day or so to reflect on my experience I have a few observations. 

Day 2 of Podcamp was just as captivating as Day 1. I did only manage to attend a couple of sessions, but what I experienced was well worth it. 

C.C. Chapman and Mitch Joel did a compelling open-concept session about creating quality content. They covered everything from how to record good audio to the best way to interview people. Since I’m a video person, a lot of the tips were things I already knew. However, something really interesting struck me about their conversation, which, by the way, you can hear a portion of on the most recent episode of Mitch’s podcast Six Pixels of Separation

Podcasting is truly evolving (sorry Rob Blatt – I don’t think it’s dead either!). Back in 2006 when I attended Podcamp Toronto, almost every session had to do with monetization of podcasts and blogs. Everyone was touting the next great business model for making dough in social media. Well, in 2 years, we’ve learned a lot.

These days, people are definitely still interested in making money – but the emphasis has changed entirely. Now, conversations are centred around creating technically sound, content rich podcasts that build loyal followings of fans. The means of making cash is changing – podcasters and bloggers alike are realizing that by producing compelling content they can not only achieve a loyal fan base that is attractive to advertisers, they can attract potential clients who may enlist them to produce a similar type of quality product.

The other session I attended on Day 2 was with the always entertaining Julien Smith. At first, I felt a bit like I was at a rock concert rather than a presentation, as the crowd whooped and cheered as Julien was introduced. Julien’s gaming analogy drew people in right away, as he discussed how people need to up their game to become agents of trust in the social media space. Social capital is the “currency of the web” as he says, and being a trust agent means you are out there building that capital; by banding together, sharing, lifting each other up, and making the community work better for everyone. In the end, it’s all about people. Julien is writing a book on the subject of trust agents with Chris Brogan, and based on how engaged the audience at this session was, I am willing to bet that the book is going to be a resounding success (You heard it here first, folks – ha ha ha ha :-))

Aside from the terrific sessions I attended during this un-conference, the best part for me was being able to see old friends, like Jay Moonah and Bob Goyetche, and finally meeting some pals I’ve known only online until now, like the aforementioned C.C. Chapman and Rob Blatt. I also had a chance to meet some new people, like Dana (aka Wankergirl), Scarborough Dude and Sean from Akoha, and I look forward to getting to know them better as time goes on. 

Overall, Podcamp Montreal, in my opinion, was a wildly successful event, due in no small part to the hard work of the organizing committee, the many volunteers, and the generous support of lots of terrific sponsors.

I am officially hooked on Podcamps, and you will definitely see me lurking about at many more in the months to come. Hope to see you there!