Four years ago, I didn’t know what Podcamp was. Like most of my friends, I assumed, when I did hear about it, that it was about podcasting. I briefly thought it might have been something to do with camping. It’s not. Instead, it’s an unconference. Like many, I had no idea what that actually meant. What the hell is an unconference? Basically, it turns out, it’s a lot like a conference but instead of a bunch of big fancy presenters who get flown in and jets and wear bath robes for the weekend, an unconference is curated and carried out by its participants. Basically, anyone who wants to presents can present. On whatever topic they feel like. It lends itself to a wide and interesting array of topics and people and basically is an event where the local community, specifically the Twitter community, gets to come together in a display of overwhelming collaboration.
Now that you’ve heard me go on and on about everyone else’s Podcamp presentation, it’s now time for some shameless plugging. Along with attending four sessions, which I have already written on, I was blessed to get the opportunity to present my own talk, with my presentation partner, Drew Moore, aka @DrewMooreNS. I’ll talk a little bit at the end about how this whole thing came together but for now, here’s the show.
This is not a duplicate. I repeat, this is not a duplicate. Yes. Despite the vast number of options and speakers available to me at Podcamp and the fact that I could only go to four sessions other than my own (daddy duty calls) I decided that one half of the sessions I attended needed to be at least half made up of Ross Simmonds aka @The CoolestCool. If you haven’t yet read my review of his first session, you’ll find it here. So I’m not going to say a lot of mushy happy feeling words about Ross because the first one was full of a lot of those. Instead, let’s get right into this amazing session on content.
I had no intention of going to Adam Purcell’s session at Podcamp. None. I didn’t know Adam (@PurcelliRaptor). I didn’t pay attention to what his talk was going to be about. I didn’t read his bio. Nothing. However, I went. Several friends were going to it and I decided to tag along. Adam’s session was titled, “Caring Counts: There’s No Crying In Social Media”. Honestly, I didn’t like the title. Mostly because I didn’t take the time to read the rest of the description and I thought it was going to be a session about how many whiny people there are on Twitter. I was, to put it mildly, wrong.
There are a handful of people on this planet who I think are just pure gold. They are people who have me hanging on every word. And over time I’ve realized that there’s a formula to those people. There’s a specific type of person that I love. Whether it’s an actor, a musician, an athlete or an entrepreneur, they always share the same qualities. First, they have to be themselves. They have to be a personality. I don’t like plastic. I like people who emanate honesty. Second, they have to be passionate. I like people who would rather go down swinging than just sit there on the fence.
Have you ever been to a restaurant where the menu is one of those giant laminated menus with twelve sections ranging from pasta to burgers to “home cooking”? It’s a tri-fold menu with more than 100 hundred items. Specifically, they brag about having SO many menu items. Well, I’m here to tell you that having a million items on your menu is nothing to brag about. I’m an avid fan of Bar Rescue and Restaurant Makeover. I love these shows because they have proven time and time again that simple is better. And yet, people still keep complicating things.
I’ve done it myself. My website used to be a series of pages. If you wanted web work done or you wanted some logo work done or whatever, there was a page or a link for that. If you wanted me to teach you how to do something, there was a lengthy contact form that went through a series of logistical questions including what type of course you were looking for and how many people you wanted me to teach. And then I realized something. People don’t fit into neat little columns that you can pop into a spreadsheet and 100 items on a menu is far too many to allow for meaningful choice.