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PodCamp Pittsburgh 2 was a blast!

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh came alive this weekend with the buzz of hundreds of social media creators (and those interested in learning more).

Bloggers! Podcasters! Journalists! Photographers! Students! Teachers! Small Business Owners! Retirees!

It was a diverse community — from politicians to drag queens — all of whom had one question in mind: How can I connect with other people by creating social media?

Nutshell recap:

– Approximately 250 attendees (we’re still tallying)
– Over 40 sessions
– Countless "hallway conversations"
– Limitless new connections made
– Unscrupulous amounts of food and drink consumed
– An after-party that, though barely remembered by some attendees, will never be forgotten…

In addition, we also (accidentally) created a meme: "bacn"

Bacn is different from spam because bacn is email you actually want — just not right now. Notices that so-and-so is following you on Twitter, or newsletters from groups you’ve joined, or receipts from your e-bills… these are all useful information, but not something you NEED to deal with RIGHT NOW.

Hence: bacn. (It’s better than spam.)

Meanwhile, amusing episodes from PCPGH2 include:

– The part where EDMC, which runs the Art Institute’s inner-workings, noticed too much traffic headed to the Justin.TV website (where we were streaming the sessions live) and blocked the service from its network… at 4 PM on Friday night. (Thankfully, Shawn Smith and the AIP tech crew worked it out, at the wire)…

– The part where we ran out of coffee (three times) and food (twice)…

– The part where people came in on Sunday because they’d heard about the event that morning… on…

– The incredibly bizarre part where two of the volunteers discovered some disturbing information about a wayward attendee thanks to a certain livestream, a quick Google search and an eye-opening newspaper editorial. (I’m not sure anyone has ever had to "alert security" at a PodCamp before…)

– And, last but not least, the part where I arrived 3 hours late to my own PodCamp on Sunday thanks to a concoction Tommy Vallier introduced me to on Staurday night: the 649 shot. (Suffice it to say, Canadians are sturdier bastards… or, "I shouldn’t have also had 2 shots of Jager…").

I’d like to call it a huge success or a great event, but really, that’s up to the participants to decide, not me. As the co-organizer of the event, I judge "success" by "was there a mutiny when we ran out of coffee?" (Answer: no, thankfully.)

As participants, everyone ELSE who was there will judge the event by different criteria:

Did they learn what they were hoping to learn?

Do they have the tools to create or improve their own work?

Did they meet new and interesting people?

Time (and survey feedback) will tell. But, if I had to guess, I’d say a lot of people are already looking forward to PodCamp Pittsburgh 3…

In the meantime, you can check out the PCPGH photostream here and more GREAT shots from Kimberly Reed here, watch archived sessions from the event here (we’ll be making notes on those archives this week), and keep up to date with upcoming PCPGH monthly meet-ups here!

(All photos by Kimberly Reed)