Hanging Out With 900 Friends At PodCamp Toronto

This past weekend, roughly 900 people came out to attend PodCamp Toronto 2010.

Since joining the organizing team for the event in 2008, I’ve seen PodCamp Toronto grow from a couple of hundred early tech adopters to a large, diverse group of people from all along the adoption curve. This year more than perhaps any, the sessions reflected that diversity.

Dave Fleet presenting at PodCamp Toronto 2010My highlights from the weekend:

Jerome Paradis presented a mind-expanding take on semantic commerce – the idea that people could purchase from multiple vendors through one website. Effectively turning the e-commerce model on its head, semantic commerce would be driven by APIs from vendors and result in personalized sites for every person. What’s more, it would give consumers control over their own purchase histories, preferences and identities.

Some presentations make you better at doing things; others make you smarter. This one was the latter, and was easily the highlight of PodCamp Toronto for me.

Brad Buset gave a thought-provoking talk on personal privacy. This was the first time I’d seen Brad present, and he did a great job with a timely topic – even handing-out copies of George Orwell’s 1984 to people who hadn’t read it.

Jeremy Wright and Melissa Smich earned a lot of laughs from the audience (and a “hrumph” from me for highlighting photographic evidence of my farmer tan) with their session on Twitter and dating. An interesting presentation format, cupcakes for active participants and the obligatory hashtag-ridden visuals, this was a nice light end to my PodCamp.

Unfortunately, once again I missed Sean Power‘s session – this time on Applied Communilytics. I heard it was great; one day I’ll finally see this guy present. At the time, I was attending David Bradfield and Miranda McCurlie‘s presentation on when social media become unsocial. The session had a very interesting topic; however, the most interesting part for me was seeing how the presenters have learned from their own past mistakes and grown as a result. Well-attended and interactive, this was another good session.

For my part, I thoroughly enjoyed presenting my session. With a good turnout and great audience participation, I was actually sad when the half-hour was over.

Once again, thanks to all of my co-organizers at this year’s event. I played a small role this year, and the rest of the organizing team did a really great job. Well done, folks!

If you attended this year’s PodCamp Toronto, what were your highlights?

(Photo credit: Looking over the audience at my session – by evablue)

Dave Fleet
EVP Digital at Edelman. Husband and dad of two. Cycling nut; bookworm; videogamer; Britnadian. Opinions are mine, not my employer's.