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.
Over the course of this week, I’m going to review the sessions I was fortunate enough to attend, including the one that I presented. For each session, it’s my intention to provide an overview of what the session was about, why I chose to attend it, what I gleamed from it and the overall message that I got from each session. Don’t worry. It will be far more exciting than I’ve made it sounds so far. I promise. Except for my own session. That one will definitely be boring. But I’ll get the good ones out of the way first, so don’t worry about it. Let’s dive into it.
Two of my favorite people on Twitter are Katherine Taylor (@KVTKNITS) and Chris Campbell (@bitdepth) were the presenters for the first session that I attended; Text and Context or as I like to call it; That’s a Beautiful Old Book. Katherine, a mental health advocate, and Chris, a filmmaker and teacher, were a fantastic beginning to my morning. Chris and Katherine spoke on the topic of communication mediums, specifically Twitter and Books. Katherine brought one of the most beautiful book collections I’ve ever seen (and this is coming from a book collector). From 2000 year old Aramaic gospels of Mary Magdalene to tiny almanacs printed hundreds of years ago, the concept of the staying power of the written word was a very interesting and refreshing idea, especially for a writer like myself.
What Chris and Katherine were able to share during their session was an overwhelming passion for storytelling and preserving that storytelling. My favorite moment during the presentation was when Chris talked about the written word. He described them as ‘these small marks on paper, or pixels, that are interpreted by our mind into elaborate thoughts and feelings’. It is a passionate explanation of writing. Combined with Katherine’s immense knowledge and incredible passion for imprinting those marks in a beautiful and permanent way, this made the presentation a joy to attend.