Where’s the Conversation?

Blah Blah Blah image by GeraltThere was a time when the majority of what I saw online was more conversation and less self-promotion. I miss those days.

I belong to groups where the conversation is almost non-existent. Folks pop in to promote their most recent sponsored blog post, podcast episode or video creation in order to ask for likes and shares or to subtly market themselves through a question masked as a request for group help. It’s exhausting.

Where is the conversation?

Speech BubbleWhere are the spaces where smart and innovative folks can talk about ideas, overcoming challenges, share the ins and outs of what they do in a true learn, share, grow model?

Authenticity, Transparency, and Attribution

I come from the early days of social, podcasting, video. When only a few geeky folks were in the space. These were the days of user-generated conferences aka “camps” and community building. It. Was. Glorious.

While I am thrilled that this geeky thing which was on the fringe of society has been adopted by the world. I do miss the community aspect of it all. I know things change. Truly I do. We early adopters helped to fuel the uses of these tools and platforms so that they could become mainstream. Of course, we’re happy everyone else is on board. However, now that social media/podcasting/online video (which at one time was called new media) is an industry, and no longer a grassroots community effort, it seems the promo and influencer model has taken over. People have to make money. I know I do. But, does everything have to be about promo? megaphone marketing image by Geralt

New groups are popping up all the time. I join some in hopes they will be a community based on conversation. Instead, it’s more of the same. Post after post after post of people only posting in these groups to get likes and shares for their content. Where are they when they don’t have something to promote? Please don’t misunderstand me here, there certainly needs to be a place to do these types of things.  I know I certainly need places to share projects, posts, or client events that are happening. But is that all there is?

Frustration and Fatigue

You may be thinking, “Hey Jennifer, if you want a group like that then why don’t you create it?” I have. Several as a matter of fact and it was great. The challenge? I have been running groups since 2005 and I’m at the stage where I’d like to just be in a group without the time commitment and responsibility of running it.

My business is booming. I work with great clients on projects that I’m totally jazzed about and life is truly wonderful. What’s missing then? A community where I can brainstorm, idea share, problem solve and just be at ease with one another without worrying about our influencer, follower count, or sponsored ad posts. In other words, a place where I can let my hair down and talk shop or not.

What’s Next?

Rock Art Craft Holding Hands Team by WokandapixI guess what I’m looking for is Thought Leader Community. What is that? In my mind, it is a trusted space where honest helpful conversation happens. Where being authentic and transparent are treasured. A community that embraces the concept of “learn, share, grow” in its truest form. Does it exist? I sure hope so.

Too Busy to Blog?

What happens when so many phenomenal things are happening that you just don’t have the time to write about them? Sure, I tweet about everything that is going on, but Twitter is simple. I can almost do that with my eyes closed. Writing a blog post about all the cool stuff does take more of a thought process than 140 characters and certainly more time. To give you an idea about what I’m talking about, here are some of my tweets from the last few days:

10/3/08 @epodcaster: Good Morning! Getting ready for some First Friday Co-Working fun at Firecat Studio. Topic: Guerilla Marketing for the Entrepreneur

10/4/08 @epodcaster: AIR San Antonio is off to a great start. The teams are working hard with their non-profit partners. Great job Sharon, Susan & Todd

10/4/08 @epodcaster: basking in the SMC Austin & San Antonio Mixer afterglow. Great time and phenomenal conversation.

10/7/08 @epodcaster: Good Morning! Getting myself ready for today’s Social Media Breakfast in Austin. Looking forward to chatting it up…after coffee of course”

And finally, I submit the tweet that got me thinking about writing this blog post:

10/7/08 darylcognito: @epodcaster it would be interesting if you podcasted or blogged about those events.

There is no doubt that each one of those tweets could easily be it’s own blog post. Tweeting about these events is certainly easy and can be done on the fly. Whereas a blog post takes a more concentrated effort. Given that I’m becoming more of a mobile tweeter, blogging does take a back seat.

However, Daryl makes a good point. It would be interesting to podcast or blog these events. While a tweet does give a glimpse of what is going on, it doesn’t really get into the meat of the event. I’ll compare it to eating an hors d’oeuvre at a fancy restaurant when what you really wanted was a big fat juicy burger. Sure it’s still food, but nowhere near as satisfying.

The solution? It’s a good thing to expand beyond the 140 character limit of Twitter. As a matter of fact it’s a great thing. The challenge will be for me to recognize those blog worthy tweets. Feel free to chime in, like my Canadian friend Daryl did, to let me know if I’ve missed the obvious post.

Cheers!

PodCamp San Antonio: Numero Dos – May 3, 2008

Podcamp San Antonio: Numero Dos

In case you were wondering where I’ve been, the title should explain all. PodCamp San Antonio: Numero Dos (that’s 2.0 for the non-Spanish speakers) is happening on Saturday, May 3rd at the El Tropicano Hotel from 9am-5pm.

We had a great time organizing it and had the opportunity to create a wacky but fun 4-part video promo. We follow the Podcast Pickle aka The Pickleman throughout San Antonio while he searches for PodCamp San Antonio: Numero Dos. Luckily he meets lots of friendly folks, sees the sights and has an all around good time.
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Want to learn about the New Media and Social Networking scene? Have a topic you would like to share? Enjoy the mental grow process? Or just want to hang around folks who are as excited about Podcasting, Blogging, Video Blogging and Social Media as you are?

Then come on down to PodCamp San Antonio: Numero Dos to participate in the Learn, Share, Grow that is PodCamp San Antonio: Numero Dos

The Blog365 Challenge

With NaPodPoMo & NaBloPoMo under my belt, I felt I was up to the challenge of Blog365.

Blog365 Sun Badge

Yep, you read right. By December 31, 2008 there should be 365 posts between here and some of the other blogs I contribute to (Morning BrewCast & San Antonio Podcasters ). You might be asking yourself, “Wait a minute isn’t there 366 days in 2008?” You would be right to ask. It so happens that even we Blog365ers (as I’ve taken to calling us) are taking a day off. With 2008 being a leap year and such we’re calling Feb 29th a holiday. Afterall Blog366 just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Blog365 now does it?

By the time we have completed one lap around the sun over 642 folks (as of a bit past midnight on Jan. 1st ) will have posted 234,330 blog posts. Staggering, huh? That doesn’t take into account others who will inevitably discover Blog365 throughout the year. Of course, we don’t know what the future holds for the brave 642 so I wish us all the best in this exciting and some would say insurmountable challenge.