I’d like to be honest with you: I have a bit of “camp” overload. It seems like every other event in this city uses the suffix “-camp” as a descriptor. DemoCamp, ChangeCamp, TransitCamp, MediaCamp… The unconference model is alive and well in Edmonton. And it’s everywhere. And I feel that it isn’t always the most successful model for conferencing, though I suppose the same could be say about more traditional conference formats. So I was a little apprehensive about how the day would go.
And I have to say, the organizing committee unconferenced Saturday’s first MediaCamp Edmonton to great success. I’m already looking forward to the next one.
The day started out with a normal conference panel discussion which included Sue Heuman (from Focus Communications), Mack Male (local blogger and developer), Dave Cournoyer (local blogger and occasional political pundit), and Paula Simons (columnist from the Edmonton Journal) — the panel was moderated by Karen Unland, also from the Edmonton Journal. Many of the questions that arose were related to the differences between bloggers and journalists — there were tons of great questions from the audience (who apparently numbers almost 200).
After the panel, conference attendees pitches session topics for the rest of the day, and proceeded to engage in group discussions on a variety of topics (the ones I attended included “What makes a journalist?” and “Getting advertising and sponsorship for your website/blog”); there was also a series of Lightning Talks just after lunch. There was a diverse range of opinions present — journalists from all types of media including radio, newspaper and television. There were also a lot of different social media types represented, including our colleagues from the League of Extraordinary Media — including Jeff and Sally from theEdmontonian.com and Brittney Le Blanc from TrueBritl.com. You can see some of the tweets from MediaCamp Edmonton here.
I don’t know what the ultimate outcome was from MediaCamp; I suspect people got different things out of it. I got some great ideas for trying to earn the Unknown Studio some money so we can do awesome new things with out content. I also learned that the journalists, at least in Edmonton, who provide us with news and opinion every day have a great respect for the local social media community — bloggers and Twitterers alike.
Thanks to the organizing committee and the MediaCamp Edmonton sponsors for making the day not only possible, but extremely worthwhile. Sorry for doubting you. 😉
If you were at MediaCamp, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the day. Leave a comment.