Podcamp Australia is it Real or Not


Podcamp Australia

Coming off the hype of BarCamp Perth in early July was when people in Perth found the PodCamp proposal. This instantly attracted the attention of the Web and related new media industries in Perth.

Podcamp has been proposed by Jared Madden of Indimedia and Adam Purcell of redPIXEL. However at the time of release of the proposal there was not a lot of information about the background or credentials of the people behind Podcamp; well to people in Perth. So what do we know about the organisers. Let’s look at the simple things:

So it seems that there is some foundation behind this proposal. So people started voting for their preferred location for the Podcamp.

But still with scant details many people just expected this to all be a market spamming ploy or just two guys out for some self promotion. Fast forward a three weeks. The web site has improved, the information is updated, but still very scant. My contacts in Sydney however tell me they are real and that they were at the Sydney Twitter Meetup. There has been some issues of sexist images on the site, but hats off they did respond in the timely manner on this matter, frankly it should not have occurred in the first place.

Then there is the question of the voting transparency.

  • It was assume that the voting would be about a month or less. But suddenly the date was set a long way off for the closing of voting.
  • The voting was a percentage of the total, Now its in “stakes”, whatever they are.
  • The stakes for Perth (okay I have a vested interest) went from 116 to 114 to 118, yes thats right they went down, something you would not expect
  • There was a constant update of the voting status on a daily basis on the twitter feed, and the site was updated daily. Then it all went quiet. Suddenly Sydney is catching Perth, and still no return to the constant updates.

So all this does seem a little suspect doesn’t it.

  • The Pessimistic View

    One could say that it doesn’t make any difference, Sydney will win, no matter what anyone does. The decision has already been made, and all the posturing is just vapour. To cut costs it will be Sydney. This is all just a self promotion exercise by the organisers. Minor point, but funny how the default on the signup form is Sydney.

  • The Optimistic View

    All the lack of information on the Podcamp website and the votes are just the signs of two organisers that are inexperienced at gathering support for an event across multiple new media industries. And hence they are now madly trying to regain creditability. All costs for travel and accommodation will be met by sponsorship. Jared and Adam are genuinely looking to put on a Podcamp in whatever city is selected by the people’s votes. The lack of constant updates is just an oversight.

You make the choice, go vote if you like. Go support Perth, is there any other new media place in Australia, I think not. Will it make a difference, I don’t know, I hope so. Lets just hope it’s these two guys behind all this, and they have just made a few classic community building mistakes. All my research and conversations with contacts seems to indicate they are on the level. What do you think?

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  1. A good analysis of the situation Gary.

    I’m currently taking the pessimist view and will do so until there’s a guarantee that it’s not just a self promotion exercise (ie. A city other that Sydney winning).

  2. I too take the pessimist view.

    I think its interesting that both organisers are new media marketers and I wonder if this process is a test of viral marketing.

  3. Could be worse. People in Adeliade [sic] might feel they’re not exactly expected to win 😉

    The numbers jumping around sounds like the event coming to the attention of different groups. Going backwards could just as easily be a tech glitch – if you were going to rig the numbers you wouldn’t bother removing two votes, since that doesn’t even change the outcome.

    In the end if it’s a really successful idea, I’d see it as more likely that two instances will happen – one on the east coast, one on the west. Realistically if it’s in Perth, very few people will be able to come over from Syd/Melb/Bris; and if it’s in Sydney few people from Perth will be there.

    It’s a bloody big country 🙂

    As for their sincerity… no amount of speculation will give us an answer. Only their actions.

    Frankly my gut feeling is that if it gets too hard the event just won’t happen. But I don’t know the people involved so I don’t know how committed they are, etc. It’s pure gut feel based on nothing but a quick glance at their website 😉

  4. The bikini girl is still there, just by herself rather than with the fully clothed guy.

    And don’t forget the blatant spelling mistakes in the navigation menu that don’t really inspire confidence (”organisors,” “promo’s”)

  5. @Kate R-G – The bikini clad girl in the square banner adverts are a parody of an Australian tourism advert. Hence they are totally justified in relation to the parody as the advert contains a bikini clad girl on a beach. But usage of that image elsewhere outside the advert is not.

    As for the spelling I did notice that too. It was a worry.

  6. cheap mobiles

    Well, although it sounds like an awesome idea (BarCamp is really very cool, by the sounds of it) the spelling issue is a HUGE worry. Even people who are not copy writers per se, but are of the quality that goes to barcamp, wouldn’t make such silly mistakes.

    I suppose I can understand the bikini-girl… in a way. But yes, those spelling mistakes are unexcusable. Even if it is real, whoever made those spelling mistakes needs a little bit of a friendly slap. There’s nothing worse, for me, than spelling mistakes on websites and advertising. Rather just get a good copywriter, man!

  7. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter – we haven’t forked out any money, so we don’t lose anything.

    If anything, we know that there is enough interest in Perth for this sort of thing, now.

    If they come through with the good, awesome – more events for Perth. If not, we now know there are enough people interested so we can put on our own event.

  8. @gary barber – re: bikini girl: i suppose, but as a woman i wouldn’t have picked that imagery to advertise my tech event, considering there is generally a poor showing of women at geek events (at least in north america)

    @myles we didnt fork out money but we did give them our trust and our email addresses and gave them lots of free advertising. never feels good to be had.

  9. @Kate R-G Personally I don’t think either of the promotional banner adverts for PodCamp work that well. I understand the concept of the “Where the hell are you” banner. But it just doesn’t work for me. The other advert I’m left with a WTF? look on my face.

    And yes they should have been more aware of the issues at hand. Male to Female ratios is better in Australia, but in Developer (back end) it’s very male dominated.

    If podcamp Australia is just going to be a male testosterone fest. Then I want nothing to do with it at all.

  10. I’d vouch for Jared and Adam and say that PodCamp Australia is very much the real deal. Whichever city earns the most “stakes” — I agree, the term is a bit weird, but no biggie — will host the first PodCamp in Oz.

    If that city is Perth, then Jared and Adam will certainly be looking to reach out to people who can help organize and spread the word from there.

    Were I not all the way over here in Boston, USA, I’d love to attend — no matter the city.

    For the record, my stake went to Brisbane.

    –Bryan Person
    Organizer, PodCamp Boston

  11. Interesting conversation… At the end of the day I believe PodCamp Australia will be a great success and achieve it’s intended purpose to connect new media professionals, hobbyists and seekers…

    I just finished a blog on jointheevolution.com.au entitled “Why PodCamp Australia” which may help to answer some of your questions.

    Feel free to email me or IM me anytime if you would like to chat or find out more. It’s the best way to get to know me, as some of the speculation isn’t exactly true! For example I am not a new media professional, and this is not a test of viral marketing!

    Have a great day, and thanks to Gary for this blog.

  12. I think it’s already done all manner of good by showing just how much interest and articulate dialogue there is in the Perth community. We’re a smallish city, but we’re really switched-on and participative, with some great networks and community players who have real pull. The fact that this analysis is happening is a great sign.

    I was a bit worried when very early in the Podcamp campaign, I checked out Jared Madden’s blog to find not much but Rugby scores, then a few days later it all got (accidentally) wiped. I googled him, and found him listed as a student advisor at Avondale Christian University (as opposed to a media lecturer, as per the site bio). Again, this has now gone. A mysterious man indeed.

    But to give him credit, he got word out to more networks than BarCamp – which I found out about very late, regardless of all the digital content community groups I’m involved with.

    I think it would be great if PodCamp came to Perth, so I offered to work with them to help put it on if Perth does ‘win’. Sure, they haven’t got much of a track record online and the geek community is pretty ruthless with inexperienced unknowns who bill themselves as ‘newmedia consultants’ (huh?) but their enthusiasm is undeniable, and I’d much rather help them to use their powers for good and encourage them to cut down the blagging ‘expert’ status. They’d be far better off to admit their newness to the blogging scene and work with the old hands – people like you guys.

    That’s my 2c worth, anyways 🙂

    regs, kat =^..^=

  13. @Adam – thanks for commenting. We all know you are real, with your hearts in the right place, and are just doing all this for the newmedia community. I hope you don’t mind all your info being composited like that. But it’s only a small part of what I found about you and Jared online. It’d all available publicly. If either Syndey or Perth wins, I hope PodCamp is a success.

    @Kat – One thing that does tend to happen with distribution of information is if the key people you give it to in the other networks don’t distribute you are lost. Or if they make a personal decision for the industry segment that it is not of interest then again the information is often not distributed. This I find tends to happen in focus groups (such as user groups). It is a problem. It has happened a bit with WebJam Perth.

    BarCamp suffered from this problem. Mind you we did very well for a first run. Hope to met you f2f before ByteMe.

  14. @Gary

    Definitely hope to meet before ByteMe. We will have a Plug n Play later this month, hopefully some of the blogger community might like to come along to see what VJing is all about 🙂

    best, kat =^..^=

  15. “The leaderboard has been hidden until the announcement of who will get the first podcamp. Announcement will be August 17
    5pm WST (7pm EST)”

    Did anyone notice what the stats were before it got ‘hidden’?

  16. @kat I think it was 126 votes perth to 84 votes Sydney.

    With the proposal of a ColdFusion Camp (still in draft stage) and this and BarCamp2 and another WebJam in the next 6 months, things are going to be very busy.

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