Posts Tagged: tips

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!

We have some great surprises for our attendees this year and the first one came yesterday. By popular demand, we have decided to make Podcamp this year ONE DAY. This means a day packed with learning, and evening gathering of like minds, Sunday to explore the area on your own, and the chance for a great weekend for everyone. Since this leaves many the opportunity to explore on Sunday, we thought we could let you know a few places in the area.

The school The New Hampton School itself is secluded. Not on a busy road, it has a campus that offers everything that a private school can. We have use of the cafeteria, where the meals are delicious and you have a wide selection of food to choose from during lunch and snack times. We also have access to the athletic field where we plan to play Quidditch.  There is also access to a library for impromtu one on one or small group sessions (“jellies”). The grounds of the school also have a beautiful pond to sit by and reflect or work. Since this is a PodCamp and the Law of Two feet applies, if you find that there is a time where you need to just sit and work, there are many places to do so.

To get an idea how far from Boston we are: last year PodCamp NH was in Portsmouth (1 hour north on I-95 to Exit 7). This year PodCamp NH is in New Hampton (1 hour and 15 minutes north on I-93 to Exit 23) – only a stone throw farther.

If you find that you have to travel Friday and Sunday there are plenty of places to eat and explore before the PodCamp begins and after it ends on Sunday. Remember to reserve your Saturday night for our after party, however, as it is an intimate chance to really meet each other. There will be more information about this as the event nears. The cute town of Ashland and it’s Main Street of Shops and Restaurants are a short drive from the School – one exit up to Exit 24. The Comfort Inn Hotel is at the same exit. The (original) Common Man, Bullwinkles Bar and Grill are two great Restaurants at this exit. We understand that there is always something going on in New Hampshire and this weekend is no different which is why places to stay may be few and far between.

If you are the outdoorsy type there are hiking trails and campgrounds, places to fish, tree top tours all within a few more exits. There is a Water park, Safari rides and even a train ride through the mountains. There are places to camp nearby complete with cabins, swimming pools, and even playgrounds for the family.

There is also our give away to all of our attendees: gift cards to the Tilton Outlets, so you can go shopping while in the area.

So join us for the entire weekend including a packed and exciting day of great learning and fun at Podcamp NH!

Seek, Share, Succeed

PodCamps were created as the unique unconference which allows all of the attendees to be session leaders.  This makes PodCamp NH the place to Seek, Share, and Succeed. With a wide variety of sessions from Blogging to Photography there is something for everyone to learn.

Seek. Whether you are searching for new projects, creative ideas, collaborators, smart new business practices or just a different avenue to take your business, you can learn it at PodCamp. Maybe you are looking for a new project or a motivation to start a project that has been on your mind. Maybe you would like to learn a new skill. Maybe you would just like to seek out new connections.

PodCamps have always been a sharing community. We share communication; we share our knowledge. Everyone contributes.

In the end after a weekend at PodCamp you will feel that you have succeeded at something. It could be the idea or a project that you wanted to create. Maybe it was a new skill you wanted to learn. It could be that you wanted to return home with no business cards left.

I found a great strength in the PodCamps I have attended. I learned a lot. I have been motivated to write blogs. I learned how to make a web show. I learned better Photography. I met hundreds of people. And that is just the beginning to why I attend podcamps.

But I want you to be motivated to learn something new, meet new people, and have a fun weekend.

I want, WE want you to Seek, Share, and Succeed.

Tips for PodCamp Attendees. Plus: A Flickr Group

PodCamp NH team member Wayne Kurtzman has just posted an exceptionally helpful set of tips for first-time PodCamp attendees. And, in fact, it’s worth reading for all attendees, even those of us who have been to a slew of these things. One tip I feel always bears repeating (and remembering) is “Bring a power strip.” The easiest way to make friends at a PodCamp is to provide an extra outlet for the guy or gal sitting next to you when they need some place to plug in their laptop, gadget, or smart phone. And what is PodCamp about, if not making new friends and contacts?

Another thing Wayne’s done for us is set up a Flickr group for the event. So, if you do take photos—and we suggest you do bring a camera, because Portsmouth is a beautiful city—please post them there.

Excited yet? You should be! PodCamp NH 2010 is going to be fantastic, and we can’t wait to see you there. Haven’t registered yet? It’s never too late. Do it now!

Stunts vs Experiments on Twitter

Since Twitter has been reaching the mainstream in a big way lately, there are more and more ways people are trying to “game” the system. The most popular method for this is the follower/following count scam.

There are a variety of ways to pull this off. There are several “programs” and “systems” that promise thousands of followers in a short amount of time. Some even promise fame and wealth as well. (No, I still maintain I won’t link to these or post their names as my small way of not helping them along.) There is the follow/unfollow repetition game which is designed to annoy people into following you back so you will stop popping up in their inbox (there is a block button on Twitter, people – learn to love it for the spammers).

Then, when all else fails, there is the “I am doing an experiment on [following more people] [following less people] [following no people] [adding xx number of people] [insert other favorite here]” announcement. This usually precludes someone who is trying to get more followers or to gain more pseudo-credibility when they have little experience to back it up by thinly disguising a stunt as an experiment. I see this all the time on Twitter. Generally, I tend to stop listening to people who pull repeated stunts, though I just mute the user if it is their first time. There is also the “Help me get to XX number of followers” request, but I think this is more about not “getting” Twitter as a trust network and cutting corners, and less about scamming in most cases.

How do you make sure these stunt-pullers and follower-gamers aren’t polluting your stream with their hot air and dirty pool tactics? It’s all about using the tools you have at your disposal. Tools I recommend becoming familiar with:

Common Sense: It seems basic to some, but there are a few people who think that there is a requirement to follow all who follow you. Twitter is a la carte – you do not have to reciprocate! If you get your notification email, and it says “@username has 27,000 followers and is following 27,000 people with 100 updates” – that’s a person to not follow. If you have been on Twitter a long time, have organically built a trust network of thousands, and are not a bot, that ratio will look more like “@username has 27,000 followers and is following 27,000 people with 47,000 updates”. The updates indicate participation and conversation. If you still aren’t sure, go to their profile and read their tweets – you can tell if they are a link baiting bot, a spammer, a scammer or just someone you flat our don’t want to hear in your stream (or maybe you do, but check). Another red flag for your common sense: Following thousands, but only 10 follow back.

Twitterholic: this tool is valuable for telling you how long someone has been on Twitter, and graphing their interaction. For me you can see I started in the second wave of early(ish) adopters in May 2007, and you can watch my follower and following numbers organically grow as I tweeted more and more and interacted with more people, building my trust network. The scammers and spammers show as short bursts and spikes after little involvement.

Twalala: If you already follow someone who doesn’t always “get” Twitter, and who does sometimes pull a stunt, but occasionally has interesting things to say in spite of that, you may not want to block them outright. For these people, try using Twalala to surf Twitter while they are monkeying around with their stunt. This is also handy for muting people or hashtags during conferences and bitchmemes.

TweetDeck: This desktop client is based in Adobe Air and lets you sort people using columns, groups and more. It listens to a variety of your social networks, including FaceBook and 12 Seconds. Most importantly for this discussion, it allows filtering in each column. Those buttons at the bottom of the column let you add hashtags, keywords or user names to filter In or OUT of your stream. Very handy for temporarily shutting a stunt-puller down in your valuable brain space.

Block Button: This feature of Twitter serves several functions. It blocks scammers and spammers from being able to add you and remove you repeatedly to game their numbers. It blocks unsavory stalker types. It blocks bots. It blocks whoever you tell it to. Also, Twitter tracks blocked accounts. If an account receives massive amounts of blocks? They are booted for being spam.

@Spam: Follow Twitter’s official spam channel, @spam. You can use it to report spammers as well as to receive updates from Twitter on how they are handling site wide issues.

Patience: Often, you can spot a spammer or scammer or stunt puller before the trouble begins. Give yourself a day delay, minimum, in follow back decisions for new follows. You’ll see the scammers and spammers bounce in and our of your inbox like pin balls if they are trying to game you. In the same vein, before you go blocking or yelling at someone you already follow for starting to pull this kind of stunt, give them a day. Chances are they will figure out how transparent their attempt is and stop on their own. If that fails, then unfollow, block or otherwise mute the issue.


Topics on Fire, Episode 11: New Year, New You

If you have ever wondered what to wear to those social media events when dress code is not specified, how to dress for any occasion, how to look and feel successful, or just how to navigate the choppy waters of being the best you possible, then tonight’s podcast is for you.

Usually we discuss heavier issues relating to social media and technology on Topics on Fire. Issues like gender, race, cross generational work flow, education and more. But since 2008 was a rough year for many and we are all looking for a better 2009, I thought what better way to start us off than to take a bit of a departure from the usual themes and bring some of the best dressed men in (and formerly in) Boston to give you some advice on making some real, concrete changes and improvements for the coming year?

Each of the men joining me on our panel tonight is a shining sartorial example of how to look your best, as well as how to be the best you possible. They also appreciate the finer things, like wine, scotch and cigars, and want to share that knowledge with you. In keeping with the podcast’s overall theme, we’ll manage to get some tips relating to social media in there, I’m sure, but most of this episode will be about sharing their knowledge and helping you.

The panelists include Scott Monty of Ford Motor Co., Thomas Edwards of Project Infinity, Jamie Scheu of Hill Holliday and Dmitri Gunn, man of mystery. I will be moderating, and there will be a lively chat room going on as well.

Won’t you stop by TalkShoe tonight at 10PM Eastern to hear @scottmonty @dmitrigunn @scheuguy and @recklessstudio on the New Year, New You episode of Topics on Fire?