I’m back in the coffeehouse where I write in the morning before going to work. It’s in a town right next to Ontario, California, where the Podcast and New Media Expo was held. Ontario might be down the road, but the PNME, the Residence Inn, the Doubletree, the Marriott, Spires, Marie Callendar’s, and Stater Brothers seemed like they were five hundred miles from everything I know.
I’m experiencing some kind of rifting. I did not want the weekend to end. Every time I’m with my Tribe, particular members of my Tribe, the impact of separation is proportional to the depth of the connection made. My chest hurts, but there’s a soft edge of warmth on the cracks.
Listening to Ryan Adams, Belle & Sebastian, and other earnest, heartfelt, melancholy music right now. Probably not making this any less maudlin. Suck it, it makes me feel good to feel this… bad? Nah. Full.
So. The Expo.
Smaller this year. Does that mean Podcasting is slowing down? Is podcasting “dead?”
Not at all. I think it means a whole lot of podcasters are not interested in what the Expo presents: an emphasis on monetization, metrics, and tech. Advertising networks, trade associations, hosting networks… and rivalries and posturing between same right on the Expo floor. However, there are still people who approach podcasting as an art form, a means of expression, or as just another way to distribute their open media / new media / multimedia content.
Also… I’m no pundit — look to others for that. I’ll just say that activists and lobbyists will one day be necessary to represent new media to lawmakers and legislators. The people who will represent new media are being chosen now. Choose wisely.
Now comes the time on Sprockets when we name drop and and provide little snapshots of special moments at the Expo.
- I started the weekend Thursday with a nice lunch with Steve Eley and Tee Morris, where we Old Boys of podcasting ate sandwiches (I think Steve had an actual dinner of some sort) and just yakked about stuff and things.
- My speaker badge and that of Matthew Snodgrass were merged together like a fly and Jeff Goldblum. I managed to get a fresh badge printed up, but I met Matt later Thursday night and he wore the “Matthew Wayne Snodgrass, MWS Media” badge. We laughed about it and I apologized for never getting him a paycheck for all the fine work he’s done for my company.
- Met Chris Moody, which was nice to finally do, since he lives about twenty minutes or so from where I work.
- Tee: offer I made during the Speakers Reception still stands, as needed.
- I spent the greater and best part of my weekend as an intern for Lulu.tv / Gnack.com and started it off picking up Mur Lafferty, Jason Adams, and Carol Housel at the airport.
- Nice to see Colette Vogele, if only for a little bit.
- I believe Eric Rice was the first person to tell me in person that he listened to any of my podcasts, during the first Podcast Expo in 2005. Since he’s always fifteen miles ahead of the rest of us, that obviously makes me an innovator and revolutionary. Or it could have been that there were only, like, eight podcasts back then. Either way, it was good fun spending some quality time with him this time around, riffing on this crazy fuzzy-boundaries multimedia world we live in.
- It’s a very small world, at that. Considering the overlapping spheres we float in, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see Sean Percival walk into the super-secret “studio” we had set up to interview Eric. Sean and I know each other through his contract work with Mahalo.com, and it was cool to see him in a different setting. We’ll be trading brain cells in the near future, no doubt.
- Many of the usual suspects were there… a very special pleasure seeing you all again, and as usual, it’s never long enough or in deep enough depth. The Tribe knows its own; ’nuff said.
- I’ve become quite taken with spending the last night of these conventions / expos / conferences in a more quiet, intimate setting — someone’s hotel room, with a handful of friends. Sunday, Mur and Jason lodged with me, and our afternoon, evening, and early morning was in turns intimate, irreverent, revealing, hilarious, risque, revelatory, and above all, full of joy and joyness. Some of it was documented — look to a future Geek Fu Morning Show, and a new podcast from Jason.
- Finally… after this Expo, how you feel about Charlie The Unicorn will, for me, be a good barometer of the kind of person you are.
Next year… Las Vegas.