Barcamp Ireland SouthEast is on this Saturday at Waterford IT. It’s a sort of self-organised gathering of technologically minded people – well, to be honest, I don’t really know for sure: I’ve never been to one before! 😀
But I know I want to go! Lot’s of people who’s blogs I read will be there. And lots of us read a lot of the same blogs of people who won’t be there. That’ll be good for a chat anyway!
Then, you see, there’s no real agenda – well, there is – but not until the attendees sign up first! Then people say what they’d like to talk and hear about at the Barcamp.
It’s called an unconference, and it’s an idea with a worldwide following. There’s already been one in Cork last year which I missed, but after talking to Tom Raftery back in November I resolved to do better in 2007. (Sadly Tom won’t make it after all this time due to family circumstances.)
One thing about the unconference idea is that everyone is encouraged to be contributor rather than just a spectator. So while I’m hoping to learn something about Ruby on Rails and VC investment, it’s possible that I may also have something to contribute which might interest others.
Bernie suggested we hold a little “Podcamp” as part of the days events – and I’m really looking forward to that. I want to hear from other podcasters about their experiences. I want to hear from podcast listeners about what they want. I especially want to hear from people who feel podcasting is not for them. I want to evangelise this medium, and I don’t need to preach to the converted.
After 230 podcasts, I’ve got some practical advice I want to share. If you’ve considered podcasting but are put off by the technicalities, I want to show you how easy it can be. I am an advocate for quality production. Podcast listeners deserve respect and consideration as much as radio listeners. But I want to show that it need not be either burdensome or expensive to achieve that quality.
What’s more, not only is good sound quality desirable in a podcast, it’s also, in one way, even more crucial. Think about it. A radio broadcaster only has to compete for the listener with whatever programming selection is currently available 1) on the frequencies in that area and 2) at that particular time.
The podcast listener, on the other hand, has a much wider selection – infinitely wider in a sense. I subscribe to and download more podcasts than I succeed in listening to, and there are many more quality podcasts on subjects of interest me that I have yet to encounter. The podcast listener is spoiled for choice.
So what happens when I encounter a podcast on my MP3 player which is poorly recorded, noisy or unintelligble? I simply skip to the next one on my playlist. In many cases the content of the material on these podcasts is interesting and valuable, but what use is that if it is inaccessible?
Blogging has flourished because the only skill required is basic literacy. However the principles of making and processing recorded sound are not on the curriculum in most primary schools. The thing is, though: they could be. It’s really not that complicated at all.
In fact, the whole thing about audio quality boils down to just two points. On Saturday, I’m going to use just two slides, and talk about each one for just 5 minutes. After that – it’s up to you. I can go on for hours about this stuff but no one really wants that. So I’ll answer any questions, and discuss practical situations until we’ve had enough. If there is interest we can do practical examples but again, I’m mindful of the unconference ethos: I’m only going to cover stuff if people are interested.
So what are the two points? I call one The Underlying Principle and the other The Golden Rule, which sounds very fancy except they’re really just common sense really! Just your basic primary school stuff! 😉
See you on Saturday!