Currently in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, waiting for a connecting flight to Montreal. I didn’t sleep at all last night, since I was waiting for a shuttle in Ontario, California which would bring me to LAX for a flight at 8:55 am. Thankfully I slept the whole plane ride. I feel much better now – Starbucks, wifi, and all the other trappings of the bourgeois are present.
First impressions of the Podcast Expo – the event was possibly more corporate than last year, as can be revealed by the fact that even less of the exhibitors knew what they were talking about. I suspect more money traded hands than last year, so the founders must be happy, but let’s be honest: this event was not about community.
This is not to say that community didn’t gather around the event, to make something of their presence there. On the contrary, from the indies to the company men, I recognized a lot of podcasters, including many from last year. I doubt those present last year were enticed to return by either the booth babes or the shiny new ways to podcast, however – this means that the organizers are in fact doing something right. People are coming back.
Podshow was really cool this year. I felt really welcome among the people that were able to make it. PME 2005 was tough, because I met a lot of these cats for the first time all at once, which is intimidating and somewhat awkward. I talked to Dawn and Drew, Richard Brewer-Hay, Aaron Burcell, Joe Carpenter, etc. much more than the last time and was happy about it. New people I was happy to meet in there included Anji, Tom, Crayon, and probably some other ones too.
One of the things I appreciate about these things is that, when I meet these guys, I’m not meeting the corporate face of Podshow – I’m meeting people. I don’t know how other companies deal with telecommuting co-workers, but I think Podshow does it well. They make you feel happy to be there. A lot of companies are going to need to learn to do this as time goes on – all of us are working remotely more often, so making connections and developing human relationships is critical to our ‘staying human’ along the way.
Hooked up with some people at Stress Limit Design as well – a Montreal company that’s doing some social networking stuff. It’s kind of cool to meet more people locally that are working in the same direction I am. We’ll probably end up chilling out soonish.
P.S.: The wifi is absolutely terrible here. I don’t understand how every airport I’ve come to refuses to let me on unless I pay 21.95$ for a month of service – it seems backwards. They could be serving me ads for coffee and book franchises that are here in the airport, but I don’t think they’ve figured that out yet. Maybe they don’t see a value in it. Whatever.