The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Not That I Want to Hug About it or Anything, But I’m Proud of You

This weekend I went to Arizona PodCamp. Unless you were there too, you’re totally thinking one of the following right now:

Does this involve Ted Williams and his frozen head?

Is she talking about her garden again?

OK, I knew she had some sort of alternative view on religion, but now she’s involved in an alien cult?

Or if you’re moderately techie, you might be thinking:

Good lord, now she’s getting into Podcasting? Does she not have enough hobbies? It might be time for a hobby intervention…

Right? Was I right? When I was little my mom tried to teach me to be psychic, but I don’t think it worked.

Anyway, to answer your questions: No, No, No, No, Yes, No, I’m ok for now and probably when we get to the point where something like that is necessary my husband can handle it, thanks for your concern, though.

Before I showed up at Podcamp Sunday morning I didn’t totally get what it was either. A bunch of months ago I was asked to sit on a writing panel and answer questions about writing for the web at this thing called Podcamp. I went to Wordcamp this year, so I had a feeling it was something like that, but about Pods. Which, as a category (seedpods, space pods, frozen head pods,  iPods), I tend to have limited knowledge about.

But it turns out Podcamp is really more of a social media ‘unconference’. I think I don’t really know what an ‘unconference’ is in relation to a ‘conference’. But that may be because I’ve never been to a real conference. So what I’ve experienced at an unconference seems like what happens in movies and on TV when people go to a conference. You get a name badge. You go to several different speakers on different topics that sort of generally relate to each other. There’s a lunch break. Everyone wears matching t-shirts. They give away prizes.

Hmm, maybe the last two aren’t what I’ve normally heard about conferences. So is an unconference just like a more fun conference that you’re not required to go to for your work? I think that could be it.

The point is; I went to this thing. And I may or may not completely understand the semantics of what it was, but it was pretty rad. I listened to a local chef talk about how to take better pictures of food (and how chefs are really pretty horrified when people take bad pictures of their awesome food and post them on blogs and Yelp). I answered questions about the difference between writing for the web and writing for other media with three other super rad webbishly writer types. Then I listened to a panel of totally geeky types talk about what people do to eff up their WordPress blogs.

It was good info, the whole thing seemed expertly run and dude, it was totally free! What? I know, right? Maybe that’s part of the ‘unconference’ difference too. Dude, I think I only ever want to go to unconferences from now on. Conferences are for losers.

Today, thinking back on that event, I’m feeling pretty proud of all the people who organize stuff like this. The volunteers who put this together spent a bajillion hours, got paid not a dime and basically just did it because of a love of being involved in the Phoenix community. These are all people who like to share knowledge and ideas just to make each other better. How cool is that?

So good job AZpodcamp people. My hat is off to you. And thank you, Tyler Hurst, for inviting me to sit on a panel. You’re a pain in the ass and an instigator and sometimes you bully me just for fun (wait, stick with it, I’m getting to the nicer part), but you have a good soul. You work hard and you do it for the right reasons. Community is important. Metro-Phoenix is worth the effort. People sharing knowledge and thoughts and ideas is the answer to everything. (I’m uncomfortable with absolutes. But I’ve thought about it and this time the absolute applies. EVERYTHING.) I am proud to have people like you and all of the others who supported and attended Podcamp in my community.

Also? I, for one, am glad you’re changing the name next year. TechPhx makes more sense. Not that I know that much more about tech than I do about pods.

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