PodCamp DC, and more on writing and networking

On a similar theme to last week’s post on why freelance writers need to create relationships with new people, I’d like to talk about the great people that I met this weekend.

I went to PodCamp DC on Saturday: one day’s worth of sessions about new media (podcasting, blogging, etc.) and I had an amazing time! I came home with an unbelievable stack of business cards and — almost more important in my mind — notes on the things I want to talk to each person about.

I found a whole slew of people I want to interview down the road, a ton of ideas for new projects and stories and learned some new techniques. I attended the following sessions:

  • “Generations and Social Media” led by Jessie Newburn. Beyond the implications for social media, the way that different generations respond to different messages seems to have a huge level impact on how a freelance writer plans a project.
  • “Finding a Place for Social Media” led by Joel Mark Witt. Joel spoke about his experiences with an organization used to using traditional marketing methods — and how he brought that oranization around to podcasting and other social media.
  • “The Business of New Media” led by Paul Vogelzang. This session was one of the clearest explanations of what social media makers need to be thinking about if they aren’t interested in starving.
  • “Social Media and New Journalism” led by Jim Long and Andy Carvin. These two men are probably among the most forward thinking journalists online today: they’re helping to bring, respectively, NBC and NPR into the 21st century.
  • A live recording of “District of Corruption.” For DC-media types, I have to recommend tuning into District of Corruption regularly. It’s always interesting.

Even more important than the time I spent in sessions, though, is the time I spent meeting people. I met more people this weekend than I think I have in the past month. I think these sorts of events are crucial for writers — they keep us stimulated, thinking and creating. While the act of writing is solitary, the profession of writing can’t be.