Monday, May 10, 2010

Podcamp London + Contemplative Goose

On Saturday I attended Podcamp London. A podcamp is a gathering of people interested in blogging, podcasting, social media, and other technologyish internetty stuff. It's referred to as an "unconference", because the format is unconventional. There are few rules, and anyone is free to throw a presentation onto the schedule. I guess I count as "anyone," so I inserted myself into the timetable1, and prepared a little presentation.

I talked to a packed room about Putting Weird Things in Coffee, internet fame, blogging, and how social media and the accessibility of the internet are changing the way creative people do their thing. I was a bit nervous, since I'd never done anything like that before, but I ended up enjoying the hell out of it.

If you wanna see my slides, you can get a clickable Quicktime movie (showing my spiffy slide transitions) here, or a PDF with all my secret notes (ruining the illusion that my witty jokes were improvised) here.

Actual audience reaction. I am mildly amusing.

I got a lot of flattering feedback, and some good suggestions for the coffee blog. From the always-creative Nik Harron came the idea for putting despair in coffee. I.e., tears. I wonder if tears of shame taste difference than tears of mourning?

I imagine the former are a little more spicy.

It made no sense btw.

Also: I won a pool for predicting how many dicks would show up in Chatroulette in a 30 minute period (six). I'm like a psychic predicting how many children you'll have, except it's how many dicks you'll see. (See also). It was good times. I'm surprised none blew their load when they saw they were performing in front of an entire room full of people.

There were more substantial thrills to be had, too. The sense of community was palpable. I have another psychic prediction: good things are coming in London Ontario's future. There is an increasingly-less-underground group of diverse personalities who are passionate about making great things happen in this city and beyond. Upcoming projects like Changecamp London and UnLondon are just a few examples.

Between Podcamp itself and the sloppy after-party, I came across this Canada goose:

I've seen him there 3 or 4 times, always just standing there looking at his reflection in the window. He's, like, a metaphor for life, man. Just staring, all day, pondering his place in this crumbling city. The goose is us, man. The goose is us.

1 That's what he said?

Update May 10 9:30pm: I have been informed (thanks a lot @BillyW64) that the goose stares at his reflection because he thinks it's his mate that he lost last year. There was a story about him on A Channel (I guess they interviewed the goose to obtain this information). The goose picture is now more sad-deep than intelligent-deep. Man.

Update May 11 3:15pm: Here is the fluffy A Channel story about the goose (thanks @joeradman, you are rad, man). Not sure about the veracity of the story or if it's even the same goose (mine is in a totally different location). Maybe geese are just vain. Still, it's sad to think about. There is also a Facebook page for him/her.


Tatiana said...

Aaaawww. Now I'm sad for the goose... as my cat is screaming in the background having locked himself in the bathroom yet again.

carissajaded said...

Hey! Sounds like you had a great/productive/informative time at your podcamp. I love the "putting despair in coffee" idea... And poor little goose, looks like he has a little despair himself!

Blondie said...

I want something like that to be in my city!

Joe Radman said...

Great post, great event, and great line: The goose is us, man. The goose is us.

Sad about the goose though...

Hey Lady! said...

Great slide presentation. Though I am disappointed to not get to hear the rest of the discussion about universal health care, BUT I suppose it didn't have much to do with PWTIC. I'm sad there was no video of you presenting, would like to have seen that.

And I call bullshit on the goose. How the hell do they know what the goose is thinking? Sounds like imposing human emotions onto an animal to me. Perhaps he's thinking "Damn, I'm good looking" (I happen to know, animals think this about themselves all the time, my dog is looking in the mirror right now).

Forest City Fashionista said...

Wish I had known you were presenting at the Podcamp--I would have gone! A couple of people from our office went, but they didn't go to your session (losers!).

That is very sad about the goose--I liked the story better when we thought he was deep in self-contemplation

Wren Fisher said...

I think the rest of the story only lends to the metaphor's power and significance.


nik said...

If he's that lonely, get the goose to cry in the coffee!

Phronk said...

Tatiana: Yeah animals are pretty smart.

Carissa: Yeah it was great! Poor goose. I hope he manages to move on.

Blondie: I'm surprised there isn't something like that. You seem to be at the center of the social media scene there; maybe you can have a hand in making it happen.

Joe: Thanks. The goose is us. He was always us.

Hey Lady! Yah, even with the full story there now, I smell some bullshit. There's a video somewhere but apparently it got cut off halfway through.


Wren Fisher: True. The goose is still us.

Nik: Do geese have tear ducts?

TS said...

6 dicks, huh?

Phronk said...

Yup. And it was pretty early in the day so it probably would've been more later. Of course, I factored this into my calculations.

Dan said...

Fucker, you should have told me you were doing a presentation, would have been neat to see and threaten to heckle you......