The Arizona Travel Tweetup – In Review!

Arizona Travel Tweetup Crew

Howdy all! Just got back from Tempe and the Xtreme Bean where I had the pleasure of kicking off the first Arizona Travel Tweetup.  I’m thrilled to say that despite busy March schedules we had a better than expected turnout – offering the opportunity to lay the ground work for a better organized Arizona travel community.

We talked twitter, wordpress, travel tips and more while exchanging adventure stories and getting acquainted with the people behind the twitter handle.  It was an absolute blast! You can find the details behind the meet-up here as well as a growing list of Arizona Travel blogging/twitter personalities.

In attendance:

@AlexBerger – Virtualwayfarer – Scottsdale, AZ

@girlfromarizona – Girl From Arizona – Tempe, AZ

@khegre – Khegre on Twitter – Phoenix, AZ

@tomtravel2 – Tom Travel 2 – Scottsdale, AZ

Thank you all so much for coming out.  I hope to set up another tweetup sometime in the next 2-3 months.  If you have any suggestions/venue ideas/requests or comments please don’t hesitate to post them here or shoot me an @Alexberger on twitter.  I’d love your feedback and participation!

PodCampAZ 2008

I had the pleasure/opportunity to attend PodCamp AZ this weekend at the University of Advancing Technology campus in Tempe.  For those unfamiliar with it, the event is a once yearly UNconference which is re-produced all across the US in slightly different forms.  The UNconference style is focused around maximizing your experience, keeping the energy creative, and ensuring that everywhere is where they want to be, focused on what they want to be learning and encouraging everyone’s participation.

So what is it?  It’s a free new media conference dedicated to bloggers and podcasters with additional material on all things new media. From information on how to record and edit your podcast to information about what makes a startup work – it’s a wonderful synergy of creative, inspired individuals sharing information and building relationships. The two day event occurred Halloween weekend, November 1st and 2nd.

I had the pleasure of attending the following presentations:

Pamela Slim of Escape from Cubicle Nation’s: How to strike a balance between sharing information freely and making a living using New Media. I’ve had the pleasure of communicating and getting to know Pam over twitter for the past month or so.  It was wonderful to finally put a face with the name. I especially enjoyed her insights into clarifying your blog’s message and goals while working to establish a set niche.

Dan Feierabend of Love Long and Prosper’s: The Audacity of Podcasting: Tips for producing and editing your audio podcast with free software. Dan provided a fantastic crash course on Audacity.  I’ve been using the open-source software for sound and audio recording for several months, but spent almost no time what-so-ever learning it.  In an hour Dan was able to provide a ton of useful information and several fantastic resources.

Andrew Hyde, Founder of Startup Weekend’s: Bottoms Up Leadership- Why are the most effective organizations leaderless? & his Starting it up Quick- How to start a startup and not make the classic mistakes quickly.  Two wonderful sessions.  As a big fan of the Starfish and the Spider Andrews first talk on leaderless organizations was extremely interesting. The power of leaderless organizations and their inner power dynamics are fascinating.  His second piece on startups was an absolute fantastic discussion which provided me with a much better understanding of the startup environment and some excellent food for thought. Some of which will definitely help me with my duties in the M&A Industry.

Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome‘s: Cultivating Community & his off the cuff discussion on new media. Chris’s discussion on how to build community was extremely interesting. He raised some new points i’d been previously unaware of and really touched on a lot of the thigns I learned while leading the Legion of Light (Gaming Guild). Great lessons. I was also extremely impressed by his spur of the moment fill-in/off the cuff discussion on New Media in general. I really enjoyed his energy and animation.

Doug Welch of Welchwrite’s: New Media Interchange. Evo Terra joined Doug for a fantastic look at the role new media can play in personal branding, new media, and our day to day lives.

Clintus McGintus of I Do It Digital’s: Video on the Net – what should you be sending through the pipes? Clintus’s presentation really highlighted the power of quick videos for me. His presentation also helped make me aware of several other powerful video sharing services which I’d previously missed and am now eager to explore.

Brian Shaler of BrianShaler.com‘s: It’s the Internet. It’s Supposed to be Interactive! Brian’s presentation provided interesting insights into the future of interactive, streaming video, and how the web will continue to develop to handle the increased resource demands.

The above are just the presentations I was able to catch & spend the most time at.  For each presentation mentioned above there were 6 more simultaneously occurring.  A hearty thank you goes out to the PodCamp AZ team for setting up the event, all of the wonderful speakers, and everyone who showed up and shared their knowledge and energy.

I cannot wait to put everything I learned this weekend to work!  Time to go play!  Hope to see you all at PodCamp AZ 2009.