Podcamp Philly 2008I spent the weekend at Temple University in Philly attending a 2-day conference called Podcamp/Searchcamp Philly. Topics included using social media, search uses, blogging, usability, creating podcasts, social bookmarking, and a bunch of other stuff. I learned quite a bit and got a few ideas for incorporating and tracking results from social media. Also made a few contacts, my favorite one being Kim Krause Berg of cre8pc.com and cre8asiteforums.com. She had some good information in her sessions and I plan on picking her brain some more.

I think what impressed me most about the conference was the atmosphere. Not only was it a geek town (I was in heaven!) but the entire conference was built on Creative Commons licensing – share and share alike. The presenters offered a lot but many of the participants added their 2 cents (where’s that cents key again?) too. The cost was negligible ($20) so it was really only the cost of the travel and lodging but would have been well worth a $400 admission price. There were about 230 participants.

Jen M.
Jen M.

Also had a good time hanging out with Jen M. We spent most of Saturday soaked. In the morning we were soaked from sweating to death on the 2 mile walk from the hotel to Temple in the warm, humid air. Jen had a high tolerance for my whining! By the time we dried off, we got soaked again on the way back to the hotel from hurricane Hannah dumping down on Philly. Thank goodness H.A.R.D. gave me the tip about putting newspaper in your sneakers to draw the moisture out or I’d have had soaked shoes all day Sunday too.

And probably the biggest thing to come out of this weekend is that I’ve finally decided to close my band instrument repair shop…sort of. It’s this geek stuff that I want to do. My heart is not in repair anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. In fact, back in March, I turned my web dev stuff into a full time gig at PCAR/NSVRC and the repair stuff into a part time business. I still enjoy doing the challenging repairs and messing with machining but that’s few and far between. I want to get back to doing the Probirt website that I’ve been neglecting for the past year and a half because of being too busy with repairs. So, while I’ll be closing the shop (hopefully within 2 weeks – when I get the customer instruments finished), it’ll still stay where it is at the Washington band hall because it’s needed for Probirt.

Anyone want to buy a website that ranks high for the key phrases of “band instrument repair,” “clarinet repair,” and “saxophone repair”? You can have the site, rankings, and content! You gotta get your own webcams though!