Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Social Media Cafe – Central Ohio Bloggers, Podcasters and Social Networking

Anyone in the Central Ohio area who is a blogger, podcaster or social networking enthusiast/expert should be aware that there is a potential meetup group organizing called the Columbus Social Media Cafe. Yesterday was the 4th SMC meetup and I gathered that they are just now working on defining what the goals are of the group and plan on forming a mission statement. You can read more about the last meetup at Elephants on Bicycles and This Woman’s Work blogs.

When I arrived, I found myself briefly explaining what PodCamp and PodCamp Ohio is. I was not prepared to make any sort of presentation at the meetup but I did my best. This was a learning experience for myself, as I found myself speaking to a crowd of bloggers who are aware that podcasting should be included in their space but don’t exactly have a grasp on what exactly podcasting is. I also mentioned briefly some of the viral networking techniques that PodCamp Ohio is using in order to market the event to bloggers, podcasters and social networking enthusiasts.

I learned a lot from the meetup. What I found the most interesting was what they are envisioning; a social networking web site that pulls in feeds of blogs and podcasts and provides social networking features such as tags and comments. The group would be the perfect customer for the RawVoice Generator, which does pretty much what they want. One of the organizers mentioned someone who is in the process of developing such a tool that the group could use, so I didn’t quite feel comfortable mentioning that my company already has such a product on the market for more than 2 years now. The process they are undertaking made me feel vindicated that the past 3 years of my life that I’ve spent developing such tools is of real importance, not just globally but also for the local community. There is real potential for blogging and podcasting to connect with its local communities, and I for sure want to be involved in helping that happen here in Central Ohio.

I hope they can create a brand/logo soon and put in place a scheduled meeting time using not just meeting spaces in the public but also utilizing those social media tools that are so important such as TalkShoe/BlogTalkRadio for on-line recorded phone meetings and Google Group public mailing lists. At the moment the only way anyone can participate is by attending the public meetings, which may limit the audience size of participants. The more opportunity to let someone be herd, the more opportunities that will be used by those with the means. I’m pretty confident they will pick up on these other tools soon.

I am a little concerned that some of the founders organizing the Columbus SMC group found PodCamp Ohio somewhat threatening. I hope they did not get that impression cause it is definitely not something meant to compete with other groups with similar goals. PodCamp is a social event with the primary goal to bring bloggers and podcasters together to share knowledge and network with each other. I hope the Columbus SMC organizers don’t feel threatened by the event, that’s certainly not the events goal and I am confident that’s not what Chris Brogan or Christopher Penn intended when they created PodCamp.

4 Responses

  1. It was great having you at the event. I think the overall impression of your podcamp is that it would be one more great way to increase the number of people participating in this type of community – exactly what we’re hoping for. I think these various events will only benefit each other and the community at large. I hope we see you at future events and of course at your event!

  2. I agree, the Social Media Cafe group and the PodCamp event do complement each other. What’s exciting about the Social Media Cafe is that it could become a permanent group specifically for Central Ohio, where PodCamp is just an annual event.

    I’m looking forward to participating in the Columbus Social Media Cafe as often as I can. I wish I knew about it sooner!

  3. I was glad to learn about PodCamp because I’m very interested in learning how to podcast! I wondered, too, why they don’t have a google group but then I’m so swamped in email that I’m relieved they don’t! I hope that reaching out to neighborhoods will help us all find each other in our own backyards, so to speak, so that connections will grow and strengthen.

  4. PodCamp is not and should not be a threat to anyone or anything. The social media space is so new and expanding so rapidly that there’s plenty for everyone, more than enough.

    For those of you who are new to the idea of PodCamp, each event is self contained, sort of like a franchise, only without the fries or cool uniforms. Each PodCamp should ideally integrate itself into its local community and be a local event, helping to strengthen new media wherever it takes place.

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