I thoroughly enjoyed the third annual PodCampHalifax unconference this past Sunday. Kudos to event organizers Craig More, Bessy Nikolaou, and Ryan Deschamps for putting together a hit. Things ran very smoothly and it’s clearly due to their hard work and commitment to the event. This was my first PodCampHalifax but not my first unconference event (I previously attended and presented at BarCampVancouver 2008). I have to say that although it’s a much smaller community here on the East Coast it’s equally vibrant, energetic, and talented.
I attended Jeff White’s excellent talk about the launch and success of the grass roots movement that is Save the Oval, Jeff McArthur’s wonderful trashing of Air Canada’s in-flight entertainment interface among other User Experience failures, and Andrew Burke’s valuable lessons in developing and selling an iPad app. The panel discussion with Carman Pirie, Kevin McCann, and Bessy Nikolaou had surprisingly high interaction with the audience which made for an excellent discussion on social media.
As for suggestions for next year, I agree with those who suggest that the “pod” in PodCamp is a bit confusing considering the event has little to do with podcasting. The event is really more characteristic of a BarCamp and would probably benefit from a renaming. Also, reducing the time slots to 20 mins might be a good idea to allow attendees to catch more talks from more people and mix it up a bit more. May or may not be an improvement, but I think it’s worth a try.
Despite a nervous start (to be expected given it’s my first talk in a few years), my talk on HTML5 seemed to go very well. I’ve received lots of positive feedback and some people have told me that they learned something, so mission accomplished. I think next time I will leave a bit more time for discussion and maybe make an effort to spark discussion around the topic. I haven’t really received much constructive criticism of the talk, so if there’s something you feel I could improve on, please let me know.