What can I tell you about PodcastCon UK 2005 that hasn’t already been covered, dissected, analysed and rehashed throughout dozens of blogs and post-con podcasts already?
I can tell you about what life was like at the check-in desk. That’s my angle. Granted, it’s no isosceles coverage, even-keeled in depth and factual content‚Äì in truth, it’s lop-sided and full of holes, but in the scope of things, I think it’s an important fragment of the day‚Äì worthy of mention.
Allow me to present the gonzo journalist girl of PodcastCon UK. ‘The low-cut blouse of PodcastCon,’ as I so eloquently put it in dear Rowley’s chat room as I fed my own somewhat detached experiences to him in bursts of poor grammar and non-sensical snatches of semi-linear events. Oh, and there was wine. Ask Phil about the wine. Or Rowley, or a bloke in Iraq that stumbled into the convention via my iChat. I spoke to him about badgers at one point, causing Phil to giggle with tipsy glee as we shared the screen for contact to the outside world. Phil, I salute you for hanging out in the lobby with me nearly all damn day. It was a treat and made it a bit less isolating for me. Sure I could hear the words in occasional clarity wrapping around the half closed doors to the conference, but without a visual aligned with the experience of sitting amongst the eager herd of podcasters, media folk and enthusiasts, the garbled language emanating from the thick of it meant little to me. Plus, I had to remain attentive to direct passing individuals to the loo appropriate to their apparent gender. (I believe I scored well on that task.)
So, with frequent interruptions and the duties I was sworn to uphold at my station, I enjoyed what was in essence the PodcastCon Fringe… The drinkers, naughty smokers who didn’t bother to go upstairs, the sponsors milling about and those folks in need of toilets.
Feverishly dishing out name badges only lasted around an hour in the morning. The rest of the day was spent entertaining myself with my Powerbook, re-alphabetising the leftover name badges when another was plucked up by an attendee, and continuously sipping the somewhat rubbishy ros?© with my faithful Bitjobs, (that’s Phil).
Leaving the helm to him for a few, I managed a quick minute in the Oculas contraption, which, no matter what any of the staff says, would likely scare the buhjeebus out of a claustrophobic. Though it was plush, well-lit, had an awesome sound system, as someone who isn’t uncomfortable in small spaces, I was still unnerved at not finding an escape button once the nice man outside slid the door down. There must be a clinical difference between being afraid of small spaces and being uncomfortable in small spaces for which there doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of. I wasn’t fearful, but there was an underlying discomfort at not knowing how to get out of the womb-like Oculas‚Äì no matter how cool it was to actually experience it.
To save you, dear reader, from an unending account about the pleasant, almost English-speaking wait staff that scurried around with trays of food and drink, the occasional mobile podcaster interviews that took place several feet from the desk at which I sat, and the conga line of post event sound equipment winding it’s way up the back stairs of the hotel, I’ll leave it here. Hopefully, you know at least as much about PodcastCon UK 2005 as when you started this post, and with any luck you don’t know less.
For real accounts, head to the BritCaster.com forums or look up PodcastCon in the new Google Blog search. I can only tell you about what I experienced, which for the brief record, was meeting a helluva lot of cool people from all over the world and even vicariously, I felt the buzz of the day at my little desk in the hallway. Next year, I’ll manage to sit in on a few speakers, but for this inaugural PodcastCon UK, I was happy as can be helping everyone else enjoy their day, starting it with a smile, a badge and a ‘have a great time!’
(In a near future post, I’ll tell you about how I won a year of 24meg broadband from the PodcastCon UK 2005 sponsor, Be*. Teaser: it was mildly embarrassing…)