MediaCamp Edmonton & Hacks and Flacks Night

Today marks three months since our initial planning meeting for MediaCamp Edmonton, an event taking place this Saturday at the Shaw Conference Centre (on ShareEdmonton). There are more than 130 people registered already, from a broad range of organizations and disciplines. We’re going to have some great discussions on the future of media!

The day will start off with a panel discussion, moderated by MediaCamp Edmonton instigator and Editor Karen Unland. Our panelists are:

The panel loosely represents the various audiences we think will be at MediaCamp – mainstream media, social media, public relations, and technology. I think it’s going to be a great way to get everyone warmed up for some great discussions throughout the day!

After the panel, we’ll give everyone an opportunity to pitch topics and then we’ll build the grid for the day (MediaCamp is an unconference). Some of the topics we’ll likely cover include:

  • What’s a mash-up and how do I do one to tell a local story?
  • What can journalists do with open data, and how?
  • How is social media being used effectively by mainstream media?
  • Which journalism best practices need to be fostered in social media?

As with all unconferences though, you get out what you put in. If you’re passionate about a particular topic or idea or question, pitch it!

Right after lunch we’re going to do something called Lightning Talks, which are quick, five-minute presentations on a tool, idea, or trend. It’ll be a great way to find out about some interesting things that you can follow-up on later. If you’d like to lead a lightning talk at MediaCamp, let me know.

I’d like to thank all of the people who have helped to organize MediaCamp Edmonton, as well as our sponsors: EEDC & the Shaw Conference Centre, Guru Digital Arts College, ShareEdmonton, Athabasca University TEKRI, CTV, and Grovenor School. We’re looking for additional sponsors – if you’re interested, please let me know ASAP.

The City of Edmonton has organized a media mixer called Hacks & Flacks Night for Friday at Metropolitan Billiards downtown (on ShareEdmonton). It’ll be a great opportunity to meet some of the people that will be at MediaCamp the next day. If you’re interested, register here.

Stay tuned to the MediaCamp Edmonton website for updates (and streaming video of the panel) as well as #yegmediacamp on Twitter. Hope to see you at the event!

Recap: MediaCamp Edmonton Initial Meeting

Tonight we held an initial planning meeting at Credo Coffee for an event called MediaCamp. I have wanted to hold a local event to bring mainstream (or old) media together with social (or new) media for some time, and last week Karen Unland provided the necessary spark when she tweeted about a hacker event that took place recently in London, UK. A bunch of us very quickly settled on a hashtag – #yegmediacamp – and we got the ball rolling on Google Wave.

MediaCamp Edmonton PlanningMediaCamp Edmonton Planning

The meeting tonight was appropriately informal, and gave everyone an opportunity to meet one another and share ideas. We went around the circle with introductions and initial thoughts, and then discussed what MediaCamp might look like. Karen probably has better notes than I do, but here are some of the things I wrote down:

  • Should it be a small event or a large one? The consensus seemed to be “go big”.
  • Would an event focus on business models? Technology? Something else?
  • BarCamp is pretty unstructured, TransitCamp had a bit more structure but used the same kind of model. What’s the right approach for MediaCamp? The consensus seemed to be that we have some structure.
  • Lightning Thoughts was something that everyone thought was a good idea – quick, five minute demos.
  • Multiple streams or not? We want to break down silos and encourage input from everyone.
  • Will they come? How do we remove barriers to entry? How can we ensure a good mix of mainstream media folks and social media folks?
  • As with most of these events, connections are perhaps the greatest outcome.
  • Potential dates: April 10, May 8
  • It was decided we’d loosely follow the ChangeCamp structure, striking subcommittees to focus on sponsorship/budget, volunteers, day-of, etc. The first step – create a Google Group to get everyone connected.

I agree with Bruce that labels seem to be a necessary evil, so I’ll use them here. The common thread seemed to be, “let’s work together”. What can old media learn from new media, and just as importantly, what can new media learn from old media?

I was quite impressed with the turnout, especially since it was just a planning meeting. Here’s who made it out tonight: Karen, Cam, Asia, Alain, Dave, Rachelle, Kelly, Jeff, Eugene, Brittney, Diane, Jas, Curtis, Reg, Bruce, Marty, Kerry, and myself. I know there were many more who wanted to come but couldn’t make it work!

Please follow along on Twitter, and join the Google Group. I think there’s a lot of excitement around MediaCamp, and I’m eager to see what comes of it!