2006 Portable Media Expo Recap

Now that I am back in Edmonton and feeling a little better, time for a bit of a recap. Dickson has posted his closing thoughts on the expo as well. It’s hard to compare last year’s event with this year’s. In some ways, there seemed to be more people this year, such as on Friday, but Saturday told a different story. One thing is for sure – there were far less “I’ve never heard of podcasting” people in attendance this year.

  • I have to agree with Dickson, the weather in Ontario was really hot. It mattered less on Saturday when I had a bad case of the chills, but still.
  • I am amazed that I met people who were happy to “do it on their own” when it came to podcast hosting. Perhaps this is because podcasting is so new? Heck, I don’t even host my own photo gallery anymore. Why not? Because Flickr does it better than I ever could. I offload all the work to them. That’s what we are trying to do with Podcast Spot too. You as the podcaster can focus on creating great content, because we take care of the rest.
  • Speaking of pictures, you can see the ones I took here.
  • I think we’re going to have to do something more interesting with the booth next year. Our “low-key, low-information-on-the-wall” style worked to an extent, but I think we can do better.
  • We need to do a better job explaining how we charge. We charge based on upload, which is the amount of stuff you send to our servers in any given month. This is in contrast to charging by storage, which is the amount of stuff you have put on the servers since you became a customer. If we charged by storage, you’d eventually hit a limit, after which you wouldn’t be able to add anything new without first removing something old. Fortunately for you, we charge by upload so you never run out of space!
  • I just re-read that, and perhaps it still isn’t clear. I’ll record something soon that should explain it a little better. Visuals always help!
  • Generally speaking, I have the feeling that the Expo is missing something that would take it to the next level. What that something is, I don’t know. I do have a small wish-list though: wireless Internet throughout the convention center, expanded awards (say a “best podcast hosting service”), and more free food/drinks!

Thanks to Tim and the rest of the team at TNC New Media for another great Expo! I’m looking forward to next year already 🙂

Portable Media Expo Setup

Dickson and I are just killing time here in the nicely air conditioned hotel until 5:30 when there is an event for exhibitors and the press. I mention the air conditioning because it’s a scorching 94 degrees here today, or for everyone back home in Canada, 34 degrees celsius. Edmonton had just started to get some nice weather again before we left, but it was still only about 15 degrees!

We finished setting up our booth in about ten minutes. Like last year, we opted not to do anything fancy, though unlike last year we have a banner this time. You can see what I mean in the pictures. We also decided to sponsor the conference notepads this year, and I am really happy with the way they turned out.

More later!

The Start of a Great Trip

I think this is going to be a great trip! For the first time in recent memory, Dickson and I were not scrambling to finish anything the night before leaving town. That was kind of nice for a change, we’ll have to do it more often! Today didn’t start out so great though. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare, cleared customs without any problems (minus Dickson getting manhandled in the security check by an over-eager young man) and then sat down to wait for the flight. Thing is, our flight was over 20 minutes late. And with a 45 minute window to catch our connecting flight in Salt Lake City, that was somewhat distressing.

Turns out we made it just in time to make the flight, but the lady at the counter informed us they had overbooked as they didn’t think we’d make it. So we volunteered to wait for the later flight (only 2 hours later) and in return we got meal vouchers and a $200 credit with the airline (Delta). It was a pretty sweet deal! And such a difference from last year, when we missed our flight and had to pay a lot more to get to Ontario. Another nice side benefit was that our bags arrived ahead of us, so we didn’t have to wait for them to get off the plane – they were waiting for us.

We’re now in the hotel in Ontario – the DoubleTree, which is very nice by the way. They gave us a fresh chocolate chip cookie each upon checking in, and we passed a Starbucks on our way to the room. See what I mean about being a good start?

We just noticed that Podcasting News has an item on Podcast Spot too. I’m really excited for the Expo to start now!

Podcast Spot is LIVE!

Post ImageI don’t even know what to say – I’ve been wanting to make this post for so long! Okay, Podcast Spot is now live and ready for you to use. And you’ll note we’re not in beta either; we are not hiding behind a label. You shouldn’t run into any problems on the site, but if you do, let us know. And please send us your feedback too!

For those of you that don’t know, Podcast Spot is a hosting service for podcasters. We’ve been working on it for about two years now. Actually, exactly two years ago last Thursday was when I launched BlogosphereRadio, my first foray into podcasting. You can say that Podcast Spot grew out of that project – I realized that podcasting could be somewhat difficult, and took far too much time and effort. Dickson and I realized we could make things easier, and thus, we set about creating what eventually became Podcast Spot. And while the code might have changed quite a bit in the last two years, our goals have always been the same:

  • To make becoming a podcaster and enjoying podcasts easier and more enjoyable
  • To eliminate the need for technical knowledge, and reduce the amount of time required
  • To empower podcasters and their audience with features designed specifically for podcasting

I’m proud to say that Podcast Spot is a big first step towards accomplishing these goals. That said, it’s just the first step, and there’s still a long way to go. We’re eager and excited to continue improving the podcasting experience, with Podcast Spot and other products too.

Dickson and I recorded a quick little introduction message earlier this evening, which you can listen to at Podcast Spot. Even if you don’t want to be a podcaster, I encourage to check the site out! If you have comments or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. You can leave a comment on one of our blogs, post to our forums, or email us. And if you’re going to be at the Portable Media Expo later this week, come see us in booth #408!

Read: Podcast Spot