The Annual PodCamp Dilemma

Monday Update: As much as I feel the change of focus and session topics will benefit me, I will have to wait until next year to attend PodCamp. Something else came up that makes it pretty much impossible for me to go. The scales tipped in favor of the kids, and I’m cool with that. I hope that PodCamp moves back to September. The move to October (because of a venue conflict) had me — obviously — feeling like I was shoehorning it in.

Also, my mom’s comment made me LOL. Thanks, Mom, mostly for calling me a young person.


This year’s PodCamp Pittsburgh (#pcpgh7) is next weekend.

PodCamp is always a dilemma for me. I’ve been to two of them, and they are super enjoyable and educational. I meet new people (or meet people IRL for the first time). Last year, I even presented, and it was awesome.

PodCamp is moving from a personal-type event toward a business/professional type event this year (the topics, I should say). Sessions are about social media marketing, blogging for business, social media for non-profits, entrepreneur-ship (and I would like you to know I spelled ‘entrepreneur’ right on the first try, BOOM), and so on.

And I would desperately like to go. I am having a real “what do I want to be when I grow up” phase in my life right now, and social media and social media marketing are part of that. (Incidentally, this has been going on since I attended my first PodCamp in 2009.)

I registered (General Rockstar) about a week ago. I’ve been dithering ever since and here’s why:

1. Logistics, logistics, logistics. I can’t get a babysitter for all day Saturday. I could probably go to the afternoon sessions, and maybe a couple on Sunday.

2. Sunday would require bribing my husband substantially. It is his only day off every week, and for me to decamp to what he views as a social event (leaving him with the three children) verges on traitorous.

3. I see PodCamp as an immersive event, and I just can’t be immersive this year. So is it worth it to go? I probably can’t network much. I probably can’t stay to socialize after the sessions are over. (Okay, maybe one drink.)

4. Since it’s changing focus, I may not know that many people going this year. I know more personal bloggers than professional social media marketing people. That’s neither a pro nor con, but see #3. (And I’m shy.)

5. All the other stuff going on in my life right now. I am planning two birthday events (Flora’s classroom party, and the kids’ party — I’m doing ONE family party for all three children); the holidays are fast approaching; THE BATHROOM IS BEING REMODELED, which if you can’t tell from me yelling, is a big huge deal/nightmare; three kids to manage.

What is pulling at me to attend at all is the fact that I want to move toward being a professional in social media. (Gawd, does that sound naive or pretentious? I can’t decide.) And I don’t mean I want to be a Justin Kownacki or Chris Brogan. I would kind of enjoy, however, being Dana Sheehan. (I don’t know if Dana knows that, or if she even remembers meeting me.)

So. Should I go, even though I can probably only do about 5 hours/sesssions total? I really need to decide this weekend. It’s a free event, technically speaking, but it still costs me a lot (energy, points with Dan, time, time with my children). I’m still trying to figure out if it’s worth it.

What say you?

10 thoughts on “The Annual PodCamp Dilemma

  1. Maybe have a playdate with Doug Derda instead? He made social media his career at RMU. And his Owen is about the same age as Michael….

  2. I’ll be honest – if I had all those obstacles I’d skip it. I’m already skipping it precisely because of the focus change. I knew this year’s program would be of use to you, though, and I can understand why you feel torn. But, DUDE, the effort involved in all of that pre-organization just to get out of the house to start with would kill it for me.

    I like TwinMamaTeb’s idea.

  3. I went the year Miles was born even though I could only stay for 2 sessions on Saturday. I really enjoyed those sessions! (I did make it out to the meet n greet Friday before…)

  4. I often spend more time at PodCamp in the hallways chatting with people than in sessions, and that social aspect is as educational and important to me as the sessions. And a lot of fun.

    Last year I couldn’t attend the whole time, so I arrived in time for Saturday lunch and stayed for dinner afterwards — it was a day well spent. I don’t think I made it back for Sunday, which was too bad but you can do only what you can do.

    I agree that PodCamp is fun if you can immerse yourself in it, but if you can’t it’s still energizing. I bet you can get a lot out of a single day or even an afternoon.

    I hope you’ll go!

  5. I say go! It couldn’t hurt, might help! If you end up not being into it there, no one is taping you to a chair, just bail out early.
    I have the rotten luck of always being out of town for PodCamp (has happened to me the last 3 years. Argh). I wish I could be there!

  6. I say go as well. You have to take the long view in both children and careers, and a the nasty psychologist would say, you are better at being all the other roles of your life if you do things for yourself. You can’t pour wine out of an empty glass. It may be Dr. D’s day off but when is your day off? Parenting and marriage have to be flexible enough for the growth of both partners or it starts to wither. I will contribute red plum liqueur jam and chocolate raspberry sauce to your bribery if it helps.

  7. Young people… kill me. As a mom and a professional women
    looking back, I’d say stay home and play with your kids. There will be so many years to go to “sessions” and learn and grow, but yor children will never be this age again.

  8. It is sad to hear of the change of focus. Changes at work have kept me away from twitter lately and I was just thinking of pod camp and wondered if I missed it. I hope podcamp grows and has both business and personal focus next year. I think you should go to the sessions you can…and be ok with that.

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