Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

PodCamp 4 Boston: My “Me Too” Thoughts and Reflections

1. Step Up

The presenter didn’t materialize at the first session I attended, “How do you measure the impact of social media?” I stepped up and ran the session. Most of the people stayed. (Thanks everybody!) Together we created a schema, based on some theory and a bunch of real-world examples, which I sketched out on the whiteboard. People actually took pictures of it at session’s end! I couldn’t have done it if people weren’t primed to participate and more focused on the topic than the facilitator.

2. Overnight Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

During the impromptu session on the future of work organized by Tamsen McMahon and Mike Langford, Chris Brogan said something like, “My overnight success has taken about ten years.”

3. There’s Always Something Else Going On

The nature of a multi-tracked conference is that you are always missing another session. Since the organizers encouraged folks to vote with their feet if a particular session wasn’t what they’d envisioned (which people readily did), and since Twitter allowed people to share their experience in real-time(ish), it was easier not to miss things. In any case, since you couldn’t be everywhere, it’s cool that the media at the center of the conference allow people to document and share their particular experiences. Here are just two examples of that from Beth Dunn and Dave Wieneke.

4. If You Are Talking about Monetizing Something, You’re Not Sure How to Make Money with It

This idea came from Rich Sands over lunch on Sunday. The formula he was using (which he got from South Park) was:

Collecting Underwear + ? = $$$

The key to making money is figuring out what’s behind the question mark. If you say you are going to make money by monetizing something, you are basically saying, “I’m gonna make money by making money,” just as people used to say, “Morphine induces sleep thanks to a sleep-inducing property.” [Note: There is at least one way to monetize money, it was called “the green goods swindle.”]

5. Peoples, Peoples, Peoples

On Sunday morning during Amber Naslund’s session, someone said, “You have to learn to manage the data because it’s all data. You’re data!” The technology we are immersed in relies on our ability to translate objects and experiences into complex informational models which can then be recreated and explored in the everywhere/nowhere of digital space. I understand that the power of this technology can obscure the fact that it is “a way of seeing things” and not “the way things are.” Every time that I’m able to interact with people I’ve first met on the interwebs or continue interactions begun in meatspace in cyberspace, I’m reminded that these interactions represent the (use, not exchange) value of the technology for me.

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11 Responses

  1. 6. If I just wait long enough, then everyone else will write up all the thoughts that are already in my head, likely better than I could.

    Thanks for a great post, and for stepping up in Day 1, Session 1.

  2. Matthew Ebel says:

    I’m pretty sure the “You’re Data” guy was Chris Penn over at – I was sitting next to him and I seem to remember him saying that.


  3. admin says:

    I’d be happy to interview you about this if would make it easier for you. I KNOW you have a lot to say about it.

  4. admin says:

    It was indeed him. I just didn’t want to seem like I was picking on him.

  5. gminks says:

    Thank you for stepping up in that session, it was one of my favorites!

  6. admin says:

    Wow. Thanks for saying so!

  7. Chel says:

    Matthew, thanks so much for picking up that session and running with it. I’ve heard tremendous feedback on how well it went and I’m glad the discussion got to happen.

    You rock!

  8. admin says:

    It was my pleasure, Chel. Thank you for all your hard work running that thing. Having organized conferences in the past, I know how nerve-wracking and never-ending it can be. You did a great job.

  9. 1) I echo Tamsen’s comment above; I have simultaneously enjoyed and been cowed by the commentary I’ve seen already on #pcb4. cowed by in the sense of ‘what more could I add?’

    2) that first session was like the grinch stealing christmas. I had seen marta speak before and was looking forward to an entertaining 45 minutes. wait, there’s no speaker? whatever shall we do? thanks to you (with help from jeff and gradon!) we did what podcamp does – we had a conversation where everyone came away with something valuable. christmas still came. and you drove the sleigh.

    I look forward to continuing the conversation with you and the others I met/got to know better.

  10. admin says:

    Thanks, Todd. I’ve heard others say that they were there expressly to see Marta, which makes me ever more curious to check out her stuff.

  11. […] (read: Jeff Cutler and me) about how we can leave if the prof doesn’t show after 15 minutes, Matthew T Grant walked to the front of the room and moderated what was probably the most group-oriented class of […]