a rambling rant...

Last weekend I found myself in a heated discussion with another local about PopTech’s presence in town. I wasn’t anticipating fireworks, but then again I know from first hand experience that cocktails can cause fireworks of words and sometimes even crackers.

The man I was had a disagreement with had a firm anti-Pop!Tech position and there came a point where I became so discouraged by our discussion that I had to walk away. A short time later he was screaming at the Pop!Tech participants that were lingering outside the bar.

I’ve spent the weekend mulling over his anger towards Pop!Tech. Honestly, I can’t exactly remember what he was trying to prove (it was late in the evening and I’d had my fair share of PBR and Dark 'n Stormy’s.).

I think he was angry because the conference is high profile and it costs (a lot of) money to attend. Sure, it’s kind of exclusive in this regard, but I found it unnecessary for him to barrage participants because they've paid 3,000 bucks to come to our town for the weekend. And… I told him so.

I’m sure D. hasn’t spent much time researching who was actually speaking at the conference or what they were even talking about. I bet he didn't know that there was live streaming of the entire event available online, for free. Not to mention that there were pictures being uploaded continuously to flickr and countless people blogging about the event. But i have a feeling he didn't really care.

Sure, you could pay for a mouth of braces with what it costs to attend Pop!Tech. But anyone one of us can sign up to volunteer or even apply for a scholarship to attend. I know for a fact that a small number of locals do plan ahead and attend Pop!Tech as both volunteers and participants.

Perhaps it would be a friendly gesture to the community to have a live stream on a plasma at the Camden Public Library. Can I promise that people would actually go and watch? No. Honestly, I doubt there would be many locals there at all. There’d probably be more Pop!Tech attendees there on their computers than locals.

Which brings me to the local issue. VillageSoup published one piece about Pop!Tech occurring this year. It amazes me that VillageSoup doesn’t have a local reporter or blogger there to share with the community, through our community news source about the fascinating topics being discussed by experts in the midst of our own town.

Actually, this is where I get irate. On Sunday evening, following three days of discussions, presentations and performances including Grammy winner John Legend, the top read news stories of the week on VillageSoup are as follows:

lame ass villagesoup top read stories

Obviously no one from VillageSoup gives a shit about what’s going on around the corner. Please, what's with the random Texas story. I just don't get it. What I do get is that locals don’t know any better than to bitch and complain, because our local news sources won't tell us anything interesting about what's happening here.

VillageSoup can do better than publishing a continuous stream of police blotters and pictures about pretty fall leaves and sunrises (Camden and Rockland). VillageSoup can educate and inform the community about something relevant in addition to the latest high school sports results. But, more often than naught, they don’t.

But that's another story, back to the rambles at hand.

I’m grateful that Pop!Tech calls Camden it’s home. It’s exciting to read about the brilliant people that descend upon our town and then see them getting coffee! Or talk with them over a beer!

I only have a few complaints about life amidst Pop!Teching.

The J-Walking: Just because this is a small town doesn’t mean you have free reign to walk wherever you please. In a place that has crosswalks every hundred feet (or less) don’t be lazy and inconsiderate. (I know you go to Pop!Tech. Don’t bother to hide your badge now.)

The live stream: for some reason the live stream just never worked for me. It would stumble along for five seconds and then cause my browser to crash. I did have the opportunity to meet the Yahoo PR lady, i think her name was Megan, (Yahoo sponsored the live streaming) and she seemed concerned that it wasn’t working, so I gave her my stats and email.

In turn ,she gave me a hard time because I had a gmail account, doh! Ok, so she was kidding with me, but three days and twenty or thirty crashes later the live streaming issue was never resolved. And I never got an email confirming any actual effort to fix the issue.

One last thing… You do know we’re gonna make fun of those badges from sun up to sun down. Is it really necessary to make them quite so big? Seriously!


Kisses and fishes, can’t wait for next year.

Meh. Just found this from VillageSoup... published days after the excitement.
Pop!Tech pizazz in Camden

1 comment:

mike said...

Liked your post very much. I travel to PopTech from Philly every year and really enjoy the conference and Camden. I always feel self-conscious walking around town with that badge on. I often hide it under my shirt or sweater. Although, sometimes people will engage me in conversation when they see the badge. I started attending in 2000 and, fortunately, I stay with friends who live in Camden. They knew nothing about the conference until I told them about it. In such a small town you would think people know almost everything that goes on.