PodCamp & WordCamp Hawaii kicks off tomorrow at the Hawaii Convention Center, which will make the next two days utter nirvana (or, perhaps, “nerdvana”) for geeks and geeks in the making. New media and the social web will be explored and discussed in a free event that welcomes everyone — from the evangelists to the skeptics, from the pros to the merely curious. More than 500 people have registered to attend.
There had long been interest in staging a “PodCamp” (a specific brand of “community unconference”) in Hawaii. A more grassroots, local event dubbed “Unconferenz” was held in January — the brainchild of Burt Lum — and it certainly showed the potential. After WordPress.com founder Matt Mullenweg came to speak at Macahiki in April, I personally became interested in staging a WordCamp, a WordPress-centric little cousin to a PodCamp.
But new media entrepreneur Roxanne Darling (and her partner Shane Robinson) were ready to think big. Really big. Soon after a kickoff meeting in May, a full-blown PodCamp was in the works, with WordCamp but one part of it. Big name sponsors? The Hawaii Convention Center? In five months? I admit, I was skeptical. And certainly, there was talk of scaling things down, or postponing altogether, along the way. But Roxanne’s single-minded, take-no-prisoners commitment to the plan made it a reality.
Along with a hui of volunteers and in-kind sponsors, of course.
I’ll be speaking as part of a WordCamp session on blogging (backing up the effervescent Charlene Amsden) tomorrow, but I’ve also volunteered to staff a couple of other sessions. (You can still volunteer, too!) At an “unconference,” anyone can speak and share, and anyone can help. Everyone will learn something, and have a great time doing it.
I’m mostly looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new people. There’ll be people at PodCamp who’ll have traveled across the island, from another island, and from across the ocean. I hope you’ll join us, but if you can’t make it, there’ll be live video streamed from key sessions at the PodCamp Hawaii website. You can also track the keyword “pch08″ on Twitter to get nearly instantaneous updates from dozens of attendees. Of course, I’ll be tweeting and posting photos to Flickr as well.