UK Podcastcon 2006

I’m writing this a couple of days after attending the UK conference for podcasters and other podcast industry people.

Of course there are plenty of reviews and breakdowns of the event all over the web from many of the people (around 150) who attended so I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of what went on. In fact, in all honesty I didn’t pay much attention to any of the talks, discussions and so forth.

I think once you’ve been to one or two conferences they all become a blur so I used it as an opportunity to meet a lot of the podcasters whose shows I’ve been listening to for the past 18 months.

One such podcaster of course was Radioclash’s Tim Baker – whose show literally kept me alive last summer whilst I was hoildaying in a Luxembourged shaped hell place. I forgot to mention how important his show was to me but I’m sure he could tell based on my enthusiasm on anything he had to say.

Naturally I agree with most of what Tim wrote in his blog here:

(Notice to how he calls me a Victorian Space Pimp – right on the money there)

I also finally got to meet a fellow video podcasting pioneer, Paul Knight.

You can also see him and me talking about stuff Paul Knight’s vlog post here

Paul was equally delighted to see me too so it was it nice to begin a face to face meeting with a big hug. There were lots of business people there and not many of them were hugging so already it seemed to we had established some kind of them and us divide.

This carried on into the conference itself as I found myself at the back with the naughty contingent. Another such mischief maker being Paul Wilson, who already seems like an old mate who I’ve know for years. Paul, who can always spot a good opportunity when he see one managed to term the situation into an opportunity to sell some software idea he’s had and spent most of the day seemingly doing deals without the need to even rise from his chair. Lots of business people seemed to queue in order to talk to him. None of them seemed to want to talk about his podcast though – The Whocast – which I think disappointed him a bit.

I’m also moaning about green screen being treated as the fix all magic wand of post production and I got to do that here as usual but it seemed the podcasting is in fact the fix all magic wand of media. There was lots of talk about businesses using podcasting to sell a product which frankly discussed me. Whilst I’m all for little adverts and click though things here and there the idea that anyone would listen to (for example) a Ford podcast about how great their new motorcar is seemed absurd, yet that seemed to be all that people were interested in talking about. There was hardly any of what I would call ‘art’ talk at all which disspointed me.

In fact, thinking about, no one seemed to want to talk about individual podcasts at all. There was plenty of generalisation about ideal podcasts; someone on one of the panels said all podcasts should be under 30 minutes which caused a lot of fuss. Apparently he was what people call old media and from what I could tell he hadn’t actually listened to many podcasts himself.

No one was talking about video podcasts, or even IPTV (which we all know is the future – don’t we kids) and there was only a little bit of talk about Podshow. Speaking of which, Adam Curry turned up but I didn’t talk to him this time. Of course I wanted to touch base with him, and he is a genuinely nice fella, but I didn’t really have much to say – especially given I’ve not posted a single episode since I saw him last.

Of more interest on the Podshow front was Rob Dolby of Top of the Pods fame. He was there recording some
video interview things with people, including myself (will add the link as soon as I know it). He was a very complicated man not unlike a rubrics cube. Near impossible to read – as soon as you thought you were tuned into his frequency it would change. It wasn’t like Curry who uses a simple public-self-defense mechanism it was more like the public face of Rob was a character that bore no resemblance to the private one at all. As if he was pretending to be a normal regular guy for the day when in fact he’s either an MI5 spy or something else quite extraordinary. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t any deceit at play, nor any kind of malice so there would be little point looking for tell tale signs of a latex mask which could be removed to reveal whoever…like I said, complicated.

Later on every one moved onto the pub and I got to meet Scott from night-nurse show who I instantly took to, plus a number of other people who whilst not being a listener to any of their shows was glad to talk to about podcast gossip and other such stories. Twinkleboi was there and we talked about Wanda Wisdom’s show; a man who does a music show called Child Without and ipod also said hello and we talked about the merits of doing a show ‘live’ in one take rather than edited; I also seem to remember asking Linda Mills from Podcast user magazine if she used a vibrator.

As the night drew on, and it had been a very long day I headed back to my hostel, sharing the train with Neil Dixon, Jen and Bitjobs Phil who were still in silly mode after doing all their stealth disco stuff throughout the day.

For someone who has terrible trouble in social environments I had a marvellous time and was rather sad it was all over.

6 Responses to “UK Podcastcon 2006”

  1. Linda says:

    Ah, Conrad… I seem to remember the recorder being switched off before that question…

    Looking forward to using ‘Victorian Space Pimp’ in the author bio for your article on video in December’s PUM,

  2. “There was lots of talk about businesses using podcasting to sell a product which frankly discussed me.” Eh? Do you mean the product talked about you? Or that all the talk about businesses using podcasts etc. disgusted you?

  3. Scott says:

    Hey Conrad,

    It was awesome to meet you on Saturday! It was a right laugh and had a great time with you, Twinkle and Tim in the pub. I am going to forward a link of this onto Tim. I am sure he will be very excited by what you have said!

    Hopefully it won’t be till the next conference till we all meet again!

    Scott x

  4. dweller says:

    Hi Conrad, Nice to meet you at the pub the other night. An interesting breakdown of the day. I must admit not being an avid listener of podcasts it was interesting to see the mingling of those who knew one another. I just struck up conversations with randoms most of whom were not part of the podorati (who all seemed overweight?) however not being part of this CB radio crew didn’t stop me enjoying the day. I agree that the panels were very much about commercialism in the podcast world and not about the “open access” anti-blandness eccentric aspect of podcasting. I wanted to meet the guy behind the slamcast but didn’t know who he was. Anyhow Conrad, I checked your first detective fashion film, brilliant. I’ll definitely watch a few more. Did you ever show your films at that night they used to have at the workingmans club in Mare street?

  5. To answer Dean’s question I felt as if no one gave a toss about the content of their shows apart from those who had no interest in monetizing. To this end there seemed like a quest undertaken by some parties to find the ‘ideal’ format – the perfect duration etc.

    I foresee a new wave of corporate podcats that will flood the market and turn a lot of listeners off the entire medium. If a blockbuster video shop opened up with predominantly corporate training videos and other sales and marketing based films then people wold just stop going there – especially if they end up being fooled by misleading marketing. Imagine hiring out a horror film only to find it’s in fact an 90 minute informercial about safety at work!

  6. Paul Wilson says:

    Hiya Conrad,

    It was great seeing you on saturday and you know it is interesting that even though we have only met face to face twice it is really is like we have been mates for years. It was great jut taking time out and having a chat about things.

    I can’t wait for your next audio blog, so pull yoru finger out mate! 🙂



  1. A rather funny lost interview from PodcastCon 2006 | Radio Clash Music Podcast & Blog - [...] you listen to his discussions in part one with Linda Mills (then of Podcast User) and Conrad Slater of…

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