This was the first #Pubcamp and my first unconference and to be honest, I thought I was missing something when there was no schedule.  I then realize that people set out the schedule in the beginning.  It also helped that there was hour delay because of a bike race in DC and it was raining, but around 250 braved the rain and bikes to come to the first #pubcamp.  It is also to note that it was the quickest introduction I’ve been to and they were very helpful to know each person with each person saying their three tags. Onto the sessions I’ve attended:

Citizen Journalism and Public Media

This was the most intense of all the sessions and there are a lot of things that were said, and Jessie X sums up perfectly of why there was tension in the session.  I want add that journalism is still a competitive sport where people are still fighting for stories.  There was one person who said their site does better covering DC than other stations and websites.  That right there shows not only a generational difference, but journalism is still competitive and it is every company for themselves, which brings me to a conversation I had with Charles Meyer and this was not mentioned in the session, but people are looking more towards the internet for the news than newspapers.  Television is still important, but the internet is catching up because there are various opinions and people can select their own news and which ones they believe in.  This tells me that although it’s great you have the story, get all the information and tell the WHOLE story.  This is why NPR and other sites are getting readers/listeners/viewers because they have the time to get the whole story and not care who has the first story.  The morale of the story is get the the story right and have a lot of specifics to clarify the audience.

Social Media Success Stories

I think mostly everyone knows Public Media have been in the forefront in social media and mobile applications.  I want to bring one thing that was mention Amy Wielunski and she mention that although the average donations are down, membership is up.  This is where I believe social media plays a key role not only for Public Media, but in nonprofits and associations.  Nonprofits will not see the big donors donate anytime soon, but through social media, public media can develop an army of supporters and ask them to donate whatever amount.  However, I do think organizations like NPR, PBS, and CPB need to tell their audience/members to donate to their local stations better, but they are improving in that area.

Gaming in Social Media

This was the most anticipated of all the sessions and depending on your viewpoint, you either got it completely, or you slowly understand gaming.  In my case, it was the latter.  The first half of the session was very technical and most of true gamers would understand was going on.  In the last half of the session, almost everyone participate asking themselves: 1) if these games can bring value to the members and 2) how would stations take advantage of the games to help fund stations.  It was a great discussion and more to talk about but here are three games, in my opinion, would help the stations, members, and viewers/listeners:

  • Maria Carter mentioned a FourSquare type game for NPR/PBS news and stories.
  • Andy Carvin mention the best idea that NPR should have a NPR Fantasy Head League where listeners drafts a personality and gets points of being on-air and the brevity of the story.  Personally, I want this so Carl Kasell can breakdown each NPR personality, what are their strengths and weaknesses and how much potential “air time” they have.  You have your own Mel Kiper, Jr.  By the way, if I have the first pick, it would be Carl Kasell and then Tavis Smiley (we are talking about the whole public media, right?)
  • The last one, which almost everyone agreed, is follow the Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me Daily Quiz model and enhance that to give current event and NPR stories to friends and family.


I only went on Saturday and didn’t go on Sunday, but from the live setting and the tweets, almost all of the people attending are dedicated to improve public media and bring close a community of citizens and members.  I think this was NPR, PBS, and CPB idea of to capture what vibe they have.  I think Public Media knows they have done something great for new media and their stations.  I really think the number one question is how the people attending and others donate.  Should they go for a big donation, or rally up a number of supporters who are willing to donate even if it’s a small amount?  That question will be remain to be seen, but as everyone agrees who participated at #pubcamp that they’re doing it for better relationships between media and citizens.

For more references from #pubcamp, go to Digiphile’s blog  and videos of the event.

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