Bootcamp Pittsburgh



Bootcamp was a blast. There were sessions on Intro to Blogging, Podcasting, Social Networking, and more, and it was a jolly good time. I participated in a panel called “Building Your Brand”, which was fun and a little terrifying.

Branding is actually somewhat of an abstract concept. If you ask ten people what it is, you’ll probably get ten different answers. Ultimately, it’s you (or your business’s) identity, and the relation it holds with its public. You can spread that identity in a variety of ways: by covering any and all communication and access points with your logo, becoming involved in your community, developing relationships with others in your specific field… and companies spend millions of dollars finding new ways of getting their identity to be recognized, remembered, and then trusted.

Speaking in public is not something I’m particularly good at, although I’m capable of it when prodded. My expertise lies more on the visual end of branding, which for the sake of the panel consisted of ‘logos are great, you should get one’ and then went into other aspects of spreading the word/vibe/personality of your particular corner of the web. Which was great, actually, but I had little to contribute to that.

My goal of being proactive was somewhat successful. I did not mention SoD in the introduction of myself during the panel, which was bad; but I did give out seven whole business cards, which for me is almost prostitution.

Regardless, the whole experience was amazing. I met a lot of really great people, and reconnected with people I haven’t seen since November’s Podcamp. Pittsburgh geeks (and I use the term oh-so-affectionally) are a wonderful breed — I should know, I’m marrying one… New media unite!