*UPDATE: So, it looks like I ended up talking about the big name change. And I did end up waiting until tomorrow. Next post will cover my specific thoughts as an organizer and presenter this year.
The 5th PodcampAZ was this past weekend. Yes, the shirt says "Last." It was our big surprise, but leaked a little bit early. No biggie. I think everyone was expecting some long, drawn out ramble about a big PodcampAZ- podfade. Or that we merged with some other conference that made podcasting a side note. Instead, we on the committee** simply decided to change the name. That's it. So PodcampAZ has now become TechPhx. Since the beginning, although we stuck to the "unconference" rule that Podcamp has stood by for 5 years, it's never been solely about podcasting. PodcampAZ wasn't even created by a podcaster! It was an awesome dude who saw the Podcamp model and understood the innovative possibilities behind it, and me and many other local podcasters were quick to get on board. But PodcampAZ from the start has always been about the tech community and social media in general, and for the most part the conferences each year have been fairly successful. The problem was getting new people to understand what the conference is, and "Podcamp" to the general public simply isn't as easy to explain.
TechPhx is. I'd really be surprised to say the word "tech" to anyone and have them not know what I was talking about. Technology is our present, and our future. Podcasting is part of that technology, and PodcampAZ will be just one track of many next year. When I have more to say about that, you will be the first to know. As a podcaster, I'm very protective of my medium, just like anyone who believes in something they use often, and serves them well. I never would have been pro-active to a name change had I thought podcasting was going to be edged out the way it has in other conferences.
I get it. You have to move with the changes, and incorporate them with what you're doing, rather than struggling to polarize an event that was never that polarized to begin with. It's a big tech-world out there. We want everyone to know they have a place to go, with a strong community that will help them get started, or expand on what they all ready know.
That is what PodcampAZ was, and what TechPhx will continue to be. See you next year!
**Don't sit in the background and grumble about things you didn't like about the event. Join us and be a part of getting your opinions known and turned into reality! Only you can be the change... that Gandhi guy was awesome. And if you thought it was awesome just the way it was- then you should join us too! We're always looking for more bodies to make the organization process run even smoother than it did this year!