A bright future for UK podcasting

A tremendous success – that’s my judgment of PodcastCon UK which took place in London on Saturday.

Europe’s first conference on podcasting saw 120 or so people gathered together to present, talk, mix and get to know each other in an atmosphere of keen excitement. A massive tip of the hat to the four organizers who put together this groundbreaking event – Paul Nicholls, Adrian Pegg, Alex Bellinger and Neil Dixon.

I met so many people with great thinking and ideas, some I know already or whose podcasts I listen to, others who I met for the first time, including Nicole Simon, David Davis, Richard Byrom, Leanne Byrom, Chris Ritke, Chris Skinner, Richard Vobes, Mark Hunter, Ben Metcalfe, Lloyd Davis, Ewan Spence, Mike Mills, Chris Smith, Marit Hendriks, Jay Pond-Jones and Blugg. Loads of others, too – fleeting chats in the breaks and in the pub after the event.

If PodcastCon UK signifies anything, it’s that there is absolutely no shortage of creative ideas, imagination, energy and enthusiasm about podcasting as an entertainment and business tool. Conversations with people were simply idea streams – if only two or three of the things I heard about on Saturday come to fruition, there is a very bright future for the development of this medium in the UK.

Lots of posts and photos already online. Brian Condon posted a good concise summary of most of the presentations including mine. My few photos are here on Flickr.

I presented on the business potential of podcasting. A PDF of my presentation is available for download (1.5Mb) plus the podcast clips MP3 (3.3Mb) I played as part of the presentation, which has samples from podcasts by General Motors, US Air Force, Warner Bros, NASA, IBM and Virgin Atlantic.

Chris Kimber of BBC Radio and James Cridland of Virgin Radio had some very interesting things to say in their presentations. I’ll be posting commentary on that in the next day or so.

I was also impressed with Be, the new UK broadband company and the prime sponsor. Rather, impressed with Dana Pressman, Be’s managing director, for her highly professional and credible sponsor’s presentation. She came across very clearly indeed as the leader of a company who understands this particular audience and their needs. And a very nice gesture – Be had run a competition at the conference with the prize being a year’s free 24-meg internet access for the lucky winner. There were three finalists. So she announced each would get the prize. How to win firm friends and influence!

Also, check out Oculas that was on display – a sort of a high-tech capsule or pod that you can get into and shut yourself away from the world and relax yourself with the aid of some cool gadgets inside. That description doesn’t do it justice at all, though. Neither does the photo I took (in the Flickr set). Visit their website for details. And if you fly British Airways this month, check out page 17 in the September edition of BA’s Business Life magazine – I was flipping the pages on my flight back to Amsterdam today and there is a feature on Oculas.

And last but not least, I didn’t see any of the expected Playboy bunnies


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