Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Barcamp Nashville 2008 - #bcn08

Where the Big Dogs Go

On Saturday, October 18, 2008 at Barcamp Nashville 2008, BOHAN Advertising led a panel of digital executives from the largest media companies in Nashville discussing their current breakthrough work online and their visions for the future…

My first impression walking into the Sommet Center downtown was that this Barcamp was nothing like the early Barcamp meetings I’d attended in San Francisco and New York (or the Barcamp Nashville 2007). Kudos to the organizers for actually organizing this event! Shout-out to the roving master-of-ceremonies, Nicholas Holland, CEO of Centresource, (http://www.centresource.com) who also made a killer presentation on, “Crowdsourcing” – if you don’t know the term, Google it, then call Nicholas.

As the day went on, I did have some nostalgia for the drunken hecklers that filled the later-afternoon sessions of Barcamps past – always an entertainment. But the generous sponsors should be thanked profusely and you should give them all your business.


Dave Delaney of Griffin Technologies gave the most cogent presentation I’ve seen yet on Twitter and the merits of blogging via TXT message. Note: he started a campaign to raise money for a charity and by the afternoon announced that he had surpassed his goal… This was must-see-TV for marketing and communications professionals -

I caught part of an excellent presentation about Public Relations, called “PR 2.0, Now the Deer Have Guns” or something like that… Great concept, very important to remember it’s not just a jaded media audience we are speaking to, but also one where each person has the power of global communications tools and social networks at their fingertips. Don’t be afraid of it… use it!

I had the privilege of introducing Tod Fetherling, the new President of the Nashville Technology Council, for his presentation, “Can’t We All Just Get Along?” This was Tod’s third day of employment with the Council, and he was (and still is) soliciting ideas from Nashville’s disparate groups of digeratti (Digital Nashville, Geek Breakfast, Startup Weekend, LinkToNashville, NAF, AMA, PRSA, etc.) about how the Council can provide more relevant programs and a stronger voice for tech companies’ interests here. Note: he announced the Council has a Ning site, and while he was speaking, a large number of the audience joined online – you should too - http://nashvilletechnologycouncil.ning.com/


Our presentation “WHERE THE BIG DOGS GO” started with a giant technology fail… Apologies to the Barcamp audience and The Tennessean and Comcast for not being able to show your links – they are all included here…

I felt like that guy who reaches the heart attack victim first onstage at the surgeon’s convention and yells: “Is there a doctor in the house?” …Except that I was asking for a laptop with a functioning internet connection…


Fred Menko, VP Digital at The Tennessean forged-ahead without the benefit of audio-visual aids and described some of the challenges and strategies that The Tennessean and other Gannett publications are pursuing. Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation's largest-selling daily newspaper.

Note: The popular “MusicCityMoms” website is being expanded to a national network of similar websites (presumably WindyCityMoms, and TheCityThatNeverSleepsMoms, etc.)… They will all now reside at the new online community – http://www.MomsLikeMe.com

Fred also generously answered audience questions while the technology continued to evade us. He graciously took flack from a Barcamper who was very passionate about the content choices and timing of previous news coverage. As my father would have said, “The time to worry is when people stop caring about what you publish.” I saw it as a validation of the continued importance of the newspaper in people’s lives.


Next up was Kathy Himmelberg, Digital Sales Manager for South Central Area, which is comprised of 15 markets in Southeast for Comcast "Spotlight" (http://www.comcastspotlight.com/) - the advertising sales division of Comcast. As mentioned earlier, Comcast customer service operates the Twitter channel “ComcastCares.” If you follow him or send him a message through Twitter, you will see, a real human being named Frank will get you the information you need or find someone who can help you.

Kathy was also hindered by the final part of our technical struggle, and was forced to describe rather than show examples of Comcast’s new Auto Ad Network of national websites, and Video on Demand, and of course, Banner Video on Comcast.net such as:

Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

Boy Scouts of America


At this point, the employee of The Tennessean came to the rescue and we were able to continue with the presentation by Scott Winchell, Online Sales Manager for Clear Channel in Nashville. Scott has spent 25 years in the Nashville market, is a graduate of Trevecca, has a music industry background and six years with Clear Channel: 1059 The Rock, 101.1 The Beat, The River, The Big 98...




Then Christian Grantham, Web Manager at WKRN, ABC-TV Channel 2 in Nashville, alumni speaker from Barcamp Nashville 2007, who blogs on NashvilleIsTalking.com, and ran a commercially licensed webcast company that created two music channels on Apple’s iTunes, shared sites that included a Twitter channel:


As he was speaking, members of the audience were sending Twitter messages or “tweeting” about his presentation, and the messages were appearing on the website he was showing. It was a very surreal experience, better than when I watched the political debates with the laptop browsing http://election.twitter.com side-by-side next to the TV.


Last but not least on our panel, John Tuminello, Interactive Marketing Director for South Central Radio Group, manages the interactive marketing activities for two radio stations, Mix 92.9 and 96.3 JACK-fm, and is the co-creator of MusicCityUnsigned.com…



It was initially David Bohan of Bohan Advertising|Marketing (http://www.bohanideas.com and TWITTER http://www.twitter.com/bohanideas) who had inspired me to present this panel at Barcamp Nashville 2008. David has recognized the digital talent developing here in Nashville, and has said more than once, “We need to convince ourselves that we are ready.” If we had more time, we would have presented Bohan’s new campaign for Ebonite, ‘They Ruined Bowling” (http://www.theyruinedbowling.com) - in the spirit of the video “mockumentary,” comedian Dale Jenkins rants and mockublogs and mockutubes (he doesn’t mockutwitter yet) and creates buzz in bowling circles on ESPN-TV and online.

I have also been impressed with Cricket locally (represented by The Bradford Group – http://www.bradfordgrp.com/), and the community they continue building on MySpace using the fuel of musicians’ egos here in Nashville (local bands submit songs, are featured on the Cricket MySpace site, and a free downloadable ring-tone is created for their fans) – http://www.myspace.com/cricketnashvillemusicshowcase

[We had some incredible questions from the audience, and when the video is available this paragraph will be edited to include a link!] There were so many excellent presentations throughout the day; I hope that you will take the time to review the videos and other people’s blogs about Barcamp Nashville 2008 – http://www.barcampnashville.com.


One of my other favorite presentations was “My Most Fabulous Geek Life: For Geekettes Only!” Thanks to Katy Kirby, Alison Groves, Elin Eifler, Raquel Maddox, Kate O’Neill, Rachael Qualls, Kim Hatcher and Julie Moore for all the sharing.

Another was “Make Google Your B*tch!”…And not just for the vote-winning, attention-seeking, irreverent title. John Henshaw, Internet Strategist at Sitening (http://www.sitening.com/) gets it (SEO that is, along with other principles of effective online communications), and shares it well (he’s in good company now – Kate O’Neill is their new Managing Director).

Some equally incredible folks in the three different presentation rooms, the hallways and café/bar (smile your on Candid Blogger Camera!):

Jackson Miller, Statzen (http://www.statzen.com);
Karen Parmelee, Producer/Writer (http://parmcharm.com);
Donna Mattick, Nashville Chamber of Commerce (http://www.nashvillechamber.com);
Milt Capps, Venture Nashville Connections (http://www.venturenashville.com);
Paige Presley, Dealerskins (http://www.dealerskins.com);
Nick Bradbury, NewsGator (http://newsgator.com);
Ken Russell, Nexus Group (http:/www.nxs.net);
Michelle McManus, OHL (http://www.ohl.com);
Lisa Kelley, White Chocolate Video Productions (http://www.wcvp.com);
Jennifer Leeda, Atkinson Public Relations (http://www.atkinsonpr.com);
Alex Lavidge, Knoxville Overground (http://knoxvilleoverground.com);
John Carney, Shelbyville Times-Gazette (http://www.t-g.com)

Hope to see all you ‘campers next year!

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