Yesterday, I set my alarm to 6 am and jumped on the 7:33 train to Zürich-Oerlikon. On a Saturday. To attend a barcamp on media.
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of barcamps, a barcamp is a conference that organizes the talks by itself, on the day, Someone provides some rooms and infrastructure such as wifi and screens. And they send out invites via Twitter and other social media channels.
And that’s how i found my way to #medienbc, the event’s hashtag.
In yesterday’s case, the Medien-Barcamp organizers had access to the rooms of SRF, the Swiss public radio and TV station, in Zürich.
It’s not my first barcamp. I’ve attended many and even presented topics at some. Yesterday I was in listening mode.
Here’s a brief recap of the talks that I attended:
First, I attended a talk by Markus on Voice User Interfaces. He provided an excellent intro to the rise of voice. He says many new jobs are being created in this space. And I made a mental note to look up SSML.
Fabian and David invited us to discuss how to get more “old” people engaged on social media. The discussion covered a lot of ground:
- The decline in journalistic quality,
- The change in speed,
- The fact that today journalists have access to less proofreading, fact checking and editorial staff than ever,
- Questions like do users want to see and interact with company content on Facebook (apparently yes, 1 attendee described how a Facebook ad influenced her decision to buy).
Next, I listened to Vincenzo talk about the challenges and learnings of setting up an email newsletter for a small regional newspaper. A very honest and useful talk. His newspaper uses a tool called Revue, by a Dutch startup, cos it’s even simpler than Mailchimp.
I peeked into the session on no-budget video production. I would like to learn more about this.
I listened to a talk on analytics. Not new for me, but I was curious to see SimilarWeb. It looks a lot like SEMRush.
We looked at the stats for Nau.ch that had just announced it is now making a profit. The stats showed Nau.ch is investing in organic search. Markus recommended that journalists do keyword research for their articles. I would think that is obvious by now.
In the last session of the day, I got valuable advice on how to prepare to speak in front of audience or take part in an interview. In my own words:
- Stand firmly. Before you start presenting, assure yourself that you are standing firmly on the ground and that it will not disappear beneath you.
- Find ways to relax and stand in an open, welcoming position, e.g. take deep breaths of air, yawn, make funny faces, turn into a loud and noisy monster shortly before your gig.
- Remind yourself that you are valuable, e.g. imagine you were given a really expensive diamond worth more than 100 thousand CHF and walk thru the busy train station in Bern.
- Prepare and know the content of your presentation. If you know your topic well, you will be persuasive.
- It’s about your attitude and posture.
Thank you to the organisers and participants for an enjoyable and fulfilling event. Good food, awesome location, great speakers. I like barcamp sessions cos we can leave out the sales speak and dig deeper. I feel excited and encouraged.