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David Jones (left), Ed Lee and I meeting up on the Friday afternoon before PodCamp Toronto.

It’s taken a few days, but I have emerged from the depths of what Bob Goyetche calls “post-PodCamp letdown mode.” Time to look back.

Last weekend’s visit to Toronto for PodCamp Toronto was, quite simply, outstanding. Plenty of teaching, sharing, and learning, just like PodCamp Boston. I caught up with old friends, like Jay Moonah — in fact, we also led a presentation together on Second Life — Mitch Joel, Christopher Penn, Chris Brogan, John Wall, Leesa Barnes, Michael Bailey, Mark Blevis, and Bob Goyetche; met face-to-face for the very first time with so many others that I had gotten to know online in the past several months, including Terry Fallis, Donna Papacosta, Michael Seaton, Luke Armour, Chris Clarke, Michelle Tampoya, David Jones, and Ed Lee; and met several new people with whom I look forward to sharing the social media space in the months and years to come, like Eden Spodek, Vergel Evans, Sulemaan Ahmed, and Sonya Buyting.

Here are my most top takeaways from the event:

  • From Mitch Joel’s presentation on personal branding: Your “elevator pitch” gives you 30 seconds to start a meaningful relationship.
  • From Julien’s Smith talk on podcasting and search engine optimization (SEO): Google doesn’t care about audio; it cares about text. If your podcast isn’t housed on a blog, you’re killing your chances of ranking highly in Google’s search results.
  • From several of Christopher Penn’s presentations: 1) the new-media tools for marketing your podcast and building your audience are absolutely at your fingertips 2) Don’t ignore MySpace.
  • There is good money to be made as a consultant/speaker/trainer if you know how to teach new media to business.
  • It’s not all about the money. We didn’t travel to Toronto from Boston, Cleveland, Montreal, Ottawa, and Philadelphia just to make a quick buck. We believed in the power of connecting with our community and in finding others to join us.
  • The staff members at the Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University were truly a collection of all-stars. Thanks to their efforts, we had a live video stream of every session. All of the presentations have also been archived on the PodCamp wiki.
  • Toronto-area students were very much part of the event. Three that I met were Omar Ha-Redeye, from Gary Schlee’s Corporate Communications and PR program at Centennial College; Cathy Kurzbock, who is preparing a seminar on social media for her classmates at Seneca College; and Nicholas Montgomery, a 12-year-old who is getting ready to start his own podcast.
  • Never underestimate the “social” in social media. The crowd from PodCamp Toronto knew how to party. We don’t all live in our mothers’ basements.

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