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CreatorCamp DIY


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CreatorCamp DIY

  1. 1. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R G Behind the scenes at the first ever CreatorCamp (#CCyow2010). Tips for organizing a CreatorCamp event in your community. Camps for creators Organizing principle Afterglow Creative Collisions CreatorCamp Toolkit TeamworkCreatorCamp grew out A breakout box for Bob’s thoughts on CreatorCamp delivers a A summary of tools and Mark shares hisof a September 13, 2010 CreatorCamp’s one CreatorCamp and the veritable collection of tactics to help you thoughts on how twoblog post by Bob organizing principle main flow from idea to creative reminders and organize and promote a people who are creative,Goyetche. In the post, and five simple rules. reality... snarky tweet, collisions for Andrea. CreatorCamp in your passionate andBob states his case to Page 2 expanded thought, Page 5 community. committed to process ascreate an event about Keys to Success name and date to make Page 6 much as product cancreating something. A list of contributing it happen. have fun achievingPage 2 factors to the success of Page 4 almost anything #CCyow2010. together. Page 3 Page 6 November 14, 2010 December 8,2010 months earlier). The launch of the wiki was kind of By Tuesday evening we had settled on a venueZero to haphazard — the way most wikis are launched, I (with the help of W. Thomas Leroux) and decided to suspect. In the first 24 hours we wrote blurbs about delay the announcement until we had confirmation.CreatorCamp in the event, refined and reformatted content, and set I wrote up a blog post announcing the full detailsthree weeks up templates for registrants and sessions. There was a concern about spambots and the like so we made and left it in draft. it a requirement that people Sue’s contributions didn’t stop there. She connectedThe Tweet announcing request membership to the us with one of her media arts students (CarolynCreatorCamp Ottawa wiki in order to be able to Lundy) who created a logo for the event. Wewent live at 8:59pmET, edit the page. Bob and I suggested a tweak that allowed identification ofNovember 14. It borrowed some ideas from city-specific landmarks so each event could have itsimplicated Mark Blevis, the PodCamp wiki model, own customization. For Ottawa, Carolyn put theBob Goyetche and CC making a master page of Peace Tower inside the light bulb of the logo.Chapman, and set the information and eventwheels in motion for the @markblevis announces #CCyow2010 T-minus 22 days and counting listings, with subordinatefirst ever CreatorCamp. pages for each event. We Interest in CreatorCamp was on the rise. We wereMark explains... also transplanted their receiving emails and noticed blog posts andReplies and offers of help came in right away. Sue high-level rules with very few modifications. Thank podcasts were appearing online. At the same time,Murphy volunteered to find a venue. We set some you! Bob was planning an event in Montreal, Darylparameters including keeping the event small (100 Cognito expressed his interest in organizing Meanwhile, Sue Murphy was chasing downpeople max) and having the flexibility to hold two CreatorCamp Calgary, and Bob and I spoke withconcurrent sessions. Sue offered to make some calls. possible venues. We kicked around a few possible co-organizers for a CreatorCamp in the US. possibilities. It turns out some options were alreadyWe stayed in contact through email and SMS. Carolyn swung into action, customizing logos for booked. For some others, Sue’s calls weren’t Montreal (Olympic Stadium), Calgary (CalgaryT-minus 23 days and counting returned as quickly as we were hoping. That’s not to Tower) and even a logo in anticipation of a say the venues weren’t interested or available, but CreatorCamp Toronto (CN Tower).Bob set up a Wiki to which I forwarded that we had a short time during which we (we registered the domain two actually make our decision. (...continued on page 3...) 1
  2. 2. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R G Bob Goyetche (photo by Cat) Mark Blevis (photo by Nico) CC Chapman (photo by CC Chapman) Are these topics bad? Of course not. I just honestly but direct messages and my inbox told me I mayWe need camps for have no desire to spend any time on them. I don’t have hit on something, or at least I’m not alone increators believe that you need to be versed in ANY of these topics to be a media creator. You DO, however, need feeling the way I do. to be AMAZING at several of these if you want to So a half joking tweet gets traction. Where can weThe idea of CreatorCamp was born out of a September 13, build a business. go with this? Is there somewhere to go? Are there2010 blog post by Bob Goyetche. The post titled We need bears there? Won’t someone think about thecamps for creators reads as follows... I don’t want to build a business from this. children?I missed Podcamp Montreal. Now I have several friends who either make a living Valerie mentioned that PAB is kinda like a creator’sActually, let me rephrase that, I missed seeing my or tell people they do with the topics above, and camp, but PAB is more about ideas and thoughtsfriends at Podcamp Montreal. I didn’t miss more power to them. I also know a few oncologists, than creation. I think there may be room for anPodcamp. After the 8 or so I’ve been to, I don’t think but have no desire to know more about how they event  where discussing the creation of media (notI’ll actually ever miss a Podcamp. earn their living. the selling, recognition or  monetizing)  is the goal. I imagine an event where you could learn the basicsIt’s a wonderful event, don’t get me wrong, but it’s I just want to be super-clear, I think Podcamp is of audio/video/knitting /photography/not for me anymore. GREAT (I do!), but it has evolved away from my woodworking /sculpture/graphics/ etc.. What a interests, despite the fact I’m thankful it’s there so I treat that would be. Now to be honest, I have noBecause it’s no longer about Podcasting? – there’s can see my friends. desire to start sculpting, but I’m convinced I wouldmore to it than that. find a session on sculpting more interesting than So this Sunday, just to stir things up (cause I tend to analyzing web page traffic. That’s how I roll.I’m not bothered that there isn’t much podcasting do that), I tweeted “What if we leave PodCamp totalk at podcamps. Podcamp has evolved as an marketers, and start #creatorcamp .. #justsaying” . The nice thing about doing this in a camp-ish wayevent. This evolution has taken it towards other would be that it would only need 1 organizingtopics like social media. At one point, I thought The reaction was surprising. I fully expected principle. Something like :imposing podcasting-type topics might be a way to nothing to come of it, like many of my tweets (!), keep it on track. I now think that’s a futile Your session MUST be about creating something.*position. Podcamp is has become a recognizedsocial media event, and is the place to be if youwant to learn/connect with these topics. Organizing principle * and by CREATING, we don’t mean revenue, audience, market share, connections, twitter-followers. We have one organizing principle... sessionsThe thing is, the direction these topics have gone, At bitnorth this year, I gave a quick talk about MUST be about creating something (and bythere just happens to be a great percentage of organizing conferences, and some of the lessons CREATING, we don’t mean revenue, audience,sessions on things that don’t interest me. (and I’m I’ve learned from co-organizing PAB (and several market share, connections, Twitter-followers).not pretending to speak for anyone else here).. podcamps!!) and as I was reviewing my notes, the Otherwise, the rules are pretty much the same as one piece of advice that really stood out was :Looking over the last few podcamps, here are any other "camp" event.some session topics I never need to see again : “Create an event YOU would like to attend.” 1. Create an event YOU would like to attend Search Engine Optimization I’d love to attend an event dealing specifically with 2. All attendees must be treated equally and be creation, would you? Marketing allowed to participate (subject to limitations of physical space). Building Audience Press Releases 3. All content created must be released under a Starting the campfire Creative Commons license There was immediate and widespread interest in Analytics 4. All sessions must obey the Law of 2 Feet (if Bob’s post. Lots of people seemed committed to the Public Relations idea yet none acted on it. youre not getting what you want out of the facebook session, you can and should quietly walk out It was during a Skype conversation between Bob, and do something else) twitter Mark and C.C. that the decision was made to 5. The financials of a CreatorCamp must be fully organize the first CreatorCamp in Ottawa when CC social freaking media disclosed in an open ledger, except for any would be in town to kick off the tour for his newly etc… etc.. donor/sponsor who wishes to remain co-authored book, Content Rules, at SMB Ottawa. anonymous.2
  3. 3. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R GHow we did it (...continued from page 1...) We estimate about 40 of the 65 registrants participated in Creator Camp Ottawa. The vibe was great. The presenters shared experiences and suggestions;T-minus 21 days and counting participants seemed engaged. I furiously took notes.Sue confirmed the venue late afternoon on Nov 17. Almost exactly three weeks The presenters were fascinating. Amazingly, each session reinforced a commonto the minute before CreatorCamp Ottawa would begin, we went live with the idea to start your project.venue information and fully promoted registration for the event. Less than 72hours had passed since the event had been conceived. Here’s the list with their topics/titles and my personal standout takeaway from each session…We chose Wiki technology because of the speed at which we could establish theCreatorCamp website and the ability to allow others to contribute. The premise Louise Legault-Hatem: inner creative genius in impromptu situationsis anyone can edit the page to add themselves to the list of registrants and (success comes from trusting your instincts and abilities)submit their name as a possible speaker. It’s that conceptual simplicity that Tom Hofstatter: “Run with scissors”… focusing creativity by imposingmakes Wikis so popular for organizing “camp” type events. boundaries – and removing distraction (committing to the idea is the hard part, accidental and self-imposed limitations contribute to the creativeAlas, Wikis can be daunting for people who are unfamiliar with the technology. process)Most people have no problems navigating a Wiki but don’t have the know-howor interest in figuring out how to edit an embedded page. It was a growing Alison Gresik: 4 things you need to know to write a book — or finish any bigconcern that the technology was getting in the way of people registering for project — next year (find the big yes and act on it)CreatorCamp — and it had only been about 12 hours since the Wiki was Sue Murphy: The role of hiatus in the creative process (sometimes you needofficially launched. So I interrupted Bob on Gchat to suggest we move to give up something you love to renew your passion for it)registration over to Eventbrite, a service designed specifically for managing Christopher Griffin: Accidental inspiration and creativity (get rid of theevent registrations and free for events that don’t use the built-in registration fee preciousness of the materials/project)processing feature. CC Chapman: Photography as a creative activity (take and share pictures of me: Just want to get your take on me creating an Eventbrite for CCyow2010 anything/everything every day) to make for easier registration for the non-social media community. The venue was fantastic; the environment naturally created a “theatre in the Bob: yes- seems like a good idea-, then we can lock down the wiki – round” which the speakers used very well. I actually dreamed the wiki got spammed last night If I could change one thing, it would be the music. Being a popular pub, PattyWe techie folks have weird dreams. In our defence, Wikis are often the target of Boland’s played music through the house speakers which are wired in such aspammers. This has led many Wiki owners to implement some cursory security way that turning off the music on the second floor (where Creator Camp wascontrols. A side effect of those controls is a layer of complexity making it less held) kills the music on the main floor as well. While the staff did turn the musicintuitive for participants of the site. down for us, it was a bit of a challenge to speak over it. The presenters must have been exhausted afterward. To their credit, they were so engaging, it wasI created an Eventbrite event for CreatorCamp Ottawa and manually re- easy (for me) to tune the music out.registered everyone from the Wiki to Eventbrite. We decided to maintain aparallel registration list on the Wiki as well since it allows people to add All that and we raised $340 for the Ottawa Food Bank!biographical information; something some registrants had already done thoughnot something we specifically promoted. Given that few made that effort, myguess is the extra steps in the process are discouragingly complex. Besides, theaudience is creative folks, not social media creative folks which means they may Keys to success...not be as familiar with the technology as geeks like us. two heads are better than oneBob did some coding to make sure the list of Eventbrite registrants was kept keep the event small (100 people) and flexible (the option to have twocurrent on the Wiki. concurrent streams - though #CCyow2010 was single stream)T-minus 5 days to go promote the event even with basic decisions in placeThe rest of the planning revolved around promotion of the event. Besides have a central website for information and registrationblogging and Tweeting about #CCyow2010, we promoted the event throughword of mouth. A couple of reminder emails were circulated to registrants. don’t be afraid to ask for and accept help (venue, promotion...)Those emails included a nudge to bring $10 to donate to the Ottawa Food Bank.We settled on financial donations rather than canned goods so it wouldn’t be make registration as easy as possiblenecessary for us to haul away a small mountain of heavy containers. promote the event at other events (if possible)I made arrangements for a representative of the Ottawa Food Bank to attend the arrange to kill the music or hold the event where music won’t be an issuebeginning of Creator Camp to collect and carry the money away, rather thanhaving to take the collection and deliver potentially hundreds of dollars during make giving to the local community a part of the eventworking hours. By the way, I made the the initial request for a representative onFriday, three business days before Creator Camp. While the Food Bank was able have a representative of the selected charity present to collect theto accommodate us, they apparently request 7 days notice. donations (one less thing to worry about; money’s easier to carry than food/clothing)Liftoff encourage participants to run their own Creator Camp eventsThere were 25 new registrations on the day of the event. That was attributed toan announcement I made at Social Media Breakfast Ottawa following CC’s trust the event to turn out just as it was meant 3
  4. 4. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R G Christopher Griffin presents at #CCyow2010 (photo by Alexa Clark)AfterglowBob’s post-CCyow2010 blog post which includes his thesis on the flow of idea to reality...1. Snarky Tweet --> 2. Expanded Thought --> 3. Name and a date to make it happenThat project flow won’t make it onto the bestseller lists, but the event on had a name and now a date. Those 2 things made all the other thingsDecember 8th proves it’s a valid process none the less. If I break this down,’s what I see : The effect of a set date can not be underestimated. If you say let’s do this1. Snarky Tweet – “What if we leave PodCamp to marketers, and start soon – there is no commitment, because soon is relative, and very flexible. #creatorcamp ..” December 8th 2010 though, is pretty hard to change, so all other decisions were made in function of that.I’m all for agreeing with people, but if you do see something you don’t like –say it!  There are plenty of people who just wait for “thought leaders” to say In fact, if you’re thinking of planning an event, pick a name and  date wouldsomething so that they can agree. I’ve been called a thought leader by some to me be the two most important things. Seems obvious, but it’s so this space, and I’ll let you in on a secret, a thought leader isn’t necessarilywho thought it first, but who said it first. So express your thoughts, “Well Other thoughtssaid Chris” doesn’t do anything. Let it happen - CreatorCamp Ottawa was a great event, and throughoutSo the snarky tweet born out of a feeling that an event no longer spoke to me the evening I couldn’t help but feel that the way the event was going wasgets many replies, retweets, and generates MANY private messages to me exactly how it should happen. It could have been completely differentthat tell me I’ve hit upon something, and now would be a good time to and still that would have been perfectly how it should be.expand on that. In the round – the layout of the tavern where we held CreatorCamp2. Expanded thought – in other words, back it up! meant that there were seats all around the person speaking. This was just great – not only did it force the person speaking to move around andIt’s so easy to be that person that just bitches about stuff. We know them, interact, it also fostered interaction between the audience, as they weresometimes we ARE them. Bitching on its own will do very little to address facing each other, not just forward to a speaker.the issue or  enhance your image. Think of some of the “social mediaexperts” you know – I’m sure you already have a name in mind – all they do Keep it small – One of the things we noticed when organizing the PABis bitch and never offer more. Whether it’s because they won’t or can’t is up conference is that 80 people interact much more easily than 120.for debate. CreatorCamp Ottawa had around 45 people, and the interaction level was quite high. It’s not up to me, but I suggest capping the event at 50,So propose a solution to what you’re bitching about. I used a blog post to otherwise people will naturally break into groups, and someone will bemake my thoughts known. Here’s the cool part, you don’t have to follow up left out. A small number keeps everyone engaged.on it or make it happen. It doesn’t have to be right or the “final answer” oranything. Your proposed solution at best will move the debate forward, and Overall, I couldn’t be more thrilled at how CreatorCamp is evolving, andat worst at least show you’ve thought about it somewhat. with the success the first event. 2011 brings CreatorCamp to Calgary, Montreal, Boston … and based on conversations maybe Chicago and3. Make it happen Windsor.. I’d love to see your city on this list.  All you really need to have a CreatorCamp is someone willing to talk their creative process, and someoneThis was the surprising part to me. This step wasn’t my idea. The willing to listen. Email me with any questions, I’d love to help you make itCreatorCamp idea was just sitting there, and I didn’t have the cycles/ happen.motivation/time/whatever to push it from idea to event. Then, somethinginteresting happened. It looked like CC Chapman, Mark Blevis and I would So all this happens because of a snarky tweet.  I can’t say I never gotbe getting together for a few beers on Ottawa. Mark saw the opportunity and anything of value from twitter anymore.  crap.suggested we do CreatorCamp then. That was the magic moment. The event4
  5. 5. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R G We have one organizing principle... sessions MUST be about creating something (and by CREATING, we don’t mean revenue, audience, market share, connections, Twitter-followers). Susan Larrivee and Andrea Ross at #CCyow2010 (photo by Mark Blevis) And, most of all, I was captivated by the collision of my various lives:Creative Collisions Bob, Julien, Bob and Sue, podcasting friendsThis recap post was published by Andrea Ross following #CCyow2010 Alexa, who I met in grade 8Tonight was the first ever Creator Camp. Louise and Tom, who are currently my coworkers Candice, who I met through a anti-cancer food for web services barterI was thrilled to take a dip in creativity soup with quilters, painters, writers,musicians, speakers, photographers, storytellers, bakers. And more. My long lost cousin, Susan.I was grateful for reminders: A truly amusing sliced life stew. to recognize gruelling social situations as creative challenges Huge thanks to Louise, Tom, Alison, Sue, Christopher and CC for the thought- provoking presentations and to everyone who made time on a cold midweek to start small and draw on what we know evening to share an evening of inspiration. to notice our creative sweet spots — an empty canvas can be much more inhibiting than a tiny space,  a specific problem or a single missing harmony to appreciate our creativity in its overlooked forms and sizes that creative goals require decision, commitment, scheduling and enjoyment Will you be next? to keep expectations low to recognize creative drought as a valuable time of regeneration and renewal to be present to take ourselves less seriously to 5
  6. 6. C R E A T O R C A M P . O R GCreatorCamp toolkitThe tools we used and how we used them to plan, promote and host BlogsThe Wiki Because of its purpose-built It’s hard to beat the efficiency We decided against creating We used our personal blogswas the central hub of all and user-friendly interface, and reach of Twitter for a Facebook group or fan to provide information on theinformation, coordination, Eventbrite is the logical disseminating information and page for CreatorCamp. event and to share details onregistration and curation of choice to manage the promoting events. In the case Rather than create too many our planning process to helpCreatorCamp activity. registration process and send of CreatorCamp, Bob first outposts which would require others who may beHowever, as accessible as email updates and reminders planted the seed for and we regular care and feeding, we considering organizing theirthey are, participating in a to registrants. It’s free for announced #CCyow2010 on focused our efforts and own CreatorCamp events.Wiki presents a technological events that don’t use its Twitter. It became an distributed specific functionschallenge for most people. payment processing important tool for posting across the Wiki, Eventbrite We believe CreatorCamp will capabilities - particularly updates and encourage and Twitter. have a huge impact andSo, PBworks is the home for appropriate for CreatorCamp. registration. doesn’t need to beCreatorCamp, its events and This meant we had to Personal Facebook accounts complicated orfor maintaining and manage a fundraising Twitter was also part of the were used to promote the unmanageable. CCyow2010publicizing relevant collection for the Ottawa event (people tweeted what event and post updates about came together in 3 weeksinformation. Event planners Food Bank at the event. We was going on) and we used it the schedule and speaking with just hours of planning.will have take on the didn’t use Eventbrite to to announce the event raised program. You can do it, too!responsibility of establishing check-in participants when $340 for the Ottawa Foodand maintaining event- they arrived. On reflection, it Bank.specific pages within would have been nice know who actually attended.A word from Mark on great teamwork Organizers and contributors Bob and I are known as the co-organizers of Bob Goyetche @bobgoyetche, PAB, a conference about digital content creation and audience engagement. It’s a Mark Blevis @markblevis, formal conference with a passionate and CC Chapman @cc_chapman, committed community. It takes months to organize this annual three-day event packed Sue Murphy @suzemuse, with speaking sessions, social activities and good food. We’ve also organized PodCamp Carolyn Lundy @carolynlundy Ottawa in what we believe to be the W. Thomas Leroux @wtl, simplest and most pure way to organize Mark and Bob (photo by John Meadows) that event — we found a venue, set up a Andrea Ross @justonemorebook, wecanrebuildher.comWiki to co-ordinate the event and registration, and announced it no sooner than three weeksbefore the event in an effort to keep it small and engaging.We’re are a great team. We’re passionate and committed as much to the process as to theproduct, and not so ego-centric as to put our own interests ahead of the other or the event.While we agree on an unhealthy number of decisions and ideas, neither of us is blindlycompliant. We routinely question each other and challenge our ideas as an exercise to ensurenothing needs to be defended to our community. There is the odd time we agree on acompromise or allow the more passionate of the two of us to run with an idea the other isn’tparticularly married to nor concerned about. This dynamic has always made for great events,positive community reception and an incredible friendship. This document, prepared by Mark Blevis, Bob Goyetche andI believe the best events happen because of a co-ordinating partnership, not a single person or Andrea Ross, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License.committee.6