As Beth Dunn and I made final adjustments to the equipment at the the office and meeting room where she is Director of Communications, the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, she spotted smoke coming from an electrical outlet and surge protector. It smelled really bad, and it made us wonder if there was something burning somewhere we couldn’t see. Beth called the Hyannis Fire Department, which responded forthwith. And so 15 minutes before my audience of 40 people was due to arrive, the room was filled with full-suited firemen carrying axes and cool digital monitors. Beth, whose network in the real world rivals her extensive connections online, quickly found another venue at Cape Cod Community College. I unhooked my Mac and the projector and stuffed all the tech gear in the suitcase for a quick change of plans.
My talk thus got off to a late start, but by the end of it I’d forgotten about the smoking surge protector because of the high engagement level of the folks who followed us over to the college. It was an audience made up entirely of artists exploring ways to support their art with new media tools. Most had heard the term “podcast” but had little idea what it meant. They asked great questions that helped me understand the subject better, which is always a payoff of giving these sorts of presentations.
I recorded the session with my Edirol R-09. The volume was all over the place, because I left the Edirol on a table and moved around a lot. Twitter friends Simon Young of New Zealand, Duane the ThePreppyDude, Darren Barefoot of Victoria, B.C., and Steve Rhodes of San Francisco offered helpful advice on how to improve the file minutes after I posted a plea for aid on Twitter. In the end, the Conversation Network‘s free and excellent Levelator improved the audio to within listenable quality. The talk lasts an hour and 20 minutes.
Several people came up after my talk to say they planned to experiment with podcasting. I can’t wait to receive my first email with a link to a new show that got its start on Cape Cod. When Beth and I returned to the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, we were relieved to see the building stills standing.