CreateSouth, New Media Conference in Myrtle Beach April 19th

OK kids, registration for the CreateSouth conference is open for business! The conference is April 19th from 9 to 5 PM in downtown Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. All attendees are invited, whether you live and breath new media or are interested but slightly frightened by it. If you are a professional journalist or a politician or a pastor or a musician and want to learn how to make new media work in your career, this is for you. If you have wanted to blog or podcast or videoblog but aren’t sure where to start, this is for you. The goal of this conference is to get the newbies and the wizards together in the same room, talking and hanging out and sharing meals. Our focus is hands on demonstration and we are assembling the program right now to reflect that. The idea of the conference is that if there is some project you want to do but haven’t tackled because the learning curve is too high, you should walk out of the conference knowing where to start and maybe with an email address or three of people that can help you if you get into trouble.

Everyone is welcome that wants to travel to Myrtle Beach in April, but our primary geographic target is the southeast. If you live in the Carolinas or Georgia or Tennessee and are interested, tell your friends, carpool and share a room, come and have a big time with us. We picked April because it is the part of the year when hotels are still considered “out of season” and thus cheaper but the weather has a strong probability of being beautiful. You can bring your whole family. Those who are interested can attend the conference and for those who aren’t, the beach is two blocks away from the site. There is more miniature golf than you can shake a tiny putter at, water parks and movie theaters and all kind of attractions within a few miles of the conference.

We really need a push from the blogosphere to get the word out. Please link to the CreateSouth website, talk it up, tell your friends, suggest programming items you’d like to experience and volunteer to present ones that you know. This is a grassroots conference organized by the Grand Strand blogging community so there is no large organization behind it, just a few individuals who want to make this happen. My unofficial description is that “the Grand Strand Bloggers are throwing themselves a party and seeing who dances.” Come dance with us, friends.

Led Zeppelin Roller Coaster

Alright, I for once clicked a YouTube link for some video of a test of the Led Zeppelin roller coaster at the Hard Rock theme park. That does look pretty bad asssed. This park is close enough to my office that it would be feasible to get a season pass and go there at lunch time. In fact, from the angle I’m guessing that this video was shot from the parking lot of the barbecue joint I eat at. It is literally across the street from the coaster. When this park opens, it will either be fantastic or horrible, depending on what the traffic does to the general area.

Myrtle Beach Blogging Conference is Go

We decided that we want to hold the conference next spring, and that even if 20 people show up we’ll consider that a success for the first year that we can build on. Our first order of business is to name the conference so we can start to do all the other things like set up a website. If you have any thoughts, please leave a comment on our group blog with your nominations. We’re throwing it open to a vote for a short time (to avoid permanent bikeshedding) and then will move forward into the serious business of planning it. If you other bloggers and southern ones in particular could link to that and spread the link love, we’d highly appreciate it. Onward and upwards!

A Blog/Podcasting/New Media Conference in Myrtle Beach?

Several years ago, I came home from the BloggerCon in Palo Alto and mused on this blog about holding a blog conference in the Myrtle Beach area. I got a lot of interest, enough so that it wigged me out a little because it meant that I’d have to really do it right. At the time, I was new to the area and didn’t really know many people here so that added to the daunting nature of such an undertaking.

Fast forward to today, where I am freshly home from my second ConvergeSouth of the last three years. A big topic of conversation amongst myself and the rest of the South Carolina contingent was holding a conference around here. Even though most of the other people were from the Charleston area they agreed that holding it up here probably makes good sense because of the lower costs. At the same time, I now feel like I have a support group with the Grand Strand Bloggers. Over there I made a post asking my Grand Strand compatriots if they would like to be involved. Over here, I’m asking another question – would you be willing to come to such an event? Assume that it is being held approximately April-ish with free or very cheap attendance.

We talked a lot about how we would want it to differ from ConvergeSouth. Ed Cone told me that he is tired of the unconference model because it is so talk heavy. He also said that the Tom Lassiter session was his favorite of all three ConvergeSouth iterations so far. I thought it was OK — although it was specific and had props for demonstration, it was still talk. No one in the room shot any video or edited any video. I would like something even more hands on, where everyone in the room can provide their input but you actually do shoot and edit the video. Instead of talking about podcasting, let someone record, edit, and post short bits of audio. Have a room for “introduction to blogging” where there is a list of free services. If someone wants to start a blog, sit with them and create the account while you sit. That’s my vision of such an event. Consider it a mix of your standard conference, a Foo Camp, a Linux install day, Maker Faire, and a comic convention dealers room.

Three years ago I decided that I didn’t want to hold a BloggerCon(tm) or call it an unconference(tm) because I didn’t want Dave Winer busting my chops for doing it all wrong. I like Dave, but doing something like this will be hard enough without that kind of pressure. Dave’s vision of the unconference was for an antidote to the standard tech conference presentation with one person annointed as the holder of knowledge in the room. I’m looking for an antidote to “all talk, no action” thing that happens even in the unconference. If we could have an event with about 25% talk and 75% action, that would be great. A straight FooCamp style is probably too loose for the general non-geeky public, so finding the sweet spot will be the real trick.

I note that a similar thought process is happening in the Charlotte area. None of us has gotten beyond throwing out the question and measuring the temperature in our area, but I’d ask the Charlotte people to look at May since April is pretty much when we’d need to do it here. May is too late with Bike Week in Myrtle Beach and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston. April has plenty of reasonably priced hotel rooms and nice weather when parts of the country still have snow on the ground.

So, you folks out there in the general blogosphere, would you be willing to come to Myrtle Beach, SC in April of 2008 for a hands-on conference about new media, computing, social networking, DIY technology and art? Leave me a comment if you are.

EGC Clambake For June 18, 2006

Here is the Bittorrent link and direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for June 18, 2006.

I talk about a very important change in my life; I play a song by the Sharp Things; I discuss net neutrality and market forces; I play a net neutrality protest song by The Broad Band; I play a song by the Gentle Readers; I talk about Myrtle Beach and baseball; I talk about reading for pleasure and why I am trying hard to reintroduce that into my life;

The Max Allan Collins detective character I could not remember the name of is “Nate Heller”.

You can subscribe to this feed via RSS.

To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5.

Links mentioned in this episode:



It has weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm, thank goodness, but Ophelia is now coming right through here. It is more likely to hit Wilmington NC, but landing at Myrtle Beach is quite possible. I don’t expect much drama in our neck of the woods, but stay safe out there. I take every one of these things seriously. You don’t need 150 MPH winds to kill you, a 70 MPH wind can do it if it topples a giant pine on your ass or shoves your car off of a bridge.

What Happened to the Myrtle Beach Blogging Conference?

Last November, when I came home from Bloggercon in Palo Alto imbued with the holy fire of citizen media I floated the idea of doing a blog conference here in the Grand Strand. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and I got a lot of feedback from people who said they would attend. In fact, I got so much that it frightened me. I was really wondering if I would get more than a dozen or so and if we’d need serious meeting space. Once we crossed the threshold of 50 people saying they’d come, from places like New Jersey and Denver and Seattle I started getting really nervous. If it was going to be that big of a deal, I didn’t want to do it half-assed. All of this happened around Thanksgiving last year, which then meant it was the holiday season and life got in the way.

Early this year I did some of the research about booking space and getting hotel deals, weighing the pros and cons of doing it at a college vs not and that sort of thing. The whole idea of doing this here turns on the idea of doing it outside of the tourist season, when hotels and amenities are much cheaper. Ideally, I wanted to do it late enough in the year people could make use of the beach while being early enough to be out of tourist season rates. That suggested the April timeframe, but because of professional commitments I was tied up in late April and the 6 weeks before. That meant I couldn’t really organize things before and then had a very narrow window afterwards to get it in before Bike Week and other events made it unwise to hold the conference. Ultimately, the timing just made it impossible to do.

Now I am thinking again about organizing such a thing but I have similar issues. The main thing keeping me from getting serious is that this year there are several conferences in this general area, which reduces the fire for me to set one up. I’ll be attending Converge South (Greensboro, NC) in October and the Podcast and Portable Media Expo (Ontario, California) in November and will probably attend Podcastercon (Chapel Hill, NC) in January. Now for me personally, I have to ask the question if after going to 3 different conferences on this general topic between October and January, will I have it in me to organize another one 2 or 3 months later? Is it even necessary? Any feedback is highly appreciated.


For the first time in one of my outbound flights, I get to use the free wifi. I actually had a conversation with someone yesterday about the value of free wifi. It doesn’t really change anything per se – I’m going to fly out of this airport regardless because it is the one here – but it sure does make things nice by being here. I dunno about similar tourist destinations, but it sure makes sense to me. Come visit, play golf and check your email while cooling your heels waiting to leave. Ahhh, modern life.

Another Beach Trip

For the second time in three days, we took a spontaneous trip to the beach. I’m downright liking this! The dog seems to be taking well to the beach and ocean, which she’d never seen to before this weekend. After 4 PM you can take your dog to the beach at Myrtle Beach State Park, which is where we’ve been going. Yesterday we bought our South Carolina state park pass, so for $25 we have our admission covered for the next year to any of the parks. I dig it!

Beach Jaunt

As you saw from the previous post, we jaunted to the beach on the spur of the moment. We were a little worried about the traffic from the second bike week and/or Memorial Day revelers but it wasn’t too bad. From where we live, we can make it to Myrtle Beach State Park without ever getting on the main highway. It was late enough we could bring the dog, and this was her first ever trip to the ocean. She’s been on the shore of Lake Michigan but never the Atlantic. It was fun and exactly the kind of thing I’d hoped would be a part of our lives here. If we go to the beach on random evenings and weekends all summer, I’d be delighted.