Zip, Zilch and

May 1, 2011


That – nothing – was almost what you got for today’s A-Z Blogging Challenge chez Unconventional Wisdom.

You see, it’s been a long day, spent almost entirely away from home and thus not at a device from whence a post could fly out upon the Interwebs (reading that sentence should give you some idea of how tired and punchy I am at present).

We were up early to get ready for a trip into Toronto for the Downtown Knit Collective‘s 2011 Knitter’s Frolic – my wife K has just published a new knitting pattern for a beaded shawl called Hana-bi (Japanese for fireworks) and it was making it’s first public appearance in printed form (as well as having on display a couple of samples she had knitted) at the booth for Shall We Knit?, a yarn store owned by a friend of ours.  The pattern was also put up for sale on PatternFish yesterday as a downloadable PDF.

Anyway, we spent the day at the Frolic, checking out the vendors in the Marketplace, making useful connections with some and getting K some yarn for future pattern design projects, as well as putting in a couple of hours volunteering at the yarn winding table (knitters could donate money towards the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life fundraiser in exchange for having skeins of yarn they’d bought from vendors in the Marketplace wound by volunteers into balls on ball winders and swifts – yes, I know a lot about knitting for someone who doesn’t actually knit).  At the end of the show, we helped the Shall We Knit? crew pack up their wares and load them into the trailer for the return trip to the shop – which has moved now from New Hamburg to Waterloo.

So, a good day, an enjoyable day and most definitely a tiring day.  By the time we finished with loading the trailer, got something for dinner and drove back home it was quite late in the evening by the time I could sit down to write.  My apologies for a somewhat rambling and not terribly focused account of our day, but I hope you’ll agree that something is better than nada, or zip or zilch for that matter (er, you do know that today is the final day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and thus the letter of the day is “Z”?).


Z2P — From Zero to Podcasting in Two Days Flat

January 5, 2008

Z2P — Zero to Podcasting

This event, a two-day session that will be part of PodCamp Toronto 2008, will be especially interesting for those who are curious about podcasting and how to go about creating their own podcast. Even for experienced podcasters, there will be some useful opportunities to both learn from the experiences of others and to help others by sharing your own experiences.

Both yours truly and K (the actual* podcaster in the household, c.f. Purl Diving, Cinéfolle and Funky Eclectic) will be facilitating the “campfire talks / circle discussions” (more on what that means below…) that are part of the Z2P stream.

In addition to the campfire talks, there will be technical workshops (including some “hands-on” sessions) presented by Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche of the Canadian Podcast Buffet. Whether you’re a total noob wanting to know how to start podcasting or are already podcasting and want to improve your game, their workshops will have something for you.

Also bringing their podcasting experience to the campfire talks / circle discussions will be Sage Tyrtle of Quirky Nomads and the Scarborough Dude of DicksnJanes. The campfire talk / circle discussion format came out of PodCamp Ottawa that K and I attended last November. That PodCamp was organized by, among others, Bob and Mark; in turn, they had attended PodCamp Boston in October, where a spontaneous discussion group had formed in an open space — everyone just sat on the floor and was engaged in the discussion.

PodCamp Ottawa was built around that concept and it really does get everyone engaged; lots of ideas were exchanged and I don’t think anyone went away without having learnt at least one new thing.

After hearing from a number of people in Ottawa who were interested in starting a podcast or who had started one but were struggling with some of the issues (a common theme being “everyone says it’s so easy to podcast but I can’t figure out how to…”), K and I had decided to contribute a session to PodCamp Toronto based on the circle discussion format that would bring together some experienced podcasters with those wanting to start podcasting or newcomers wanting help getting up the learning curve.

We ended up contacting Mark about citing PodCamp Ottawa as the inspiration for the session and format, and that’s where two good ideas collided to spawn an even better one.

It turned out that Mark and Bob had been putting together a workshop to address some of the same issues from a technical perspective, and we all realized the synergy of putting the two together would result in a really amazing opportunity to help grow the podcasting community.

Since the objective of the session was to give a newcomer the knowledge to quickly get up the initial learning curve and actually get a podcast produced and published to the web, I suggested calling it “Zero to Podcasting”, borrowing from my gearhead lexicon (as in “going 0 to 60 MPH in nothing flat”) — shortening it to Z2P seemed like A Good Thing (from a typing point of view, anyway…).

So, if you’re in the Toronto area, or are going to be there around the weekend of February 23rd-24th, 2008, and are interested in podcasting and other forms of new media, I think it would be well worth your time to check out Z2P at PodCamp Toronto 2008.

If you’re not able to attend, don’t despair — the Z2P sessions are going to be videoed and made available for download after the event.

Also, if you’re already a podcaster (er, I suppose it would be helpful if you were in the Toronto area and/or already planning to attend PodCamp Toronto) and would like to share your experiences about getting into podcasting, please consider participating in some of the campfire talks / circle discussions — we’d be glad to have you!  If you’d like to be a part of Z2P, let me know by leaving a comment below.

* OK, so I have appeared occasionally in front of the mic on a podcast or two… both for K and Sage.  But given my rather unremarkable voice and lack of creative writing ability, I think it best if for the most part I just stick to audio editing/production, uploading files and other techy activities.