Recently, as part of my TechEd in Review podcast series, I spoke with BPX Community Evangelist Marilyn Pratt and got her honest take on TechEd Las Vegas 2008. Ordinarily, I put a bit of polish and detailed description on my podcasts, but because the latter part of this podcast has some neat preview material on TechEd Berlin 2008, I thought we’d get this posted right away. You can listen to the podcast via the “download media” link on the right hand column.
Eventually, I’ll add some more preview content to this podcast, but for those who are looking for a bit more “scoop” on the format, what we have here is a 35 minute podcast with an interactive twist – at a few points in the podcast, Marilyn turns the tables on me and asks for my own reactions to what I saw in Vegas.
The first section of the podcast gets into what a “BPX Community Evangelist” is all about and why authentic conversations are so much more powerful than “marketing messages.” Marilyn talks about why the Community Clubhouse was so successful this year, moving away from a “talking head” environment and more towards informal, dynamic “lounge conversations.” In my opinion, this was a brilliant sleight of hand to get people talking in fresh ways. The result was pretty amazing, including “organic demos” where a conversation would lead to plugging in a computer and looking at a new “mashup in progress” or what have you.
The next section of the podcast looks back at BPX Community Day and how it has become more structured while retaining an “unconference” feel. We then shift to a discussion of grassroots “greening of TechEd” and how an exchange with community member (and SAP Mentor) Jim Spath led to a plastic-water-bottle free TechEd.
In the last segment of the podcast, we build on that discussion by learning more about what Jim Spath has planned for the Berlin TechEd Clubhouse, and we also hear about some intriguing and mysterious evening events including one that will involve some BPX certification gurus. Marilyn also talks about the “Cluetrain“-inspired idea of Craig Cmehil, who seems to be all over the innovative ideas for TechEd, to take a four hour SAP TechEd ’08 Cluetrain from Frankfurt to Berlin. Listening to this, I was more than a little jealous that I won’t be attending.
But if you still have time to register for Berlin, or if you simply want to get a better feel for how BPX tries to create genuinely honest and worthwhile conversations – either online and at events like TechEd – you may want to check out this podcast.