Visiting The Pod, the beating heart of Podium operations, is a surreal experience at the best of times. Moving through the suburbs of South London until you find yourself in a quiet living room, full of other journalists, almost by accident. But my own bemusement was nothing compared to that of the 22 Danes who shuffled off a bus in front of the pod last Thursday morning. These were the media makers of Denmark who were participating in the Digital Innovation Tour 2016. The tour, which was organised by Henrik Keith Hansen and Klaus Henriksen had the objective of visiting a range of media organisations across Europe with the intent of learning good online media practices. Among them were representatives from Denmark’s public service broadcasters, independent production companies, and even print media, all anxious to learn about the best ways to use the Internet. Enter Podium.Me.
As I walked up the road to the pod, I saw the tour shambling off the bus and into The Pod, having travelled from Calais that same morning. The media men were eager to eat and stretch their legs, and soon an impromptu table tennis rally began. After a week of sitting in boardrooms, the open an airy nature of the pod allowed them some freedom.
Camilla Byk kicked off the event with a talk on Podium.Me, explaining the origin and goals of the organisation, and how we intended to expand. She was later joined on stage by Canadian intern Emilee Senchyna who guided the assembled crowd through the web of podcast statistics, and by Nandini Upplori, who detailed her own experiences as a Podium Journalist. After the presentation, the Danes asked open and pertinent questions about various aspects of the business model and engagement, and received frank answers not only from Camilla, but also from the few podium journalists lurking among the group!
After Camilla, there was a talk by Mark Egan about Mobile Journalism. He described the iPhone as being like a Swiss army knife for journalists, and highlighted the innovation of mobile phone technology compared to more specialised equipment. He then proceeded to put together a minute long news package using only footage from his camera and the iMovie app! Finally, Olivia Cappucini from Scenes of Reason, explained the format and content of her company’s videos. She ended up being quite a hit with the Danes, who all lined up to pass business cards after the event!
After all the talks, a hearty lunch of sandwiches and éclairs, and the presentation of a model bus and a box of marzipan, the tour moved on to another meeting in Covent Garden. What was clear is that all these media professionals appreciated the homeliness and comfort of Podium, without pretension. We hope to repay the visit sometime in the future!