What Campers say about Spark Camp

Here’s a sampling of the remarks we’ve seen and feedback we’ve gotten from folks who’ve attended Spark Camp:

Raju Narisetti, WSJ, via Twitter

As measured by # of interesting people I have met, #sparkcamp pretty much is (un)conference of the year for me, even if it is only July.

Esther Dyson, angel investor, via email

Good people forced to mingle and pay attention. Lots of productive interaction. Enough guidance, as needed, to keep things on track. Glad you enforced the participate-from-start-to-finish rule. Great job.

Jim Frederick, TIME International, via email

I can honestly say this was one of the most stimulating, eye-opening, thought provoking weekends I have ever spent. If I had to choose, I would say that the simple strength of the hand-selection of each and every person was obvious and apparent. I wanted to have 8 hour conversations with absolutely everybody there. The eclectic interests and competence and expertise. And everybody was also so nice! You could walk up to absolutely anyone and be deeply embroiled in a fascinating conversation within seconds. I plan on keeping in touch with literally as many people from this Spark Camp as I possibly can.

One of the most stimulating, eye-opening, thought provoking weekends I have ever spent. – Jim Frederick

Chloe Sladden, Twitter, via email

Spark Camp is full of essential conversations and connections that all help move the news industry forward, one chat or brainstorm at a time. From a Twitter POV, it’s invaluable to hear ideas, industry needs, product feedback and, yes, even feature requests from the people who are shaping the present and future of news.

Scott Lewis, Voice of San Diego, via email

What an unbelievable group you assembled. Everywhere I looked there was someone who could help me or make me see the world differently. They perfectly complemented my organization’s plight even though they came from such different places and angles. You must have spent weeks working on assembling it this well. I was able to test out theories, get feedback and ideas and I flew home with a long list of tools and contacts to help me solve some problems.

The format produced better unconference groups than any system I’ve seen before. There wasn’t a round that didn’t leave me struggling to figure out which group to sit with. And, oddly, the discipline you guys tried to enforce was extremely productive. I learned a bit about running meetings and events. How meta.

So thank you. If there’s anything I can do to help you more in the future, I promise to be a better camper.

Melody Kramer, Fresh Air, via email

I don’t often have the chance to connect with other journalists because I live in Philly and work-wise, I don’t really interact with many people outside of our (tiny) office staff here at Fresh Air. We work on a really tight deadline-driven schedule and we never really step back and think about the long term. (Basically because of the daily show stuff that needs to get done.) I don’t go to conferences and I never really get the chance to bounce off of people besides the 11 other people in my office.

I didn’t realize how much I needed to take a step back until this past weekend.

I went into Spark Camp without knowing a soul and without knowing what exactly was going to happen. But I left feeling completely revitalized.

I got so much out of the people who you selected as well as the sessions.  I shared ideas and listened to ideas and met people who had me thinking in new and different ways. I’ve already shared some things with coworkers here … I can’t thank you enough.

Megan Dalton, SeeClickFix, via email

As a non-journalist, I found this weekend to be one of the most educational and inspirational events I’ve ever attended. Through Ignite and the various sessions, I learned from and spoke with individuals who are experts in their fields. I also gained much insight into the web media industry in general, and how online tools like SeeClickFix can complement it. The people attending truly made the event what it was. So much positive energy, intelligent and forward-thinking discussion, and laughs during those three days—all in real-time.

Jodi Gersh, Gannett, via email

I attend a few conferences and unconferences each year, and this one was in a league of its own.  It was obvious a lot of thought went into the attendee selection because every person in every session was completely engaged with the content.  No one sat idly by and the discussions were of the highest caliber.  I came back to DC with tons of thoughts and ideas around media, journalism and the theme of real-time.

I am thrilled that I am now a SparkCamp alumni and will forever be connected to this wonderful group of people. Thanks again for the hard work you all put into this event and pulling off what is sure to become a must-attend, renowned and envied un-conference!