09/25/15 11:21am
Last year's IMC at 501 Union. This year's edition will be more intimate and focused on skill building. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

Last year’s IMC was a series of panel discussions, this year’s edition will be more intimate and focused on skill building. Photo: Alison Brockhouse

Every fall we host a conference we call Indie Media Camp to bring together independent media makers for networking, collaboration and learning. In the past, IMC has shaped up as a series of panels and talks covering everything from headline writing to online misogyny. After lots of consideration and review, we’ve decided to change it up and structure the day somewhat differently this year, to focus on intensive workshops designed to expand and hone your skills at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP in DUMBO. There will still be a keynote and a few panel discussions, but we really want our fellow independent media makers to leave IMC with new skills to bring to their own work. You can find the full schedule for Wednesday, Nov. 4 here.

The short story is that we’ll begin with a keynote address and Q&A with Clifford Levy, a New York Times masthead editor and the mastermind behind NYT Now, one of our favorite news apps. From there, we’ll break into small groups of about 20 people for three hands-on classes covering podcasting, photography and social media. We’ll finish the day with panels on the state of freelancing and what it means to make it in media in 2015. Throughout we’ve got breakfast, lunch and a happy hour with snacks covered. We’re very excited about this new format and about the fantastic instructors and speakers we’ve lined up to help you expand your skill set and meet fellow storytellers, journalists, and digital media entrepreneurs.

A limited number of early bird tickets are available now, so get ’em while they last.


11/21/14 1:53pm

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“Sometimes you mess up the pancake and you have to make a new pancake.”

Sandra Allen, deputy features editor at BuzzFeed, cracked this joke at Indie Media Camp in relation to stories that don’t become the “hits” you expect them to be, but she may as well have been speaking about the entire business of independent media. On Thursday, we heard from 25 great speakers–editors, writers, CEOs, marketing managers, social media pros–all of whom taught us a great deal about what it means to make something stick online, whether it’s a great headline that will inspire you to click through, the kind of photo that will get repinned thousands of times, or your own site, into which you’ve poured your heart, time and hard-earned money.

We want to thank everyone who came and our IMC sponsors: car2go, Squarespace, MailChimp, EventbriteGreystone Cellars from Terlato WinesBrooklyn Brewery, Gimme! Coffee and The Joe Tea & Chips Company. Without them we couldn’t have offered a reasonable ticket price. So many conferences cost hundreds, plural, of dollars to attend, making them prohibitively expensive to bootstrapped start-ups and indie media folk like ourselves. Many thanks also to 501 Union, Purslane Catering and Be Better Studios for making everything look and taste so good.

We’re also very grateful to the speakers who ducked out of work early or spent the entire day with us, took the time to prepare talks that inspired and informed us, and were candid about their experiences. Since we didn’t film the entire day, we’re going to share some highlights from IMC the old-school way. (more…)

11/14/13 2:47pm

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We’ve produced a number of events over the years at Brooklyn Based, but yesterday’s Indie Media Camp was by far the most satisfying. The daylong conference was filled with our kind of people—media makers, indie publishers, and those still in the planning stages of their own blogs. We curated the panels to gain insights into the things we do on a daily basis, often in a vacuum (or just holed up in our apartments). How do you sell ads? How do you get good photos? What kinds of stories go viral? What are your social media secrets? If you’re not in the business of blogging, branding, or online journalism, it would have been a snooze, but for us it was fascinating. Oh, and the food and drinks rocked. Whole Foods Market put out an amazing spread of cured meats and local cheeses, a killer kale Caesar with chicken, salmon or seitan, honey-miso baby sweet potatoes and so much more good grub (including the best gluten-free desserts we’ve ever had). Naturally Delicious and Gimme! Coffee provided breakfast treats and during our cocktail hour, the Brooklyn Brewery brews and stiff drinks from Owney’s Rum, Greenhook Ginsmiths, and Atsby Vermouth were flowing. Hosting it at 501 Union, a spectacular venue, also made the event extra lovely.

Of course, there were definitely some kinks, and we already know how we’d produce next year’s IMC differently. (If you’ve got ideas, we’d love to hear them.) We also didn’t get answers to every aspect of the industry that we wanted, so we’re going to solve that by starting a series of monthly Indie Media events (stay tuned!). We did glean some pretty great takeaways, though. Below are a few of the things we learned. (more…)

10/14/13 2:00pm

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 4.52.27 PM (2)Starting a blog or a site takes about five seconds these days—so long as you have an email and a password, there are dozens of places to set up virtual shop for free.

Gaining fans, followers, and traction—not to mention making money once you’ve built a solid readership—is a lot harder. What should your social media strategy be? What kinds of stories resonate most with readers? What are the secrets of a successful site?

We started a conference to answer these questions and more. On Wednesday, November 13, we’re holding our first Indie Media Camp at 501 Union in Gowanus, with the staff of your favorite blogs and sites.

Throughout the day, we’ll hear from the bloggers, editors, publishers, and marketing pros behind sites like Gothamist, Greenpointers, Refinery29, DesignSponge, The Awl and Eater, plus brands like Brooklyn Brewery, who’ll share their insights on everything from taking professional-quality photos, to pricing sponsored content, to the best uses for Facebook and Twitter. Whether you’re a blogger, a social media editor or an entrepreneur, we guarantee a day of learning, plus food, drink and networking.

Passes for the all-day conference are $99 until November 1, and $150 afterward, so get ’em early, and let us know you’re coming.

Indie Media Camp is presented with the help of our sponsors, MailChimp and Squarespace. Get in touch if you’d like to support IMC.

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