Members of the Greater Baltimore Technology Council Andrew Hazlett and Sharon Paley have found a way to make Mondays a little more bearable—at least for people interested in Baltimore’s tech scene.
Since the end of May, Hazlett and Paley have hosted a live-streaming, Google-Plus hangout chat called Baltimore Weekly, where they talk tech-related events and conduct interviews with people integral to Baltimore’s startup scene. (Think: TWiT.tv with “significantly less professional polish,” Hazlett says.) Thus far, they’ve interviewed B’More Awesome creator and developer Nick Gauthier, TechBreakfast founder Ron Schmelzer, and outgoing Maryland Chief Innovation Officer Bryan Sivak, which can be seen below.
Chats usually start around 2 p.m. each Monday, including this afternoon.
“It’s just another way we can help build overall community … by allowing people to talk to one another in this kind of format,” says Hazlett. “There’s this Smalltimore phenomenon where people think they know everybody, but we don’t know everyone.”
Originally Hazlett’s idea, the weekly podcast is something he and Paley “just started doing.”
“It’s very much in beta, like everything that GBTC is doing right now, but we’re happy with the results so far,” he says.
“What’s been cool about it is there’s actually people watching it and giving us feedback on it which is a tad surprising,” Paley says. That feedback is what prompted the two of them to combine an overview of weekly events with interviews and discussions with prominent technologists, startup founders, and local officials.
Hazlett says eventually they’d like to incorporate a live audience into the weekly online chats. Last week, a conversation over Twitter took place parallel the online chat, but Hazlett wants to make audiences an active part, as opposed to a side conversation, of each week’s show.
For now, the two of them use Baltimore Weekly as a way to further GBTC’s mission of informing others of what’s happening in the tech community here.
“People are always surprised to find out how much is happening in Baltimore,” says Hazlett. “And the fact that they’re so surprised means there’s a real opportunity to put a spotlight on the interesting things that people are doing.”