Most people like to hang out with people they know. Podcasters doing business-money-technology podcasts have a lot to talk with each other about, and a lot to gain from cross-promotion. Other podcasters doing storytelling shows, or couple-casts, or online diaries, rants, and the like–the more “general interest” shows, often on pop culture topics–also have a lot in common. It’s harder for niche podcasters to join those conversations.
He goes on to draw a parallel to other large conferences he has been to:
The problem with conferences–every conference I’ve ever attended–is this: the organizers, the insiders, the old boy/girl network, need to constantly remember to make newer participants feel welcome and help them become contributors to the conference and its activities.
Some good words of caution! I know my own natural tendency is to be shy, especially in situations where I don't know others. It is difficult for the new person to make that leap.
Especially at a time where law library managers are crying that they cannot find good people to come up through the ranks to fill the positions of retirees, we should be greeting newcomers with open arms! Well, it shouldn't just be at this time, but encouraging people newly interested in our field is definitely in our own interest. And I personally love meeting new people and hearing new ideas.