July 23, 2007

I Was There -- WordCamp 2007

I went to WordCamp 2007.Post WordCamp resolutions:

  1. possibly start using my wordpress.com account instead of my blogger account
  2. finally fill out 3to5.com
  3. blog more often - more than one blog?

WordCamp was great. Thanks to everyone at WP and Automattic for making it such a great (and cheap!) event.

Day One

Even though I thought day one dragged a bit, it was still absolutely worth my time and money to attend. I would've liked a little more "meat" from a few presentations; but truly enjoyed hearing more about podPress (trackback), Robert Hoekman, Jr.'s thoughts on designing the obvious (trackback), and Matt Cutt's tips for Google keyword optimization (trackback). Om Malik and John C. Dvorak were also very insightful and entertaining. They basically sat and had a conversation about blogging vs. journalism -- though the consensus seemed to be that there is no "versus," it is journalism (trackback).

Stephanie Booth live-blogged several of the sessions if you're curious.

Day Two

Since they extended the conference to a full weekend this year, they decided to break up the schedule a bit:

We’ve tried to mix it up a little this year, with the first day focusing primarily on user topics and the second day primarily on developer topics, but we also think there’s a lot of overlap.

I'm not a developer, even if I can create WP themes, but I enjoyed the overall content of day two a bit more. The presentations were simply a bit more up my alley -- I'm not a hard-core blogger, nor do I aspire to be.

The highlights of day two:

Rashmi Sinha of SlideShare.net on designing "massively multi-player social networks" -- i.e. how to balance the design concerns of the individual and the crowd when building a social app like flickr, slideshare, youtube, etc. Her background is in social psychology, and I really enjoyed her approach to and thought process about designing these massive systems (trackback).

Liz Danzico of Happy Cog NY presented some of their findings from a recent usability analysis of the WordPress admin pages (trackback). I love this stuff! And let's just say that a lot of excellent changes are coming to WordPress in version 2.4. Since WP has grown organically, some elements have taken on lives of their own. So glad that Matt and his team engaged Happy Cog -- it can only make their product better.

And last but not least, it was a real treat to see Dave Winer speak (trackback). He got really jazzed about the idea of an identity system -- possibly leveraging what he called "the beauty in" twitter's API. I was hoping he'd talk a little about OpenID, but instead the conversation revolved around whether facebook is the best thing since sliced bread, or whether it sucks. Dave thinks it sucks (my words, not an actual quote) because it's too restrictive. He wants "the whole toolbox," not just a few tools to build some cool stuff. Personally, I think Facebook is about to blow up. Those guys are smart -- Harvard grads, afterall -- and I think they'll realize it's in their interest to open up "the whole toolbox."

Thanks again to the WP and Automattic folks for organizing. Howdy to all the folks I met over the past two days. Give a shout! Hope to connect with you all in meatspace again soon. Until then, I'll be twittering. :)


Colin Devroe said...

Ahem, video links. Ahem!