WordCamp Recap, Part 1

I’m sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight, on my way back home from WordCamp Dallas, 2008. I finally got to meet a bunch of people that I respected and followed for a long time, as well as some friends, both long time and recent, that I’ve never met before. It was a very rewarding experience, without a doubt.

But the reason I wanted to post a recap of the weekend was to highlight all the cool stuff that was showcased at WordCamp this year.

2.5 and Beyond, Matt Mullenweg

Although he was still recovering from his recent wisdom teeth removal, Matt did a great job explaining the new features of WordPress 2.5 (released minutes before his session).

My favorite part of this session was the showcase of the new Photo Gallery feature. They’ve updated the image upload tool so that you can upload multiple images while the tool creates both a thumbnail, and a mid-size version of the image, then insert the gallery into a post with a simple, bbcode-like tag. Check out a live demonstration at Matt’s site.

Also, the automatic plugin upgrade is a welcomed addition to the new version. I’ve tried it on several of my out-of-date plugins, and it worked flawlessly.

You can check out the notes from Matt’s session, as well as video, here.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the 2nd session with John Pozadzides due to a lunch meeting. Perhaps the video will show up soon so you (and I) can check it out.

Stopping Content Theft, Jonathan Bailey

Jonathan, who is best known in the WordPress Community as the co-host of the WordPress Podcast, obviously loves the topic of combatting plagiarism and content theft, and for bloggers who are having problems with this should definitely check out the notes and video from Jonathan’s session.

The duo from GeekBrief.TV

This was definitely one of the more entertaining sessions from WordCamp, as well as informative. Neal and Cali from GeekBrief.TV took us through the history of their Podcast, including how they started monetizing it, and how they use WordPress to power their online presence.

They’ll aslo be using WordPress to power the blog that will document their newest project, BigTrip.TV, which is a all-50-states tour of the USA.

To be honest, before this conference, I hadn’t watched GeekBrief. I had known of it, but never checked it out. I think they may have just won a new fan :-)

Their session can be viewed here.

Influence and Interaction, Liz Strauss

Very few people know more about encouraging community and conversation than Liz, and she brought some great tips our way in her session. If you’re looking to encourage more comments on your blog, you have to check out her session video, when it becomes available.

One thing that really stuck out to me was her advice to be sure to not say everything in your posts. Leave room for tips and additions by your readers!

Blogging Power Tips, Lorelle

First of all, I got to meet and talk with Lorelle the previous night at the WordCamp Meetup at Dave and Buster’s, and she is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. She’s every bit as smart and sweet in real life as she is on her blogs.

Her session was fantastic. It never ceased to amaze me how she would take direct shots at specific features of WordPress, even with Matt sitting right there. This lady has guts :-)

One of my favorite parts of the session was Lorelle’s tips on using Greasemonkey scripts to enhance the WordPress.com Admin. I had honestly never thought of that, but her showcase of some of the things she uses was out of this world. I’m not a user of WordPress.com, but since you can’t install plugins for your blog on WordPress.com, I can imagine how frustrating it must be when you want to extend the functionality. Her tip was simple and elegant.

And if you’re a blogger with many articles to write per week, then you’ll definitely want to check out her session. She highlighted many different tools that can be used to make your experience so much better.

And that was it for day one. I’m hungry and haven’t had lunch yet :-) If you were present at WordCamp Dallas, day one, then let me know what part you enjoyed the most! I didn’t take very good notes, so if I missed something, let us know!

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Comments

  1. Cali Lewis says

    I’m glad you liked the session! We had a great time (a bit sleep deprived, but a great time), and I really wish I would have gotten to see Matt’s and Lorelle’s presentations. Do you know if Lorelle’s session was recorded by Mashable or anyone else? I couldn’t find it.