WordPress WordCamp attended by over 300 in Seattle
I attended my first WordPress WordCamp in Seattle, WA yesterday(Saturday), after driving up from Boise on Thursday. I learned a lot even though I slept a few hours the night before the event. I went with a friend I meet on Facebook after attending a social media class with her sister last fall in Seattle. If you haven’t had a chance to attend WordCamp I would recommend you look for one in a city near you.
I got some cool swag and scored a few t-shirts from WPCandy and ThemeForest along with a few WordPress and VaultPress buttons. After checking in my friend and I grabbed a pastry along with some coffee. I needed it to wake me from the dead! The first speaker of the morning was Scott Berkun who was actually pretty entertaining. I found out when I got back to my hotel room that Scott is a published author and has several bestsellers, including “Confessions of a Public Speaker“.
After the keynote speech WordCamp Seattle broke out into sessions for Bloggers(myself), those who build themes and a development track for those who create WordPress plugins. We moved to the other side of the room and took our seats to listen to Heather Gold talk about “Tools for Tummeling“, which I had never heard of. Her point of view is about the need to create websites that create a sense of community. Developing a site that creates interaction amongst its users so it is more dynamic than linear. There was some interaction with the audience however it was hard to hear at times. I’m not sure that passing a microphone back and forth works well. I wish the speaker had wore a mic and had one just for the audience members as she spoke with them.
The speech I was interested in started after a break and was Aaron Hockley from Portland, OR. Another favorite city of mine because of the natural and tech environment. Aaron spoke about various ways on how you can monetize your blog with product sales (e-books), affiliate marketing, advertising and membership programs. But he failed to mention one of my favorites which is Clickbank, because they are located in Boise, ID. Read my previous post on how to fatten your wallet by selling digital products on Clickbank. Aaron has a photography business and was kind enough to take photos of those attending the event.
After a nice lunch with with lots of choices (salads, sandwiches, brownies and cookies) we took our seats again for the next speaker who was Bob Dunn. Bob is a WordPress coach who is located in the Seattle area and teaches others the benefits of WordPress. He spoke about how to bring more readers to your blog through a user-friendly WordPress site. I got some good information and it reminded me that I need to make a few adjustments on my blog. Like gathering e-mail addresses so I can stay in touch with my readers. I haven’t had time to browse his blog yet, but looks like lots of good information. If you are interested you can also find him on Facebook and “Like” has fan page Savvy WordPress.
Another quick break and we were listening to Justin Briggs talking about an important subject for bloggers. Justin is an SEO consultant who explained how things like speed of your website can effect your search engine rank. He went over plugins that help with the optimization of your WordPress blog and other items you should consider. My favorite plugin for SEO is one called All In One SEO Pack WordPress Plugin which is free. Find out more here in a post I wrote about “3 Social Media Tools To Grow Your Business“. You will find information on the three tools I think help grow a business online with WordPress.
The main part of the day finished up with an interview with Alex King (conducted by Nick Ohrn) who has been around WordPress since its beginning. He is originally from Seattle but now makes his home in Denver. He was asked questions about his involvement and about some of his past and current projects. If you want to learn more about Alex there’s lots of information about him, his project and companies on his website.
We wrapped up with Ignite WordCamp Seattle which features about 6 different speakers. It was my first time seeing the Ignite speaking format which is 5 minutes of speaking about a topic while showing slides. If I get up the nerves I might try doing my own Ignite speech at a future Ignite event. But for now I’m happy with watching others get up in front of a room filled with techies and bloggers.
I certainly would recommend a WordCamp event to anyone who uses WordPress, interested in blogging or those who develop themes, plugins or anything that revolves around WordPress. You will learn lots and have the chance to connect with many like minded people. Look for an event in a city near you or even plan your own WordCamp in your city or country.
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