Really enjoyed the July WordPress meetup at Urban Oasis B&B in Inman Park. Bret Phillips gave a great presentation on SEO techniques for a WordPress site. He provided some cool tips which I plan to explore with my sites. After Bret’s presentation the room broke up into groups for discussing specific topics. I was sitting on the couch in the back which ended up being the WordPress beginner group led by Judi Knight. The woman sitting next to me is trying to startup a WordPress consulting business…just now learning about WordPress. I really enjoy meeting all these people who are running new creative class businesses based on WordPress…it’s one reason I like to attend the WordPress meetups every month. As usual Judi provided beer and food (pizza) for the meetup. This is still the best meetup in Atlanta IMHO. I look forward to it every month.
Had a great time and learned some good stuff at the Atlanta WordPress Meetup held as usual at Urban Oasis B&B on Krog street near Inman Park in Atlanta. The meetup was packed with standing room only. Mike Schinkel gave a good overview of some of the new features in WordPress 3.0. After Mike’s presentation everyone split into groups based on their WordPress interests and experience level. Some of the attendees are just getting started with WordPress while others are seasoned developers or designers with specific questions and interests. Judi Knight, the meetup host and facilitator did a great job of organizing everyone into small breakout groups. All in all a fun evening spent with other WordPress enthusiasts while enjoying beer, wine, and deli sandwiches. Already looking forward to next month’s meetup on WordPress MU and Buddypress…can’t wait!
The meetup had a good turnout of around 35 along with three Basset hounds and a small grey cat constantly wandering in and out of audience legs. These four animals seemed to be amazed to see all these people sitting in their living room.
Judi gave an interesting presentation about her approach to site development with WordPress, along with tips and tricks she has learned since starting her business 1.5 years and 45 WordPress sites ago.
I really enjoyed hearing the diversity of ideas and perspectives from attendees who represented a wide variety of backgrounds…designers, developers, consultants, experienced and in-experienced.
And I have to say this little area on the west side of Inman Park bordering Krog Street is one of the coolest places in all of Atlanta.
Notes from Judi’s presentation are at http://www.newtricks.me/.
WCATL was held on a brutally cold winter day during the coldest stretch of weather in Atlanta for the past 25 years. Start of the event had to be postponed for one hour due to weather. But even so approximately 400 wordpress developers, designers, bloggers, and other wordpress enthusiasts turned out. I arrived on time which meant being an hour early due to the schedule change. Luckily I fell into an impromptu one hour tour of the venue (Savannah College of Art and Design) by the SCAD director of social media, Jason Parker(@jasonaut), who gave us a great tour of this fantastic facility.
The keynote by Jane Wells covered upcoming changes in WordPress 3.0 such as the merge of single WordPress with the multi-site version known as MU, moving key plugins into core, custom post types, and a new default theme. Automatic is adding more UI/UX contributors to WordPress development with a new mail list at http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-ui
I didn’t attend the session by Adria Richards, “What the heck is WordPress”, but it’s a great intro to WordPress so here are the slides.
The first session I actually attended was “Building sites quickly w/ parent/child themes” presented by Ryan Imel.
Other sessions I attended included:
“You’re Doing It Wrong, How to Code the WordPress Way,” by Chris Scott (@chrisscott)
I was having so much fun attending breakout sessions that I missed the genus bar staffed by the likes of Tessa Horehled(@tessa), Paul Stamatiou(@stammy), Dougal Campbell(@dougal), and Tammy Hart(@tammyhart) to name a few, but heard it was outstanding.
One thing I love about attending Wordcamp is all the interesting people you meet there. One person I met uses WordPress to quickly create websites that advertise his Georgia insurance business where he has over 300 WordPress sites each with a unique domain name representing just about every possible type of insurance coverage in Georgia. If you google virtually any Georgia Insurance coverage type one of his 300 sites will be on top of the return list. He mentioned that when he switched his platform to WordPress from plain old html a year ago his SEO results improved substantially…thus helping to confirm something I have always heard that WordPress is very SEO friendly.
All of the presentations are here on Slideshare.
For more insight into WCATL check out Jenny Munn’s (@jennymunn) youtube video, http://bit.ly/5M2njZ
Attended my first WordPress meetup in Atlanta last night. Location was a new co-working facility just off Ponce called Ignition Alley. The presenter was Brett Bumeter, former corporate whistle blower and now WordPress theme designer and evangelist for Artisteer, a new and popular WordPress theme development tool. I saw Brett deliver a similar presentation on Artisteer back in September at Birmingham WordCamp so I made the effort to see him speak at the October WordPress meetup in Atlanta. The title of Brett’s presentation is “Design Your First WordPress Theme in Minutes” and covers the basics of Artisteer as well as some advanced techniques like automatically switching themes depending on page. I have not previously considered applying multiple themes per site until hearing Brett’s presentation. Artisteer makes using multiple themes per site easy since you can simply tweak a saved theme in Artisteer and save it as a new theme. And then using a short php code snippet provided by Brett it’s a piece of cake to switch themes depending on the page being displayed. Pretty cool. Due to the holidays the Atlanta WordPress meetup won’t meet again until 2010. I’m looking forward to future meetings.
Just got back from Wordcamp Birmingham. I have to say was one of the best events I’ve attended in years. It was a 2 day event but I was only able to attend the first day on Saturday September 26th. The venue for day one was a place called the Innovation Depot in downtown Birmingham. ..an incubator for startup companies. Sessions got underway around 9am with 2 tracks, one advanced and one “non” advanced I suppose. Although new to wordpress I tended to stick mostly with sessions in the advanced track as they seemed to match my interests.
Twitter hash tag is #wcbhm09 if you want to check out tweets for the event.
The first session was “Jumping into WordPress Plugin Programming” by @Dougal, one of the original WordPress core developers.
Next up was “Essential SEO and Analytics for WordPress” by Jeremy Flint. Jeremy’s session was packed with tips for SEO performance.
One of the most useful aspects from all the presentations I attended on Saturday was advice on which WordPress plugins to use. There are so many from which to choose it’s good to now have a list of the most essential and know all these WordPress experts are using them too.
Lunch was outstanding with tons of BBQ (leftovers were available for the remainder of the day) and the highlight, Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress. During lunch Matt led a town hall style meeting opening up the floor to any and all questions regarding WordPress.
Afternoon sessions I attended were “Beyond the Blog: Setting up a Full Dynamic site with WordPress” by Mitch Canter, “Plugins to Die For” by Tammy Hart, and “Design Your First WordPress Theme in Minutes” by Brett Bumeter.
All of the afternoon sessions I attended were really packed with useful information to jumpstart my WordPress efforts. However my favorite was Brett’s session which highlighted a tool for theme development called Artisteer, which I’ve already purchased and used to create my first theme…and like Brett said in his presentation it only took a few minutes.
The final session of the day deserves special mention. It was an example of the power of blogging (using WordPress of course) to create political change and express free ideas in spite of opposition by repressive governments. A young woman, Esra’a El Shafei, from the middle east who operates the website, mideastyouth.com, spoke to us about her efforts to promote understanding and knowledge of government repression especially against freedoms of speech in that region of the World.
All in all Wordcamp Birmingham was awesome and I’m already looking forward to next year.
I should also mention the hotel where my wife and I stayed was a great experience. An old renovated hotel in downtown Birmingham called theThe Redmont Hotel. This place had great atmosphere, friendly helpful staff, two bars, and affordable prices. And if you’re in Birmingham sometime looking for a place to eat I can recommend J Clyde, located in Birmingham’s historic 5 Points South Entertainment District, a laid back tavern and ale house my wife and I greatly enjoyed visiting Saturday evening.