Firstly thanks to Sabrina and Kathrin for all the work they put in organising a great weekend with great speakers. Although the two of them are based in or near Cork, Wordcamp was in Kilkenny and I am sure that helped with the turnout placing it in the middle of the country, good idea.
Note to S & K – add me in again for 2011, maybe even to speak this time…
I only attended a few of the presentations, I had planned on many more however I got chatting with quite a few people and it was great to put a face to many people that I would never have met but knew online.
It may seem odd that going and listening to two women who run a beauty blog was on my list for the weekend. What would I learn from them speaking? If you want to run a successful online business talk to others that do the same – it does not matter much the niche they are in, but how they are doing it and what are the challenges they have had to overcome.
The two of them were great, full of energy and enthusiasm – they were also brutally honest. The simple take away from them was great content and paying close attention to their audience. Thanks Beaut.
The next talk I had planned on was WordPress MU, I have been considering MU for a while on one of my older sites – however due to Michele of Backnight, where I host my Irish websites, I missed the talk and spent a lot of time talking to Michele. These weekend are very good for talking about ideas with people like Michele who have knowledge, someone you can talk to without having to explain everything from the ground up – god that makes life easy. Thanks Michele for the great chats throughout the weekend and my free diner!
40 Tips in 40 Minutes
This was the first of two talks given by Joost of Yoast. My first thoughts when listening to Joost is “I hate him”, next is realising it is not hate but envy. I would consider Joost one of the top SEO experts in the world, and one that is great on WordPress. I came away from both of his talks determined to improve my technical ability.
Asking Joost “how did you become so good at this?” I got the answer – I have been doing it since I was 12. “Doing it” might be quite an understatement. As well as being great in search optimisation Joost has got branding down to a tee, well worth learning from. Thanks Joost, and thanks for the keyring.
Google in the Round
The less said about this the better, as I will end up saying something I will live to regret – it is enough to say that the presenters stuck well to the usual Google spiel.
And that was it for Saturday, but this is not all about the talks though they are important and many of them are very good, meeting and talking to others in the field is just as important – an area I have only started paying attention to during the last year. On that front it was good have a chat with Dave, Jason, Alistair, Josh from MS, Stuart, sorry to the many others that should be listed here but I can’t remember.
I don’t like sleeping away from home, so getting my head into gear on Sunday morning wasn’t much fun. And after a full Irish breakfast I was tempted to sleep more – but no I went into the fray once again.
WordPress and Social Media
I have been fairly dismissive of social media, and only recently started paying it some attention. I am still not sure if it is worth the effort. Yes I use twitter, but very little, I have a Facebook fan page with quite a few fans from my Camino site – but as was mentioned in this talk, what the hell do I do with them?
Sabrina gave some tips and got me thinking a bit more. I must admit the only thing that really attracts me to SM is when people start telling me about the traffic that can come from it. I have spent most of my online life optimising sites for search engines, SM does not directly help in this area, but directly is the problem word as I can now see some ways it can be useful. Thanks for prying open my eyes a little.
BuddyPress is great and if you have not looked at it yet, get out there and learn something. BP is social networking on your own WordPress site. It is still in some ways very early in BP, it has only just become available for use on single installs of WP, previously it was only available on WP MU.
I will be deploying it on a site during the next month so I will have more posts on this area. There is only one worry. I already run quite a busy little forum and that was quite a learning curve, keeping out spam was the main challenge, moderation could be another call on my time here – I’ll let you know once it is up and running. My only complaint is BBPress is not great, but hopefully with it running inside BP it will kick start development again.
Site Analysis Clinic
This was run by Joost. I was surprised at the theater only being half full, now that is a good turnout – but seriously people. You can build a great site and have no one see it. The type of advice being handed out here for free would cost you $$$ BIG normally. Thanks again Joost.
I love WordPress I have used it on at least 30 sites during the last year and optimised it for many clients. Using WP for SME websites is dead easy and normally much easier for optimisation. I look forward to next year and thank everyone for a great weekend, and maybe next year I might get to see a bit of Kilkenny rather than just the inside of the hotel.