WordCamps are always fun. We get to see some old friend; we get to meet some new friends. We get to meet up with people you've only known virtually. We get to pass on knowledge and learn from our peers.
WordCamp LA 2010 was no different. We had a blast! Austin and crew did a great job putting an exciting camp together with great speakers and topics and we were proud to sponsor the event.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend Blogworld Expo as well as WordCamp Las Vegas. Blogworld was pretty huge, but WordCamp Las Vegas was a much smaller conference within the main conference. I had the chance to talk with some really great WordPress users and developers. I really got a good sense of what’s going on in the WordPress world. Unfortunately, Automattic decided to call a last minute pow-wow in Ottowa (if I remember correctly), so there was no official representation from the main developer of WordPress. I valued the opportunity to meet both Matt and Beau at previous WordCamps, so it was a little disappointing not having an Automattician there.
8 Meaningful Takeaways
- Accessibility counts for something. Glenda Watson Hyatt laid out some ground rules for making your website POUR (Perceivable Operable Understandable Robust). I’m not going to give it all away, but you can download the ebook from her site: http://blogaccessibility.com/
- John P says that using URL shortening services like bit.ly, su.pr and TinyUrl is a detriment to your search engine reach. Instead of putting links to your website out in the wild to build some authority, you send out these other services’ links and boost up their popularity in the search engines. Pretty Link Pro by Blair Williams will likely replace two or three of your existing WordPress plugins and solve this exact problem for you. It will allow you to create short links for twitter and other sharing right on your own domain. This will help you keep all the Google juice that you deserve. I could probably have gotten Blair to give me a copy of the plugin after palling around all weekend, but as soon as I got home, I turned on my computer and bought the sucker. Check out the feature video for details: http://prettylinkpro.com/
- Go meet people in person at conferences. It’s nice to have a billion friends/followers online, but I bet having just five of those billion friends be actual real-life friends is more motivating, profitable and fun. Just make sure there’s no overlap, otherwise you’ll never have anything to talk about…hehe. Oh, and one more thing. Go to conferences alone. It will force you to interact with people that you wouldn’t otherwise approach.
- Go where the people are. Chris Pirillo is an Internet giant, yet he comes to where the people hang out online instead of forcing them to come to him. This means that getting your content syndicated in as many places as possible is super important.
- Care. Don’t care so much about the money you’re hoping to make, just care about why you’re doing it. If you put your heart into it, the money will come.
- It’s not good enough to just install the All-In-One SEO Pack plugin. You have to use it. When you’re posting to your website, scroll all the way down and fill in the meta box. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results.
- Never say no to a free show ticket. That’s kind of obvious, I know.
- Take your laptop with you.
If you want the short version, stop reading here. Otherwise, block out a good twenty minutes and read the rest of my ramblings about the weekend.