Web Dev, Linux, WordPress & More

WordCamp San Francisco 2008 Highlights

by eric on August 18th, 2008 in: WordPress

Returned yesterday morning from WordCamp San Francisco 2008 and had a good time despite over 24 hours of driving.

WordPressWordCamp was only one day long this year, but it offered two different tracks: one for developers and another for bloggers.

I was able to see several terrific presentations, my favorites being:

  • Tantek Çelik’s presentation on WordPress & Microformats: Past, Present & Future. I’ve been using Microformats on all recent projects and was happy to learn more about how they have become, and will continue to be, an awesome tool for making data more useful on the web.
  • Noel Jackson’s Color Theory and the Making of Monotone explained the color theory and slick PHP coding he used to create the Monotone and upcoming Duotone themes, which can automatically select theme colors based on colors of images in a post.
  • Liz Danzico and Jane Wells “Riding the Crazyhorse” highlighted some user testing that they conducted with Automattic on the WordPress 2.5 admin pages and the resulting changes that they’re recommending for upcoming versions of WordPress.

Other things I learned from my seat in the back of the auditorium:

  1. Twitter is like crack to bloggers.  At any given moment, 25 to 50% of the laptops were tuned to Twitter.  Those using their laptop for other reasons often Twittered with an iPhone.
  2. WordPress folks love Apple.  I’d guess that between 50 and 70% of the laptops carried by attendees were Macs.  I only spied one other person running Linux at WordCamp; a lady in front of me using an Asus EEE PC, running Xandros.

I’m quite surprised that more WordPress enthusiasts aren’t Linux geeks.  I realize that Apple’s hardware is gorgeous and the Mac OS clearly outperforms Windows and is arguably prettier, but from a Free Software perspective, Apple is pretty abysmal.

One terrific new feature at WordCamp this year was a ‘Genius Bar’ where helpful volunteers were busy troubleshooting and answering questions about WordPress, themes, and plugins.  I even got to hit up Lloyd Budd for a few answers and he was quite nice and helpful.  I know he’s a Linux user. 🙂

At future WordCamps, I’d love to see:

  1. Dates, times & locations announced much sooner, so people can make plans more than a month ahead of time.  It really helps if one is coming from out of town.
  2. More content related to using WordPress as a CMS on non-blog sites.

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