WordCamp Whistler 2009 – Date and registration

WordCamp Whistler

After much plotting, planning, wishing, hoping, and a few meetings, WordCamp Whistler 2009 is a full go for January 24, and registration is open for attending as well as speaker submissions.

If you have ever wanted to find out more about how to use WordPress, the mechanics that drives it, and how other people are using it, then this is a great opportunity to find out more.

With the venue booked, keynote secured, website and social media streams in place, we’re ready to officially announce WordCamp Whistler 2009.

This site is your official source for WCWhistler information. Check out the speaker page, add your own submission to become a speaker, find out more about sponsorship, and check back for blog updates. You can also follow the action with the RSS feed or by adding @WCWhistler on Twitter.

The official conference tag (for Flickr photos or blog posts) is wordcampwhistler09.

Browse the site, get all the info you need, ask some questions, and register through Eventbrite. There is a fee for this conference but since we’ll be in a world-class location with top notch speakers, we think it’s worth it (and we’ll even through in some lovely swag as well).

My snowboard boots are already by the door – right next to my laptop. I hope to see everyone there for this amazing weekend of WordPress geekery, networking, and good times. [wordcampwhistler]

Duane, Rebecca, and I have really tried hard to get this idea off the ground, and there is still much left to do before the date comes. Keep tabs on the WCWhistler website and subscribe to the RSS feed for all the latest news.

Designing drop down menus with CSS on WordPress

I designed a WordPress site for my friend Andy at No Boundaries.org some months ago, and the final version that we settled on really pushed my personal boundaries of knowledge in terms of PHP and CSS to get some of the things to work that he was wishing for. Never wanting to let a good friend down, I got something to work that came up tonight at WordCamp Fraser Valley.

I’m not sure what the original question was, but my design for No Boundaries had custom drop down menus added to the header so that Andy could easily add and remove pages from where ever he was in the world and have them show up in those menus.

And to be honest, I can’t really tell you how I got it all to work because it was that long ago. However, Stu Nicholls made a great blog post about how to do this with simple CSS. I used this post to hack together my concept for Andy’s site, and the final design turned out to be what he wanted.

Now doing a quick Google search to find this resource again, I came across this WordPress plugin, WordPress CSS Drop-down Menu, that could do this for you without getting into all the code. I have no experience using it, but the author makes reference to the same blog post that I just did, so it might be worth checking out first before you get into the code.

Checking out WordCamp Fraser Valley out in Langley, BC

WordCamp Fraser Valley You could say that this style of WordCamp is a bit out of the ordinary. In fact, I’m not sure that many WordCamps are held in casinos, but this event is pretty nice in the fact that there is an amazing space out here for gatherings, meetups, and conventions like this.

WordCamp Fraser Valley is a growing push to move web related camps like this out of the downtown core and into the mysterious world away from the ocean waters. Wifi, reasonable sources of power, plenty of water, a huge room, podium, PA system, projector, and a screen. What more could you really need for a WordCamp?

Well, it might be better if something like this was a bit longer, but an all day event at a location like this might be tough. If you head down the escalators, you might be enticed by the various ways to gamble your money away, so you’re probably better off sticking to your laptop like myself and get some content out while checking out your RSS feeds.

The list of presenters tonight are a good group of folks. Raul kicked off this WordCamp with a session on switching from Blogger to WordPress, and it was a great way to introduce newbies with a way of letting go of your worries and do more with blogging in general. Even if you don’t have a blog or are just beginning with your blog, these concepts are worth considering.

Gary from BlurFur, the folks who have headed up this event, made a last minute presentation on business blogging after another speaker was unable to attend. A topic that is largely ignored, and often not even thought about, businesses should be doing more blogging. Period. If you want a way to reach your customers directly, then this is it. Promote your product, talk about your industry, or publish your your press releases on your blog, there are many avenues you can take when it comes to adding a blog to your business.

More topics are being presented tonight, so I will let Rebecca’s live blog speak more to what’s going on, not to mention that she is also one of the presenters tonight. She will be speaking about adding custom sidebars to your posts and pages, something we are big fans of doing. Kulpreet is currently speaking about security to WordPress, and John Chow will bring his evil, money making ways with blogging to the room.

I have to say that I am really impressed with tonight’s turnout. It’s always great to see people from various aspects of blogging. And yes, there are people that don’t even have a blog and are here to find out more. If that’s someone like yourself, then check out a WordCamp sometime. The WordPress community not only does geek stuff and talk about code, but we also like to share the things we know.

Adjusting and fixing my RSS feeds

There is a good chance that RSS subscribers just got blasted with a back log of posts, so please don’t think that I made about ten posts in a single day. I did some rearranging a couple of months ago when I re-themed my site, restructured my WordPress install, and upgraded to the latest and greatest version of 2.5.

I neglected to make adjustments to FeedBurner, and that has been fixed. Let that be a mental note to the rest of you with similar setups. If you make significant, back end changes to your WordPress site, don’t forget to double check you RSS feed if you are using a third party site like FeedBurner.

Cool WordPress plugin: FeedEntryHeader

Feed Sample I got an email from someone who subscribes to my RSS[wiki] feed that noticed something new in their subscription lately, and you might have as well.

The image here is a snippet of how a post of mine looks in Google Reader. Basically, it’s a simple plugin that provides a copyright stamp at the beginning of every post that goes into your RSS feed. There are a few variations of how you can do this with WordPress, but the one I am using is FeedEntryHeader. It puts a copyright, a link to your site, and a link to the original post at the start of all your posts.

Why would you want to do this? Well the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of aggregator sites that like to take the content from your RSS feeds and put them up on their sites as original content. Better yet, there are some sites that will completely credit you for your content but strip away all the embedded links. This plugin at least puts all this information at the top where it’s slightly hard to miss. At the very least, the URL to your original content will show up on those sites that “borrow” your content.

If you use WordPress and care about the things you publish, you should look at using this plugin. It’s more than just getting credit for what you publish. There is also something to be said about other people making money off of the content you generate, and that’s just inconsiderate.