San Francisco and WordCampSF 2009 Slideshow

We’re home from San Francisco, and it felt great to get back to the PNW. When you’re traveling like that and staying in a hotel room for a few days, it’s your own bed that you start to miss.

That’s not to say that we were all ready to leave San Francisco. That was my first time being there, and we saw quite a bit for only being there for not that long. This happens when you take an impromptu walk for about five hours. Combine that with getting around for all the WordCampSF events, the trip kinda wiped us out in the very end.

Here’s a slideshow of all the photos that I have posted on Flickr from the weekend.

Hitting the San Francisco ground

The original plan for today was to take part in the WordCampSF Developer Day down at the Automattic offices, but after a late night at the party and Dale having his return flight home later in the day, we thought it would be a shame to not get out to experience the city some more. Neither Dale or I have been to San Francisco, so it was a easy decision to make, even though I’m sure there was some really great things talked about at today’s developer sessions.

Needless to say, I took my camera along and gathered about 50 shots during our journey. We spent most of that time on foot, and when they say that this city is a tad on the hilly side, we experienced it wholeheartedly.

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Wandering around San Francisco

Tomorrow afternoon we leave this city, and it’s been a really great experience to visit and see as much as we have. San Francisco is an amazing place that could really grow on me if given the chance. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the way the temperature fluctuates almost minute to minute, but no place is perfect (especially if you visit Vancouver for a week during the nearly month long streak of rainy days).

If you would like to see more photos from today, view them here.

WordCampSF 2009: That’s a wrap

WordCampSF 2009 WordCampSF 2009 has come and gone, and the day was everything you could really want from an event that is put on by the group of people who have the day to day job of making WordPress be everything that it is. The day stayed fairly well on schedule, the food was excellent, there was an abundance of water (which is always a huge thing for me personally when it comes to any event or conference), the location was a perfect fit, the wireless was blazing fast, and there was plenty of places to plug into when your battery was running low (aside from the minor issue of a circuit breaker tripping in the downstairs room a handful of times during an afternoon session). I’m really not one to complain about many things, but there isn’t very much that I can complain about when I try to think about it.

There were a lot of great people that I ran into today as well. It was great to see Lloyd and Lorelle again, and I even met a developer who came all the way from Orlando to be at this WordCamp. When you have the chance to be around a group of people like this, especially in a city like San Francisco, you’ll make that long journey to spend a weekend talking about all things WordPress.

WordCampSF 2009 Steve Souders had a really good session about how to make your themes faster when it comes to page load times, and Scott Porad gave an interesting session on what goes on in the empire that is known as Pet Holdings, Inc., home to I Can Haz Cheezeburger and many other hilarious sites.

My time at the Genius Bar was relatively slow, but I did get asked at least one question as how one gets a basic, entry level to HTML because the person felt that might help them as a user with WordPress. That was a really tough question to answer, and I could only think to direct him to the WordPress Codex. I’ve been doing this stuff since I was about 14, and a lot of that was trial and error combined with simple reverse engineering. It’s not so much about having trouble with teaching what comes naturally as much as it’s tough to teach what took years to just make sense, so I hope I helped that person out a little bit.

WordCampSF 2009 In all honesty, I spent a large part of this afternoon reading through some of my RSS feeds on Google Reader that have been piling up over the months. I’m still not used to having a laptop that actually allows me to function on a very efficient level. My old PowerBook G4 was very sluggish, and this weekend has been one of discovery in terms of what I can actually do with this beautiful MacBook Pro. I spent my time at the Genius Bar doing some padding of my own genius by plowing through the various WordPress related feeds that I’m subscribed to and bookmarking things of interest into my Delicious bookmarks. If you want to get an idea of what I’m finding interesting, that’s a good place to check into.

Tonight is the post-WordCamp party at the Automattic headquarters on the San Francisco waterfront, just near AT&T Ballpark. It will be another chance to talk to people and get to know this community of developers and users more, and that’s what is really important when it comes to these types of gatherings. These are the people who are making the world get better and better when it comes to the Internet.

We also know how to have fun. As Matt Mullenweg said in his session today, “If you make a feature request at the party tonight, you have to do a shot.

Adding WPtouch to my WordPress site

Hot on the heels of today’s WordCampSF 2009, a recent survey on Twitter by Matt Mullenweg showed that two of BraveNewCode’s plugins for WordPress took number three and one.

WordTwit is something I’ve been using for some time now, and it’s a must have add-on that automatically posts updates to Twitter when you publish a post. Version 2.0 has brought on some great improvements that keep the plugin simple yet very powerful.

wptouch Taking number one is WPtouch, a plugin that makes your WordPress site optimized for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android mobile devices. It’s been available for some time now, and I’ve been very slow to getting it installed onto my site. Call it being lazy because it’s a very quick and easy process to upload it to your WordPress installation, activate it, and you’re done.

Dale and Duane are consistently working on improvements to the WPtouch infrastructure, making it better and better with each release. Keep your eyes on their blog to get the latest news on what’s next.

Crusing along at WordCampSF 2009

WordCampSF 2009

After a GPS and Google Maps adventure of helping our taxi driver get to the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, it’s been a jam packed morning at WordCampSF 2009. And actually, it’s been very relaxed and chilled in terms of the sessions so far today.

WordCampSF 2009

Andy Peatling gave a great session on BuddyPress, Matt Cutts from Google had a variety of great insights when it comes to SEO and your WordPress site, and the “State of the Word” by none other than Matt Mullenweg himself was great. I learned a lot about the history of this CMS, and the future looks really promising for WordPress on multiple fronts. It’s one of those days that makes you excited to be a developer and gets those ideas cranked up in your head.

There have been a variety of great announcements that are going around the circles, and I can’t even recall them all. It’ll take a little while for me to digest them all and give my insights to later, but a lot of what I’ve seen today make our projects with sixty4media clients look even more exciting when it comes to current and future endeavors.

Needless to say, there is a lot more to check out today. The afternoon sessions are getting ready to kick off, and I have my time at the Genius Bar at 4:55PM to 5:45PM. If the morning has been any preview, the rest of the day should be pretty kick ass.

Mark the date for BarCampVancouver 2008: September 27th

As we head into the late stages of summer and fall is still a little ways under the horizon, that only means one thing. BarCampVancouver 2008!

Session: "identity 2.0"

Planning is still going on, but one thing has been set for this unconference. September 27th is date for this year’s BarCampVancouver, and I’m sure the events, gatherings, and other mischief will extend from that.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees.

All attendees are encouraged to give a demo, a session, a presentation, or help with one. All attendees are expected to be participants. All presentations are scheduled the day they happen. Prepare in advance, but come early to get a slot on the wall.

Presenters are responsible for making sure that notes/slides/audio/video of their presentations are published on the web for the benefit of all and those who can’t be present.

Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join. [barcampvancouver]

I had to miss last year’s BarCamp due to my hectic day job at the time, but things are slightly different now so I should be able to attend without too much concern. I have even thrown my hat into the ring in terms of helping organize the event, so it’ll be a lot of fun seeing how this comes together behind the scenes.

Another thing I will say about BarCampVancouver is that the one I attended in 2006 was one of the best things I have probably ever done. I met so many people that have become great friends, and there were a lot of things that I learned as well.

In fact, when I think back to it, it’s amazing to see where the “Techcouver” community was then and where it is now. One might say that it’s changed quite a bit, but it’s an amazing community nonetheless. Of course, the technology has made some leaps as well, but that goes without saying.

So, mark the date! September 27th is the day for BarCampVancouver!

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.