Thoughts during the WordCamp Philippines 2012

27 Oct

Yeay! After two years, i’m attending a Word Camp event. Currently attending WordPress + Social Break-away talk right now. It’s an interesting topic so i’ll be posting some updates after the jump.

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And so, the Wordcamp Philippines 2012 just ended. Had a quick dinner after it and decided to sum up my experience for today or it will take me forever to post this.

After nine months of working in a Digital Advertising Agency, it didn’t give me enough time to blog and was so busy i didn’t find it worthwhile to renew hosting for my site hosting 4 blogs. And i have no back-up at all. Sad. But here’s a wall post to new beginnings. A thank you to the WordPress theme and thanks for organizing a Wordcamp PH this year.

Well, Wordcamp in general are informal gatherings of WordPress users worldwide. As it trended early morning, bloggers, developers and marketers using the no. 1 content management system in the world gathered at AIM, Makati today.

I expected it to be the biggest so far. The last wordcamp i attended was 2 years ago at our school where my sister headed the one of the organizing groups.
So you’ve never been to one yet? Here are good things you missed and i love about wordcamp:

1. WordPress Users. It’s just exciting and amazing to see people using the same platform you are using. It also allows you to discover things that you might not be doing or you should have been doing.

2. Freebies. Like any event, you get shirts, stickers, vouchers in your swag bag. And hey! I just won a 2 year premium theme voucher from Woo Themes! Glad i’d able to try one for free.

3. Network. After nine months in advertising, i felt really isolated in the development environment. I’d usually talk to developers for an urgent bug to fix but not as casual when i go to wordcamp.

4. Trends. As always, you get to know what WordPress is coming up with. Such as security, mobile responsiveness, plug-ins, SEO and e-Commerce.

5. Talks. Looking at the itinerary months ago, I’ve seen quite the same topics and some speakers. But since digital changes every minute, you’d always be excited on trends and how such technologies evolve from time to time.

6. Inspiration. In the end, it will always be why you blog that will sustain what you blog. A sense of community always inspire you to keep on going because you tell a story. As tweeted earlier, it is not about the hits or number of page views, it is about the authentic stories that you bring to people who finds your web page over the world wide web.

7. Connection. Aside from networking, you get to see friends, colleagues whom you have not met for quite a long time. Your mere attendance could be a trigger for them to say that you’re still into ‘it’ and give you some projects soon.

8. Coffee and Donuts. Probably anyone with a blog, a laptop and a facebook account won’t love a good cup of coffee and donuts while lurking around.
What Event Organizers could learn from #WCPH2012

I find the organizers of WCPH2012 the best in maximizing online for an offline event. Here are some things you might want to consider in your next event:

1. Online Payment. We all know that those with paypal, debit and credit cards are very impulse buyers. The more they can secure attendance upon discovery, the more you secure an attendee.

2. Wordcamp Wall. Wordcamp has an online portal where all those who are participating has a wall where they can fill in their profile photos, links and short description. It’s one good way to keep your attendees excited and looking forward for your event months before the date. I definitely appreciate it during my first wordcamp way back in 2010.

3. Hashtags. Aside from live tweets appearing on the screens during breaks, signage, posters and guides posted on the wall has the twitter hashtag.
4. Free and Stable Wifi. We all know we love free wifi to share all out content. I very much agree that it is one of the best way for people to organically talk and spread about your event. I guess one thing they could also do is to customize a landing page upon log-in. If i’d be given a chance to organize it next year, i’d suggest the following features:

1. Shout-out. Options to post on Facebook, check-in on path or foursquare, tweet with the hashtag and all.
2. Huddle. An updating wall where photos, tweets and links about a certain hashtag will be streamed
3. Tips and FAQs. First timers always appreciate this.
4. Suggestions. You’d be surprised how people are willing to share their thoughts on how they want a better experience as long as it is very easy to submit.
5. Event Map. An easy guide if there will be break-away sessions or where the comfort room is.
6. Follow Shortcuts. Your event is cool so we want to learn or attend the next one soon. Keep us updated!

Random Thoughts and lists. Here are my notes during the wordcamp. Feel free to run through it:

So you want to do freelance work. You need to customize a theme or build from scratch. Here are some links/ keywords you need to google:
1. Woothemes
2. Themeforest
3. Elegant Themes
4. Studio Press
5. Bones (Framework)
6. Pageline
7. http://www.pagelines.com/ (drag and drop)
8. http://themespectrum.com/parallax-demo/
9. http://p2theme.com/
Links:
Sucuri.net – wonderful tool to check vulnerabilities in your site. It’s for free!

I asked a friend on top Plug-ins to use for Security. Here’s his pick:
1. BetterWP Security
2. BulletProof Security
3. SEO Yoast
Free Fonts:
1. http://newevolutiondesigns.com/10-free-hipster-fonts
2. http://webdesignledger.com/freebies/10-excellent-new-free-fonts
It doesn’t mean it’s cheap, it means you’ll be saving a lot for your project. Hosting provider depends on the scale and requirement for your website. Here’s what i know so far. Hosting Provider:

1. Media Temple – some agencies use this. Premium price, good customer service.
2. Bluehost – one of wordpress’ recommended providers.
3. Hostgator – low budget but average requirements for a blog? Here’s one for you.
4. Amazon WS – Cloud storage for your images and videos. Aside from security, it is said to have high caching limit so you don’t need to mind server speed. You also get charged on a per-use basis. Great for sites requiring seasonal traffic.
5. Dreamhost – haven’t heard from it yet but plays along with bluehost i guess.
Presentations. Here are the links i saw over twitter on the decks presented earlier. I must say that second one is the best I’ve personally seen so far.
1. http://pcdspo.gov.ph/downloads/2012/10/WordCamp-2012.pdf
2. https://speakerdeck.com/chexee/wordcamp-philippines-2012-ending-keynote
Oh, an i’m currenty working on a pro-bono project. Since it requires theme customization, here are frienfly tips from a friend which you might apply also:
1. Slider – Nivo Slider is one cool tool shared to me. You can customize the slider you have to the last post in your blog or a custom feature.
2. Hover Effect – yes this can be done via css and java script.
3. Menu – Nav Menu is one plug-in if you want to change your menu. Of course.
4. Featured Post – Use this if you don’t want your latest article appearing in your homepage.
Shout-out to the Organizers:
Thanks! It is always a great fulfilment being able to see the community grow and that wouldn’t be possible without people like you. Let us know how we can help to make sure we have another one next year. Perhaps a 2-day camp where people can roam around, talk, learn, build and pro-type is much fun! I would definitely attend such 2 years ago when i didn’t know much about WordPress🙂

It is disappointing to learn that scribd does not embed for free or a username.wordpress.com account. Oh no! Anyway, check out tweets I curated earlier. Pretty much sums up my experience of wordcampph tweeted by my fellow campers.

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