This past weekend I hit the road and traveled to Los Angeles to attend and be a presenter at the first ever WordCamp LA. It was held on the campus of Loyola Marymount University which was a great place to visit, and the room we were using was well equipped to handle the nearly 200 people in attendance plus all the electronic equipment needed for the presenters at the podium.
The event had two tracks, but Me, Todd and Abbie set up shop in the back corner of the room where Track 1 was being held and we didn't move all day. So my recap is only going to cover those speakers on track 1.
First up Austin made a couple morning announcements welcoming us to WordCamp.
The first presenter was Beau Lebens from Automattic. He gave an overview of several of the products built by the Automattic team. Most of this was review except for when he talked about a new project called BackPress. This will be a set of functions that you can include in any PHP codebase that will give you much of the WordPress functionality inside your non-WordPress project. As a developer, this was very exciting news and I'm looking forward to learning more about it.
Next was Shayne Sanderson talking about using the WP e-commerce plugin with a WordPress MU install. If you have ever wanted to run a network of sites and give all your users the ability to sell products from their own site, this is a match made in heaven. I know I have some ideas for how to use this on some future projects.
Following Shayne was Ben Huh from the Cheezeburger network. If you don't know who Ben is (like the lady sitting in the 2nd row), let me just point you to FailBlog, some LOL Cats or one of my new faves, Hawtness. Ben talked about how his company uses as many free services as they can to run their company. Why pay for it if somebody offers it for free? That's a good question! Plus, you have to love their company's mission statement: Make people happy for 5 minutes a day.
After a break for lunch Micah Baldwin took the stage. He spoke about how failing is not an end point, but just another step in the process of succeeding. If you continue to try and succeed, you may find a few hundred ways that don't work before you finally hit that magic mix. If you stop trying, you'll never get there.
Next was Jim Turner who talks about blogging for a living. Jim knows what he's talking about here as he's been making money blogging for several years now and he shows what skills you need to do it yourself. This is always a popular session with the WordCamp audience as making money is a really hot topic. Especially these days.
Following Jim was Andrew Warner. This was my favorite presentation of the day. Andrew did a real-time hands-on demonstration of how to record video from your computer and add it to your site. My description isn't doing justice to his awesome presentation. You'll have to trust me here, he was excellent.
After Andrew finished up, I took the stage as the last presenter of the day. I gave a demonstration on how easy it is to create a plugin for WordPress. I was pretty happy with my presentation and I've received a lot of positive feedback about it, so that was very exciting. I had a lady come up to me right before my presentation and tell me that she had been looking forward to hearing my presentation the most. I have to tell you, that absolutely made my day. Giving such a technical presentation at the end of the day is difficult because people are already starting to get tired. That was evident by the lady in the front row catching a few ZZZs during my talk. I didn't mind. Heck, I'd have probably been doing the same. 😉
Austin and the crew from InMotionHosting did a fantastic job organizing the event and after party. I felt very honored to have been invited to have been a part of it and I look forward to attending next year's event in LA when they do it all again.