The WordCamp 2006 Overview & Wrapup – from 7875 Miles Away!

August 8, 2006


Note: There are updates at the end of the post.

Yup. WordCamp 2006 was held over the weekend in sunny San Francisco and from all accounts it was a raging success.

Of course, me being down here in Melbourne, Australia I’m 7,875 long bloody miles away from the venue…

Okay. WordCamp 2006. What’s it all about.

Basically it brought together the WordPress community (well those who could make it or bothered to come) – WordPress being the totally cool, free software that runs milions upon millions of blogs with a thriving community of folks churning out themes and plugins.

Firstly, for those outside of America, I must give great kudos to Matt over at The Blog Herald who sent a couple of citizen journo’s on the ground reporting it live.

I’ve been a bit disappointed with The Blog Herald ever since they took over from Duncan Riley earlier this year, but this effort puts them back on the map for me. Together with their recent introduction of podcasts I’m back on the bandwagon.

As far as I know, the only real competitor to The Blog Herald is The Blogging Times. I’ve been quite disappointed with their coverage of this event. And here I thought they were going to kick Blog Herald’s ass covering the blogging industry … and this WAS a blogging industry event! I’d suggest Chartreuse (who’s now a part owner of The Blogging Times) start slapping them around a little and start focusing more.

To further take them to task, take a look at their Masthead. WTF, is the current weather in New York got to do with blogging – seeing it’s a worldwide thing – a hundred+ countries, hundreds upon hundreds of cities. Doesn’t make sense unless they’re only after the New York audience.


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So on to the coverage…

I’ve marked posts with a star (*) system (totally opinionated, obviously):

*** a great/must read

** a decent read

* read it, but it’s nothing interesting

no stars = why did they bother posting it.

The Blog Herald

And I would presume there’s more to come, possibly some video and I hear Aaron Brazell is passionate about something the Big Om spoke about – Matt: with all these links going out to TBH I’m sure you can comment a little about what, if anything, else you have coming up in regards to WordCamp 2006.

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The Blogging Times

Overall, a pretty poor effort IMHO at covering this event – seeing that WordPress and Blogging are more or less joined at the hips.

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The Bit Players …

Chartreuse(Beta) – aka Prince Campbell

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Loren Feldman from 1938 Media offers up a video post – WordCamp Wrap-Up

Loren’s views on the camp…
Lots of geeks, all nice though. I’ve got to hand it to Matt, he’s done a helluva job. This is a pro scene here. A bit geeky for my taste, but still a pro vibe all the way.

note: by Matt he means photoMatt not BlogMedia’s Matt.

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David Krug started WordCamp Notes, with the tagline: “The Unofficial Collection of all things WordCamp”

The four posts suggests he shouldn’t have bothered and focused instead on his Blog Herald role – unless of course he comes up with a swag of podcasts and video posts.

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Duncan Riley asks Will WordCamp result in a new blogging elite

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Toni’s Garage provides another insightful look at what came out of WordCamp 2006 in his wrapup.

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Flickr – with 436 470 photos tagged so far you can get a feel for how it all went down.

Technorati Tags – currently 165 175 tagged with WordCamp.

YouTube – “wordcamp” search: zero. C’mon people, give us some footage.
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Tommy Keswick summed up the event nicely …

  • Widgets Showcase, Andy Skelton – Widgets are cool. They make your sidebar easy to configure.
  • Blog Promotion and Writing a Compelling Blog, Prince Campbell – Write about other people so they will want to come read your blog. People care about themselves the most; play to that.
  • State of the Word, Matt Mullenweg – WordPress needs help with support. Work on it is constant and enthusiastic.
  • Blog Architecture, Aaron Brazell – I didn’t get anything out of this session, but it wasn’t necessarily Aaron’s fault. The conversation became dominated by nonsensical audience members’ questions.
  • WordPress as CMS, Mark Jaquith – This session showed me the potential WordPress has in making all kinds of great sites that are not blogs. I really hadn’t thought about it before.
  • Blogs and Journalism, Om Malik – He basically said bloggers aren’t journalists unless they put in the effort to do fact-checking and follow-up phone calls. They are separate spheres.
  • SEO & WordPress, Neil Patel – I learned that SEO means search engine optimization. The worst things you can do are sleazy tricks. Search engines are smart.
  • Plugin Showcase, Niall Kennedy, et al – I was getting really tired at this point. I didn’t write down the address for the coolest plugin I saw: one that gathers all the info on the web about a commenter on your blog and displays it in a box on a mouseover. Oh well.

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So what came out of WordCamp 2006? Well, I’ll first wait till they all get over their hangovers and head back to their home offices and I’ll find out – but from what I’ve written and witnessed above the WordPress community is full of ideas and that can only mean bigger and better things lie ahead for WordPress.

And if you do this next year guys, give it a massive advance warning and you’ll more than likely get many overseas folks heading on over – me included.

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A Side Note:
David Krug, writing for The Blog Herald, posted this: Getting Laid at WordCamp ‘06, which over at the ScrivsTyme podcast they ripped it to shreads – by the way, the 9rulers didn’t attend the “geek” festival, although they said they should have and might next year – but then again, with all the merriment and giggling and innuendo that goes on between the two … who knows. They’re a laugh a minute.

The Celebrity Cowboy responds to the “personal” ripping.

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Now onto WordPress. WordPress has revolutionized the Internet. It has helped create this amazing thing we call the blogosphere. I love the innovative plugins that keep popping up and I love that it’s so user friendly.

WordPress has changed many people’s lives. It’s given them a low-cost entry into the world of instant new media … and all that comes with it – it has enabled many to make a good living online and that is a good thing.

Bring on WordCamp 2007!

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Update: The Blog Herald posts that it will have an interview with Aaron Brazell up on Friday as well as a few other attendees they’re intending to interview but they’re not mentioning names just yet.

We need some videos, fellow attendees! Loren? David?

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Update 2: Aaron wraps it up nicely over The Blog Herald with “I, for one, feel like the trip was the biggest career move I ever have made, allowing me for the first time to meet really great people I would never have otherwise known.”

Token appearance winner: Mike Arrington from TechCrunch

And most controversial or talked about session: Om Malik. Aaron posts his thoughts at Om Malik Blows it saying “Om Malik is one of the finest tech writers in the industry, and my criticism of him should in no way diminish that fact. He is skillful in his words, mostly neutral in his opinions and fact-checks stuff to a fault. But at WordCamp he was a windbag.”

Finally, up against Chartreuse’s The Women of WordCamp 2006 (where some heavy/heated action goes on in the comments about copyright and flickr) is The Men of WordCamp 2006.

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Update 3: Big thanks to the Photo Matt man himself for stating “The best summary of posts regarding the event” is right here folks!

But the best wordcamp notes come from Dan Hersam who jotted down some raw observations on what was happening. Good stuff.

9 Responses to “The WordCamp 2006 Overview & Wrapup – from 7875 Miles Away!”

  1. […] Probably the best overall rundown was from Martin Neumann’s [gonzo]musings – course I’m biased because he lauded our coverage. […]

  2. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the kind words and the great post.. we hope to do more of this sort of coverage in the future..

    All the best —

  3. Martin Says:

    I give credit where credit is due – and you guys where right on top of this.

    One idea: with the live blogging of events, why not live (or near to live) video bloging? Same for interviews on the spot.

    Just some food for thought.

  4. […] Lots of metablogging going on here lately, and so for those of you regular readers who don’t blog and don’t care about things like blogging software conferences, my regular posts about what I cook and where I drink are coming back. WordCamp coverage and rehashing could go on forever, but I think it is time to move on, at least on this little blog here. […]

  5. Greg Says:

    Hobart here so a few more miles still! Great post, very useful indeed 🙂

  6. […] Gonzo Musings has “The WordCamp 2006 Overview and Wrapup – from 7875 Miles Away!” Yup. WordCamp 2006 was held over the weekend in sunny San Francisco and from all accounts it was a raging success. […]

  7. Minic Says:

    Too bad I missed WordCamp… but being with my son for his surgery… priceless

  8. Martin Says:

    Firsly, thanks for all the trackbacks – much appreciated.

    Aaron – I can’t believe there’s not a glut of podcasts/interviews from WordCamp. Amazed actually. I guess you guys were too busy with the BBQ 😉

    Lisa – hey, a 9ruler! I only said that because on the ScrivsTyme podcast they said they should’ve been there. You should go now and let Scrivs / Tyme know of your attendence – maybe you can do a write up of your experiences especially for the 9r gang of blogs.

    Dan – I love it. Kudos to you. Have also added it as an update to this post. That’s the sort of thing I wanted – raw, on the moment thoughts.

    Greg – Hobart, eh! so it’s 7875 miles plus a few more for you. And here I thought the world was getting smaller thanks to the internet…

    Minic – See that’s the thing about calling you out (The Blogging Times) a little for not being there – didn’t know your situation. And yep, family first is what’s it all about.

    Thanks guys for all the input. I had a great time covering the coverage from afar. Lets do it again one day.

  9. […] In other news, I hear Wordcamp was a rip-roaring success. I almost thought about it once this past week while I was zoning out on a float in the massive pool next to the swim up bar.   Related Posts from the Past:No results. […]

  10. […] Gonzoblog summary – probably the most exhaustive list of meta data about the conference. If Carlsberg did WordCamp summaries, Gonzo would do it for them! […]

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