I attended WordCamp 2006 today. It was free but I think part of the unwritten agreement is that attendant bloggers are required to write something about it.
WordCamp brought together a whole bunch of folks, mostly from the San Francisco Bay area, many of whom are hyper-passionate about blogging (usually with WordPress) and new media and future of communication and social networking. To be honest, a lot of it was a bit high level for my taste. I started this blog as a research journal that I decided to make public just in case someone else thought the same stuff was interesting. But the conference did remind me that I need to take the proverbial plunge and upgrade the various blogs on this site to the WordPress 2.0 series, if for no other reason than I will be able to find better themes for 2.0.
I also need to look more carefully at various plugins offered for the WordPress system. The more avid users were insistent that there is already a plugin for just about everything. This makes me want to hunt for a plugin that can automatically properly HTML-ize and colorize C code as I occasionally need to do. Further, much was made of WordPress Widgets. The end goal of all this is to let bloggers do powerful things without having to learn much, if anything, about hacking the underlying PHP/CSS/XHTML/AJAX/whatever. This is the boat I always find myself in– even though I fancy myself a reasonably technically savvy individual, normally willing to learn new techs, I simply don’t care to learn much about web programming. I just want this stuff to work. That way, I can devote more time to my specialty: figuring out how to make multimedia tech just work for Linux users.
My personal favorite presentation was about using WordPress as a general content management system (CMS). I have been wanting to do just that since WordPress is solid, easy to use, and already has a familiar ring to it. It turns out that it is feasible, though maybe with a little work, to use WP as a CMS on a site where a traditional blog layout is not the most conducive for organizing the information.
I was in the minority as a non-laptop-carrier. An inordinate number of laptop users were on Apple hardware. It’s seductive, that’s for certain. I don’t know if I saw any Linux laptops, unless they were cleverly disguised.