Posts Tagged #wcatl


Okay, so I’m back from Atlanta WordCamp. 

A couple points:

  • WordPress is coming out with version 3.0 in not too long and it’s gonna rock our worlds – or maybe not but it’s going to have many many improvements.
  • The whole issue of PlugIns is a really big deal and the consistent answer from folks is “You have to figure out that one’s you want.”  And, interestingly, many of the speakers said, “I just write my own.”  However, the whole plugin thing is a big deal because they add functionality and customizability to sites.
  • WordPress was originally a blog program and is increasingly being used to create and host websites that are used for far more than blogging – many members of Congress and many nonprofits and businesses use it for their sites.
  • Many of the campers were there because they’ve been occupationally displaced and are looking for ways to leverage their connections and knowledge of WordPress to become freelancers and make a living.  It can be done and the living can be quite nice but it requires a very different mindset than having a job.
  • The term “social media” a popular and current buzzword and is ridiculously overused in some circles but social media is here to stay – the specific forms may change – myspace, meetup, twitter, facebook, and so on may come and go but they are only the specific brands of tools; the basic tool itself is not going anywhere anytime soon.
  • We’re only beginning to tap into the real power of the internet to trasnform our lives.
  • What used to be the province of the nerds has become the province of hipsters and its a good thing.

The challenge at any conference like this is the vast disparity in technical abilities.  For someone like me, I don’t really know and probably won’t ever master the technology that’s under the hood.  I expect it to run smoothly and I expect some fundamental mastery from the user side, but I’m not a programmer and won’t become one any time soon.  From my perspective, I want to be able to make the site do what I want it to do.  At WordCamp, there were folks who literally are writing code to support WordPress.

I think what we’re seeing is nothing new – users like me want to develop a greater mastery of the tool without having to learn code.  The programmers and developers, by contrast, want to get into the technical wonky side of things – they want to talk about and alter plugins and other things. 

The other challenge is that the “basics” workshops were too basic.  The intermediate workshops were too highly specific.  I don’t know and won’t pretend to have a solution but I know there’s one out there.

I met one presenter who really impressed me – Adria Richards.  She is very sharp.  I like her observation that WordCamp Atlanta was more diverse than most such gatherings, but I have to admit I was hoping for a far more diverse crowd – hell I flew to Atlanta and it wasn’t much more diverse than what I often see here. 

Utlimately, however, our technology is only as good as we are.  Douchebags in real live are douchebags on the internet – doesn’t matter if they’re tweeting or facebooking or blogging, they’re still douchebags.  People who are amazing in real life are amazong online.

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