Fayetteville, AR held their second WordCamp July 30-31, Twitter hashtag #wcfay, and @wcfay I hadn’t been to one since Dallas in 2009, so I had been looking for one close to the OKC area to attend and this one fit the bill. It was one I could do without an overnight. I was especially excited to see Jane Wells on the program. She works with the WordPress Foundation and her title is Master of Suggestion.
The Conference was held on the University of AR campus. The organizers did a great job of communication with all attendees, giving us updates, encouragement and directions. Unfortunately, the directions to our building on the U of AR website were horribly wrong (the school had them wrong, not the organizers). Finally got there with the help of another lost soul.
This WordCamp had three tracks, or focuses. There was the Developer track – for those who are coders and those who really like to get into the meat of WordPress. I did not attend any of these sessions.
Next, they had a Business track, which focuses on using WordPress in or for a business. I started out here listening to Collin Condray & Eric Huber speak on Yin and Yang of Your WordPress Site. The link is to the slides from their presentations. You can find many of the video presentations here, but I started listening to a couple and the quality was such that I couldn’t hear very well.
The last track was for Bloggers, for those of us who want to learn some skills to get us on the road to being a better blogger, both mechanically and in our writing styles. I attended Andy Crofford’s Guest Blogging: How to find the best and avoid the Pests. I especially enjoyed this one as I’ve been getting a lot of emails from people wanting to guest blog and some of them are a bit strange. His tips on how to manage requests and manage the process were helpful.
When it was Jane’s turn to speak, she opted not to do her presentation and instead took questions from the audience.That was a disappointment to me as I wanted to hear her talk about the ‘State of WordPress’. It looks like she does this at about all the WordCamps she attends, so perhaps she wanted a change. Then there was the ear-splitting audio feedback problems that plagued both her and the next speaker.
I listened to Lela Davidson speak on Social Media Consistency: Skip the Overwhelm and Create A Schedule that Works. She gave tips and drew upon her personal experiences with social media and what she did to become comfortable and eventually successful in using social media to increase visibility and become connected with the ‘right’ people.
I finished my day in the Business Track listening to Cotton Rohrscheib speak on Making WordPress Profitable for Design Firms/Agencies. He brought to our attention some of the ‘housekeeping’ chores that are necessary with any WordPress site, such as hosting, software upgrades, training and maintenance. He pointed out that providing these services can provide consistent monthly revenue for those of us who build sites or develop with WordPress.
I missed the last hour of the day as I decided to hit the road for Oklahoma. I got to meet some nice folks and talk to them a bit about why they were there and their experience with WordPress. I believe close to 200 were registered for the meeting, so a nice sized group. I’ll be looking at their agenda next year to see about returning.