I just got back from NerdCamp, er, WordCamp Kansas City, and it was a blast! My only complaint was the venue: last year we met on a college campus, so there were conference tables for easy note-taking, reliable wifi, and plenty of plug-ins for charging our devices. OfficePort KC is a cool venue in a cool part of town, but I still prefer the JCCC campus from last year for this sort of event.
With that said, I don’t have anything else negative to say, except that it’s always over too quickly! My sincere thanks and congratulations to the speakers and organizers for a successful, engaging, and productive WordCamp KC 2012!
Here’s a quick run-down of the sessions I attended.
WordPress and Mobile – Chris Ensell – Developer Track
Chris is a funny speaker and he present several ways of developing a mobile site for your WordPress site, and he argued that you should develop the mobile site first, and then it will degrade nicely to the desktop version. With the right design, pictures and menus will look great on both platforms. He also supported responsive design, which will display nicely on a variety of viewports.
Linkbuilding for WordPress – Rebecca Haden – Publisher Track
I remember Rebecca from last year, and she’s a rockstar. I was not disappointed this year! Rebecca shared lots and lots of great WordPress plugins to make sure your site is internally strong (no broken links and related posts linked to each other) and ensuring that your posts are SEO strong.
WordPress and Ajax – Stephanie Scharf – Developer Track
I went to this session because I want to learn Ajax, and I though it might help me get my feet wet. Shew-ee! I was in way over my head, but the one thing I can say is that Stephanie is sharp. This young woman is going places.
Brody is another rockstar, and again I was not disappointed. My take-aways from his session are to lead prospects and customers through your site by having a solid site map, and then use Google Analytics to track your events and conversions. Of course, he shared some WordPress Plugins to make all of that easier.
WordPress and Project Management – Brian Bookwalter – Publisher Track
Brian is a new rockstar to me–I don’t know if he presented last year, but I will definitely go to any session he gives in the future. This session was solid–full of very detailed project management advice. I was happy to find that I am doing some of these things, but I was also happy to learn a ton of things that I need to be doing.
End User Training – Rick Nielsen – Publisher Track
I’m on the fence about Rick’s sessions. I saw him last year, and I remember thinking the same thing: he is a dynamic speaker, but thin on content with a bit of back-patting tossed in. I wanted a lot more than I expected from the session description.
WordPress as a CMS – Calvin Robertson – Publisher Track
Calvin is another new rockstar! I learned a lot from this session about using custom post types, taxonomy, custom fields, templates, and user roles to turn WordPress into a powerful CMS. The biggie for me, and something that I am going to actively explore over the next month is custom post types. They have sort of scared me ever since they came out, plus I didn’t think I really had a use for them. Boy, was I wrong.