So, first things first. Currently ahead in the “Things That Ruined My Decorating” informal Martha Points Point Sweepstake is Kaira (sorry, no link available) with the taxidermied stuffed pheasant, followed closely by LauraK with the plastic NE Patriots Helmet and Yellow Highlighter Award. Final tally will wait for the second link party I think I’m going to hitch this post to. Also, voting is still open for me as Queen Goddess Extraordinaire and Ruler of All Things Chocolate. Wait… I’m getting an update here…ok, I’m being told that that’s NOT what I was nominated for. It’s not? What is WRONG with the world? It was what? “Awesomest Blog?” Well, ok then…I can live with that! So vote at I Am Mommy!
And now to the Top Secret World of Blogging. They didn’t actually let me into the Top Secret meetings. I could see them through the windows though, in the private rooms marked “Really Cool Top Secret People Only.” I was dressed too much like a mom. If I had worn something torn, and pierced something, or used magic marker to draw tribal tattoos on someplace really visible, I bet then I would have made it into those rooms.
Saturday was WordCamp 2010-SF. My first real blogging conference. Well, my first real, fake, made-of-cream-cheese or any other kind of blogging conference, as I have never been to any blogging conferences before at all.
Random thoughts from the trip and the conference:
- On the way to the City I was passed by an unmarked refrigerator truck. Why do there need to be unmarked refrigerator trucks? Aren’t most places that need to transport cold goods affiliated with some sort of company? There is NO need for anonymous refrigerator trucks and they should be legislated against. Unmarked refrigerator trucks just make people with overactive imaginations start to worry about secret human organ trafficking.
- The WordCamp people did NOT make me sit outside just because I showed up with no laptop (my battery is crap) and no smartphone (haven’t gotten around to it yet). Which I thought was pretty generous of them.
- The WordPress people thought it would be cool to have a jazz combo with the barbecue lunch.
- The people who manufactured the T-shirts apparently sized them on Skipper and Barbie because a medium, which I normally wear, would never have fit over my forearm, let alone my torso. Many women were lining up towards the end of the day to swap. I swapped, and am wearing my WordCamp t-shirt at this very minute.
- Matt Mullenweg (the founder of WordPress) is a LOT like Dave Foley (from Kids in the Hall and NewsRadio).
- I sat through one tech session and understood about half of it. Which is 100% more than I thought I would understand of it.
- I took advantage of the genius bar to ask about how to move my blog (which I’ll probably need to do soon), and the very nice genius in question spent over half-an-hour with me to make sure I understood it. That alone was worth the price of admission.
- Cool Google chick (Vanessa Fox) gave a 35-minute talk on SEO optimization which was WAY too short for a topic that big.
- The developers at the conference (over half of the attendees) did not mock, tease, taunt, pull-the-hair-of nor make superior remarks to the woman who blogs about cat-hair and dying houseplants.
- Most of the coolest things I learned had little to do with my actual blog, but gave me a much better understanding of the blogosphere.
- A really nice guy (who I accidentally took a movie of instead of a picture – I SO don’t belong at tech conferences) chatted with me for a while as we waited for Matt’s Big Talk to start, and he pulled up my blog (cause he, being of the tech variety and NOT carting around a bag that only had a paperback novel and two Hollywood Diet Cookies in it, actually had a laptop with him), and said complementary and encouraging things.
- I opted out of the last session as it was more tech oriented, and it took me an hour and twenty minutes to get across San Francisco to the bridge I needed. As point of reference, it took me an hour and twenty minutes to make it from my house to the parking garage the very same morning. The linear distance it took me an hour and twenty minutes to drive was 10.1 miles. This made me cranky and bad company. So it was a good thing I went by myself.
On the plus side, the high amount of stopping meant I could snap a few pictures of the City without 1)breaking any laws, or 2)breaking my neck.
For your vieweing enjoyment:
Much of what I learned about makes more sense for my business blog (yes, I have one, but this one is more fun) than it does for people who blog mostly for fun but with an eye for opportunity if it should present itself. But there were a few things that were interesting and may be relevent to others:
Google doesn’t care about meta-tags/keywords, and pretty soon, no other search engine will either. If I understood correctly, this was in the meta-data, not your regular blog tags which are actually used for indexing, at the very least by your blog’s host. I don’t have access to the meta-data in my blog at this time, so I’m certainly not trying to load it with high-incidence search terms, but maybe some people are and apparently that is not something search engines will pay attention to.
No time was spent on defining what searchability meant for the non-business blog or how to use it well. I’m curious what others think about this.
If you are an artist (music, film, animation) go to QuestionCopyright.org and learn about what free distribution really means and what copyright really doesn’t.
Content content and content. (Although actually this was only a tiny portion of the conference in general.) But if you want people to read, you need to be writing content that is fundamentally interesting or informative. Believe in the power of the words (written or spoken, but in a blogger’s case written).
So although I enjoyed myself and learned some interesting things, I think WordCamp is definitely for a different type of animal than myself or most other recreational bloggers, particularly of the parenting/lifestyle/family/cooking/crafting variety. I think if I had asked Matt about that demographic he certainly would have emphasized the importance of it, but that just wasn’t the audience in residence for this particular gathering.
Ok, class. Any questions?