WordCamp 2007 proved both extremely valuable to me, personally and professionally, and to my wallet. At $25., you will not get more for less any place. Lunch included! Amazing. Yes, there is hope for human kind. Such a ethos of digital “socialismo” and open source information cross-contribution reminds me of them good ol’ days when the web (then called “the net”) seemed to me a daily digital Christmas.
I fear only that we’d take such things for granted, which, like taking democracy itself for granted, puts us at risk of incalculable loss.
Thanks again to Donncha O Caoimh for helping a fool through the less than fool-proof registration process.
My only regret was not having sat in front of Matt Cutts PPT prezo and slurped it up in my camera, and while nothing world wide web shattering was in it, not even John Pozadzides
The full schedule has it’s ups and downs, sure. The ups were higher than expected while the downs were seldom low.
Rather than recounting all the sessions and tips I’ll summarize the real nuggets, at least those that stood out for me, and I took notes on.
Dan Kuykendall’s PodPress plugin presentation was inspiring, though internet was lost out of the gate. He made the most of it however and it made me want to start podcasting… something. To podcast via WordPress Just record something to mp3 and use Dan’s plug-in to create the file-specific RSS2 feed and enclosure tags, plus some meta data, and define where the user can select the feed, so to know when a new “pod” has been “cast.” Otherwise it is just a matter of playing the file… and for that I noted 1PixelOut.net’s audio player plug-in, for playing your audio within wordpress “pages.” Dan uses it on his blog, mightyseek.com, and it looks pretty sporty
Blogs vs. Journalism
John C. Dvorak and Om Malik dialog in QA format. Dvorak defined bloggers as “citizen journalists.” Malik distinguishes bloggers as more “hyperactive,” timely, and involved in the process of news vs. “reporting” after the fact (real time reporting advantage).
The session was interesting but really made me think that bloggers should be less critical in general, and not playing verbal wack-a-mole, but be more creative and engaging in order for advance the credibility of blogs as useful news sources in general. And that the “angry phase” could pass as all the negative talk, probably the result of frustration from having no public/community voice and being talked to for so long, in such great volume, by the corporate media/advertising empires.
One advantage blogging has that non-blogging news sources has is comments, thus extended group conversation, Malik pointed out. Best not to take the negative comments personally. There are always a few dunces (true). Dvorak says the writer is responsible for the setting the tone.
Kicking Ass Content Connections
Well this was an interesting session… Ms. VanFossen has a great deal of life experience to share and is a real people person. The bottom line from her session is to post in such a way that serves as a conversation opener, rather that a complete idea, to engage your audience. And she reminded us the importance of being authentic in your writing. “Don’t fake it.” Okay.
I’d say the main reason for her success, aside from experience and common sense, the sheer volume of her words, both in number and db level (in person).
Jeremy Wright of b5media advised those wishing to monitize their blogs to sell something, like products or advertisin. Nice funny guy, simple message.
Getting Involved with WordPress
Mark gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and I decided to contribute. Most likely by suggesting UI improvements for the themes area.
Designing the Obvious
Hoekman was somewhat unprepared and seem to just wing it. I would like to check out his book, as Matt liked it. It has good reviews on amazon. I didn’t make notes on this session and I don’t recall anything about his presentation.
Whitehat SEO tips for Bloggers
Worth the price of admission alone. Here’s what I surmised:
- Use feedburner and brand your feeds plus get feed stat’s
- Don’t put your blog at site root (like I have), if you separate blog from “main site,” people will sometime link to both (PageRank advantage)
- Use SEO title plug-in (switch blog name with post title)
- Blog niche topics
- Use synonyms
- Keywords for categories (Cutt’s started using WordPress for categories)
- Use dashes for file/directory names in URI’s. Also supports word segmentation.
- Use alt tags… “duh,” perhaps, yet image and video search yields increasing visits. 5 words max best.
- Hierarchical (organized) sites are optimal for seach eng’s
- Check you site on a cell phone
- Make sure post creation dates are findable
- Cutt’s doesn’t put date in URI
- Use separate CSS for non-browser devices, or WP mobile plug-in
- Use either http://www.domain.tld or http://domain.tld, but be consistent, including for following slash
- Use Google Webmaster Tools… test robots.txt, exclude URI’s, etc.
- Link bait: Be creative to get human attention first (versus google’s attention first for resulting human attention) by providing service or entertainment: YouTube videos, creative web utilities etc.
- Insignful analysis
- Live blogging
- Controversy (use sparingly)
- Lists: top ten… 20 ways to do… 10 ways you know you’re a… 5 reasons why…
- Name drop A-listers
- Block all but your own IP’s to WP admin login: see htaccess (unix only)
- More reading:
- http://www.stehpanspencer.com/tag/blog-optimization (blogs)
- Lists: top ten… 20 ways to do… 10 ways you know you’re a… 5 reason why…
- Name drop A-listers (in your subject area)
- You had to be quick to catch it, but after Lorelle asked about search spam/splog/copyright violation reporting, but Cutt’s does ellude to preference for those using googles services… not really big news as using googles services ensures that google’s bot is indexing you, but interesting implications for indexing priority.
- WordPress says no pay-per-post in TOS: If you want to sell links from your site, do so in a way that doesn’t effect search engines by using redirects, no follow tag, etc. Selling links is against Google guidlines and they do take action on it.
Watch Matt Cutt’s WordCamp 2007 presentation:
So that was the day for me. Lot’s of ups and downs but definitely landed on an “up.”