WPCandy’s view of WordCamp Detroit 2010

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This year was the first WordCamp in Detroit, and WPCandy was able to attend (I even spoke!).

This was my third WordCamp event. I’ve previously been to WordCamp Chicago and WordCamp Atlanta. This was the first inaugural event I’ve been to, and it was interesting comparing and contrasting a brand new event to those in cities that have been around the block once or twice.

WordCamp Detroit 2010 Gallery (ours, Bill Rice’s, and naokomc’s) :

The presentations

The event itself was all one track, which meant user and developer topics were all presented to everyone in one large room.This isn’t ideal, but might be a necessary evil of a first year WordCamp with a still-growing attendee and speaker list.

I thought Todd List’s What’s in a theme? and David Murray’s Building Your Content Bubble were the best user-focused presentations of the bunch. Shayne Sanderson’s PHP/CSS for Beginners seemed to interested a number of people in some light theme tweaking, as did John Pratt’s WordPress Theme Hacks Nearly Anyone Can Do. Users tend to like nothing more than hearing about Plugins they can use, and Anthony Montalbano’s presentation There’s a Plugin for That had a ton to choose from.

From a developer’s perspective, I most enjoyed Ross Johnson’s WordPress Horsepower: 10 Ways to Speed up WordPress. I’m a big fan of speed, and his presentation was solid. Justin Popovic’s SEO and Social Media for WordPress was interesting as well, though too much talk about “optimizing for search engines” and my eyes glaze over.

For your convenience, we’ve gathered everyone’s slides and presentations together here:

SpeakerPresentationDifficultyOnline?
Brad GosseYour Business Starts with WordPressUserNo
Todd J. ListWhat's in a theme?UserHere
Anthony MontalbanoThere's a Plugin for ThatUserHere
Justin PopovicSEO and Social Media for WordPressIntermediateHere
Ross JohnsonWordPress Horsepower: 10 Ways to Speed up WordPressIntermediateHere
Shayne SandersonPHP/CSS for BeginnersIntermediateHere
Ryan ImelUnderstanding WordPress MultisiteIntermediateHere
Marisa SmithTurn Your Website into a Social Media EngineUserHere
David MurrayBuilding Your Content BubbleUserHere
Casey ZemanThe Power of Video and BloggingUserNo
John PrattWordPress Theme Hacks Nearly Anyone Can DoIntermediateHere

For more of my thoughts on the event, see our podcast recorded after day one.

WPCandy at the event

By show of hands nearly everyone at the event had been to WPCandy before. So naturally, everyone there was intensely awesome. We brought a few cards to pass out, but I didn’t feel our presence was as strong as it could have been. For the next WordCamp we attend, we’re looking at more things to give out, and potentially sponsorship.

On a personal level it was fun meeting and speaking with Jeff from WPTavern, as well as Josh Feck again. I first met both of them (in person) at WordCamp Chicago last year.

Looking forward to next year

I very much look forward to attending next year’s WordCamp Detroit. The location was ideal, the after party was lots of fun, and the people were the best. I hope that next year a slightly larger crowd comes around (which I’m sure they will) and a second and third track might be added. Other fun additions would be a genius bar and time for lightning presentations by presenters.

Thanks to Anthony Montalbano and all of the volunteers for organizing the event, it was a great time and impressive for a first year WordCamp. Here’s to next year!

Who else attended? What were your thoughts? Share them in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “WPCandy’s view of WordCamp Detroit 2010

  1. I attended and I thought the organizers did a great job, especially for an inaugural event. There really was something for almost every level of blogger. Looking forward to next year!

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