Hey guys, Michael Mistretta here. I’ve just arrived at Wordcamp Toronto 2008. The place is alive and buzzing full of blogging geeks from across the GTA. The intro speech is going on now, as we thank all of the sponsors that made Wordcamp Toronto possible. Stay tuned throughout the day as we update this blog with info and photos from the event.
Joseph Thornley opens up talking on Blogging as a Cornerstone of Social Media. He touches on the concept of the Internet moving from other people creating content that we consume to a medium where anyone, anywhere can create content on many different levels.
Blogging has gone mainstream to the point where the British Prime Minister updates a blog regularly. An important part of choosing a blogging platform is the community around the platform. WordPress has over 3000 plugins and 500 themes, along with a thriving support forum. “That’s a sense of community”.
Talking to WP plugin developers in the audience. The developer of WPhone for the iPhone, OpenID commenting, along with others who have developed Top Links, WPDiso plugin. Lots of developers contributing to the development of WordPress and it’s extension. Some of the developers utilizing WordPress in innovative ways from the audience:
- Pv3 World
- SGT Splatters
- Live Conference
- Nevada Law Foundation
- KSM Law
- MIT EF Link
- Cherry Vale
- Garth Weblog
Taking a quick 20 minute break to get a bite to eat. Back with Matt Mullenweg in a few.
11:00 – 11:30
Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress is giving a talk on the State of The Word. There is now 6 million WordPress.org blogs with over 1000 posts per day. Akismet blocks 5 billion spam comments a year, and Matt and the WordPress team are working towards a WP theme repository that will make finding WP themes as easy as plugins.
Some of the more popular WP plugins being activated: Adsense (#24), Hello Dolly (#12), OpenID (#145). Top 10 plugins: cforms, wp-polls, wp automatic upgrade, wp-cache, wp database backup, stats, nextgen-gallery, google sitemaps, all-in-one-seo-pack, with the number one being akismet.
11:30 – 12:30
Matt gives us a preview of WordPress 2.7 due in November. This update includes a dramatic dashboard redesign that makes it easier to navigate and access different aspects of the WordPress backend. The navigation bar runs against the left side of the window, and expands different categories. It can be collapsed for more workspace.
One of the coolest demos was the customizable write panel. You can simply drag and drop sections around, hide certain boxes that you use infrequently, and move boxes you use all the time to the top. These preferences are all user-customizable, and are saved as cookies which remember your settings.
Finally, WordPress is having a big push towards modal and media blogging, making it easier to post pictures, videos, and linked lists, that have a visibly different style than regular articles. Matt mentioned that they put a lot of resources into usability testing, and make user interface elements more intuitive (like placing a proper ‘edit’ button on the comment moderation section).
1:15 – 2:00
Rannie Turingan details the power of WordPress galleries, and taking blogs beyond simply text. With a good Q&A session and a walkthrough on how to setup and customize your own WordPress gallery. The audience was “wowed” by the power of galleries, especially with the demo of Rannie’s own personal photography portfolio site.
Lots of dropped hints to Matt Mullenweg about requested features during the session. 🙂