There are just a few tickets remaining for WordCamp Milwaukee next weekend. I’m teaching a Foundation Friday class on “Writing Good Content,” but slots for those beginner-oriented workshops are already sold out. You’ll be able to find me roaming around the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education over the weekend, helping out where I can and soaking up information too.
Lisa Sabin-Wilson on ensuring quality before you release your site
Suzette Franck on customizing your admin page
Syed Balkhi on monetizing your blog
Andrew Nacin on core development
John James Jacoby on WordPress Multisite
Alison and James Barrett: So I Married a Developer
Of course, there’s an after-party Saturday night at the Miller Time Pub down the street.
If you’re in Milwaukee, but can’t make it to WordCamp itself, come to the pre-camp WordPress Meetup. Many of the speakers (me too) will show up, and there will be a ton of informal conversations over pizza.
Hope to see you! You can follow all the fun on Twitter, with the hashtag #wcmke.
Had a great day at WordCamp Milwaukee 2013 Saturday! We had 280 people pre-registered, with very few unclaimed badges at the end of the day, plus a few folks who registered at Bucketworks. The place was packed from the opening remarks through the after-party at Milwaukee Brewing Company.
Next up was Gloria Antonelli‘s “Theme Selection Field Guide.” This may have been my favorite session (and I hope she posts her slides). She offered a great set of guidelines and gotchas when looking for a theme for your site. Main takeaway: Too many ThemeForest developers don’t understand how WordPress works, and thus break things when you install their theme.
The lunch line snaked all the way through Bucketworks and out onto the sidewalk by the time I got in it, but there was plenty of sandwiches and salads from Milwaukee’s Waterfront Deli left even for the stragglers. Conversations carried on throughout the building over lunch, and I got some last-minute prep time for my presentation.
The session I led this year was amazing! The assembly of around 50-60 animated and inspired people. Unlike last year, my computer cooperated, and I didn’t try to pack too much information into the allotted half-hour. This resulted in an excellent discussion of “Building Authority and Audience with WordPress and Google Authorship.” Thanks to all who attended, asked questions, hit me up later and just thought good thoughts.
After my talk, I volunteered for an hour at the Happiness Bar, but no one came with any problems. So I chatted with the other folks and checked in at home.
Next up was Heather Acton’s terrific session, “Stop Giving S*** Away for Free and Start Feeding Your Family.” She complemented Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s talk quite nicely with her rules for freelance web designers, new and old. When your friends and family hear you can make web pages, you can often be hit up for favors. It’s just too easy to be “nice” and wind up being exploited. Writers run into the same problem. Heather has managed to balance pro bono work for nonprofits and still use her abundant talent to make a decent living.
But just before that session started, our afternoon snack arrived, and a legend was born: the WordCamp Milwaukee Bacon Bar! So maybe there wasn’t a lot of variety to the bacon, but it was fresh, and there was lots of it! People lined up with plates big and small to take back to their session. You can find many pictures of the spread (besides this one I took) using the hashtag #baconbar.
My head was starting to get full by the end of the day, and I wound up sampling a few of the last sessions. Michelle Schulp urged her colleagues in the web design field to collaborate more with the nerdier web developers they seem to clash with. Josh Betz whipped all the way through his “WordPress Development Workflow” in around 15 minutes, but still managed to show off some other projects after the formal presentation (Confession: at that point I was caught up in the #wcmke Twitter feed, which kinda continued into the next session.)
After a long, hard day, many of us retired to the AfterParty at the Milwaukee Brewing Company. This party featured generous beer samples, mini-tours of the brewery, a variety of pizzas and bruschetta snacks from Transfer Pizza down the block, and Purple Door Ice Cream. A great way to end the day.
I had other responsibilities on Sunday, but I hear that went really well too. You can find links to nearly all the slide presentations with this Google doc. Watch WordCamp TV for recordings of the talks.
I am so looking forward to 2014, but worried how we’re going to top this year.
Were you able to come to WordCamp Milwaukee 2013? Have any ideas for next year? Want to hear more about Google Authorship? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below (and over at the WordCamp Milwaukee site too).