Live: Wordcamp 2009

Developers, bloggers, editors, and writers discuss the open source blogging software Wordpress.

The following is a live blog. Beware of spelling errors, and lots of photos. Enjoy.

Wordcamp is a conference about blogging and developing the future of the best blogging platform. Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg is celebrating the 6th anniversary of the open source blogging software. Did you know all of ZDNet's blogs run on an instance of Wordpress?

Wordcamp 2009

Why do you blog?

9:15am Scalable Blogging, Tim Ferriss

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect" -Mark TwainTim Ferriss poses the question. He uses his blog for access to resources and people and building the right audience. It's the perfect laboratory for learning from his readers, and giving back his own commentary. The author of the book Four Hour Work Week, said that his blog helped out his book more than his book helped out his blog. They complemented each other, but the feedback element on the blog is much stronger. You can interact with people better on the web than any other medium. And it's only becoming more fluid.

Tim Ferriss

Ferriss uses Twitter, Evernote, and a site I've never heard about called SlinkSet.

Tim Ferriss

He says the important thing to being a good write is having your own "voice". You gotta find your natural tone.

Be unique: make sure your posts can only be described one way. You want your blog to be the go-to place for a certain topic. If you make a video about how to peel hard boiled eggs without peeling them, 2 million people will want to learn about it.

How do you deal with comments?

Use the living room method. You are inviting your audience into your home. If you come to my house and get drunk and curse like a pirate, I'm kicking you out. Same goes with the commentary on my blog. Put a disclaimer on your blog to let your users know that if they're rude, they'll be censored.

Tim Ferriss

Ferriss says that he has many forms of blog: long form (personal site), short form (Wordpress), and micro (Twitter). He also doesn't use an RSS reader.

Ferriss blogging types

9:45 am Wordcamp buttons, designed by Marianne Masculino:

Wordcamp 2009 buttons, designed by Marianne Masculino

9:52 am Mullenweg greeting guests:

Matt greeting atendees

Wordcamp sponsor LayeredTech is handing out desk buddies. It quadruples as a paper holder, paper clip, highlighter, and desk brush:

Wordcamp sponsor LayeredTech

10:00 am The crowd is smiling. Over 600 people shoved in here:

Huge, happy crowd

No really, why do you blog?

Matt Cutts from Google

10:15am Straight From Google, Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts from Google

Fame, access, attention, money, rankings? Some people just post pictures of cats doing crazy things. Most people want something from their blog. A lot of people want to get better Pagerank in Google.

Matt Cutts from Google deals with filtering out a lot of the spam blogs listed in Google. Most of the Wordpress installations he sees look like this:

Matt Cutts from Google

Wordpress takes care of 80-90% of the mechanics of search engine optimization. Best plugins for SEO are Akismet, cookies for comments, and Feedburner Feedsmith. That's it; so simple.

Matt Cutts from Google

PageRank, simply, is: The number of people who link to you, and how important those links are.

The secret, actual PageRank formula.

Matt Cutts from Google

BO is backlink obsession. Avoid that.

Matt Cutts from Google

With SEO, keywords are still important. Think about what your users will type into a Google search query. You can't beat Google's keyword tool.

What most users type into Google

Best permalink structure for SEO: /%postname%/:

SEO from Google, Wordpress

If you blog's URL is

?p=123
, you are missing out on putting some keywords in your URL. Within Wordpress, tweak your title even more based on possible keywords users will type into Google. You can make your categories keyword-based.

SEO from Google, Wordpress

Dashes are always better than underscores. No spaces is terrible. (experts-exchange vs expertsexchange.com).

Key tips: find something you're passionate about, write often, pay attention to mechanics and don't overdo it.

How do you gain a reputation?

Be interesting. Update often. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has only blogged twice.

Be interesting

The secret of blogging is Katamari: start small, and find your niche. Then build up. Don't overreach from the beginning. You have to get there gradually.

If you have one good idea, that can carry you so, so far. LOLcats anyone? F My Life? One Sentence? Penny Arcade? xkcd?

Liveblogging is also awesome, says Cutts.

Will video replace "paper" blogs? They are easier to ingest, and become viral much faster than a document.

Blogger may not be the best blogging software, but Google does have some great tools to help you:

10:55 am Setting up for lunch:

Setting up for lunch

State of the Word

11 am Matt Mullenweg, founder Wordpress

Ma.tt

Wordpress started out at B2, when Matt was 19. He wanted to solve the blogging software dilemma. It's grown a lot since then.

State of the word

Over 10 million downloads, 5 million hosted blogs, 3.5 million blogs on wordpress.com, 58 million new posts, 22 billion page views, 5 million spams killed in the past year.

State of the word

Predictions are always interesting:

State of the word

Someone got a real Wordperss tattoo:

State of the word

11:30 am Alex King came on stage and talked about Carrington, the CMS Theme Framework for Wordpress. There is something called the Wordpress Help-Center that has answers, troubleshooting, development, customization, and technical tools. They are hiring two developers this year to help out.

Wordpress has had a 427% increase in demand. There is something new called P2, which is basically a Twitter + Wordpress mashup. The commentary is showcased though, right on the front page. Imagine a simpler version of IM, but within a Wordpress install. Try it out here.

P2

Imagine if you could put Facebook in a box? That's BuddyPress. Definitely check that out.

Wordcamp 2009

11:45 am House is packed:

Version 2.8 of Wordpress is coming and it will focus on the infrastructure and things like widgets. The entire theme directory is embedded in your blog. You can search for themes and install them with one click. Improved screen options, password strength meter, multiple galleries per page, improved access to turbo feature, and a per-page option for plugins are some new features in 2.8.

27% of downloads were outside of the US in 2008, and 42% this year. International Wordcamps have really helped this statistic. Wordpress TV captures all of the videos from these camps.

2009 Wordcamps

A big new feature of 2.8 is theme & plugin localization. They will create frameworks in other languages.

Wordcamp 2009

“Every single time you're on a blog, you are part of a real time conversation.” -Matt Mullenweg

As of today, Wordpress.org and WordpressMU are merging. Also, have you seen VideoPress?

Wordpress.org profile pages:

Wordpress.org profile pages

12:00 pm It's time for lunch. I am recharging my battery and digging in to some food :) Be back soon.

Wordcamp 2009 lunch

Wordcamp 2009

1:30 pm Matt Mullenweg does Q&A with the audience.

2:10 pm Tara Hunt gives her SxSW talk about Whuffie.

“Authenticity really matters.” -Tara Hunt

So what's Whuffie?

Full photo set on Flickr »