Notes from WordCamp Orlando

This past weekend I went down to Orlando to attend the WordCamp there. You’d think for a long time WordPress guy like me WordCamps would be old hat but this was my fist one.

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I picked up tons of little tidbits. Here are a few in no particular order.

Forward Looking

The WordPress core development team seems to be very forward looking. While there was some talk about where WordPress has been, the focus of the presentations was definitely on where the platform is going. On the technical side the big focus seemed to be “WordPress as a CMS.” Some of the features that are either planned or were talked about included.

Custom Post Types – To allow custom options beyond the current post, page and attachment. Some examples I can think of could be photo galleries, or data entry forms.

Improved Media Handling – WordPress 2.9 will have built in oEmbed support so you can just paste the url of the content you want embeded (from supported sites) and WordPress will automatically detect the content on that linked page and display the it on your site. Not a good explanation but it will make embedding videos, etc. much easier.

Better Main Navigation Control – There was some discussion about improving the main navigation controls to make it easier to exclude pages, reorder links, and including links to non-page links (on and off site.) Matt Mullenweg asked the users which plugins they were using for that functionality. He said that one big way WordPress adds functionality to the core code is by getting with plugin authors for plugins that already do it.

Google Wave For Collaborative Note Taking

There were two tracks at WordCamp Orlando. Jesse Peterson and I were going to be attending different sessions but wanted to share notes so we could get the most from the conference. I suggested Google Wave might be a good way to do that so I shared an invite him.

In one of the early sessions Matthew Simantov saw us using Google Wave and took it a step further by creating a wave for everyone to share their notes on. It was a good idea and made it easy for folks to have collective notes from the event.

Matt Mullenweg is a Nice Guy

Matt MullenwegAs the founder of WordPress I image Matt Mullenweg gets pulled in lots of different directions. Even so, he manages to do a good job of being a nice guy. I’m glad I got the chance to shake his hand and thank him for all he’s done to steer the WordPress ship. Without him doing what he’s done my company here, SuccessCREEations, Inc. wouldn’t exist.

Not bad for a guy just 25 years old!

We even got him on Google Wave Saturday. 😉

(photo credit: seanosh)

Orlando is a Nice Town

The more time I spend in Orlando the more I want to move there permanently. Everyone I ran into this weekend was uniformly nice. This includes the folks from Voce Communications who sponsored the event and carried through to the ladies at the front desk of the hotel I stayed in Friday night.

Even getting a full dose of the notorious Orlando traffic on I-4 wasn’t enough to dissuade me. I found a radio station that is playing non-stop Christmas music through the holidays to keep my mood up. Turns out they even stream their broadcast too! I’m listening to Christmas music while I type this. 🙂

I fully intended on attending the after party Saturday night but in one block walk to my car I realized I was really tired and still had a 4 hour drive back home that night. I decided to plead not-as-young-as-I-used-to-be and just head home rather than to the party first. It was a rainy drive home but very much worth the trip.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. I can’t wait until I head up to WordCamp Atlanta next month!

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