Monday, September 24, 2012

St. Louis WordCamp

WordCamp St. Louis
Saturday was spent at the second annual WordCamp St. Louis, which was held on the really pretty campus of Maryville University. Designed for anyone who runs a blog/website on the WordPress platform, the day was broken down into four categories: Content, Design, Development and Campfire. (The theme of this WordCamp was "Get S'More Skills", thus the reference to campfires.) So essentially each hour there was a choice of four topics, which was hard because there were always two that I wanted to attend. I stayed in the Content section all day since I felt like it was geared more towards beginners.

Even though has been around since April of 2008, I really don't have a good grasp on what makes WordPress tick. Certainly I can do all the basic stuff like post, add photos and work with plugins, but whenever it comes to anything more complicated than that, I have to ask someone else for help. While it is true that I certainly am not interested in learning how to change the HTML coding, I would like to be a little more in control of my website.

The opening session by Ed Morrissey covered the evolution of WordPress. What struck home with me is that there are currently 56 million WordPress sites! That is amazing! Certainly there must be a whole lot of folks who can help me when I get stuck, right? There is even a St. Louis user group that meets monthly, so this is definitely something I need to look into.

At each of the sessions throughout the day I learned something new. It was fun to see a handful of St. Louis Publishers Association members at the meeting, and I saw some old faces from Show Me the Blog St. Louis and met some new bloggers as well. But the best part of the day was my stop at the Happiness Desk, where one of the friendly volunteers (Jonathan Goldford of assured me that the way was constructed was indeed favorable for the search engines to find new content. He also recommended a SEO plugin to help the spiders crawl over to my site. That information alone was well worth the price of admission. I will keep my eyes open for WordCamp 2013, and highly recommend the event to anyone using WordPress for their blogs/websites.


Linda A. said...

So was it mostly for people?

Mrs. Wryly said...

Wow, you definitely want those spiders crawling all over!!

Kim Wolterman said...

Linda, I would say they had a nice mix of topics for both .com and .org users. You would have enjoyed Ryan Markel, the local guy from Automattic who administers in this area. They had four tracks each hour so there was a lot to choose from.