WordCamp SLC 2011 afterthoughts

Saturday was WordCamp SLC 2011.  My second WordCamp.  My first time speaking in any sort of formal context.  I thought I’d take a few minutes to review the experience.

Friday night was a special dinner for speakers/sponsors, so I got to schmooze with some of the presenters which included other folks like me — freelancers or professionals who make money using or developing WordPress in some capacity — which is always a good time.  And thanks to the WCSLC sponsors, dinner (at Buca di Beppo’s) was on the house — can’t argue with free.

At the actual event the next morning, I had my laptop with me.  So did half of the other attendees (the other half were glued to their iPhones).  I decided during @josephscott’s presentation to liveblog the whole event.  So, in addition to all the other firsts, it was also my first time liveblogging.

Dude, liveblogging is awesome.

It’s more than just spewing a lot of hashtagged stuff on Twitter (although that’s involved, too).  It was fun to be able to post in a rapid-fire, live format that could be mixed-media — by the end of the day, I was embedding video and images that were relating to what people were saying, in addition to posting #wcslc tweets via WP Quote Tweet (was using WP Quote Tweet, switched to Twitter Blackbird Pie, which is a lot better).  If I got out of the house more than one time a year, I would totally liveblog more stuff.

Liveblogging the event also contributed to getting like 20 new followers on Twitter.  Hi guys.

The sessions were an interesting mix — a lot of site optimization stuff (speed, SEO, A/B testing) and then a lot of introductions to more complex topics (my presentation, CSS, Getting Started with WordPress).  Not a lot of developer-centric stuff in contrast to last year’s WordCamp which included sessions on The Loop and plugin development.

I won’t go into every presentation I went to, but I did get the opportunity to go to a bunch of them (as opposed to last year, when I was manning the Genius Bar much of the day).  And — though I will have to watch the videos once they’re uploaded — I have to say that I’m pretty sure I didn’t bomb.  Unless you take that to mean “bomb” like “da bomb”.  I might have been that.  I didn’t fail miserably, I didn’t forget everything, I didn’t run out of time and I didn’t stumble over my slides or forget things and I think I got through the presentation fairly competently.  There was a minute when Justin mentioned my presentation as he finished up his CSS session that my heart started racing and I started thinking again about how I hadn’t even looked at my slides in a week, and again as I was setting up the laptop and the video, but beyond that I felt pretty relaxed throughout the presentation.

I’m looking forward to catching up on the presentations that were going on while I was in the other room, as well as watching the recap of my presentation and I’ve already picked a topic for next year’s WordCamp.  I also discovered that there’s a local WordPress meetup which I’m hoping to check out.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this WordCamp come together and all the people who showed up for my session.  See you next year!