WordCamp Fraser Valley July 2008
Known as a Drupal (fan) boy, an evening of WordPress might be the last place you'd expect to find me. But I know a lot of people running Wordpress, and have even recommended it on a number of occasions. And I'm a bit of a conference whore. So there I was at WordCamp Fraser Valley, which had nothing to do with Microsoft Word and everything to do with the WordPress blogging platform.
The first pleasant surprise of the evening was open wireless. A big thank you to Think Referrals for sponsoring this.
I'm certainly not the first person to observe this, and it wasn't a surprise, but it was still really interesting seeing how different the WordPress audience was versus a typical Drupal audience. Many, many end users versus a tiny number of developers. It really brought home how successful Automattic is evangelizing their product with WordPress.com and making it accessible to non-technical types.
The evening consisted of lots of interesting short talks. For the best coverage of the evening, see Miss 604's blog post: WordCamp Fraser Valley Liveblog.
Much of the information presented was applicable to any blogging platform or website. Gary Jones from Blue Fur made some interesting points on business blogging stating they get a customer for every 1000 page views. Except for the mention of specific WordPress modules, John Chow's presentation on bringing traffic to your site applies to any website. Chow wasn't kidding when he titled his presentation "Evil ways to increase traffic", but fortunately there was good information even after removing the evils things.
All-in-all, well worth the evening out in Langley. Although I went for the WordPress skinny, bringing back some general information was a welcome bonus.