I attended my very first Wordcamp in Kuala Lumpur on the 22nd May, 2010. This is the very first Wordcamp event to be held in Malaysia and I must commend the effectiveness of the organisers from start to finish. The whole event was on time and on schedule, something you don’t always see in a Malaysian’s event as they are infamous for their tardiness.
The day started off with the keynote by Naoko McCracken a Happiness Engineer (A note to self: what a nice title) from Automattic. She talked about the history of WordPress, how it started and where it is heading to with the upcoming version of 3.0. There were some interesting snippet of WordPress I gathered from her keynote, among them were :-
- WordPress has been downloaded 9.2 millions times
- WordPress powers 8.5% of the Entire Internet
- In Malaysia, WordPress.com (a free blog hosting site) is the 12th most visited site
- 79% of the top million sites with a blog uses WordPress (that to me is a major significance)
If you are interested with Naoko’s keynote, it can be downloaded over here.
Theme Framework: A glimpse into the future was the next topic by David Wang better know as blogjunkie on the twittersphere. He basically covers theme creations and how we can make use of the framework to extend themes. I think this will be best explain by the man himself at his blog post.
SEO for Blogs was one of my favorite talk by Malaysian only pro-blogger Liew Cheon Fong better know as liewcf. For those of you who do not know what SEO is, it is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. What it does is to tell search engine like Google to index your page according to certain specific sets of keywords in your blog and if you do it right hopefully will cause your page to be on the first page of the search result which will in turn generates more visits to your sites. He touched on topics like how to research for keywords to be used on your blog posting and some of the WordPress plugins related to SEO. The slides of this presentation are available here.
Blending Social Media in WordPress was given by a Singapore based WordPress consultant, Yahya Ayob. He stretched on how to make use of today’s social media like Facebook and Twitter to promote one’s blog. To me this is perhaps the anti-climax of the day. Forgive me for saying, but my opinion was that he was not prepared for his presentation and zoomed through the topic and I must confessed I wasn’t paying much attention to it. If you are interested to know how to use social media as ways to promote your blog you can refer to his slides over here.
Geo-Tagging with BuddyPress was the next topic by Jimmy Ngu from one of the event’s sponsor, ThePremiumPress. It covers topics on BuddyPress , a social network platform for WordPress MU sites. I have not gotten the chance to dig with it yet but will certainly explore it in the future when I get the time.
Light up your Web site with technology was perhaps the weirdest moments of the entire Wordcamp event. It began right after our lunch and was given by the oddest partner for an open source platform, Microsoft. (Which happens to be one of the biggest sponsor for the event).
It started off explaining about WordPress compatibility with Microsoft’s internet server platform but ended up trying to sell the open source guys (that makes the majority portion of the attendees) with propriety platform’s like Silverlight and Window’s Azure which ended up getting tonnes of jokes and sarcasm from the floor via twitter feed. Although Lai, the speaker from Microsoft is a very good public speaker, I sensed he was trying very hard to make his pitch on Microsoft’s products knowing that it will be a little tough sell to people who swear by the concept of open source.
Beginning WordPress Plugin Development was perhaps the best and the most interesting topic at least for me. The speaker, Aizat Faiz was perhaps the most eloquent speaker of the day. He knows his topics well and was very engaging. Although I have stopped coding for many years now, his topic on plugin development fired up my enthusiasm again and I think I will try hacking out some simple plugins soon. You can refer to his presentation over at his site.
There was a panel discussion moderated by David Wang and the panelists of the day were James Yeang, Hong Kiat, and LiewCF, three of the most prominent bloggers in Malaysian scene. The discussions mainly covers on topic how they get started with blogging, how they grow their userbase and their strategies of monetizing their blog. Among the three panelist, LiewCF is the only one who makes a living solely on blogging.
Overall, I thought the Wordcamp Malaysia was successful even though this was the first time being held here in Malaysia. Even though some talks were a little stale for me, I managed to gather lots of new insight especially on the topic of plugins development. And not to mentioned lots of goodies from Wordcamp especially WordPress stickers which i loved; now proudly decorated on my MacbookPro and not to mention the cool t-shirts. The best I got out of this, was meeting up new friends whom some I knew for a while from social networks but haven’t got that chance to meet face to face yet until now. Among them were thechannelc, liewcf, claytonnarcis, alexleonard, ruhanirabin and lightyoruichi.