I wasn’t sure what to expect at WordCamp, afterall, I’d done Capulet Communications Social Media Bootcamp and was thinking that it was going to be pretty hard to top that experience and given the fact I am also slightly wary of too many social media newbies in small spaces, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned today and how much fun it was to hang out with over 100 social medialites.
I was pretty thrilled to be able to go to two sessions with Rebecca Bollwit from the infamous Vancouver focused blog, http://www.miss604.com/. As she rattled off WordPress plugins like a social media auctioneer, I felt like a groupie. What a nerd. No matter, I was learning about some damn cool plugins! I also got to attend a session about community management with Lorraine Murphy of the famed Raincoaster blog who just sat me on my ass with her refreshing in-your-face honesty and, sorry, I have to use the most overused word on the net right now–authenticity. She seriously sets the bar way up there for engagement. I was inspired and it wasn’t even lunch yet.
At lunch, (which was provided and was tasty), I attended a panel with Raul Pacheco-Vega, an UBC academic who also happens to have a wicked blog, Hummingbird604.com. You can read a really great interview with Raul from the Georgia Straight from July 2009 to delve more into what he does as a professor of policy and politics researcher. Very cool dichotomy and one that speaks to me as I work at a university but also am very active in social media. I’d be curious to find out more about how he balances the two worlds.
Lastly, I attended a great session with Cathie Walker, a true pro who has been looking at how words are read, communicated, and sometimes horribly disfigured on the internet since the early nineties. As a writer, I was laughing out loud many times, especially because Cathie is working on the UVic website and again, since I work at a university, I could really relate to the push and pull between ‘academic’ writing and writing for the web in order to communicate to your audience in order to get results. Just to be clear however, Cathie is far more than just a good writer or coach, check out her website for her complete (and impressive) portfolio of website design.
I could write way more, but apparently, according to Mike Vardy, a writer, comedian, and author of many successful blogs including Eventualism, says to keep your posts to 600 words or less. Not sure where I’m at, but I’m going to wrap it up. My brain is kind of fried from plugins, posterous, SEO, pingbacks, trackbacks, stats, tags, and all the other terminology that made me feel like I was back in Math 10. Here’s to getting more community, more education, more great speakers on the island in the future!