Report Back from WordCamp SF 2011

I’m finally just now getting a chance to report back from this week’s WordPress WordCamp conference in San Francisco. I attended the final day of the three-day event, which included the annual State-of-the-Word presentation by WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. You can read all about him here on his own website.

Matt presented a few welcome announcements for the user community, including the fact that WP plugins not updated in the last 2 years will no longer show up in search returns in the WP repository. So, finding the perfect plugin should become a whole lot easier for many folks.

As a relative newbie to the WordPress, I was incredibly impressed by the genuine friendliness and approachability of the WordPress community. One great touch was something called the “Happiness Desk.” Manned by WordPress experts and community volunteers, the premise was that you could approach the desk and ask anything–from general conference-related questions to technical queries related to the WordPress platform. I was the lucky recipient of both, and indeed walked away with a smile. Of course, it helped that I was also on my way to the delicious luncheon buffet, including barbecue, mac and cheese and…um, lemon bars.

One of my favorite speakers from Sunday’s event included the incredibly upbeat and enthusiastic artist, entrepreneur and small business coach Willo O’Brien, who shared a huge array of tips on how to produce (and bling) video content, and even monetize or syndicate it along the way. If you’re considering producing some videos of your own, you can get a little inspiration from her videos, which are available at

SEO expert Sujan Patel of the SF-based SEO company Single Grain had some valuable advice on how to enhance your blog’s SEO power. A lot of his insights were within the context of Google’s recent algorithm changes, also known as Panda. He also recommended some great plugins that can save you time along the way.

All of the content from this weekend’s events will eventually be posted at, so keep watching that site if you’d like to check out the speakers I mentioned. And hopefully, I’ll see you at WordCamp SF 2012!

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