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WordCamp Detroit Takeaways

by Jim Raffel on November 14, 2011

image of jim raffel and shelby sapusek at WordCamp Detroit

I find it useful to turn notes from attending conferences into a blog post of takeaways. This is not meant to be a roundup of the entire two-day conference. It’s just those things that caught my interest and that I plan to follow up on in the next week or so. I’ve tried to provide attribution where possible, but sometimes I just jot a quick note when I hear something. If you are reading this and think you provided the idea, please let me know so I can go back and add that attribution.

The Takeaways

WP Greet Box plugin: One of the presenters uses this plugin to let visitors who got to your blog from a Google search what other posts on the site they may be interested in. It also offers the opportunity to sign up for your RSS or email feed. As search has become over half the traffic on this blog, I’m planning to take a look at this one; probably as soon as later today.

Edit Flow plugin: During WordCamp Detroit, Shelby and I met Chris Ross, a fellow speaker at the event. After hearing about the way we edit each other’s posts, he suggested we take a look at the Edit Flow plugin that would tighten up and automate our process of getting edited blog posts out the door. I’m looking forward to taking a look at this one soon as well.

Test the so called SEO rules: During the Saturday evening after party, I had a long conversation with another attendee (who’s name sadly escapes me) about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) among other topics. The big takeaway for me is to not trust all the so-called SEO rules we hear about. In his case, he’s done testing that shows Google does not always truncate your meta title at 50 or 60 characters. The lesson for me is that if something matters to you, do your own testing. Trust your own results and not those of the so-called experts.

GD Star Rating plugin: During a presentation of the funny site MayerFace.com, I thought of some fun uses for this plugin. I probably won’t use it on this blog, but for some projects I have in the back of my mind.

Malartu.org: This is just plain cool. A bunch of college professors got together to change education from the inside out. I love that they are doing this as a nonprofit. It sure seems to me that their motives are pure and I wanted to all I could to help get the word out. Education at all levels is broken and probably best fixed by those on the inside who care.

WordCamp Detroit was the third WordCamp I’ve attended and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. The WordPress community is focused on what matters, helping each other and delivering solutions that work.

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