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Cheap WordCamp San Francisco 2009 live blog

Despite being somewhat ill, I made it to WordCamp today via BART and MUNI.

Here are my photos from WordCamp SF 2009 on Flickr.

Random notes so far:

  • I just heard someone say one of my favorite refrains: “I’m not a programmer, but…”
  • There are twice as many people here this year as there were last year (and it is certainly evident)
  • WordPress has served up 22 billion page views in the last 12 months
  • Ed Morita has a WordPress tattoo
  • Tim Ferriss outsourced even his love life at one point
  • Matt Cutts thinks cat blogging is okay; the main things are to write often and about what you care about
  • This post is basically what Matt Cutts recommended: “11 reasons WordCamp ruled.”
  • yes, I am liveblogging on my iPhone
  • thematic and sandbox are good, widget-ready starting points for custom themes (look for widgets to show up on this site now that I know this) — these now supercede the one I based this blog’s theme and others
  • According to Tim Ferriss, Stumbleupon is a cheap source of relatively high quality traffic
  • A Bay Area county agency that shall remain nameless is still using Pentium 4s with 256 megs of RAM that barely run IE6 and have memory issues with Outlook 2000
  • Dave Gray of XPLANE (who also publishes the XBLOG, which I like a lot, though it is due a redesign) gave a really interesting and inspiring talk that I wish could have been 2X as long. I look forward to getting his slides and looking further into XPLANE’s work.
  • I walked out of Philip Greenspun’s talk because he made an insensitive joke out of Cory Lidle’s having died in a plane crash.

I found WordCamp SF 2009 pretty informative — what I stayed for at least. I left in part because I didn’t want to overdo it while recovering from what might be the flu (um, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t contagious, people who were sitting near me), not to mention the law of diminishing returns.

I’ll add more in a subsequent post.

Going to WordCamp

I’m going on Saturday… are you?

WordCamp SF 2009

(WordCamp, a day devoted to free open-source blogging software that runs really great sites, and sites like this one.)

*Who’s* following me?

Governor Schwarzenegger? Seriously? (Why?)

Hi, Jason L. Gohlke.

Gov. Schwarzenegger (Schwarzenegger) is now following your updates on Twitter.

A little information about Gov. Schwarzenegger:

359 updates
following 56370 people

You may follow Gov. Schwarzenegger as well by clicking on the “follow” button on their profile. You may also block Gov. Schwarzenegger if you don’t want them to follow you.

The Twitter Team

Turn off these emails at:


Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the earth yet?.

Apple USB Power Adapter recalled…

Fellow iPhone 3G suckers consumers customers:

Apple Ultracompact USB Power Adapter Exchange Program.

Sidewalk steamer annihilates gum in Milwaukee

Apparently, my hometown has been “long known for its compulsively clean streets.”

Well, Milwaukee is furthering that tradition with a GumBuster. Huh.

Deserves his own post

Lest I forget, Chuck Lewis, the SEO Rapper (yes, that’s right, he is the “Search Engine Optimization Rapper”), presented his rap stylings at WordCamp 2008. I don’t even know what to say except that I really enjoyed his performance and that he is truly one of a kind.

He was a great sport and a nice guy, and his rhymes were the best I’ve ever heard about WordPress.

Here he is rapping about his Social Media Addiction

Tantek Çelik on the Box Model Hack – updated for 2008!

I’m trying to redesign my portfolio and keep this website up to date. But the code has been revised and iterated continuously since 2001. This site at least is in XHTML and uses CSS for layout. So that’s good. But I’m using Tantek Çelik’s Box Model Hack, and frankly, it makes my CSS ugly and adds extra complications that may not be needed.

But every time I look up info on the Box Model Hack via Google, I get all kinds of results from 2005 (see above). Web design and coding have changed a lot in the ensuing three years, and all I want to know is if I should still be using it. (Luckily, somehow I completely missed the Holly Hack.)

So, at lunch at WordCamp 2008 on Saturday, I button-holed Tantek Çelik himself (the person who devised the Box Model Hack) to ask whether or not I should still be using it. He answered with a question — to paraphrase, “Does your site still need to work in IE 5 for Windows?”

So the answer on the Box Model Hack for 2008 is this: If your site still needs to work in IE 5 for Windows (the version of IE that has a broken box model), then you should still be using the Box Model Hack. If it doesn’t, then you don’t.

And it looks like 98.2% of those people browsing my work site in Internet Explorer, which is the most common browser family used to peruse, are using either IE 6.0 or 7.0. So I think I can get rid of it there.

“#1 Matt” and WordCamp 2008

WordCamp 2008 happened on Saturday in San Francisco, and it was good.
WordCamp2008 - The State of the Word

Highlights were many and often. In no particular order:

Liz Danzico and Jane Wells talked about the great usability work they’re doing for WordPress, and showed off some of the modifications they may or may not make to the current WordPress interface.

Tantek Çelik talked about microformats (and I got to ask him about the box model hack – more on that later).

Stephen Spencer (of NetConcepts, of Madison) provided some interesting tips on search engine optimization that were new to me.

Kathy Sierra (who writes books about Java) gave an amazing presentation that turned my ideas about designing websites upside down. Really! She started out with a trick question: Which testimonial is better: a. “This company kicks ass” or b. “This product kicks ass”? The answer, of course, is c. “I am awesome.” The basic question anyone who makes anything should be asking is, “how can my product make my users be able to kick ass?”

The LOLcats guy, Ben Huh, was there talking about “viral virility”! He made lots of good points that were perhaps overshadowed by the lolcats that illustrated his presentation and distracted everyone with their hilarity.

And of course Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress and Automattic, noted that the State of the Word is strong.

(Incidentally, Matt noted that he wants to be the #1 Matt on the web again. [He used to be until some guy who dances for gum, uh, whose site I actually like, took over.] So I’m indulging his wishes by linking to Matt here.)

For way more details, read Andrew Mager’s liveblog of WordCamp 2008. He was one of the people I actually talked to there… a really cool guy who happened to be at Virginia Tech last year and created a powerful community site. He was also the unofficial conference mascot once he applied a temporary WordPress tattoo to his forehead.

Here are a couple of my WordCamp photos (more later).

Note on location: It was held at the Mission Bay Conference Center on the weirdly isolated UCSF campus. (Biking in from BART, it was almost impossible to figure out which building was the conference center… I figured it was the biggest building I could see, and I happened to be right, but none of the permanent campus signage indicated where it was! One would figure that the most people coming to conferences on campus would be the people least likely to know the campus — so why wouldn’t they put the conference center on the permanent maps? Unfathomable.

But overall WordCamp 2008 was a real improvement on WordCamp 2007 (which I also thoroughly enjoyed). The venue was more comfortable in almost every way. Last year, at the Swedish-American Hall, it was really hot, there was no room for all the livebloggers attached to their laptops, there was only one track of talks. This year, the venue (and the food!) was way better and the vast majority of the speakers were informative and interesting.

phone bloggin’

I wrote, on 7/21/07:

Here I am at Word Camp.

And that was as far as I got before I realized that blogging using T9Word sucks.

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