WordCamp NYC 2010

Sessions

Blogger Track

Bare Bones Blogging: Starting out with The Perfect WordPress Installation – Liz Burr

Liz BurrEveryone says WordPress is the hottest blogging platform out there, but what are the bare minimum plugins and settings you need to make sure you are flying high with WordPress? My session will review must-have plugins, best practices to ensure you have good SEO, and some of the best places to find great WP themes.

WordPress Hidden Gems/Favorite Features – Sheri Bigelow

A demo of some of the very cool but often overlooked features in WordPress. Think you already know all of them? Come find out.

WordPress and Multimedia – Tony Zeoli

Multimedia features of WordPress for photo/audio/video production, including podcasting, webcasting, live streaming, mp3 sales, PDF, printing. Basically working with all forms of media in WordPress. Will include how to integrate WP and Brightcove or Kaltura. Setting up podcasting with iTunes and more.

Collaborative Subtitles for Every Video Online – Dean Jansen

The lack of captions and subtitles on video is a major obstacle for people with hearing disabilities and a huge language barrier for the whole world. Universal Subtitles gives individuals and communities the power to overcome these barriers. We make the work of subtitling and translating video simpler, more appealing, and more collaborative. Best of all, the software is 100% free and open source, it works on existing web videos (i.e. no re-uploading or asking viewers to go to various websites), and it’s compatible with most video hosts/formats that are popular on the web. This session will demonstrate the software and how you can easily add the technology to all your existing videos on a WordPress powered site.

How to Give Your WordPress Search Instant Super Powers, And Why It Will Cost You Money If You Don’t – Kenny Katzgrau & John Crepezzi

Huge news websites, shopping engines, magazines, and recipe catalogs are all applications that depend on one feature that WordPress doesn’t handle well by default: search. The more content your site has, the more you need search, and the slower the and more irrelevant the default WordPress search functionality becomes. If you run a shopping engine, customers might now be able to find your products. If you run a news site, your readers might not be able to find articles. This is costing you sales and ad-displays. We plan on talking about how you can make your search blazing fast and relevant both with and without search plugins, and also about bottlenecks in the WordPress search engine in general. We also plan on officially unveiling the completely rewritten WPSearch plugin, which can handle hundreds of thousands of posts with search speeds in the milliseconds. Oh, and it adds some handy features.

Back To Basics: WordPress SEO – Alex Miranda

Save money by doing your own SEO. Learn how to make your website SEO friendly with some basic steps and useful plug-ins. I will cover how to implement plug-ins, title tags, meta descriptions, keyword rich content, permalinks and how to find proper keywords that will help your website become search engine friendly. This is for beginners who do not know where to start or how to make their website SEO friendly.

Business/Publishing Track

WordPress for Small Businesses – Jacqueline Lee DeVito

WordPress makes it simple, easy, and straightforward for small businesses to create, manage and maintain a website. I can demonstrate, by using case studies, to show that small businesses, no matter what their specialty is, can have a professional and successful website. I will prove that everyone, of all skill levels, are able to have a profitable small business WordPress site.

Socially-savvy, cost-conscious WordPress sites for NYC Culturals and Non-profits – Amanda McCormick

NYC non-profits and cultural organizations have jumped on the social media bandwagon with a fantastic degree of success, turning their public affinity into fans, engagement and greater constituent bases. The obvious next step is to offer their audiences socially integrated websites that are much more dynamic and fluid that simply presenting a link to Facebook or Twitter. With WordPress, socially integrated websites are totally within reach of even the most budget challenged organization. With this how-to session, we’ll talk about all the ways we can use WordPress as a socially-integrated CMS for developing sites for cultural organizations and nonprofits.

Managing WordPress Projects – Gina Nieves

I will be presenting on how to bring all of the pieces together when managing large scale projects. Client expectations, requirements, design, plug ins and custom programming are all key components of a successful WordPress website. I will explain the tools, resources and processes I use to successfully manage projects at a profit.

Managing Communities and the Business: Identity, Roles and Reputation – Steve McNally

We’re building a scalable network of writers, editors and participants and a CMS to serve them. Business-wise as well as technology-wise, Who are you? What are you allowed to do here? What have you done previously inside and outside our network of sites? are core to our execution. It’s all a work in progress. We’ll be working with common credential directories, extending native roles, and updating themes to visually differentiate the various roles on the front end. We’re also extending our reputation system to provide more insight re who’s best serving writers, editors, the publisher and the community at large.

Using WordPress to drive your news product – William P. Davis

How WordPress can be more effective than a custom-built or proprietary CMS in driving a newspaper’s website, and how to adapt, not hack, WordPress to meet all your needs. Will include examples of news sites that most effectively use WordPress, comparing the cost and implementation of proprietary vs. open-source, how quickly you can launch a new product using WordPress and ways to get started.

Beyond Friending: Doing Work With BuddyPress – Matthew Gold

Originally conceived of as a Facebook-like social-networking platform that highlighted interactive social elements such as friending and wire-posting, BuddyPress has become a powerful platform for collaborative work that enables organizations to leverage social connections into productive working environments. This session, which is designed for beginners, will offer some best practices for fostering community-drive activity and will demonstrate how BuddyPress can be used to enable groups of people to work together effectively and socially. The CUNY Academic Commons, an educational community site that adopted BuddyPress as its central locus of user activity when BuddyPress was still in beta, will be used to highlight specific and practical examples of such interactions.

Academic Track

Anthologize: WordPress as a platform for academic software development – Boone Gorges

Anthologize is a new WordPress plugin that allows owners of self-hosted WP blogs to curate their own content, import content via RSS, organize their content, and export to a number of e-book formats. For many people, WordPress is the tool that powers their writing on the web; Anthologize has the potential to make WordPress a viable platform for composition meant to be consumed offline. Anthologize was concieved and the first alpha version written in the course of six days, during an NEH Summer Institute, by a group of academics/developers. Without a widely-used and open platform WordPress, we couldn’t have developed something like Anthologize in the course of a week. This suggests that WordPress might position itself as an all-purpose platform for rapid software development, especially in academic environments where WordPress is already popular as a blogging tool.

The Wall of Fame: WordPress as a Digital Signage Application – Joe Ugoretz and Rich Dikeman

At Macaulay Honors College (CUNY), we needed to recognize student achievements with pictures and text–in a way that could be easily updated, dynamic, and attractive. A custom WordPress theme, with a few small javascript elements, gave us a way to make our “Wall of Fame” a live rotating slideshow, with spacer slides pulling information from RSS feeds, large scale (and vertical-format) orientation, and easy updating anywhere anytime. WordPress works out to be a perfect “back-end” solution for a digital signage application. The kind of application that is usually proprietary and expensive.

Trials and Tribulations of Building a Digital Academic Commons – Baynard Bailey

I would like to highlight some of our successful collaborations with faculty and projects at Vassar (blogs.vassar.edu), discuss what made them effective projects (perhaps contrast with less successful WordPress collaborations). I would also like to tell the story of our unit’s efforts (Academic Computing Services) to build a digital academic commons, so to speak.

WordPress to Enhance Student Life – Jahn Golden, Ben Guttmann, & Steve Guttbinder

BaruchConnect.com is a project by the Undergraduate Student Government of Baruch College (USG) that we have built as a lens through which students can view life at the college. This site aggregates student-produced content from the college’s newspaper, radio station, yearbook, and clubs, providing for a one-stop shop for the student experience. A collection of relevant Twitter streams and blog posts complete the experience. The USG is able to use the site to easily communicate with students, and it has proven effective at increasing student engagement. The flexible WordPress interface allows for easy and convenient updating from many parties. Allowing all parties to have a stake in the content ensures that content remains current and relevent.

Pressible: A Case Study – Eric Buth and Patrick Carey

Many of the tools provided for higher education communities are lacking. They are expensive, locked down, and either too complicated, or not interesting enough to warrant use once no longer mandated. Pressible was created with the intention to build a reliable, actively developed and inexpensive core for every online project you make; that it would be a tool which would train people for “good internet behaviors”, such as tagging, and the idea of small “p” publishing. We selected WordPress as the best way to enable a small team to focus on game changing innovations rather than run of the mill user administration and ground up development. In this session we will talk about our vision of our WordPress future and our trials in making the project work in an academic environment that is accustomed to either developing from scratch or buying technology solutions out of the box. We will also describe how using WordPress has allowed us to focus on feature development rather than servicing the myriad other projects under our purview. In total we have a case study to present on an uncommon use of WordPress in an existing educational online publishing setting.

Teaching with WordPress in Traditional and Online Courses: Two Case Studies – Mikhail Gershovich and Joe Ugoretz

WordPress makes an effective tool for a wide range of learning experiences. This presentation offers two perspectives on how to use WordPress for college courses. In one instance, WordPress provided a course companion site, with opportunities for students to reflect, respond, and interact, improving the face-to-face time in class and giving them more time and space to explore the issues and ideas the course inspired. In the other instance, WordPress was the entire environment for a fully online course. The WordPress site was the only “meeting place” or “classroom” the students had, and all course activities took place through the site. In the presentation, we will discuss themes, plugins, and widgets–from complete customization to out-of-the-box standard versions, with recommendations about how to adopt these techniques for other courses and other contexts.

Theme Development Track

Practice Makes Perfect: Using best practices when developing themes for WordPress – Allan Cole

When I first got into using WordPress 4-5 years ago, the main thing that made me stick with it was how it easy it was to use. It’s really intuitive in a lot of different ways. When I got into theming, I found it to be really easy as well — almost too easy. Over the years, a lot of the ‘easier’ changes and edits that I added proved to problematic. In some cases I’ve locked myself out of plugin or WordPress upgrades. In other situations, I’ve lost weeks of development time and missed deadlines. Through all of these headaches, trials and errors I’ve managed to figure out a few really cool tricks that so far have helped to eliminate a lot of common frustrations. In this session I plan to review and explain a number of different ‘best practices’ that will help developers learn to create themes with speed, expandability and future proofing in mind which will hopefully help them to prevent and avoid common development problems. Here are a few topics I plan to cover:

  • Customizing theme files and using the functions.php
  • When to use Child Themes & when NOT to use Child Themes.
  • Creating your own custom Plugin for repeating scripts across many different themes.
  • Keeping design & styling techniques simple.
  • Plugin recommendations.
  • And more…

My session will be geared towards intermediate and beginner theme developers/designers. It will mostly consist of case studies of projects or theme ideas gone bad, and how the problem was corrected. I’m hoping those in attendance will walk away with a better understanding of how to make a powerful theme for clients and distribution, while also limiting the chance of future headaches and problems.

Typography & Your WordPress Theme – Sara Cannon

Believe it or not, generally WordPress sites are made up mostly of typography. This makes the relationship that these typographical elements have to each other very important. The New WordPress 3.0 default theme Twenty Ten has incredible typographical elements. In this talk I will be using a child of Twenty Ten as an example of customizing the theme’s typography. I will be going over how to plan these typographical elements out, their style and color, how to make a site/brand guideline for your Twenty Ten child theme to keep consistency, what different services to look at for your non-system fonts, typographical CSS tips and tricks, and how to account for every little detail and make sure no type element goes un-styled!

HTML5, CSS3 and WordPress – Larry Aronson

An overview of the state of HTML5 / CSS3 with an emphasis on the new capabilities available to WordPress theme developers, hackers and site admins, including the new elements: section, article, header, footer and nav. Also covered: HTML5 editable content, web storage, the canvas and video elements; CSS3 border radius and image, text and box shadows, and other new properties.

Advanced JavaScript – Daryl Koopersmith

Many WordPress developers are skilled in the art of PHP, but stare blankly at a screen full of JavaScript and believe that jQuery performs magic. I’d like to change that. I’ll discuss JavaScript’s numerous differences from PHP, how parts of the jQuery core work, and how developers can write better JavaScript.

Widgetize everything: building smarter themes with widgets and sidebars – Jeremy Clarke

We all know the value of using widgets to customize “the sidebar” of WordPress themes, but the underlying system is rarely used to its full potential. By creating many specialized and contextual sidebars any part of a theme can quickly be made customizable and extensible. This talk will cover all aspects of widgetizing themes, including how to register sidebars, problems to watch out for and tons of ideas for how to make the most of them. Theming and PHP/HTML knowledge definitely a plus, but not necessarily required.

Developer Track

Performance and optimization (panel) – Matt Martz & Scott Taylor

Learn how to build a High Performance WordPress Environment using physical or virtual servers, caching, hyperdb and more. WordPress, with the appropriate hardware resources can handle incredibly high load. Knowing the right tools for the job and the best practices for setting up such an environment can give you great scalability and the ability to handle a high amount of traffic.

Document Your Code – Aaron Jorbin

Let’s face it, Documentation makes everyone’s life easier. And if you’re not working to make your co-developers life easier in an open source project, you’re being a wanker. The goal of this presentation is to increase developers knowledge of documentation methods and methodology along with providing them with a strong desire to run out and document there own code. During this presentation I will go over:

  • How WordPress documents it’s code
  • The PHPDoc standard and ways that it is useful
  • Tools for using and viewing Quality inline Documentation
  • How you can contribute to the WordPress Documentation efforts

Advanced and Hidden WordPress APIs – Andrew Nacin

WordPress has a vast codebase, most of which is undiscovered to developers. This talk will focus on advanced APIs that most developers have never heard of, but the functionality will be demonstrated as very relevant with common use cases and sample plugins. With a number of functions covered, this talk will be high tempo, engaging, challenging, and fun. The goal is to expose the potential of WordPress to new, skeptical, or even advanced developers. While a high-level talk, beginning developers are sure to find inspiration. Advanced individuals new to WordPress development, or considering WP for their next project, will ideally be convinced it is a worthy development tool.

BuddyPress Theming: bp-default Is Your Daddy – Boone Gorges

BuddyPress comes with a great default theme, bp-default. In this session, we’ll walk through the structure of bp-default. We’ll also talk about how to use child themes of bp-default to make your BuddyPress site look unique, without taking the time to build a BuddyPress theme from scratch.

Advanced BuddyPress Components – John James Jacoby & Boone Gorges

BuddyPress is great as a social networking platform, but it can do so much more. Consider the Activity Component, the piece of BuddyPress that records user activity around a WordPress installation. Out of the box, BuddyPress records activity items for things like blog posts and forum topics. But with just a bit of customization, BP can be taught to record any activity you can imagine, both internal to the WordPress installation, and external via RSS. Those rich activity records can in turn serve as the backbone for detailed site analytics, for an interactive news ticker, or any number of other cool things.

BuddyPress Q&A – John James Jacoby, Boone Gorges, & Paul Gibbs

An open Q&A with some of the leading contributors to the BuddyPress development project. Bring your questions!

Instructions for Buying Tickets

We're using a new WordPress plugin for selling tickets, developed pro bono by 9seeds. If you have signed up to be a sponsor or have applied to be a speaker, please do not buy a ticket until you hear from Jane (by Sept 27, honest), as you'll need to use a special code to register if confirmed. If you're not sponsoring/speaking, go ahead and buy a Regular Admission ticket.

If you only buy one ticket, you'll fill in your attendee info right away. If you buy multiple tickets (like for a bunch of people from your company), you'll just fill in the billing info now, and you'll get an email with links for each attendee to go and fill in their own attendee profile (t-shirt size, email address, twitter ID, etc). This is a new system, so if you have trouble purchasing tickets, email jane/wordcamp/org for help.

P.S. The form styling will be fixed in the next plugin update. Beta, baby! :)

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