I've lived in Portland for 15 years and in that time I've seen tremendous change and growth in the Portland internet community. The Portland tech community has gone from early seedling groups like Lenny Charnoff's Netogether and Mike Pritchard's Internet Entrepreneurs Association to full blown, large scale, sold out events like Ignite Portland and WordCamp Portland. It's been an amazing thing to watch.
Sitting in the sold out room for WordCamp Portland I was struck by just how dynamic and exciting the internet community in Portland has become. There's a part of me that doesn't want to write about it, doesn't want the rest of the world to know about our little secret (but I think the secret is already out). Big things are happening here in Portland. When I say big things, I don't mean some major Internet company is going to be opening its doors, and I don't mean there will be some huge announcement of some grand Oregon based product. The magic of what's happening here is that it's a million little exciting things that all add up to a very significant and flourishing community.
Aside from my realizations of just how great the community is. I did learn some very specific and helpful things:
- WordPress 2.7 looks fantastic. Automatic has opened their ears to the people who use their software the most and they've been very serious about implementing the changes we all want to see.
- You can build a blogging site from the ground upwithout huge capital and without deep technical knowledge of php, mysql, css or even html.
- With the right tools you can: automatically backup your word press database, upgrade WordPress with one click, support Open ID, switch your theme while you work (and not have the new theme go public), easily support video.
- You can use your blog as the hub to unify all your social networking programs (aka tubes) including Friendfeed, Twitter and let your blog feed your networks.
- If you can't decide on a theme to start with for your blog, K2 is a good place to start.
- The Firefox Web Development Toolbar and Firebug are two tools every developer should have in their toolkit.
- If I'm at a conference where Justin Kistner is doing a session I won't make the mistake of missing it again. 10 Proven WordPress Plugins was interesting, but I kicked myself after talking to people who came out of his WordPress Ecosystem session. (Same goes for Marshall Kirkpatrick, whose RSS session was called 'mindblowing')
- The people who run CubeSpace are simply awesome. If I'm ever in need of a place to meet clients or hold meetings they've got my business.
- Adding people to Twitter via cell phone (just tweet Follow GeoffK), is easier, faster and has more impact than swapping business cards.
- I need to check out: Tweetdeck, Ning, Ping.fm and Vidoop.
- The perfect food to serve to bloggers are: Coffee, Bagels, Pizza, Soda, Beer and Mediterranean Food.
In all, It was a full Saturday well spent, unbelievable value at $10 and an event I'll absolutely attend again when it comes around net year.