WordCamp2007Israel – Part 2

wordcamp-israel blackFirst of all a big hello to the folks who found their way here from Lorelle’s post on WordCamp Israel! My previous posts on WordCamp Israel are here and here.

The afternoon session of WordCamp Israel kicked off with the nitty-gritty of installing and setting up the standalone version of WordPress, including a real time installation of the program, a brief introduction to WordPress themes and using CSS to change a theme’s appearance, and why and how to optimize your site. Each of these sessions was lead by people who have been involved with the development of the Hebrew version of WordPress and their knowledge and enthusiasm for the program and their subject was evident in their presentations. The assumption seemed to be that the people sitting in the auditorium already knew the basics of building a website and understood what each speaker was talking about, which I don’t think was entirely correct. Tal Galili, the Tel Aviv U grad student who was one of people behind WordCamp Israel, announced at the opening of the morning session that many, if I remember correctly around 20%, of the people who registered for the conference did not have a blog and they hoped that following the conference people would be encouraged to try out WordPress on the free hosting donated by one of the sponsors.

(Because my present blog is hosted on wordpress.com, a lot of the above info wasn’t relevant for me, other than optimization. Having had my own domains and websites over the past 8 years forced me to learn the basics of hand-coding HTML and CSS and how to optimize my site. Having the ability to autoinstall and use the standalone version of WordPress on my last webhost was just the cream on the strawberries.)

The last two sessions of the day before Lorelle’s closing speech were “How To Optimize Your Blog For Search Engines” and “Law For The Blogger”. Because the day’s program was already an hour and a half behind schedule, these two speakers had to cut their presentations short. The very hurried (or harried) speaker who presented SEO kept apologizing for the speed with which he was barreling through his talk and assured us that all the information in his speech would shortly be up on the WordCamp Israel blog site. This is a good thing, because I honestly don’t remember what he said other than pointing us to Google Labs-Suggest. The session on law was of particular interest to me (you don’t write a copyright FAQ without becoming a Copyright Crusader). The remaining audience showed far more interest in this topic and there were a lot of really good questions and answers, and I even learned something new. Unfortunately the session had to end abruptly since there was still Lorelle’s second session to come and a class waiting to use the auditorium at 7pm.

Next time: Lorelle on Content Connections and WordPress Tips

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2 thoughts on “WordCamp2007Israel – Part 2

  1. Maybe as someone who had set on the initial meeting leading to the event I will be able to explain the existence of the technical part.

    At that initial meeting, there was no estimate of the number of people which will be actually interested in attending the event, and there was exactly one sponsor. All we new about the presentations was that there are going to be some technical ones (most of the people in the meeting had good WP technical skills), a law related (Jonathan who was at the meeting, had volunteered), and a business related blogging as this was the business of the only sponsor at that time. Suggestions to make it a one and half day event were turned down because of logistics and a feeling that we don’t have enough presenters to fill it.

    At the following days we have looked into places which offered both an auditorium and an available class to which some technical discussion could be diverted. I don’t know what were the reasons for selecting the place, but I guess that it had to do with getting the auditorium for free, and maybe there was no available class for that day.

    Maybe if we had known that the event is going to be 80% overbooked, we would have planned on having parallel sessions for the technical stuff and have more people attending the event.

    Hopefully, based on the experience from this year event, it will be easier to plan the 2008 israeli wordcamp.

  2. Hi Mark. Thanks for the behind-the-scenes look at how WordCamp Israel came about. It does shed some light on why things were the way they were.

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