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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

WordCamp 2007 – Day two

July 22, 2007

I suppose I might as well semi-live blog the second day of WordCamp. (Somehow, this post has been dugg, you’ve been warned.)

10:45am – The first session of the day HyperDB and High Performance WordPress lead by Barry Abrahmson and Matt Mullenweg focused on making WordPress run smoothly when dealing with high traffic sites or even small personal sites that end up getting on sites like Slashdot and Digg.

A few tips if you do not use any caching and yet you’ve found your site down because of a Digg. There are a few options that were suggested. The first is to modify your .htaccess file and limit access to your site to only your personal IP Address. Then, create an index.html file of the post that is getting all of the traffic. Next, FTP into your site and create the same directory structure on your file system as your post has (i.e. /notes/wordcamp07-day2/ for this post) and upload the index.html into that file. Don’t forget to edit your .htaccess file again to allow everyone back in again.

After that I’d suggest installing WP-Cache, a free plugin, so that this type of thing doesn’t happen again.

11:00am – “Blogs at the New York Times” by Jeremy Zilar is focusing mainly on the struggles of training people to use WordPress, upgrading multiple copies, and just general workflow for their authors and how they use WordPress at the New York Times.

Something interesting that the New York Times blogs does is have “comment of the moment” which spans across off of the New York Times blogs. Many social networks will highlight specific content but not usually highlight comments. I like it.

11:15amDesigning massively multiplayersocial systems lead by Rashmi Sinha, Ph.D. is focusing on how to design massively social systems like SlideShare. (View her slide presentation here.)

Notes: Interaction occurs around objects not “just connecting” like; coffee, concerts, wordcamp, etc. Even tag searches are “objects” that people virtually “gather” around. I don’t like that she is limiting interaction models to only four, though she didn’t say they are the only models.

Side notes: Slideshare was built as “the Flickr, or YouTube, of Powerpoint presentations…”. “Did you know that 5th graders do their homework in Powerpoint?” Church 2.0 (clergy are using them in churches). “Powerpoint pornography, does exist”.

Designing for the individual: Usability. Can you find information. Quickly access what you are looking for. Documentation clear, concise.

Designing for groups: How are people interacting? How will people share? “Group think”, or Wisdom Of Crowds, says that you can intelligent decisions being made by a group of people only if certain rules are kept and followed. The system must encourage everyone to be individuals, yet work together. Popularity is one of the most important things on social networks. Unfortunately: The rich gets richer.

11:45am – Almost time for lunch. I’m starving! I just posted my MeToday video, that I did this morning before WordCamp was really full.

Regarding Apple, Inc. “They do invidual design very well. They can’t do social design at all.”. Wow. I’m not sure I get this blanket statement, and I suppose I should take it with a grain of salt. Maybe I will email her.

“Any other activities, besides favoriting and tagging, to gauge popularity?” Favoriting and tagging “go together” on Slideshare. If you favorite something, you are asked also to tag it. (I like this feature). “You don’t get the same credit for favoriting, as you do for commenting.”

Rashmi is taking questions from the audience.

BBQ Lunch!! Wow. That was some delicious BBQ! It felt good to be able to eat, unlike yesterday.

2:15pm – I’m recording parts of Dave Winer’s discussion about the Past, Present, and Future of Web Publishing which has touched on some very interesting points. He touched on future-safing your data/content as well as opening up social networks so that users do not get “siloed” into using the service. Example: Facebook’s APIs all point inward, and not outward.

The video for Dave’s presentation is now available on Viddler.

5:15pm – The last few presentations for the day included Liz’s presentation on how they are going through the WordPress admin testing it for usability issues and planning the next (or 2.4) version that will, hopefully, feature many improvements to the WP-admin.

Matt Mullenweg did a presentation on “The State of the Word” (video now available here) updating everyone on what has happened with WordPress since the last WordCamp in 2006. Impressive numbers, huge growth, and many plans for the future. (I have a good portion of this on video and will be publishing it on Viddler the moment that iMovie “does its thing”).