WordCamp San Francisco happened Friday and Saturday this weekend with many of the WordPress.com Happiness Engineers and Developers from Automattic both in attendance and presenting.
This was the first time that I participated via the livestream, which was entirely brilliant, and it almost felt like being there, especially with the addition of the Hallway interviews. Well done! The time difference, however, was not in my favor and I ended up missing about the last third of both days. Thankfully, all presentations were recorded and will be put up on wordpress.tv. Right now you can already watch Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” talk:
Matt shared that 18.9% of the web is now powered by WordPress. That’s up by 2.2% from last year and encompasses the top 10 Million websites. He also mentioned that 98% of users access their WordPress site via the web in addition to their mobile devices (and made him wonder about the “missing” 2%).
Other presentations that upped my knowledge and enthusiasm, not just about working with WordPress (I’ll add the links to the videos as they become available):
Bridging the Chasm: Working with Non-Technical Stakeholders with Grant Landram, who spoke about working with clients who have little or no technical experience. The takeaway here was the importance of having really good communication skills and getting into your client’s head. You can find a PDF of his presentation here.
Setting Up Your WordPress Site: Stories of Joy and Despair with Natalie MacLees, who gave a great roundup of the Why, Who, Where, When and How of creating a website. My prime takeaway from her talk was “Before anything else you need to have a plan.” Will post a link to her slidedeck here when available.
Collaboration and Competition with Carrie Dils. Again, Carrie’s presentation highlighted the need for people skills also when working within the WordPress community or better phrased “coopetition.” The slidedeck of her talk is available here.
The other super exciting presentation, to me anyway, was Beau Lebens’ Taking WordPress to the Front End with O2, a peek at the upcoming replacement to P2. If you are not familiar with P2, it has front end posting (no need to write a post in the Dashboard) and allows for near instantaneous appearance of replies. It is the workhorse of internal communication at Automattic, where, Beau mused, at times there were more P2’s in use than the number of employees at Automattic (now about 184). There will be a very closed Alpha of O2 released within a month.
A less happy statistic Matt shared in his talk was that of the 50K signups on WordPress.com within the last week, only 4% are active today. That harks back to his State of the Word talk last year and my subsequent tweet about retention. Sadly, still true today. How do we increase user retention? My personal goal is to help people learn WordPress.com through writing articles on this site, continuing to volunteer in the Community forums and engaging my local WordPress.com users in one-on-one sessions.
Twitter was again the medium of choice for #wcsf conversation and the stream was very active, both by attendees and by livestream participants.
Let’s all do it again next year!